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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  • by | March 7, 2014 7:02 AM

    "What would you say to the people who think that what you do is illegal?" " ... I would tell them that I don't want to answer this question." When you're interviewing the world's most notorious phone leaker, he's bound to duck a question or two. But cautious though he is, Evan Blass –formerly of Pocketnow and currently known across the web by his pen name @evleaks– is also a fountain of insight into the shadowy craft of being a professional spoiler. On today's episode of the Pocketnow Weekly, Evan shares the ups and downs of the underworld he's come to dominate, and gives us a glimpse ...

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  • by | March 5, 2014 8:40 PM

    When we first went hands-on with the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 at CES 2014, it wasn't always easy to tell it apart from its immediate neighbors in the Galaxy Note line. Down to the stitched leatherette and chromed-out accents, the new Tabs were doing their utmost to ape the higher-end Notes, making a meaningful comparison much tougher than in generations past – particularly in the bustling atmosphere of the show floor. Fortunately, Samsung has since graced us with demo copies of both the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. The latter has been dispatched to the offices of the ...

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  • by | March 5, 2014 3:45 PM

    As efforts like After The Buzz, the Pocketnow U-Review, and Empty Nest demonstrate, we’re constantly searching for fresh ways to review mobile technology. The newest product of those efforts is Pocketnow’s “Review Rebuttal” series, in which a member of our team is assigned to test a smartphone or tablet that’s already gone through our standard review process. While the resulting video or editorial doesn’t affect the “official” Pocketnow review score, we hope it provides added context by showcasing an editor’s personal opinion, rather than a team-wide consensus. We call it ...

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  • by | March 4, 2014 8:25 PM

    The summer of 2007. In the United States, Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, and Fall Out Boy topped the pop charts; the final installment in the Harry Potter series became the fastest-selling book in history; and the films Oceans 13 and Live Free or Die Hard proved there was still money to be made in Hollywood sequels. Meanwhile in quaint Norfolk Virginia, I was preparing to leave my job at wireless carrier Sprint Nextel, and as such, I was in the market for the biggest, beefiest smartphone I could buy to see me through the next two years. In 2007, that slab of smartphone hot sauce was the HTC ...

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  • by | March 3, 2014 5:56 PM

    For the purposes of this piece, there's a substantial difference between Samsung's new Galaxy S 5 and the All New HTC One, and not just in terms of features. More important is the gulf in our own personal experience: we've spent a lot of hands-on time with the former, while the other has yet to grace our fingertips. Even given that disparity, though, it seems clear to us that the old HTC vs Samsung question, which started back in 2012 with the One X/Galaxy S III matchup and was amplified by the HTC One/Galaxy S 4 contest of 2013, is really no different this year. The stakes may be a bit ...

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  • by | March 3, 2014 4:05 PM

    Last week, BlackBerry broke into the fast-and-furious MWC news cycle with a few announcements of its own: not only would the company be keeping the door open for another tablet in the coming years, but it would also be releasing new smartphone hardware in the form of the Z3 and Q20. The former device was less than interesting, destined as it was for Indonesia, but the Q20 seemed like a BlackBerry fan's NSFW fantasy. As Stephen Schenck described in a follow-up piece: "The Q20 will be the company’s latest model to feature a hardware keyboard, and notably, it has the largest display of any ...

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  • by | March 2, 2014 11:12 PM

    "Today is February 19th, Wednesday, and ... this phone is not out yet. But I get the phones early because I'm ... sponsored." So begins the most lengthy, in-depth, and thoroughly shady phone-leak video we've ever laid eyes on, and it stars none other than HTC's as-yet unreleased flagship, the All New HTC One (previously known as the M8). In addition to an up-close-and-personal view of a star-spangled comforter, we're treated to a full tour of what appears to be a black All-New HTC One for AT&T's network. Included in this tour: a side-by-side comparison with last year's HTC One, ...

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  • by | February 28, 2014 3:34 PM

    Anton D. Nagy chasing a taxi on foot. Jaime Rivera almost burning down a building with a power strip. A Honduran drinking palinca and a Romanian doing a Mexican accent. The tales from our leather-clad Barcelona duo are intense - but their intensity is matched by the hot mobile news that burst forth from this week's Mobile World Congress, the most epic in recent memory. To wit, that news includes an MWC 2014 Samsung Unpacked event that gave the world the latest Galaxy; a Sony unveiling of similar proportions that built on the Xperia legacy; a press conference that saw the world's first ...

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  • by | February 27, 2014 3:51 PM

    I’ve learned that there are two things about being a smartphone-and-tablet 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. • It was a confluence of well-timed events that saw me waxing nostalgic about Nokia's ...

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  • by | February 27, 2014 11:14 AM

    “We are inspired by taking risks and innovating mobile communications to bring value to users. We are a start-up company that had a big idea and we’ve executed on that idea. We looked at the smartphone from another side, literally, and created YotaPhone.” I love this quote. It's a little heavy on the corporate buzzwords for my taste, but the idea of a small group of dedicated individuals banding together to will a dream into reality -particularly a dream as unconventional as YotaPhone- is an inspiring tale even to those who don't share my love for the underdog. And Yota Devices ...

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  • by | February 26, 2014 10:36 AM

    Forty-four videos and untold news stories later, MWC 2014 is finally on the cusp of winding down - but there's still more to "unpack" from Monday's Samsung event. After yesterday's editorials on the ups and downs of the company's recent moves with its flagship smartphone, today's agenda starts with something much smaller: the Gear Fit, and how it might save Samsung from smart watch mediocrity. First some background: I was standing outside the entrance to Samsung's Galaxy Studio in New York City on Monday, waiting to be let in for the Unpacked press event, when a familiar person sighted me ...

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  • by | February 25, 2014 3:12 PM

    Earlier today, I posted a piece arguing that the Galaxy S 5 doesn't deserve all the crap it's getting from smartphone enthusiasts who were expecting more from Samsung's new Android flagship. While I stand by that opinion, the device's flaws still need pointing out - and I think a very big one can be found in the Galaxy S 5 fingerprint scanner. There are certainly larger laments to air when it comes to the newest Galaxy. The storage problem, the familiar look of TouchWiz, the resemblance of the back cover to a Band-Aid - all of it is important (in the way that arguments about the minutiae ...

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  • by | February 25, 2014 11:46 AM

    By and large, the Pocketnow audience is a league of fiercely devoted mobile-tech aficionados whose collective knowledge I've come to respect and, at times, rely upon. They are the very essence of smartphone and tablet fandom: the passionate masses that make this field worth writing about. They are also not my target audience for this piece. Rather, this is an editorial for you normies out there - the average folk who have, by choice or by birth, been blessed with one of "us" in your life. I'm writing this because Samsung just announced a pretty epic smartphone yesterday and, mobile mavens ...

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  • by | February 25, 2014 11:35 AM

    What do you do when a company offers you a hands-on opportunity with a smartphone running software you're not allowed to access? Well, usually you move on to the next vendor. Things are a little different, though, when the concept behind the device is as intriguing as that underlying Blackphone. We've covered Blackphone a few times over the past several months. In the wake of the NSA domestic-spying scandal in the US, a smartphone that promises privacy through an encrypted OS has become more interesting - and perhaps more feasible as a mass-market idea. But is your privacy worth a $629 ...

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  • by | February 25, 2014 12:30 AM

    When we asked a Samsung rep to clarify the differences between the Gear 2 Neo and its simply named (but better-endowed) sibling at today's Unpacked event, we were surprised to learn just how shallow those differences were. The Neo drops the camera, leaving the IR port to fend for itself in its tiny porthole up top, but aside from the accompanying reduction in size and mass, the watches are essentially identical. That means the Gear 2 Neo packs the same Tizen OS, the same heart rate sensor around back, the same 4GB of local storage, and the same tightened hardware build that allows for ...

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