HTC Bolt buyers can now get a free USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter


Earlier this month, Sprint started selling the HTC Bolt smartphone. It is one of the first such phones that has ditched the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. While it comes with its own USB-C headphones that are supposed to offer adaptive audio features, the phone does not come with a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. This meant that buyers who have a favorite set of wired headphones would have to spend extra money their own adapter … until now. HTC has decided to give Bolt owners a way to get a free adapter, if they are patient.

See also:

Best Sprint Android phones

1 week ago

If you have bought the Bolt from Sprint, you can go to the HTC Rewards site and type in the day you purchased the phone, along with its transaction number and its MEID number. HTC’s site says that it will begin shipping the USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter to those folks sometime by the end of December, but the site does warn that “there could be delays resulting from unforeseen inventory situations or high demand.” In other words, if you really, really need that adapter right now, you might be better off just getting one yourself.

The offer is for anyone who buys the HTC Bolt from Sprint from the day it went on sale until January 31, 2017, and those folks have until February 28, 2017 to take advantage of the free adapter promotion.

Get it at HTC Rewards Center site

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Update, November 22: The second and final Android 7.1 developer preview has now rolled out for supported Nexus devices, which this time includes the Nexus 9. Meanwhile, multiple Nougat betas have been announced while some lucky device owners have already received the official Nougat update.

Google gave itself a couple of months head start on getting Nougat ready by releasing the first beta release on March 9. But it also gave app developers and manufacturers an even earlier look at what to expect from Android 7.0 Nougat and additional time to get the update ball rolling.

When Android 7.0 landed in its final form on August 22, it was actually slightly ahead of schedule. But that now leaves us with the question: when will Nougat hit our devices? The answer to this varies wildly depending on the OEM in question, so head to your OEM section below for our estimated arrival date.

Latest Android Nougat news

On November 22, the second and final Android 7.1 Nougat developer preview rolled out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C and Nexus 9. There was nothing really new in the builds other than “near-final system behaviors and UI”. The public release of Android 7.1 Nougat is due in early December.

As always, you can find factory images and over-the-air (OTA) images on the Android Developers blog:

If you’ve never flashed a factory image, you can follow our guide here.

See also:

Android Nougat: all the features you need to know

October 21, 2016

On November 20, the Sprint LG G5 became the first major flagship to receive the official update to Android 7.0 Nougat.

On October 19, the first developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat went out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Pixel C, after being teased on the Android Developer’s blog in early October.

Android 7.0 Nougat formally arrived on August 22nd. The first official version of Nougat didn’t bring anything notably different from the final Android 7.0 developer preview, although a ton of bugs were squashed in order to bring the most stable experience possible.

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Nexus Nougat update situation

While the new Google Pixel phones ran Android 7.1 out of the box – along with several Pixel-only features – Android 7.1 will be coming to supported devices in its final version in “early December”.

The phones getting the Android 7.1 update at that time include the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and supported Android One devices. Developer preview builds of Android 7.1 began rolling out on October 19 with the final preview arriving on November 22.

As always, the beta program is the easiest method for getting the latest and greatest Android version as quickly as possible via OTA, but you can also flash the factory images if you’re not in the beta program (see links above).

On August 22nd, Android 7.0 OTAs began for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One). The Nexus 5 did not join in on the fun, though that’s of little surprise considering Google’s usual device update support patterns. The factory images can be found here.

Android 7.0 update: when will I get it?

Samsung Android 7.0 update

Even though Samsung isn’t exactly speedy when it comes to rolling out Android updates, there’s at least some good news where the Samsung Android 7.0 update is concerned.

The first Galaxy beta Nougat firmware arrived for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on November 9 for U.S., UK and South Korean participants, with a second build coming soon. When the final release will arrive we can’t yet say but Samsung has said the program will run until mid-December.

For reference, there was a five-month timeframe between the Android 6.0 launch on September 29, 2015 and the first U.S. update to Marshmallow with the Verizon Galaxy Note 5 on March 3, 2016. Using that as a benchmark, Galaxy owners could easily be waiting until some time in January 2017 for the first Samsung Android 7.0 update.

Following the Note 7 recall, however, Samsung might try to get Nougat out for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge before the end of the year with the Note 5, Galaxy Tab S2, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ after them. The Note 5 and Tab S2 update is currently underway and an S6 running Nougat appeared on GFXBench recently.

The Galaxy S8 will arrive in early 2017 running at least Android 7.0 and maybe even Android 7.1 out of the box.

Best case scenario: 5 months after Android 7.0 launch (January 2017)

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

LG Android 7.0 update

With Android Nougat, LG took just 78 days to update its first device to Android 7.0 (the South Korean LG G5 on November 8) – the fastest of all OEMs. In the U.S., the Sprint LG G5 got Nougat on November 20, making the LG G5 the first major U.S. flagship to receive the official Android Nougat update as well.

LG was pretty good with its update speed for Marshmallow too, with less than two months separating the release of Android 6.0 and the first LG handset to receive it (the Sprint LG G4 on December 21, 2015).

In fact, LG was the first OEM to get a carrier-based Marshmallow update out after Google. The LG V10 eventually got the update internationally in early March 2016, after the LG G3 and LG G Stylo already had Marshmallow in the U.S..

Of course, the LG V20 had the honor of being the first phone to arrive with Android 7.0 out of the box, beating even the Nexus range to the punch (much to the irritation of Nexus owners everywhere).

Best case scenario: 2 months after Android 7.0 release (November 2016) – CONFIRMED

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Sony Android 7.0 update

This year, certain Sony Xperia owners were treated to an Android N preview build just as they were last year with Android M. Sony’s Nougat Concept rolled out on November 1 for the Xperia X Performance. Then, on November 21, the Xperia X assumed the top spot for future Sony Concept builds, and received the latest beta from Sony on that date.

However, for those of you not interested in installing a non-final developer version, the official Sony Android 7.0 update has already been confirmed for the Xperia X, XA, XA Ultra, X Performance, XZ, X Compact, Z5, Z5 Compact, Z5 Premium, Z3+ and Z4 Tablet.

The exact date for the first Sony Nougat update is less certain though. If we look at Sony’s efforts with Marshmallow last year, our predictions aren’t very optimistic.

Based on the Xperia Z5 series, Z4 Tablet and Xperia Z3+ all getting the Marshmallow update five months after Google first pushed it out, we wouldn’t expect any Xperias to see Nougat until mid-January 2017. Sony has undergone some pretty serious changes internally in the last year though, so let’s just hope Sony is aiming to up its game with the Nougat rollout.

Best case scenario: 5 months after Android 7.0 release (January 2017)

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Motorola Android 7.0 update

For a little while it looked like Motorola had toppled LG as the first OEM to get a new Android version out, but reports of an October 21 release for the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus in India turned out not to be the case.

Moto owners had to wait almost another whole month to see the first official Nougat update, with the Verizon Moto Z and Moto Z Force getting the update on November 18. Motorola ultimately took 88 days to get Nougat out for its first devices.

Looking at Moto’s past efforts, the Moto X Style got Marshmallow first, on November 12, 2015 and the Moto X Pure Edition got the first U.S. Moto update to Marshmallow on December 7, 2015. Marshmallow arrived from Google on October 5, 2015, but most Moto devices had to wait at least two months to get Marshmallow.

Lenovo has confirmed a list of devices confirmed to get Android Nougat and we know the new near-stock Moto devices will receive both the Android N and Android O releases.

Best case scenario: 2 months after Android 7.0 arrives (October 2016) – DELAYED

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

HTC Android 7.0 update

HTC developer @LlabTooFeR has claimed the HTC Nougat update is scheduled for late-November for the HTC 10. The developer later posted screenshots of Nougat on the HTC 10, claiming it was stable and almost ready.

As you may recall, HTC did pretty well with its first update to Marshmallow. The unlocked Developer Edition HTC One M9 and all variants of the HTC One A9 got the Marshmallow update in December 2015. The HTC 10 arrived in April running Android Marshmallow out of the box and will be the first HTC device to receive Nougat.

HTC’s next flagship, presumably the HTC 11, should arrive with Android 7.0 at launch (if not Android 7.1). HTC has already confirmed several devices (10, M9, A9) to be on the update train and T-Mobile has the HTC 10 and HTC One M9 on its own update list.

Best case scenario: 3 months after Android 7.0 unveiling (November 2016)

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Huawei Android 7.0 update

The Huawei Mate 9 arrived recently running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Huawei pulled the same “latest version” rabbit out of its hat with the Mate 8 in November 2015, which ran Marshmallow out of the box just weeks after Google released it.

Meanwhile, a beta preview of Nougat for the Huawei P9 appeared as far back as July, a whole month before Google officially released it for Nexus devices. Update news for the P9 has been suspiciously quiet ever since though, even if the P9 series along with the Nova and Nova Plus are likely to be the first Huawei phones to get updated (as opposed to arriving with Nougat).

As far as honor devices are concerned, last year, the honor 7 Enhanced Edition arrived on December 14, 2015 with Android Marshmallow on board and the honor 5X and honor 7 followed with the Marshmallow update at the end of February. The honor 8 has a Nougat beta available, but we’ve no information on when the official update will arrive.

Best case scenario: Mate 9 running Android 7.0 at launch (November 2016), honor updates in January 2017

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

OnePlus Android 7.0 update

OnePlus has promised to have a Nougat “community build” for the OnePlus 3 out by the end of November. Both the OnePlus 3 and newer OnePlus 3T are due for the official OnePlus Nougat update in December. Furthermore, OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 3 will get every Android update the OnePlus 3T gets, effectively adding an extra six months to its support shelf life.

OnePlus isn’t exactly renowned for its software updates, seriously dropping the ball on the OnePlus 2 and taking forever to deliver Marshmallow to the OnePlus X. With those updates coming June 5 and September 28 respectively, that equates to a full 245 days and 360 days after Google first made Marshmallow available on October 5, 2015.

Nevertheless, OnePlus has promised to get its update game in shape and has combined its software teams to streamline Android updates from here on out. Even if the Nougat update arrives on the last day of 2016, OnePlus will have shaved more than 100 days off its Marshmallow effort.

Best case scenario: 4 months after Google (December 2017)

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Xiaomi Android 7.0 update

Xiaomi had a pretty bad case of the hiccups when it came to the Marshmallow update, so it may not be entirely representative to base assumptions about the Xiaomi Android 7.0 update based on its most recent update performance.

As you may remember, despite announcing Marshmallow was in the final stages of testing back in December 2015, it wasn’t until early April that the Mi 4, Mi 3 and Mi Note finally got Android 6.0.

Perhaps learning from this mistake, Xiaomi hasn’t made any Nougat promises this time around, but began looking for Mi 5 Nougat beta testers on November 18. With a Nougat beta starting just now, it will likely be a few months before we see the Xiaomi Nougat update rolling out.

In the worst case scenario, Xiaomi suffers similar problems with Android 7.0 and users won’t see it until six months after Google releases it. In the best case scenario, Xiaomi has a successful public beta and has the update out in December 2016 or January 2017. But no matter when the update comes, we’ll likely see a Xiaomi device launch with Nougat out of the box first.

Best case scenario: 4-5 months after Google (December 2016/January 2017)

(Update: Final 7.1 preview rolls out) Android Nougat update: when will you get it?

Android One Android 7.0 update

Android One devices occupy a particular sweet spot when it comes to Android updates. Because they run stock Android, Google handles firmware updates, meaning the Android One Android 7.0 update will always arrive at the same time as it does for Nexus devices with both OTA and flashable factory image options.

OTAs will likely take at least a few weeks or more to reach all Android One devices getting the upgrade, and as always, the factory images will be right around the corner. Note that not all Android One devices make the initial rollout alongside Nexus devices though.

When do you expect your manufacturer and carrier to get Android 7.0 into your hands?

HTC 10 evo (aka HTC Bolt in the US) makes its international debut


The HTC 10 evo, the international version of the previously announced HTC Bolt, has officially been announced. Rumors about its reveal made the Internet rounds last week, thanks to a invite sent by HTC to a press event earlier today in Taiwan.

See also:

The Bolt is HTC’s new flagship for Sprint: we go hands-on

2 weeks ago

Aside from the name, the HTC 10 evo’s hardware specs are nearly identical to the Bolt, which is already available as an exclusive in the US via Sprint. One of the only differences between the two versions is that the HTC 10 evo will be available in 32GB and 64GB storage variants, versus just the 32GB option for the Bolt. The other difference is that the HTC 10 evo has three color choices: Gunmetal, Glacier Silver and Pearl Gold. Only the first two options are available for Sprint buyers of the HTC Bolt.

The HTC 10 evo's hardware specs are nearly identical to the HTC Bolt's

The other specs are the same. The HTC 10 evo will have a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display with Gorilla Glass 5 and Android 7.0 Nougat installed out of the box. Inside it will have a octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with a clock speed of 2.0GHz, along with 3GB of RAM. It will also have a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization, an 8MP front-facing camera, along with a fingerprint sensor and a 3,200mAh battery.

The HTC 10 evo has an IP57 rating, which allows the phone to, in theory, keep working even after it is placed under 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. The phone also has HTC BoomSound Adaptive Audio which is supposed to adapt the sound based on the audio environment around the device. It will also include USB Type-C adaptive earphones that will adjust the audio based not only on the structure of the user’s ear but also on the outside environment.

The HTC 10 evo is scheduled to go on sale in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa sometime later in November. Specific release dates and pricing for those markets has yet to be announced. For reference, though, the HTC Bolt is priced at $600 without a contract from Sprint.

HTC denies rumors it’s looking to sell its smartphone business


It’s no secret that HTC has been struggling in the past few years. Its flagship device HTC 10  and other smartphones the company has to offer haven’t been selling very well. Low sales numbers have pushed HTC into financial trouble, as the company posted a $63 million operating loss in the third quarter, the latest in a long series of losses.

According to sources cited by Chinese tech website MyDrivers, HTC is now seriously considering getting out of the smartphone business. The competition has proven to be too much for the Taiwan-based company, which is now looking for a new owner for its smartphone biz. Rumor has it that four companies have already lined up to buy HTC’s smartphone operations, including a Taiwanese one. An announcement could be made early next year. Cher Wang, HTC’s Chairwoman, CEO, and major stock holder has reportedly agreed to the plan.

See also:

HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22

3 days ago

Rumors of a possible HTC takeover have surfaced quite a few times in the last few years. The company has always denied them, saying it has no intention of leaving the smartphone market. And it’s no different this time around, as HTC has already described the rumors as false in a post on Weibo. Even so, it is still possible that the sale might happen. Companies normally don’t like to admit these types of things until they actually happen.

HTC has a history of pivoting to new sectors – the company was born in the 90’s as a PC ODM manufacturer, before becoming a smartphone pioneer in the 2000’s. HTC has repeatedly signaled that it sees its future as a VR headset manufacturer and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to establish a lead in this field.

What do you think about the rumors? Will HTC sell its smartphone business or not? As always, let us know in the comment section below.

HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22


HTC has sent out invites for an event on November 22 in Taiwan where it is expected to unveil the HTC 10 evo. The news arrives via Taiwanese tech website Sogi, which leaked the press invitation a few hours ago.

The HTC 10 evo is the rumored international variant of the HTC Bolt, recently launched as a Sprint exclusive in the US. Though HTC’s invite doesn’t explicitly mention a device name, the water drops depicted may indicate that the phone would feature water resistance, like the HTC Bolt (IP57 certification). Check it out below.

HTC set to reveal the HTC 10 evo on November 22

The HTC 10 evo is also said to arrive with identical specs to those of the Bolt: a 5.5-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 810 processor, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage (plus microSD card support), 3200 mAh battery with USB Type-C, 16 MP rear camera and an 8 MP camera at the front. The only exception is that the evo might arrive with an additional 64 GB version.

Alongside its Asia-launch, the HTC 10 evo is reportedly set to arrive in Europe, Africa and the middle-east. Read our hands-on HTC Bolt review at the link to find out more.