Posts by Adam Doud

Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!

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    I admit, I’m a bit of a fan of Google’s new messaging platform, Allo. I also admit, that I’m not really sure why. After all, it is the fourth messaging platform introduced by Google, and it has some limitations to it – most notably that it cannot be the default SMS handler for Android. But for a 1.0 product, Allo is a pretty strong choice for a messaging platform, and I have tried to incorporate it into my daily life as much as possible. Google’s new messaging platform is built upon the idea that people need to communicate and that communication encompasses a lot of details that ...

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    Now that Google’s messaging platform is complete – or some might argue overcomplete – with its new offerings of Allo and Duo, it’s time to ask ourselves a question. Actually, it’s time to ask a series of questions. Will I use it? If I use it, who will I use it with? Can I get my peeps to use it? Do people still say “peeps” anymore? These are all really important questions, and the Weekend Debate is all about questions, so let’s dive in shall we? Cross the streams One of the great things about Allo and Duo are that they’re both cross-platform unlike some other video ...

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    Earlier this month, we sent two editors overseas to Berlin, Germany for IFA. That coverage was appropriately sponsored by XCom Global. Appropriately, because our two editors were coming from the United States with their United States-based carriers which, if one wasn’t careful, would lead to really high cellphone bills and a hard-to-explain expense report. Fortunately, not only was XCom Global helping us out by sponsoring our trip, but those fine folks also helped keep us connected as well. Now, hold on, this isn’t an ad. Sure we’re thankful to XCom Global for hooking us up – ...

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    I have to admit, I’m not sure where I stand on the whole Samsung phone blowing up issue, and I don’t want to make this sound like a debate, but to be honest, there are going to be a lot of “buts” in this article. This is not a cut and dried issue, not even slightly. If you haven’t been paying attention to life for the past few weeks, you may not be familiar with Samsung’s plight of late. It seems, Samsung phones have started to blow up – most often when charging, but sometimes, not when charging. This all started with the Note 7 and several (read: 35) reports of the battery ...

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    2016 is arguably the year of the midrange phone. This year’s crop of ~$400 phones is spectacular, full featured, and, dare we say it, flagship killers. These phones are so good, we’re comparing them in video. When was the last time we compared a midrange phone to anything? The Moto G two years ago? These midrange phones are getting really great. It’s almost unbelievable what $400 will get you today. Phones this cheap could signal a shift in how the consumer views the smartphone. At 300-400 dollars, you can almost afford to have a workday phone and a weekend fun phone. So, take this ...

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    There is a growing trend in mobile today that seems hell bent on getting rid of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. For those of you not familiar with…sound…the 3.5 mm jack is pretty much the industry standard for headphones. There are some variations here and there, notably in the sound production industry, but for years and decades, if you were listening to audio on a consumer device, it was passing through a 3.5mm headphone jack. Which makes Apple's missing headphone jack something that needs to be talked about, even though we already had this conversation earlier in the summer. We get it - ...

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    Microsoft killed the Lumia star. Ok, so it’s not as catchy as the song that tortured my college days working in a mall kiosk across from the GAP. But the fact remains that the once shining star that was Nokia’s Lumia lineup is likely about to fade from the night sky. At least, this is according to an anonymous (and let’s face it, aren’t they all?) source. You see, Microsoft isn’t just winding down production of the Lumia series of phones. It is ceasing sales of Lumias entirely. I mean how Microsoft will cope with the loss of this financial failure is beyond me. Who knows, the ...

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    It’s Apple’s world, and we’re all just living in it. You see, Apple’s a funny little company. It’s a trait that dates back to its origins, specifically with Steve Jobs. Jobs liked things to be just his, er I mean Apple’s way, and absolutely nothing else was acceptable. As it turns out the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and to this day, Apple’s tradition of exclusivity is as strong as ever. We saw a few examples of this at its announcement. It's Mario! Starting off, Apple made arguably the biggest announcement of the day right out of the chute. Sure, we saw an update ...

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    As much fun as it is to make fun of Samsung’s Note 7 fire issue, this is one area that could have impact to the entire smartphone industry. Samsung has a big fracking problem on its hands, and it needs to be very careful of its next steps. For those not familiar with the situation, let me catch you up. Over the course of the last few weeks, Samsung’s latest flagship, the Note 7, went on sale. Some users reported the phone would burst into flames while charging. Since then, Samsung has issued a global recall of the device, citing faulty battery issues, and has plans to replace every ...

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    One of the fiercest competitors in the midrange space has to be Blu. This plucky little OEM out of Miami is chalk full of surf, sun, fun, and decent phones. The latest to hit the sandy shores is the Blu Pure XR. We have been testing this phone in the Chicago area on AT&T’s network for ten days, and here is what we found out. Hardware The theme of the Blu Pure XR’s hardware is “Sensitivity”, and not in the “long walks on the beach” kind of way. We’ll get to that aspect in a moment, but first, of course you want the juicy stuff. What’s under the hood? Starting off we have ...

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    OnePlus may have been right after all, as Obi Wan would say, “…from a certain point of view.” When OnePlus started playing this game we call “making smartphones” it billed its first device a “flagship killer”. Now, I’m not saying that the OnePlus One killed the flagship – far from it. But the OnePlus One was one of several devices that started riding the rising “good midranger” wave. OEMs like OnePlus, Alcatel, Motorola, Blu, and any number of other OEMs have all started putting out devices that are pretty good and won’t hurt the wallet. Heck, ZTE just put out the ...

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    We are reaching a point in technology where hardware is plateauing. Moreover, devices are getting better and better and staying viable for longer because of it. Last year’s phone is almost as good as this year’s phone. So, we find ourselves not very motivated to upgrade. This has been shown in smartphone buying trends and retention trends for some time now. If we are holding on to our phones for longer, and the hardware isn’t or can’t get much better, OEMs are going to start freaking out in a big way. Apples and oranges Take Apple for instance. Arguably, one of the biggest ...

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    We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “A $99 smartphone? How good could that be?” And trust us, we understand the sentiment. we’ve used $99 smartphones and it’s the kind of experience we wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, including Chicago White Sox fans. And the ZTE ZMAX Pro must be that type of device right? Absolutely, unquestionably, wrong. Not only is the ZTE ZMAX Pro everything a $99 phone should be, it probably doesn’t cost enough. So let’s walk around this puppy and kick the tires in our full ZTE ZMAX Pro review. Hardware The ZTE ZMAX Pro earns its name in ...

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    One of my hobbies is browsing through KickStarter and Indiegogo to see what the brilliant minds of tomorrow are coming up with today. Or maybe that’s the other way around. Anyway. every now and then something grabs my attention for some reason. Of course, that’s the point. But this item, the Superbook is one of those items that someone is making that I’ve been wanting for some time. Or at least, I think I’ve been wanting it, but we’ll delve into that later. Just what is it? The Superbook is a laptop shell that turns your phone into a computer. Now, if you think this is a familiar ...

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    Bluetooth headphones are here to stay, especially considering the industry’s latest trend (or at least threat of a trend) to eliminate the headphone jack from major flagships going forward. Lonovomoto has already done so, and rumors are suggesting that Apple may do the same thing. So, it is up to us, the consumers to adapt to this brave new world in whatever way we can. Fortunately, Mee Audio is here to help, in an unobtrusive, yet stylish way. The Mee Audio X7 Plus headphones are a good combination of size and power that will easily get you through your day. The X7 Plus headphones are ...

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    The Samsung Note 7 made its appearance this week and on board was a spiffy new security measure – the iris scanner. Biometrics are pushing the boundaries of security today, and adding biometric security to a flagship phone targeted toward business is a smart strong move. Which is why Samsung added a fingerprint sensor two years ago. So, Samsung is no stranger to biometric security, and has a pretty good biometric security feature already in place, so what’s with the iris scanner? Adding a second layer of security like this is expensive on a phone that is already just under $100 more ...

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    The next big thing is here, again, and we’re left to bask in the aftermath of Samsung’s second device announcement. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is here, and with it comes some interesting new features, but also an inflated price tag. Don’t get me wrong, the Note 7 is less than $100 more on AT&T than the S7 Edge (a.k.a. Galaxy Note 7 beta), so even a little bit more can be a lot on this phone. S Pen is smarter The S Pen is getting smarter which is pretty cool. Arguably the center of the Galaxy Note experience is this S Pen, so the pressure is on to continue to get the most out of ...

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    BlackBerry is a funny little company. Once a juggernaut in the mobile space, it has since fallen from grace. Overwhelming numbers by Android and iOS pushed BlackBerry down into the dreaded “other” category on most pie charts. Many companies would have silently slipped tail between legs and slinked off, but not BlackBerry, and that’s actually one of the thing I admire about the company. Overwhelming evidence suggests that BlackBerry has hit the canvas so many times, even LL Cool J is saying “Ain’t gonna Comeback”. But here comes Blackberry with another offering – the DTEK50 ...

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    Seeing as how Motorola is kicking off the “no headphone jack” bandwagon, it seemed only appropriate that we cover its answer to the jackless phone – a Bluetooth headset. Motorola recently launched its Verve line of Bluetooth headphones and we wanted to take one set for a test run. We’ve been testing the Verve Ones+ for about a week and here is what we’ve found. Once upon a time, a company called Motorola developed a Bluetooth earpiece called the Hint. The Verve Ones+ seem to be the next evolution of that device. These Bluetooth earbuds are tiny, and truly wireless. They also ...

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    Finding a bargain among carriers is a little difficult. The major players all have their promotions, of course, but then there are a host of MVNOs to consider. One such MVNO is making a bit of a splash in the industry – Krew Mobile. Krew Mobile is offering three phone lines for an introductory price of $19.95 per month. You’re probably thinking, “$19.95 each right? That’s a helluva deal!” but no. It’s $19.95 total for three lines - with a caveat here or there. Krew Mobile is designed for parents and kids in a sort of sharing system. You see, I never said it was three unlimited ...

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    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of giving up your smartphone for a collection of devices. This personal cloud of devices would include a smartwatch, a heads-up display, a battery pack/WiFi device, and whatever else. It would be a personal network of devices, all excelling at what they did individually to make up a collective whole. This is a fascinating concept when you think about it. One of the things I like the most about wearable tech is its omnipresent, but unobtrusive nature – there when you need it, out of the way when you don’t. But it does beg the ...

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    It’s one of those things we often take for granted, but it’s a legitimate question. All too often we are offered the latest smartphones in one, two, or three colors. But what are our favorite colors for a smart phone? That’s what we’re here to find out in a Pocketnow Poll. Our editors have sounded off below, and then we’ll ask your opinion, but first I wanted to take a moment to discuss color and my borderline-sordid history of color. I’ve had a virtual rainbow for smartphones in my time from a magenta (read: pink) Lumia 800, to a Cyan Lumia 900, to a Yellow Lumia 920. I had a ...

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    A couple of life events recently just reminded me of a life lesson that bears repeating every once in a while. It’s a reminder to step back and watch life, rather than trying to record life. In short, put down the camera and stop missing out. Allow me to explain. Dancing through life A couple of months back, my daughter had a dance recital. Now, let’s be clear – this is not Dance Moms. The typical park district run dance recital has very few subtle layers. There’s “incredibly bad, but incredibly cute, so who really cares?” There’s “really, legitimately talented so that’s ...

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    We live in interesting times in mobile these days. Almost everything your smartphone does is mimicked by something else, other than your smartphone. We’re talking about smartwatches, tablets – although those are a bit too easy – and even heads up displays. Everything that your smartphone tells you can be told to you by something else on you or that you’re carrying around with you. Which begs the question – what devices would we need to basically replace your smartphone? Come along with me on this little thought experiment and let’s see if we can come up with something, or ...

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    Way back in 2013, in my first article with Pocketnow, I talked about how Microsoft could climb to the lofty heights of 10% market share.  One of the ways I suggested was to advertise and I cited Microsoft’s already-widespread campaign of product placement. Indeed, since that time and going up to this season finale of Hawaii Five-0, Microsoft has been the phone of choice for Alex O'Loughlin, Grace Park, and their law-enforcing (and sometimes law-breaking) compatriots. So Microsoft must be doing well, huh? Well, I guess that is the difference between enjoying the Windows Phone experience, ...

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