Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    When discussing media creation from our mobile devices, the advances in camera sensors, lenses, and video options takes the majority of focus. It’s the sexier side of the conversation, seeing that over a short period of time our phones have leapt from standard definition video and single digit megapixel stills, to UHD video and 12+ megapixel images. However we’ve also been seeing (and hearing I suppose) some subtle but important advances in audio capture. What was a novel feature a couple years ago, most many mid-range, most flagships, and even a few entry level phones now employ ...

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    Post a question publicly about how HTC can improve their smartphone sales and you’ll receive a number of replies from people talking about cameras. @SomeGadgetGuy A camera that wasn't tested by legally blind chipmunks would get my attention. — Russell Holly (@russellholly) February 3, 2016 Is it really that simple? Is that all HTC needs to do to stop the hemorrhaging and turn this ship around? I wonder if this isn’t a convenient reply delivered by us geeks, which ignores other issues facing this company in the consumer space. The camera does need work… To be fair, HTC cameras do ...

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    The LG V10 has been criticized for being a bit on the chunky side, but that casing comes with the advertised benefit of MIL-STD-810G drop and shock resistance. I’ve been critical of the smartphone industry of late for building pretty phones, but phones that don’t seem well designed to survive daily lifestyle abuse without assistance. I usually use my phones naked (in that the phone is used without a case, not that I am sans clothes). I reserve my case use for specific situations. Trip to the grocery store? No case. Aggressive hike in the hills? Rugged case. Fancy night out? Maybe a ...

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    Tablet sales have been declining for the past couple of years. The dominant theory as to why tablet sales are declining is that smartphones are cutting into the market. The iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus in particular are culprits of this theory since the iPad is still the best selling tablet in the world, but the Note series of phones, Nexus phablets, and other 6+-inch phones are equally to blame. The larger sized phones are making it harder for OEMs to sell tablets which aren't all that much bigger. Not much more The reasons for this aren’t hard to grasp. The jump from the 5.5-inch iPhone ...

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    BlackBerry is a confusing company these days, which makes it a natural subject for the Weekend Debate. BlackBerry has gone through a few iterations while reinventing itself. We have seen BB10, physical keyboards, and most recently, a jump to Android. It’s this last point that I want to take a look at as we look into 2016 and try to determine just what BlackBerry has up its sleeve for this. Specifically, is it time to kill off BB10 and go all in with Android? Naturally Right off the bat this seems like an easy answer. Of course it should. But when you look more closely, the waters get ...

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    You know what's cool? Having a bunch of connected gadgets. You know what sucks? Having a unique phone number for each and every one. Thanks to the proliferation of instant messaging and VOIP calling services, being tied to a mobile phone number has become less of an issue in recent years – but there are still those who prefer the old-fashioned voice call, and the venerable SMS is still a solid standby when you've got friends who chafe at the intrusiveness of Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. For them, the idea of maintaining separate phone numbers for a 4G tablet, ...

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    Mobile devices are funny things. On the one hand, they’re basically computers, capable of large and complex computations in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, they’re very ephemeral in a way – not really designed to last beyond two years. This creates an interest phenomenon in the mobile space. After all, if a phone isn’t designed to last more than a couple of years, then how can it be considered reliable for local data storage? But on the other hand, computers are where we keep our stuff, so how do we come to grips with this dichotomy. PC packrat I am what I like to call a ...

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    California and New York are working on bills that would prohibit (or severely restrict) encryption on phones. Why is encryption so important, and why are encryption laws that prohibit your ability to secure your devices and data such a bad idea? Back before these United States of America were recognized as a country, we were colonies of Great Britain. Pilgrims to the Americas were typically fleeing governmental or religious oppression, seeking a new start is a far-off land, free from the shackles and scrutiny of over-reaching governments and tyrants. That was a long time ago, and what ...

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    Bluetooth earpieces get a bad rap these days. But the fact of the matter is that they are very neat and very useful things to have – under a certain set of circumstances. Of course, those circumstances require a few key points that a headset must hit in order for it to be a success. The VXi BlueParrot Reveal headset meets many of those key points. Setting the requirements In general, a Bluetooth earpiece needs to have a few things going for it. It must be comfortable to wear, it must have a place to go when you’re not wearing it, and the controls should be easily discernable by touch. ...

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    We’re a month into the New Year, which is always a good time to take a look at the state of the mobile industry. Over the last couple years, we’ve watched Google and Apple march to the middle in addressing issues with the Android and iOS platforms respectively. We’re not looking at a one off feature, on an obscure Samsung, that my cousin Tim thinks is a killer app. Instead here are five things we think Android as a whole still does better than iOS, and four areas where Google falls behind the competition. Let's start with the good... 1: Customization Any complaints about Android ...

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    In 2016, most chatter that includes the word "BlackBerry" is focused on the company's Priv handset, and for good reason. As BlackBerry's first Android phone, the Priv is a dramatic shift in strategy (and a tacit admission that the company's previous one wasn't working). As one of the few Androids with a physical keyboard, it's also a sorely-needed bit of novelty in a landscape otherwise dominated by ever-homogenizing slabs. Despite its flaws I quite like the Priv, and I'm excited to see what BlackBerry has in store to follow it. There was even bigger news out of the erstwhile king of ...

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    Rumors are swirling that Apple is going to make a gigantic mistake in the near future. A four-inch iPhone is purportedly in the works for a release this spring. Reportedly, this will serve as the low-end iPhone, and probably only cost $650 (yes, I’m making that up for a joke). The only part that the rumors have not yet addressed is the most important question that should be on the minds of everyone working in the space ship. Why? Every iPhone that came out before the iPhone 6 has had one thing in common. They were all tiny. To be fair, every phone that came out before the iPhone 4 had ...

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    I've built up a love/hate relationship with HTC. This is a company which fueled most of my gadget obsession moving out of Windows Mobile and into the early days of Android. The One M7 was my favorite phone of 2013. However, recent efforts from the company haven't satisfied. HTC's mobile hardware of late has inspired plenty of discussion but not a lot of sales. Be it repetitive design, underwhelming camera tech, or fear of throttled performance, many people seem to have a reason why they aren’t picking up an HTC handset. Understanding doubt is important, but what helps dig a company out ...

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    Before Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 in 2010, they had a smartphone operating system called Windows Mobile which was based on a version of Windows called Windows Compact Edition. It was extremely flexible and feature rich. More so than Android and iOS at the time and in some ways even more than those operating systems today. People hated it because it was too complicated and too difficult to use even though ironically it was much easier to understand than today's Android and iOS user-interfaces that are so popular. A decade ago, Windows Mobile was basically the king of mobile device ...

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    Despite their creeping commoditization, smartphones are still some of the most exciting pieces of technology you can buy today. The old joke about using such a powerful device mainly for watching cat videos is a good one, but I find myself identifying more strongly with its setup than its punchline, the bit about carrying a device "capable of accessing the entirety of knowledge known to man." Knowledge is useless, though, without a fast and easy means of accessing it. That's where, for the past decade or so, smartphone manufacturers have been trying to one-up one another. Because more ...

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    One of the most annoying things about high pixel density displays on Windows is how tiny some user interface elements can be when you load older programs that were designed for the standard 72 pixels per inch pixel density that most displays have used for many decades. When Apple started using high-DPI (HiDPI) displays with many more smaller pixels crammed into the same area, they implemented a work-around in the operating system that would automatically pixel-double old programs that were not updated to adjust themselves automatically to the higher pixel density. That works pretty well ...

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    Funny thing about 2015. A lot of really great flagships came out. One the other hand, some not-bad mid range phones came out as well. Leading the charge among these would probably be either the Moto G 2015, or the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, depending on your taste. But the thing is, either one of those phones would be just fine as a daily driver for any of us. Oh sure, maybe they don’t have the glitz and glam of the iPhone 6S or the Note 5, or any of the other premium flagships, but they don’t really have to. What we have in our flagships today is almost excessive compared to our needs. ...

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    Up until recently, HTC was known for its phones and occasionally tablets. Phones were pretty much HTC’s bread and butter. But as many of us know, diversification is key when it comes to big business – don’t put all your eggs into one basket and all that. So last year, HTC decided it was time to diversify when it released the HTC One M9, the HTC Vive (now the Vive Pre), and the HTC Grip. Since then, it has added the HTC Healthbox. So HTC has diversified, and it has done some pretty smart things along the way. Entering the correct fray First of all, HTC has chosen the right areas to ...

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    A long time ago, the screens on our phones were square - and they didn't rotate when you turned them. These days our screens are notably more rectangular - most mimicking the ratio of our televisions and computers. Videos and pictures are best viewed in landscape, but text is easier to read in portrait. Thankfully, today's phones can detect the orientation in which they're being held and automatically rotate the screen accordingly. Most apps roll with it, either stretching or condensing to fill the available width and height, but the good ones reflow their content to look beautiful in ...

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    "Life's good... especially when you've got a flagship smartphone from LG in your pocket." With the LG G5's formal announcement expected to be made at MWC 2016 in Barcelona next month, the rumor-mill is in full force, churning out leaks-a-plenty. Leaks and rumors are one thing, and we could add our voice to an already growing choir of anonymous sources, educated guesses, and outright speculation. Instead, let's take a look at some of LG's past offerings and where other players in the industry are today, then come up with five things LG needs to do to make the G5's launch a success. ...

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    Looking ahead to February, MWC, and beyond, one starts to think about the impending releases of the Samsung GS7 and the HTC M10. Both of these phones had predecessors that were basically one thing short of being perfect phones – if such a thing exists. This is really significant because both of these phones were arguably otherwise really, really great. But HTC’s flagship failed with the camera and the Samsung GS6 and GS6 edge both failed in the battery department. I used to think that the battery was a forgivable failing. But then I actually used the Galaxy S6 Edge for a time and wow ...

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    They say a man's home is his castle, and just like any good castle, a good home has to be secure. The best way to go about securing you home is by using strong, reliable deadbolt locks on your doors. Those deadbolts only work when they're locked, and to unlock them you need a key. These days, technology makes things super-convenient, but that convenience can also open us up to vulnerabilities that we'd never considered before. In days gone, by if a person wanted to make a copy of a key they'd have to either take that key to a locksmith or someplace with equipment to make copies. Now, ...

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    Last week, we took a look at the future of mobile tech. Specifically, we talked about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and how they compared to each other. Now, it’s time to talk about two specific devices that are pioneering those frontiers – Microsoft’s HoloLens and the HTC’s Vive Pre. You may remember our HTC Vive Pre hands-on video from CES. Though I only made a brief appearance in that video, I was wearing a great hat, and I did also have a chance to demo the Vive Pre. I also was fortunate enough to test out the Microsoft HoloLens a few months back. So we decided to pit ...

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    If I had to pick just one company that revolutionized mobile communications, it wouldn't be Apple - it would be Nokia. Back in the 1990's, when cellphones were just starting to rise in popularity, Nokia was the company you wanted to make your phone. They were durable, user-friendly, and who can forget their wonderful battery life? We were just coming down from the popularity of pagers - and two-way pagers (which is where Research in Motion came into popularity), and all of a sudden we had cell phones that could do more than make and receive calls - they could send those two-way messages, ...

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    If you followed Pocketnow's CES 2016 coverage, you'll know that LG didn't follow up last year's G Flex 2 with a third-generation sequel. That's a shame, because it likely would have been the star of the show, at least from a smartphone perspective. For two generations, the G Flex line has brought the most futuristic features LG has to offer, including them not in a reference design or engineering prototype, but in a consumer smartphone available to everyday people. With the LG G5 rumored for MWC 2016 in Barcelona next month, here's a few features I'm hoping make the jump from the ...

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