Posts by Brandon Miniman

Brandon is a graduate from the Villanova School of Business, located near Philadelphia, PA. He's been a technology writer since 2002, and, in 2005, became Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow, a then Windows Mobile-focused website. He has since helped to transition Pocketnow into a top-tier smartphone and tablet publication. He's so obsessed with technology that he once entered a candle store and asked if they had a "new electronics" scent. They didn't.

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    Here in the northeastern United States, hurricane Sandy is starting to mess up our hair - and our schedules. Google's big Nexus-centric announcement, originally scheduled for today, had to be pushed back due to the storm, but that didn't stop the big G from dropping the news of the new Nexus 4. For 2013, the Nexus 4 will be Google's pre-emptive answer to flagships Windows Phone 8 devices, other Androids, and even the iPhone 5 and perhaps the one that comes after that. While we have yet to get our hands on the Nexus 4, the pieces have come together to create a device that will undoubtedly ...

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    It's finally here! The first Microsoft tablet, hopefully in a long line of Microsoft tablets to come. The reason why this product is so important is because Microsoft pretty much invented the Tablet PC, and sadly never really did succeed in it by depending on its partners to push it. We're not really sure why it took so long for Microsoft to build their own computer in order to drive their innovation going forward, but we're glad it's here. Now this first version of the Surface runs Windows RT, which is Microsoft’s new version of the OS optimized for mobile processors. What makes it ...

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    Samsung has done it again: they've managed to release a product that will find a home on every major carrier in the US, and many around the world. And not only will it be available widely, but the carriers will have little to no say in how the device looks (save for some added bloatware): all Galaxy Note II's will have, at most, some carrier branding on the back cover, and that's it. The Note II is the successor to the category-defining original Note, which went on to be quite a popular device. It seems that people want a huge screen, even if that means that one-handed usability isn't ...

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    Let's say you already own an iPad. Whether the first generation, second, or third, you might be wondering if you need a second tablet...a smaller tablet. Or maybe you're wondering if you should sell your 9.7" iPad and put it towards the purchase of an iPad Mini. Is that a wise course of action? To answer that question, we must look at what the iPad Mini can do that the larger 9.7" iPad mini cannot. Let's break it down.           One-Handed Usability Unless you've got basketball-player sized hands, the iPad Mini is the only iPad you can hold with one hand. That's ...

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    At last. My complaints of the iPad being too thick and heavy were abated today with the announcement of the iPad Mini. While it would have been nice if the screen resolution wasn't that of the last (now last-last) generation iPad, the thinness and reduction in weight will more than make up for the display being not as crisp as the iPad with the Retina display. Because let's face it: while the Nexus 7 is a fantastic value, the app selection on Android for tablets is still terrible. The app selection on the iPad is fantastic. And with the iPad Mini, thanks to not introducing a new ...

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    The latest entrant into the quad core CPU arena for Android is the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. Qualcomm has a fantastic track record of providing fast and power-friendly CPUs all the way back to the ubiquitous single core Snapdragon QSD8250 found in the HTC HD2. Today, the S4 Pro is starting to show up in the market in the LG Optimus G, and is expected to ship in the Nexus 4 and the HTC DLX. But it faces competition. The Nvidia Tegra3 CPU, found in the HTC One X, the Nexus 7, and a handful of other devices, was the first quad core CPU to ship earlier this year. An update to the Tegra3, ...

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    Dear T-Mobile, I live in a suburb of Philadelphia. It's a highly-populated area, though just a few miles down the road it becomes a bit rural. A couple of years ago, I decided to switch to your network. I liked what you were doing to upgrade to HSPA+, and you had some very affordable plan choices. But my stint on your network didn't last long: I quickly witnessed the downside to being on America's smallest carrier. Coverage in and around town was poor. I would drop down to EDGE often, and whereas on AT&T I would normally have full bars, with you, that just wasn't the case. So, I ...

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    The Android Toolbox is a six part video series covering Android essentials. Whether beginner or advanced, this series will introduce you to interesting ways to customize your Android phone or tablet, methods for getting multimedia onto your device, and even apps to control your home or apartment. For many years now, it's been pretty easy to get multimedia onto your device if you're simply transferring it from your computer. This method is ideal for those that own CD and DVD collections and just want to be able to convert their content to digital so that they can have it in their pocket ...

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    When Apple announced the iPhone 5, they claimed they it had improved battery life over the iPhone 4S. Specifically, web browsing over 3G went from 6 hours to 8 hours. And if this claim was true, it'd be great: for many, the iPhone 4S could get through an entire day of use without needing a charge, so logic holds that the iPhone 5 would perform similarly, plus a bit more. Alas, that hasn't been the case for most iPhone 5 users, many of which are complaining about getting terrible battery life, even after a handful of charge/discharge cycles (which should help to improve battery life over ...

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    There are several indications that Windows Phone 8 will have a trick or two up its sleeve. For one, at all recent Windows 8 product launches (whether for the Nokia Lumia 920 or the Windows Phone 8X and 8S), the OEMs were being particularly shy about letting members of the press have hands-on time with the actual software of the device. In fact, the company rep had to hold the device if you wanted to see past the lock screen. This either means that there is something to hide, or that Windows 8 is missing key features, and Microsoft (and its partner OEMs) don't want people to pass judgement ...

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    Michael and I got some to spend some time with the fine folks at AT&T at a New York City event where the company showcased their fall lineup of devices. While most of them we have seen before, there were some new devices on-hand that were just recently announced. We used the event as an opportunity to play around with some new devices, like the One X+, the One VX, the Lumia 920, and the Galaxy Camera. Check out our hands-on video below, and scroll down for some early impressions. One X+ When we reviewed the original HTC One X, we had several complaints: the camera wasn't that great, ...

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    It sounds nice when you say it: "paperwhite". The new eReader from Amazon is one of the biggest changes to the Kindle line of devices yet. The Paperwhite features a higher-resolution display, which uses capacitive touch, unlike previous Kindles which had a lower-resolution display with a less precise screen input technology. But perhaps the biggest change to the new flagship Kindle is the inclusion of a front-light that, like the B&N Nook Glowlight, causes the screen to "glow" without the harshness of an LED bulb that you might currently be using with a Kindle. The backlight is ...

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    As per the earlier rumors, HTC is indeed making a new version of its One X flagship model. The HTC One X+ adds a faster CPU thanks to a Nvidia Tegra 3 AP37 CPU clocking at 1.7GHz (versus the Tegra 3 clocking at 1.5GHz), a bigger 2100mAh battery (versus 1800mAh), more storage at 64GB (versus 32GB), and an improved front-facing camera. Like the Windows Phone 8x, the One X+ has an amplifier external speaker, which is a great addition for those that want to play music without needing a speaker dock. It will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, along with a new version of HTC Sense called Sense ...

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    Whether you love or hate Apple's iOS operating system, you undoubtedly pay attention to the company's yearly release of the iPhone because it changes the industry for months to come. Some may argue that this industry-changing force has lessened over the years, but make no mistake about it: the iPhone is the phone with which every other phone competes. It's the single most popular phone in the world. The iPhone 5 is not just an incremental update, like the 4S was compared to the 4. It's got a new design, a new CPU, a new operating system, new radios, and even a new connector on the ...

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    Many revere the HTC One X as having the best display on a smartphone: the colors are incredibly accurate and well-saturated, the contrast is just right, and the clarity is extremely high thanks to a solid pixel density. With the release of the iPhone 5 and alleged improvements to the display technology beyond what we got with the 4S, does the One X maintain its position as having the best smartphone display? In this video, we unscientifically compare the two displays of the iPhone 5 and One X and try to determine just which one is better. Which do you think is better? Is there a smartphone ...

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