vendredi 31 juillet 2015

YotaPhone 2 Not Coming to USA After All

YotaPhone 2

The clever two sided, e-ink backed YotaPhone 2 is in fact not coming to the USA. This morning YotaPhone canceled their ($300,000!) Indiegogo campaign and will offer either an international model or a refund to backers. YotaPhone has stated they will have a new manufacturing partner for the next model.

from xda-developers

CloudPlayer: DIY HiFi Music Streaming Solution

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 5.26.54 AM

In our Helpful Guide to Music Streaming Services, we mentioned several different services that offer ways to stream catalogs of music directly to your device. While each service has their benefits and drawbacks, the common theme among them is to give you access to a vast library of music without the need to store your own, and charge you a monthly fee for the privilege. But what if you already had access to your own catalog of music? Sure, there are many music locker services out there that allow you to upload and stream your own files. Google Play Music allows you to upload up to 50,000 tracks at no cost, and Amazon Music can even store them for you automatically when you purchase music on a physical medium. But what if you wanted to bypass the re-encoding that these services do to your files? What if you wanted to use the cloud storage services you already pay for? Enter CloudPlayer, the newest app from developer doubleTwist.

Simply stated, doubleTwist’s CloudPlayer allows you build your own music streaming service from the files you already have, using the cloud storage services you already use. The app links to your Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive accounts, as well as pulls from local storage, and scans each for compatible media. Then, it builds from all available sources to create a database, and organizes it into one music library, complete with album art, tags, and metadata.  It supports MP3, AAC, OGG, M4A, WAV, and WMA files, and as of version 1.0.4, also supports FLAC files, including those at higher resolutions (up to 24-bit, 192kHz audio). This is probably the biggest reason to use CloudPlayer over other digital music locker services, as most others re-encode lossless or high-resolution files to some type of lossy format. At any time, you can make any file or playlist available for offline playback, and restrict the data needed for streaming to WiFi networks only. There is Chromecast and Apple AirPlay support, and Last.FM scrobbling is built-in.

CloudPlayer is a free download from the Google Play Store, however a one time in-app purchase of $4.99 is needed to unlock the most desirable features, including the cloud storage functionality itself, Chromecast and AirPlay support, and the equalizer and other sound processing features. Upon first opening the app, you are greeted with this information, and can proceed with a 7-day free trial of these “premium” features by logging in with your Google account.


The app itself borrows a lot of visual and operational cues from Google Play Music, which isn’t a bad thing. It offers Material design, and revolves around a gesture-based interface for navigating around your music library. The hamburger menu pops out and allows quick and easy access to sorting options, such as Albums, Artists, Playlists, Songs, Genres, and Composers. From here, you can also show only tracks you’ve downloaded for offline playback and have stored locally, as well as access the settings menu. From the settings menu, you can link to or re-scan your cloud storage services, which include Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive, toggle the use of cellular data on or off, change the default sorting option, set up scrobbling, or reset the music database.

CloudPlayer_Menu CloudPlayer_Settings CloudPlayer_Import CloudPlayer_Albums CloudPlayer_AlbumArtists CloudPlayer_Songs

Once you connect your cloud storage accounts and allow CloudPlayer to access them, a database is built and organized using track metadata and album art. While browsing the library, overflow menus can be used to make tracks or selections available offline, added to an existing or new playlist, added to the play queue, or deleted. Selecting something for playback will take you to the Now Playing screen, or you can slide it up from the bottom to access it from anywhere within the app. This screen is nicely laid out and functional, and includes high quality album art, play/previous/next buttons, shuffle and repeat controls, a scrolling title bar in ‘track name-artist name’ format, and elapsed/remaining track times. You can swipe left and right on the album art to quickly advance through the playlist, or tap the album art to be able to rate the currently playing track. The bottom of the Now Playing screen houses an ‘Up Next’ section, allowing you to view and quickly jump around the entire playlist. The overflow menu button brings up the 10-band equalizer, SuperSound settings (simulated surround sound settings for headphones), browse currently playing artist, browse currently playing album, and clear play queue options.

CloudPlayer_Selection CloudPlayer_NowPlaying CloudPlayer_UpNext CloudPlayer_EQ

The app supports lock screen controls, displaying the album artwork fullscreen, and also has a persistent notification with quick controls. Also available are three home screen widgets: A full 4×4 widget, and two 4×1 widgets: a dark-themed widget, and a lighter-themed one.

CloudPlayer_LockScreen CloudPlayer_LockScreen2 CloudPlayer_Notification CloudPlayer_Widget1 CloudPlayer_Widget2

Performance is fluid and fast, with no detectable stuttering or dropped frames while navigating through the app. I had no issues getting playback to start with both MP3 and FLAC formatted files from any of the supported cloud storage services, but do keep in mind that there is a very slight delay of a second or two while streaming from them, as the app accesses the track and buffers it. The only time I noticed any significant amounts of delay is when I quickly skipped around a song numerous times, forcing it to re-buffer entirely, but this should not be an issue for most.

There are some notable features which are missing, such as the lack of crossfade or gapless playback support, the lack of ChromeCast support for music that is stored on Google Drive, the inability to add or edit track metadata or album art, and the inability to upload music from your device to the cloud from directly within the app. These features, however, are all listed as coming soon in the Play Store description. One missing feature that I would have liked to see is the ability to view any sort of file information, such as the type of audio file, bitrate, sample rate, and bit depth information. As it stands now, If you have mixed file types or qualities in your music library, you will not be able to differentiate between them. CloudPlayer is a relatively new app, however, so we can be sure that doubleTwist is working on adding features and keeping the app well-supported for the foreseeable future.

Despite the missing features and a $4.99 price, CloudPlayer greatly excels at what it sets out to accomplish. The benefit of being able to connect to multiple cloud storage services means that one could have the space to support a pretty large music library using only the free storage provided by each of the three services, without having to pay for monthly storage from just one of them. And while Google Play Music and Amazon Music are great services on their own, you won’t get the ability to stream lossless audio tracks from them, as both re-encode uploads to lossy file formats. doubleTwist has released a very competent, well-designed, and great performing music player here, and their take on music streaming is one that a lot of people would be quite pleased with.

You can grab doubleTwist’s CloudPlayer from the Play Store.

You can also learn more about CloudPlayer from doubleTwist’s product page.

Have you tried CloudPlayer, or any other music locker service? Let us know your impressions in the comments!

from xda-developers

Optimize Battery Life with This Useful App

CPU Spy Reloaded

Battery life is an important aspect of your smartphone, especially if you use it for more than just calls on the go. Since you’re on XDA, you probably do and want to get the most out of your battery. Now, you can’t magically expand its size but no matter how much its capacity is, you should make sure it’s not draining faster than it should be.

Your phone’s processor runs at different frequencies when you’re using the device. The CPU frequency it runs at is chosen by the “governor” in a smart manner, usually based on current usage. In other words, your CPU will run at a high speed when you’re gaming, but at a much lower speed if you’re reading an eBook. Again, you can’t do much here assuming the governor is doing its job. What matters the most is what happens when you’re not using the device. In that scenario, battery drain would be ideally minimal as your CPU goes into a special state called “deep sleep”, which consumes a minimal amount of power.

Everything seems fine, then — at least ideally. However, applications can request wake locks which keep your device awake, and are later released as soon as possible. While this makes sense for (and is properly used in) many cases, some applications and developers tend to abuse it due to bugs, oversights or ignorance. If your device is heating when the screen’s off, or if your battery doesn’t last as long as it should, that’s probably the main culprit.

This is where CPU and wake lock monitors, such as CPU Spy Reloaded by XDA Forum Member royale1223, come into play. Inspired by classic apps that share the same goal, it boasts an up to date, material design along with the features you’d expect. You can view neatly graphed CPU state statistics along with the time and percentage of each, wake lock statistics as well as general information about your CPU, GPU and battery. You’ll need to be rooted to view wake lock statistics, but everything else can be used on unrooted devices as well.

CPU Spy Reloaded Bar Chart CPU Spy Reloaded Pie Chart CPU Spy Reloaded Wake Locks

CPU statistics come in two forms: a scrollable and zoomable bar chart, and a pie chart. Timers can be reset or restored, allowing you to monitor your device over a more precise period instead of seeing all statistics since startup.

But that’s not everything! Some planned features are the ability to reset timers automatically when the battery is full, resetting wake lock times and detecting big.LITTLE and HMP CPUs. The developer is also happy to listen to any suggestions you might have.

The XDA App Translators also deserve a mention for their help with translating this app to various languages. If you want to join their efforts, or if you’re a developer who needs help with translating your app, make sure to check their thread out.

CPU Spy Reloaded is free, free of ads and comes with minimal permissions. If you’d like to support the developer, you can buy the pro version to unlock the light theme. Head over to the CPU Spy Reloaded Forum Thread to get started!

from xda-developers

The OnePlus 2 & The Year of Smartphone Compromises


We are very close to entering the last third of 2015, and we have now seen many of the biggest flagship lines issue their latest iterations. Phones like the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 were some of the most anticipated devices in smartphone history, and the hype surrounding the M9 and OnePlus 2 had us discussing for weeks. But for the most part, the awe has vanished.


There is a feeling that virtually all of us at the XDA office couldn’t shake off after each and every phone unveiling, something which can loosely be described as “cool, but not enough”. Mind you, by this we mean “I wouldn’t upgrade to it”, and I am sure many of you have felt the same. We’ve discussed each phone in-depth, and arrived at the conclusion that it is not because they are bad phones, and certainly not because they are worse phones than the ones before, but because most of them don’t offer a no-compromise, thorough upgrade.

The global context at large is most likely a culprit. We’ve seen the rise of the affordable phone with the original Moto G, but now the trend has moved into the premium space by the increasingly powerful influence of Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei, and start-up companies like OnePlus. Some manufacturers like Motorola have given into the pressure and revised their pricing, and others are reportedly considering cutting prices as well. As we approach the saturation point in the biggest markets, the industry is shifting towards emerging economies that see increased sales of affordable devices.

Balancing out hardware advancements, the desire consumers have for “premium smartphones” and competition with the low-end is not an easy task. While 2015 phones have seen clear-cut upgrades on many fronts, we are left feeling that there were compromises and half-measures in their development. This wouldn’t be so bad if the companies themselves wouldn’t try to market their phones as a “no compromise” flagship. Case in point, the OnePlus 2. In this editorial, I will dig into why the OnePlus 2 has failed to meet the hype it set itself up for, and why these compromises ultimately lead to user discontent.


Never Settle


OnePlus had a hit last year with their One flagship, and its bang-per-buck ratio trumped plenty of competitive offerings. The hardware was great, the pricing was excellent, and the phone’s software was good as well. However, the company did meet plenty of controversy over their invite system, quality control issues and very shoddy consumer support. They promised that they would improve upon all of this, and in some ways they did. The OnePlus 2 has been hyped for months and months on end, and with each little tease, the fandom the OnePlus One developed had higher and higher expectations. This week we saw the end result, and while it is a good product, OnePlus made some nonsensical decisions and claims. Is this really the “2016 flagship killer”?


20150730154609154Let’s start with the Snapdragon 810: OnePlus announced this would be the chipset in their new flagship, and they were instantly met with skepticism. The company then issued a statement where they said there was nothing to fear, as the chipset would deliver no compromises in performance… because it had been underclocked to 1.8GHz. This alone contradicts their “never settle” campaign but given the processor at hand, it had to be done. The marketing became more intense when Qualcomm VP of Marketing Tim McDonough, whose claims I once disproved, showed up at the launch event to once again remind us how good the Snapdragon 810 is. OnePlus called it “blazingly fast”, and in that sense they are right: early impressions suggest the device gets hotter than its predecessor, and hotter than plenty of the competition by reaching up to 47.7°C (118°F). Moreover, the early benchmarks we’ve seen show scores not just lower than many other Snapdragon 810 devices, but also than the OnePlus One itself.

Battery life is something the OnePlus One surprised all of us with, so we were expecting greatness out of its successor. Shortly before the launch, we heard confirmation of a 3,300 mAh battery, which instantly got many excited. I remained skeptical because we had learned (through AMAs) that the OnePlus 2 would not feature a removable battery, nor wireless charging. When the company announced the USB Type C standard, I saw myself having to ground my friends’ expectations, because USB Type C does not inherently mean higher charging speed. And it turns out I was right: OnePlus opted for a standard USB 2.0, and to make things worse, it has no Quick Charge. We now know it can take around 3 hours to get a full charge, through a port that is not widely adopted, without wireless charging and without the option to change batteries. What’s more, MKBHD’s battery benchmark and real-world usage suggest a regression in battery life (although it is still too early to make conclusive statements).

On to NFC: the company decided to leave out NFC support from their new flagship, because apparently “OnePlus One users were not using it”. This is something that I’ve heard before in my interview with Fairphone, and it shows that OnePlus did not project into the future: Android Pay will hit many markets soon, and expand to many stores. Alibaba is also popularizing mobile payments in China, one of OnePlus’ most important markets. This gives NFC the possibility of the widespread use it has not had since its introduction. OnePlus decided to incorporate a fingerprint scanner, but now it is mostly relegated to unlocking the phone, not mobile payments. What’s more puzzling is that Carl Pei himself had suggested an emphasis on biometrics for mobile payments, just not the close-contact kind which will expand with Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Alipay in China and Apple Pay (really original names, by the way) hitting more and more stores.

Finally, we have the screen. OnePlus had a very impressive screen with their previous phone, and this one does not look bad either. I am not the kind of user who is crazy about 1440p screens – in fact, I run my Note 4 at 1080p – but OnePlus once again showed nonsense: they have been advertising their Virtual Reality launch since it was announced, and they kept saying that Virtual Reality is the future. They even shipped out free VR Cardboards! Now, if there is a practical reason to have a high-resolution screen, that is VR. The fact that OnePlus has been pushing for VR while making their device a much less appealing option for VR is as retrograde as it gets. We had a feature on why VR can justify QHD and UHD displays, which we suggest you read in case you are out of the loop. You will see that QHD does have a noticeable effect on VR, and other manufacturers know this (which is why Samsung began its push for it with the Note 4).


Slow Death of Flagships


This is not the only phone to promise too much and delivered too little. The M9, for example, had many issues which we discussed time and time again  — and not all were due to the Snapdragon 810. But this infamous SoC did put most OEMs in a troubling spot. LG and Moto opted for the less powerful but more stable 808, which is one of the few ways  to avoid the flak the number “810” carries with it as well as possible performance inconsistencies. Rumors say that the 820 might come before we expected it to, around the last quarter of 2015. Hopefully this is the case so that other highly-anticipated devices (like new Nexus phones) can make use of a more powerful and more stable chipset. But the problem with the sales of 2015 smartphones, which didn’t meet expectations even for Samsung, is too complex to blame simply on hot chips or failed hype.

Like I said in the introduction, many of us just think that the advancements given are not enough, and the big compromises make us hesitant in making the jump, or even being enticed to do so. Many of the faults may be overblown and overplayed, but users opt out because of them, regardless of how bad they really are. Compromises such as the M9’s camera, the Z3+’s heating issues, the S6’s lack of microSD and removable battery, and the OnePlus 2’s clear cutbacks turn us off because, in the XDA team’s case, we already have devices that we carefully researched and thoroughly optimized. We bought them because they are either balanced or adjust to our use-cases. Thus, if new devices do not improve on what we want without sacrificing what we need, it becomes a no-go. Devices like the Nexus 6 and the Note 4 offered upgrades (over their predecessors) on virtually every aspect, while new devices like the M9 and the S6 do not. Sometimes not in terms of the specification sheet, and sometimes due to the resulting user experience.

So far, the “no compromise” phones have had compromises here or there. Some are big, some are not, but more often than not they are found in key areas of a phone. Regressing in something as important as the camera or battery life is not something anyone wants out of their precious and expensive upgrades. Now that flagships are powerful enough to last years (especially with good software or developer support from OEMs or XDA), there is less of a reason to upgrade. The market knows this, OEMs know this. Motorola has now split their flagship model into two, and the Moto X Pure is just $399. It features amazing specifications for that price. The Chinese giants are entering the West, and many first-world markets are beginning to show signs of saturation. Developing markets are more important than ever. In this context, balancing out every aspect while focusing on keeping a low price is a hard task.

The OnePlus 2 is not a 2016 flagship killer, because in many areas it cannot even kill 2014 flagships. But soon enough, there might be nothing left to kill: the high-end is beginning to merge with the middle-range. When most OEMs catch-up to the new model the market favors, OnePlus’ niche will go away. If Motorola is anything to go by, then it might just happen sooner than we expect.


from xda-developers

Android M Preview 3 Delayed


Those of us eagerly awaiting the next developer preview of Android M will unfortunately be waiting a little longer for the upcoming third build. Googler Wojtek Kaliciński took to Google+ earlier to break the bad news about the “near final” release, and declined to comment on speculation regarding an ETA.

from xda-developers

OnePlus 2 Teardown, Major Android Vulnerability – XDA TV


The OnePlus 2 has been officially released. That and much more news is covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of a serious security vulnerability on Android and be sure to check out the article talking about how easy it is to make your one Xposed Module. That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!

Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA TV. XDA TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video covering NetStrength. Then Jordan reviews the ASUS Lolliflash and ZenPower. Also, TK showed us how to root the LG G4. Pull up a chair and check out this video.

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos

Check out Jordan’s YouTube Channel and Jordan’s Gaming YouTube Channel

from xda-developers

jeudi 30 juillet 2015

What Do You Think About Fingerprint Scanners?


More and more phones are featuring fingerprint scanners, and with many promising developments and it being natively supported on Android M, we can soon expect to see them on smartphones everywhere. If done right, it is a useful feature that allows for quick unlocking and authorization. There are concerns regarding security, but nonetheless the industry seems to be embracing it with open arms. What do you think?

from xda-developers

What’s Next for Samsung and Its Flagships?


If we were to say that the Galaxy S6 was a leap of faith made by Samsung, we wouldn’t be too wrong. After all, the device marked a definite change in how Samsung perceived the market and its own place in it, as it stood amongst the signs of decline which started with the critical reception of the Galaxy S5.

To recap, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was criticized heavily for feeling more like a toy, rather than a premium flagship device representing the top notch research and production capabilities of Samsung’s Mobile Division. While the device was a good performer capable of holding its own as far as specs goes, the design and overall feel of the device felt like a regression when viewed in front of metal honchos like the HTC One M8 and glass wizards like the Xperia Z3.

This prompted Samsung to take steps to improve upon the feel of its devices. It started focusing more on metal and glass, ditching polycarbonate plastic and all its accompanied pros and cons for being used on the exterior of the device. The result? A Samsung Galaxy flagship was produced, that looked more like an iPhone rather than a successor to the Galaxy S5. Even on the software front, TouchWiz was put on the treadmill to get a less bloated software experience.


Reception for the Galaxy S6 has mostly been all-praise. The glass on the device lends a sense of fragility and luxury, while videos claimed that the flagship duo (Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge) could still survive some decent beating. Even TouchWiz was unanimously agreed upon to be an improvement this time, albeit a marginal one. Needless to say, Samsung was all pumped up for seeing how much of an improvement the Galaxy S6 (and Galaxy S6 Edge) would do to its market share.

Unfortunately, things may not have been as smooth sailing as Samsung would have wished for. As reports came in for the second quarter of 2015, it was revealed that the Galaxy S6 was not performing as well as Samsung expected. “Total sales of the S6 and S6 Edge during Q2 2015 were below expectations“, as Park Jinyoung, VP from Samsung’s Mobile Communications Team was quoted as saying.

Samsung’s official statement also tries to explain the situation:

Despite the launch of Galaxy S6, improvement to earnings was quite marginal due to low smartphone shipments and an increase in marketing expenses for new product launches.

The statement isn’t directly talking about the shipments of the Galaxy S6, but rather of a drop in shipments overall across the Samsung smartphone lineup, aggravated by the older middle and low end models. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge infact had “increased shipments” if the official statement is to be believed.

While the information from the official statement sounds contradictory to the statement made by the VP, the difference lies in the wordings. The “sales” of the S6 were below expectations, while they had increased “shipments“. If we are being technical about it, shipped quantities would refer to the units transported to retailers for selling, while sold quantities would refer to the number of units actually making its way to the hands of the final consumers. For the purposes of calculating revenue and Quarter-on-quarter differences, the figure that matters for a manufacturer is the shipped quantity.

Although revenue increased, profits increased marginally QOQ, due to supply difficulties from higher than expected market demand for the Galaxy S6 edge, as well as increased marketing expenditures that typically accompany flagship product launches.

Samsung’s report also forecasts a slow down on the growth rate of its smartphone market share. To combat this, the Mobile division is expected to cut down the price of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

The Mobile Business plans to firmly maintain its sale of premium smartphones by flexibly adjusting the price of the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, and launching a new model with a larger screen.

The business report did confirm the imminent launch of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. The move is a direct target to the audience who prefers the iPhone 6 Plus and its phablet dimensions, and was expected from Samsung as it was amongst the first ones to successfully popularize the phablet with its Note series.


Even within the S6 flagship duo, Samsung had predicted sales of 3 regular S6 for every S6 Edge sold. Instead, demand for the curved form factor exceeded Samsung’s expectations. So Samsung opting for a larger display S6 Edge seems like a calculated decision, seeing as to how the Galaxy Note 5 could serve as a replacement for a regular Galaxy S6 Plus.

A price cut for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge seem like a sensible decision considering how the phones were targeting only the top tier of smartphone buyers. Bringing down their prices would help keep their sales on par, while the then vacant slot for “expensively premium” product could be handled by the combined might of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus and the Galaxy Note 5.

Targeting a lower price segment would also increase the scope of the current flagship, bringing it on par with the competition and overall deal they provide with the help of freebies. If the new price is significantly lower, it would also eliminate the need for a upper mid segment product as the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge would fit the roles rather perfectly thanks to their extremely competitive hardware.

All in all, Samsung has realized that the smartphone market has drastically changed from its Galaxy S2 days. Adaptation and creative thinking is currently what is needed to survive in the market. That, or a silver fruit logo.

Let us know your thoughts on Samsung’s decision to cut prices of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge in the comments below!

from xda-developers

The Ultimate Showcase of dBrand Skins


In the search for ways to protect, accessorize, and personalize; a user has many options. One could choose a case, a “skin”, “armor”, or “wraps.” In fact, the global mobile accessory market is poised to reach a high of $62 Billion in 2017. dBrand is one of the more creative and friendly vinyl skin manufacturers around. In hopes of sharing what they can offer, our friends at dBrand sent us over some skins to have a look at. They offer their skins in six categories: Carbon Fiber, Matte, Metal, Leather, True Color, and Wood. Of course, the metal, wood, and leather aren’t actually made of their respective namesakes – they’re all made of vinyl. Even still, I was surprised by how distinctly different all the different types felt.


Since these skins were provided pre-applied, I can’t speak to the application process. dBrand does offer plenty of YouTube Tutorials for skin application. However, it’s quite surprising how well these skins adhere to the (notoriously rough) “sandstone” back of the OnePlus One. From forum posts and dBrand themselves, it seems like removing the skin from the OnePlus One should be easy enough as well – damage free & no residue.


Carbon Fiber:

Of all the different textures, this one may be the most unique. It certainly feels most like its namesake material. As you can see by the red skin below, it’s the one I chose to grace my OnePlus One with. It’s a bit more slippery than the stock sandstone back, but I think the looks (and scratch protection) make up for that. The carbon fiber option comes in four colors: blue, red, white, and black.




dBrand’s “matte” finish comes in white or black. These are meant to be non-glossy simple black and white skins. This particular flavor of skin has excellent grip and tackiness and probably feels the most like the vinyl one might expect.




The metal skins don’t actually feel very much like metal. However, they actually do a pretty good job of aping a metal back’s looks. The texture imprinted on the metal is a series of slightly uneven vertical lines. dBrand appears to be going for a “brushed” look and feel on this one. The metal skins comes in three identically textured varieties: black titanium, titanium, and gold.

DSC_0142 (1)



Leather is offered in black and white flavors. I prefer the subtle black option to the louder white. These backs could be taken for leather from a distance, and I think they’re as close to the real thing as vinyl could ever be. Of course, a leather backed Moto X or LG G4 with real leather will provide a more irregular and natural pattern, along with a warmth and softness that vinyl can’t replicate.



True Color:

If you want to add a vibrant splash of color to your device, this skin will do it. The colors look great and feel very similar to the matte option. Both the “True Color” and Matte options feel close to soft touch finish (like the Nexus 7 2013 & Nexus 5). True color is offered in: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.




As you can see from below, these skins do a competent job of looking like wood, from afar. Of all the skins dBrand offers this variety winds up feeling the least like its label. Vinyl will likely never be able to mimic the porous and natural feel of wood: simply due to the material properties. In spite of the difference in feel, wood is definitely one of the most interesting skin choices. You can pick up a wood skin in either mahogany or zebra wood.


As a person who uses devices without cases almost 100% of the time, these skins have impressed me thoroughly with their choices here. It’s great to be able to change the look of a device almost completely for just a few bucks. Not only can a new gadget look cooler, but it will stay positively pristine underneath that faux-metal skin.

Check out some more photos of dBrand’s offerings in our gallery below.

DSC_0205 DSC_0204 DSC_0203 DSC_0202 DSC_0200 DSC_0199 DSC_0198 DSC_0197 DSC_0195 DSC_0189 DSC_0170 DSC_0169 DSC_0168 DSC_0167 DSC_0165 DSC_0164 DSC_0163 DSC_0162 DSC_0161 DSC_0160 DSC_0159 DSC_0158 DSC_0157 DSC_0156 DSC_0155 DSC_0154 DSC_0153 DSC_0152 DSC_0151 DSC_0150 DSC_0149 DSC_0147 DSC_0146 DSC_0145 DSC_0144 DSC_0143 DSC_0142 DSC_0142 (1) DSC_0140 DSC_0139
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from xda-developers