The OnePlus X isn’t being touted as a flagship killer, but it does have killer looks…
The OnePlus X arrives without the usual rhetoric from the fast-growing Chinese manufacturer. Its purpose in life is not to depose devices that are at the very top end of the market and it’s not backed by a ludicrous social media campaign. This time round it seems as though, while the infamous invite system is again being used, there is enough stock to actually give you a decent chance of owning the device. So what is the X and why is it here?
The X sticks to the classic OnePlus formula of offering better specs than you’d expect given the price, but this time the target is more mid-range. It’s not a one-trick pony though, even more so than the price and the specifications, the X is all about design. Craftsmanship. Even, dare we say it, beauty.
Find the exact colour of any pixel with this handy app
Once you give it access to capture everything on the screen, Pixolor displays a floating circle that shows colour information – RGB code and nearest Material Design shade. So by dragging it around and pinching the screen to zoom, you can discover the precise colour of anything. It also shows the distance moved and lets you measure areas. Tapping a colour code copies it to the clipboard or alternatively, use Pixolor’s notification in order to share it or possibly open the app for a colour wheel and palette.
This free app serves up experimental live-data wallpaper for your phone
Meter is an experimental app from Google Creative Lab that offers a data-driven live wallpaper that reacts to up to three aspects of your device: wireless signal strength, battery and notifications. Each time you unlock your phone it cycles to the next visualisation type, but it’s a shame you can’t actually switch between them manually. The visualisations are very simplistic in design yet they can be manipulated by tilting the device.
BlackBerry’s foray into the Android ecosystem could change the company’s fortunes
Yes, BlackBerry has made an Android phone. The manufacturer used to jostle with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Nokia at the very top of the mobile phone tree, but it utterly failed to keep pace with the smartphone revolution, lurching from crisis to crisis refusing to shift from the boxy, physical keyboard designs and its own operating system.
However, after being approached by Android, BlackBerry decided to have a go at making its very own phone that made the most of both the Android ecosystem and the Google Play store while retaining BlackBerry’s security features and of course that physical keyboard. The result is the BlackBerry Priv.
Use this free app to leave photo postcards for others to see
TapTag is a social app lets you create and share postcards of the places you visit and leave them for others to find through their phone’s camera. It’s a cool concept, but the app (just out of beta testing) still has a few teething problems and we experienced some issues including crashes. While you can follow friends and see their location on a map, it doesn’t show their geotagged photos. For that you need the in-app camera view with photos taken by others near your location, indicated by floating bubbles.
HTC’s mid-range offering is first to the party with Marshmallow
Back in the noughties, HTC was constantly fighting with Samsung for supremacy over the Android market. However, a series of mistakes and failed products has eaten into HTC’s profits and the company has been in a nosedive ever since. Although both the South Korean company’s HTC One (M8) and M9 were excellent phones, they failed to sell; the latter suffering due to a perceived lack of innovation from its previous iteration.HTC has decided to throw itself fully into the premium end of the mid-range market with the A9 at £419/$499.99 with reasonably high-end specs.
The first thing we have to mention about the A9 is the fact that it is the first non-Nexus handset to run Android Marshmallow. Yes, HTC’s non-flagship is going to beat the likes of Samsung, LG, Sony and even Motorola to the punch in getting the very latest version of Android. This could prove crucial to users who want to get the new operating system as quickly as possible without rooting their device.