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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    A mini, metal One M8. That’s the idea with HTC’s new One mini 2: miniature yes, but with a fit and finish meant to make it impossible to ignore its flagship ancestry. So if the larger One M8 caught your eye but proved too big for your hand, is the One mini 2 a viable alternative, or has HTC made too many sacrifices on the road to a smaller footprint? That's what we aim to find out with the HTC One mini 2 vs HTC One M8 comparison video below. We take a tour of each phone's anatomy, from fit and finish to software to the wildly divergent cameras. You'll learn what you'll gain and what ...

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    HTC already offers a beautifully crafted Android smartphone with the One M8 – but for all its beauty, it sure is big. So for those who put a premium on pocket space (or pocket change) comes a smaller, cheaper alternative. The new HTC One mini 2 hits shelves this summer with a mission to bring the One M8’s high-end user experience to the midsize category. But the landscape of mini smartphones is a pockmarked one, cratered with cut corners and dotted with disappointment. Is the One mini 2 truly something different, or just another compromise in disguise? Let's find out. • Video ...

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    They're not just summoned from whole cloth, and not everyone can afford the Vienna Boys Choir, so where do ringtones come from? A great many artists and musicians, actually, and we talk to a particularly talented one on today's podcast. Ali Spagnola joins us in the feature segment to share tales of music making, drinking games, and just how one gets banned from Michigan – and on the way we learn exactly how a pair of ringtones called "Radiation" and "Robots for Everyone" found themselves on millions of smartphones the world over. Before that, Adam Z. Lein stops by to tell us all about ...

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    This review's subtitle is an axiom known to parents, financial advisors, and other dispensers of wisdom far and wide – but it's important to note that it's not necessarily a condemnation. The newest product out of Motorola Mobility has an awful lot going for it precisely because of its bargain-basement price tag. With the Moto E, Motorola aims to provide an easier upgrade path to the 70% of global mobile users still stuck on feature phones, to convert smartphone ownership from a privilege to a right. But to coin another adage, "you don't get something for nothing." While Motorola ...

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    What exactly qualifies as a "remix?" How deluded do you have to be to believe in all these "Prime" rumors? Why are we so transfixed by the notion of lasers on smartphones, and so easily taken in by a smartphone commercial, if it's shot like a trailer for Inception? We tackle these questions, and the biggest announcement section in the history of the podcast, in episode 096 of the Pocketnow Weekly. No, that's not bragging – it's just an unavoidable symptom of a month packed with unboxings, hands-ons, product launches, and reviews (both forthcoming and already-published). But even in the ...

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    Motorola's made a quick stop on the road to crafting the so-called "$50 smartphone," releasing a $129 miniature handset called the Moto E in the process. We went hands-on with the Moto E in New York City earlier this week before showing you what it's camera is made of. Our full review is coming later in the month, but in the interim, we thought we'd put the Moto E up against Motorola's reigning low-cost smartphone, the Moto G. After all, the Moto G isn't just some down-specced Moto X that the company launched and then forgot about. In terms of sales, it's the most successful smartphone in ...

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    In case you missed the announcement, the rumored HTC One mini 2 finally broke cover this morning, and it's just what the rumors said it would be: a pint-sized version of the company's well-received One M8 smartphone. Aesthetically, the One mini 2 is everything you'd expect from a mini metal One M8 – but true to form, HTC has made some sacrifices on the spec side. Under the hood, we're looking at a quad-core Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) at 1.2GHz, leaning on a gig of RAM and 16GB of storage, with MicroSD cards up to 128GB supported. The display is a 4.5 inch LCD at 720p, the battery a 2100 ...

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    While it's suffered nowhere near as much early exposure as its higher-end sibling, HTC's newest product has been breaking cover in bits and pieces since earlier this month. Today, the company finally took the wraps off of the "lite" version of its well-received HTC One M8, this time eschewing the latter's esoteric codename for the more straightforward "HTC One mini 2." Like its 2013 predecessor, the One mini 2 more closely resembles its big brother in looks than in specs. As we expected, a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 sits under the hood, backed up by 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage ...

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    At first glance, you could be forgiven for mistaking Sony's new flagship smartphone for its old flagship smartphone. That's partly because of the company's pronounced design aesthetic, and partially thanks to its tendency to fire out new products at a faster pace than its competition. But for all the resemblance the new Xperia bears to its forerunner, there's a world of difference beneath the toughened glass. The Z2's vibrant display puts the elder model's to shame, its innards throb with the power of the best hardware around, and its high-resolution camera is finally a Sony shooter to be ...

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    A 5MP fixed-focus camera with no flash, no stabilization, no front-facing selfie-shooting counterpart, and no fancy features to speak of. Yes indeed, the Moto E camera is about as bare-bones as it gets. On Motorola's specs page for the Moto E, where even the most minor features are called out in elaborate detail, the optics section is laughably spartan: Of course, such is life on the low end of the smartphone spectrum. We already have some guidance that's helped set our expectations in this area: the Moto E's Windows Phone-based competitor, the much-cheaper Lumia 520, went under our review ...

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    "Built to last, priced for all." That's the motto behind Motorola's latest smartphone designed for developing markets, and we're in NYC to bring you a first hands-on. As you can see in the video below, the family resemblance here is strong: the Moto E is physically very similar to the flagship-level Moto X and its more-affordable cousin, the Moto G. While the Moto E is noticeably thicker than each, it also has a smaller footprint on its face, making it just as comfortable to hold, if not more so. As we reported earlier today, specs are as you might expect from a smartphone with the Moto ...

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    When two smartphone manufacturers vie for the attention of the same buyer segment, things can get pretty interesting – especially when they take the same broad path to do it. This isn't like our Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5 comparison, where huge design differences meant the Sony product was the only one actively trying for a "high end" look and feel. In the case of today's face-off, both the One M8 and the Xperia Z2 have been designed specifically to appeal to those in the market for a "premium" smartphone – but HTC and Sony have taken completely different routes to achieve that luxury fit ...

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    You know those weeks where you're like, "hey - what if we didn't have a weekly podcast eating up half a day in production time? Can you imagine the kind of boost our review coverage could get from that time?" Yeah, us either. Because this is the Pocketnow Weekly, and we're not breaking our perfect streak a month before our hundredth episode. This is podcasting, Jack. Serious business. We've even got us an EXPLICIT tag to prove it. We ain't playin' around.  In this week's installment of the world's most meandering tech podcast, hot news! HTC dodges a big bass-boosted bullet with their ...

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    What's cooler than a Snapdragon 801-powered, 5-inch-plus, waterproof smartphone? Another Snapdragon 801-powered, 5-inch-plus, waterproof smartphone. That's a poem by noted smartphone researcher Eesee Oveur Eyenot, and while it tells part of the Samsung/Sony drama of 2014, it sure doesn't come close to painting the whole picture. The Xperia Z2 vs Galaxy S5 rivalry is a story of similar specs, yes – but it's also a tale of dueling casings, design approaches, and even lifestyles. One device comes to the ring courtesy of a once-unstoppable juggernaut that's recently let off on the gas ...

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    The Sony Xperia Z2. We got our hands on it back at MWC 2014 for an initial impressions video and a comparison or two, but things have been awful quiet since those heady days in Barcelona. That's because we're primarily an American news outlet, and the Xperia Z2 won’t be coming to the United States until summer (when it will likely fly the flag of Verizon Wireless). But thanks to the fine folks at GSM Nation, we were able to get our hands on one just the same! The retailer is one of the first in the US to carry the Xperia Z2, and the team there was kind enough to loan us one of their ...

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