htc one

I’ve always liked these kinds of stories on other tech blogs — i.e., what gadgets nerds use on a daily basis — as it gave a “bottom line” that individual reviews of products on loan can’t give. So today I’m sharing what I use and carry, and why.

Smartwatch: Pebble, Moto 360

The Pebble is a great device. Its super solid in a way that Apple is known for; it does what it’s supposed to and it does it well. There are lots of interesting watch faces for it, the battery lasts for days, and it’s good for monitoring notifications and incoming calls. The main downsides are that it’s not particularly attractive or comfortable to wear. The screen has no color and is very low resolution.

I also recently got the Moto 360. A review will go up this Monday or the following Monday, depending on how the weekend goes.

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The HTC One is one of Android’s best phones — it came second in our list of recommended flagship phones — and it is now available for Windows Phone. Windows Phone 8.1 is a mature platform and mostly on par with iOS and Android, and now it also has top notch hardware. The HTC One for Windows Phone is cheap too at $100 on contract in the US.

Unfortunately, it won’t be enough. This fair review from the Wall Street Journal sums it up best:

In the smartphone market, people tend to join in the biggest crowds. By the time Microsoft got its act together, the masses had chosen sides between iPhones and Android phones. For most, a switch would be like being uprooted from a comfortable home for a comfortable home across the street—it just isn’t worth it.

Microsoft probably has only two plays left before Windows Phone is dead for good. Maybe three: making Windows Phone free, utilizing apps from Windows 9 “Threshold” and waiting for web apps to become mainstream. But really it’s just two.

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Recently, an angel investor asked me to provide advice to a start-up in which he was the sole investor. I researched the space and came to the meeting with a hypothesis on why they weren’t doing well: the product was bad; they scaled too quickly, at one point with 50 people at the company; tried to do too many things, etc.

The founder, investor and I met up at Starbucks and after a couple hours discussion, the investor shocked the entrepreneur and me by declaring that — based on what he just heard — he’s going to liquidate the company. Wow! He later clarified with me that he was already thinking it, and wanted to get my input before he made a final decision.

I just hope I don’t cross paths with the entrepreneur…or if I do, to make sure there are plenty of witnesses around in case he decides to take violent revenge!

I share this story because something in the news about HTC’s new business unit, HTC Creative Labs, which created apps like the ZOE on HTC One, caught my eye.

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