Linus Reviews HTC One M8 for Windows


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theyarecomingforyou

 

All in all this phone baffles me a bit. It's a phone for no-one. I understand that some people have a thing for supporting the market underdog and are willing to work around numerous inconveniences to do it or have specific complaints about Google and Apple that would cause them to want to avoid using the services of both those companies, and for you there's high-end Windows phones, like the One M8 for Windows. For everyone else there's stuff out there that's just plain more functional and easier to use and in the case of the One M8 also exactly the same price, so the conclusion pretty much writes itself here.

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+E.Worm Jimmy

holy crap.  this review highlight all that is wrong with WP

 

i love windows.... but they just did not create an appealing OS for phone.  

was it their fault, or the fact they were too late, and too sucky, so no developer support...

 

does not matter.  actually, i am kidding... MS messed up big. unfortunately..  

i was thinking of buying WP for the longest time.  but it was just never appealing overall.

 

 

i WOULD LOVE TO LOVE WP.   but overall, it still does not provide what i expect of it (not just apps... OS functionality)

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Draconian Guppy

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

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+E.Worm Jimmy

this guy is so un-objective that  is quite humorous.

un-objective....

   

 

 

can you name points why it is?

 

 

everything i have heard from actual users points to me that WP is way behind, not only in developer support, but in basic usability.  

as a long time MS fan, i am disappointed, but i am not going to dismiss the points as humorous. i find them mostly upsetting.. as i expected much better of them!

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Praetor

it's still a big problem the lack of high profile apps in the store and some of the ones that exist aren't official.

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theyarecomingforyou

this guy is so un-objective that  is quite humorous.

If you have a specific issue with the review then please share it but broad, unsubstantiated statements like yours contribute nothing to the discussion.

 

I like Linus, as he calls it how he sees it. This review pretty much sums up the problems with Windows Phone right now, which is that Android and iOS devices just do everything better. I didn't realise that Windows Phone doesn't support third-party keyboards, which is annoying as I love Swype - I've tried other keyboards but their swiping and predictions just aren't as good.

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Dot Matrix

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

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theyarecomingforyou

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

I haven't been keeping up with all the details. What exactly has Google done to make YouTube bad on Windows Phone or to act as a 'bully'? I see the app has terrible user reviews on the Windows Store.

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siah1214

Apparently I'm no one.

I would fall into the enthusiast category, however, I love my Lumia 928.  I've used Android on tablets, iOS on tablets and iPod touches, and webOS, and of those, Windows phone will always be my favorite. It's always been the least frustrating, most enjoyable, "Just works" experience. My iPod usually "just worked" (other than some build quality issues that are neither here nor there for this discussion), however, I hate the way the homescreen works, it's just way too limiting.  My 928's homescreen is full of folders of tiles of stuff I care about, the app drawer is vastly superior to Android's (seriously, an icon grid is the WORST layout imaginable, the list is infinitely more functional and easy to use), the UI is beautiful (and yes, most mobile OSs are beautiful these days but Windows Phone's has been the most coherent for me), and it works great with MS services that I'm invested in. 

 

 

Who's it for? It's for someone that wants a "just works" experience that also wants more flexibility than iOS and doesn't care about stuff like loading ROMs onto Android phones. It's for people that want a fast, beautiful OS that runs on the lowest and highest end hardware.  Most of the apps people care about are actually there, either first party or third party alternative (which are usually fantastic and sometimes even better than the official apps on other platforms), the average person probably doesn't care about pebble or niche apps like that. 

I love the tiles, and if you hate them, you can turn them into icons with a few taps, and you can have the nice hideous grid you've always dreamed for. 

 

Btw as far as google integration goes, if you're completely married to Gmail, Gdocs, gcalendar, etc. then maybe it's not the phone for you. I used to be but switched over after I got my first Windows Phone (an HTC trophy back when Nodo was cool)

And I don't miss anything from it.

 

Anyway, this is all opinion, which is all that Linus has to offer as well. Everyone's needs are different, one size does not fit all, and neither Android nor iOS fit me. WP8.1 is the best alternative. 


I haven't been keeping up with all the details. What exactly has Google done to make YouTube bad on Windows Phone or to act as a 'bully'? I see the app has terrible user reviews on the Windows Store.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/24/microsoft_pulls_youtube_winphone_app/

 

TL:DR Microsoft made a gorgeous youtube app for WP8.  Google issued a takedown notice, Microsoft made changes that they asked for and republished, Google proceeds to make up ###### and issue another takedown notice, Microsoft caves and reverts to the terrible previous app.  Google are ######.

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sanctified

Serious question, due my ignorance. Why MS relies on companies to make apps like youtube? As far as I know HTML5 is mature and responsive enough to act like an app inside a wrapper. Surely any modern mobile OS can take advantage of that, right? I think that's what Firefox OS is trying to do. In that way, the web is your appstore.

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adrynalyne

If you have a specific issue with the review then please share it but broad, unsubstantiated statements like yours contribute nothing to the discussion.

 

I like Linus, as he calls it how he sees it. This review pretty much sums up the problems with Windows Phone right now, which is that Android and iOS devices just do everything better. I didn't realise that Windows Phone doesn't support third-party keyboards, which is annoying as I love Swype - I've tried other keyboards but their swiping and predictions just aren't as good.

Therein lies the problem.  He calls it as HE sees it, not everyone else.

 

I rather see an unbiased review, not some twit telling everyone who a phone is for(or in this case not for).

Serious question, due my ignorance. Why MS relies on companies to make apps like youtube? As far as I know HTML5 is mature and responsive enough to act like an app inside a wrapper. Surely any modern mobile OS can take advantage of that, right? I think that's what Firefox OS is trying to do. In that way, the web is your appstore.

Google is being an ass and has killed off Microsoft's attempts with takedown requests.  I think there were at least two attempts by MS, if memory serves.

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sanctified

Google is being an ass and has killed off Microsoft's attempts with takedown requests.

 

How so? HTML5 is public. An html5 version of youtube in an app is no different from opening youtube.com inside Mobile Internet Explorer? That sounds quite unreasonable from Google's part.

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adrynalyne

How so? HTML5 is public. An html5 version of youtube in an app is no different from opening youtube.com inside Mobile Internet Explorer? That sounds quite unreasonable from Google's part.

HTML5 is, the API is not, at least not in the way HTML5 is.

 

Google has also shut down webview versions too, I think.

 

Which, webview versions blow anyway.

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sanctified

HTML5 is, the API is not, at least not in the way HTML5 is.

 

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

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eddman

"It's a phone for NO ONE"

 

Yes, well done. Very objective. /s

 

How is the lack of some apps an OS' fault? Sure, WP would be a no go for those who want a specific app that is missing, but not all people are the same.

Google apps? Ask google why they are missing.

 

He dislikes the keyboard yet there are reviews where they actually like it. Subjective.

IINM, text prediction learns over time and gets much faster.

He says he mistyped letters. Well, no surprise there. He's not used to it.

Auto correct, auto fill, etc. take space? How else can they be shown then?

Says the keyboard takes too much space, but it's about half the page, pretty much the same as android. Then he says there's the new swype style keyboard but he dismisses it because... he doesn't use it and doesn't care. Subjective much?

 

He picks on the UI. Again, very subjective. Some like how it looks, some don't.

 

Not being able to back out of an email, initiated from the notification center, into the inbox; this is a good criticism. A design oversight, I suppose.

Lack of T9 dialing; this is also a good point, but he acts like it's the be-all when it comes to dialing and that its absence somehow breaks the whole thing. There are other ways, like pinning contacts to the home page and there is a speed dial page too. Stock android didn't have it either, until kitkat 4.4.

 

He was corrected on saying it lacked folder support; just shows he doesn't even properly investigate what he's reviewing.

 

The most popular, and perhaps, the best third party youtube app, metrotube, is free. Yes, it says $0.99, but actually in the description it says *Unlimited & unrestricted free trial!*. He didn't care to read that either.

 

He says battery life is good and even lasted two days, but then says it probably lasted that much because he DIDN'T ACTUALLY USE IT THAT MUCH. Was he even using this thing during the review period?

 

As for draft emails not showing; Could it be a sync protocol limitation? For example, outlook.com drafts don't show because EAS protocol lacks draft syncing. The same thing happens in office 2013 too. Very stupid limitation. Don't know about gmail though.

 

It seems that he just does not like WP and actively looks for flaws to nitpick upon.

 

I'm surprised he didn't mention the settings page, which is a bit unorganized, or that it's not possible to dismiss notification individually. You can either clear all or clear a group of them.

 

The video should be titled "Why I still dislike WP".

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Dot Matrix

Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

Indeed.

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siah1214

Oh yes, on the topic of dialing: Either set up speed dial, pin the contacts to your start screen, or just tell Cortana to call that person. Seriously, learn the phone you're reviewing.

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sanctified

I understand the learning curve. But that something the reviewers should help us with, not surrender to it like the rest of us. I admit I don't like Windows Phone much, but it's an amazing OS. The phone my mother learned to use the quickest is her trusty Lumia 520.

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adrynalyne

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

Yeah, its a bunch of petty crap.

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Stoffel

I see. That's crazy. Unbelievable how the three big companies sometimes seem more interested in tripping each other than to offer us better solutions.

 

For once we can't blame MS for this one, they have all their main apps available on all 3 platforms.

Often the rivaling platforms get new features before the Windows platform

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tsupersonic

I think his review is pretty spot on, and it is nice to see good hardware on WP. I'd love to see MS overcome challenges and be a true competitor to iOS & Android. 

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Draconian Guppy

Yes, there are. But since Google is being a bully, the official app might as well not even exist.

So no "official" app then?

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DrainTheSw4mp

Just so you know, you can play Youtube videos flawlessly using Internet Explorer, don't see the need for an app. Also, WP8.1 brought an excellent built in swype-like keyboard.

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notchinese

There's no youtube app on windows phone?

 

 

There are multiple free youtube apps that are amazing. I use myTube, which IMO is the best 2nd Youtube app available on any platform (Hyper for Youtube on Windows 8 is the best IMO)

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      Galaxy Buds Live
      In addition to the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Samsung also sent me the Galaxy Buds Live, and while I'm not exactly an audio expert, it's worth talking about the overall experience. I quite like the aesthetic of the Buds Live, and Mystic Bronze is probably the best color to get here, just because it sticks out a lot less from most skin tones and makes them pretty subtle. I find them comfortable enough, but every now and then I get this feeling that they're not secure enough and they might fall off. They have never fallen off accidentally, even when riding my bike at high speeds, but the in-ear tip design of other earbuds feels a bit safer to me.



      Setting up the Galaxy Buds Live is especially easy with a Samsung phone like the Note20 Ultra, and as you pop the case open, they show up on your phone, ready to connect. In fact, the Buds Live are even supported by Windows 10's Swift Pair feature, so they also show up on your PC if they're not paired with another device yet. The process of connecting to other phones is like any other pair of true wireless earbuds.

      It's also pretty easy to switch between devices with the Buds Live, though it's not as seamless as what Apple touts with its AirPods, for example, where it automatically switches to wherever you have media playing if you have a bunch of Apple devices. Here, you can just head into the Bluetooth settings on a paired device and connect to the earbuds, even if they're currently connected and playing media somewhere else. It requires more action from the user, but it's a seamless process and it works well.



      The big selling point of the Buds Live compared to Samsung's other earbuds is the active noise cancellation, but if that's the reason you're considering them, I can tell you it's not worth it. At first, I had to repeatedly turn ANC on and off because I was never sure if it was enabled or not. The only situation where I could notice a real difference was when I was sitting in my car with the AC on, and the earbuds did make the noise slightly quieter, but not by much. A better test might be with plane engine rumble on a flight, but that's not something I can do right now.

      The Galaxy Buds Live have touch controls, but I was somewhat disappointed that there aren't swipe gestures like some other premium earbuds have. Because of this, volume controls have to come at the cost of some other features, like activating my voice assistant or enabling active noise cancellation. This isn't a huge problem because I usually have a smartwatch connected as well, but having to pull out my phone for these actions would be annoying.



      As for sound, the Galaxy Buds Live are alright, but as I've stated before, I'm not an audio expert. Switching from my PC speakers to the Buds Live, I do feel like the sound is a little less clean with the earbuds, but that could just be because they're earbuds instead of the large drivers you can get with PCs or even phones.

      It's also worth noting that the Galaxy Buds Live charge in the case, and the case itself charges via USB Type-C, as it should. It also supports wireless charging, and you can charge off the back of the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, as I mentioned above. I haven't had to do this, though, because the battery life on the earbuds has been solid and I've never had to charge them beyond the first charge when I got them.



      Conclusion
      As far as its role of being Samsung's "everything phone" goes, the Note20 Ultra does a good enough job. It has a huge, gorgeous display, the S Pen, solid stereo speakers, premium design, and some cool exclusive features to boot, like the links with Windows 10 and other Microsoft apps and services. It does a lot of things well enough, and is even the best at some of them, like the amazing display and the S Pen features.

      But as a phone with a standard form factor that costs €1,339, there are a bit too many shortcomings to overlook. The camera is good, but not amazing, and the consistent oversaturation can get annoying. The huge display is good for media consumption, but the curved edges are prone to accidental touches, and the overall size of the phone makes it hard to use with one hand. And while performance in general terms is good, battery life on this Exynos model is far from what you'd expect of a 4,500mAh battery. I'm also just not a big fan of OneUI, but that's less of a problem.



      Most of those things aren't necessarily huge problems. But what is huge is the price tag for this phone, at €1,339.90. I think the Galaxy Note20 Ultra is a really good phone. It's just not a phone that should ever cost as much as it does, even in the context of other incredibly expensive phones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or - a personal favorite of mine - the OPPO Find X2 Pro.

      That said, if you're interested, you can find it on Amazon UK, where it's currently discounted to £929, a much better deal. That price only applies to the Mystic White version, though, and it goes up from there. Over in the U.S., you can get the Snapdragon variant with 128GB of internal storage, which is discounted to $1,049.99. The Galaxy Buds Live can be had for $139.99 (currently $30 off) in the U.S., and in the UK starting at £103.16.

    • By Namerah S
      Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless review: A battery that just doesn't give in
      by Namerah Saud Fatmi

      With the rise in popularity of truly wireless earphones, hundreds of brands and companies have come up with their take on the audio device concept. Today's review will take a look at Sennheiser's latest creation: the CX 400BT TW earbuds. Sitting a tier below the premium MOMENTUM True Wireless 2, the CX 400 BT buds were designed to deliver superior sound quality with everyday usage in mind.

      The real question is whether the CX 400BT can stand their ground against alternatives with similar price points from competitors like Jabra or Sony. At an asking price of $199.95, no ANC and a lack of an IP rating, will the world-renown German engineering fail to deliver? Let's find out.

      Specs
      Weight 49 grams (6g each earbud + 37g charging case) Design In-ear, closed acoustics Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1 | USB Type-C Battery 5V, 600 mA | Up to 7 hrs, 20 hrs with charging case Speaker Sennheiser 7mm dynamic driver Frequency response 5Hz to 21,000Hz Frequency response (microphone) 100Hz to 10kHz Total harmonic distortion <0,08% (1kHz / 94dB) Codecs SBC, AAC, aptX Supported Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP



      Design


      Right off the bat, the CX 400BT TW earbuds have a nice premium feel to them. The truly wireless earphones come in a matte silicone case with glossy highlights here and there which accent the finishing of the product. As it has a matte coat, the charging case does not track any fingerprints. It also has a nice weight to it, neither too light nor too heavy.

      Turn the case around and you will find a USB-C charging slot (a compatible cable comes in the box), a small LED light and a button - the only physical button on the entire device. You can press the button to learn the battery status of the earbuds. If the battery is high, the light flashes green, if it's been used about midway, it blinks yellow, and if the charge is low, it turns red.



      Moving on to the stars of the show, the earbuds that are housed inside the silicone case are small, sleek and ergonomic. Each individual earbud has a touch panel on its exterior to navigate controls. The right earbud has three tiny little holes in a corner which are barely visible. These serve as the microphone. You can tap each bud once, twice or hold down to trigger different controls such as pause, play, volume controls, voice assistant, and answering or declining calls.

      Owing to the small size and squarish design of the earbuds, they fit in nice and snug when worn. I found no issues while wearing and using them for long periods of time. Rather, I would often forget that they were on in the first place. Contrary to my fears, the buds are not prone to falling out either. Overall, it was a very comfortable wear experience.



      One of the biggest disappointments for me was the lack of an IP rating on this thing. Although it also lacks active noise cancellation, the water and dust resistance certification is a bigger priority for me personally. Through an unfortunate incident, I was able to discover that despite the missing IP rating, the CX 400BT earphones are considerably durable.

      While walking to work one unlucky morning, I happened to drop the case in a nearby pool of drain water. My immediate reaction was to pick it up and douse clean water all over it. After several hours of sanitization and intense cleaning up with tissues at my workplace, I was amazed to find out that the earbuds were working just as good as before! Following this incident, I think from a durability standpoint, the CX 400BT are pretty good despite not having any sort of resistance certification.

      Performance


      Speaking of the actual performance of the Sennheiser TW earbuds, the sound quality is simply excellent. Music and calls sound very crisp and clear, and the bass and treble also sound great. Though it doesn't have ANC, the in-ear closed acoustic technology manages to shut out outside noise very well. The only time when I could hear external sounds with the CX 400BT on was in the midst of heavy traffic and even that was reduced to a low, barely audible hum.

      The microphone works pleasingly well, despite the petite nature of the buds and their distance from the mouth. As for the touch panels, they are also great and respond perfectly without any accidental touches. All controls are completely customisable and can be changed via Sennheiser's mobile phone app. It is called Smart Control and is available for Android and iOS. It also has an equalizer, allowing users to adjust the sound preferences to their liking.

      Battery life


      On paper, the battery specifications state that the earbuds can stay alive for up to seven hours with continuous playback. When factoring in the silicone case, the battery life is further extended to a cap of 20 hours of back-to-back playback. I decided to put this to the test and my results were well above satisfactory.

      After fully charging up the CX 400BT, I was able to use the TW earphones (including the case) for 14 days straight. I tend to listen to music while working, so the actual playback time according to my estimates would be about 21 hours of real-world usage. Once drained, it took me 1hr 6m to charge the case back up fully, as opposed to the 1hr 30m official charge time. The results speak for themselves, the battery life deserves applause.

      Conclusion


      In the end, I would say that if you're an average Joe living the nine to five corporate life but have a penchant for music on the go (coupled with a tendency to be clumsy like me), these earbuds will work as a fabulous fit. The sound quality is wonderful, they look really stylish and are very comfortable to wear.

      Some other plus points that make up for the lack of ANC and IP rating are the unexpectedly good durability and the easy-to-use controls. Add to that the brilliant battery life and you have an absolute winner on your hands.

      If you're looking to buy a pair of Sennheiser's CX 400BT TW earbuds, you can purchase them for a temporarily discounted price of $129.98 from Amazon.

      As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

    • By indospot
      AdDuplex: Windows 10 version 20H2 is now on 8.8% of PCs, as 1909 bounces back
      by João Carrasqueira



      It's that time again, as AdDuplex has once again released its monthly chart showcasing the market share of the different versions of Windows 10 on the market. As usual, this data is collected from about 5,000 apps in the Microsoft Store, which are using the AdDuplex SDK v2 or higher, and the data refers to November 25. Nearly 100,000 PCs were surveyed in this period.

      Getting right into it, the biggest growth of the month was naturally for the Windows 10 October 2020 Update, or version 20H2, which is now on 8.8% of PCs, up from 1.7% in October. This update was released in October, and as usual, it's steadily being installed on more PCs. Meanwhile, the May 2020 Update, version 2004, actually lost a decimal point this month, hovering around 37.6% usage share.

      An interesting change this month is that version 1909, the November 2019 Update, has actually grown from 32.4% to 36.4%, despite being over one year already. This is because Microsoft began upgrading users on version 1903 to version 1909 automatically, rather than pushing them onto the latest release. As a result, version 1903 has also seen a major drop, from 22% usage share in October to just 10.2% this month.

      Older versions of Windows 10, as well as the percentage of Windows Insiders, barely changed during this period. Some percentages are slightly up, but not by much.



      Since Microsoft changed the way Windows Update works to no longer force install updates, new releases have taken longer to grow in market share, and the story is no different with version 20H2. The update will continue to roll out slowly, and we'll only see more sudden changes in the lead up to May 2021, when version 1909 loses support and users start to be upgraded automatically.