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!

Contact Michael Fisher

  • by |

    Nexus 6 vs Nexus 5. If you're a die-hard Android fanboy/girl with a wad of phone-buying bills burning a hole in your pocket and no idea whether to spring for the super-modern or settle for the slightly dated, this is the comparison for you. While the gulf in screen and chassis size is huge here, there's more to this decision than bigness. The Nexus 6 carries a larger battery, higher-resolution camera, more modern processor, more elaborate radio stack ... and a $300 premium over its year-old predecessor. That means it starts at $649 instead of $349, probably its biggest deviation from ...

    Share
  • by |

    Updated with the HQ audio version of the podcast (download and streaming links) as well as timecodes so you can navigate the whirlwind that is our podcast with ease. As always, thanks for listening, and see you next week! An octagonal Android smartphone, a lawsuit over the term "Milk," and a phone camera that flips up like a deranged pancake. Oh, and luxury smartwatches. (Luxury smartwatch faces, anyway. Illegal ones. Or something.) Companies have waited until the end of the year to spring all the nonsense on us, it seems – and we're lapping it up like the grateful tech hounds we are. ...

    Share
  • by |

    "We're not first, so we might as well be last and know something." That's a line we ripped off from The Newsroom, and it's also our review philosophy when we don't get a demo device in time for a punctual review. But we (finally) have a Nexus 6 in house, and we're (finally) going to unbox it – and we'll try to turn the delay to our mutual advantage in the process. In case you missed our multiple podcasts discussing the Nexus 6, what we're looking at here is a real monster on the spec sheet, the size chart, and the price list. The $649 Nexus 6 is the largest Nexus smartphone ever ...

    Share
  • by |

    Anyone with an interest in the bar business and a stomach for reality television is probably familiar with Bar Rescue, the SpikeTV phenomenon that's brought bar and nightclub expert Jon Taffer to living rooms worldwide since 2011. The show follows Taffer as he drops in on failing bars and restaurants all over the nation, solving their business woes through a regimen of on-the-job training, elaborate renovations, and often-scathing criticism.   But Taffer's not content merely with hosting a hit TV show and overseeing a consulting empire that includes one of the biggest annual ...

    Share
  • by |

    Updated with links to stream and download the high-quality audio version of the podcast, as well as timecodes for all the stories mentioned. We hope you enjoyed – see you next week! Is Nokia's new tablet just an iPad ripoff – or just what Android needs? Will Gorilla Glass 4 finally stop you from shattering your smartphone? And is the Gear S a good enough smartwatch to make the dumbphone obsolete? These are the pressing questions on the docket this week as the mobile industry prepares to end a wild year on a weird note, and we're gonna tackle them one by one in the ruthlessly silly ...

    Share
  • by |

    If you can’t decide between the new Nexus and the new iPad, you’re probably hung up on one of two factors: ecosystem or price. Nothing we say here will change the fact that the Nexus 9 is about $100 cheaper, and if you’re already invested in Apple’s or Android’s walled garden, the decision is already made based on which smartphone you’re carrying. Probably. But if you’re thinking about jumping platforms, or this will be your first tablet, there are a few differences worth discussing. Those differences span hardware, software and day-to-day performance – and the end ...

    Share
  • by |

    Update: Edited to correct screen measurement figure. So there I am this morning, preparing some wearable videos featuring the latest and greatest from LG and Samsung (the G Watch R review and Gear S hands-on, if you're interested), and suddenly the internet explodes. There's a new thing from Nokia, apparently, a milled metal slab of science featuring Real Aluminum and Real Android, two things everyone has been clamoring for over the last several years of polycarbonate Windows-running Nokias. Now that Nokia is Nokia again and Other-Nokia has been absorbed into Microsoft, the former has ...

    Share
  • by |

    Samsung's newest Gear is also its most ambitious. The Gear S smartwatch packs a curved two-inch display, IP67 ingress protection, and a custom Tizen UI into a cuff-like wristband that weighs in at a surprisingly airy 66g. Oh, and it packs cellular and WiFi connectivity along with the usual Bluetooth. That last important detail makes the Gear S more than just your typical smartwatch. As we discovered during our first hands-on at IFA 2014, the Gear S is capable of fully independent operation, smartphone or no. Sure, you still need a smartphone to set it up –and a Samsung one at that– ...

    Share
  • by |

    If you’re shopping for a new smartwatch in the Google Play Store, you’re faced with a sea of choices from chic to super-minimal … but only one stands out as a watch that would survive an extended dose of real-world use and abuse. If that's the kind of thing that winds your crown, then the LG G Watch R is very possibly your next Android Wear smartwatch. The G Watch R brings more to the table than its hulking stainless-steel body, of course. Its P-OLED display is just as sharp and vibrant as the Super AMOLED on Samsung's Gear Live, and it's a perfect circle to boot. Its software load ...

    Share
  • by |

    My reservations about the Nexus 9 began shortly before my fingertips graced its ill-fitting, trampoline-like back cover. We'd heard rumors that Google's next stock-Android tablet would arrive as a more direct competitor to Apple's iPad, carrying a larger screen (and a larger price tag) in the process. I found the strategic pivot logical, but when I first laid eyes on the Nexus 9, my very first impression was a deflated "that's it?" And my first hands-on with a buggy pre-release review device didn't exactly help matters. It's been eleven days since that rocky start – eleven days of ...

    Share
  • by |

    Updated with high-quality download and streaming links, as well as timecodes. We'll see you next week! Android gets sweeter, YouTube gets more musical, and Lumia gets more Microsoft. Those are the headlines this week in tech news and views (backed up by a lot of crazy happenings from Samsung, LG, Sharp and more) and by sheer force of will, we're going to try covering them in 90 minutes or less on the fanciest podcast this side of Tuxedo Alley. Joining us this week to help with that monumental task is Joshua Vergara of Android Authority, a veteran of our live recording session from IFA ...

    Share
  • by |

    On paper, Motorola's latest DROID carries on the brand's storied legacy in spectacular fashion. A tablet-sized battery mated to a searing hot processor and a super-sharp display, with the whole thing wrapped in a splashproof casing of metallized glass (or better yet, ballistic nylon). "This is what the Moto X should have been!" cried the commenters on our initial hands-on several weeks back. Well, maybe not. While the DROID Turbo did quite well against the second-generation Moto X in last month's face-off, another twelve days of testing ultimately demonstrated why the X is the ...

    Share
  • by |

    Updated with timecodes and links to download and stream the high-quality audio version. As always, thanks for listening, and see you next week! The Android Lollipop release is finally here, and it's the most beautiful thing that's ever happened to Google's mobile platform. We'll talk about that with the assistance of some Nexus 9 review units in our Gadgets in Hand segment, and we'll touch on when you can expect Lollipop to land on your device. Before that, though, it's been a big week if you're in the market for an Apple Watch or a Microsoft cloud solution: you can now start saving the ...

    Share
  • by |

    LG G Watch R vs Moto 360. As far as Android Wear videos go, it's our most-requested comparison of 2014 – and a week after unboxing the G Watch R, we've finally gotten around to it as promised. They’re two of the only round-faced smartwatches you can find today, and there’s only a $50 difference between them. But despite their surface similarities and near-identical software, these Android wearables are targeted at two totally different types of customer. The G Watch R is a P-OLED packing powerhouse of a smartwatch, with a Snapdragon 400 under the hood protected by a rugged ...

    Share
  • by |

    It's hard to review an iPad these days. The last Apple products to cross our review desk, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, were significant upgrades that catapulted the company into the realm of the large-format smartphone, while maintaining the ease-of-use and reliability that made the iPhone so popular to begin with. The Apple products that keep Pocketnow running day in and day out are some of the most impressive computers we've ever used, with even our lower-tier MacBook Airs capable of handling very intense video production tasks every day for years without giving up the ghost. In the palm ...

    Share
  • by |

    Google’s newest tablet is for “movers and makers,” according to the company’s website. We’ll examine more about what exactly that means in the weeks ahead, but for now, we'll settle for getting to know the shell of the device in our Nexus 9 unboxing. The de-packaging experience itself is best described as minimal. The Nexus 9 comes in a fairly nondescript box with bare-bones branding calling out its Android ancestry, and once you get inside all you’ll find is some very low-key literature and a USB charging cable with wall wart. That wall adapter's design will be ...

    Share
  • by |

    Updated with links to stream and download the high-quality audio version of the podcast. We hope you enjoyed, and we'll see you next week! If you want your very own huge Google smartphone, great news! Preorders are open right no– oh, never mind; they're sold out already. But not to worry! If you missed out on claiming your own Nexus 6, we've got other mobile happenings to sate your salacious smartphone and smartwatch desires: an Oppo with a motorized camera, a fitness band Microsoft maybe wasn't quite ready to announce, and a new Droid made of something called ballistic nylon, just in ...

    Share
  • by |

    Motorola has never been known for its terrific camera performance. I've always appreciated the company's other specialties: its robust hardware, its aggressive styling, and (recently) its innovative software ... but from my first-ever Motorola smartphone to my current daily driver the Moto X, the camera's never made the list of favorites. I've never seen a great photo opportunity and said "Quick! Bring my Motorola phone!" There's always been a smartphone with a better camera, if not nearby then at least on my mind. That's a situation Motorola looks to change with the DROID Turbo camera, a ...

    Share
  • by |

    We're running out of synonyms for "powerful," "rugged," and "beastly" around these parts, so to kick off this photo tour we'll just say that the Motorola DROID Turbo is an absolute monster of a smartphone. Verizon's flashy new exclusive bears all the smarts of the impressive Moto X, mated to the screaming specs of an absolutely top-of-the-line handheld. From the Snapdragon 805 to the 3900 mAh battery, this ain't your average Verizon variant. Of all the ways the DROID Turbo advertises its take-me-seriously dominance, the most apparent is its fit and finish.  The Turbo is available (in ...

    Share
  • by |

    Those in search of a round-faced smartwatch have a new possibility to consider as they stalk the shelves of their favorite online retailer. LG's newest piece of Android Wear-powered kit is a stocky circle of stainless steel with a leather strap and a perfectly round P-OLED screen that even Motorola's gotta be envious of. We're going to be taking a long look at the G Watch R next week as part of our review treatment, so we'll save our detailed impressions for that video (and the Moto 360 comparison that will likely precede it). For now, we'll say that the G Watch R is the brawniest ...

    Share
  • by |

    Update: The Weekly 119 is now available in super-HQ audio form – your ears will thank you if you download or stream from one of the links below. See you next week! As one brand gets a supersized juice-up, another goes a little quicker to the retirement home – and the rest undulate in uncertain undertakings from the sensational to the soporific. So it goes in mobile as in any other field, and we're here to cover it in the brief lull between reviews at Pocketnow's Boston offices! In between talk of the Lollipop-flavored new Nexii and the sandblasting of Nokia logos from Microsoft's ...

    Share
  • by |

    There are folks out there who don’t have the time for a ten-minute video or a 3,000-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 ...

    Share
  • by |

    Unlike Apple's iPhone or Nokia's Lumia series, Samsung's Galaxy line has never been consistently lauded for its camera performance. While Samsung has proved itself capable of delivering great photos with niche devices like those of the Zoom family, that performance hasn't always bled over to its mainstream offerings. April's Galaxy S5 brought excellent daytime shooting (at the expense of authentic colors) but suffered in low light – and last year's Galaxy Note 3 added wobbly handling and an odd viewfinder to those deficiencies (anyone remember Golf Shot?). Samsung's Note ...

    Share
  • by |

    Every six months, Samsung drops another contender into the bloody phablet-vs-flagship slugfest. This contest is one of Samsung's own making, a result of alternating annual Galaxy S installments with annual Galaxy Note upgrades in the spring and fall of each year. With each new chapter, two things are guaranteed: there will be much indecision among buyers as to which is the better buy, and much confusion in the comments about which comparisons are and aren't worth doing. For the former group –the cash-flush consumers biting their nails and wondering which of these high-end superphones to ...

    Share
  • by |

    Over the years, many Galaxy Note owners have told me a similar story about Samsung's S Pen. They say it's one of those accessories that gets used a lot in the first week, and then seldom ever again. Despite the fact that the S Pen is one of the crucial differentiators that makes a Note a Note, I understood completely. During my time with the Note II as a kind of "extended daily driver," I felt much the same: the S Pen was an occasional novelty and little more. As I made clear in Pocketnow's full review of the Galaxy Note 4, I'd still like to see more streamlining, simplicity, and ...

    Share
Mobile Version