Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    There are two things in mobile technology that have not gotten much better in the past few years. Specifications are flying through the roof with the average phone (and car) today having as much power as the best supercomputer from just 15 years ago. But despite all those advancements, battery and storage have remained pretty darn consistent. Battery is no surprise. There’s only so much chemical goo you can pack into a shrinking frame. Yes, there are some advancements on the far horizon when it comes to batteries, but these days it’s a pretty straightforward concept. Storage space on ...

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    If you ask "certain" people, they'll tell you that Android is inherently laggy (then again, if you don't ask them, they'll eventually volunteer that opinion anyway). In the past, generally speaking, Android hasn't been "laggy" per se, the operating system just handles processes and priorities differently than others may. Put simply, as soon as you touch the screen of an iPhone or iPad all processing stops while the OS devotes its full attention to your interaction - at the expense of stopping everything else. This gives the impression of fluidity and speed, but in reality, processes take ...

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    Some phone makers have to scramble to combat the wave of people reporting its new models are bending... other manufactures embrace it as a feature! The latter being the case for LG's latest smartphone, announced at CES 2015, the G Flex 2 - and based on its spec sheet and our hands-on experience, it's already the best smartphone of 2015. Will it bend? When shopping for a new phone or tablet, we generally look at build quality as a major deciding factor. Bending is usually an indicator of sub-par workmanship, and whether consciously or not, products that bend quickly earn a "pass". ...

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    I'm a big fan of Qi wireless charging (just in case you didn't know that already). I use an Anker charger on my desk at home. My Moto 360 smartwatch came with its own Qi wireless charging stand (but I can put it on any other charger just in case I need to top it off throughout the day). I have two chargers at work. I even have a wireless charger in my car and a Zens battery with Qi built right in. (And just in case your phone or tablet doesn't come with Qi out of the box, you can add it quickly, easily, and very inexpensively!) It sounds perfect, right? There is, however, a problem with ...

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    One phenomenon that I’ve taken a lot of interest in recently is the concept of the in-app purchase, specifically as it refers to gaming. I’m no stranger to the concept of the in-app purchase. Many games will allow you to play for a certain amount of time and then ask you to purchase the “full version” or purchase the next level, etc. But recently, these in app purchases have taken a twist, and I’m honestly not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. That’s where this week’s debate comes in. For the record, I’m not referring to permanent purchases. In-app purchases that ...

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    As you may recall, ten days ago I returned to my long-neglected Lumia 1020 for the holidays. This overdue reunion of contrarian nerd with fringe platform was meant to answer a question we get quite often in the Pocketnow Weekly mailbag: at the dawn of a new year, is Windows Phone still a world worth moving to (or even visiting)? In an atmosphere of delayed flagship launches and growing skepticism among some smartphone manufacturers, the question is more pertinent than ever. The answer, as it turns out, is yes — but it carries some very important qualifiers, and it's certainly not ...

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    I've been a T-Mobile customer since the company was called Voicestream - yeah, that long. One of the things I always loved about the service was that I could tether a PDA, tablet, or laptop to my phone and be able to get work done anywhere I needed to. I'm not a road warrior, so I don't use a lot of data when tethered, nor do I tether very often, but I need to be able to tether with only a little notice. Regardless of whether I was using Windows Mobile or Android, tethering was never terribly difficult, I just opened the settings, turned it on, and away I went. When Android KitKat came ...

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    We've long been fans of Qi Wireless Charging, but not all devices support the standard. Devices that include Qi can be recharged through electromagnetic induction rather than by directly connecting to a power source via  a charging cable. This requires some additional components inside Qi-compatible devices as well as a "base station" or charging pad, but once you've tried it, you'll very likely be hooked. However, if your phone or tablet didn't come with Qi support built-in, you may have thought you were out of luck. Not so! If your smartphone or tablet has a micro-USB port, it's ...

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    Yesterday I talked about why I rooted my Nexus 6. No, it wasn't to run a custom ROM (though that's a great reason to root your smartphone). No, it wasn't so I could run a custom kernel (although that's another wonderful reason to root as well). My reasons for rooting the Nexus 6 were much more basic: so I can run tools and utilities, and make configuration changes that I wouldn't otherwise be able to do. Many of you mirrored my sentiment, and even listed off a lot of apps and utilities that you use thanks to rooting your own phones (thank you for that, by the way, I've got a whole lot more ...

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    There was a time (not that long ago) when Power Users needed to root their Android-powered smartphones to do anything really powerful with them. Primary among those reason was to flash a custom ROM. These days stock Android includes many of the features and functionality that were previously the exclusive realm of custom ROMs. Sure, there are still ample reasons to flash a custom ROM, but for an increasing number of us Power Users, "stock plus root" is good enough. Here's why I went with a Nexus 6 root, but kept the stock ROM. Tethering I'm one of those people who doesn't tether a lot, ...

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    To give us something to think about over the upcoming holidays and extra days off, we’re going to look at a little more of a complicated issue. It’s complicated because this is not a binary issue – it’s not a 1/0, yes/no type of situation. It, like it’s subject matter, is more in depth than that, so let’s just give it a go. We’re talking about simultasking. First, it’s important to make the distinction between multi-tasking and simultasking. Multi tasking is doing a lot of tasks, one at a time, and switching between tasks quickly. Simultasking is actually doing two (or ...

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    One thing all our portable electronics have in common, whether smartphone, tablet, phablet, or wearable; or Android, Windows Phone, or iOS, is the battery. Unlike desktop computers that get their power through a plug in the wall, all of these devices have to carry their own power source onboard, and battery capacity hasn't really kept up with the rest of the tech inside our devices. To combat this, OEMs have tried to introduce new ways to keep our portables charged. From SoCs that are more energy efficient, more power conscious code, Qi wireless chargers, and now we even have speed ...

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    So, I’ve been walking around on Android for a while now. The reasons for this are many and varied, but I thought maybe it might be time to talk about my introduction to Android. I got my hands on a Samsung GSIII a couple of years back. It was my first introduction to Android on a phone. I had installed CM9 on a TouchPad or two, but this was the first time using it as a phone. So I grew up with Touchwiz. It was the only family I knew. Over the next few months I bounced back and forth between Android and Windows Phone. My Android choice was always the Samsung, so I was still strictly ...

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    For months I've carried on under the guise of a Windows Phone user. My Twitter profile states it outright; longtime readers cite it in my defense whenever commenters call me on the carpet for "anti-Microsoft bias"; and my friends even unwittingly re-verify it when choosing random Facebook photos to tag me in. But as I explained in last week's episode of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, my title of Windows Phone user has dwindled to a largely honorary one of late. The neverending stream of review devices from the Android, iOS, and wearable worlds has kept me outside the Microsoft ecosystem ...

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    In this line of work you see a lot of tech: phones of all sizes, tablets from the major vendors, and people you barely know seek you out to get your opinion on whatever is new, or to show off whatever they're packing. Most of the time it's pretty cool. Sometimes it can be creepy. At the end of the day, the positives generally outweigh the negatives, which makes it all worth while. I've been interested in cutting edge tech since I was in high school - maybe even before.  I've seen the evolution from huge "mobile phones" to small and svelte "cellular phones", and I've seen that trend ...

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    We're sure that by now you've noticed that we love comparisons. There's no better way to help you all decide between one product and another, than if we test them side by side on a couple of average days of use. It's always hard for us to determine a winner, since each product was designed with a specific niche in the market in mind, but at least our experience will serve you to get a feel for what device suits your needs. As we wind up our initial coverage of the Oppo R5, one very requested comparison was to put this device to the test against the ultimate aluminum power house from HTC. ...

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    So here we are, a couple of years into the era of smartwatches. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have offerings on the table. We've already taken a look at where the smartwatch is excelling and where it's not.  Smartwatch progress has made these devices attractive, affordable, and very handy, but some things are still holding them back from being a mainstream device. One of the biggest blockers to widespread adoption is indecision. Well, let's take that off the table, shall we? If you’re skeptical of smartwatches, don’t be. If you flat out hate them and refuse to even try, well ...

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    Samsung's flagship smartphone is the Galaxy S line of phones, with the most recent iteration being the Galaxy S5, a 5.1-incher with an HD display. With rumors of an upgrade beginning to circle and speculation running wild, what do I want out of the Galaxy S6 - the logical successor to the Galaxy S throne - and what must Samsung do to secure it's top spot in the upcoming year? 64-bit Apple's already gone 64-bit. Desktop computers and laptops have been 64-bit for years. Servers have been 64-bit for even longer. It's time for the switch to 64-bit in our mobile electronic devices, too. Many ...

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    By now we should all know that we need to lock our smartphones, phablets, and tablets, right? How many of us actually do? I know I do! That's mostly because I live in a household with grubby little hands that try to get into all my new toys review units. The other reason is because I work with a bunch of practical jokers. They always want to change my ringtones to something inappropriate. I don't where where they got the idea from, I only pick up their unattended iPhones and say "Siri, call me Star Lord". We all know that passwords are the most secure, but they take too long to type in. ...

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    I’ve done a lot of soul searching of the past few weeks. It’s been a hard journey, but I have come to some realizations of late. I’ve been on Android since the beginning of Seeptember, and I’m running out of excuses to not go back to Windows Phone. I have two left – the Review Rebuttal for the Galaxy Note Edge is the first, and we’ll talk about the second in a moment, but after that, I’m just not sure. Why am I still on Android? My go-to excuse has been the Moto 360. The darn thing doesn’t work on anything else. But that’s not the real reason. Part of me wanted to say, it ...

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    Here in the States, we have the big three in carriers – AT&T, Verizon, and (kinda) Sprint. T-Mobile is in a class by itself, a small carrier with big dreams that likes to make big news. Finally, there’s the next tier of carriers. I’m not really sure how to label these carriers. They’re not really “small” per se, but perhaps less well known? Less respected even? They are largely pre-paid carriers. This is nice because it means no contract, but it also means no subsidizing phones. Ok, rest of world, “No big deal”, I get it. But in the States, that’s kind of a deal ...

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    Back in August we took Blackphone through its paces - two of them, actually. You see, a phone by itself isn't all that compelling. After all, you've got to have someone with another phone to talk to. Such is the case with Blackphone. As a quick refresher, Blackphone is more than just a phone, it's a secure platform (based on Android) that includes a suite of apps and subscriptions to various services that really make the phone an ultra-private communication tool. It was great in concept, but only garnered a 6.6 in our full review. As a concept, Blackphone is amazing; in practice, it left ...

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    I've been using the Nexus 6 as my daily driver for several days now. It's a beautiful phone! It's fast, has excellent graphics, a camera that does everything I need it to, and a battery that I've been longing for! The only down-side? It's big. REALLY big! It's for that reason that the Nexus 5 should stick around for another year - if not more! To start things off, I'm not a small man, and I've got quite large hands. No, we're not talking basketball all-star size, but I can stretch an octave plus three keys. (If you don't know how far that is, find a piano and see how far you can stretch.) ...

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    “This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.” So the saying goes, and I have to wonder if we have reached a level of saturation to the point of being redundant. What I’m referring to are phablets and tablets. Specifically, the extremely slight difference between them when it comes to screen size, power etc. Phones are getting bigger and bigger. Tablets are getting smaller. There are actually phones and tablets that are roughly the same size as each other. The Amazon Kindle now comes in a six inch variant much like the Lumia 1520, or the device I recently played with, the Alcatel ...

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    This week, on the Pocketnow Weekly, my colleagues and I talked a bit about data privacy and security. It’s funny, because this topic just so happened to be on my plate this week. So now, it’s time to put a little thought experiment out to the masses, to get a sense of where everyone is on this. What if? The headline says it all. What if your government – wherever you happen to live – offered a 100% subsidized data plan. The catch is, the government would transparently monitor every bit of data that passes across your mobile device. Emails, location, the whole kit and caboodle. For ...

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