Sony is behind some of the best imaging sensors around, powering some of the top smartphone shooters on the market, from the Galaxy S6 to the LG G4. When we looked at the Xperia Z3, it had one of the better cameras we’d seen at the time … but since then, other phones (like the aforementioned from Samsung and LG) have seriously stepped up their game, finally even surpassing Apple’s long-time imaging lead with the iPhone. The Xperia Z5 has been tested and rated by some as one of the best camera phones around, but can its smaller sibling hold up the family [...]
We already took a first look at Sony’s Q4 lineup at IFA 2015 last month, and while the Xperia Z5 Premium stole the show with its mirrored glass back, top-end specs, and 4K display, the Xperia Z5 Compact was still one of the most popular devices of the event. After all, Sony managed to pack most of the same powerful internals into the smaller frame, with a slight downgrade in RAM and screen resolution (2 GB and 720p, as opposed to 3 GB and 4K). The same Snapdragon 810 SoC and Android 5.1.1 software are present in the Z5 Compact, all while retaining a tiny frame and a 4.6″ [...]
Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone 6s, is its fastest, most powerful compact phone yet, but with it being an iterative S-year model, is it worth upgrading from last year’s iPhone 6?
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 are almost completely identical from an aesthetic standpoint. Both have the same wide-radius corner, aluminum unibody design, but the 6s makes some minor differentiations with an S logo in place of the typical regulatory markings, and a new rose gold color option. The software is nearly the same with iOS 9 on both, though the 6s introduces a few new features like [...]
The S cycle is an interesting part of the iPhone buying experience. Since 2007, Apple has introduced at least one new iPhone every year, but only half of them are redesigns. The other half … are reimaginings. Improved takes on tried-and-true existing hardware. These takes are never the most exciting phones, but they’re always the ones worth buying.
This year, that reimagining means a new software revision, improved camera optics, and even a new way to interact with the screen. It may not be revolutionary, but this might just be Apple’s biggest evolutionary update [...]
We already went hands-on with the Zenwatch 2 a few weeks ago, and not much has changed with the watch or our impressions since then, but it’s important to know that there are multiple versions, and we’ll be testing the baseline model — meaning a bigger display, and a texturized rubber watch band. The build quality is surprisingly solid given the Zenwatch’s relatively low cost, starting at $129, and if you don’t like the stock band, you can swap it out effortlessly thanks to the quick release pins.
Possibly the biggest appeal of the Zenwatch 2 is its price [...]
We’re coming up on the end of the flood of new devices for the year, but of course, late September can only ever mean one thing: iPhone time. Apple unveiled its latest additions to the iPhone family, the 6s and 6s Plus, earlier this month, and now we have them both in hand. We already unboxed the larger 6s Plus yesterday, and now we’re freeing the smaller model from its shrink wrap holding. Aesthetically, not much seems to have changed from last year, but the internal components are a whole different story, and we’re excited to start seeing the effects of improvements [...]
With Google finally setting a date and sending out invites for an event just a week from today, the new Nexus phones (Yes, phones, plural!) are almost upon us. We’re expecting one from LG and one from Huawei, and despite various hardware leaks we’ve been reporting on, we really don’t know all that much about the phones yet. The photos we’ve seen have mostly been of the typical “Mr. Blurrycam” fashion, and most will agree that the devices we’re seeing look like early prototype builds, but all will be revealed next Tuesday. In the mean time, we [...]
We’ve been reporting rumors and speculating for months, and now we finally have hands-on video of the BlackBerry Venice — irrefutable proof confirming a device that’s had the media’s practically undivided attention for weeks. Finally, a BlackBerry phone running Android. Michael even wrote a piece touching on why the Venice might be his next phone, but amidst all of the excitement, I always end up feeling like I’m the only one not interested in owning one.
I should probably start by mentioning that I’ve never owned a BlackBerry device before (though [...]
They’re poised to make one of the next Nexus phones later this month, and if there’s anything Huawei has proven it’s good at, it’s hardware. We briefly touched on the phone’s design at IFA 2015, and it’s still gorgeous and terrifically well-made. The chamfered edges lining the aluminum chassis convey a premium look and feel, and round out the sides to make it feel super comfortable to hold. The 5.5” AMOLED display isn’t the sharpest thing we saw at IFA, but at 1080p it’s still more than good enough for most people. There’s a 13 MP camera and LED flash around back, and sitting [...]
Remember when the Galaxy Nexus came out with the first 720p display on a smartphone, and we couldn’t believe such a high resolution could make its way to a handheld device? Those were simpler times. We’ve since standardized 1080p on most modern smartphones, and even QHD (some call it 1440p or 2.5K) is becoming prevalent on flagship devices like the Galaxy Note 5 and the Moto X Pure Edition. Earlier this month at IFA 2015, Sony announced the first 4K smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium, with an absurd 806 ppi over a 5.5” display … but what do you even do with all of that resolution? Well, [...]
Every year, we see a new version of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS, coming out right around the same time as the new iPhones. That time this year has finally come with the consumer release of iOS 9, just in time for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to drop next week, and the new software brings with it quite a few new features for those coming from iOS 8 and below.
Siri has been updated with a more elegant design and better contextual queries. Maps now offers public transit information. Notes supports drawing and folders now. There’s a back button to return to apps [...]
We’re hitting a point in mobile technology where flagship smartphones seemingly need to come in pairs; where manufacturers have foregone the idea of a “one size fits all” device, instead focusing on making two different sizes for two different kinds of people. The regular user, the one that’s perfectly content sacrificing some minor specifications in exchange for a phone that fits perfectly in their hand … and the power user that demands every last spec, every inch of screen that can be crammed into their smartphone of choice.
Earlier this year, the Galaxy S6 edge made [...]
“Android fragmentation.” Two magical words that can boil the blood of any hardcore Android enthusiast. Words that paint the picture of an endlessly branching family tree of different phones with different software interfaces and different features, all falling under the same blanket term, “Android.” Fragmentation has long been a criticism of the Android platform, raising concerns of slow updates and confusion amongst consumers, but maybe it’s time for Apple users to finally start facing the same troubles.
It feels like every year that we write this [...]
Google Fi is an interesting thing. For the uninitiated, Google Fi (formerly known as Project Fi) is a new wireless carrier straight from the search giant itself, pairing Sprint and T-Mobile coverage together with fairly competitive rates, and one great philosophy: don’t pay for what you don’t use. In essence, you choose a data plan at the start of your service (every 1 GB = $10), and come time for the bill, you’re credited back what you don’t use — right down to the dollar. Best of all (at least, for me), here’s the real kicker: data use overseas comes at [...]
IFA 2015 was a show for smartwatches. The Gear S2 took the press by storm with its beautiful design, rotating bezel, and new and improved Tizen operating system. The Moto 360 and Asus Zenwatch got updated hardware, and Huawei showed off their own Android Wear smartwatch. LG updated its Watch Urbane with a new, limited run gold edition called the Luxe, and Alcatel OneTouch unveiled its waterproof, dustproof Go Watch with a four-day battery. But for all the strides smartwatches made at the Internationale Funkausstellung (that’s longhand for IFA), there were virtually no new [...]
It’s going to happen, again and again. It has to happen. Today, Apple executives unveiled the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus at the company’s annual keynote, and just as the rumors had suggested, one of the biggest changes made to the new smartphones was the addition of Force Touch — or rather, 3D Touch. Apple went on to showcase some of the practical uses of 3D Touch, from accessing additional menus, to previewing images and emails, to creating new ways of interaction in mobile games. Of course, as is always the case with Apple news, Android users are taking to the social feeds [...]
IFA 2015 has come and gone, and now members of the press are making their way home from Berlin, Germany, including our own Hayato Huseman and Michael Fisher. We’ve been bringing you as much content as possible to give you an idea of what IFA had in store this year, and what new gadgets you’ll have to look forward to in the coming months … but what were some of the best mobile-related devices we saw there? Some of the best product categories? The best experiences? What was the best of IFA 2015?Smartwatches
Ask anybody that attended; this year’s IFA was [...]
It may not be a new Nexus just yet, but Huawei is starting IFA off strong with some impressive new hardware. The Ascend Mate S is the company’s latest flagship device, packing high-end specs into a finely constructed aluminum unibody enclosure. The 2.5D Gorilla Glass 4 display should be quite resilient to scratches, and the phone feels smaller than its 5.5″ 1080p display would suggest, thanks to slim bezels.
Huawei made repeated comparisons to the iPhone in their presentation of the Ascend Mate S, and were proud of the phone’s ability to charge twice as quickly [...]
If the Galaxy Note 5 and its S Pen aren’t quite your style, maybe a dual edge will do the trick. It’s easy to just call the S6 edge+ a blown up Galaxy S6 edge and call it a day, but is that really the case? Well, in a lot of ways, yes.
The design, while bigger, is nearly identical to the original S6 edge, with the trademark curved glass on both sides of the screen, and the same all-glass and aluminum casing. It’s fragile, sure, but the S6 edge and edge+ are some of the best-looking handsets around, and despite having ultra-thin sides to hold on to, the edge+ is still reasonably [...]
To call it controversial would be an understatement. The Galaxy Note 5 is gorgeous, taking from the design of the Galaxy S6, and expanding upon it with a curved back for improved ergonomics, and of course Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The 5.7” QHD AMOLED display is among the best we’ve ever used, and the bump up to 4 GB of RAM on top of already unprecedented specs make the Note 5 one of the most powerful and attractive handsets currently on the market. But this time around, there’s no longer support for microSD expansion or a removable battery, two things that until now have been hallmark [...]
If you’re one of the many users who enjoy the size and power of the Galaxy Note series, but don’t care one way or the other for the S Pen that comes with it, Samsung thinks it may have just the answer you’re looking for. When the company unveiled the Galaxy S6 edge back in April, we were captivated by its dual edge display, but is this new phablet just a blown up version of the same phone we’ve had for months?
Well, that’s what we intend to find out, as we begin our coverage of the Galaxy S6 edge+, alongside the Galaxy Note 5 unveiled at the same [...]
Just as Apple has famously overused words like magical, innovative, and revolutionary when describing its own products, Samsung is pretty fond of calling its flagship handsets each year “The Next Big Thing.” While that’s usually a marketing slogan reserved for its tremendously successful Galaxy S series, this year’s Galaxy Unpacked event may have been a better time to break out that boisterous title. Not only did we see the Galaxy Note 5 this Thursday morning, but Samsung also introduced the Galaxy S6 edge+, a phone that’s even bigger than the syllable [...]