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Think punch holes are annoying? How about four of them?

Vivo thinks there might be a need for more than one punch-hole cutout in the future.

We saw the first phones equipped with a punch-hole cutout a year ago, allowing manufacturers to ditch a thick top bezel. We’ve since seen pill-shaped punch-hole cutouts on the likes of the Galaxy S10, and now Chinese brand Vivo is thinking about upping the ante.

The smartphone manufacturer filed a patent with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), according to Tiger Mobiles. And the filing shows up to four individual punch-hole cutouts on a single smartphone display.

Images attached to the filing show either a single punch-hole in each corner of the screen, a pill-shaped cutout in both the top left and top right corners (with each “pill” hosting two sensors), or a separate pair of punch holes in both the top left and right corners. Check out the image below for a better idea:

It’s certainly an interesting take on the full-screen display, but it makes you wonder why you’d need more than two selfie cameras in the first place. Heck, I’d say three sensors at a push would be the maximum, accounting for a primary camera, an ultra-wide lens, and a 3D ToF sensor for more accurate depth and AR effects (as well as face unlock).

This is just a patent, so it isn’t necessarily indicative of a future product. We’ve previously seen other smartphone manufacturers file patents for similarly weird ideas too. Then again, what’s weird today might be a major part of the mobile experience tomorrow.

A punch-hole cutout in each corner seems like the least desirable option from a usability point of view though. This solution could potentially create problems with selfie angles (which camera are you supposed to look at?) and holding the phone without obscuring the relevant sensor.

Would you buy a Vivo phone or a device in general with four punch holes? Let us know in the comments!

More posts about smartphones

Android Authority

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The best refurbished phones: What are they, and where can you get them?

Nokia phones

It’s getting more and more expensive to buy high-end smartphones these days. Unless you wait for special sales and promotions, you can end up paying a ton and it’s not uncommon to even break the $ 1,000 threshold. That’s why many consumers are opting for refurbished phones to save some money.

In this article, we will take a look at what the term refurbished phone actually means, and what different companies have on offer. As you’ll see, refurbished phones are actually quite common. But you need to do a bit more research than you might be used to. You want to make sure you’re actually buying what’s advertised.

What are refurbished phones, anyway?

Refurbished phones come with some stigma. The lower prices implies, to some, that there’s something wrong with the phone. You may also have seen refurbished phones presented as “pre-owned,” “renewed,” or “reconditioned”. You might even see an “open box” phone. These are all interchangeable terms describing the same thing.

Read next: Selling a used phone: do’s and don’ts

All of these terms mean that someone previously purchased the phone, then returned to the maker, wireless carrier, or retailer. Most times there was nothing wrong with refurbished phones even before they were “repaired”; the person may have simply decided that they didn’t want it. In other cases, the refurbished phone did have some kind of hardware problem, like a display that popped out or a cracked case. In that case, the phone was fixed and sold again as a “refurbished” item.

But what does “manufacturer refurbished” mean? The difference with a manufacturer refurbished phone is that the repairs that were needed to get it up to “like new” condition were done directly by the original manufacturer, as opposed to a third party. As you can imagine, this is typically preferred but third-party refurbished phones usually are still a good deal. Just shop carefully.

When it comes to refurbished phones vs new phones , there’s really no other difference beyond the fact it was lightly used before coming into your ownership. A refurbished phone should work just like new. It’s not technically a “new” phone anymore, so the term “refurbished” signals that distinction. The person who bought the phone originally may have never even used it. They may have even left it in its original packaging. That’s why refurbished phones can be such a great deal — they’re basically like new, but you get them at a discount.

Here’s what to keep in mind when shopping for refurbished phones

refubrished phone cameras

If you want to save some money by going the refurbished route, you need to keep some things in mind. In fact, you’ll want to do more research than if you were buying a new device.

  • Check for a warranty – If the refurbished phone you want truly has no issues, the smartphone maker or retailer will include some kind of warranty with the purchase. If it doesn’t come with a warranty, there’s a bigger chance something will be wrong with it out of the box.
  • Try to buy one from the company that originally made the phone – Many times, a phone manufacturer will have some handsets that are perfectly fine. The original owner returned them for some unknown reason. They’ll often try to resell them as refurbished phones on their official website. This is probably the easiest way for you to save some money.
  • Always read the fine print – You should do this anyway with any large purchase, but it’s especially important when you’re buying a refurbished phone. A common red flag is a phone marked “as is”. Reading the fine print might reveal that you can’t return the phone or get a refund if anything isn’t working.

What’s the best place to buy refurbished phones? There are actually plenty of places where you can purchase refurbished phones. They include well-known retailers, wireless carriers, and smartphone makers, along with companies that sell refurbished phones exclusively.

Best refurbished phones stores

Editor’s note: We will update this list with more refurbished phones stores as they are launched.

1. Swappa

This online second-hand shop originally only sold tablets and phones, making it a great place to find quality products. These days, the service has become even better by adding gaming, laptops, and VR to the mix. Basically, it’s sort of like eBay, in that there’s a mix of dedicated businesses and individual private sellers that you can negotiate with to find that perfect deal. The big difference is that the seller sets a price and you can simply pay it, or you can request that they lower the price.

Overall, this is a great and trustworthy place to buy from.

2. Gazelle

gazelle logo

This is one of the best places to buy refurbished phones, or at least the best known. They also buy old phones from consumers and fix them to sell, naturally, at a discount. The company says it doesn’t sell these phones unless they are “fully functional” and have been through a 30-point quality inspection. You can also return any phone you buy on Gazelle within 30 days of purchase and get your money back. It lacks a formal warranty, but Gazelle has a solid reputation for offering high-quality refurbished phones at great discounts.

3. Decluttr

declutter logo

The folks at Decluttr want you to sell your old phone, and then possibly buy a “new” refurbished phone from them. The store offers a 12-month limited warranty on all the phones they sell. Also, their refurbished phones undergo a 70-point inspection before they go on sale on its site. Of course, you can sell your old phones and Decluttr may even take them if they are broken in some way. 

4. Amazon Refurbished Phones

amazon refurbished phones

It’s not a shock to learn that Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is also a great place to shop for refurbished phones. Like Gazelle, Amazon buys old phones from consumers, offering Amazon gift cards as payment. It then resells the older phones after testing them and making them both work and look like new. They also come with at least a 90-day supplier warranty.

5. Best Buy

Best Buy logo

Best Buy joins Gazelle and Amazon by offering a trade-in program for consumers to turn in older phones in exchange for Best Buy gift cards. The retailer also sells refurbished phones on its website, along with what it calls “pre-owned” phones. If a phone on Best Buy has that label, it means it is “fully functional with some cosmetic blemishes” and comes with a non-original package with a charger and a data cable, along with a 90-day warranty. A refurbished phone at Best Buy has been “repaired and restored to a like-new state” and also comes with its accessories, along with a warranty.

6-8 Sprint, AT&T and Verizon

Verizon Wireless logo stock image 8

A number of U.S. wireless carriers (including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) sell some refurbished phones, although their selection tends to be pretty small compared to Gazelle, Amazon and Best Buy. However, they are all certified to work like new phones, even if some of them might have some cosmetic blemishes. These won’t affect their functionality.

9. eBay

ebay headquarters Decante

If you are willing to do a little more research, and also more willing to take a risk on merchants that you may not be familiar with, eBay is a great place to check out a ton of refurbished phones. Again, our rules for buying such phones really matter when you dive into the murky waters of eBay. Make sure the phone you are buying has some kind of warranty, and be sure to check out any fine print before spending your hard-earned cash.

10. Samsung

If you are a Samsung phone fan, you might be pleased to know that the company actively sells refurbished Galaxy phones on its website. At a significant discount too. The good news is that Samsung’s technicians have fixed these older phones. And the company offers a one-year warranty, new headphones, and a charger. The bad news is that these refurbished phones are older than the company’s current phones.

So should you consider refurbished vs new? The answer comes down to how you feel about using something that isn’t technically new. As you can see, there are tons of options out there if you want to save yourself some money. You’ll have to do more research to make sure you get a refurbished phone that’s up to your standards. But that may be a small price to pay for the cash you’ll save in the long run.

Android Authority

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8 Problems with the HTC One M9 and how to fix them

The HTC One M9 may have not been a significant departure from its predecessor, but brought with it a further refinement of what we loved about the One M8 and One M7 before it. HTC always has a winner on their hands in terms of design and build quality, with a streamlined software experience allowing for a smooth and snappy performance, along with its signature front-facing BoomSound speakers still being one of the best in the business. While the camera does fall short when compared to its competition, the One M9 is still a great option for those in the market for a classy and elegant high-end smartphone.

That said, the One M9, like any other smartphone or tablet, is not without its issues. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of these problems that users have been experiencing with the HTC One M9, and offer potential solutions on how to fix them.

Disclaimer: Not every HTC One M9 user will face these issues, and it is quite likely that you won’t come across any of the problems listed below.

Problem #1 – Vibration motor is not working

htc one m9 review aa (24 of 34)

A few users have reported that the vibration motor on their HTC One M9 is no longer working, with no vibration when receiving notifications. Lightly tapping the right edge of the device on the back temporarily fixes the problem, but it stops working soon after.

Potential Solution – 

  • From the phone dialer, call *#*#3424#*#* and then tap on Accept. This runs a vibration motor test.
  • If the vibration motor is responding, let it run for a while, up to an hour, and this should fix any future problems.
  • If the vibration motor does not work, the only solution unfortunately is to send the device in for repair or pick up a replacement.

Problem #2 – Double Tap to wake not working and other wake issues

htc one m9 review aa (9 of 34)

Some users have reported that the double tap to wake feature is quite finicky, and not always working as it should. Others have also mentioned that sometimes, the device requires two presses of the power button to wake the device up.

Potential Solutions –

  • Make sure that there are no issues with the G-sensor using the pre-installed Help application. Go to Hardware Misbehaving – Hardware Diagnostics – G-Sensor Test, to test whether it is working, and to calibrate the G-Sensor.
  • Make sure that double tap to wake is actually enabled, by going to Settings – Display and Gestures – Motion Launch. 
  • For those with issues with the power button or double to wake, download an application like Gravity Screen from the Google Play Store, that gives you far better control with regards to turning the screen on or off automatically, without needing to press any buttons or tapping on the screen.

Problem #3 – Significant and rapid battery drain

htc one m9 review aa (33 of 34)

While the general consensus is that the battery life of the HTC One M9 is better than average, some users have reported facing issues with rapid battery drain, draining out in under 9 hours, with only around an hour of screen-on time.

Potential Solutions –

  • In cases with such rapid battery drain, it is a good idea to check what services are using the most battery, as the issue could be related to an app that is syncing continuously in the background. If there is such an app, go to Settings – Accounts and Sync, and turn off these apps.
  • Boot the device in Safe Mode (see instructions below), and if the issue no longer exists, then it is a rogue app. You can either perform a Factory Reset and be careful about what apps you install, or uninstall apps one by one and check if the issue stops.
  • If you’re otherwise unhappy with your battery life, there are a few measures you can take to extend it. Turn off location services as they can be a drain on the battery. Reduce the brightness of the display to a reasonable level. Finally, take advantage of the various power saving modes baked in, as only the Extreme Power Saving Mode severely limits functionality.

Problem #4 – Auto-Rotate not working

htc one m9 review aa (7 of 34)

Quite a few users have faced an issue with the auto-rotate feature not working on the One M9, failing to switch from the portrait to landscape orientation, regardless of which app is being used.

Potential Solutions –

  • This is an issue with the gyroscope. Make sure that there are no issues with the G-sensor using the pre-installed Help application. Go to Hardware Misbehaving? – Hardware Diagnostics – G-Sensor Test, to see if it is working.
  • You can also calibrate the sensor in the menu above, or by going to Settings – Display and Gestures – G-Sensor Calibration.
  • A soft reset might fix the issue, but for most users, this has only been a temporary solution.
  • If this proves to be a hardware issue, the only remaining option is to send the device in for repair, or pick up a replacement.

Problem #5 – Sapphire glass covering the camera unit is cracked

htc one m9 review aa (13 of 34)

Quite a few users have reported seeing cracks on the sapphire glass that covers the camera on the back, even without the device suffering from any accidental bumps or drops.

Solution –

  • There is no real solution here other than to pick up a replacement for the device. These cracks do tend to appear along the sides, and don’t show up in the photos you take.
  • HTC One M9 owners in the US can get a replacement easily and are covered under the “Uh-Oh Protection Plan,” an extended warranty program, but users in other markets such as the UK and India have also reported being able to get replacements directly from HTC or the network carrier for no charge, as long as it is within the regular warranty  period.

Problem #6 – Connectivity Issues

htc one m9 review aa (17 of 34)

Connectivity issues are quite common when getting a new device, and below are the general steps you can follow when facing problems with connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices.

Potential Solutions –

Wi-Fi Issues –

  • Turn off the router that you’re using and the phone, and wait for a while before turning them back on.
  • Go to the Wi-Fi settings on the device and forget the preferred network, before entering the details again from scratch.
  • Check the level of activity on your current channel with the Wi-Fi Analyzer application. If necessary, simply switch to a different channel.
  • Disable Power Saving Mode through Settings. 
  • Find the MAC address for the phone by going into Settings – About Phone and ensure it is recognized by your router.

Bluetooth Issues –

  • Make sure that no power saving mode is enabled.
  • Start by turning the Bluetooth on your device off and back on again.
  • If the problem continues, clear the cache for Bluetooth by going to the Bluetooth Settings.
  • Restart the phone after clearing the data and cache.
  • If the Bluetooth device saves multiple profiles, you might have reached the limit for the number of profiles it can save. Delete old and unused profiles, and try setting up the connection once again from scratch.

Problem #7 – Slow Charging

HTC One M9 review aa battery

A few users have found the HTC One M9 to be charging slower than expected.

Potential Solutions –

  • Keep in mind that while the One M9 comes with Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 fast-charging capabilities, the available charger included in the box does not support this, which might result in you thinking that the device is charging slower than expected. An official fast charger from HTC is available, and there are some good options available on Amazon as well.
  • If the phone is charging slowly, disable any unwanted applications that may be unnecessarily syncing in the background.
  • Press the back button twice when exiting an application, instead of simply tapping “Home”, this closes the app from the background and prevents the excessive drain of power.
  • Don’t play games, or generally use the phone much, when the device is charging, as they require extra processing power.
  • Check the charger cable is working by attempting to charge using another cable, or charging a different device with the same cable.
  • A malfunctioning application could be causing the problem, boot the phone into safe mode and see if it charges faster. This will imply a faulty app. If an application is the problem, perform a factory reset and reinstall apps selectively.

Problem #8 – Overheating

htc one m9 review aa (28 of 34)

While the overheating issues with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor aren’t as rampant as first thought, some users have found the device to be getting uncomfortably warm even when not running any intensive processes.

Potential Solutions –

  • Make sure that your device software is up to date, as a recent update has introduced changes to the power and temperature management systems, that significantly reduces the overheating issues. Keep in mind though that this seems to result in some performance issues when the device does heat up.
  • Using a power saver mode when the device is heating up helps to cool it down faster.
  • If you have a case on, it might help to take it off before doing anything processor-intensive, such as gaming.
  • Let the device cool down for a while when it starts to get uncomfortably warm, before continuing anything you may have been doing.

So there you have it for this look at some of the issues that users of the HTC One M9 have been suffering. If you have struggled with one of these problems yourself, or have experienced something that we haven’t mentioned above, make sure to get in touch through the comment section. We’ll be working to keep this list updated as more solutions and problems appear.


Following are the guides on how to perform some tasks like Factory Reset and booting into Safe Mode on the HTC One M9.

Safe Mode – 

  • Press and hold the power button until you see the power menu pop up.
  • Tap and hold the Power Off option.
  • A “reboot to Safe Mode” option should appear.
  • Tap on the “restart” option and wait for the device to reboot.

Soft Reset –

  • Press and hold the power button when the screen is on, and tap on the Restart option.
  • If the device is unresponsive and the screen cannot be turned on, press and hold the volume up key and power button together for at least 10 seconds, or till the device restarts.

Factory Reset –

  • Turn off the device.
  • Press and hold the Volume Up key, Home button, and Power button, until you see the HTC logo.
  • Select from Recovery Mode menu “wipe data / factory reset” using Volume buttons to navigate and Power button to confirm.
  • Select “Yes — delete all user data” to confirm the whole operation.
  • After that select option “reboot system now.”
  • You can also go into Settings – Backup and Reset and tap on “Reset Phone.”
  • Keep in mind that performing a Factory Reset will erase all your data, so don’t forget to backup anything important you might have.

Android Authority

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