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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  • by | March 28, 2014 10:53 AM

    HTC is making a lot of noise about the dedicated depth sensor mounted above the camera on its new One M8. According to HTC, the new Duo Camera "improves noise reduction and elevates overall photo quality to levels previously unseen," and it also makes possible a range of artistic effects, like shallow depth-of-field simulation that allows for faux bokeh and other smart filters. Photo focus can also be changed after the shots are taken, as we demonstrated in our HTC One M7 vs HTC One M8 comparison. But critics say similar effects can be achieved with far less specialized hardware. Samsung's ...

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  • by | March 28, 2014 8:01 AM

    "A great phone, but no longer a game changer." "A design that puts its rivals to shame." "An elegant smartphone for a more civilized age." That's what reviews are saying about the All New HTC One M8, and we're here to talk about it. But we're not just going to have you stick some buds in your earholes and listen to the same dull voices of the team that's been working two weeks straight to kick out all our HTC One M8 review coverage. An occasion like this calls for some added perspective. Fortunately, thanks to some congenial run-ins at the HTC event earlier in the week, we've got just ...

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  • by | March 27, 2014 8:00 AM

    HTC BlinkFeed. From vocal revulsion to grudging acceptance to quiet praise, the community’s feelings about HTC’s custom news and social stream have come quite a ways in the year since it was introduced. Now, after a full point upgrade and many enhancements, BlinkFeed on Sense 6 stands ready to help you waste some time – and we're here to show you how to help it help you. If you’re new to an HTC smartphone and apathetic to the tech scene, your first question will probably be: what is BlinkFeed? The easiest answer is that it's analogous the Facebook News Feed or the familiar ...

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  • by | March 26, 2014 6:24 PM

    With a device as aesthetically focused as the new HTC One M8, slapping a case on the back amounts to something like sacrilege (even more so than usual). That aluminum! That machined precision! Those chamfers! But then again ... that aluminum. That precision. Those chamfers. We've shown time and again that building a device from metal and polishing it to a jewel-like finish is an approach that results in beautiful unboxings, but also in products that don't necessarily hold up well over time. Cases may be ugly, but they sure can protect an investment if they're built properly. When a case is ...

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  • by | March 25, 2014 11:44 AM

    The down side to success is the pressure to keep on succeeding. HTC's 2013 flagship, the original HTC One (M7), defined "successful" in nearly every way. We awarded it one of the highest review scores we'd ever bestowed on a smartphone, a reception mirrored by most of the tech community. "Bravo HTC," we said of its stellar industrial design and innovative new features. Our opinion stayed much the same when the Sprint version came to town ("It's a phone that does it all – and does it very well"). Pocketnow readers selected the HTC One as their top smartphone of 2013. And the accolades ...

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  • by | March 20, 2014 12:05 PM

    Update 3/20/2014: The stated calendar day has expired, and so the answer to our third monthly smartphone guessing game lies below! Scroll down and be amazed (or not, depending on your guess). Update 3/19/2014: added additional hint. When it comes to analyzing the quality of a smartphone's camera, there are two main approaches. There's the guided style: "We had a gander at the new [Smartphone] from the fine folks at [Smartphone Manufacturer], and we took its camera out for a spin to see how it performed under a variety of lighting conditions. When it comes right down to it, this camera ...

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  • by | March 19, 2014 8:01 AM

    Inbox Zero. It's become something of a myth in the Pocketnow Weekly recording studio ever since we started actively courting listener feedback all those months ago. Skip a listener-mail section here, another one there, and before you know it you've got a mountain of mail it'd take a whole episode to get through. So that's just what we're doing. Just like we did on episode 076, we're devoting an entire podcast to your missives. We'll hear from people concerned about dual-SIM stigma, people worried about the future of Apple, and people writing to remind us that the automated home isn't as ...

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  • by | March 18, 2014 1:24 PM

    This afternoon's announcement of Google's developer preview for Android-powered smartwatches brought a lot of scintillating video to our eye sockets. We had young hip dads checking sports scores while bathing their kids; young hip bicyclists getting directions on the fly; and young hip surfers getting jellyfish warnings (those exist?) at the beach – all using wrist-mounted devices that, like the actors, looked almost too hip to exist. In fact, that's what Stephen Schenck reported when Google's announcement went live: the devices on display in these videos were's actual hardware, but more ...

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  • by | March 17, 2014 8:07 PM

    As we've mentioned on countless episodes of the Pocketnow Weekly, the HTC One is one of the most widely-leaked devices in history. Thanks to an explosion of prematurely-released info, including a lengthy and rather strange hands-on video and a photo of the retail packaging, we know many secrets concerning the device that's come to be known, around these parts, as the #ANHO. But with the official announcement still more than a week away, there are a few details surrounding the All New HTC One specs that remain hidden to us. Personally, I'm enjoying being none the wiser (I always prefer to ...

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  • by | March 17, 2014 7:14 PM

    The Lumia 2520 graced our lives months ago, brightening our unboxing desk and leaving a lasting first impression. Sadly, it didn't stick around long enough for us to give it the full review treatment, disappearing in a shipping accident so mysterious we sometimes still bring it up on the Pocketnow Weekly podcast. Fortunately, Nokia has sent us a replacement unit, and this time around it's included a bonus: the recently-released Nokia Power Keyboard. The long-awaited accessory brings two USB ports, a 2,027 mAh battery, and one of the most comfortable keyboards ever to Nokia's Windows RT ...

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  • by | March 13, 2014 7:33 PM

    The All New HTC One won't grace us with its presence until the end of the month, and at this point we're beginning to wonder if HTC will have anything left to reveal at the announcement. From a sales guide to promotional materials to yet another undercover hands-on video, the leaks surrounding one of the year's most anticipated Android handsets refuse to let up – and we're here to talk about them in our latest pre-#ANHO podcast! Before that, of course, we've got the usual news of the week, including a duo of Samsung tablet reviews, rampant speculation about a brick-and-mortar Google ...

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  • by | March 13, 2014 11:59 AM

    There's a certain minimum threshold that a product should be required to meet before it can rightfully wear the "pro" label. It should offer high-end specifications and enhanced capabilities over its more mundane, "non-pro" counterparts. Ideally, it should appeal to the consumer looking for a more versatile, more capable product. Above all, it should offer a top-notch customer experience. With the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, Samsung gets some of that right. This Galaxy Tab is far and away the most powerful yet produced, with capabilities never before offered on the company's midrange tablet line. ...

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  • by | March 11, 2014 12:03 PM

    Even at launch, there was nothing humble about the HTC HD2. With the largest screen ever grafted onto a smartphone, the first-of-its-kind Qualcomm Scorpion SoC, and the heaviest skin ever crafted for a Windows Mobile device (here called "HTC Sense" for the first time), the HD2 was a behemoth – the biggest spec beast ever devised. It married the touch-and-go simplicity of the iPhone with the power of WinMo 6 to produce the best Microsoft-powered smartphone anyone could ask for ... and back in 2009, there was no shortage of asking, with the device selling out repeatedly over its initial ...

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  • by | March 10, 2014 5:58 PM

    Of all the rumored improvements Windows Phone 8.1 will bring, perhaps none is as important as Cortana. Not that a fully-featured voice assistant is a make-or-break qualification for a platform's success; rather, Cortana symbolizes a more important shift in Microsoft's priorities. With its leaked "Notebook" functionality, the new Windows Phone companion may bring the ability to catalog your personal information for later reference – an important component for any modern "digital assistant." But we've seen that kind of information mining put to good use before, in applications like ...

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  • by | March 10, 2014 4:04 PM

    I've had some wonderful experiences with Android tablets. Loading CyanogenMod on the HP TouchPad, an activity I documented in my first-ever video for Pocketnow, filled in some crucial capability gaps left open by the TouchPad's native OS. Carrying a first-gen Nexus 7 for a week in 2012 taught me just how compelling Jelly Bean in the 7-inch form factor could be. And spending some time last year with the Sony Xperia Tablet Z convinced me that "elegance" and "Android tablet" were no longer mutually-exclusive terms. We've come a long way from the days of Honeycomb and the XYBOARD. But five ...

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