Rather than cramming too many pixels onto the camera sensor, HTC made a bold decision to go with a 4 megapixel camera on the HTC One. Watch our explanation above and check out the photos taken with the HTC One below.
The HTC One. It’s here in my hands. Is it as good as they say it is? Watch the review video above and read on to find out.
- Super LCD 3 4.7-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution (470 PPI pixel density)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.7 GHz Quad-core processor
- Android 4.1 with HTC Sense 5
- 149 grams
- 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
- 32/64GB, 2GB RAM
- HSPA + / LTE support
- 4MP Ultrapixel camera with 1080/30p or 720/60p video
This is a stunning device. The hardware design is the best we’ve seen in smartphone hardware. HTC takes cues from the iPhone 5 with its aluminum shell and chamfered edges, but HTC takes it up to another level. It feels modern, sturdy, and sophisticated. There is no device that looks and feels better than the HTC One.
The Ultrapixel camera is a right step towards progress. It makes perfect sense to increase pixel size and not pixel density on these tiny smartphone camera sensors. More photons hitting the sensor means better photos! It’s that simple. The pixel size on the HTC One’s camera actually surpasses some of higher end point-and-shoot cameras. Photo quality is excellent here.
Zoe mode on the camera is also a nice addition. It takes 20 full resolution photos and one second long video, allowing users to pick and choose the best looking photo out of a single moment. This camera mode should be on every smartphone.
The HTC One is an exceptional smartphone, but its battery life doesn’t impress me. It only lasts a day and you’ll have to charge it every night. I know it takes a lot of power to drive a quad-core processor and a 1080p display, but I just wish the battery life was slightly better.
I also found that the HTC One had slightly low frame rates during graphically intensive games. In Real Racing 3, the game would get jerky when there are multiple cars on screen doing a steep turn. Is it because the resolution is so high? Or is it because games are not optimized for the new processor? In either case, it was a bit disappointing to see inferior gaming performance on the HTC One.
The HTC One is an excellent smartphone. Hardware is beautiful and the new Sense is very refreshing. This is the best smartphone available right now. Highly recommended!
Some products just have that head-turner feature that make you look twice at it. For the Dell XPS 12, the display hinge is that feature. I recently spent some quality time with the XPS 12 and its unusual hinge design. Let me tell you if it’s worth your hard-earned money.
- Intel Ivy Bridge i5-3337U or i7-3537U processor
- Windows 8
- 4/8GB DDR3 RAM
- Intel HD 4000 Integrated graphics
- Up to 256GB SSD storage
- 1.3MP webcam
- Multitouch glass trackpad
- 12.5-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 touchscreen display
- 802.11 a/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
- 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort
- 1.52 kg (3.35 lbs)
- 6 hour battery life with normal usage
I had some reservations about the hinge design of the XPS 12 before playing with it. For a design like this, a shoddy hinge would completely ruin the entire product and make it worthless.
Fortunately that wasn’t the case. The XPS 12 has a very solid hinge that snaps into tablet and laptop configurations with a resounding click each time. That click is really satisfying. I found myself switching between the tablet and the laptop configuration way more than I needed to. This design is very intuitive and fun.
The display itself is another strong point of the XPS 12. The 1080p IPS display looks gorgeous! Whether you are playing casual games, watching movies, or browsing the web, the high resolution display will help you to completely immerse your mind into the content you are consuming. The XPS 12 has one of the best looking displays for a laptop this size, second only to the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina Display.
Like most Windows laptops, the XPS 12 suffers from a less-than-perfect trackpad. I am completely baffled by the number of Windows laptops that have trackpad problems. Some of them are completely useless, guiding the pointer to different locations than where desired. Others are usable, but they sometimes require multiple swipes to do the job. The XPS 12’s trackpad belongs to the latter group.
Perhaps my unusually sweaty index finger exacerbates this issue, but I never have trackpad problems with Apple laptops. Just saying.
Another weak point is the lack of an SD card slot. Most laptops now have this and I can't live without one. Who likes mucking around with camera cables or USB card readers? This isn’t a deal breaker for everyone, but I was disappointed with this omission.
Lastly, the XPS 12 is pretty hefty for an ultrabook. At 20mm thickness and 1.52kg weight, it’s on the chunky side of the ultrabook spectrum. You are trading thin and light for a two-in-one design.
Overall, the Dell XPS 12 is a fine device that I’d recommend to people who want a Windows 8 tablet and a laptop in one. Although I take issue with its trackpad and chunky design, I like the XPS 12's unique hinge and great performance. You can get yours now at Dell.
A monitor is a window to a computer’s soul, so you’d better get a good one if you want to feel spiritually linked to your computer.
You may not want to connect with a computer in that way, but let me tell you about the Acer B6 and V6 series of displays anyway. Aimed at both professional customers and consumers, the two series of monitors boast great display quality, slimmer chassis, and EPEAT Gold specification.
The V6 series range from 19 to 24 inch screen sizes while the B6 series range from 22 to 27 inch screen sizes. The B6 series come with USB 3.0 ports for charging smartphones and other digital devices. Select models feature Full HD 1080p resolution.
B6 and V6 series are VESA compliant and feature a wide array of connection options, including HDMI, VGA, DVI, and DisplayPort. They will suit your needs for whatever you are doing.
The Acer B6 series displays start at $180 CAD and V6 series displays start at $110 CAD. They will be available at Acer resellers in Canada later this month. We’ll check them out soon!
HP leaps ahead with the Leap Motion Controller!
Leap Motion announced they are working with HP to embed their 3D motion controller into select HP computers. Starting this Summer you'll be seeing HP computers with the 3D motion controller embedded in them.
Leap is going to preload their app store and a few demo apps into Leap Motion integrated HP devices. While Leap has a bundling partnership with ASUS, this is the first embedding deal for the company. Exciting times are ahead for this 3D motion controller.
But you don't have to buy a new computer to get the Leap Controller. You can still pre-order one for $80 at leapmotion.com. Can't wait to get mine in May and wildly wave my arms in front of my computer.
A Toronto-based startup Whirlscape has raised over $80,000 in 4 weeks on Indiegogo. Their project is called Minuum - it's a radically inventive software keyboard that takes up a fraction of space of conventional QWERTY keyboards.
Will Walmsley, the lead designer and CEO of Whirlscape, is the man behind this minimalistic keyboard. I had the pleasure of speaking with him about Minuum and its applications.
What was your inspiration behind creating Minuum?
We first worked on an accelerometer-based input method, typing by tilting the phone. We did a lot of research on that. When we finished that, we realized that it was actually - and bizarrely - a great way to type, even though it was strange to constantly tilt your phone. We realized that the technology we built for that project allowed us to make the Minuum which has this huge benefit of saving screen real estate on mobile devices.
Tell us about your auto-correction algorithm.
We’ve been creating our own algorithm that’s specifically designed for one dimensional keyboards. We don’t like to think of it as ‘auto-correction’. The correction part makes it seem like you are making mistakes. The way we see it is that you’re not making mistakes. It’s okay that you miss a few letters.
We call ours a ‘disambiguation algorithm’. Instead of it correcting you, Minuum’s algorithm disambiguates the meaning out of the (naturally) sloppy typing that you do.
Average typing speeds on Minuum?
Our preliminary tests show that users can type up to 50 words per minute using Minuum. Of course, if users are thinking about the message as they are typing, the speed will be lower.
Is Minuum coming to iOS?
Beta version of Minuum for Android is our first target. For iOS, the plan is to make it bundle-able with other applications, since we cannot replace the system keyboard. Some applications benefit more from saving screen space.
Let’s say you are designing an iPad app. If you are designing a search engine app, you’ll be able to see more search results, because the keyboard doesn’t cover half of the screen. If you are creating a PowerPoint app, you’ll be able to see all of your presentation without the keyboard covering up half of the display.
What about wearable devices?
Wearable devices with accelerometers will be a great fit, because we already put so much work into accelerometer-based typing. There is also going to be a lot of room for use with different kinds of cameras, infrared sensors, and lasers that detect the distance of the user’s hand from the sensor. The watch demo in our campaign video is an early prototype of that idea.
Conceivably the camera sensor can track anything from eye movements to entire body movements. With something like the Google Glass, it could overlay a keyboard on your arm. You could type anywhere and have the device interpret your body movements into keyboard input using Minuum.
Why did you choose Indiegogo?
We’ve been working on a couple of these ideas and we realized that there’s so much potential for Minuum. Rather than doing it all ourselves, we want to enable the community to go out and invent things. Indiegogo is a great tool for that. We want to make Minuum open and get the whole world to figure out how it can improve the way we type.
Minuum can be helpful to users with various disabilities. Whether it’s visual, motor, or even cognitive impairments, a simplified keyboard is the best way to type for people with disabilities.
Minuum has just 24 hours till its campaign closes. You can still pledge $5 to get early access to the Android beta in June. Head over to their campaign page and support Minuum.
Our favourite iPad guitar now has a new voice.
Popular synthesizer app SynthX for iPad now supports the ION All-Star Guitar, transforming the All-Star Guitar into the most affordable synth guitar available today. Check out SynthX running on the ION All-Star Guitar in the video above.
Faploid is an upcoming digital adult magazine. We just received a sneak preview of what it will look like across multiple platforms, from mobile to desktop. The photo is a bit risqué to hang on our front page, so here's a link to the photo instead.
Looks pretty, doesn't it? Sign up for early beta at Faploid.com
Google Glass isn't even out and it already has a competitor. Man, these people are fast.
Chinese search giant Baidu has announced plans to build a Google Glass competitor called 'Baidu Eye'. Like Glass, Baidu Eye will feature a small display that sits in the user's field of view, and a bone conduction headphone for auditory information.
Baidu is working to include features like visual recognition for buildings and objects, gesture recognition for instant photo-taking and sharing, and augmented reality for seamless merging of the digital space and the real life.
Baidu controls 70 percent of Chinese search market, and has recently released a smartphone running a forked version of Android with all of the Google features replaced with their own. It is possible that Baidu will beat Google to Chinese market with the Baidu Eye. I wonder how Google feels about Baidu eating most of their cake in China.
BioShock Infinite Spoilers! You've been warned.
Elizabeth is arguably the most well developed character in all of video game history. Starting off as a mere target object, she develops into something much more for the player.
You start to care about her as you play the game, and you want to make her dreams come true. You are torn inside when she is taken away from you, and feel compelled to get her back before the bad guys ruin her. You want to help Elizabeth to resolve her issues with her stepmother and punish her father/caretaker for what he's done to her. And when you find out that she is your daughter that you sold when she was just a baby... Oh my god, can't deal with all these feels!
She is also the most ideal game companion I've ever been with. I can't count how many times I narrowly dodged death by catching items that Elizabeth tossed at me. She never gets in the way of gameplay. It's very reassuring to look around and see Elizabeth right behind you. Whether you are zipping around the skylines or battling the motorized Patriots, you always know that Elizabeth is right behind you.
I was crushed when Elizabeth declined Booker's offer to leave everything behind and go (elope?) to Paris. I really wanted to make her happy. I wanted to heal her of her shattered past. Call me obsessed, but I've been playing this game multiple times trying to see if there is an alternate ending where Elizabeth never realizes her full power and where we never find out the truth behind Elizabeth and Booker's relationship. Unfortunately, there is only one ending in this game and it's very tragic.
So here's my suggestion to Irrational Games. Please make a DLC that's just about Booker and Elizabeth's life in Paris. One that takes place in a happy alternate reality where we never find out about all of the terrible truths about those characters. It's not incest if we don't know the truth!
I'd pay anything to see Elizabeth happy.