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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    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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    Updated with links to the HQ podcast – both direct download, and streaming – so you can hear our gentle and soothing voices with all the more clarity. Nexus 6, Windows 10, Android L, and #BendGate's eyeroll-worthy replacement for tiresome outrage, #GapGate. Let it never be said the tech space isn't predictable. But not all is lost. On this week's podcast, we serve you a heaping helping of the mobile technology news and opinion you crave – and we also shake it up a bit: joining such storied installments as Gadgets in Hand and What Phone Should I Buy is a new segment designed to ...

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    "It’s not necessarily unattractive ... it just kind of exists." Thats how we described Samsung's Galaxy S5 in our full review back in April, lamenting the lack of aesthetic flair in a flagship ostentatiously marketed as a "glam" device. While we appreciated its durability and top-notch spec sheet, what we wanted was a product that actually felt like a $650 smartphone – and the Galaxy S5 didn't really fit the bill. Samsung's new Galaxy Alpha, launching later this month on AT&T, is a very different story indeed. With its aluminum frame, toned-down texturing and deliciously ...

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    We've spent the last few weeks in a haze of iPhone coverage and we're just now coming to the other side. We've reviewed the 6, reviewed the 6 Plus, and compared them to the competition – now it's time to pit Apple against Apple in iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus! A small warning: if you're one of those thrill-seekers looking for a surprise in this comparison, you're unlikely to find one. You've probably heard that the iPhone 6 Plus is an iPhone 6 blown up to huge (some might say ridiculous) proportions and given a handful of phablet-like features ... and you're not entirely wrong. While some ...

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    If you saw our hands-on coverage of the Galaxy Alpha from IFA, you know that Taylor Martin and I were quite taken with the little device. Though it packs only a 4.7-inch display and none of the waterproofing or expandable specs of its bigger sibling, I was starstruck by its far superior looks. Standing on the show floor in Berlin, I found myself wishing the Galaxy Alpha would come to the US – and wondering whether I'd pick one up for myself. The latter question is still up for debate, but the former isn't. AT&T just opened preorders for an October 17th exclusive launch of the Galaxy ...

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    The year is 2014. It's been seven years since the Keynote announcement that put Apple on the mobile map – and put its competition on notice. Six years since Google launched its own smartphone platform, which it quickly converted from a BlackBerry clone to something much more ... familiar. Four years since Microsoft revamped its archaic (but powerful) mobile software into something less archaic (and also less powerful). Three years since Palm imploded trying to push a mobile platform the world wasn't ready for. And about a year since BlackBerry collapsed ... before ...

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    Hating the iPhone is the new hating the Super Bowl champions. And if that's not a thing that people do, well, sorry: I don't get sports. Point is, Apple's new flagship just set a bevy of sales records –again– and seems poised to carry Apple through another successful year – again, again. So why do people hate the iPhone so much? We'll touch on that before launching into the far more important discussion of just how these phones actually work in the real world, from our own experiences to the unfortunate souls who got "the bends." All that in the show ahead, plus Android flip-phone ...

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    Apple calls the iSight camera dotting the back of its iPhone "the world's most popular camera," and whether or not you agree with that bit of marketing-speak, you've got to hand it to the company: the iPhone has carried some impressive optics for a few generations now. The iPhone 6 camera boasts an 8-megapixel sensor with a pixel size of 1.5 microns and an aperture of f/2.2. It doesn't offer the fancy optical image stabilization of its bigger sibling, but it does carry a form of digital stabilization that combines four short exposures into one refined end product. There's ...

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    If you watched Pocketnow's Moto X vs Galaxy S5 comparison, you'll remember that for a huge swath of the US, Samsung's Galaxy S line is the de facto iPhone alternative. If you're not buying Apple, odds are you're shopping for The Next Big Thing (despite the fact that there's a whole other platform out there, but I digress). Given this iPhone vs Galaxy mindset, it seemed prudent to put the best of Apple up against the best of Samsung to see who came out on top. While our comparisons generally avoid focusing on a "winner," preferring to leave the ultimate decision up to you, I decided to ...

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    That title calls for a disclaimer. As anyone who's looked at my Twitter profile knows, I’m not just a Windows phone user; I use Android too, and I occasionally sprinkle in BlackBerry and Sailfish when I'm feeling sporty. But I spend a little less than half my waking time with Windows software powering my communicator of choice, and my last 24 hours with iOS have given me a few insights about how these platforms differ – and how they don’t. From aesthetics to fluidity, Apple and Microsoft match up nicely. Both iOS and Windows Phone are tightly controlled software experiences that ...

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    Updated with the high-quality edited version of the podcast, which you can stream or download down below (or through your favorite podcatcher app). We hope you enjoyed; we'll check back in with you next week! If you ask us, the first thing you should do on iPhone launch day is take a long, hard look at the competition. Not because the iPhone is a bad product, but because everyone else tends to step up their game when Apple brings a new phone –or two– to the yard. And that's more true than ever this year. With that in mind, we'll talk about all kinds of smartphone and smartwatch ...

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    Hold onto your butts: it’s iPhone day. As you may have seen, my colleague Taylor Martin earlier today took delivery of Apple’s new 5.5-inch phablet the iPhone 6 Plus, which we spent a little time getting to know on today's Pocketnow Weekly podcast. As for me, well ... I’ve had my fill of big smartphones for the moment, so I opted for the lesser of two iPhones. Cutting the protective film away and lifting up the box lid carefully so as to avoid any accidents, we’re shown the device front-and-center, a presentation that’s become widespread - but don’t forget: Apple is the ...

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    Back in 2009 (in the heady days of Motorola's original Droid) the Star Trek science fiction franchise was on the ropes. Creative burnout, network pressures, and eighteen years of television saturation had exhausted creators and viewers alike, and in the eyes of the studio, only a fresh look by a relative outsider could save the property from total dissolution. But while J.J. Abrams's re-imagining was a massive commercial hit, something of the original universe was lost in the process. Despite its mainstream success, the new movie was, to some, Star Trek in name only. Unlike Trek, the ...

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    Updated with links to the high-quality, edited version of the podcast. We hope you enjoyed; see you next week! We stayed up all night waiting for an iPhone that (almost) never came. A few days before that, we opined mightily about the smartwatch that's slated to accompany it come early next year – and a day or two before that, we took a quick look at the latest iPhone and Apple Watch competition from the Motorola camp, with the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto 360. It's smartwatch and smartphone soup over here at Pocketnow and, generous guys that we are, we want to share the experience with ...

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    Our Moto 360 review unit is still days away from its official turn at our review desk, but it's already been on quite an epic odyssey. Picked up in Chicago by Adam Doud on his Motorola HQ tour, it was immediately overnighted to our resident Android guy Joe Levi for a proper unboxing and initial setup while Taylor Martin and I were covering the sights and sounds of IFA 2014 in Berlin. Then it was quickly repackaged for a cross-continental journey in time to meet me in Boston, whereupon I immediately pressed it into service for a day of sweet wearable-tech action before using it to answer ...

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    The Apple Watch is more than four months from release (at the very soonest) and any hard information we have at the moment comes directly from the company itself. Crucial details, like battery life and the technology the watch uses to connect with your iPhone, remain hidden for the moment. We don't know how vast swaths of the interface work, and we honestly have no idea what to expect from this device the first time we strap one onto our wrist. But Apple spent over an hour talking about its newest product category at yesterday's iPhone 6 launch event, and we got a pretty good look at ...

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    For the bloggers that cover them, one of the greatest things about trade shows is the opportunity to connect with counterparts from other publications ... and to podcast with them. Sometimes the best salve for a salvo of comparison videos shot back-to-back over 13 hours is a few minutes in front of the mic with friends, picking up the pieces while picking out the messages, trends, and lessons from the show. Helping us do that on today's Pocketnow Weekly podcast are two luminaries of the mobile tech world, both of whom have been on our guest "wish list" for over a year. Fresh from ...

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    It's really tough to get me excited about a new smartwatch from Samsung. That's not necessarily because of the company's earlier efforts, : I stood up for the original Galaxy Gear and enjoyed it much more than did most of my fellow tech reviewers, and I even bought and used a Gear Fit for a short time, preferring its futuristic and lightweight build to the clunky first-gen Pebble I'd adopted a year before. Rather, my antipathy to new Samsung smartwatches stems from the fact that the company's first effort landed exactly one year ago, and we're already on iteration five. That's a ...

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    As fun as it can be to marginalize and criticize them, smartphones are magical pieces of technology. From something as benign as an iPhone to a device as futuristic as a G Flex, today's pocket communicators are modern miracles of miniaturized intelligence. As I say at the top of every Weekly podcast, these real-life tools are the manifestation of many childhood dreams, mine included ... and it's incredible to stop and think about just how complex they really are. All of which makes it doubly frustrating when these supposedly "smart" devices screw up so spectacularly. Here's five ...

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