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 | February 20, 2014 7:33 PM

    MWC 2014 is already upon us, with Anton D. Nagy and Jaime Rivera hitting the ground in Barcelona just as this podcast goes under the mic, and we're here to bring you mobile mavens all the pre-show rumor and speculation that you've come to expect. But there's also plenty of news of the non-Mobile World Congress variety, from the endless leaks focusing on the "All-New HTC One" to speculation surrounding the Galaxy S 5 launch date - and we'll be spending plenty of time on that, too. Plus, Taylor Martin has finally spent enough time with his suitcase-coddled Lumia Icon to develop some ...

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  • by | February 19, 2014 6:53 PM

    While Pocketnow's North American roots come in handy quite often, the arrangement isn't without its snags. We do miss out on the occasional smartphone release by virtue of our location, and the brand most often affected by this is the somewhat Euro-centric Sony. As listeners of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast are aware, this causes us some heartburn; it's frustrating to miss the chance to go hands-on with the latest and greatest. But we almost always manage to snag Sony demo units somehow. Over the past few years, the fine people at Clove Technology and Negri Electronics have loaned us ...

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  • by | February 19, 2014 4:09 PM

    Confession time: I've destroyed a review unit or two in my day. I lost a brand-new LG flagship in the back of a cab once. During a durability test late last year, I did enough damage to an LG G Flex that we ended up having to buy the thing from Negri Electronics. And just a couple weeks back, you all saw me accidentally drown an Xperia Z1S at the tail end of a feature video. But while most of the incidents above were excusable (the Z1S wasn't my fault, and we were expecting to eat the cost of the G Flex anyway), my time spent with Samsung's Galaxy S 4 Active was a different story. Because ...

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  • by | February 19, 2014 1:44 PM

    With the Moto X, Motorola succeeded in (briefly) shifting the Android smartphone conversation from "how to bump specs even higher" to "how to make smarter use of the horsepower we already have." With the Z1 Compact, Sony finally heeded our long-unanswered call for a premium smartphone in a palm-sized package. Both devices were well received by the Pocketnow team. The Moto X earned high praise for finally fulfilling some of Android's long-squandered potential, while the Z1 Compact got top marks for bringing the best of the Z1 to a smaller form factor - and leaving some of the bugs behind, ...

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  • by | February 18, 2014 6:12 PM

    Update: 24 hours have passed, and the answer lies below! Scroll carefully if you haven't yet seen this month's game submission and you want to preserve your chance for an unspoiled guess! When it comes to analyzing the quality of a smartphone's camera, there are two main approaches. There's the guided style: "We had a gander at the new [Smartphone] from the fine folks at [Smartphone Manufacturer], and we took its camera out for a spin to see how it performed under a variety of lighting conditions. When it comes right down to it, this camera is [excellent][great][good][not so ...

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  • by | February 18, 2014 9:00 AM

    HTC today announced the "HTC Advantage," a new benefits package for buyers of its flagship smartphones. The new initiative is custom-built to ensure that "when you buy the best, it stays that way," says HTC's VP of Customer Experience Ed Kuhner. The program is made up of three principle prongs, with the first being something we’ve seen signs of already: a commitment to timely Android updates for the flagship One line. The company has demonstrated it can deliver updates to the One series in a timely fashion, and HTC now says it will commit to major Android updates for two years after the ...

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  • by | February 13, 2014 8:51 PM

    "Where have all the small phones gone?" "Remember when mini smartphones were actually small?" "Why do small smartphones have to suck on the spec sheet?" Those blurbs, taken from two years' worth of Pocketnow editorial headlines, succinctly illustrate our historic frustration with the smartphone sizing problem. For the past few generations, average device size has skyrocketed: HTC's HD2 was considered massive when it launched four years ago, with HTC selling it under the slogan "take the big screen with you." Today, though, its 4.3-inch display seems almost quaint alongside flagships like ...

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  • by | February 13, 2014 5:42 PM

    Snow storms have their ups and downs. On the one hand, they keep you from partaking in all the Nokia unboxing fun your comrades in more seasonable climes are enjoying - but on the other, they put you in mind of all the friends you have in the great Arctic North. One such person is friend of the show Nick Gray of HTCSource and Android and Me, who joins us today for a special extended episode taking a long look at all the HTC M8 rumors of the past few weeks. That's followed by the rest of the news, which this week ranges from Galaxy Gear 2 and iPhone 6 speculation to riffing about Android ...

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  • by | February 12, 2014 6:01 AM

    Neither is what you’d call a “budget phone” - in fact each goes out of its way to avoid being painted with that particular brush. But they’re both devices that cater to a customer looking for something just shy of full flagship status. If you think you might be that customer, strap yourself in because we’re about to compare them. These smartphones aren't necessarily new to us. We reviewed Apple's iPhone 5c shortly after its release, and we spent some hands-on time with Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact at CES 2014. As you know, though, nothing beats having them side-by-side in the testing ...

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  • by | February 11, 2014 2:51 PM

    Update: Sorry folks! Due to circumstances beyond our control, we need to reschedule this special appearance. Pocketnow Weekly 083 will go under the mic on Thursday as scheduled, but Evan won't be able to join us. We'll still be announcing our Nexus 5 giveaway winner though, so be sure to tune in! • When we started the Pocketnow Weekly podcast back in July of 2012, it bore little resemblance to its current incarnation. There was no handy list of time codes; the music was built on an aggressive electric-guitar riff that now sounds impossibly cheesy; and subtopics like the "thought ...

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  • by | February 11, 2014 12:04 PM

    As we prepare to say goodbye to the "Google-ified" Motorola we'd only just gotten to know, it bears remembering that the brand hasn't been issued a death warrant. Motorola under Lenovo may well flourish, after all, so it's premature to start planning the funeral. Still, two ownership changes in two years is a lot for any company, and from the inevitable brain drain of personnel losses to the unpredictable nature of marketing machinations, the future of the Motorola brand is anything but certain. So we thought it'd be nice, at this crossroads in Motorola's history, to take a look back at ...

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  • by | February 10, 2014 4:35 PM

    T-Mobile is the most interesting carrier in the United States. Since John Legere came aboard as CEO in September 2012, the company has transformed from a staid, conflicted brand trying too hard to be "hip" to something legitimately compelling. T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" push has seen the company nab the iPhone, wipe out international roaming charges, offer earlier device upgrades, eliminate early termination fees, and even pay the termination fees of those switching to its network. Combined with Legere's unconventional antics and a bold new approach to marketing its services, these changes ...

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  • by | February 7, 2014 5:33 PM

    When we first went hands-on with the Z1 Compact at Sony's CES 2014 press event, our heads were still ringing with Sony's proclamation that despite its small size, it was a "no-compromise" flagship phone. Sony's website makes the claim a bit plainer: The Xperia Z1 Compact is everything you expect in a premium smartphone, beautifully crafted to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. The timing couldn't be better for us to test this claim: we've just spent a few days with the Xperia Z1S for T-Mobile USA, whose user experience was by and large wonderful - especially in terms of camera ...

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  • by | February 7, 2014 3:35 PM

    Sometimes it's not the promise of saving money, nor the allure of a shiny device that drives you from the warm arms of your current wireless carrier - sometimes it's just a matter of standing up for what you believe in. That's the case with today's podcast guest, friend of the show and longtime Verizon Wireless customer Chris Larson, who's leaving Big Red for the much smaller T-Mobile USA due to Verizon's stance on net neutrality. On this episode of the Weekly, we'll talk to Chris and find out just what he's prepared to sacrifice, and why. Before that, though, there's an avalanche of news ...

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  • by | February 6, 2014 5:18 PM

    The Nexus 5 we're giving away isn't just any old smartphone. First of all, it's the larger 32GB model, so those of you with an aversion to cloud storage and an affinity for byte-hungry media can rest easy. More importantly, it comes bearing a cosmetic upgrade: a vinyl skin from the fine folks at dbrand that replicates a white carbon fiber/brushed titanium finish. And if that's not your speed, there are four more skins bundled with the award package, waiting to be claimed by our grand-prize winner. But how well do these skins work, anyway? What's the process of applying them like, and how ...

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