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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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    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 ...

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    Updated with the high-quality version of the podcast. Enjoy! Samsung's latest, greatest phablet is here, and it's a hard-edged reminder that it's no longer enough just to be big; you've got to be smart about it, too. We're talking everything from #gapgate to Multi Window to the S Pen on today's podcast-style Galaxy Note 4 review ... and to help us do that, we're bringing in two very sharp tacks from respected corners of the mobile community: Brad Molen of Engadget and Florence Ion of Greenbot! This week's news didn't stop at the Note, of course. We're also talking about the big ...

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    Wireless charging is awesome. This is an objective fact whose merit won't be disputed because 1) I'm just old enough to be impressed by technology that was totally far-fetched when I was young, and 2) I'm writing this piece at 10pm on a Friday night after a 4500-word review and the longest podcast in Pocketnow history, so I'll say what I want and you'll like it. But seriously. For all its missteps and quirky implementations and standards wars, wireless charging is one of the coolest things you can do on a smartphone without turning the screen on. All it takes is a few days of using it ...

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    The most striking thing about the Galaxy Note used to be its size. Carrying a Note meant you'd be stopped on the street, on the train, at the urinal over coffee at the cafe, curious onlookers asking with mild bemusement, "sorry, but ... is that a phone?" But it's 2014 –three years after Samsung unveiled the first Galaxy Note– and in 2014, big is the new normal. For better or worse, consumers have drawn a parallel between display size and device capability: from outliers like Huawei's Ascend Mate 7 to more mainstream offerings like Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and Google's new Nexus 6, ...

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    Last year's Galaxy Note 3 scored high marks in our original review and our After The Buzz followup, but it lacked the aspirational spirit of its progenitors. Whereas the first Note was a wildly (and unexpectedly) successful experiment and the second was a bold "consumerization" of that idea, the Note 3 appeared somewhat dull by comparison. Sure, in the moment, we loved it: it packed great specs and it played an important role in breaking Samsung of its hyperglaze addiction – but in retrospect, its flimsy build and fast-aging software seem more than a little underwhelming. Those are ...

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    If I had my way, that headline above would go like this: "Unlikely mutant success meets when-pigs-fly Hail Mary in acid-fueled crazytown showdown." So maybe it's good that I don't have my way (this time). Put more plainly: this is a comparison I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do. If you'd told me, back in 2011, that Samsung's freakazoid phone-tablet hybrid would enjoy enough success to spawn three sequels (and galvanize an entirely new smartphone category in the process), I'd have called you a crazy person. And I'd have called you much worse if you tried to convince me that ...

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    Post updated with time-codes, and high-quality streaming and download links for Episode 117. We hope you enjoyed – see you next week! Apple's about to drop the world's thinnest tablet with the iPad Air 2, HTC's branching out to build more than just smartphones with the HTC RE, and Sony's ... well, Sony's sticking to its guns with the Z3v smartphone. Last year's guns, to be precise. Amid all this, the rumor mill continues churning forth. Motorola isn't done shedding secrets, with the Nexus 6 and Droid Turbo leaks coming fast and furious in the lead up to a presumably imminent launch. The ...

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    The latest product from one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers … is not a smartphone. HTC brought us to New York City –and even took us aloft in a helicopter– to show us the utility of its one-handed action camera, and we've got a hardware tour and some quick first impressions! HTC RE hands-on An inhaler. A periscope. A water pipe. The list of everyday objects the RE resembles goes on and on. But that weird form factor makes it easy to hold, and it also makes the RE stand out - or stand up, if you prefer. It fits easily into a pocket and it’s designed to be used ...

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    Its name says "Desire," but this selfie-centric smartphone is much better equipped than other devices bearing the name. To learn a little more about it, HTC put us up in NYC –in more ways than one– so we could experience the curiosity of what the company hopes is a "selfie phone" done right. The Desire EYE gets its name from the eyeball-like sensor smack in the middle of its forehead, a 13MP camera mated to an f/2.2, 22mm lens and augmented by a dual-LED flash. That's a slight change from the f/2.0, 28mm lens of the rear-facing shooter, but otherwise these cameras are as close as ...

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