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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    We all want to get things done on the go. That's arguably why the smartphone was created. Only in the last seven years or so have smartphones also become great at other things, like multimedia, taking pictures, etc. Due to the nature of smartphones and our increasingly busy lifestyles, productivity applications are wildly popular. They help us get things done on the go, stay on task, remember things, and sometimes even tell us when we need to leave our house in the morning to make our meeting on time, based on traffic. Crazy. Anyway, there are hundreds of thousands of productivity ...

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    Most new device launches go the same way: usually the press gets review units before they’re widely available, and we get to use them for a few days -or a week if we’re lucky- as we work on our review. Then press day arrives. The embargo on media coverage lifts, and everyone posts their reviews and videos at the same time. It’s a huge frenzy, commenters go nuts, and it’s a giant explosion of frantic opinion-sharing activity. For about … a day. And then it all goes away. Sure, there’s followup coverage as people find bugs and hidden features, but after that initial blast, not ...

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    As efforts like After The Buzz, the Pocketnow U-Review, and Empty Nest demonstrate, we’re constantly searching for fresh ways to review mobile technology. The newest product of those efforts is Pocketnow’s “Review Rebuttal” series, in which a member of our team is assigned to test a smartphone or tablet that’s already gone through our standard review process. While the resulting video or editorial doesn’t affect the “official” Pocketnow review score, we hope it provides added context by showcasing an editor’s personal opinion, rather than a team-wide consensus. We ...

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    With all the smartphones available, picking your next phone can be a serious challenge. Each month, multiple new phones are added to the mix, all with varying levels of specifications, different software, new features, different degrees of build quality, and designs. To make it worse, a lot of the newer – and sometimes older – phones overlap one another. For instance, some of HTC's newest smartphones (the Desire 610 and One mini 2, for instance), while slightly different, cover the exact same ground and target the same demographics. The other factor to consider is your carrier of ...

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    For literally years now, rumors of an Amazon-built smartphone have spread around the web, making the occasional headline along the way. No matter how many times Amazon denied the rumors of an in-house smartphone, the rumors continued to surface. And in recent months, word and more specific details picked up. Today, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos took the stage in Seattle, Washington to make the e-commerce site's smartphone official. Dubbed the Fire phone, as rumors suggested, it brings some new innovation to the wireless space in the form of a 3D interface which the company calls ...

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    Back in February, Facebook announced it was buying popular mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, for a whopping $19 billion. We later compared WhatsApp to Facebook's in-house chat service, Facebook Messenger. We learned that, despite their core differences, they had a lot in common. But how does WhatsApp compare to, say, another popular mobile messaging service like Kik? WhatsApp is powered by your mobile number – it requires a working number for activation. Kik, on the other hand, doesn't require a working number and it doesn't require other people to have your number to work. One of its best ...

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    Back in May, I asked an interesting question, one many have probably pondered themselves, "Will your next phone be bigger or smaller?" For whatever reason, in today's smartphone market, "bigger" has nearly become synonymous with "better". Each year, every smartphone manufacturer's flagships are larger than the previous model. The Galaxy S III had a 4.8-inch display; the Galaxy S4 had a 5-inch display, and the Galaxy S5 now has a 5.1-inch display. The same trend is also found in the already oversized Galaxy Note brand. The original Note handset was 5.3-inches, followed by the 5.5-inch ...

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    HTC and LG, individually, have created some truly astounding smartphones this year. HTC's One M8 has been the recipient of endless praise for its stellar design and build quality, beautiful 1080p screen, BoomSound speakers, and quite nice software. LG's G3, since its announcement, has also been a popular phone among enthusiast talk and spec sheet comparisons. How do the two compare in the real world, though? Do the G3's killer specifications and QHD display make the One M8 look like old news? Or does the One M8 come out with an unexpected victory? Watch the below HTC One M8 vs LG G3 ...

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    Microsoft calls the Surface Pro 3 the "tablet that can replace your laptop." That's a pretty broad and lofty statement, but we have been putting the Surface Pro 3 to the test for several weeks now. It's impossible to deny it's one of the most powerful tablets ever. Still, the application situation may leave you feeling high and dry. Windows 8.1 only has a small fraction of the application support its tablet OS competitors have. Fortunately, you're not out of luck if you've been craving some of your favorite Android apps on your Windows tablet. BlueStacks has done a great job of enabling ...

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    I remember the first time I came face to face with Mr. Blurrycam's work. I was sitting in my macroeconomics classroom on the computer, casually working on a project and checking one of my favorite tech sites at the time, CrackBerry. There it was, the BlackBerry Storm 9530, pictured in all its click-screen glory. I swooned. An all-touch BlackBerry? As much as I loved the BlackBerry keyboard, I was dying for more screen real estate – more room to play Spider Solitaire, read emails, or browse the Web. As nice as the physical keyboard was, I was willing to trade it for more display space, ...

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    Last week, we loaded all our iOS devices up with iOS 8 beta 1 and gave you a preview of the software you can expect on your iDevices this fall. We made it very clear the software was riddled with bugs and not everything was activated yet. A lot of what Apple announced at WWDC is missing from the first beta of iOS 8. It's understandable and expected. But how have we fared with the software? What do we love and what do we hate? Have we been able to stand an entire week with iOS 8? With a week of using beta 1 behind us, watch our iOS 8 impressions video below to see how we like (or dislike) ...

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    As a long-time proponent of BlackBerrys, I was particularly adverse to the idea of soft keyboards back in 2009. I had gotten so used to the renowned BlackBerry keyboard that I was skeptical I – or anyone else, for that matter – would ever be able to type as efficiently as one could on a pocket-sized physical keyboard, especially those on BlackBerry handsets. I'm not sure I'm getting my point across. I really liked BlackBerrys, its physical keyboards, and hated practically everything else. Obviously, things have changed. I tried the BlackBerry Q10 a few months back and could hardly make ...

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    After several delays, Samsung has finally followed through on its promises. Last July, we were eagerly awaiting the launch of the first Tizen smartphone, but word emerged that Samsung would be facing some delays. The rumor claimed Samsung would have to push back the launch about two months. Come November, we heard again that Tizen hardware would be delayed, that we wouldn't see any consumer-focused devices until 2014. Fast forward to January and we still hadn't see the first Tizen devices. Samsung's plan was to launch the first Tizen handsets in the first half of the year. Clearly, that ...

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    We first officially saw the Desire 610 at Mobile World Congress in Berlin, Spain back in February. A low-end update to the Desire lineup, HTC didn't aim to wow the masses, but rather offer a pretty, capable device for a fair price. Joe published our review of the Desire 816 – the 610's bigger, higher-end sibling – and felt moderately pleased with the phone. Point being, we have high expectations for the 610, and with a growing number of compelling low-end handsets, this particular handset has its work cut out for it. Devices like the Moto G, Moto E, and even the One mini 2 have ...

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    In terms of smartphone offerings, this year is shaping up to be one of the most impressive ever. Not only are manufacturers managing to pull together some of the most advanced specifications into a single device, they are also (finally) focusing on things like user experience, software optimization, and sheer performance. And to top it all off, some are giving design and hardware more attention than in past years. The end result is stellar smartphones, all of which run well, look gorgeous, and offer a horde of useful features. Don't get me wrong. While these phones are more well-rounded ...

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