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 Apple announced iOS 8 at WWDC earlier this year, I actually got very excited for an iOS update for the first time … possibly ever. I use iOS daily and, despite popular belief, I don’t hate it. However, for the last few years, iOS has been a bore, and it’s been a little behind the curve, particularly in the ability to share information between apps, or interoperability. This stemmed from a combination of Apple’s walled garden, as many like to call it, and sandboxed applications. Apple only officially allowed cross-application sharing between a few, select applications, like its ...

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    Sony has earned a reputation – be it good or bad – for releasing new phones almost twice as fast as its competitors. While Apple, Samsung, HTC, and the handful of other globally known OEMs typically release an updated version of their various smartphone lineups once per year, Sony keeps its hero series of Xperia devices fresh with an update every five to seven months. That’s approximately one-fourth the typical 24-month agreement here in the States, or one-sixth the 36-month contracts elsewhere. It’s not just the flagship Xperia Z handsets that are updated so frequently either. The ...

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    Right now, I’m carrying two nearly all-metal smartphones as my daily drivers: the curvaceous HTC One M8 and the giant, plate-like iPhone 6 Plus. Why did I choose metal? You could say I have an affinity for metal phones, but you wouldn’t be entirely correct. I’m attracted to pretty things that are made exceptionally well, that feel like they’re worth the money I spent on them. I like products that look and feel like a company went above and beyond to make them stand out, products that resonate a sense of perfectionism. It just so happens that when it comes to smartphones, those that ...

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    Rumors and leaks have referred to it as Shamu for the last several weeks, but today we now know it as the latest addition to Google’s beloved smartphone line, the Nexus 6. Not surprisingly, most of the rumors were spot-on. This smartphone is a behemoth – not only in size, but also on paper. The Nexus 6 seemingly has it all: a 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display, 3GB RAM, either 32 or 64GB of inbuilt storage, dual front-facing speakers, a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, a Snapdragon 805 with a quad-core Krait 450 CPU clocked at 2.7GHz and Adreno 420 GPU, and a ...

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    Admittedly, I'm a case junkie – not because I love cases, but rather because I'd rather keep the appearance of my phone pristine for as long as possible. When cases are the only valid option, I like to switch it up, because I get bored with cases quickly. I've already bought three for the iPhone 6 Plus. Ergo, I'm an inadvertent case junkie. But cases aren't the only form of protection for your precious smartphone. If you have one of the select phones dbrand chooses to support, you have a host of other options for protecting your phone. dbrand is the maker of exquisite wraps for your ...

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    Having a long past with legacy BlackBerry smartphones will do something to you. It will make every new phone you buy feel inferior in at least one way: battery life. I often write that a phone’s battery life is great, decent, amazing, or passable. But when I write it, I only sort of meant it. That's not to say I'm lying, but I typically quantify a phone's stamina in relation to other, modern smartphones when, honestly, I’m rarely ever impressed by a smartphone’s ability to keep a charge. When I was 16, I bought my very first BlackBerry after having trouble with the Motorola Q (on ...

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    The Samsung Galaxy S5, while not a showstopper or ground-breaking piece of hardware, is a great smartphone, designed to appeal to a very large demographic. However, its size is simply too large for some. What if there were a device with almost the exact same specifications in a smaller package? Would that phone be as good – or even better – than the Galaxy S5? That phone does exist but, unsurprisingly, it isn't made by Samsung. Instead, Sony makes it, and it's the smaller version of its newest hero device, the Xperia Z3. It's called the Xperia Z3 Compact and it's nearly a spec for ...

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    In terms of size alone, it would stand to reason the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a better match for HTC's One mini 2 and the full-sized Xperia Z3 is better suited for a comparison with the One M8. The latter may still be true, but the Xperia Z3 Compact is actually strikingly similar to the One M8, at least on the inside. Both phones have front-firing audio, similar chipsets, the same RAM, similar storage options, the same battery capacity, and most of the same connectivity options. The One M8 does have infrared and the Z3 Compact has water resistance not found on the One M8. Otherwise, it's ...

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    Sony's cameras are great. We here at Pocketnow swear by them. Most of us use a version of Sony's micro 4/3 NEX series cameras for our stills and videos. Sony's smartphone cameras, on the other hand, haven't always been the best. But in recent months, that has changed. The shooter on the Xperia Z2 was one of the best Android smartphone cameras money could buy. And preliminary reviews of the Xperia Z3 are showing similar results. But what about the miniature version of the Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact? Well, it shouldn't be all that different. Both use the same 20.7-megapixel image sensor and ...

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    In the last two years or so, one word in particular has become increasingly popular in this industry: flagship. Samsung’s new flagship this or that. What’s the best flagship of 2013? Is this new phone Company X's flagship? It gets tossed around endlessly, and practically every new high-end smartphone is considered a “flagship”. But what is a flagship, exactly? What does the term actually mean? Are we using it improperly and, thusly, altering its meaning in the mobile realm? According to Wikipedia, a flagship is "the best or most important thing owned or produced by a particular ...

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    Around this time last year, Apple made its most anticipated iPad upgrades yet: the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display. Both were the thinnest, lightest iPads yet, packing more horsepower and better displays than ever before. Rumor has it, this year’s iPad announcement is just weeks away and what we might be looking at is piquing the interests of iPad users all around. As a long time iPad user and having recently departed with my iPad mini with Retina display, I’m definitely looking forward to the announcement. What should you expect? What are we hoping for? Below, I’ve ...

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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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