Smartphones are made up of a whole bunch of pieces put together like the best Tetris game ever. Sometimes an OEM will cut a corner or two to drive down costs, or make a design element more feasible. Often, that results in a phone that is less-than-perfect in one or more area. But which area? That’s the great question.
Since we’re all – reader and editor alike – firmly embedded in mobile, we’re probably a good crowd to ask. The answer is quite subjective, but who better to poll than us? So I [...]
There is more to tech than just mobile. There is a ton of technology out there that has nothing to do with mobile, or is only tangentially related that interests us. We write and create content for Pocketnow, but it’s not like we don’t have interests outside of mobile. There are some really cool gadgets out there and darn it, we like ’em. So for the space of an editorial, we’re gonna let our editors cut loose and talk about some of the stuff they dig that you won’t necessarily read about there. Then, we invite you to chat in [...]
Modular phones are becoming a thing. Or so LG hopes. One of the most popular modular phones of later has been Project Ara, Google’s modular device that will have a Lego-like structure of swapping out components that are sold out of lunch wagons. I’m not even making this up. This is an interesting concept since it adds two things to your phone which cannot normally be added – longevity and ease of repair. LG’s modular design adds a new dimension to the equation – expandability. But the question is, are those things that the modern smartphone needs? Or is the [...]
All of us are born with certain “natural rights” – rights which are are not dependent on the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and are therefore universal and inalienable. Among those are the right to privacy, of which I’m an advocate. Since the world’s governments aren’t doing a very good job respecting privacy (let alone protecting it like they should be), the responsibility falls to us, individually. Thankfully, technology gives us the tools we need to build solutions that will help deter all but the most [...]
Ask any platform, you know, if it could talk, and it would tell you that ecosystem is key to survival. Having the apps that people need in order to function is vital to the ability of a platform to sustain itself. After all, if a phone, tablet, or even a computer can’t do what people need it to do, people will go elsewhere. This is a bit of a no-brainer – not new information at all. Which led to the question – what vital apps are actually required for an ecosystem to be viable? What apps are needed in order for a customer to plant her flag and claim it as her own?
We asked our [...]
Warranties fall into that category of “things you don’t think about until you need it”. At the end of the day, it’s nice that if your phone stops working in a short period of time, you can contact the company who made the phone and get some kind of satisfaction – most of the time. But every now and then, those warranties turn out not so great. Maybe there is an issue with your phone that isn’t covered or maybe the factory is swinging and missing on basic warranty service. Either way, suddenly that assurance isn’t so reliable.
Then, there’s the other side of the coin – devices [...]
Talking to my phone is probably one of my favorite things to do with it. Asking my phone’s voice assistant to perform tasks such as giving me the weather, texting my wife, or looking up information is pretty cool, and so much more convenient than doing it “the old fashioned way.” What I mean is, launching an app from the app drawer, or typing I-L-L-B-E-H-O-M-E-I-N-2-0-M-I-N-U-T-E-S. People do crazy stuff on phones these days, and talking makes everything so much easier. So why don’t more people talk to their phones? I’ve asked that question and decided to [...]
Galaxies keep getting bigger while the Notes stay the same. Samsung basically has two flagships – the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note. But recently with the emergence of the Galaxy S7 Edge, worlds started to collide a little bit. But, to be fair, this is only after Samsung decided to muddy the waters a bit. Samsung took its successful Edge phone to the phablet stage with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, and released it along side its main phablet offering – the Galaxy Note 5. Then, this past spring, the Galaxy S7 Edge came out and it wasn’t too far away from the Galaxy S6 Edge plus in size or [...]
Yesterday, we talked about specifications and how, at least in the current three flagships that are on the market, specifications really don’t matter any more. Today, we’re going to talk about price, and what comes along with that price tag you pay for the top tier phones of today. We decided to look back over the last 366 days and see what phones had been released and what their prices were. Then we looked at what each had to offer for that price you paid.
Our recent review of the iPhone SE left us in a bit of a tizzy – what is this phone, anyway? Is it a flagship? Is it a [...]
Every year, OEMs put out newer and better phones. Of course they do. What’s the point of a new generation if it’s not better than the last, right? But some OEMs, notably Apple, have taken to using more vague descriptors of their smartphone components. They say things like “all day battery life” or Apple’s famous “retina display”. The problem with descriptions like this is they are either highly subjective, or they don’t really mean anything from a specification standpoint.
But here’s the thing. We are fast entering a world where most flagships are going to have basically the [...]
A couple of years ago, Google and Apple both unveiled their latest mobile operating systems. No, I don’t mean mobile as in phones, I mean mobile as in cars. Since then, there has been a steady increase in adoption by auto manufacturers who are bringing this tech to the road. Last year, only a few car manufacturers were able to bring Android Auto and/or Apple CarPlay to their vehicles. This year, the list is much longer, and so it will go until not having a connected vehicle will be the exception rather than the rule. Connected vehicles are coming, do not doubt.
This is both a [...]
One of the least talked about things on a smartphone is its audio output. Don’t get me wrong, people do talk about it. But compared to camera, battery life, and other considerations, audio output is one of those “nice-to-haves” rather than a necessity. Sure, we love our front-firing speakers, but at the same time, we’ll happily accept a rear or bottom firing speaker if the rest of the hardware is up to snuff. We might ding it in the review with a sentence or two, but that’s about the extent of it.
One of the biggest problems in mobile technology today is the battery life of our phones. A much as our technology has increased, idyllic battery life remains an elusive unicorn. Most phones set the bar at 16 hours, which is one day, minus sleep time during which you can charge. But really, isn’t that just an awful goal? If that were the minimum standard for battery, ok, I’ll grant you that. But setting the bar for “good” battery life at a single day should never be the rule.
Of course there are phones that boast much more than that. I’ve recently been testing the Blu Energy X [...]
Now that Build 2016 has come and gone, it’s time for us to think about where Microsoft is in terms of the stuff we care about – mobile. Specifically, Windows 10 Mobile and the smartphones on which it runs. Granted, Build is a developer’s conference; it’s not a consumer show. There was a lot of code talk that made my eyes glaze right over, but Build isn’t for me. It’s for developers, and that’s exactly the most important point to keep in mind.
Because, aside from holding some hardware in their hands, the speakers at Build 2016’s keynote didn’t really acknowledge Windows 10 [...]