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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    Compared to its One M8 sibling, the HTC One E8 trades an UltraPixel camera for a more conventional 13MP shooter, single-subscriber support for a globetrotter-friendly dual-SIM configuration, and –most visibly– it ditches the aluminum chassis for a polycarbonate unibody that changes the whole look and feel of the device. The other changes are important and will be addressed in our One M8 vs One E8 comparison and our full HTC One E8 review, but admit it: you're as vain as the rest of us, and you want to know just how good the E8 looks in the hand. HTC offered several flavors of ...

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    When we first laid eyes on the Martian line of smartwatches, I was unimpressed. Too low-tech. When we first laid hands on the Martian Notifier, I remained unmoved. Too low-key. When AT&T and Martian dropped a Notifier on our doorstep, I almost recycled it for our summer of giveaways. Too busy. Then I used it for a week ... and I had to schedule a review. Too awesome. In a world with smartwatches like Android Wear, Samsung’s Gear line, and the Pebble, you might think the time for a simpler wearable has long passed. But a company called Martian Watches is betting the other way, ...

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    HTC built the One E8 as a companion device to its One M8 flagship, intending it as a more flamboyant, slightly cheaper version of the same. It's a phone for markets where dual-SIM support matters, a phone for folks who prefer flashy polycarbonate over brushed aluminum ... and most importantly for our purposes: it's a smartphone that places resolution above creative design when it comes to its camera. With its high-end One M8, HTC opted for an unconventional optical arrangement: a 4MP "UltraPixel" camera working in tandem with a dedicated depth-finding sensor to enable some faux bokeh ...

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    "If you’re looking for the best flagship smartphone experience, but want to stand out from the crowd, this phone's for you." HTC CEO Peter Chou's words, taken from the press release announcing the company's One E8 early last month, elegantly sum up the eye-catching device. When our review unit arrived in the office yesterday morning for its unceremonious off-camera unboxing, we took a few beats longer than usual just to stare at the "Electric Crimson" paint job of its polycarbonate unibody construction. The phone bears a thick glossy coating that we'd normally revile, but here it ...

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    I'm more connected than ever before, and I have the smartwatch to thank for it. To those who think we're already too deeply mired in the muck of always-on communications, that might not sound appetizing – but smartwatches don't exist merely to bring us more connectivity; the good ones connect us to the world in a smarter way. Skeptics of the new category focus mainly on its redundancy, which is a fair point (why wear a smartwatch when I can just pull my phone out instead?). But once you've worn one for a while, you realize just how useful it can be to have notifications and simple ...

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    Update: Edited podcast with download links has been added below the YouTube embed, courtesy of our excellent podcast editor, Jules Wang! Get to downloadin', folks! The big guys have enough time in the limelight. It seems every week we're spending 80% of the podcast talking about the huge players in the mobile space, along with their commensurately huge smartphone and tablet offerings. While we're not ignoring those established forces in this episode, we are devoting a bit more time to newcomers: from Amazon to OnePlus to a little firm called GoTenna, there's a lot going on in mobile's ...

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    AT&T was kind enough to host us at a hands-on event in NYC last night, and of all the things we came away with, one of the biggest was a renewed appreciation for what a crazy-busy review season it's been. We'd already reviewed almost every single one of the devices AT&T had on display, from wearables like the LG G Watch to affordable smartphones like HTC's Desire 610 to outliers like the not-quite-so-durable Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. Standing apart from these devices, though, was the holy grail of the event: thanks more to its rarity than any one distinctive feature, the ...

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    At its core, the mission of a smartwatch is to make life easier. To improve on the smartphone experience by giving you leave to keep it in a pocket or leave it on the table across the room, because your messages, calls, emails, and other notifications are coming straight to your wrist. The nondescript, water-resistant G Watch does a fairly good job of delivering those notifications, popping up inbound messages alongside weather reports, calendar items, pedometer readings and much more on the 1.65-inch IPS LCD. But it's not until the Snapdragon processor spins to life that the G ...

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    Updated with time codes, download links, and the contest winner's name! Thanks to all who participated in our giveaway contest; stay tuned for another one next week as Pocketnow's month of giveaways rolls on! If there's one thing we're about, it's devices. And from Sony's new "Selfie Phone" to the new Android Wear-ables to the rumors of new Droids, a new Lumia 1525, a back-from-the-dead Surface Mini and the lingering possibility of the Nexus 8, we've got no shortage of hardware talk on this episode of the Pocketnow Weekly: the podcast that leaves the broad implications to others, so we ...

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    Most new device launches go the same way: usually the press gets review units before they’re widely available, and we get to use them for a few days -or a week if we’re lucky- as we work on our review. Then press day arrives. The embargo on media coverage lifts, and everyone posts their reviews and videos at the same time. It’s a huge frenzy, commenters go nuts, and it’s a giant explosion of frantic opinion-sharing activity. For about … a day. And then it all goes away. Sure, there’s followup coverage as people find bugs and hidden features, but after that initial blast, not ...

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    As you might've guessed, we're big on saving pocket space here at Pocketnow ... and we sometimes miss the days when phone holsters were a "thing." I talked about this in a short editorial almost exactly one year ago, where I made a case for the return of the phone pouch: The added utility of freeing up a pocket is almost magical – especially in the summertime when fabric is at a premium. Also, phones don’t clang around on a belt like they do in a pocket, keeping your stride steady and your center of gravity … centered. You’re much more likely to feel vibration alerts when the ...

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    We've unboxed and directly compared the first two official smartwatches from Google (and if you need a refresher, the videos are embedded below for your viewing pleasure). It's gonna take us a few days to rassle up a full review of each new Android Wear device though, so in the meantime we thought those of you who aren't so hip to the YouTubes might like to see the smartwatches in still life in an Android Wear gallery. Below you'll find a series of snapshots taken during the course of filming our latest round of Android Wear videos. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live came to us in ...

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    Neither is the smashing circular sensation of the Moto 360, but neither is by any means ugly – and aesthetic considerations aside, sometimes there's something to be said for promptness. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are the two devices gracing our review desk on today's Android Wear unboxing, the smartphone accessories Google has chosen to redefine the role of a smartwatch. We're not strangers to wearables around these parts, of course. Some of us backed the Pebble long before that device and its descendents came to our professional attention, while others put their money on ...

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    I’ve learned that there are two things about being a mobile technology reviewer. The first thing: you get to handle awesome gadgetry days or weeks ahead of its official release date, and you’re not just allowed to use the heck out of it; you need to, in order to do your job. That’s the awesome thing. The other (less-awesome) thing: you eventually have to give it all back. Empty Nest is a recurring column discussing what I miss -and what I don’t- about the devices I’ve had to return. • All this talk about the maybe-real, probably-fake Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has me ...

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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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