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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    Updated with links to the high-quality version of the podcast below! Thanks for joining us for the live show, everyone, and enjoy the HQ downloads in the Links section. One of the nice things about a mobilized mob of fanatics is ... well, nothing. For the purposes of intelligent discourse and civility, there's nothing cool or helpful about a bunch of heated fanboys rabidly denigrating a new product because it happens to threaten their preferred smartphone. We've talked about this sort of thing before, and now we're talking about it again – this time in the context of Blackphone vs ...

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    As I write this review, my Facebook wall sits abuzz with consternation from friends and family alike, all of them complaining about the same offense in a rare show of unified ire. Facebook's recent mandate that mobile users install its Messenger app, with all its Orwellian security permissions, has reignited a discussion more and more common among the general public: in today's world, how much privacy are we really giving away ... and how do we get some of it back? To answer the latter question, cyber-security outfit Silent Circle came together with hardware firm Geeksphone to ...

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    Updated with time codes, new streaming portals, and links to the high-quality version. Skip past the YouTube embed and download your very own copy of this week's podcast. Enjoy! Thanks to our new Blackphone review devices, we're already halfway off the grid ... or at least, halfway buried under Post-It notes littered with passwords, which is almost the same thing. Before we get too stealthy, though, we're hosting us a little show. Some of you might know it as the mobile technology podcast that's gone 108 episodes without missing a single week (accurate). Others might know it as the last ...

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    As studious subscribers of our YouTube Channel already know, we just unboxed a brand-new Blackphone courtesy of the good people at GSM Nation. After breaking cover at MWC in February, the security-centric smartphone is finally hitting US store shelves over the next few weeks, and we'll be giving it the full review treatment –as well as a slot in the Pocketnow Summer of Giveaways– in the next week or so. While Blackphone is already well-known in tech circles as the world's only consumer smartphone focused primarily on privacy, there are precious few photos out there to show ...

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    It captured our imagination at MWC 2014: a smartphone built specifically to provide secure communications in an era of ever-increasing surveillance. Blackphone may not be the most distinctive or highest-end handheld on the market, but it's certainly chosen the right time to break out onto the scene. We're taking a close look at the device, a joint initiative of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, in the week ahead – and we're also planning a special Blackphone chapter of Pocketnow's Summer of Giveaways in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, we're kicking ...

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    There was a time, here in the States, when each wireless carrier boasted its own variant of almost every flagship Android smartphone. Verizon had its DROID line, Sprint pushed the Evo series, AT&T thought up names like "Galaxy S II Skyrocket" and the pre-Legere T-Mobile USA ... well, it basically took whatever manufacturers decided to give it. This was the time of ridiculous customization for customization's sake, of top-tier devices segregated by features and design at the fickle whim of carriers, of ridiculous brand names like the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch. Those ...

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    Looking for our original Dell Venue Pro review from 2011? Check it out here. Wondering about the tablet family with the same name from 2013? Peep this. Want a sweet nostalgia trip? See below. • There was a time when manufacturers still pushed the boundaries of industrial design, when Windows Phone was the newest smartphone platform around, and Dell still called itself a smartphone maker. These were the days of WVGA displays being sold as "high resolution," of 3G masquerading as 4G, of 5-megapixel primary cameras and QWERTY keyboards with individual spring-loaded plastic keys. Into ...

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    Smartphone security is a good idea, but it’s also a pain in the butt. So if you’re sick of swiping patterns and selecting security codes (and you’re into temporary body modification) Vivalnk and Motorola have just the thing for you. The Vivalnk digital tattoo is a temporary wearable NFC tag coated with 3M adhesive that works with the Moto X's Skip technology to allow you to unlock your smartphone without entering a passcode, swiping a pattern, or smiling for the camera. Just wake the Moto X's screen and tap it to your wrist (or wherever you've stuck the digital tattoo), and you're ...

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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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