Posts by Taylor Martin

Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition. | Google+

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    When I first saw the Minuum campaign on Indiegogo, I was sold. I've said for years that the way we type on smartphones doesn't make sense. Gesture (or trace) typing is a logical step forward, as was predictive and context-aware input. But that doesn't answer why we're still using the same keyboard layout which works best for 10-finger typing. Why do our smartphones use the same keyboard layout that was designed over a century ago to prevent typewriters from jamming? Why do we need a keyboard that takes up nearly half of the display when you're typing? Those were the exact questions the ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for the hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Back in September, I went on a nostalgia binge and did a throwback review for one of my favorite mobile devices of all time: the BlackBerry Curve 8330. Looking back, it's crazy to ...

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    The great debate about the build quality and materials of smartphones may never end. Some smartphone users prefer all metal smartphone construction as seen in the HTC One M8, while others tend to lean towards the more lightweight, resilient plastics found in Samsung or Nokia smartphones. And, believe it or not, some people still prefer a bunch of smartphone components sandwiched between two slabs of hardened glass. The reasons for different materials such as metal, glass, and plastic aren't purely preference, even if that's what it boils down to in the end for most. Manufacturers ...

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    Sure, the Moto X might be starting to show its age a little. As of next month, it will be one whopping year old. But it still seems to be holding its own. We'll let you be the judge of whether it's the phone's sheer quality, the personalization of the hardware, or the great value the Moto X is at such discounted prices. It could also be the amount of lightweight, yet very useful, software features. Unlike the last two videos like this, we covered many of the Moto X's defining features in detail – Trusted Devices, Skip, Touchless Control, etc. No less, since we gave the One M8 and Galaxy ...

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    I was minutes from publishing a speculation article about the rumored Google smartwatch when Google announced its brand new wearables platform, Android Wear. Then Motorola and LG followed suit, announcing the Moto 360 and G Watch, respectively. Minutes from publishing, I had to rewrite the entire article. I changed the angle from a purely speculative piece about all the rumors we'd heard and whether they were credible or not to a piece about how Google and Motorola made me regret my $250 purchase of Pebble Steel. Sure, it was a reactionary, knee-jerk piece, but it was true. The one thing ...

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    Last week, I reviewed Pressy, the button that hijacks the 3.5mm jack on your smartphone and turns it into a button which you can then use to launch apps, send SMS, place calls, and a few other simple tasks. Frankly, I really like the little bugger. It's not exactly the most practical accessory, it's overpriced, and, yes, it takes up the headphone jack, meaning it could potentially become annoying for someone who listens to music often on their smartphone via wired headphones. I don't. I have two sets of Bluetooth headphones and I typically stream music from my iPad or computer. Still, out ...

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    Weather apps are a dime a dozen. Seriously, search "weather" in Google Play and dozens – maybe even hundreds – will pop up. But any ol' developer cam create a weather app that can display the current conditions and provide you with the forecast. But not every weather app is both functional and pretty. That's what LevelUp Studio, creator of popular Android apps like Plume and Beautiful Widgets, wanted to do. LevelUp released Bright Weather for Android back in May. It's a feature-packed, yet minimalist weather application that's simply gorgeous. Frankly, how polished, smooth, and ...

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    Xiaomi is a company we here at Pocketnow, admittedly, have very little experience with. But last year, when Hugo Barra, former spokesperson and VP for Android product management, announced he was leaving Google to help Xiaomi expand internationally, the popular Chinese manufacturer was suddenly on our radar. Since then, Xiaomi may not have been hard developing tons of new handsets like many other companies, but has instead been taking its business across borders. As such, we felt it was a great time to see how the company and its products compete with those we're more familiar with. Enter ...

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    When we're reviewing a new smartphone, it's easy to overlook some of the finer details, the intricate settings or features that don't immediately jump out at us and demand our attention. Sometimes we flat out have to skip over some of them just so our reviews aren't 5,000 words with a 15-minute video. Fortunately, with the One M8, our time hasn't been limited to a short review window. I picked up the M8 as my personal daily driver a few months ago and have since become quite familiar with just about everything it does out of the box (and even what you can do to it with a little know how). ...

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    The mobile world moves quickly – probably faster than just about any other industry in the world. New devices are announced on what feels like a weekly basis; perpetual software updates are hitting for the hundreds of mobile devices; one-off press events are always happening; and while phones seem to have a longer life span than they did back in, say 2010, they still become antiques in what feels like no time. Looking back, it's crazy to see how far the industry has come in less than a decade – from phones that (barely) handled email to pocket-sized computers that a increasingly ...

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    If you're anything like me, it's probably difficult for you to get excited about yet another smartphone release out of China. The fact of the matter is, most Chinese phones never see the light of day here in the United States. The Chinese market operates differently than any other mobile market – releasing phones at its own pace and, ultimately, marching to the beat of its own drum. Most of us (especially here in the States) actually know very little about the Chinese smartphone market. Giant smartphone manufacturers in China have only a small presence stateside. Most of their phones are ...

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    Back in the early 2000s, it was customary to cram every last possible hardware button on a phone. These days, it's all about being as streamlined and as beautiful as possible. Goodbye, hardware keys! While most everything can be replicated by on-screen controls, eliminating all the hardware buttons doesn't exactly help the user experience at all. In fact, it often makes it worse, turning a one-step process into a five- or six-step process – sometimes even more than that. That's where Pressy comes into play – well, for Android users at least. Pressy started last year as a Kickstarter ...

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    The affordable, high-end smartphone is no longer a pipe dream. In fact, it hasn't been for a while. Some may not consider the Moto X a high-end phone, especially not by today's standards, but it's certainly a capable smartphone that performs exceptionally and doesn't break the bank – at least not anymore. The Moto X didn't exactly start out budget-friendly. It began as a full-priced, high-end smartphone, and its pricing quickly worked its way down as Motorola ran various promotions. Now, albeit nearly one-year-old, the base Moto X can be had for just $350 without a contract, and it's a ...

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    An unadulterated, high-end, rugged, flagship smartphone. That's the sort of thing that makes some tech enthusiasts weak in the knees, including our own Michael Fisher. Inherently, smartphones have become more fragile over the years as priorities have changed – both within the walls of the manufacturers and the personal preferences of the average consumer. We want bigger screens, thinner chassis, better cameras, faster CPUs, more memory and storage, larger speakers, longer battery life, and more connectivity options, like LTE-A, NFC, Qi, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi ac, etc. We want all these ...

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    HTC has certainly seen better days. Despite its valiant efforts last year with the One M7, it couldn't seem to reclaim the high status it once held in the smartphone realm. It's fought through serious competition, dwindling revenues, and shrinking market and mind share. It's tried to be bold, to be different, and to continue to maintain the utmost quality possible. Finally, it seems to have started to pay off for the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, HTC posted the first profits in some time. It also hit its quarterly earnings estimate. All ...

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