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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    An echo-filled hotel room, hosts with cracked voices and stuffy noses, and a rundown full of the hottest new mobile technology in the world. Those ingredients can spell only one thing: a CES 2015 wrap-up podcast straight from the heart of Las Vegas, hosted by your very own Pocketnow pixel pirates. And we're not alone! Joining us on this two-hour mission to tame the wild ramparts of the mobile tech scene are two podcast guests near and dear to our hearts: Nicole Scott of MobileGeeks and Joshua Vergara of Android Authority. Together with our CES video host/producer Hayato Huseman, it makes ...

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    As you may recall, ten days ago I returned to my long-neglected Lumia 1020 for the holidays. This overdue reunion of contrarian nerd with fringe platform was meant to answer a question we get quite often in the Pocketnow Weekly mailbag: at the dawn of a new year, is Windows Phone still a world worth moving to (or even visiting)? In an atmosphere of delayed flagship launches and growing skepticism among some smartphone manufacturers, the question is more pertinent than ever. The answer, as it turns out, is yes — but it carries some very important qualifiers, and it's certainly not ...

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    Updated with the HQ version of the podcast. Thanks for tuning in – we hope to see you next week from CES 2015! The mercury is dropping, the champagne corks are popping, and the annual complaints about PR pitches are flowing freely in the Twittersphere. All that can only mean one thing: another CES is just around the corner, and it's time to talk about what we're expecting from America's largest consumer electronics show! As always, we're keeping our focus confined to mobile - and joining us on this special CES pre-show is another luminary in the mobile tech space, Booredatwork's own ...

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    For months I've carried on under the guise of a Windows Phone user. My Twitter profile states it outright; longtime readers cite it in my defense whenever commenters call me on the carpet for "anti-Microsoft bias"; and my friends even unwittingly re-verify it when choosing random Facebook photos to tag me in. But as I explained in last week's episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, my title of Windows Phone user has dwindled to a largely honorary one of late. The neverending stream of review devices from the Android, iOS, and wearable worlds has kept me outside the Microsoft ecosystem ...

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    Updated with the high-quality audio version of the podcast (methods to both download it and stream it), as well as timecodes and more. As always, we thank you for your listenership, and we hope to see you right back here again next week! Everyone needs a break. When the year is winding down, the news cycle is as cold as the snow outside, sickness is in the air and holiday travel looms in the distance like a brake light-studded Christmas tree, it can be tempting to just pull the ejection handle and say "sorry!" to the whole podcast affair, just once. But this is the Pocketnow Weekly, ...

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    Updated with links to the high-quality version of the podcast (both to stream and download it), as well as timecodes to let you jump through the podcast. As always, thanks for listening, and we'll see you right here next week! "Bring us alternate topics," you said. And boy oh boy, have the waning days of December delivered. On today's podcast, we're joined by Daniel Bader of MobileSyrup for a firsthand account of the BlackBerry Classic launch and an acoustic retelling of MobileSyrup's BlackBerry Classic review, told as only a true Canadian can tell it. On the heels of that, we're ...

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    Remember last year, when we prefaced our nonsensical Nexus 5 vs Note 3 comparison video with the declaration that we were only doing it because so many of you had asked us to? Google saved us the trouble this year, by building its new Nexus to large-enough proportions that you could almost mistake it for this year's Galaxy Note 4. (If you were far enough away, that is. And if your eyesight wasn't too good.) Point is: unlike the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 is a large-format smartphone. And unlike the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 packs the absolute latest in technology without also taking a dive on the ...

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    Android 5.0: it's not just for smartphones anymore. (Well okay; it was for smartphones and tablets before, but that kinda ruins the joke.) With the latest software update out of Google, the company's wearable computing platform gets a big boost. Around here, we call it the Android Wear Lollipop edition – and it's already made our Moto 360 and G Watch R smartwatches much more capable. Join us for a guided tour of Android Wear Lollipop! In five minutes, we take you for a spin around new notification settings, specialized modes for movie theaters and beach days, a new gallery built just ...

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    Updated with links to download and stream the Weekly 126. Additionally, we'd like to apologize to our listeners this week, as the recording quality isn't quite as good as usual because of multiple technical difficulties. We hope you enjoy the episode, however, and we'll see you right back here next week! It's the sleekest slice of the future this side of the Galaxy Round and LG G Flex, and we've got it on the air. This week on the Pocketnow Weekly, it's the Galaxy Note Edge review (podcast edition) and we're eager to take all your questions just as quickly as you can submit them, so make ...

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    A manufacturer's "smartphone philosophy" might seem like a lofty concept dreamed up by a reviewer big on thesauri and light on sleep, but it's actually pretty easy to summarize with a quick story from Barcelona. A couple years ago at MWC, Editor-in-Chief Anton D. Nagy and I found ourselves at a briefing being shown a new Samsung product due for release. When we remarked that a competing product from another manufacturer exhibited more overall polish and cohesiveness, Samsung's response was quick and blunt: "Yeah, but ours can do more." That's been the story of the high-end Samsung ...

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    The Galaxy Note Edge screen is a 160-pixel-wide strip of pure potential – assuming you know how to use it. Given Samsung's typically robust software build and the sheer audacity of bolting such a novel addition onto an already feature-packed smartphone, we thought new Galaxy Note Edge owners might appreciate a little tutorial to kickstart their journey into bent-screen bliss. So we cooked up the below video to help you get acquainted with the raddest secondary display since the Motorola i930. From the quick-draw convenience of Quick Tools to the patronizing pleading of S Health, we've ...

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    The Galaxy Note Edge is a Galaxy Note 4 with a little something extra – 409,000 little somethings, actually. They're the pixels making up the display extension along the phone's right-hand side, a curved strip of AMOLED that Samsung calls the "Edge screen." It's built to add functionality to an already-potent portfolio of features ... but it also adds cost, and sacrifices some of the fit and finish we really appreciate on the Note 4. With both Notes on shelves this holiday season, we thought it wise to compare the new Notes and see what you're buying when you opt for one or the ...

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    The Nexus 6 is like no Google smartphone that's come before. Built to prodigious dimensions with the fortified heft that few but Motorola can manage, this newest Nexus debuted to a wave of demand – and discord. With a price tag nearly double that of last year's model and the footprint of a small tablet, the Nexus 6 comes as a significant shock to those who expected more of the same in 2014. The wonderful thing about shock, though, is that it wears off. And once it does, you start to remember that affordability has only occasionally been synonymous with the Nexus brand. You realize ...

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    Updated with links to download and stream the high-quality audio version, plus timecodes. Thanks for listening, folks – we'll see you next week right here! Around these parts, even the slow news weeks sizzle with excitement – and that's just fine with us. On the rundown for this edition of Pocketnow's once-a-week mobile technology podcast: a bevy of Motorola rumor and speculation, new odd smartphones from YotaPhone and Alcatel ONETOUCH, and ominous developments in the land of carrier meddling. On top of that, Brandon Miniman returns this week as our podcast guest! Our former ...

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    Nexus 6 vs Moto X: it's a debate playing itself out in browser tabs, retail stores, and fevered brains across the nation – one made more difficult by their shared ancestry and aesthetics. But difficult debates are Pocketnow's prime province, so naturally we've got some thoughts on the matter. While you don't have to look too closely to see that these Androids are indeed Motos from other mothers, you've got to dig a little deeper to find out just how different they are. From screen size to camera build to software load, right down to the direction of their USB ports, these Motorola ...

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    Nexus 6 vs Nexus 5. If you're a die-hard Android fanboy/girl with a wad of phone-buying bills burning a hole in your pocket and no idea whether to spring for the super-modern or settle for the slightly dated, this is the comparison for you. While the gulf in screen and chassis size is huge here, there's more to this decision than bigness. The Nexus 6 carries a larger battery, higher-resolution camera, more modern processor, more elaborate radio stack ... and a $300 premium over its year-old predecessor. That means it starts at $649 instead of $349, probably its biggest deviation from ...

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    Updated with the HQ audio version of the podcast (download and streaming links) as well as timecodes so you can navigate the whirlwind that is our podcast with ease. As always, thanks for listening, and see you next week! An octagonal Android smartphone, a lawsuit over the term "Milk," and a phone camera that flips up like a deranged pancake. Oh, and luxury smartwatches. (Luxury smartwatch faces, anyway. Illegal ones. Or something.) Companies have waited until the end of the year to spring all the nonsense on us, it seems – and we're lapping it up like the grateful tech hounds we are. ...

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    "We're not first, so we might as well be last and know something." That's a line we ripped off from The Newsroom, and it's also our review philosophy when we don't get a demo device in time for a punctual review. But we (finally) have a Nexus 6 in house, and we're (finally) going to unbox it – and we'll try to turn the delay to our mutual advantage in the process. In case you missed our multiple podcasts discussing the Nexus 6, what we're looking at here is a real monster on the spec sheet, the size chart, and the price list. The $649 Nexus 6 is the largest Nexus smartphone ever ...

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    Anyone with an interest in the bar business and a stomach for reality television is probably familiar with Bar Rescue, the SpikeTV phenomenon that's brought bar and nightclub expert Jon Taffer to living rooms worldwide since 2011. The show follows Taffer as he drops in on failing bars and restaurants all over the nation, solving their business woes through a regimen of on-the-job training, elaborate renovations, and often-scathing criticism.   But Taffer's not content merely with hosting a hit TV show and overseeing a consulting empire that includes one of the biggest annual ...

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    Updated with links to stream and download the high-quality audio version of the podcast, as well as timecodes for all the stories mentioned. We hope you enjoyed – see you next week! Is Nokia's new tablet just an iPad ripoff – or just what Android needs? Will Gorilla Glass 4 finally stop you from shattering your smartphone? And is the Gear S a good enough smartwatch to make the dumbphone obsolete? These are the pressing questions on the docket this week as the mobile industry prepares to end a wild year on a weird note, and we're gonna tackle them one by one in the ruthlessly silly ...

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    If you can’t decide between the new Nexus and the new iPad, you’re probably hung up on one of two factors: ecosystem or price. Nothing we say here will change the fact that the Nexus 9 is about $100 cheaper, and if you’re already invested in Apple’s or Android’s walled garden, the decision is already made based on which smartphone you’re carrying. Probably. But if you’re thinking about jumping platforms, or this will be your first tablet, there are a few differences worth discussing. Those differences span hardware, software and day-to-day performance – and the end ...

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    Update: Edited to correct screen measurement figure. So there I am this morning, preparing some wearable videos featuring the latest and greatest from LG and Samsung (the G Watch R review and Gear S hands-on, if you're interested), and suddenly the internet explodes. There's a new thing from Nokia, apparently, a milled metal slab of science featuring Real Aluminum and Real Android, two things everyone has been clamoring for over the last several years of polycarbonate Windows-running Nokias. Now that Nokia is Nokia again and Other-Nokia has been absorbed into Microsoft, the former has ...

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    Samsung's newest Gear is also its most ambitious. The Gear S smartwatch packs a curved two-inch display, IP67 ingress protection, and a custom Tizen UI into a cuff-like wristband that weighs in at a surprisingly airy 66g. Oh, and it packs cellular and WiFi connectivity along with the usual Bluetooth. That last important detail makes the Gear S more than just your typical smartwatch. As we discovered during our first hands-on at IFA 2014, the Gear S is capable of fully independent operation, smartphone or no. Sure, you still need a smartphone to set it up –and a Samsung one at that– ...

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    If you’re shopping for a new smartwatch in the Google Play Store, you’re faced with a sea of choices from chic to super-minimal … but only one stands out as a watch that would survive an extended dose of real-world use and abuse. If that's the kind of thing that winds your crown, then the LG G Watch R is very possibly your next Android Wear smartwatch. The G Watch R brings more to the table than its hulking stainless-steel body, of course. Its P-OLED display is just as sharp and vibrant as the Super AMOLED on Samsung's Gear Live, and it's a perfect circle to boot. Its software load ...

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    My reservations about the Nexus 9 began shortly before my fingertips graced its ill-fitting, trampoline-like back cover. We'd heard rumors that Google's next stock-Android tablet would arrive as a more direct competitor to Apple's iPad, carrying a larger screen (and a larger price tag) in the process. I found the strategic pivot logical, but when I first laid eyes on the Nexus 9, my very first impression was a deflated "that's it?" And my first hands-on with a buggy pre-release review device didn't exactly help matters. It's been eleven days since that rocky start – eleven days of ...

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