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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    In light of some oversized smartphones, many mobile OEMs have adopted so-called "mini" versions of their new flagships. However, most of these mini smartphones either don't have very much in common with their larger counterparts or aren't very mini in the first place. Sony, at least in this specific area, likes to go against the grain. It announced the Xperia Z1 Compact at CES and, much to our surprise, it was a fantastic – and much smaller – version of the Xperia Z1. At IFA, Sony announced the new version of the Compact, the Xperia Z3 Compact. Like before, it's really just a smaller ...

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    Each year, Apple brags about the hundreds of new features and changes made to its operating system. The fact of the matter is, most of those changes will go completely unnoticed. It’s like an iceberg – we only see a small fraction of the changes; the rest are buried deep within the OS or simply don’t pertain to us, like new support for languages we’ll never learn. The last two years have been different, however. Last year, iOS 7 brought a much-needed, long overdue facelift to the UI that had gone practically unchanged (minus things like the addition of wallpapers and folders) since ...

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    Big smartphones are in. The is evidenced by the fact that most high-end smartphones are approaching (and crossing) the 5-inch threshold. The new Moto X, HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3, and many other notable smartphones are all 5-inches or larger. Apple, until now, avoided the growing fad. In 2012, when it announced the iPhone 5, Apple only stretched the iPhone 4S display vertically and added just enough pixels to maintain the 326 pixels per inch rating. It referred to the size of the iPhone 5 display as "a dazzling display of common sense", showing how it was sized perfectly for the ...

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    Apple's iPhone 6 Plus arrived in our review labs one week ago today. Unlike most review phones, this one is a personal device – my personal phone. I picked up the 6 Plus to replace the iPhone 5 I bought two years ago which, in the last six months, has found itself in my pocket more than my hand. It's entirely too small for me to use with any sort of comfort. My thumbs are too big for its narrow screen. No less, I've had the largest iPhone ever in my pocket (and hands) for a week now. No, there's no sign of bending, despite all the time it's spent in my admittedly tight pants pocket. I've ...

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    Ever since the iPhone 4, Apple's smartphones have carried a reputation for having better-than-average cameras. In 2011, Apple's iPhone 4 rose to become the most popular camera on Flickr – no small feat for any camera, much less a smartphone. And to this day Apple's last four iPhones crowd the Most Popular Cameras in the Flickr Community chart. In order from first to last, those top five cameras are: iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and the Canon EOS Rebel T3i. Per usual, Apple has made the newest cameras even better in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Of the two, the iPhone 6 ...

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    Two weeks ago Friday, I was sitting up in bed at 2:50 AM waiting on the flood gates to open. The iPhone 6 pre-orders were about to begin and I needed to make sure I ordered an iPhone 6 Plus before the dreaded backorder prompt appeared. Turns out, I was pretty lucky. After refreshing the Apple Store webpage at least four hundred times, I grabbed my iPad mini and opened up the Apple Store app. I added a 64GB Space Gray iPhone 6 Plus to my cart and finally checked out around 3:40 AM. According to Twitter at the time, I was one of the very first to complete an order. My friend Jason Cipriani ...

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    This year's iOS update is one of the best yet. But as with most things, there are two sides to the story. While iOS 8 brings many long-requested features to Apple's mobile OS, it also brings something most users aren't used to seeing on the platform – honest to goodness bugs and glitches. In droves. Let's take a step back for a second. This update, iOS 8, is long overdue and quite nice. It brings many great things. In particular, Apple added third-party APIs, which it calls Extensibility, to allow more third-party developer and user control over the operating system and, ultimately, the ...

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    Over the last few years, smartphones have evolved to accommodate for new use cases, primarily multimedia consumption – gaming, watching YouTube videos and movies, and browsing the web. As a result smartphones have grown from less than 4-inches in size to an average rapidly approaching the 5-inch threshold. Apple is one of the very last to jump on the larger smartphone bandwagon. Its last increase in size was from a 3.5-inch display to a 4-inch display, adding only vertical dimension and pixels to the existing panel. That wasn't enough, though. Other smartphones dwarfed the iPhone 5 and ...

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    After years of customers begging for a larger iPhone, Apple finally obliged. Just last week, it announced the brand new set of bigger iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7-inch display while the 6 Plus comes with a rather larger 5.5-inch display. The new iPhones are launching alongside Apple's newest version of its mobile software, iOS 8. This brings much-anticipated features, like third-party keyboards, sharing, widgets, and access to TouchID. Despite very few visual changes, this is one of the most notable iOS updates ever. The new iPhones feature an ...

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    I'll admit, I wasn't at all interested in the idea of an Amazon-made smartphone from the start. To date, I've owned two Kindle Fire tablets, and 10 times out of 10, I would recommend a Nexus 7 over anything Kindle Fire-branded. No, that's not my affinity for Nexus and stock Android speaking, and I have nothing against Amazon as a company. In fact, before I purchase anything … ever, I check Amazon's price first. I've been a paying Prime subscriber since 2011. And I regularly fire up the Instant Video app on my 360 when looking for something to watch in the evenings. I like Amazon, and its ...

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    This thing is entirely too small. That was my initial impression of the very first iPhone I ever used. It was the iPhone 4 I picked up on Verizon's off-beat January launch day. Over the course of three years and two different iPhone models, my opinion never changed. I upgraded to the iPhone 4S that fall and later to the "larger" iPhone 5. Even the iPhone 5 was way too small for my tastes. It wasn't the height of the iPhone display that was the problem, but rather the width. I've always figured it's a combination of my anatomical disposition and experience with an array of other, larger ...

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    Back in April, I covered Link Bubble, Chris Lacy's third-party Android browser which loads web pages in the background without interrupting whatever it is you were doing when you clicked the link. It's a chat heads-style floating browser that can be tossed aside. You get to choose when you want to read the pages you load, rather than being jerked around between your Twitter client, a feed reader, and your default browser. But even the developer knows Link Bubble isn't ideal for every situation, that not every link should be loaded into a floating bubble that, due to some Android ...

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    Apple released the iOS 8 developer betas back in June, following WWDC 2014. We did a quick hands-on of iOS 8 Beta 1, showing off all the new features and talking about the things iOS 8 would eventually bring to the table. Being a beta release, not everything worked and some things were a little buggy … as expected in an early beta. However, iOS 8 was publicly released today and several changes have been made. Some visual alterations were made, usability has understandably improved, and many (not all) of the missing features have been activated. Things like Continuity and iCloud Drive ...

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    If you believed all the iPhone rumors and leaks from the last several months, you weren't surprised when Apple announced not one, but two new handsets last week. You also weren't surprised when both of those handsets were significantly larger than the 3.5- and 4-inch iPhones of yore. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. For the iPhone crowd, phones that stretch your pockets and grip are something entirely new. It's something that, paired with the iOS 8 update, is sure to bring some Android converts back into the iOS fold. And it may send users ...

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    The Pebble Steel, first shown off at CES in January, was thought by many to be the best looking smartwatch to date. Anton and I swooned over the stainless brushed steel and matte black finishes in our pre-brief in Las Vegas. It was exactly what the budding smartwatch industry needed – serious hardware to run the increasingly useful software. Pebble's stainless steel smartwatch didn't hold the spotlight for long, however. When Google announced Android Wear in March, Motorola came out and teased something that caught everyone's attention: a smartwatch with a circular display in full, ...

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