Posts by Michael Fisher

Michael Fisher has followed the world of mobile technology for over ten years as hobbyist, retailer, and reviewer. A lengthy stint as a Sprint Nextel employee and a long-time devotion to webOS have cemented his love for the underdog platforms of the world. In addition to serving as Pocketnow's Editorial Director, Michael is a stage, screen, and voice actor, as well as co-founder of a profitable YouTube-based business. He lives in Boston, MA. Read more about Michael Fisher!

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    Updated with high-quality audio cut below. Enjoy! Getting back on the horse. Getting back into the groove. Getting the warp core back on-line. However you phrase it, getting back on-track is exactly what we're doing on this week's podcast, settling back into the studio chairs after over a week in Barcelona handling the hottest mobile technology (and podcasting from unconventional venues). On this week's episode, we're paid a special visit by someone we've heard from before – but he's fresh from his very first Apple experience and full of not only Apple Watch knowledge ... but new ...

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    As recently as last week, the phrase "virtual reality headset" was, for me, a guaranteed ticket to a midday nap. I'd grown up amid the fizzle of projects like Sega VR and Virtual Boy; I'd seen several variations on more modern smartphone-powered visors; I'd tried out an Oculus headset. While I enjoyed the latter experience, I also forgot about it pretty quickly. With its ungainly hardware, nausea-inducing graphics, and limited mass adoption, VR has never topped my list of fun things in tech. So when HTC brought us to Barcelona for a briefing on its new virtual reality device, I ...

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    In January of 2007, I owned a touchscreen smartphone that let me surf the web, navigate the streets of my city, communicate via threaded SMS, and silence my ringer with a single switch. No one really cared. Then Apple announced a smartphone that could do all the same things, and the world went crazy. In January of 2010, tablet computers were a decade-old reality. High-end laptop manufacturers offered convertible variants of their standard notebooks, almost all of which ran modern, powerful operating systems like Windows 7. Then Apple came along with its own take on the tablet: ...

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    Mobile World Congress 2015: an iterative flagship smartphone and a reimagined one. A handheld intelligent object and a new midranger from a very old brand. And enough wearable releases to completely cover your forearms in technology. But mainly ... we just talk about the Vive. That’s right: against all odds, a room full of former virtual reality skeptics is rendered screamy-excited by a demo of HTC’s new VR headset – and one longtime MWC veteran even goes on the record to say that the HTC Vive is the most exciting product he’s ever seen at the show. We’ll talk about that, plus ...

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    The Star Trek franchise hasn't always been known for its excellent gaming offerings, and the past few years have been especially thin. With the notable exceptions of licensed property Star Trek Online and indie bridge simulator Artemis, Trek fans have largely had to muddle through with the occasional licensed movie tie-in (the most recent of which was universally panned). And that's just on the desktop; the situation in mobile has been even worse. Given Star Trek's historic influence on mobile technology, this is a pretty sad situation – and it's one that developer Disruptor Beam ...

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    There’s a thing that happens at mobile trade shows ... we'll call it "time evaporation." Like Bloc Party, you make plans for good times, only to get bogged down and distracted – by videos. And articles. And all the work involved in bringing you all the news that’s fit to leave the beautiful bastion of Barcelona during the tumultuous to-do that is the Mobile World Congress. And this is how the best laid plans of pods and casts go awry. But somewhere in there, you remember that two and a half years ago you made a promise: you said you’d never miss a single week of your recurring ...

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    For the third year in a row, HTC is kicking off the Spring season with a smartphone called the One. And for the third year in a row it’s an aluminum powerhouse built to make the world take notice. The company brought us to Barcelona for some HTC One M9 hands on time, and we've come away with some first impressions on the world's next metal-encased Android flagship. HTC One M9 Hands On   Hardware HTC cited the Porsche when explaining its approach to building the One M9, drawing a parallel to small iterations on a successful design. The company also said it wanted to strike a ...

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    After over two years on AT&T, Michael Fisher recently made the switch to T-Mobile US for his personal smartphone account. This is the second in a series of posts about the experience. (For those who prefer to start at the beginning, part 1 is here) • It's not T-Mobile's fault that its network failed at precisely the moment the Pocketnow Weekly podcast needed it the most, but it sure didn't help ease my transition to the "Uncarrier" lifestyle. Regular Weekly listeners know what I'm talking about: during the recording of episode 135, a score of technical issues struck our weekly ...

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    We called the first LG G Flex "the smartphone of the future," and our soft spot for it has endured ever since we reviewed it in 2013. As much as we enjoyed our time with it though, it was clear from day one that the curvy ergonomic conundrum was never destined to be a mainstream hit. It was expensive, it had a very lackluster display, and it was so big in the hand as to seem almost hilariously oversized at times. With the G Flex 2, LG slims everything down. It’s smaller in every way, and lighter too. The industrial design is more modern, the build quality is better, and the fit and ...

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    Updated with high-quality audio cut and new timecodes! Enjoy the last pre-Barcelona episode of the Pocketnow Weekly! A new Samsung smartphone with some flashy new features. A new HTC flagship prioritizing premium build quality. A slew of new wearables for the new year. Call us crazy, but it's almost like we've been here before. In addition to the usual news of the week and the torrent of pre-MWC leaks, though, we are indeed bringing you something special: a guest from the land known as Greenbot. While we've hung out with her plenty of times before, this'll be our first combined device ...

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    If the BlackBerry Passport is "not your grandfather's BlackBerry," then the BlackBerry Passport AT&T edition is ... not ... your cousin's, either. That analogy didn't really work out for us, but this unboxing and first-impressions video sure did! That's right: after literally months of fielding comments, tweets, emails and voicemails wondering why we weren't paying BlackBerry its proper due with a Passport review, we finally caved and picked up a BlackBerry Passport sample device. (It wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of the good folks at AT&T, either – so ...

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    "This might be my next phone." That's how I wrapped up our hands-on coverage of the LG G Flex 2 at CES 2015, and I meant it so hard. It was the tamest quote I could come up with after spending an hour with the curvaceous crimson smartphone, which seemed poised to finally catapult curved construction from obscurity to the mainstream. I'd spent weeks with its predecessor back in 2013, whose principal shortcomings were its oversized footprint and its lackluster display – and it took only minutes with the G Flex 2 to see how well those issues had been addressed. It took six days ...

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    Last week, we asked you to hit us with your best questions about the LG G Flex 2. We wanted to know, before we dropped our G Flex 2 review, the things you were most interested in learning about LG's newest curved slab of self-healing smartphone. We considered it both an exploration of a new way of engaging with our readers, and a dry run for a similar video we're planning for some of the devices launching next month at MWC. Well, it turns out that most of the questions you most want answered are already addressed in our full review template (our video review is up now, with the text ...

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    From review units to concession devices to press samples, we get a lot of demo products at Pocketnow – so many that we can’t always get around to covering them during the work week. But that's what the weekend is for, right? Introducing Swag Bag Sundays: quick videos giving you a quick look at some of the accessories that cross our review desk. Today we’re taking a look at a wearable that charges your gadgets while it carries them: the TYLT Energi+ backpack, sent to us by ZTE after our visit to the company's booth during CES 2015. With 13 total pockets, a laptop compartment ...

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    The LG G Flex 2 (or "LG G Flex2" if we're being properly hip about it) is a substantial re-working of the company's original G Flex, which we reviewed back in 2013. The G Flex 2 broke cover at CES 2015 last month, brandishing a smaller footprint, improved internals, a revised self-healing coating and a Full-HD P-OLED display not so prone to burn-in as its predecessor's. LG jokingly called the device "the best smartphone of 2015" when it rolled out the demo units on that January day barely a week into new year ... but the combination of its Snapdragon 810 processor, available 3GB ...

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    Update: Obviously had some technical issues on this podcast, folks. To hear all about them, follow up your viewing of video 1 by immediately clicking video 2 beneath it! Update 2: Fortunately, now you can skip all that YouTube nonsense, as the high-quality audio cut of the Pocketnow Weekly is here for your listening enjoyment! Stream it in the box below the YouTube embeds below, or use the Direct Download shortcut in the Links section to keep it forever and ever. Windows 10 phone on a Lumia, a G Flex 2 in the hand, and 4-GB iPhone apps on the way: even on the eve of yet another snowy ...

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    Update (3): Better later than never, as they say. Our answers video is finally here, and it's embedded below for your viewing enjoyment. Thanks for your questions, everyone! Be sure to check out our full G Flex 2 review, and join us this Friday for Pocketnow Weekly 136 as we talk all things G Flex 2! • As I tweeted last night, an exciting package is en route to Boston's Pocketnow review labs:   Forsooth, the revised rondure cometh. pic.twitter.com/W9v0Tfot5O — Michael Fisher (@Captain2Phones) February 12, 2015 If you didn't major in Pretentious Nonsense in school, allow me to ...

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    It may not be the sexiest-sounding piece of software out there, but the "Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones" just landed on our Lumia 830 review device, and boy howdy, are we ready to take a look at it. From Action Center improvements to Start Screen UI upgrades to totally rewritten core apps, the new Windows 10 phone platform packs nearly as much excitement as 8.1 did, and we're here to give you a guided video tour. Keep in mind as you watch the below video that this is not Windows 10 as it will release to consumers. The Technical Preview release is very early software, and as ...

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    The year is 2003. College-edition Michael Fisher is splitting his time between acting and trawling HowardForums for the latest mobile tech. His daily driver is a Samsung SPH-A600 cameraphone with a nifty rotating screen, and he likes it. But every day he walks past his college technology store on the way to class – and every day a bigger, beefier smart device beckons from the window. Twelve years later, he finally gets his hands on one. Now, despite the resemblance to its clamshell communicator contemporaries, this Sony Clie (the PEG-NR-70/U, with an accent on the é if you want to be ...

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    (Updated to correct a typo and clarify speculation regarding a 720p model.) You might say we've got a bit of a thing for the ASUS ZenFone 2 here at Pocketnow. It's only been a month since we first laid hands on the phone at CES 2015, and yet we've already had two full-length editorials from our resident Android guy about how the ASUS ZenFone 2 is at once the best bang for your buck and proof that other OEMs are overcharging for their flagship smartphones. Since its announcement, the device has also made a (virtual) appearance on nearly every episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, it's ...

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    It's been a few weeks since Microsoft unveiled its newest operating system, including the fork Lumia-lovers have been waiting for: the mobile platform we're calling "Windows 10 phone edition." Since then, we've seen lots of news concerning the company's new smartphone software, from leaks documenting some of the features we saw on stage to statements regarding which devices will actually get Windows 10 phone edition, to user concerns about its move from a revolutionary to a derivative UX. And we've talked all of these issues to death on the last few episodes of our Weekly podcast. Amid ...

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    (Updated with links to the full, high-quality podcast download below. Enjoy the show – and the impromptu dubstep party at the end!) Everybody wants the new hotness, but no one wants to wait for it. That's evident from the deluge of leaks surrounding the world's most-talked-about mobile devices, and we're going to stick our straws in for a quick sip –just to whet our whistles– on today's podcast. Looking for more than just product talk? As a famous retailer used to say, "Yeah, we've got that." The FCC puts forth its hardest-hitting proposal ever for enforcing net neutrality, ...

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    If you're looking for a little pizzazz with your wireless charging, look no further than TYLT. The company cemented its place in our hearts with the original TYLT Vü, which we evaluated with the help of a then-new Lumia 920 back in 2013, and now it's back with a smaller, portable charger in the TYLT Vü Solo. Like the original Vü, the Solo takes its attention-grabbing power from a sleek design and bold colors, and it takes its phone-replenishment power from the magic of Qi inductive charging. But what if you own a phone that doesn't pack the necessary internals to feel the power of ...

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    Windows Phone has always been a visually striking platform, but for a long time it was also one of the least-customizable. Thankfully, that’s not true anymore – and we're closing out the week by giving you a quick video tour of two apps responsible for the change. The first is TileArt (or #TileArt if you wanna be teenybopper technical about it). This is an app from Ricc Webb, a Microsoft employee who built it in his spare time because he was frustrated with the other customization options available for Windows Phone. The Lumia Conversations blog has a good interview with Ricc, whom ...

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    The Inateck BTSP-10 Plus Bluetooth Speaker is powered by double 3-watt precision-tuned drivers, multi-band compressors and built with a high performance composite diaphragm 40 mm Rotunded 16-core NdFeB 3W magnetic driver. What's any of that mean? I don't know ... yet. But I'm fixing to find out! In the meantime, check out the first impressions video below so I can show you what I do know so far. Namely: the BTSP-10 Plus (or BTSP-10P if you wanna get personal about it) is a chunky, hexagon-studded, red-and-black monster box of a speaker. It's intensely loud, aggressively designed, and ...

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