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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    While HTC's standard-trim One M8 was one of the worst-kept secrets in smartphone history, its special-edition cousin managed to stay unseen almost right up until its unveiling last week. HTC and Sprint announced the device in a joint event held alongside Spotify executives in NYC, where our own Adam Lein got an informative if noisy hands-on. Shortly thereafter, HTC sent us a demo unit to try out for ourselves (alongside a Harman Karson Onyx Studio that we've yet to cover) and we've spent the last few days getting to know it. That proved more difficult than expected. The Harman/Kardon ...

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    While Samsung's fashionable Gear Fit smart watch/fitness accessory saw plenty of action in our recent exercise adventure with S Health, our coverage of the device itself has been limited to just an initial hands-on and an unboxing as Editor-in-Chief Anton D. Nagy waits for his Galaxy S5 review unit to complete the long trek to Romania (our full Galaxy S5 review can be found here). On the bright side, Samsung was good enough to provide us a Gear Fit for review use here in the States as well. The tricky part: our window with that device was quite short, just about two days in all. That's not ...

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    Nimble hops between short subjects, or longform plumbing of deep depths? We don't like to make you choose with our podcast, so we occasionally hop across formats between episodes. This here is one of the deeper variety. This week's special guest is Myriam Joire (aka tnkgrl), Engadget alum and current product evangelist at Pebble. She brings her considerable expertise in optics and audio to a discussion ranging from the best high-end headphones to buy (to help replicate the "special" acoustic experience promised by the Harman/Kardon HTC One M8) to what camera settings to use for capturing ...

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    The desk. The keyboard. The chair. If you're a technology blogger in 2014 (or really any kind of white collar employee) these are very likely the tools which dominate your workday. So when a company like Samsung decides to make fitness a priority with its new flagship smartphone, it can be tough to fully evaluate those features unless you get out from behind that desk. Today, that's just what we're doing. While we've already given you a glance at Samsung’s S Health suite in our Galaxy S5 review –and the Galaxy S 4 review before that– we're taking a much closer look in this video. ...

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    We checked out the Harman Kardon HTC One M8 at the Sprint launch event in NYC yesterday, but with all the hubbub on the show floor, conditions weren’t great for a proper hands-on. Thankfully, Sprint and HTC were good enough to send us our very own review unit for a second pass today, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to churn out a nice luxurious unboxing and hardware tour! You probably remember the HTC One M8 from our full review just a few weeks back (and, you know, because it's one of the biggest Android smartphones to launch this year). Out of the box, the Harman/Kardon variant ...

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    A few days ago, we took a very special smartphone out of its packaging: the Nokia X. It's special not because of its midrange build quality or spec sheet, nor even its fluorescent green paint job. It's special because it's an Android-powered phone built by Nokia – until recently, a mere fantasy among the hardest-core of mobile geeks. Of course it's not all rainbows and sunshine, as we've covered before. But none of that matters, really, because when you're getting a gadget as special as this for free, there really isn't much to complain about. "For free, you say?" you ask, jaw dangling ...

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    The "flagship killer" that demands that you "NEVER SETTLE" breaks cover. The pioneer of the modern mobile browser shares his story. And at long last, Microsoft and Nokia finally consummate their love. We could have a feature segment, but with news this hot, do we really need one? Not with a guest like Stefan Constantinescu of TabDump to bring some flavor (and profanity) to the proceedings, that's for sure. A word on the language of this episode: we've recently ditched the "Clean" content rating that's been with us from the start of the Weekly, trading it in for Apple's ominous "Explicit" ...

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    Yesterday will be a day long remembered: it saw the end of Nokia as we know it. After a long regulatory approval process, the company's devices and services division has finally been scooped up by the company whose software has powered its offerings for the past few years: Microsoft. But the looming acquisition by Windows Phone's corporate overlord didn't stop Nokia from experimenting with new ideas in the months leading up to that merger. At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company finally laid bare its new offerings for developing markets: a trio of midrange ...

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    One of the hallmarks of our review process is the comparison video, and one of our favorite comparisons to make is the cross-platform faceoff. That's especially true when the two competitors are powered by Android and Windows Phone: there are so many disparities to cover, so many philosophical differences to delve into, that it can be a bit daunting – but the payoff, whatever it is, is usually worth it. In today's comparison, that satisfaction comes in the form of surprise. Because the Icon, like most Nokia Lumia devices, is built largely to support its camera, we expected the Verizon ...

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    "Your move, Samsung." That's how we wrapped up last month's review of the HTC One M8, a product that we called "an elegant smartphone for a more civilized age." The One M8 is such an impressive device that it might well be on its way to dominating the smartphone sales charts by now, were it not for the South Korean juggernaut whose brand has become synonymous with Android. Yes, it's time for the next Galaxy S: the fifth installment in a legacy stretching back to 2010. But where Samsung's front-running smartphone brand has previously brought us iPhone alternatives, devices with natural ...

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    It's the question every buyer with a limited budget or a frugal sensibility asks when a new flagship smartphone lands: do I need the new one, or can I save some dough by buying last year's model? Thanks to our annual-upgrade culture here in the States, the question is asked millions of times a month each spring season, mimicking the clockwork of the smartphone release cycle. But though the dilemma isn't a new one, the devices are: "Galaxy S5 vs S4" is just as crucial as "Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8" – a comparison we already bestowed upon you a few days back.  In fact, thanks to the ...

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    Skipping listener mail for two weeks in a row? We know, we know ... unconscionable. But we also know you'll forgive us in exchange for two things: a packed review schedule, and an awesome podcast guest. We're bringing you both of those as the week winds down to a close. In addition to the usual news segment narrated by the soothing voice of Chief News Editor Stephen Schenck, we've got additional insights on Samsung's new Galaxy S5: how it compares to its forebears, how well it fares against competition like the HTC One M8, and a debate on the merits of standout features like the ...

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    "One device is a product of an Android juggernaut, a fourth-generation powerhouse from a take-no-prisoners Goliath that essentially owns the Google-powered smartphone space. The other is a last-ditch effort to save its creator from certain destruction, a product forged from that peculiar mixture of desperation and determination that sometimes begets pure art." That's a pretty pretentious way of putting a smartphone comparison, but it's how we kicked off last year's HTC One (M7) vs Galaxy S 4 comparison video. The interesting thing is, if you change "fourth-generation" to ...

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    "Once we’ve got the 3D pose of each photo, we compute the depth of each pixel in the reference photo using Multi-View Stereo algorithms. MVS works the way human stereo vision does: given the location of the same object in two different images, we can triangulate the 3D position of the object and compute the distance to it. How do we figure out which pixel in one image corresponds to a pixel in another image? MVS measures how similar they are -- on mobile devices, one particularly simple and efficient way is computing the Sum of Absolute Differences (SAD) of the RGB colors of the two ...

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    "You know what this is?" "I know what this is." That's a dialogue couplet from the film True Lies, an Arnold Schwarzenegger action-comedy from the mid 1990s that has positively nothing to do with the newest stupendo-smartphone out of Seoul. Nothing, except for those two lines. Because you do know what this is. Even under the AT&T finery, even under the thick veneer of faux wood packaging, even despite the fifteen seconds of playful banter at the top of this video, you know what we're looking at: it's the most hyped smartphone of the year, like always. It's another Samsung flagship ...

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