Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    There’s an old saying that goes, “it’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.” And if that was going to be the crux of my argument, this article would already be over. But the fact remains that you and I have a pretty expensive hobby in smartphones and especially flagships. So, if it’s only worth what someone will pay, then we’re clearly all willing to pay quite a bit. But then these tear-downs come out and we find out just how much it actually costs to build these phones from a physical component perspective. Often the cost is 1/3 of the retail price of these units, ...

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    Regardless of how much technology has advanced, nothing is as comfortable and familiar an input device as the pen and paper. It’s something we’ve been doing since we were kids and it feels so natural, it has never been adequately replaced. Microsoft, Apple, and a virtual cornucopia of other stylus manufacturers have tried to replicate this experience on mobile devices for years. Some have come close, but haven’t crossed that last hurdle. And yet, there remains a strong demand for the ability to write things down but still have them stored digitally for later review. This is the gap ...

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    Audio is a mission critical feature for many smartphone consumers. Listening to music, podcasts, movie and game audio, or simply taking phone calls, good audio hardware can make a huge difference in how you might enjoy those various audio activities. While we're looking to cover the audio hardware in our phones with more in depth testing, it's also important to look at what audio devices you're connecting to your phone. Picking a good pair of ear buds can be almost as important as selecting which phone will drive those ear buds. Headphones are an incredibly personal purchase. What one ...

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    Last week, an item came across our news desk which started the little hamster in my brain a-runnin’. Congresswoman Jackie Speier wants to close the “burner phone loophole” and require cheap, prepaid phones to be registered at the point of sale, which is sure to upset Hollywood scriptwriters throughout the entire city. Essentially, these low-cost, pre-paid cell phones would no longer be anonymous devices to be thrown casually into the trash after mocking local law enforcement. Rather they’d be a CSI: Cyber dream come true as they would all have a name, and presumably Social ...

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    We're getting closer to the official reveal of HTC's next flagship phone. Instead of trying to compete with LG and Samsung at MWC this year, HTC held back to give its newest phone a little space. Whether this strategy helps the company get a little more exposure, we're all anxiously waiting to see what the HTC 10 can deliver which might make it a proper competitor to LG G5s and Galaxy S7s. Here are the top five areas where HTC needs to blow people away to turn around its smartphone story. Audio Let's start with the one feature we're all fairly confident that HTC can deliver. For several ...

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    It wasn’t that long ago that we were making jokes about how small cellphones could get. From Zoolander’s tiny flip phone, to Amy Wong in an early season of Futurama, the mobile tech trends convinced us that future phones would be the size of one of our nostrils. Then smartphones happened As mobile devices began tackling more duties than phone calls and texts, the demands on displays grew. Email drove the design of Blackberrys. Multimedia became the hallmark of the iPhone. Then in 2011, Samsung popularized larger screen phones with the first Galaxy Note. While that fist Note was ...

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    Here at Pocketnow, we talk a lot about the annoying lack of one-handed usability in modern smartphone software design. The Palm Web OS did some really great things with one-handed usability, as did Blackberry, and even Windows Phone 7-8.  None of those operating systems are really around anymore and even Microsoft has lost touch with one-handed usability when they started on Windows 10 Mobile. Android is a mess when it comes to one-handed usability and Apple has just solved the problem by releasing a new iPhone with a smaller screen that your fingers can reach across. The problem is ...

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    If you’re a Windows 10 Mobile fan, you may have received a bit of a shock last week when Microsoft announced the first wave of devices that would be officially getting their Windows 10 Mobile update. Actually, that wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that there wasn’t going to be a second wave. That’s right Microsoft fans, what you see is what you get. There were some notable exceptions left off this list, including the Lumia 1020, the Lumia 920, and the Lumia 930. Interestingly enough, the Lumia Icon, which is basically the Lumia 930 in a bright red Verizon candy shell ...

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    A lot of time, effort, money, and energy goes into phone design. These things are tortured and tested for months before being released to consumers. Yet for all that examination, why do we still face the tyranny of having buttons on BOTH sides of our phones? At this point we're likely already receiving angry comments from people, but aside from the satirical tone of that last sentence, there are a couple reasons why a person might enjoy moving controls to only one side of a device. We've all seen infomercials where people seem to have forgotten how their hands work, but there could be an ...

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    In recent years, our phones have evolved into the “universal remote control” – not for our televisions, but for our homes. That’s where the Pocketnow Smart Home series comes in! Thanks to a combination of sensors and Internet of Things innovations, taking your old-fashioned home and turning it into a smart home isn’t as difficult, or as expensive as you might think – and it’s all controllable from your phone, phablet, or tablet. • If you’ve been following our smart home series, you've seen how we've added motion detectors, flood sensors, a smart lock, WiFi lighting, door ...

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    Funny thing about being at the top. There’s a lot of different ways you can fall. In the business world it’s even more harrowing because if you are at the top of your game, and you don’t get better, you are considered to be failing. Imagine if you are doing anything better than anyone else in the world, and then one day, someone complains that you haven’t gotten any better and everyone suddenly hates you. That’s a rough gig, no matter who you are. Samsung’s case isn’t exactly like that. It has been sliding for a couple of years now.  And by “sliding” I mean “making ...

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    If you’re like me, you got some great and not-entirely unexpected news at MWC – The Edge is here to stay. Samsung unveiled its fourth generation of edge-bearing phone. This is definitely becoming a thing. We’ve written in the past that the edge of the Edge might not be worth the additional cost, but it has been around this long. It seems like Samsung is making it a thing. So now we ask the next logical question – now what? Software First, we are starting to see a lot of software capability for the Edge screen. The original Note Edge had an ecosystem of apps and toolbars dedicated ...

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    Samsung returned to a fine tradition of water proofing/resisting with its latest flagship phones. Both the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge carry a slightly improved IP68 rating than the Samsung Galaxy S5’s IP 67 rating and the Galaxy S6’s IPGotNothin’ rating. So Samsung dropped water resistance and then returned, presumably due to consumer demand, new technology, or both. Now that I can go geocaching with my brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (you know, when I get one), I started to wonder about another Galaxy sibling – the Active. Now that the Galaxy S7 has a bigger battery and water ...

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    In some industries, presentation is everything. 1MORE gets that. We had the opportunity to review four sets of headphones from 1MORE over the last four weeks. From the time we held the boxes to the time we removed the headphones from our ears, we have been thoroughly impressed by the end-to-end experience. 1MORE has encapsulated quality in all aspects of the experience. Even the unboxing is special in its own way, which is why we’re going to talk about even that. Wow, right off the bat One of the first things we thought when merely opening the packaging of these headphones was “wow.” ...

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    As images begin to surface of what the next iPhone will possibly look like, the most surprising thing is that not much has really changed (not even "everything"). Renders of the iPhone 7 look a lot like the iPhone 6 and 6S that are out now. Sure the antenna lines (which honestly never bothered me) are being relocated, and the camera cutout looks a scooch bigger, but for the most part, these renders and leaks are making the iPhone 7 look like an iPhone 6Ssquared. But here’s the thing; that’s totally OK. Breaking the cycle Tradition in the iPhone world calls for a complete redesign every ...

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    Later this year, HTC will release its next flagship, the HTC 10. The rumors surrounding this phone make it seem very intriguing, but one thing we haven’t been able to pin down is whether or not HTC will release a Windows 10 Mobile variant of its flagship. There is precedent for such a move, but there are reasons to not go that route as well. Sounds like a debate to me! Let’s dive in, shall we? Less than ideal One the one hand, Windows 10 Mobile is not in very good shape these days. Microsoft seems to be focusing more on the software and services side of its business model and Windows ...

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    If you live in the northern hemisphere, it’s still pretty cold in March, unless you live in Chicago where the weather is crazy as a gerbil on a mocha latte. Still, we’re not putting the winter gear away just yet as Mother Winter can easily come back for an encore or three. And if she does, we’ll be ready to keep warm and keep up with our favorite podcast, the Pocketnow Weekly, just as we have been for the past three weeks. The Blu-toque by Caseco has been keeping our head warm through the harshest Chicago temperatures of late. The Blu-toque is a cleverly named winter accessory which ...

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    Now that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is running on 2.3% of devices, it's time for us to start talking about the next version of Android - Android "N". Marshmallow was released in October 2015, but the Developer Preview of that version (Android "M") was first unveiled in May 2015 at the Google I/O conference. Just as before, we don't know what Android "N" will be called when it's released, but in the meantime we've got our first taste of Google's newest mobile OS. How to install the Android N Developer Preview Here's where the first major change come in. Unlike previous Developer Previews, ...

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    "Who would ever need a 6GB smartphone?" Questions like that will get you in trouble. Despite the fact that he says he never said it, Bill Gates still gets cited as the guy who said we'd never need more than 640KB RAM in our computers, and we've seen how that turned out. If the Vivo Xplay 5 is to be considered today's benchmark, the 6GB smartphone is just around the corner. But that brings us back to the question: How much RAM is "enough" in our smartphones, and is 6GB "too much"? To answer those questions, we've got to know what RAM is, and what it's used for. Thankfully, we covered that ...

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    This May, a new version of Android will be introduced at Google I/O. Android N will bring with it a bevy of new features, which is all fine and good, but what will its name be? Now there’s some juicy gossip and speculation for you. I mean, Now on Tap is nice and all, but how about that Marshmallow? Isn’t that some catchy stuff? Really puts the sexy into it, ya know? So, knowing Android N has a lot to live up to – who doesn’t like marshmallows after all – we really need to put some thought into what this name is going to be. After all, it will single-handedly determine what ...

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    Smartphone trends are really interesting to watch. We get a lot of feedback from our readers. We get a ton of comments on our videos. There's an idea that people spend their money based on merit, a rational analysis of pros and cons. If you ask a general consumer why they bought the phone they did, they can usually justify the purchase, but were those the actual reasons that convinced them to spend their money? For Western tech fans, the first big fight of the year will land between LG and Samsung. Galaxy S7 vs LG G5 will be a ridiculously common article and video title, and we'll likely ...

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    While the tech community watches the drama unfold between Apple and the FBI over the phone used by the San Bernardino shooter, there are other cases working their way through our legal system. Yesterday a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled against the FBI in a situation where law enforcement wanted Apple to unlock the phone of a suspected drug dealer. In his ruling, Judge James Orenstein said "The relief the government seeks is unavailable because Congress has considered legislation that would achieve the same result but has not adopted it", referencing recent legislation that Congress failed ...

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    HTC changed course a little bit this year. In the past, when other OEMs announced their flagship phones at MWC, HTC was right there along side of them announcing its own flagship. This year, it went a different direction. When the world was introduced to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and the LG G5, with an honorable mention going to the Sony Xperia Performance, there was no HTC flagship to be seen, opting instead for a later announcement at its own venue several weeks from now, possibly April 11. Instead, HTC did unveil a few midrange smartphones in its Desire collection. Nice, but ...

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    What will sell the smartphones of the future? Editor Adam recently penned an editorial detailing Sony’s recent announcement to retire the “Z” line of flagship smartphones. The move to the XPERIA X family of devices seems focused on blurring the line between mid-range and high-end phones. Sony is yet another company publicly resigning from the specs war, walking away from the premier tier of mobile device. Will Sony's move be unique this year, or will other manufacturers follow in Sony's footsteps? Do specs matter? The flagship phone market is a maturing market segment. Across the ...

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    In recent years, our phones have evolved into the “universal remote control” – not for our televisions, but for our homes. That’s where the Pocketnow Smart Home series comes in! Thanks to a combination of sensors and Internet of Things innovations, taking your old-fashioned home and turning it into a smart home isn’t as difficult, or as expensive as you might think – and it’s all controllable from your phone, phablet, or tablet. • If you’ve been following our smart home series, we laid its foundation with the Almond+ smart router by Securifi - but my quest for a smart ...

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