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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      Looking at the smartphone landscape, there is a lot to take in. The question of “What phone should I buy” is no longer so easily defined by questions such as “What is your budget?” Time was, if you wanted a phone, you first had to decide in what tier you belonged – the upper, midrange, or lower. From there you could start to define what you’d be looking for in a smartphone such as NFC, camera, front-facing camera, wireless charging, etc. Most importantly, you could start deciding where to cut corners. But the lines between smartphone tiers have started to blur. The high ...

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    Ever found yourself kicking back, surfing the net and just chillin’ – not Netflix and chillin’ - but actually chillin’ and suddenly you find your brains on the floor. Not literally of course, but you come across something that blows your mind and you start to see a lot of implications and possibilities? Well that’s just how I felt when I first came across transparent aluminum. That Star Trek stuff? Yep. That Star Trek stuff. For those of you not familiar with the reference, I’ve included a clip below. Our intrepid crew of the NCC-1701 had just had their ship blown up and ...

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    The CD player is one of those items that you probably have in your car, and if you’re like us, you don’t use. It just kinda sits there. It’s a slash that cuts right through our dashboard which used to be somewhat useful, but hasn’t been used in who knows how long and hasn’t worked in who cares how long. So now that something has finally come along that makes that feature useful, we’re excited. The Innori CD Slot phone mount does just that. We have been using a similar mechanism in our car for some time now. But this particular version by Innori has us intrigued enough to give ...

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    The holiday season approaches and along with it come wish lists for every conceivable holiday that falls in December. So, what better time to take stock of all the brand new flagship phones that are coming out just in time for the holidays. Well, ok, that’s not why I’m here. I’m going to take stock of just two of them coming out for the holidays – the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL. Both of these flagships are hitting the streets right as people are gearing up for some hard core holiday shopping. Don your helmets and flak jackets; Black Friday is nearly upon us. Microsoft is right ...

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    Blackberry released a very intriguing device recently and brought to us something we thought had been lost to the ages. That’s right; Blackberry has revived the vertical slider! Blackberry fans the world over celebrated. But it left some wondering if this physical keyboard really is a thing. The Blackberry physical keyboard is legendary in the mobile field, but the smartphone industry in general has moved on from that. But here comes Blackberry with the Priv, toting a feature that has been left behind for a year now, and in a form factor that was outdated about four years ago. Honestly, ...

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    We are living in a time when every phone has to be the thinnest and the lightest and yet the biggest on the block. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, but things are getting a little silly. More than that, we've entered a time when we are slimming and trimming our phones at the expense of functionality. That could be seen as a distinct backwards step in our smartphone development. Insert obligatory #Bendgate hashtag here. But what OEMs have lost sight of is that bulk and thickness aren't necessarily the enemy here. I've had the opportunity to review a couple of phones that would be ...

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    One of the biggest obstacles to actually getting things done on a tablet is a lack of a keyboard. Sure the software keyboard is large enough you can actually get pretty good at banging things out, but for many of us, nothing beats the feel of a physical keyboard for tablet computing. This is why the Surface Pro is sold with a keyboard. This is why the iPad Pro is sold with a keyboard. But sometimes, you don’t want a keyboard, or it adds unnecessary bulk to your bag – not good for anyone. Enter the LG Rolly keyboard. The Rolly keyboard is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a keyboard ...

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    This isn’t so much of an "Empty Nest" piece as it is a “Why I keep coming back to Android” piece. You see, before these past three weeks, the only real experience I had with iOS was on an iPhone 5C, plus a couple of two-day stints on the iPhone 6 Plus. Well, the 5C is a tiny little baby phone, and two days isn’t enough to really form an opinion on a device, so up until recently, I was missing out. Then I got my hands on an iPhone 6 in order to write my Apple Pay write up, and I decided to try it out for a while. This really freaked out a few friends on mine who remember back to my ...

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    Users of mobile, much like all users of technology, are always concerned about getting the latest and greatest. When it comes to Android updates, this is one of the biggest concerns in a potential smartphone purchase. What is the company's track record when it comes to updates? I know I consider those things. But there are two considerations when it comes to updates: what's coming and when is it going to show up? Consider last year, when Lollipop showed up. Some phones got the Lollipop update before the Nexus line of phones picked it up. There was much consternation. It really wasn’t ...

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    Motorola raised the bar for smartphone OEMs when it released the Droid Turbo 2. A shatterproof screen on a smartphone. Sure, that “shatterproof” claim comes with a hefty disclaimer - “normal use” and all that - but still, the concept of a shatterproof screen it an intriguing one. I walk down the aisle of my train every morning, glancing left and right, and the number of shattered phones I come across is enough to make you cry. So, now that Motorola has released its shatterproof screen, it's up to other OEMs to keep up with the trend. Or is it? Because the shatterproofiness (not a ...

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    The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are both spectacular in so many different ways. Both deliver high quality, performance, and a fabulous camera in a package that is also beautiful. It is, by some standards, the best smartphone of 2015. But there is one small thing that keeps it from being our perfect smartphone. And by "small" we mean that the battery is literally too small to keep this powerhouse running. As we mentioned in our Galaxy S6 review and rebuttal, the battery life on the GSM variant of the GS6 is less than optimal. Actually, we won't sugarcoat it. The battery life is ...

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    Perhaps one of the more underrated features of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile is the slick looking Windows Hello feature that takes biometric authentication to the next level. Windows Hello is poised to start accepting your face, your fingerprint, or your iris and unlock your phone or computer in a blink - No pun intended. Well, ok maybe it was intended. But there are a couple of outside-the-box considerations to take into account when you think about what this really means. First, let's get some of the negatives out of the way. Not every computer is going to have Windows Hello. As a ...

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    Apple and Samsung current sit solidly in the number one and two spots in the smartphone race. It's interesting then that both are attempting to develop technology which would allow something pretty neat. Specifically, both Apple and Samsung are looking at technology that would allow them to move their fingerprint sensors to a new place on the phone. Qualcomm is developing its own technology for the same task. Not the side of the phone and not the back of the phone. Rather, both are looking to move the fingerprint sensor of their respective flagships underneath the touchscreen. The obvious ...

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    Last week, we took a long look at HTC and it's position in the marketplace, which is not all that great. Specifically we took a look at its recent history and identified a few key missteps which may have caused HTC’ s decline. So now, let's see if we can get HTC back on the road to recovery and identify those things that it can do to bring HTC success in the near and far future. We need a hero First and foremost, HTC needs a second high end hero device to compete with the fall lineup of powerhouses that come out every year. By the time that Galaxy Note and the iPhone hit store shelves, ...

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    In a downtown Chicago mall near the corner of State and Washington, you’ll find a pretty unique store. Situated conveniently across the hallway from the Sunglass Hut, Motorola’s new Moto store seeks to bring you more style and more personality than even the flashiest eyewear can bring you. It’s rare to find a store that comes with its own photo booth. It’s even more rare to find a store that dares you to come in and break its product. You’ll find both at the Moto store. Earlier this week, Motorola was kind enough to invite us over for a sneak preview of this unique store before ...

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    Like big brothers, showing off for their middle school buddies, Apple and Samsung have the rest of the mobile world in a headlock administering merciless noogies.  And like the little brothers that LG, HTC, Huawei are, there’s little they can do but take it with a little dignity. But is that necessarily the case? Is there nothing tiny little upstarts like Xiaomi, Meizu, and Motorola can do? Well, I’m not so sure. Last week, we reported some interesting numbers from a few different sources, which painted an interesting picture. Most notably, Apple seems to have hit its stride with ...

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    At a casual glance, the new HTC One A9 looks a little bit like the iPhone 6. Ok, ok, I’ll confess, if you look closely, you’ll see that this phone slightly resembles the iPhone. Ok, well if you get out your slide rule and microscope, you’ll find that they’re pretty much dead ringers for each other. So folks are calling out HTC for blatantly ripping off the iPhone. And hey, they’re not totally wrong. When you put these phones next to each other, aside from the rounded rectangle vs circle home button on the front, these phones are twins. The HTC One A9 comes in more colors, which ...

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    HTC made headlines last week with the introduction of a new phone. Well, sorta a new phone. I mean, it’s new, but it ain’t exactly new, ya know? The HTC One A9 is an iPhone clone which looks almost exactly like an iPhone. Some have claimed this to be a brilliant move – if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em after all. Others have called this the latest mistake in a long history of missteps for HTC, which has led them to the point where it needs to copy the iPhone to try and be successful. I for one wanted to take a look at some of those missteps and see how things went really wrong. ...

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    There is a class of people out there for whom a phone does not need to be pretty, or svelte, or dainty. Things like small bezels, brushed aluminum, sleek exteriors give way to other traits like durability and good old fashioned rubberized toughness. This is the class to which the Cat S40 appeals. This is a class of users who work for a living, who are out on the job from dawn until dusk, and who are going to sweat, work, and sweat some more. These users want a phone that can take a beating and still perform. They want a phone that can fall from a height onto a concrete floor covered with ...

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    The purpose of the Weekend Debate is to look at both sides of the story; to get a true idea about a concept, or two competing concepts and hash it out and see where we all stand about this. We’ve had some really great debates in the past, and I thank you for that. But if I’m going to be really honest with myself, there is one thing that I have not debated. I have taken it for granted that it is great, and maybe that was premature on my part. Wireless charging is a concept that hearkens back to the beginning of my webOS days. I’ve loved it ever since then, but maybe I have been ...

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    This is the third installment in out series of editorials looking at mobile payments. First, we took a look at Android Pay, followed by Samsung Pay. In the latest of our series focusing on mobile payments, we have finally come to arguably the reason why I’m writing this series of articles in the first place – Apple Pay. Apple Pay is not the newest competitor to come to our series – Samsung Pay owns that honor. But Apple Pay is a new kid on the block compared to the Android Pay/Google Wallet consortium that we looked at first. Yes that is an oversimplification of the Android Pay ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come over the years – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that are increasingly awesome for ...

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      In addition to the BLU Energy 2, the 5,000 mAh battery toting beast we reviewed earlier this week, we also had a chance to use a BLU Energy X. The BLU Energy X is a $109 smartphone offering with its own 4,000 mAh battery. Take the BLU Energy 2 – already a low-budget smartphone, pare it down a little more and what’s left is the BLU Energy X. This is not a powerhouse. Not by any means. But it’s not without its merits. The Good Let’s start off by talking about the battery. This phone has a 4,000 mAh battery that keeps on trucking. In 24 hours of use on battery, the phone sat ...

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    For as long as we’ve been involved in the mobile technology industry (check your calendars - it has been a really long time), there has been one constant. Processors, screens, RAM, have all been steadily improving and gaining ground until we’ve reached a level of literally carrying around a computer in our pockets. But the one thing that has remained consistent from the first time we powered on our Pocket PCs has been the necessity for power; as in actual power to make our devices work. That power source hasn’t really changed all that much in a very long time. But as our technology ...

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    Microsoft has a lofty goal in mind, and it is very close to actually accomplishing it. Microsoft wants to bring to its customers the same computer-using experience, regardless of what sized screen you happen to be viewing it on. Its efforts have brought forth Continuum to the Windows 10 Mobile experience, and it’s a pretty sweet ride. Continuum, for those who are not aware, is the idea of using your phone as the CPU of a computer, which is connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. All the functions are actually taking place on the phone, but you’re getting a desktop experience while ...

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