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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    Time was, the only road to a consistent smartphone experience was to drop a metric buttload of cash and hope the device lived up to its hype. If it didn't, and you didn't catch it before the return period expired, too bad: you were stuck with that $600 brick for the rest of your two-year contract unless you could find someone to take it off your hands. Over the past year, the reality of the absurdly expensive smartphone has begun to come apart. Sure, most true flagships are still awfully pricey when you look at their off-contract cost, but devices like Motorola's Moto G and Moto E have ...

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    Updated with high-quality audio and links to download and stream below! Enjoy! Round smartwatches, roundly terrifying TOS agreements, and roundtable smartphone discussion: 'round here, it doesn't take much more than that to get a mobile podcast together, and –assuming the Hangouts gods will it– we'll be proving it to you in less than four hours. On today's episode, we're returning to a new favorite in the segments list, plumbing the depths of the podcast inbox to let you know what phone you should buy. We'll also tell you who won last week's smartphone giveaway and surprise you with ...

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    Remember that AT&T Galaxy S5 Active we inadvertently destroyed a few weeks back? We felt pretty badly about that (despite the fact that it wasn't our fault) and we've been itching to give the whole notion of a ruggedized Galaxy S5 another go. As luck would have it, Sprint recently landed its very own beefed-up Galaxy S5 in the form of the Galaxy S5 Sport, and the carrier was nice enough to shoot us a review unit. Instead of camouflage, our Electric Blue review device comes packing a rubberized backside and a whole boatload of bloat meant to make it more attractive to the exercise ...

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    The long-rumored, long-awaited "Amazon Phone" is finally here, and it's a doozy in more ways than one. Over the past week of testing, we’ve shown you its most fun features and run through its camera capabilities, and we've taken your questions live on the air during a special segment of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast. Now it's time to see how our impressions of the Fire Phone have changed since our first hands-on. As Amazon's own site helpfully reminds buyers, Fire is the only smartphone on the market with "Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, Mayday, and more." It's the only phone that gives ...

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    The Fire Phone is many things to many people: a funky 3D screen; a portal to a Prime membership; a refreshing escape from the normalcy of the typical smartphone world; a gimmick to be disregarded until the next generation – the list goes on. But whatever your personal opinion, the fact remains that as Amazon's first-ever smartphone, the newest Fire is indisputably significant. And part of its significance lies in its camera. The Amazon Fire Phone camera is a 13MP sensor backed up by the usual slew of glowing marketing material on the device's purchase page: it's a "custom-tuned camera ...

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    The Amazon Fire Phone is still a newcomer to our labs, but it's already been reviewed in several publications the world over. The verdict thus far: this might not be the phone you bring home to momma – not yet, anyway. Though we offered some initial impressions on the Fire Phone in the latest episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast and in the unboxing video embedded below, our minds are still chewing on the question of whether Amazon's first smartphone deserves to exist. The answer will have to wait for our full review coming (very) soon, but in the interim, we thought we'd whip up ...

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    You might buy a Fire Phone for its sweet Amazon Prime bundle, or for the Firefly feature that makes it even easier to add to your vast piles of material wealth. You might buy it to fiddle with its Dynamic Perspective display or to see just what its optically-stabilized camera can do. You might even buy it just to say that you own Amazon's first smartphone. Or, you might decide not to buy it at all, preferring to play the everlasting waiting game we talk about on the Pocketnow Weekly podcast. Whichever way you go, you'll want to know what the Fire Phone looks like. Humans being the vain ...

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    It’s known mainly for a marathon of metal monster phones ... but HTC is savvy enough to know that not everyone is all about aluminum. Accordingly, it’s released the HTC One E8: a polycarbonate version of its well-received One M8 with very few sacrifices and a somewhat reduced price. We’ve already compared the two devices in a head-to-head faceoff, after giving the device an initial once-over, a beauty pass in our photo studio, and showing you what its camera can do. Now it's time to see how well our "Electric Crimson" review unit fares all on its lonesome, in our HTC One E8 review ...

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    Update: Due to today's difficulties with Hangouts, the below Hangouts video is not the ideal recording of today's Weekly episode. Instead, we highly recommend the Libsyn-hosted version, edited by our own Jules Wang and available for streaming and download at the links below. Thanks for listening! One of the nice things about hosting your own podcast is that you get to decide exactly what qualifies as "news." Not in the mood to pretend the latest wave of iPhone 6 display-glass leaks fit the description? Well, tweak the filter a little, and suddenly you've got just a small handful of ...

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    As we might have said a few times before, we really appreciate the unibody aluminum of the HTC One M8, and the unique look and feel it gives the device. But variety is the spice of smartphones, as they say ... and in its quest to broaden its device offerings (and possibly also to remind everyone that it's no one-trick pony), HTC now offers another choice in its high-end Android space. Meet the One E8, a Snapdragon 801-powered Android smartphone made of polycarbonate and toting almost exactly the same specs as the One M8, along with a few added features for the global market. We’ll ...

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    Those quotes up there in the title do more than apologize for our unoriginal, lame pun: they acknowledge a truth that's gotta be tough for Amazon to swallow. The company's first smartphone, which we laid hands on last week, has seen mixed reviews in its first wave of press. There are good reasons for that. With a dubious exclusivity deal in place, a boatload of extraneous features masking its not-quite-Android OS, and a price point that's all kinds of wacky, the Fire Phone's utility isn't clear outside its role as a portal to easier, faster Amazon purchases. Factor in the ho-hum ...

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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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