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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    Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I’m a huge proponent of wireless charging, or inductive charging. In the world of mobile it is one of those things that just feels like using the future. It’s so cool, and so convenient, it really perks me up just thinking about it. Just plop your phone down on a pad, or a table and you’re juicing up. The convenience of it is incredible. It’s even easier than reversible connectors like lightning or USB-C connectors because it doesn't require a second hand. When you have kids, a second hand is not something to be taken for ...

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    USB Type-C is one of those much-anticipated concepts that has finally made it to the masses - including (finally) me! I just picked up a Nexus 6P and I find myself needed to make a little bit of an adjustment in my charging habits. One of the most attractive features of the USB Type-C connector is the it is reversible. No more cable acrobatics just to find the right way to give your phone some juice. This is a priceless innovation that has been highly sought after for some time. Those who have used recent Apple devices have gotten a taste of this concept with the lighting connector, which ...

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    Smartphones are made up of a whole bunch of pieces put together like the best Tetris game ever. Sometimes an OEM will cut a corner or two to drive down costs, or make a design element more feasible. Often, that results in a phone that is less-than-perfect in one or more area. But which area? That's the great question. Since we're all - reader and editor alike - firmly embedded in mobile, we're probably a good crowd to ask. The answer is quite subjective, but who better to poll than us? So I asked our editors and then I'll as you, what are the features that every good smartphone needs? ...

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    There is more to tech than just mobile. There is a ton of technology out there that has nothing to do with mobile, or is only tangentially related that interests us. We write and create content for Pocketnow, but it's not like we don't have interests outside of mobile. There are some really cool gadgets out there and darn it, we like 'em. So for the space of an editorial, we're gonna let our editors cut loose and talk about some of the stuff they dig that you won't necessarily read about there. Then, we invite you to chat in the comments about the non-mobile tech that you are into. ...

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    Modular phones are becoming a thing. Or so LG hopes. One of the most popular modular phones of later has been Project Ara, Google's modular device that will have a Lego-like structure of swapping out components that are sold out of lunch wagons. I’m not even making this up. This is an interesting concept since it adds two things to your phone which cannot normally be added - longevity and ease of repair. LG's modular design adds a new dimension to the equation - expandability. But the question is, are those things that the modern smartphone needs? Or is the concept of the modular phone ...

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    Ask any platform, you know, if it could talk, and it would tell you that ecosystem is key to survival. Having the apps that people need in order to function is vital to the ability of a platform to sustain itself. After all, if a phone, tablet, or even a computer can’t do what people need it to do, people will go elsewhere. This is a bit of a no-brainer – not new information at all. Which led to the question – what vital apps are actually required for an ecosystem to be viable? What apps are needed in order for a customer to plant her flag and claim it as her own? We asked our ...

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    Warranties fall into that category of “things you don’t think about until you need it”. At the end of the day, it’s nice that if your phone stops working in a short period of time, you can contact the company who made the phone and get some kind of satisfaction – most of the time. But every now and then, those warranties turn out not so great. Maybe there is an issue with your phone that isn’t covered or maybe the factory is swinging and missing on basic warranty service. Either way, suddenly that assurance isn’t so reliable. Then, there’s the other side of the coin – ...

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    We talk about phones here a lot. No kidding. We really do. I know you’re shocked. But, we really do talk about phones a whole ton. And it’s often about the newest and latest gadget coming out that does everything superbly well. We also field a lot of questions here at Pocketnow and one of the most common questions we here is, “should I get this phone or that phone?” It got us to thinking, why are you buying a new smartphone at all? We used to think that people got new phones and upgraded their gear on a two-year cycle. This was consistent with the two-year contract cycle that many ...

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    Talking to my phone is probably one of my favorite things to do with it. Asking my phone's voice assistant to perform tasks such as giving me the weather, texting my wife, or looking up information is pretty cool, and so much more convenient than doing it “the old fashioned way.” What I mean is, launching an app from the app drawer, or typing I-L-L-B-E-H-O-M-E-I-N-2-0-M-I-N-U-T-E-S. People do crazy stuff on phones these days, and talking makes everything so much easier. So why don’t more people talk to their phones? I’ve asked that question and decided to delve. Childlike wonder ...

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    Galaxies keep getting bigger while the Notes stay the same. Samsung basically has two flagships – the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note. But recently with the emergence of the Galaxy S7 Edge, worlds started to collide a little bit. But, to be fair, this is only after Samsung decided to muddy the waters a bit. Samsung took its successful Edge phone to the phablet stage with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and released it along side its main phablet offering – the Galaxy Note 5. Then, this past spring, the Galaxy S7 Edge came out and it wasn’t too far away from the Galaxy S6 Edge plus in size or ...

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    Yesterday, we talked about specifications and how, at least in the current three flagships that are on the market, specifications really don’t matter any more. Today, we’re going to talk about price, and what comes along with that price tag you pay for the top tier phones of today. We decided to look back over the last 366 days and see what phones had been released and what their prices were. Then we looked at what each had to offer for that price you paid. Our recent review of the iPhone SE left us in a bit of a tizzy – what is this phone, anyway? Is it a flagship? Is it a ...

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    Every year, OEMs put out newer and better phones. Of course they do. What’s the point of a new generation if it’s not better than the last, right? But some OEMs, notably Apple, have taken to using more vague descriptors of their smartphone components. They say things like “all day battery life” or Apple’s famous “retina display”. The problem with descriptions like this is they are either highly subjective, or they don’t really mean anything from a specification standpoint. But here’s the thing. We are fast entering a world where most flagships are going to have basically ...

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    There has been an explosion in VR and AR headsets over the past few years. There was a time we talked about Oculus and not a whole lot else. Then at CES, I saw an entire section of the show floor dedicated to VR. Everyone and their mother was coming out with new VR, or developing for VR. Later, Samsung had a press conference that was dependent on VR. LG has a VR headset. The HTC Vive is out and shipping. VR is everywhere, from $30 Google Cardboard to $3000 Hololens headsets. Despite all of this one player – one notable player- has been absolutely silent in this category – Apple. It’s ...

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    A couple of years ago, Google and Apple both unveiled their latest mobile operating systems. No, I don’t mean mobile as in phones, I mean mobile as in cars. Since then, there has been a steady increase in adoption by auto manufacturers who are bringing this tech to the road. Last year, only a few car manufacturers were able to bring Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay to their vehicles. This year, the list is much longer, and so it will go until not having a connected vehicle will be the exception rather than the rule. Connected vehicles are coming, do not doubt. This is both a blessing ...

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    One of the least talked about things on a smartphone is its audio output. Don't get me wrong, people do talk about it. But compared to camera, battery life, and other considerations, audio output is one of those "nice-to-haves" rather than a necessity. Sure, we love our front-firing speakers, but at the same time, we'll happily accept a rear or bottom firing speaker if the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. We might ding it in the review with a sentence or two, but that's about the extent of it. OEMs have started to push superior audio in some of their smartphones. Deals with companies ...

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    Apple just got done introducing its latest iPhone, the iPhone SE and since we can’t let the rumor mill go silent for even a minute, let’s talk about the iPhone 7, shall we? More specifically, a lot of rumors have been pointing at the possibility of the iPhone 7 having an edge-to-edge bezel-less display. Of course, the actual definition of “bezel-less” is a little on the fuzzy side. Some have said that the bezel-less iPhone will have a curved glass display that will fall off on the edges, not dissimilar to the Galaxy S7 Edge. The primary difference is that the iPhone would not have ...

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    One of the biggest problems in mobile technology today is the battery life of our phones. A much as our technology has increased, idyllic battery life remains an elusive unicorn. Most phones set the bar at 16 hours, which is one day, minus sleep time during which you can charge. But really, isn’t that just an awful goal? If that were the minimum standard for battery, ok, I’ll grant you that. But setting the bar for “good” battery life at a single day should never be the rule. Of course there are phones that boast much more than that. I’ve recently been testing the Blu Energy X ...

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    Now that Build 2016 has come and gone, it’s time for us to think about where Microsoft is in terms of the stuff we care about – mobile. Specifically, Windows 10 Mobile and the smartphones on which it runs. Granted, Build is a developer’s conference; it’s not a consumer show. There was a lot of code talk that made my eyes glaze right over, but Build isn’t for me. It’s for developers, and that’s exactly the most important point to keep in mind. Because, aside from holding some hardware in their hands, the speakers at Build 2016's keynote didn’t really acknowledge Windows 10 ...

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    There’s an old saying that goes, “it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” And if that was going to be the crux of my argument, this article would already be over. But the fact remains that you and I have a pretty expensive hobby in smartphones and especially flagships. So, if it’s only worth what someone will pay, then we’re clearly all willing to pay quite a bit. But then these tear-downs come out and we find out just how much it actually costs to build these phones from a physical component perspective. Often the cost is 1/3 of the retail price of these units, ...

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    Regardless of how much technology has advanced, nothing is as comfortable and familiar an input device as the pen and paper. It’s something we’ve been doing since we were kids and it feels so natural, it has never been adequately replaced. Microsoft, Apple, and a virtual cornucopia of other stylus manufacturers have tried to replicate this experience on mobile devices for years. Some have come close, but haven’t crossed that last hurdle. And yet, there remains a strong demand for the ability to write things down but still have them stored digitally for later review. This is the gap ...

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    Last week, an item came across our news desk which started the little hamster in my brain a-runnin’. Congresswoman Jackie Speier wants to close the “burner phone loophole” and require cheap, prepaid phones to be registered at the point of sale, which is sure to upset Hollywood scriptwriters throughout the entire city. Essentially, these low-cost, pre-paid cell phones would no longer be anonymous devices to be thrown casually into the trash after mocking local law enforcement. Rather they’d be a CSI: Cyber dream come true as they would all have a name, and presumably Social ...

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    If you’re a Windows 10 Mobile fan, you may have received a bit of a shock last week when Microsoft announced the first wave of devices that would be officially getting their Windows 10 Mobile update. Actually, that wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that there wasn’t going to be a second wave. That’s right Microsoft fans, what you see is what you get. There were some notable exceptions left off this list, including the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 920, and the Lumia 930. Interestingly enough, the Lumia Icon, which is basically the Lumia 930 in a bright red Verizon candy shell ...

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    Funny thing about being at the top. There’s a lot of different ways you can fall. In the business world it’s even more harrowing because if you are at the top of your game, and you don’t get better, you are considered to be failing. Imagine if you are doing anything better than anyone else in the world, and then one day, someone complains that you haven’t gotten any better and everyone suddenly hates you. That’s a rough gig, no matter who you are. Samsung’s case isn’t exactly like that. It has been sliding for a couple of years now.  And by “sliding” I mean “making ...

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    If you’re like me, you got some great and not-entirely unexpected news at MWC – The Edge is here to stay. Samsung unveiled its fourth generation of edge-bearing phone. This is definitely becoming a thing. We’ve written in the past that the edge of the Edge might not be worth the additional cost, but it has been around this long. It seems like Samsung is making it a thing. So now we ask the next logical question – now what? Software First, we are starting to see a lot of software capability for the Edge screen. The original Note Edge had an ecosystem of apps and toolbars dedicated ...

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    Samsung returned to a fine tradition of water proofing/resisting with its latest flagship phones. Both the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge carry a slightly improved IP68 rating than the Samsung Galaxy S5’s IP 67 rating and the Galaxy S6’s IPGotNothin’ rating. So Samsung dropped water resistance and then returned, presumably due to consumer demand, new technology, or both. Now that I can go geocaching with my brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (you know, when I get one), I started to wonder about another Galaxy sibling – the Active. Now that the Galaxy S7 has a bigger battery and water ...

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