Thing i love about cyanogen is how they went from a stalwart in the community genuinely caring about the android experience and trying to improve on googles AOSP roms etc to a smack talking bunch of corporate skum bags trying to wrestle Android away from the very people they owe their whole existence to and continue to owe all their updates and continued prosperity too.
The irony is that they are basically irrelevant now. I don't even know why companies are paying them for software, when they could just install AOSP and be done with it, cyanogen is not that much better in reality. Also Cyanogen clearly lack the expertise of big manufacturers to produce properly optimised and impressive camera software, i'm not that impressed at all by the one plus camera considering what other companies have done with the Sony IMX214 sensor.
Not to mention the fact that all big manufacturers roms have theme engines now, are highly customisable etc etc. Just don't see the point of their existence any more. Maybe they might be of use to some chinese oems that lack the experience in their own rom teams but cyanogen have no original software of their own, they've done essentially nothing but add some customisation options to android and now have aspirations to offer a cut down sub par android experience without google. Very bizarre strategy IMHO.
Eying up an import at the minute. £228 shipped 32gb with gPlay onboard, not ideal but not too bad when you consider an ipad mini 16gb is £319. Will probably order at some point though as nokia are sounding pretty cagey about an EU release. Clucking to get my hands on one, I was close to grabbing an Nvidia shield a while back after the Nexus 7 got nabbed, but after this was announced I just knew it had to be, 4:3/all metal/decent price/lollipop/strong gpu is basically an anomaly in the android world. Only shortcoming is lack of storage but not a deal breaker for me. Quite funny the way they highlight the alignment of the back camera, kind of right though, improvement over the ipad for sure.
Although its close to an iPad mini 3 externally, whats amazing is how similar internally this is too, with what i'd imagine to be exactly the same display and the fact the atom soc uses the same Power VR GPU used in the Apple A8. Not a bad thing though in my mind, iPad mini design is nice and something similar without the restrictions of iOS is a winner.
Yeah lets hope so, still think manufacturers can do better. Sony are really showing android manufacturers the way at the moment but they need to seriously consider updating their skin, looks so tired and out of step with the material design goodness of Lolipop.
Plus Nvidia just posted a video announcing lollipop will officially be hitting the shield this month! That may be too good to resist....with nvidia appearing to be bang on top of updates i'm finding it even harder to justify spending an extra £160 for 0.9 inches, 2mm slimmer and a 64bit cpu considering how often I update this stuff.
I know its a cliche to bang on about aswell, but why are there still very few if any metal backed android tablets from the big manufacturers? Why are android manufacturers just so reluctant to do it even on a high end product? I used to think it was a manufacturing restriction yet you can buy at least 2 or 3 different budget Prestigo tablets at maplin all with metal backs.
Yeah I actually agree with you that 4:3 8.9 inch is a perfect size for me. I found my nexus 7 just too small and didn't really enjoy web browsing on it at all.
The problem is that after reading these reviews I am still reluctant to spend £400 on the Nexus 9 and am essentially left with options which are not ideal.
I got my mum a Mipad a while back and i like the form factor and the screen a lot despite it being smaller, was considering it as a viable alternative. BUT after using it there are just some glaring deal breaking issues. Most notably the fact so many apps are incompatible or don't work properly.
4OD: Streams don't work at all
iPlayer Radio: Streams don't work properly
Archos Video Player: crash on start up.
The list goes on and on. I know I can side load APK's for incompatible apps but its annoying for updates. Also MIUI on mipad is still ropey and a bit unstable and to be honest i don't trust their engineers to smooth out problems without introducing new ones. Their OTA system for international roms doesn't work properly either. Then of course the huge elephant in the room, weather it will get lollipop, knowing xiaomi it will be a damn long time if at all.
Ideally wanted a stock experience and the guarantee of lollipop so the only option I am left with is the nVidia shield really. Which looks OK but it's a little chunky and would prefer 4:3.
Just annoying really, did't think a stock rom, 5.0 update, 4:3 over 7 inches and a realistic price tag was too much to ask for but I appear to be wrong...
Thanks for the review Paul, interesting conclusions. Sadly this seems to be the most positive review I have seen so far. The verge, engadget, gizmodo, android police and a couple of others I read we're far more scathing suggesting a decent yet not amazing screen, decent but not amazing build, fairly weak or average battery performance, weak cameras and a device which essentially is not really worth the price tag especially when attempting to share a price bracket with the ipad. Also hoped lollipop would be the lag free ultra smooth android I seem to have waited my whole life for but again I feel this has fallen short.
Really quite disappointed to be honest, I was actually willing to entertain the idea of paying £400 (an incredible £80 more than the 16gb to get a paltry 32gb) for an android tablet but from reading the reviews i'll be getting an Nvidia shield I think or just waiting. in fact I would have just bought a hudl 2 if they guaranteed a lollipop update but that seems unlikely.
The saddest thing about it all is that it makes me realise that android tablets are still half baked and they are still not worth investing that much money in. The facebook app thing you mention as well is just criminal. As a big facebook user how can i justify spending £400 then end up being forced to use a blown up mobile app?
What amazes me about google is how year after year I get excited and expect great things from the nexus line and each time they fall short. It's also amazing how they are clearly attempting to challenge the iPad head on especially when you consider the size/price and then they release something so average and boring and unpolished at launch. Hearing reports of camera shutter delay, bending if you press the back plate, cheap feeling side buttons, slow when changing orientation, lagging OS etc. Fine on a £200 device, on a £400 one though with the stakes as high as they are, doesn't inspire confidence. Sounds like i'm highlighting just the negatives and having not actually been hands on I am being clearly presumptuous, it's just sad to hear reports like this when you see the price tag and consider the opportunity they had with HTC building it.
Hmm, interesting. Don't doubt iPhone camera is a far better software experience than Lumia 1020 but I still don't believe the image quality is better, seen a few different comparisons saying that the 1020 still takes it, especially in low light. Sadly Apple have managed to poach the man behind the original Lumia camera team so we will probably see them pull away further when it comes to imaging in future phones. Really wish android manufacturers would focus more on optimizing their cameras, really is a thorn in many of their sides.
Battery again, debatable. Toms guide just published their findings and the oneplus crushes both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Yeah look forward to trying my mums out when it arrives. I hear V6 is coming soon as well. The Xiaomi.eu roms come with playstore preinstalled too. To be fair though they seem basically the same, apart from the play services added, chinese apps removed and multi language. I believe OTA's for both stock and EU versions now have to be hosted on xiaomi's chinese servers too.
The iOS similarities thing is not really an issue with xiaomi because you have thousands of themes to choose from, can easily grab a stock looking theme or others. Some of them go very deep in terms of customization
In terms of android updates it's a bit of a mine field with xiaomi. The issue is that while they often provide regular updates with new fixes and features for their handsets, it depends which handset you buy. For example the mi3/4 get weekly updates, but the redmi series only every 2/3 months.
This is great and everything but when it comes to actual whole android version updates this is another matter. They say that because MIUI changes a lot of the android base code a whole version upgrade eg kitkat->Android L is not as straightforward until after a stock version of android L or the next version is made available on top of which they can build.
Like for example with MIUI v5 only the very latest of their handsets or handsets already with a stock version of android released like nexus 4, nexus 7 etc got a Kitkat build first.
They also spent a great deal of time working on V6 and it means that not all handsets have a V6 build yet or more importantly a V6 built on 4.4.4 yet and it may take a while to arrive. I suspect full verison updates on mediatek based handsets may also be different and depends on what mediatek make available code wise.
Older Xiaomi phones are different as well. Like mi2/mi2s/mi2a owners had been stuck on MIUI V5 running on top of 4.1 for ages but visually and in terms of functionality it's basically the same as V5 running on top of the of newer android versions like the Redmi 4.2.2 build. These owners were almost forgotten though until a forum vote was launched after uproar and they have now decided to launch a special V6 based on 4.4.4 for mi2/mi2s/mi2a but I think the chances of them seeing MIUI V6 on android L when it drops is next to nothing, despite capable hardware. Its not uncommon though obviously for manufacturers to phase out support for older handsets.
The question is though when will the mi4 get android L? I guess it depends on qualcomm and depends when a stock build becomes available that xiaomi can start implementing V6 on. Knowing Xiaomi though their phones will certainly not be super fast to receive android L after release like owners of nexus devices will given the fact v6 for 4.4.4 is still in beta. But i guess the argument is that they change such a significant amount of base code anyway that a quick full version update is not as necessary.
Always loved MIUI, despite the iOS similarities in V6 it is definitely the most advanced and functional rom out there. Even when I was using my M1 it was very advanced. I think design wise you can also see that they pay a lot more attention to their UX design than most android manufacturers, graphically its very clean and well thought out.
Just wondered, do you normally run the xiaomi.eu's translated roms?
I have a Mi Pad on route for my mum and I've got redmi 1s here that i'm selling to a friend and I just flashed the xiaomi.eu rom to the redmi, I believe that these roms still work with OTA but just strip out the useless chinese apps and support multilanguage and better english trannslations throughout the OS.
haha, wondered how long it would take before you guys started going nuts about Xiaomi. I've always been a fan since I bought their first M1 phone back in 2011, but I think they have gone too far now with their apple cloning. What is odd is that unlike many chinese manufacturers who start as clone makers, xiaomi became a multi billion dollar company before they really started apple cloning. The mipad and the Mi4 being the most brazen clones to date. Prior to this they hadn't really made a phone or tablet that resembled an apple product although I suppose it could be argued that MIUI was always very apple inspired. But again with the introduction of V6 for miPad that's when we really started to see them aping iOS very closely. Now they have basically stolen apples whole marketing, language, presentation style, website style, Manufacturing process, brand ethos, etc etc. Very bizarre, I actually find it a shame that they felt they needed to do this, had expected something more original from them to be honest as they are a genuinely innovative company in my opinion.
Despite their cloning they do still make quality low priced products. I'm still trying to figure out whether i can justify buying a mipad, the omission of GPS was slightly disappointing though and knowing xiaomi, despite the good reputation of MIUI, I bet the firmware is basically beta as with most xiaomi products when they launch. Wouldn't hold your breath for an android L update either as they are very slow with proper OS version updates. Mi2/2s owners are still stuck on 4.1 with not much hope despite the capable hardware.
With regards to the One Plus, Mine does have the yellow banding, it pisses me off a bit but don't really want to attempt to return it as it's not really a major issue. As James mentioned, a fair few people on the forum have said it disappears over time, others have suggested putting it under UV light for a sustained period also alleviates the issue. With regards to the colours, cyanogen includes a useful screen settings app where you can adjust saturation, hue, contrast etc etc which is great and allows for deeper blacks.
Also check out Andy from gizchina's Vivo Xshot review if you haven't already. A real chinese powerhouse...
It's the official international version, I won the invite in a competition, already have a nexus 5 but when I got the invite in my email just thought it was too good to miss ;-). I paid £273 shipped here in the UK. And the best part....it arrived in 1 DAY!!! I went to check the tracking the day after I ordered and the delivery had already been signed for by my mum at home!