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 Reviews Editor, 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’s taken us a little while to get a hold of one, but thanks to the good people at Clove we finally get to test Windows 10 Mobile on something a little roomier: the Lumia 950 XL. Pay them a visit at clove.co.uk if you want one of these for your own collection, but first join us for a first impressions pass as we take a look at the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL!  The first thing to note about the 950 XL is that while it's bigger than the 950, it doesn’t feel that much bigger. That’s an automatic win for the XL, because it’s bringing a bigger battery, better processor and a half-inch ...

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    UPDATE: Congratulations, Justin Reynolds! You win a BlackBerry Priv!  Thanks to AT&T and thanks to everyone who entered! And if you didn't win this one, don't lose hope: our second BlackBerry Priv giveaway still has two days to go – and it's open to the whole planet! • The art of re-gifting is a tricky business. Shortly after landing my current gig as Pocketnow's review czar, I received a Pebble smart watch as a gift – a wonderful device, but also one which I'd already owned for quite some time. Thinking it the perfect match for my bicycle-racing, rock climbing, ...

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    Update: BB-8 is overr8'd. See you next week! An Android tablet that doesn't quite belong. HTC news on both sides of the good/bad divide. An ugly-as-sin Apple accessory. And a Droid Turbo 2 that looks like Star Wars' own BB-8! Where are you going to find talk like this anywhere else on the internet? If you answered "anywhere I look," you're right indeed ... but you ended up here so welcome to the party. All of the above – plus your listener mail – awaits on episode 178 of the Pocketnow Weekly! Watch the video broadcast from 1:30pm Eastern on December 11 (click here for your ...

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    When we reviewed the iPad Pro last month, we did so in a vacuum. Apple's supersized tablet had beaten its accessories to our front door, so we reviewed only the device itself, reasoning that there were some people who would buy it for its built-in attributes alone. While it's a fine product, with a huge screen that makes it especially good for media consumption, the iPad Pro still feels hollow without something more. Fortunately for iPad Pro buyers, "something more" is just $99 away in the form of the Apple Pencil. The supersized stylus packs a built-in battery and Bluetooth radio into its ...

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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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    If you've been following the latest on Microsoft's efforts with Windows 10 Mobile, you've probably heard of Windows Continuum. Probably the most headline-grabbing mobile development to come from Microsoft's New York City event back in October, Windows Continuum allows anyone to plug a Windows 10 smartphone into a monitor and keyboard to transform it into an approximation of a desktop computer. Upon giving Continuum a try on our Lumia 950 demo unit last week, we were pretty blown away by its potential. But as we used the feature more and more on the road to our full Lumia 950 review, ...

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    Standing alone, the iPad Pro is a pretty confusing product. Priced within a stone's throw of the much-more-capable MacBook Air and packing dimensions closer to a desktop monitor than anything you'd willingly include in your everyday carry bag, Apple's latest tablet seems strangely out of character for the company better known for cautious iteration than bold reinvention. Last year's move to a larger screen size with the iPhone 6 Plus was an essential choice given consumers' ever-growing appetite for supersized smartphones; by contrast, no one seems to be asking for a nearly-13-inch ...

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    The Microsoft Lumia 950 is the highest-end Windows Phone in years, and we're enjoying test driving it on the way to our full review. But while its Quad HD display, integrated wireless charging, Continuum technology and feature-packed camera are all very impressive, the cladding surrounding those features is ... somewhat less so. In a sea of hefty metal and glass phones, the Lumia 950's lightweight polycarbonate casing seems like a holdover from the Nokia days (which of course it is). But the Lumias of yore shone in playful shades of yellow, green and orange that hinted at something ...

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    Update: Happy Black Friday! Listen to our podcast while you're on the floor of your local mall after having shopped 'til you dropped! Here in the US, Thanksgiving is just around the corner – and right after the turkey and tryptophan comes the crazy consumerism. To help you figure out what mobile tech to spend your money on this holiday season (whether it's for yourself or for a lucky family member), we're rounding up all the Black Friday mobile deals we could sift from the internet's tech trove. Then we're raiding Pocketnow's Listener Mail account – because it's almost the end of the ...

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    Everyone’s said the same thing about Apple's iPad Pro over the past few weeks, and while I'd love to hit you over the head with some new and amazing insights ... I can't. The number-one most noteworthy thing about the iPad Pro is this: it's huge. The iPad Air 2 was the biggest tablet I regularly used up till now – and the iPad Pro positively dwarfs it. You might as well think of it as a computer monitor or a small TV set, rather than a tablet. It's that ponderous. That added size works both for and against the iPad Pro. The huge display is obviously fantastic for media consumption ...

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    Update: The podcast is up! We'll see you Wednesday for our special Thanksgiving Weekly. The first "real" Windows Phone in 20 months landed on our doorstep earlier this week, and we're finally allowed to talk about its crazy Continuum transforming act. While we're sticking close to Windows 10 Mobile for the duration of today's show, we're also making time for the news, from the bizarre cancellation of the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition to the 40-hour BlackBerry Priv giveaway on Good Morning America. All of the above –plus your listener mail– awaits on episode 175 of the Pocketnow ...

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    We've already seen the new Lumia 950 Windows Phone up close, back at Microsoft's New York City launch event. What we haven't seen yet is how well it performs on the big screen. In addition to the Lumia 950 itself Microsoft has bundled a Display Dock and keyboard with our review device. When joined with the HP monitor and Arc Mouse the whole assembly becomes much more than a smartphone: it becomes a very good approximation of a Windows 10 PC. The result is a hands-on video unlike any other. This is just a first impressions pass, of course; the in-depth criticism and analysis will come later ...

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    After over a week with the BlackBerry Priv, I'm still not entirely convinced it's real. I was joking when I tweeted that it felt like a phone from an alternate universe, but just barely. If you told me the Priv was a prop from the set of a 2005-era science fiction movie, some decade-old concept for what the future of BlackBerry would be, I'd probably believe you. That's a testament to the level of consistency BlackBerry has achieved with the Priv: no matter what else it is, at its core it's still a BlackBerry. That means it's complex –sometimes needlessly so– and also expensive, ...

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    As I write this, I'm seated at a local cafe with only my smartwatch to keep me connected. And so far, I'm not really sure what to think. I received my LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE on Friday night, and since then I've been using it with a BlackBerry Priv. In many ways, the Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE (which I'm just going to start calling the "Urbane 2" because c'mon with these ridiculous brand names) is a typical Android Wear watch on steroids. It's got a big beefy case and a super high-resolution display; it packs 50% more RAM than most of its competition; and it brings a bigger ...

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    Whether you're a recent transplant from BB10 or a curious convert from another Android phone, odds are you're facing a steep learning curve if you've just bought a BlackBerry Priv. Whether you're bowled-over or underwhelmed by BlackBerry's first Android smartphone, the sliding monster with the full QWERTY keyboard is one of the most feature-laden devices on the market today. With so many facets vying for your attention, its easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on the minutiae that make moving into a new phone so enjoyable. After three days with a review device, here's eight of our ...

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    Update: The staff of the Pocketnow Weekly does not guarantee that you will retain a romantic relationship by introducing your JDate, FarmersOnly or TrekPassions date to this podcast. Please consult our latest Terms & Conditions regarding dates made with other dating services. Download at your own risk. We get a late-night delivery from a mysterious man in an unmarked minivan – and he comes bearing an wrist watch right outta the future. We get our Apple iPad Pro ordered up, and we find a friendly Canadian to tell us what to expect. And we finally spend a few days with the ...

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    Every smartphone geek knows about the "honeymoon phase," the epic high immediately following the delivery of a new device, during which it can seemingly do no wrong. This phase has been documented in countless unboxing videos at Pocketnow and elsewhere, and it's what led to my near-manic elation in the BlackBerry Priv first-impressions piece I wrote earlier this week. Novelty junkie that I am, the honeymoon phase represents the absolute zenith of my time with a new device. Usually, it's all downhill from there. Less often talked about is what comes next, the inevitable slump that I'll ...

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    Take a look at any roundup of the best smartphones under $300 and you're bound to find a list of compromises. Handsets like Motorola's Moto G and ASUS's ZenFone 2 bring useful features like waterproofing or high-end silicon, but skimp on fit and finish. Devices like the BLU Vivo Air go the other way, delivering a sleek and slender build but sacrificing essentials like LTE in the process. This is understandable given the enormous challenges inherent in modern smartphone design; after all, manufacturers can only deliver so much quality at a given price. With its newest smartphone, ...

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    As I write this, I have known the BlackBerry Priv for three hours. It's sitting beside me, plugged into the wall, only about halfway through downloading the mess of apps I asked it to sync when I typed in my Google account info. My hands-on time with the phone amounts to a total of perhaps four minutes, one of which was spent positioning the phone for a mildly amusing tweet that more people than usual seemed to like. All this is to say: this is not a BlackBerry Priv review. This isn't even a hands-on. This is more like the editorial equivalent of an unboxing video, a setup for the ...

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    Update: The weekend is here! Enjoy it with your favorite podcast available at distributors everywhere. If you're tuning into our YouTube edition, a fair warning that almost half of the show is missing for some weird reason. The Android BlackBerry that's got everyone talking; the newest and most affordable smartphone from OnePlus; the obscene forearm-cuff that only a mother could love. Plus, the strap-on that makes any watch a smartwatch and a Cortana clip-on that hints at something familiar. This week's mobile tech avalanche awaits –along with your listener mail– on episode 173 of the ...

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    Let's not mess around. If you've been following Android at all this season, you know about Motorola's Moto X Pure Edition and you certainly know about Google's Nexus 6P. The former is one of the best values in Android right now, a blend of incredibly customizable hardware and very intelligent software, while the latter is a sleek metallic showcase for the very best that Google's mobile platform has to offer. Each has its place in the landscape and each is a solid deal at its respective price point ... but if you're shopping for a phone to grace your pockets and you've got a budget of ...

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    The OnePlus X is no joke. That's our first impression. Seriously. $249 isn't the cheapest price tag around, but for a phone that looks, feels, and acts this good ... it's pretty damn competitive. Say what you will about OnePlus, with its strange invite-based purchase model, but the company really knows how to build a smartphone. More than that, it knows how to present one: an unpacking experience like this is what makes (otherwise-passé) unboxings worth it. Because with so much obvious effort spent on making for a beautiful retail presentation, unboxing the OnePlus X really is an ...

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    Motorola captured the adoration of a tech geek nation with its first Android wearable. The first-generation Moto 360 was a round-faced anomaly in a sea of squares, a distinctive wristwatch that actually looked like a timepiece, rather than a piece of technology. Its sequel updates the original’s underpowered processor and brings additional sizing options and a lot more Moto Maker customization, but leaves other controversial aspects intact. The "flat tire" at the bottom of the display remains, for example, and the screen itself is an LCD panel once again, instead of the better-suited ...

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    BlackBerry. Windows Phone. Android Wear. Samsung. Droid. These are just a handful of the brands that have adopted some form of wireless charging in 2015. Like it or not, cable-free charging is a thing – and you should like it, because it’s awesome. Sure, if you wanna be pedantic about it, there are still wires involved at some point, and its charging rates aren't yet as quick as a cable can deliver … but the convenience of dropping your phone on a pad (rather than fiddling with a connector) is something that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Now, a company called ...

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    Why buy a Droid? Six years ago, when Motorola and Verizon Wireless introduced the very first Droid as the alternative to the AT&T-exclusive iPhone, the answer was obvious. With near-stock Google software running on an aggressively angular chassis and backed up by an even more aggressive marketing campaign, the original Droid was a carefully crafted "anti-iPhone." It was positioned as the more-powerful, more-capable answer to Apple's offering, and it sold by the truckload. More than any other device in the US, Motorola's original Droid put the Android platform on the map – ...

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