There's only so much you can say about portable batteries. Power goes in, power goes out, phone charges up. Here at Android Police, we generally just recommend that people buy the biggest battery with the smallest price tag, which usually ends up being one of the various Anker models sold on Amazon. But manufacturer UNU is trying to shake things up with the new Ultrapak Tour series, which they claim charge in a fraction of the time of standard external lithium-polymer battery packs.
For my money, Nova Launcher is the best of the AOSP-style launchers available in Android. Developer TeslaCoil Software has consistently updated the launcher for the better part of three years, and one of the biggest updates is coming soon. Nova 3.0 won't add any earth-shattering changes, but there are a bunch of little changes that will thrill the customization-obsessed in small ways.
On the homescreen, you can now customize the text below shortcuts to a greater degree with color and shadow options, and widgets can now have individual padding settings.
The marketing campaign for OnePlus's CyanogenMod-powered One phone has been maddeningly piecemeal, so we've been hesitant to post their tiny updates. But the latest one is notable: according to this forum post, the OnePlus One will feature always-on voice commands, in the same manner as the Moto X and 2013 Motorola DROIDs. The administrator says that it's enabled by a combination of Qualcomm technology and custom software from the CyanogenMod team.
There are two ways to make a "mini" phone these days. The first is typified by Samsung and HTC, who have made Mini versions of the Galaxy SIII, S4, and HTC One with lower specs to match the physically smaller size. The second way is to make smaller phones that still strive to be the technical equal of their larger stablemates, like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the Motorola DROID Mini.
The "Mini" portion of Samsung's lineup is squarely aimed at the budget market. It's strange, then, to see two new phones that are (at least in some respects) a generation apart launch on the same carrier on the same day. Verizon has done just that: the Galaxy S III Mini is now available starting at $49.99 ($249.99 without a contract) and the Galaxy S4 Mini is $99.99 (a full $399.99 contract-free).
As long as bicycles have existed, those who wish to steal said bicycles have found new and inventive ways to get around whatever locking mechanisms are put in place to keep them safe. As a result, lock manufacturers have to come up with new ways to ensure their products do what they're supposed to: keep the locked bike from being stolen. Among all the different designs, the U-style lock has widely been adopted as the best and overall strongest.
One of the things that makes the Nexus series of phones so enticing is the extremely affordable pricing options. When the Nexus 4 first hit the scene, it was only $300 for an 8GB model and $350 for the 16GB, then Google slashed the prices by $100, making them even more affordable. In a world where most high-end mobile phones can't be purchased for less than $550-600 off-contract, Nexus pricing is a breath of fresh air.
In 2009, I was an iPhone user. I had been watching Android intently, but none of the hardware really appealed to me. As the end of the year grew near, I felt the itch to get out of Apple's walled garden. I didn't hate my iPhone, but I knew it wasn't the right platform for me. I bought an HTC Hero, and I still pride myself on having the commonsense to return it a few weeks later and buy the Motorola Droid.
My first Android phone was the original Motorola Droid. The day it was released I happened to walk into Verizon to get an issue with my bill cleared up; I had been following the Droid leaks for some weeks before, so I was really excited to check it out in person. I walked in, picked it up (along with the Droid Eris), and played with it for a few minutes before explaining to the salesperson what Android was.
When last we saw the LG Enact, it was looking like a decidedly ho-hum budget phone for Verizon whose only differentiator was an oddly retro 4-button layout. Evleaks has graced us with yet another look at the phone and... well, it still looks pretty ho-hum, but now it's a slightly more interesting QWERTY slider. Verizon hasn't had a new Android phone with a physical keyboard since the Pantech Marauder over a year ago.