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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    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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    Update: Happy Halloween! The podcast is early so you can cover your ears with it while being spooked by pop-scares all around town! Motorola builds a shatterproof phone and we put it to the test. Samsung builds a tablet the size of a TV and we look on with concern. And Nintendo finally makes the jump to your smartphone screen ... and we get all nostalgic for Tetris and Toobin'. All this, plus some learning about the 600 MHz spectrum and an eyes-on session with your listener mail, on episode 172 of the Pocketnow Weekly! Watch the video broadcast from 3:30pm Eastern on October ...

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    There's a scene in the 1994 action comedy True Lies that goes like this. Two bad guys are in a truck which ends up perched precariously on a ledge, its front end poised for a long drop to the water below. The truck shakes and shimmies but then eventually rights itself, balancing perfectly on its center of gravity, its occupants breaking out into cheers of relief at their improbable salvation. Then a pelican lands on the hood, and the now-imbalanced truck plummets to the sea below. (And because this is a James Cameron movie, it explodes.) The Android stalwart HTC is a truck on a ledge. ...

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    The "Nexus phone" has meant many things to many people since the Nexus One rolled off the assembly line nearly six years ago. It's been a platform for Android developers; a poke in the eye at the traditional carrier sales model; an ill-fated attempt to play nice with those same carriers; a super-affordable smartphone and a not-so-affordable one. And through it all, the Nexus has been saddled with the responsibility of serving as the Android baseline, the showcase for Google's idealized vision of its mobile platform. That's a lot of weight for any one smartphone to carry, so ...

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    We're hard at work preparing our full reviews for the Google Nexus 6P and 5X, but that doesn't mean you need to wait for our Nexus coverage in a vacuum. Hot on the heels of our Nexus double-unboxing and our Nexus 6P vs Nexus 5X comparison, we've got another head-to-head video for you, this time featuring two devices that should be on every penny-pincher's mind this season. Separated in price by only $20, the Nexus 5X and Moto X Pure Edition each bring a lot of power for the price. Sharing the same processor and operating system and a similar devotion to timely Android updates, these ...

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    It’s a radical departure in design for a company desperately in need of some change – but for all that’s new here, there’s also a heaping helping of the familiar. Critics call HTC's new "iPhone clone" evidence of the company's ultimate surrender, while CEO Cher Wang has positioned it to employees as a well-balanced iPhone alternative. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Whichever side of the debate you fall on, it's pretty clear that the HTC One A9 announced today is a make-or-break device for the financially troubled smartphone manufacturer, and we went hands-on to ...

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    For the first time ever, Google’s new Nexus is not one phone, but two – so for the first time ever, those in search of a new pure-Android smartphone have a choice to make. In today's faceoff, affordability goes up against capability; polycarbonate squares off against aluminum; and the purest Marshmallow around bellies up to its mushy twin. Join us for the return of the Nexii in Pocketnow's latest comparison: Google Nexus 5X vs 6P! Nexus 5X vs 6P Carrier agnosticism has been woven into the Nexus line's DNA since day one. Nexus phones are sold unlocked, directly from Google, so while ...

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    Call us crazy, but where we come from a double smartphone release calls for a double unboxing. For the first time in the nearly-six-year history of the Nexus program, Google is launching two pure Androids from two separate manufacturers side by side. Join us as we take a first look at the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P: Google’s blueprints for the perfect smartphone. Google Nexus 5X & Nexus 6P Unboxing [gallery columns="5" ids="451228,451229,451230,451231,451232"] The experience of unpacking a factory-fresh Nexus has stayed much the same over the past five years, and the new Nexus 5X ...

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    Update: I have exacted my revenge for an opinion that is, I think, well-placed. Enjoy! AT&T launches something pretty cool and T-Mobile makes fun of it. Verizon's prepping a couple of new handhelds and they're called "Droids." OnePlus is cooking up a new smartphone and it's being pretty secretive about it. If I didn't know better, I'd say we've been here before. All this, plus: the BlackBerry Priv finally gets a date, teens roll their eyes at the Apple Watch, and we go eyes-on with your listener mail, on episode 170 of the Pocketnow Weekly! Watch the video broadcast from 12:00pm ...

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    In 2015, almost every smartwatch maker on the market is emphasizing style over smarts. Both Huawei and Motorola recently told us their new watches were designed as timepieces first and geeky gadgets second, and Samsung's fancy new Gear S2 bears almost no resemblance to its cuff-like predecessor. Further, all these refinements have been round: a quick look at the Android Wear section of the Google Store and even the latest out of Pebble confirms that it's no longer hip to be square. ASUS doesn't seem to care about any of that. The company made headlines earlier in the year by ...

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    Update: Also known as the Sicromoft podcast. Enjoy! Microsoft just hosted a very Apple-like unveiling of some (mostly) compelling products that have us wondering about a future covered in Live Tiles. Apple's newest iPhone uses processors from two different manufacturers that might result in varying battery life across models. And BlackBerry's talking up its new smartphone – while also considering exiting the hardware business. All this plus your listener mail awaits on episode 169 of the Pocketnow Weekly! Watch the video broadcast from 1:00pm Eastern on October 9 (click here for ...

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    Update: As of October 13, at least one person is reporting having received his Commodore smartphone on the company's Facebook page. The company still hasn't responded to a request for comment. Back in July, we reported almost gleefully on the return of the fabled Commodore computer brand, which was being resurrected by an enterprising UK-based company for the purpose of selling a nostalgia-fueled smartphone to Gen X geeks just like us. Sure, we thought, it was probably just a rebadged version of a generic Android handset, but that Commodore logo on the home key and "PET" on the back ...

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    The new iPhone is here – and 2015 being an "S year," the new iPhone is a lot like the old iPhone. That means it’s a solid device, simple yet capable. It’s the phone you recommend to your friends who can’t be bothered with constant optimizations, to parents who want something that just works, to those who take seriously Henry David Thoreau's philosophy to "simplify, simplify." But with a new operating system and one of the most significant interface upgrades in Apple's history, the supersized edition of the company's 2015 flagship is perhaps the least simple iPhone yet. How ...

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    Update: Nexus next to us... podcast in front of us. Enjoy! Google's new Nexus phones are here, T-Mobile's customer data is all over the internet, and the new iPhone can double as a submarine. On top of that, LG's looking to revamp the concept of the videophone and the smartwatch all at the same time, Microsoft's about to dump a load of Windows hardware on the world, and HTC is readying a familiar face for a fall launch. All this plus your listener mail awaits below, on episode 168 of the Pocketnow Weekly! So figure out which cable fits your new phone and plug in, because this ...

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    If there's ever been a Pocketnow headline with more complicated brand names, I sure don't know about it. It's an S year for Apple and a reinvention year for Samsung, with revised variants of the new iPhone going up against totally redesigned Galaxy offerings, and the result (in addition to the alphabet soup of branding) is a set of smartphones that have never been more alike – but which are still completely different. From new interface methods to new hardware designs, both Apple and Samsung are bringing something interesting to their smartphone offerings in 2015, and we're here to put ...

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    Even Apple knows it can't afford to snooze on the camera during an "off year." The company's two newest iPhones are S-models, moderate upgrades to existing designs that seldom dazzle quite the way their odd-year siblings do – but for 2015, they do come packing new optics. Our iPhone 6s Plus camera comes proper with a 12MP sensor featuring an f/2.2 aperture, optical image stabilization, a five-element lens behind sapphire cover glass, and an array of "focus pixels" dedicated exclusively to ... well, getting focus. It's an impressive-sounding package, but as we were recently ...

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    If you haven't noticed, we're wrapping up a really busy week here at Pocketnow. We reviewed the Huawei Watch, took a first look at the new Moto 360 and finally published our review of the OnePlus 2 – a phone that does an awful lot, for an awful lot less than the new iPhone. So while we're excited to see what Apple has in store in the latest iteration of its halo smartphone, we're also holding the iPhone to an even higher standard in 2015, the year of the inexpensive smartphone. Before we get to any of that, though, we’ve got to free the new iPhone from its retail packaging. So ...

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    "We have something bold to say."                         –OnePlus As this review goes to press, Apple's newest iPhone is hitting store shelves for the first time. The iPhone 6s starts at $649, but that model's anemic storage capacity means the smart folks will be stuck paying $749 for the 64GB version. Across the platform border, the new iPhone's most visible competitor –Samsung's Galaxy S6– comes in at around $540, while the fancy accoutrements of its Edge and Note siblings catapult their prices to near-thousand-dollar levels. High-end smartphones are expensive ...

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    Update: Major update from our pals at SCOTTeVEST.com: they have a 40% off sale going on up until Monday, September 28! Visit http://scottevest.com/pocketnow for the deets and enjoy! Only in the midst of iPhone-and-Nexus season could a week with three reviews, a new smartwatch, and looming launches from huge OEMs be called a "lull." But we'll take the breathers where we can get 'em. On the heels of our Huawei Watch review, a new Pebble joins the fray; on the eve of our OnePlus 2 review, LG teases a weird phone with a weirder video; and as Android Pay finally starts rolling out to US ...

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    Unlike its rival Huawei, Motorola didn’t necessarily strive to redefine product presentation with its new smartwatch – but that doesn’t mean it skimped. The Moto 360 2nd Generation unboxing experience is a rich one, its cylindrical retail container featuring the Moto 360 front and center under a glossy plastic dome, braced with packing material that also snugly accommodates a wall plug and an included wireless charging pedestal. It's a very sharp, very smart box that should also catch some eyes as it sits on store shelves. But you didn't click all this way to talk about ...

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    When your principal standouts in the United States are fringe or affordable smartphones, debuting your first Android Wear smartwatch at $349 is an audacious move. Only one other wearable in the Google Store hangs out in the rarified air above the $300 mark, after all, and $349 is just entry level pricing for the Huawei Watch. Does the company –whose name has yet to ring out in any meaningful way in the United States– bring enough quality to justify the coin? Let's find out. Huawei Watch Review Video   Hardware The Huawei Watch was designed to make an impression – and it does, ...

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    Update: Now with more silicon than ever. Hey, do me a favor? Next time you go on down to the Piggly Wiggly, see if they've got them there tablet six packs? I won't have 'em all, I promise; I just want a couple for the road. Yep, things got a little craaaaaazy in mobile technology this week. In the midst of our comprehensive Moto X Pure Edition review and a boatload of hands-ons from CTIA in Las Vegas, we've seen Nextbit announce a cloud-based smartphone, Apple allow an ad blocker into the App Store, and Amazon release, yes, tablet six-packs. And on top of all that, we've got some ...

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    It started well before we reviewed the Moto X Pure Edition. Upon learning that I'd be the one covering that device for Pocketnow, people began asking me almost constantly on Twitter and in the comments whether I'd be getting a Pure Edition of my own. After all, I'd owned the last two generations of Moto X; it made sense to assume that I'd treat myself to the newer, upgraded model once the time came around for my yearly upgrade. And for a while, I seriously considered it. And then that crazy BlackBerry Venice hands on video hit the feeds, and nothing in my world made sense anymore.   ...

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    "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood." –Daniel Burnham Back in 2013, the original Moto X came as a breath of fresh air to a smartphone community already growing fatigued of phablet overload. It was a smaller, humbler handheld that focused on usability rather than the latest features or supercharged specs. It was a product that we said wasn't for "nerds like us." It was, to borrow a phrase, a smartphone to restore sanity. Sanity, though, is not a popular virtue in the smartphone space. Despite positive reviews, the first Moto X did not sell well, and ...

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    They're both oversized Android smartphones with Motorola logos, but don't let the superficial similarity fool you. The newest Moto X is an entirely different beast than the aging Google flagship, and while we recently deemed the Nexus 6 still worth a buy when considered in a vacuum, Motorola's newest contender might signify a sea change. The Moto X Pure Edition brings a brighter display, a better camera, higher-end hardware and more customizability than any other Android phone out there – and it sports a svelter casing and a lower price tag than the Nexus 6 to boot. Can the Nexus ...

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