HTC One X Movie Editor

, posted: 21-Jun-2012 10:04

Android 4.0 marked the arrival of a movie editor integrated into Android itself, and as you might expect HTC has kept it in there and added their own Sense flavouring to it.

Starting off you have to accept HTC’s T&Cs (only on the first launch) before creating a new project or resuming a previous project. So far it’s pretty straightforward - and it remains that way.



Once you’re in the project view you can hit the plus button to add pictures and clips from the gallery. Sadly, there is no ability to take pictures or video directly in the app. You can crop video clips to your desired length however once a picture has been added it appears to be displayed for a fixed length of time (about 3 or 4 seconds) depending on the theme used.

You are able to include up to 50 clips in your video. As I found out the hard way, videos added must be more than 2 seconds long and images must be under 8 MP and less than 2 MB in size. Considering the One X camera can take images that are larger than 2 MB this is bound to cause issues.



Adding to frustrations, you must choose a theme, either birthday, formal or travel. The theme basically determines what the clip transitions are and the stock audio. I did not find a way to gather further themes.



Going into the preview mode is where you will find a lot more than just a preview of your video. Here the ability to change the default audio to one of your own music tracks is present. On the right there is a slider to favour either the music track of the audio of the video clips.



Once you’re done playing around with your rather crude video you can export it in either widescreen 720p, 540p, or 360p resolutions. Obviously you’re going to stick with 720p for the most part and you shouldn’t be disappointed with the MP4 quality.

Overall, the Sense 4.0 movie editor is a nice little tool for video editing on the go. It would be near perfect as a mobile video editor if it had more themes with it for more occasions and less limitations. Aside, I know stock Android 4.0 also has a movie editor but since I have no proper way of comparing the two. I haven’t looked into other video editors in the Play Store but Sense 4.0’s has you covered for 90% occasions you will use it for.

About the author

I’ll be honest: there was once a day when I got bored and sick of seeing all the smartphone related news in my RSS feeds. This day was literally no more than nine months ago. Well here I stand today; known as Blair the college student in the real world, ArchSerpo in this one. Whilst not even considered an adult by the Government I have established myself as a Android and mobile technology news reporter and in depth reviewer for KitGuru, Android Mobile New Zealand, and now (hopefully) the TelecomTech blog. While bias towards the green team may appear given, I have had experience with all the major mobile operating systems except BlackBerry and MeeGo in the last six months and always keep an open mind.



eReading on HTC One X

, posted: 21-Jun-2012 09:59

Reading books on my phone was a little thing I started last year when I acquired the Steve Jobs biography in digital format. I ending up reading the entire thing on the 4 inch display of my now-retired HTC Incredible S. With a few tweaks and settings my reading experience was good to go - set the brightness to the lowest value possible and only allow portrait orientation.

Now onto the HTC One X. With its 4.7 inch 720p “proper” RGB matrix amazing display. You’d think it’d be a decent replacement as an ereader and you’d be right.

It isn’t quite a ereader quality setup however - you’ll still suffer glare when in direct sunlight (it’s winter so naturally this hasn’t been tested massively). However it does cut out the need for a reading light at night.



For my digital reading I use Aldiko, which allows me to painlessly import my ebooks and flick through pages using the volume rocker. Anything more I don’t care about.

For the last few weeks I’ve been reading various books on the One X and I am yet to run into any eye strain or anything like that. I find the display really nice to read with - especially lying in bed at night.



I even have the text smaller now than what it is in the screenshot above; admittedly I near-perfect, if not perfect vision. Plus, even the smaller text is easily readable on the 4.7 inch display.

The HTC One X makes for a decent reading companion with only a few tweaks that should be made for all phones anyway. This is regardless of the fact that a page of text on One X is noticeably smaller than one in the real paperback. The 4.7 inch 720p display ensures text is not jagged at all. Plus you have the added benefit of holding a 130 gram device over a 300 to 500 gram device in a tablet, which is a lot more ergonomic is you ask me.

About the author

I’ll be honest: there was once a day when I got bored and sick of seeing all the smartphone related news in my RSS feeds. This day was literally no more than nine months ago. Well here I stand today; known as Blair the college student in the real world, ArchSerpo in this one. Whilst not even considered an adult by the Government I have established myself as a Android and mobile technology news reporter and in depth reviewer for KitGuru, Android Mobile New Zealand, and now (hopefully) the TelecomTech blog. While bias towards the green team may appear given, I have had experience with all the major mobile operating systems except BlackBerry and MeeGo in the last six months and always keep an open mind.



Media Playback with the HTC One X

, posted: 18-Jun-2012 13:45

If I find myself waiting in a line or flying on a plane, I usually like to pull out my laptop or cell, and watch a video or two.  I have found myself in that situation many times with the HTC One X on hand.  Luckily it’s very easy on the eyes, due to its large screen and vibrant colours.



The first thing I wanted to do was test music playback, to compare it to other devices I’d used in the past.  Playback overall was very pleasing, comparable to the Galaxy S2, although not quite as good as the original Galaxy S.  One minor disappointment in the stock player is lack of album art, which makes it a bit harder to scroll through albums, as you have to focus on the name, not the picture.



Overall, scrolling through music to find something to play was nice and quick.  The included headphones were fine, nothing special, although a bit weird that HTC has discontinued its Beats headphones on beats-enabled phones!  Another highly touted feature is its Beats software, which seemed to be an equaliser with enhanced bass/treble.  Not really amazing, more of a gimmick, which reminded me of the old radios with “Enhanced bass boost” buttons written on them!



The FM tuner was a surprising feature, and one I put to good use.  The headphones act as an aerial, picking up most stations in a fast and effective manner.  It was good listening to the latest news reports on the hour or even testing it out with a little music.



TuneIn was another feature I used a bit.  It’s basically internet radio and it searches for your location based on your GPS coordinates.  It’s extremely handy when you are out of coverage, or have forgotten your headphones and want to use the speaker to play radio.  I tried several NZ radio stations, as well as a few overseas channels, and the quality was very good.



However, video playback was what I wanted most!  Loading up a few videos from my computer, it played them effortlessly.  I was surprised to see MKV, MP4 and DivX Avis files play effortlessly, although I couldn’t find the Video playback folder at first.  It turns out the videos are automatically added under the Gallery section of the phone.



HTC Watch was a built-in app that I also had a play with.  It has a selection of recent and decent movies from the last few years.  They are available to rent or download, with some as little as 5c each.  The encoding was good and they streamed fast.  However, HTC might want to rethink the Watch application and maybe include other downloaded videos into the application because having two video applications is a bit of a pain.



After giving the video, audio, and radio a good run in, I decided to throw it up on the big screen.  Getting the One-X onto a TV is a breeze thanks to its MHL compatibility.  You can buy an MHL adapter from eBay for about $6, and it connects your phone through HDMI to your TV.  This means you can Game, browse the internet, or watch videos on the large screen.  I only had two issues with it.  The first being that it was never at 1080i/p, it was always at 720P, which occasionally dropped even lower when displaying games. 

The second issue was that it’s always stuck in Landscape mode,  meaning you can’t play portrait games on the TV.  This should be able to be rectified by a simple software upgrade that HTC will hopefully provide, as it’s lacking compared to the older Galaxy S2 which can do 1080P in landscape and portrait, as standard.  Overall though, the MHL adapter gives you a great cheap option to get movies onto the big screen.  It’s also good for showing relatives your family photos or funny youtube videos at parties!



Overall, the media playback of the HTC One X is great, let down by a few small things, which I’m sure HTC will be able to address in future with a software update!

About the author

I am Vincent Garcia: an ICT Specialist by day; technology geek and DIY handyman by night. I enjoy playing with gadgets, old and new.  Taking most of them through the paces, and to within an inch of their lives! I also enjoy tinkering with things; spending most of my weekends repairing my motorcycles, or renovating my house.  I live in the windy city of Wellington, with my lovely wife Nicola, and my cat Morange. When I was offered the opportunity to review the new HTC One X series, I jumped at the chance.  The short aeroplane trip to Auckland was all part of the fun!  If you want to ask any questions, please add a comment below, or email [email protected]



Apples and Oranges

, posted: 15-Jun-2012 11:29

It was with some trepidation that I brought the HTC One X home, knowing that if it was going to have a shot at being my new primary phone, it needed to integrate into an ecosystem that consists of a lot of Apple technology. Our primary home computer is an iMac, my work machine is a Macbook Pro, and prior to receiving the HTC One X I was using an iPhone 4 for my mobile communication needs. I am used to all this technology integrating seamlessly, with media, calendars, and other data all being easily shared across devices.

The most important point of interest to me was figuring out the best way to get my music collection from iTunes onto the HTC One X. While one solution is to connect the phone via USB and then manually copy the desired files, due to the sheer number of albums and songs involved, this was not really a practical approach. Instead I opted to use the free doubleTwist OSX desktop client. Because doubleTwist can be configured to automatically import iTunes playlists, I can still use the latter to manage my music collection, and yet have my chosen playlists copied to the HTC One X.



By default doubleTwist will perform the synchronization when the HTC One X is connected via USB, but it also has a feature called AirSync, which offers wireless synchronization in a similar way to the iTunes Wifi sync functionality. AirSync is available via a paid add-on to the free doubleTwist Android media player. As luck would have it, there was a 50% off sale just in time to coincide with this blog post. I purchased the doubleTwist Pro upgrade which, in addition to wireless sync and AirPlay streaming (more on that later), gave me a few extra features such as podcasts, equalizer, and finding missing album artwork. The latter two features will only really prove useful if doubleSync turns out to be a worthy primary music player, but it seemed prudent to take advantage of the reduced cost of the Pro upgrade.

I am used to being able to synchronize my work calendar between my iPhone and the iCal application running on my Macbook. Initially I had this set up to create new entries using my iCloud (Apples cloud storage platform) enabled calendar, which the HTC One X doesn’t support out of the box. But as I also lean heavily on Google for mail already, it seemed logical to switch to using Google Calendar instead. This was a breeze to configure, and gives me exactly the same sync functionality that I’m used to, with new calendar events set up on either my laptop or phone being automatically synchronized to the other.

As mentioned earlier, doubleTwist supports streaming via AirPlay to an Apple TV (v2 or greater). This is a feature I use all the time with my iPhone in order to display photos or videos on our TV, so I was very keen to try and get it to work with the HTC One X. Unfortunately there are still some kinks to be ironed out, and so far I’ve only been able to successfully stream audio and videos from the doubleTwist media player. It is also meant to be possible to stream photos from any photo viewer app, but I’m yet to get that working. Additionally, the streaming was not initially very reliable, and playback would cut out partway through a song. I was able to get much better performance by enabling the ‘Keep WiFi alive’ option in the ‘AirTwist & AirPlay’ settings.

The AirPlay support that does work is pretty easy to use. Once the feature has been enabled in the doubleTwist media player, there will be a wifi icon shown next to the playback controls for both video and audio. Selecting that will show a prompt asking you to select the playback device, and choosing ‘Apple TV’ from the presented options will initiate playback on your TV via the Apple TV.





As well as the Apple tech I’ve already mentioned, our router is an Apple Airport Extreme. This is a relatively recent newcomer to our home network, and was purchased to fix an ongoing stability problem with wifi connectivity affecting our many Apple devices (iPhones, iPods, iPad & Apple TV). While this has addressed our stability problem, I was a little apprehensive as to whether the HTC One X would have any issues connecting to the wireless network. Thankfully there don’t appear to be any significant issues there, and the phone has no problems accessing our wifi network. I have seen the occasional instance where the HTC One X won’t always automatically reconnect to wifi after waking up from its slumber, but it will always comply when manually asked to do so in this situation.

Despite initial concerns, the HTC One X has made itself at home in our Apple-centric network. It has even surprised me in some instances as to how it can integrate with our existing tech, especially the ability to be able to stream music and video from the phone to our television via the Apple TV AirSync feature. Granted, some of this functionality took third party software to achieve, but I’m hardly going to count that as a major negative, as I was able to achieve a level of integration that exceeded my expectations. The only feature I’m currently missing is the ability to display photos from the phone on my TV via AirSync, but I’ll continue to work on that in the hopes that I’ll be able to get a workable solution.

About the author

Hi I'm David, a self employed software developer on the wrong side of 40, residing in Auckland with my wife and two children. I am a passionate All Blacks and Blues fan, gadget junkie, mature aged gamer, and connoisseur of fine heavy metal (and music in general). I currently own an iPhone 4, but am very open to trying new technologies, and can't wait to see what the best of Android can bring to the smartphone table. I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest technological advances in general, and am encouraged to see that the smartphone market is no longer an iOneHorseRace. I’m very interested to see how the HTC One and Ice Cream Sandwich fares in this regard.



Socializing with the HTC One X

, posted: 13-Jun-2012 11:36

I’m a voracious consumer of social networks, and in particular am a heavy Twitter user. Therefore any potential iPhone replacement must have excellent social networking support.

During the setup of the HTC One X, I was offered the opportunity to supply credentials for my Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts, which I took to be a positive sign that I will be well served by this phone. And indeed the HTC One X comes bundled with Android clients for these social networks already installed.


But the integration throughout the HTC One X runs deeper than that. In many places, such as the Media Gallery and Music app, content can be shared to all the various social networking platforms and online services that you have configured. This is a welcome change from the iPhone, which at this stage only has native support for Twitter.


One improvement I’d love to see is the ability to share to multiple sources at once. Sharing content in this manner currently involves repeating the process fore each platform you wish to post to.

HTC Sense also includes FriendStream, which allows you to consolidate multiple Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr accounts into a single location. There is also a FriendStream widget which can be used to post to all accounts at once. As a result, this is my preferred method of posting to my social networks, especially when I want to cover both Twitter and Facebook. And if I don’t, I can still use FriendStream, and select the accounts I want to post my musings to. As with the other dedicated social networking clients, you can easily attach content from your media library when using the FriendStream interface.


Contacts you have added to the HTC One X can be associated with various social networks and online services. Once this has been done, you can see their activities in these networks by selecting the Updates option when viewing their contact details. You can also use the People widget to see their latest activity. Adding a contact to the widget will prompt you to select a default action to take when selecting them, so you can also use it as a launchpad for calling or TXTing people you frequently communicate with.


In summary, the HTC One X has excellent support for the most popular social networks integrated through Sense UI, and by bundling clients for the major services, HTC have ensured that this phone is a great fit for users who like to keep their friends in their pocket..

About the author

Hi I'm David, a self employed software developer on the wrong side of 40, residing in Auckland with my wife and two children. I am a passionate All Blacks and Blues fan, gadget junkie, mature aged gamer, and connoisseur of fine heavy metal (and music in general). I currently own an iPhone 4, but am very open to trying new technologies, and can't wait to see what the best of Android can bring to the smartphone table. I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest technological advances in general, and am encouraged to see that the smartphone market is no longer an iOneHorseRace. I’m very interested to see how the HTC One and Ice Cream Sandwich fares in this regard.



TelecomTech's profile

Telecom New Zealand
Auckland
New Zealand


Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

The team will post firsthand reports on using these smartphones on New Zealand's smartphonenetwork. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog. Who knows who might be our next "test drivers"?

   

Catch up on previous Telecom Tech reviews - read about the Nokia Lumia 1020Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Sensation.





Most recent posts

Sony Xperia Z1: The Camera...
The Sony Xperia Z1: initial im...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3: A phone...
Sony Xperia Z1: first impressi...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear...
Nokia Lumia 1020 Social Featur...
Lumia 1020 for Work...
Nokia Lumia 1020: some photos...
Nokia Lumia 1020: my usage...
Nokia Lumia 1020: the phone si...


Posts by category

Android...
HTC One...
HTC One X...
HTC Sensation...
Nokia Lumia 1020...
Nokia Lumia 710...
Nokia Lumia 800...
Nokia Lumia 920...
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Gear...
Samsung Galaxy Note II...
Sony Xperia Z1...