Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    One of the unavoidable pitfalls of covering a field as vast as mobile technology is that sometimes, you get things wrong. It happens regardless of preparation, regardless of time spent with a device, and no matter how many colleagues help copy-edit your work. But it happens most often when you establish an opinion before going hands-on with a product, before incorporating it into your daily life. Out in the real world, that's called prejudice – and it's just as damaging to a product review as the myriad ways it's destructive to broader society. Yes, that's a shallow parallel ... ...

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    (Update 1/29/2015: the answer now lies at the bottom of this post, so be careful when scrolling if this is your first time seeing this edition of the smartphone guessing game! Also, our apologies for the late update, folks; our lead smartphone reviewer came down with a wicked-bad case of the coughs in this year's Boston Blizzard, so he's been out of commission.) When it comes to analyzing the quality of a smartphone's camera, there are two main approaches. There's the guided style: "We had a gander at the new [Smartphone] from the fine folks at [Smartphone Manufacturer], and we took its ...

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    Microsoft had some big announcements last week. Announcements that left your head spinning, once you took Marty McFly Jr’s headset off that is. Microsoft even let the phones get into the picture, which was pretty cool. But it left me wondering if Microsoft shared any truly compelling reasons for people to come to the platform. Cortana First of all, let is be said that Cortana alone is a compelling reason to come to the platform. Microsoft’s digital assistant is accurate, fun, and a joy to use. Cortana is one of the things I miss most about Windows Phone, and quite honestly will be a ...

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    I like a flagship phones just as much as the next guy, but you know what I like even more? Not having to fork over a fistfull of cash! Who's with me? Yeah, I thought so. Nonetheless, I still picked up a Nexus 6 just as soon as Google would take my money. I love my Nexus 6, but other than a bigger screen and a battery that charges fast, it's not much different than my Nexus 5, and my Nexus 5 cost a few hundred bucks less! Score one for the Nexus 5, right? WRONG! Even the Nexus 5, with it's very decent specs, is still way overpriced! That's not what we thought back when it was first ...

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    Microsoft sure does like to change the way things are named! Windows CE gave way to Handheld PC and Palm PC, then to Palm-Sized PC, then Pocket PC was replaced by Windows Mobile Standard, Professional, and Classic. Windows Phone came along when Microsoft rebooted the platform in the wake of competition from Apple and Android. Windows Phone 7 was followed by Windows Phone 7.5, then 8.0, and most recently 8.1. Did I miss any? Are you confused yet? Then again, one could argue whether or not Microsoft's naming has been more or less confusing than Android's "sweet tooth" classification (it ...

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    This past week, we got to see a bit of what Microsoft was planning for Windows Phone. Microsoft even checked off a few items on our wish list, which we appreciated. One other little nugget that Microsoft dropped on us was that new flagship hardware was coming.  There were few real details about from whom, or when. It was just an “oh by the way” on the way out the door. Perhaps we will see Microsoft focus on flagships for a while. This is great news! One of the reasons tech people (myself included) have been walking away from the platform is because of that very lack of high-end ...

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    Samsung, despite being something of a copy-cat, makes great hardware. It's smartphones, especially those in the Galaxy S family, are fabulous pieces of hardware. Phablets like the Note, and the Note Edge cater to those of us who want larger devices, but don't want to pack around a tablet (or a tablet and a smartphone, too). That said, there are a growing number of situations and circumstances where a tablet is simply the right tool for the job. Thanks to what we've seen from Microsoft in Windows 10, Samsung tablets will soon have some real competition. Where we came from Not that long ago, ...

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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 call it ...

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    We've covered Google's Project Ara in the past. To recap, it's an experiment Google is undertaking wherein our smartphones (and perhaps someday our tablets, too) are built the same way many of our desktop computers are, with modular components. Currently, Google is promoting a skeletal framework and set of protocols and standards into which individual components can quickly and easily slide into place. Want more RAM? Buy a new RAM module to replace your old one one. Want a better camera? Buy a new camera module. It sounds really interesting and, other than the horrible hodgepodge ...

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    Here’s the thing. I don’t get Google Glass. I never have. At first, it seemed like a Bluetooth headset, only more pretentious. It was a vague concept that you can use to “connect without disconnecting,” or while “staying in the moment” or some other kind of marketing drivel. Then it was priced at $1,500, and I only stopped laughing about that last week, which is when they coincidentally pulled Google Glass off the shelves, presumably with a dust buster close at hand. Earlier, we were introduced to Microsoft Holographic. At first, when they used the word “holograms” I perked ...

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    We saw a lot of really cool innovations from Microsoft today. There's so much to be excited about in the coming months. New hardware will be released that will run Windows 10, new phones will be announced. Cortana (Microsoft's answer to Siri and "OK Google") will land on the desktop and help give you the information that you want right when you want it - without even having to take your hands off the keyboard. What you might have missed, however, was Microsoft Photos. Photos? Really? After all we saw today, why am I focusing on the Photos app?! Technology is great. It enables us to do so ...

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    I ordered my 32GB Midnight Blue Nexus 6 from the Play Store on November 5th, 2014. Two weeks later it was on its way to the Pocketnow Boston office so Michael Fisher could give it the full review treatment. After patiently waiting, my Nexus 6 finally arrived here, in Utah, about a month ago, my first impression wasn't positive: "holy crap, this thing is huge!" I went to work setting it up (an easy task thanks to Lollipop's new "getting started" process), and have used it as my daily driver exclusively since that day. The life of a tech journalist marches ever onward and I have other phones ...

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    The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is one of the more daring Samsung offerings in some time. Is it as daring as super gluing a camera to a smart phone? In some ways, it is not. But, one of the scary things about the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is that this phone is so unique, Samsung might just be on to something. In many ways, that makes this phone even more daring than the camera/phone hybrid. Because this design might have some much to offer, it might just stick around. I’ve had a couple of weeks with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and I’ve come across a couple of fun things to do with it that ...

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    On the surface, the Samsung Z1 isn't a very compelling phone for most of us. It's only got ¾ GB RAM (768 MB), a dual-core 1.2 GHz Processor, and a 1500 mAh battery.  I doesn't stop there, either. With 4GB storage, and a 4-inch screen with a resolution of 480 x 800, you're not going to see the Z1 competing with anything even approaching a "flagship". That's okay for it's target: emerging markets. After all, it runs the lightweight Tizen OS - not Android. What if it did run Android? What if the Samsung Z1 were an Android One phone? Android One Android One is a relatively new program ...

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    Wednesday is a big day for Windows Phone fans, or at least it probably will be. Microsoft’s presentation should cover the latest iterations of Windows 10 and we hear there might be a fair amount of phone talk in there. Back in October, Mr. Lein, Mr. Fisher and I hashed out ten things we wanted to see from Windows 10. Well, since none of those have come to fruition just yet, we wanted to revisit that list and see what’s important now that we all have new calendars. There’s a ton of them, so we’ll be brief with each point. Keep the “phone” Some rumors have suggested that ...

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    Not that long ago whenever you talked about mobile tech it went hand-in-hand with a stylus that you'd use to input all your data. Our PDAs, whether Palm Pilots, Window CE Palmtops, or Apple Newtons, all came with a stylus. Most were basic, but there were web stores that offered upgrades to add a little panache to what would otherwise be a plain stick tipped with a special piece of plastic. With every new PDA came a visit to PDApanache.com to pick up a metal stylus. Plastic just didn't have enough heft to it, and let's face it, a shiny metal stylus simply looked better! The past That was ...

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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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    One of the things we all like about Android is the ability to customize our smartphones and tablets to suit our personalities and the way we each use our devices. Out of the box, stock and unrooted, Android is a very powerful operating system. With just a couple taps you can enable sideloading of apps, and you can even install any of several app stores. However, if you're brave enough and with a little technical know-how, you can OEM unlock and root your device. From there, the sky is the limit! In the past we've talked about various hacks, apps that require root, custom ROMs, and more. ...

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    In January of 2012 something magical happened: executives from Asus and Google got together and began work on a project that would change the face of mobile computing. Apple had released the first iPad two years earlier and OEMs had followed suit with tablets powered by Android shortly thereafter. All the options - both Apple and Android - were relatively costly. What Asus and Google did changed the industry. Those two powerhouses came together and built a tablet with very respectable specifications and a price that couldn't be matched. This strategy pushed the prices of tablets across the ...

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    Last week at CES, we got some exciting news. Palm is coming back, and this time, it means war! Ok, that’s not the exact message that was being broadcast, but still Palm is coming back. Who, you might wonder, is the patron of our beloved lost OEM? TCL Communications, a Chinese OEM who also holds Alcatel Onetouch, that’s who. Palm, it seems will be the high-end hardware to compliment the mid to low-end phones brought to you by Alcatel Onetouch. So this is great news right? Palm is back! Well… Expectations First of all, if you’re expecting webOS, stop it – it’s not happening. TCL ...

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    Apple controls the entire user experience from hardware to the operating system that runs on its smartphones and tablets. Microsoft controls the operating system that OEMs put on their hardware. With Android, however, the story is a bit different. Google (and others) work on the core operating system, but OEMs are free to modify the experience to suit their branding requirements and make hardware that is more varied than any other mobile platform today. If that sounds like an invitation for chaos, you might be right! To try and rein things in, Google has three programs to help guide OEMs ...

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    For us, every trade show starts with the same goal: we want to cover everything. Whether it's the newest smartphone or the latest Bluetooth accessory, from the thinnest tablet to the chunkiest smartwatch – if it's a piece of mobile gadgetry, we want to see it, film it, and share it with you. But at a show the size of CES 2015 (or "the 2015 International CES" if you want to be prissy about it) that's not possible. Not even with a team of a hundred – and certainly not with a team of three. Hayato, Jaime and I tried to be discerning in our selections for video coverage, so some of our ...

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    I'm a Power User, I always have been. Back in the days of the Apple Newton, the MessagePad 2000 wasn't enough for me. I had to upgrade it to the 2100 (technically the 2000U, but who's counting?). My desktop computer is sporting 8 cores (though it's really only four hyperthreaded cores). Although my Nexus 5 suited me just fine, I had to get the Nexus 6. Generally speaking, whenever you see me I'll be running the latest and greatest tech. I had always imagined that everyone wanted "the best", and didn't consider the possibility that I might be an anomaly. If that's the case, why do so ...

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    We live in a world where everything is available "on the cloud". We have more online storage options that I can count. Streaming radio is not only so widespread, the majority of online radio stations even stream for free on the T-Mobile "uncarrier" network. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others offer streaming video with HD resolutions, even up to 4K. We have LTE that provides data speeds in the dozens of Mbps, HSPA+ picks up the slack when we wander outside of LTE coverage, and we're almost always within range of someone's WiFi bubble. Even with all those streaming options and methods, I ...

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    I've been rather impressed with the SoCs that Qualcomm has been releasing under the "Snapdragon" brand, and really fell in love with the chips with the S4 line up back in the day. The S4 Pro was the sought after processor for smartphones and tablets - back in 2012. As we all know, technology marches ever onward. Phones and tablets powered by the Snapdragon 800 series took center stage in 2014. Now that 2015 is upon is, there's a new generation of SoCs on deck, but the Snapdragon 810 is quite a bit different than any Snapdragon you've seen before. Not Krait Qualcomm makes the Snapdragon ...

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