Posts by Joe Levi

Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy". By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video. Read more about Joe Levi here.

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    Comparing a mid-level smartphone to a high-end smartphone isn't exactly what you'd call "playing fair" -- then again, it's not supposed to be. Here's how the HTC Desire 816 stacks up against the HTC One M8. Both devices run Android Kitkat 4.4.2 with Sense UI 6, although certain features found on the One M8 are missing in the Desire 816. Tap-to-wake is missing on the 816, as are the quick gestures to launch the camera. UFocus and Zoe are missing, too. Rounding up software, we doubt there will be a Google Play edition of the Desire 816, but thanks to all the refinements in Sense UI 6, ...

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    The utility of a jumbo-screen without the jumbo-sized price tag, all inside a case that many may confuse with that of an HTC One. The HTC Desire 816 is the mid-range smartphone that looks great, without breaking the bank. We recently got our hands on this gem, and are eager to unbox it for you! We'll be taking the Desire 816 for a drive over the next few days, after which we'll show you how it compares to the other phones you might be considering. Want to help? Drop your comments below! Let us know what questions come to mind as you watch our Desire 816 unboxing video, and tell us what ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our everyday lives. What's inside them that makes them do everything that we need them to do? On this episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about another very important component: RAM -- Random Access Memory -- and how much is really "enough". All about RAM When talking about the memory that goes into our smartphones, tablets, wearables, and even our routers, desktop computers, laptops, and other pieces of hardware that power our digital lives, there are essentially two kinds of memory to talk about. ...

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    OnePlus is a bit "unusual" when compared to other smartphone manufacturers. Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, and even Motorola all make smartphones, just like OnePlus does. Unlike OnePlus, with the others, what you see is what you get. Specifications are debated in board rooms, and phones are cooked up according to a very specific formula. Customer feedback doesn't seem to be much of a concern. OnePlus listens to customers, so why can't larger OEMs do the same? OnePlus Listens OnePlus is a relatively new brand. Sure, we've since learned that OnePlus is very tightly coupled with OPPO, but it's a ...

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    Our phones have to be durable, but exactly how that's accomplished is something that some OEMs are still trying to figure out. The material for the front of a phone is pretty obvious: some sort of glass or hard plastic, though sapphire is a nice option. The back of the phone seems to be the blank canvas upon which manufacturers feel the need to exert their creative juices. Some choose glass. Others pick metal. A few have gone with exotic materials like kevlar or even wood. Many, however, opt for something much more simple -- yet significantly more complex: "plastic". The many names of ...

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    CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and even storage space all seem to be headed in the right direction: more! Thickness and weight are headed in the opposite direction: thin and light. What's stuck in the middle? That's right, your battery. Batteries are interesting things. They store energy, exactly how they do that has evolved over time -- albeit slowly. There are many kinds of energy out there: solar energy, kinetic energy, nuclear energy, potential energy, hydro, wind, heat, pressure, rotational, chemical, and more. No, those aren't all the same "kinds" of energy, but it illustrates that the topic is ...

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    When it comes to smartphones, LG is one of the underdogs. I've personally liked LG since back in the days when I built custom computers for a living. When given the choice, we'd go with an LG optical drive when we needed something good, but the name brand wasn't of paramount importance. Later, I ran the Returns Department for that company. It was my job to take defective products and get them repaired or replaced by whoever made them. LG had a very low return rate, and it was easier than most others when something needed to be replaced. I always kept my eye on LG as it started making ...

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    We live in a day and age where electronic devices are an integral part of our daily routine. What's inside them that gives them the power to do so many amazing things? On today's episode of Pocketnow Power User we're going to talk about the brain that powers your device: the CPU. The Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short, has been around for quite some time, but has changed significantly over the years. Traditionally the CPU has been the "traffic-cop", the component that handles and routes all the commands flowing through the system to the place where they need to go. It's backed up by ...

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    Everyone loves "free", and everyone loves wireless Internet access. Combining the two, what could possibly go wrong? When talking about broadband Internet, we often hear about the cursed "last mile" thrown around. Though it's not necessarily a true mile, the term represents the wiring that connects an individual subscriber to the closest "central office" (or CO). The CO is a facility that takes all the incoming residential, business, and government lines, and connects them to a much faster network, capable of handling significantly more data at much higher speeds. Upgrading the connection ...

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    The Nokia X is a great little device, although it's a bit under-powered compared to what we've become accustomed to recently. It also has a very interesting launcher, and by "interesting" we mean "weird". What would happen if we could put a Google experience onto the Nokia X? Today we're going to do just that! To get started you'll need to root your little Nokia which brings with it a certain amount of risk. If you're the type who is down with that, go ahead and proceed. If you're one of those who values things like a "warranty", perhaps this is all just academic and something you might ...

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    A couple weeks ago we heard the news that Google's Vic Gundotra was leaving the company. Gundotra, one of the key figures behind Google+, brought all kinds of new benefits and features to Google's social network. When word was received of his departure, speculation ran wild. Some going as far as presuming that the sudden departure was due to plans to axe Google+. Since this rumor surfaced there have been other rumors arguably supporting each side. Some debunk the rumor, some tend support to it. The future is always unwritten, but we can speculate and look into the "what-ifs". So let's ask ...

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    We live in a day and age where our phones, tablets, and wearables are an integral part of our regular routine. Metal versus plastic, megapixels, screen size, battery capacity, CPU cores, RAM, storage capacity, and more all get thrown around by marketers when trying to convince us their product is somehow superior to that of their competitor. Sure, all those all important, but what do all the numbers really mean? How does each item on the spec sheet translate into value for your dollar? If you're interested in the nuts and bolts, the hardware that powers your devices, you're probably lost ...

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    Regardless of which OS we run or who makes it, we all love our smartphones. The reasons you opted for the phone that you're carrying are as unique as you are. You have done your research and have come up with the solution that best fits you. Whatever your decision, it's the best fit for you -- regardless of what anyone else says. Alas, the same logic holds true for the person across from you who picked an entirely different phone, for entirely different reasons. Each platform, each OS, each manufacturer, and each model all have their own unique set of advantages that appeal differently to ...

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    Pebble and other small companies are already major players in the wearables niche. Google is prepping for an imminent launch of watches powered by Android Wear. Even Samsung has its Gear lineup. Through all this, Apple has been conspicuously absent. We've suspected for some time now that Apple is getting ready to enter the smartwatch game. Now, thanks to some leaked information, we're starting to piece together a timeline for availability, but more importantly, we could be seeing a shift away from Printed Circuit Boards to a System in Package approach. PCBs and SoCs Printed circuit boards ...

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    Most of you already know that I began my digital life as a Newton guy. To this day my MessagePad 2000U could do things that even the latest smartphones running the most customized ROM still can't do. When it was later rolled back into Apple then killed off, I switched to Pocket PC. It was hobbled together and didn't come close to how well integrated Newton was. Not until Voice Command came along. Instead of a feature, MS Voice Command was a purchased app that you could install on your PDA. This had advantages and disadvantages, but brought with it a whole new way of interacting with your ...

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