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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    It wouldn't be a OnePlus launch without a few bumps, and the OnePlus 2 is no exception. From irritation with its invitation-based sales model to (unfounded) concerns about its choice of processor, the "2016 flagship killer" has had to overcome a few challenges on the road to wide-scale release. Probably the biggest bucket of water on that fire so far has been Samsung's decision to drop two very high-profile smartphones just days after the OnePlus 2 hit the streets, forcing media outlets like ours to make some tough choices concerning which devices to cover first. As you can tell by the ...

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    One of the nice things about the current monoform world of slab smartphones is that there are very few moving parts to break. Until, that is, you decide to defy common sense and stick your brand new Galaxy Note 5's S Pen into its silo backwards. That's when life stops getting funny ... and starts getting real. Join us for a debate on whether this is an example of terminal user stupidity or inexcusable design flaw, and then stick around for all the news of the week in mobile technology, from the new Nexus to the new Lumias to the old (and now dead) Fire Phone. All that –plus your ...

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    At a glance, you could be forgiven for mistaking the Galaxy Note 5 for its smaller sibling the Galaxy S6 – and that's no accident. The Galaxy Note 5 marks the company's second major attempt to bring its large-format phablet into the mainstream, at least in terms of aesthetics. The first came in 2012, when the Galaxy Note II supplanted its predecessor's wide, matte chassis with a narrower casing and a shiny paint job that evoked its contemporary, the Galaxy S III. The two generations since have seen Samsung take the opposite tack, distancing the Note from its flagship siblings: the ...

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    Update: And the audio-only cut is live at the download link below. Sorry for the audio quality on this one, folks; we'll all be happy when Jules is back on the producer board! "I am preparing to toast a marshmelon." That's a line from the greatest Star Trek movie of all time, and it's also something we hope to avoid when the official review period for the latest version of Android kicks off. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with discussing Android Marshmallow's funny new name, followed by all the other mobile tech-talk of the week. And if you watch the live edition of ...

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    Samsung turned a lot of heads with the unveiling of its new Galaxy Note 5 last week, but it also stirred up some discontent. For all the style it brings to the lineup, the newest Note also omits a few features the line has carried since its inception, chief among them a removable battery and MicroSD card slot. These changes have alienated a vocal portion of the fanbase that initially catapulted the Note to popularity, and reignited a debate about what it means to be a "phablet." This week, rival smartphone maker LG capitalized on some of the controversy, trying to entice fans away from ...

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    The Samsung Galaxy Note is the original phone-tablet hybrid. Each year we get an updated one, and each year we compare the new model with its immediate predecessor to see what’s changed. This year, those changes run to the very core of what it means to be a Note. Join us for our latest comparison, as we dissect the differences between the Galaxy Note 5 and its Note 4 forerunner! Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 4   Hardware The changes here are most pronounced in hardware, and many of them are upgrades. The imitation leather back cover has given way to curved glass, last year’s ...

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    There's a lot of talk floating around about the latest Galaxy Note. From one perspective, it's Samsung's most beautiful phablet yet, porting the top-notch design of the Galaxy S6 to the Note family and bumping some specs in the process. From another, it represents a watering down of an iconic brand once partly known for its no-compromises feature load. We made the case for both sides on the latest episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast (coming soon) but there's one thing we're pretty sure most folks can agree on: that keyboard case Samsung's selling alongside it is a very special ...

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    It's a fantastic time to buy a Galaxy S6. Here in the States, the price has just been slashed by about a hundred bucks at some retailers, and it’s probably got the best camera you can find on an Android smartphone. Add in the excellent display and formidable feature set, and you’re looking at a handheld that finally fulfills its promise of being “the Next Big Thing.” But Samsung’s been trotting out that old line for three years now, and it’s not selling phones like it used to. Maybe what people want more than a phone with the best of everything is a phone that does much ...

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    So remember yesterday when I unboxed the OnePlus 2 and removed the free included screen protector, thinking it was part of the packaging? Yeah, I’m kind of a n00b when it comes to OnePlus phones. But judging from the comments, so are many of you – and that’s awesome, because it means we can all learn something together. Join me as I answer five of your most-asked questions in our 24-hour OnePlus 2 roundup! 24 hours with the OnePlus 2   How do dual SIMs work? The first question we’re hitting is the one that was asked the most often in the unboxing comments: how does dual-SIM ...

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      Whether it’s truly the next “flagship killer” remains to be seen, but the sequel to the blockbuster OnePlus One brings a solid set of standouts at a stunning price point. This smartphone costs less than $400 full retail, and it brings a feature set and build quality that rivals devices costing hundreds of dollars more. Here’s what comes in the box with the OnePlus 2.   OnePlus 2 Unboxing   OnePlus didn’t exactly innovate on the unboxing experience here … but, importantly, neither did it skimp. The box exterior is finished in a soft-touch coating that makes it feel quite ...

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    Update (8 Aug, 2:00pm Eastern): "Make them laugh, make them cry, make them wait." - Charles Dickens The latter ain't the case this week. Enjoy. Sometimes the news comes not in a solid column from a single direction, but as a scattershot shower-spray from every corner of the space. Today's podcast reflects just such a week in mobile technology, with tech news as far-flung and varied as the menu items on an appetizer mixer from Applebee's. All that (plus a larger-than-normal helping of your listener mail) is waiting for your ears on episode 160 of your favorite tech podcast: the Pocketnow ...

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    It feels like Affordable Technology Week around these parts, doesn't it? We kicked it off Monday with our full review of Motorola's Moto G smartphone, kept the ball in the air Wednesday with a review of the same company's Moto Pulse Bluetooth headphones, and we debated the sanity of "settling" for affordable mobile technology in this week's podcast. Now it's time to take the cheap talk to tablet town with a look at a product from Motorola's parent company, Lenovo. Having answered the question of whether you can survive on a $200 smartphone, we now turn to the question of whether you ...

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    There are folks out there who don’t have the time for a ten-minute video or a 4,000-word review, and they certainly don’t have an hour to absorb a meandering podcast (no matter how many awards it’s won). These people might be sneaking a quick YouTube fix on a bathroom break, trying to make a point to a rival smartphone owner at a bar, or even standing in line at a wireless retail store, waiting to make a purchase. They need the facts delivered quickly, with a minimum of window dressing and a firm conclusion in as little time as possible. For them, we’ve created the 60-Second ...

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    What's it take to make a pair of Bluetooth headphones exciting? Well, a good first step is launching them alongside some highly anticipated smartphones at a widely publicized press event and giving a sample to everyone in attendance. But free swag is a momentary thrill; making the excitement last takes an authentically impressive product. The Moto Pulse bluetooth headset is just that. I've been using it as my primary audio accessory for a solid week, and in that time I've gotten to know its highs and lows – in every possible sense. With the Pulse, Motorola has crafted a solid set of ...

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    Motorola calls it the "Moto G (3rd generation)." We call it the "Moto G 2015." Some people call it the "Moto G3" … but that’s confusing. Whatever you call it, the newest iteration of Motorola's best-selling smartphone is more fully featured than ever before, and its affordable price tag has barely seen a bump. The Moto G is the product that redefined what an affordable smartphone could be, and it's been our automatic go-to suggestion for a cheap-but-awesome Android handset for two years running. But in a world of plunging smartphone prices and increasing smartphone quality, does ...

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    Update: The podcast has been updated with audio from our Motorola event editorial roundtable. Enjoy! The flagship killer might've just gotten killed by a killer flagship! A new phablet might make former phablets obsolete! Windows Update just updated its last Windows! And your gaming tablet's so hot it's about to catch fire?! You can't get much ... hotter than that. Amirite? The news of the week in mobile technology is up next, from OnePlus to Windows to Motorola and beyond –plus your listener mail– on episode 159 of the Pocketnow Weekly! So say your keyphrase and listen closely, ...

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    The Moto G is about to get replaced … by the Moto G. As we saw during our initial hands-on earlier this week, the 2015 model brings a few hardware bumps and much more customizability to Motorola’s best-selling smartphone of all time, and it packs some serious software improvements as well. While we’ll have complete impressions in next week’s full review, first let’s take a look at what’s changed between last year's Moto G and this year's. You may be surprised at where the new phone pulls ahead – and where it doesn't. Moto G 2015 vs Moto G 2014

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    San Diego-based accessory maker Satechi is no stranger to mobile swag. The company's catalog boasts legions of smartphone sidekick products ranging from external batteries to Bluetooth speakers to bicycle mounts. It's made a name for itself in the single-button remote market (a segment I had no idea existed prior to today) with products like the Satechi Bluetooth Home Button and Satechi Bluetooth Shutter Button, and today it expands on the lineup with the Satechi Bluetooth Cortana Button for Windows 10. Don't let the fancy blue decal fool you; the Bluetooth Cortana Button is a direct ...

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    Two years ago, the original Moto G redefined the concept of the affordable smartphone. In a world where even midrange devices commanded $300-$400 unlocked, Motorola's game-changer debuted at just $179. It brought much of the pocketability and visual appeal of the contemporaneous first-gen Moto X, and thanks to the pairing of near-stock software and a solid processor, it ran Android almost as smoothly as the day's top-tier flagships. We called it "a surprising pleasure to use" in our full review, ultimately concluding that it was a steal. Motorola improved on the formula with last year's ...

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    It's not exactly news that the LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S6 pack two of the best smartphone cameras ever. We specifically called them out for their optical excellence in our full reviews, dubbing the G4's camera "the best available on Android today" and singling out the Galaxy S6's shooter as "one of the best low-light performers we’ve seen." Putting them up against each other in a direct comparison, the closest we could get to a conclusion was to say that they were neck-and-neck, with a slight edge going to the LG G4 thanks to its more precise manual controls and out-of-box RAW image ...

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    If you're a longtime follower of Pocketnow's review videos (and heaven knows you should be), you already know about 28mobile. The Hong Kong-based mobile retailer has made a name for itself in the five years it's existed, slinging smartphones, tablets, wearables and more to more than 10,000 satisfied customers the world over. Thanks to device loans from 28mobile, we've been able to bring you coverage of devices like the Nokia N1, Galaxy Alpha and Xiaomi Mi4, among others. In return, we've kept you abreast of the company's latest discounts and offers. Now the company is extending a ...

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    Most new device launches go the same way: usually the press gets review units before they’re widely available, and we get to use them for a few days -or a week if we’re lucky- as we work on our review. Then press day arrives. The embargo on media coverage lifts, and everyone posts their reviews and videos at the same time. It’s a huge frenzy, commenters go nuts, and it’s a giant explosion of frantic opinion-sharing activity. For about … a day. And then it all goes away. Sure, there’s followup coverage as people find bugs and hidden features, but after that initial blast, not ...

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    The cloud-based note-taking app Evernote has been a staple of my mobile life since 2008. I've used it on six different mobile platforms and hundreds of devices ranging from desktop computers to smartphones to wearables. Evernote has been an indispensable component of my work and personal lives, a crucial sidekick for scheduling everything from editorials to theatre rehearsals. And for the first time in seven years, I'm seriously considering a switch. My problem with Evernote isn't its awkward UI, its feature bloat, or its bizarre transition to a backpack-selling "lifestyle brand." ...

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    Update (July 27, 12:30am): Check out #EditLive on Twitter to see what goes into editing the Pocketnow Weekly. See you next time! True story: as a high schooler spending the night in a new house, I awoke one morning to find my kitchen flooded with water due to a plumbing problem. My parents were out of town and the family friends who were house-sitting were frantically trying to find the shutoff valve ... but due to my terrible academic tardiness record I couldn't stay to help them find it. To ensure I wasn't required to repeat my senior year, I had to leave my family friends ...

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    Say the word “tablet” today and you probably picture something like this. Even back in 2011 –the origin year for today's deep dive into nostalgia– the word conjured up a big slab, not an oversized eyeglass case. But the latter is just what we got with the Sony Tablet P, a bizarre foldable mobile device that better resembled a palmtop computer than any "tablet" I'd ever seen. It was weird – but that's just why I liked it. The Sony Tablet P was the first review device I ever requested (and the first of many I never received). Three years later, thanks to eBay, I finally got the ...

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