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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    Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is making waves – selling out of its Mi 3 handset in mere seconds, becoming the world's fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer, and announcing a seriously high-end smartphone for far cheaper than all its competitors. Back in July, Xiaomi announced the latest iteration of its Mi series of smartphones, the Mi4. Surprisingly, at just $459.99, it comes with almost the exact same specifications as its toughest competition. It has a Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB RAM, 16 or 64 GB fixed storage, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,050mAh battery. No to mention, it has almost ...

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    We've taken more than one look at the LG G3 so far. Michael reviewed the original South Korean version, to which I completely corroborated shortly thereafter. Then I received a U.S. variant, the AT&T model for review. That went live last week. However, about halfway through July, LG announced a newer, slightly upgraded variant of the G3, called the G3 Cat.6. It comes with the newer Snapdragon 805 SoC with advanced data speed capabilities. The Cat.6, as the name suggests, is capable of hitting theoretical download speeds upwards of 225Mbps. So what's the true difference? Do they look or ...

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    Ever since Google announced Android Wear in March, wearable fans around the web have been drooling over renders, pictures, and videos of Motorola's upcoming smartwatch, the Moto 360. Unlike its Android Wear counterparts, the Moto 360 has a circular display, sleek and classic design, and actually looks premium. The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, on the other hand, more closely resemble reference hardware with very little attention to style. Michael parallels the G Watch from LG to its barebones hardware for Google's Nexus smartphones, calling it "a combination of glossy and matte ...

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    What's on your phone? Perceived as excessive mobile users, we here at Pocketnow get asked this question more than just about any other question. The thing is, not all of us are heavy users. And even those of us who are don't necessarily rely on a bevy of applications to get us through the day. On the flip side, some of us hoard applications and never use them. Some of us install upwards of 100 applications and use most of them on a regular basis. Most of us, however, reside somewhere in the middle. So what do the Pocketnow editors have on their phones? Which applications do they deem ...

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    Samsung has long been the king of Android. Its Galaxy S smartphone has far outsold any of its competitors' Android handsets by the millions, quarter after quarter, year after year. It's aided in pushing mobile hardware and Android as a platform forward, and has even attempted to fork the Android ecosystem by instilling its own ecosystem within Android, selling movies, music, and other digital content through its own store. Samsung has, for the better part of its smartphone career, largely steered the direction of smartphones and led the industry. That is, until recently. Over the last two ...

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    One year ago, almost to the day, I received the Sony Xperia Z Ultra in the mail from Negri Electronics. Brandon and Michael decided I would be the one to review the massive 6.4-inch smartphone from Sony, likely because I've always had a penchant for extra large smartphones – excessive smartphones. Just two months before the Xperia Z Ultra landed on my doorstep, I had reviewed the Galaxy Mega. All things considered, I really liked it. Its specs and display could have been better, but Samsung did a pretty good job at keeping the Mega's physical footprint reasonable – more like the Galaxy ...

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    Many of LG's very best smartphones over the years have been easily forgettable, not visually stimulating, and overwhelmingly mundane. We'd also call them under appreciated, as many of them were firsts for the industry. The Optimus 2X, for instance, won a Guinness World Record for being the first dual-core smartphone. The Optimus LTE, if my memory serves me correctly, was the first smartphone with a 720p display. The Optimus 3D was the very first glasses-free 3D smartphone. And so on. LG has a ton of smartphone firsts under its belt and, surprisingly, the G3 isn't one, unless you count the ...

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    I've been using tablets off and on since 2009, almost a year before Apple's iPad allegedly changed everything. I remember one of the first tablets I ever bought – the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. By today's standards, with a 4.8-inch display, it hardly qualifies as a tablet. In fact, its display was smaller than most high-end Android smartphone displays today. But in 2009, that's exactly what it was. It was powered by none other than Android, featured a kickstand on the back for media viewing, and came with a single-core 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU, 256MB RAM, 160MB storage, and a microSD ...

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    Almost every mobile manufacturer has shown at least some interest in the wearables industry. Contrary to popular belief, however, smartwatches and wearable technology isn't a new concept. Technically, Bluetooth headsets are a type of wearable that have been around since the year 2000. And although most wouldn't consider them "smart" by today's standards, the first Bluetooth-enabled watches date back to 2006. Even earlier, "computer watches" from Casio and Seiko's RC series date back to the 1980s. But the wearable category we know so well today truly kick-started back in late 2009 when the ...

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    How much do you spend each month just to stay connected? As cell phones – namely, smartphones – have increased in popularity over the last decade, the cost of keeping them connected has slowly crept upwards. Cheaper functions, like voice calling and SMS, have taken a back seat to the more convenient and bandwidth-hogging mobile data. As such, calling plans and text messaging are now, more often than not, offered in unlimited quantities. However, gone are the days of $20 and $30 unlimited data plans (unless you're lucky enough to be hanging on to a grandfathered plan). The cost of ...

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    Smartphone cameras are of greater importance than ever before. Of course, the convenience factor – being able to easily slip your smartphone into your pocket and snap awesome photos in a moment's notice, no matter where you go – creates some leniency in the actual quality of the pictures smartphones usually snap. But as entry-level point-and-shoot cameras fall to the wayside, expectations for smartphones to step up and fully fill the gap are growing. Several OEMs have focused a great deal of attention on mobile image sensing. HTC introduced UltraPixels, or simply 2µm pixels on a ...

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    I would hesitate to call the Moto X a success story. By the usual definition we tie to "successful" smartphones, the Moto X does not apply. Motorola hasn't sold tens of millions of Moto Xs like Samsung does with the Galaxy S series every year. And it didn't help pull Motorola out of quarter after quarter of revenue losses like the One M8 has done for HTC. Still, I wouldn't consider the Moto X a failure either – not by a long shot. It was easily one of the most intriguing smartphones to launch in 2013. Motorola introduced some truly compelling features alongside its overly modest ...

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    I remember a time when I was switching phones every other week. Literally. I would buy a phone without a contract from an AT&T or Verizon store (or my place of employment), use it for a week or two, then turn around and sell it to the highest bidder on Craigslist. In most cases, I would trade the new phone for a slightly older phone plus some cash. Then I would sell the phone I had just received through the trade for its full value, thus walking away with more money than I had put into the original phone. It's not like I was making money hand over fist, but I was playing my cards ...

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    Some view iPads and Android tablets as little more than devices made for multimedia consumption – watching YouTube videos, playing games, reading books, and Web browsing. But some people seek a little more out of their tablets and opt to pair them with a Bluetooth keyboard. The problem is, a lot of mobile keyboards are poorly executed. They're either completely separate or they don't add a lot of protection. ZAGG has the answer to this problem: the Rugged Folio. Available for both iPad mini models and coming soon for the iPad Air, the ZAGG Rugged Folio is both a truly rugged case for ...

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    Back when I owned my very first smartphone, I never paid any attention to the placement of any of the buttons or ports. But that quickly changed as the smartphone itself evolved and as I noticed how different button and port configurations affected how I used each device. On the Moto Q, the call and end buttons were exactly where you would expect them to be – on the face of the device, flanking a d-pad in the center. The end key doubled as the power key. There was no manual standby function we now associate with the power key. The Curve 8330 I later owned, however, did have this ...

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