Epic Star Wars themes part II

Epic Star Wars themes part II

A couple months ago, I brought you an EPIC list of Star Wars themes and today as I browse themes I’m still seeing new themes added to the HTC Theme gallery. So I figured we should do another round-up of themes to keep the force strong with those of you who get that reference.

Star Wars is one of those series that will live forever and I bet I’ll be able to do another epic list in a few months with a fresh handful of Star Wars influenced themes.

Here are a few themes I’ve found recently in the HTC Theme app:


This theme has a lot of details and would be more than worthy of one of my regular theme reviews. For HTC Sense 7 users every screen on your phone should have a different wallpaper. Even the keyboard and phone dialer have special skins. Theme designer Jair A. Hernandez was in the spotlight last week when I covered his cool Deadpool theme. Also check below for one more theme included in this list and check his profile for several other really well designed themes.

Boba Fett Theme 1


This fun theme takes an evil character and adds a bit of comedy to his role. I like the bling on his knuckles in the home screen wallpaper and I appreciate that each page has a different wallpaper.

Darth Vader Fun Theme 1


This theme was designed by Elena Buz who has three other really cool themes in the gallery so far.  Actually, scratch that, Elena has had other themes in the gallery, but they’re gone now and for good reason. I covered one of her themes before, remember this one: black watch? In my review I basically knocked all of her current themes, but now I’d like to praise the four that are in her collection at the moment. There are tons of details popping out of each theme and she’s really upped her design game. Great job Elena!

008 Theme

Star Wars The Force Awakens Upgraded Art Theme

By the sound of this title the designer has updated some or all of the artwork included in this theme. And that’s exactly what attracted me to it in the first place since the core of adding themes to our phones is for a fantastic look. I didn’t like that the icons are basic, but I think the wallpapers are good enough for any fan to want to represent the force with. For some reason the designer’s name isn’t showing up in my browser. Maybe the artist switched over to the dark side.

Star Wars The Force Awakens Theme 1

Star Wars FTH II

This theme has a handful of nice wallpapers and has a cool keyboard that the designer has even made the effort to go back to fix an issue in landscape mode. I really like the theme’s color palette and it has all the usual suspects that I’m drawn to. I just criticized the prior theme for having stock app icons and at first glance you might think the same for this theme, but there are some slight differences in color and shapes. Even though they look stock I commend the effort to add flair.

Star Wars FTH II Theme 1

Tapping the links above on your mobile will take you to a web browser and you may need to try the following in order to see it in the Themes app:

  • After you click on the link make sure you are *logged in at the top right and then tap the bookmark button near the middle of the screen. Then, on your phone open the Themes app and scroll to the right until you get to “MY BOOKMARKS” and the new theme should be listed in there. *Make sure you log into the website using the same Google account used on your phone.
  • If this doesn’t work for you, try searching for it in the Themes app: There is a search bar in the Themes app, tap the 3 stacked lines in the top left. Search will be in the grey bar across the top.

Verizon and T-Mobile HTC One M9 Marshmallow updates are now available

Verizon and T-Mobile HTC One M9 Marshmallow updates are now available

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to announce that the Verizon and T-Mobile variants of the HTC One M9 can now be updated to Android 6.0. Both service providers started pushing the update their their respective devices this morning. If you have yet to receive an update notification on your specific device, you can try to download it manually by heading to Settings > About > Software Updates and tap the Check Now.

Once the update is installed, your HTC One M9 will be running on Android 6.0 which gives you a lot more control over app permissions, improved battery life with the new doze feature and allows you to extend the phone’s 32GB of internal storage with the adaptive storage feature using a microSD card (see embedded video).

HTC theme of the week: Bart Simpson

HTC theme of the week: Bart Simpson

Welcome to the HTC theme of the week, a series where I spotlight a theme I’ve found in the HTC Theme app, from a user I follow, a recommended theme, or eventually ones I’ve made myself. The Themes app runs on phones with HTC Sense 6 or higher and has a huge gallery of user contributed designs with custom wallpapers, icons, sounds and more.

The Bart Simpson theme brings back a bit of nostalgia for me. I used to watch The Simpsons show when I was younger. Bart was then and is now that mischievous boy who always finds himself getting into trouble even though he means no real harm. Despite his characteristics, he didn’t get my phone into any unwanted trouble.

Bart Simpson Theme Pros

The theme takes me back to a happy place when I was a kid, settling down for the evening, sitting in front of the tube for a good laugh before bed. The theme sports a very similar wallpaper, but with variations of color in the background and the theme color goes well with these walls.

The HTC and Google icons are circular and have nice details. Even the non-supported app icons are shrunk and fit inside a circle giving all your installed apps a nice, even look.

Bart Simpson Theme 3

The HTC Clock and Weather icons are dressed up for the Bart Simpson theme. The color of the clock matches the ring around Bart’s head on the wallpaper and the weather widget has fun multi-colors that I’d like to see in more themes.

Bart Simpson Theme 2

Bart Simpson Theme Cons

I really expected to have some sounds with this theme. I bet there’s a whole soundboard on worthy notification tones alone and the Bart-man song could be the ringtone among other good options. So when I changed my M8 to this theme I was left with sounds from the Deadpool theme I recently had in the spotlight.

About the theme designer

Dario Scardy has a handful of themes and wallpapers in the HTC Theme app. This theme has been downloaded 12338 times and was added to the gallery on November 17, 2015. He has a few superheros and Starwars themes worth checking out too.

About my theme review criteria

When selecting themes to review in this column I look for themes that are complete and look like they have a lot to offer.

So what does a complete theme look like?

A complete theme has a collection of wallpapers, as many custom app icons as possible with the rest styled and/or textured, custom weather and clock icons, custom soft keys, modified keyboard, custom fonts, and unique sounds.

That’s a lot of features, but to me, that encompasses a theme with all the bells and whistles. Not all themes I review hit all the marks, but they at least have several of the items mentioned above. I do this in an effort to show you the creativity of the designers uploading to the HTC Theme app.

HTC marks down the One M8

HTC marks down the One M8 to $399

HTC started an email and BlinkFeed campaign in the US a couple days ago marking down the price of the HTC One M8 by 20%. This is essentially the Hot Deal of the week, a weekly discount effort HTC has been using for a while, most notably around the holidays. This brings the price of a brand new One M8 with Uh Oh protection down to $399.

It appears that HTC is trying to clean out its inventory of the M8 to make room for the several models announced during MWC like the Desire series and the One X9. And they’re also going to need room on the shelves for the upcoming One M10.

Speaking of the HTC Perfume, is M10 going to be the real name? HTC may have sent out a hint with this tweet yesterday.

At this point of the M8 sale the pickings have become slim. With variants from carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile already sold out along with the Developer and Unlocked editions. The only M8’s left in HTC’s stock are from Sprint and Verizon and only one or two colors are available. So if one of those are your carrier and you’re looking for a solid phone with the best protection plan on the market, CHEERS!

HTC is also running a sale on M8 phone cases. You can pick up the Dot View, Flip Case, Double Dip, or Translucent case for only $10 while supplies last.

HTC adds new feature and throws in two games with the Vive

HTC adds new feature and throws in two games with the Vive for $799

HTC has kept the price of the Vive from us long enough! While at Mobile World Congress the team let the cat out of the bag and officially announced the Vive’s price and all the features those dollars will get you. The price of HTC and Valve’s state-of-the-art virtual reality system is going to be $799 US dollars with the price possibly varying per country and with tax/shipping costs.

We anticipated the cost to be a bit above the cost of the Oculus Rift, but less than $1000 and the confirmed price is right in the middle. The included hardware will be the HMD, two wireless controllers, two lighthouses for tracking.

HTC has outdone themselves by adding so much technology into a beautiful package. Speaking of the package, for a limited time HTC is going to include two fully-fledged VR experiences to get you started. Those titles are:

  • Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives,by Owlchemy Labs: In a firmly tongue-in-cheek world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the ‘Job Simulator’ to learn what it was like ‘to job’.
  • Fantastic Contraption, by Northway Games in collaboration with Radial Games: Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky, building a machine the size of a horse with your own hands, and then watching it roll out into the world.

Here’s a teaser video of Fantastic Contraption using early Vive tech:

Along with the Vive’s polished Head Mounted Display (HMD) with a front facing camera that blends reality with the virtual, brighter displays for deeper immersion, and wireless haptic feedback controllers HTC has added Vive Phone Services.

HTC bridges another gap by extending your phone into the virtual environment. The Vive allows you to receive and respond to both incoming and missed calls, get text messages and send quick replies and check upcoming calendar invites directly through the headset, it creates a hybrid reality opening up a whole new world of possibilities for both consumers and businesses.

The Vive we saw at CES will be the same design shipping at launch. The only changes until then, if any, will be software tweaks and all future updates will be passed along through the SteamVR platform which is HTC’s main method for delivering content to Vive with.

HTC specifically says pre-orders for the Vive will go live at 10AM ET on February 29th and will begin to ship on the 1st of April.

Now that you know the price of the Vive we want to know if you will be first in line to buy the Vive online.

Leaked image shows off HTC One M10 in white

Leaked image shows off HTC One M10 in white

The HTC One M10 (HTC Perfume) is back in the news today thanks to a leaked image from @evleaks which shows off the front of the phone in white. While the main characteristics of the white M10 match up with the black model which was leaked a while back, but there are a few differences. The speaker grill and fingerprint sensor on the white M10 are both wider than those from the black M10 image.

Since we’re still at least a month out from the phone’s officially unveiling, it’s not surprising to see multiple devices which show variations in the small details. HTC is likely testing a handful of slightly tweaked M10 designs to see which ones perform better in day-to-day use.


Meet the new HTC Desire 530, 630, and 825

Meet the new HTC Desire 530, 630, and 825

HTC didn’t go to the biggest mobile conference of the year just to talk about the HTC Vive, the smartphone giant also announced three stylish phones continuing the Desire series. Coming soon, most likely to a market near you, is the HTC Desire 530, 630, and 825.

These phones have some stylish influence that the design team borrowed from urban street wear. This includes multi-colored specks on the back shell, highlighted color on the power button and matching letters on the back of the phone. The Desire 630 and 825 will offer Stratus White Remix with duo color micro splash and Graphite Gray Remix with gold micro splash, and Graphite Grey and Solid Stratus White block colors for the Desire 530.

HTC Desire Specks

The new HTC Desire 630 and 825 deliver amazing sound certified with Dolby Audio technology and BoomSound (the front facing speaker kind) and in select regions will bundle a pair of wired Hi-Res Audio headphones for a rich audio experience.

The camera specs include a 13 MP rear camera on the Desire 630 and 825 with an f/0.2 aperture difference and the Desire 530 will have a 8 MP rear shooter. All three models will come with a 5 MP camera on the front and will include the same camera software features like auto and voice capture, burst shot, and sweep panorama.

The HTC Desire 825 will also include a fitness feature called the HTC Sensor Hub which monitors your movement throughout the day and integrates them with popular fitness apps on the market like Google Fit.

Additional phone specs include:

HTC Desire 825

Desire 825:

  • 5.5″ screen with HD 720p Super LCD display
  • Android 6.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • microSD expansion slot
  • tons of 4G bands
  • Dual SIM support for limited regions
  • 2700 mAh battery
  • Motion launch gestures

Desire 630:

  • 5.0″ screen with HD 720p Super LCD display
  • Android 6.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • microSD expansion slot
  • several 4G bands
  • Dual SIM support
  • 2200 mAh battery

HTC Desire 530 630

Desire 530:

  • 5.0″ screen with HD 720p Super LCD display
  • Android 6.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 210
  • microSD expansion slot
  • tons of 4G bands
  • Nano SIM support
  • 2200 mAh battery

Look for prices and availability in your region in March 2016.

This is the HTC Vive retail model

This is the HTC Vive retail model

While roaming the halls of MWC this afternoon, we received an email from HTC which informed us that the retail version of the HTC Vive was on its way to HTC’s booth and would be put on display. As you might expect, we adjusted our plans and headed towards HTC. The images below are of the final product – exactly what customers will get wen they pull the Vive out of the box.

It doesn’t look much different from the Vive Pre, but the retail version has a triangular strap connection on the top and the body appears to have a few subtle tweaks. Based on what you’re heard about the Vive, will you be shelling out $800 at launch to be among the first to get your hands on the world’s best VR system?

Introducing the HTC One X9

Introducing the HTC One X9

Along with the recent announcement of the new HTC Desire series HTC has also launched a new family member to the One series. Say hello to the HTC One X9! Wrapped in a silky-soft metal, like many others, HTC follows its own footsteps by enclosing a small mound of technology in a metal uni-body shell.

The new One X9 will come in four beautiful colors, like Opal Silver, Topaz Gold, Cooper Rose, and Carbon Gray. These dazzling colors create an extension of the user making the phone more of a personal accessory and fashion item.

Camera Features

With a 13 MP rear facing camera, OIS, and Real Time anti-shake technology the One X9 promises to deliver outstanding photos at every shot. Photos can be taken in Professional mode with the ability to save in RAW format. Switching over to video, the same camera can be used to record high quality 4K videos and Hyperlapse mode.

The front facing camera is a 5 MP shooter that comes with built-in features like Auto Selfie, Voice Selfie, and Live Makeup for ease of capture and touch up.


HTC’s latest One device comes with front facing speakers and BoomSound driven by integrated amplifiers that brings your music to life and slaps you in the face.

One X9 Front

Additional Specs

  • 5.5″ screen with full HD 1080p Super LCD display
  • Android 6.0
  • MediaTek Helio X10, Octa-core 64-bit processor
  • microSD expansion slot with 32 GB internal memory and 3 GB RAM
  • Dual Nano SIM
  • 3000 mAh battery
  • Motion launch gestures
  • Dot View II

The new HTC One X9 will be available as early as the end of this month and will roll out in North Asia and EMEA at retailers and on htc.

The HTC Desire 816 is now being updated to Android Marshmallow

The HTC Desire 816 is now being updated to Android Marshmallow

The final Android update for the HTC Desire 816 is finally being rolled out to the phone. We first learned from @LlabTooFeR that the update would be rolling out within the next two weeks, but then we received another update from him with a screenshot from an HTC Desire 816 from Turkey that’s already received the update. Naturally, you may not be able to download the update in your specific markets for a few days. For now, the update will only be going to unlocked versions of the phone in Europe, but HTC’s software team is working on the update for other markets and should hopefully have it ready to go in March.