Posts tagged with: Editorial
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    Update: Edited to correct screen measurement figure. So there I am this morning, preparing some wearable videos featuring the latest and greatest from LG and Samsung (the G Watch R review and Gear S hands-on, if you're interested), and suddenly the internet explodes. There's a new thing from Nokia, apparently, a milled metal slab of science featuring Real Aluminum and Real Android, two things everyone has been clamoring for over the last several years of polycarbonate Windows-running Nokias. Now that Nokia is Nokia again and Other-Nokia has been absorbed into Microsoft, the former has ...

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    With the Motorola-made Nexus 6 starting to arrive in customer's hands, the Nexus 4 is hardly noteworthy anymore. It's screen was a measly 720p and measured 4.7-inches with a pixel density of less than 320. With a quad-core Snapdragon APQ8064 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU, LG's Nexus 4 was a powerhouse - back in its day. It shipped with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but got fairly timely updates all the way up to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Then tragedy struck. Google's support window on devices follows the industry standard of about 18-months. The Nexus 4 was announced in October ...

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    It might be a bit unfair to compare the aluminum unibodied HTC One M8 to virtually anything else not made of the sleek metal, but how can you possibly compare the four Ultra Pixel camera on the M8 to a smartphone sporting a 13MP shooter? Thankfully, HTC makes another variant of its popular One, the HTC One E8. As a refresher, the HTC One E8 includes most of the same specifications as its aluminum-clad big-brother, the One M8. Unlike the M8, the E8 opts for polycarbonate rather than aluminum, and includes a 13MP main camera. Both of these features make the One E8 a much better platform ...

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    iPhone gets a bad rap. It really does. Apple is such a polarizing company it’s almost funny. Apple has fans that are so very dedicated to the platform they almost need therapy. iPhone, iPad, iMac, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and even a white Starbucks membership card. Apple has achieved the kind of fan base that corporations only dream about – for better or for worse. iSheep You know the stereotypes – iSheep, rich yuppies hanging out at Starbucks, when they’re not camping out at Apple stores, that is. These people, the fans who have done nothing wrong except fall in love with a product ...

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    HTC is out to show the world that it can make one helluva shooter. Gone are the "ultra-pixels" that we became so familiar with in the One M8, in are the industry-standard megapixels - in this case thirteen of them! And it's not just the main camera either, HTC put 13 megapixels in the selfie camera on the front, too! While they've got the right numbers, how do they perform in real life? We took our AT&T-branded HTC Desire EYE for a spin. It took a little while to get used to the main camera's position in the very upper corner of the device. We found a finger blocking the viewfinder on ...

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    Now we have wearables from all three major platforms – iOS, Android, and Windows. Or at least we’ve seen announcements for all three. Apple is a little on the slow side coming to market but for the purposes of this article we’re going to assume what we saw in the demos is actually what people will be wearing. What we’re looking at here is not the aesthetics of each brand – so Microsoft Band haters can just move all those thoughts to the recycle bin for now. Rather, what we’ll be examining is the philosophy behind the wearable, because we have three distinct platforms here all ...

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    See what I did there? When Tim Cook announced Apple pay just a few weeks ago, it was a pretty exciting time. NFC payments were coming to Apple, marking a huge opportunity for Apple and its customers. It’s true, Google users were already on the NFC payment train with Google Wallet, but Apple stood to legitimize the mobile payment industry simply by adopting it. I wrote as much just after the product launch. Then, my theories were proven true – kinda – by the Merchant Customer Exchange who suddenly doused its drawers at the thought of Apple Pay trouncing it’s here-but-not-really, ...

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    HTC is out to prove it can do cameras just as good - if not better - than everyone else. It recently announced the HTC RE Camera, and the HTC Desire EYE: a smartphone that has a front-facing selfie-shooter that's almost as good as the primary camera on the back. About a month ago HTC invited us out to New York City to show off it's new "camera-centric" lineup, and Michael Fisher brought us an early hands-on with the Desire EYE. It's a stout device, about the same size as the Nexus 5 that I pack with me every day, though a little taller. It's powered by a 2.3 GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 801 ...

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    We work with so much technology every day that sometimes it’s mind-boggling. At times you don’t even know how to feel about a product coming out. The Amazon Echo is one example – how am I supposed to feel about this thing. It sure looks cool but is it? Sometimes you have expectations about something. That was the case with me with smartwatches. I really, really wanted a smartwatch. And then I got one. I’ve been using the Moto 360 now for a couple of months. It’s really great tech, but as my rebuttal review headline read, it’s “flawed beauty”. There’s a lot that the Moto ...

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    Thanks to innovations like the GoPro, people are taking cameras into circumstances and situations that they've rarely gone before. As a result we're getting to live life through they eyes of someone else. Now one of our favorite smartphone manufacturers has gotten into the game with the HTC RE. Last month HTC invited us to New York to get a first-hand look at the HTC RE and Pocketnow's Michael Fisher headed to the Big Apple.  As noted in his hands-on video, the firmware powering the RE was pre-production, and the companion software which runs on your Android- or iOS-powered smartphone or ...

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    Yesterday, we took a look at why the Microsoft Band is good for the Windows Phone platform, but we never really examined why the Microsoft band was good in and of itself. We touched on a few points that will be reiterated here, but now we’re going to focus on those positives, and maybe a minor negative here and there. The Microsoft Band is a 1.0 product. Let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way right now. It’s not really finished and I don’t think it’s the destination of this journey. It’s maybe a point of interest or tourist trap that you encounter on your way to the ...

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    Cloud storage has gained a significant level of popularity lately, and that’s mainly because technology is helping it become seamless. Surely it would’ve been easier if US Carriers wouldn’t have dropped their unlimited data plans, but it’s hard to deny that things “just work” in most of the cloud storage services we see in the market. One of the pioneers of the cloud mentality was Apple with its MobileMe services, though that particular story was so full of horror that the company ended up fixing it and rebranding it to iCloud. Steve Jobs envisioned a service that would ...

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    Most of you already know that I buy my own phones. Every daily driver I've used long-term was purchased with hard-earned money out of my own pocket.  Sure, I review phones that carriers, friends, manufacturers, marketers, and Pocketnow sends my way, but daily drivers, those are special. One of my deciding factors is how much bloat comes pre-loaded on a device. Most carrier labeled phones are ripe with bloat, carrier customizations, and cut corners. The DROID Turbo, on the other hand, is a great example of carrier customization done the right way! On a phone that's already got limited ...

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    Last week, Microsoft quietly released a new wearable into the space – the Microsoft Band. What’s remarkable about this device was how quietly it was released considering it is the first wearable to be fully compatible with Windows Phone. Ok, Pebble fans, I know you have an app. I’m very happy for you. But this Microsoft Band is something else because it is designed to work with Windows Phone. Oh, and it works with Android and iOS too. LOLWUT? Yessir, that’s the case. The Microsoft Band is cross-platform hardware, something which I mentioned would be a fabulous idea a few months ago ...

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    It feels like Samsung started the trend - phones that were half-tablet with large screens that barely fit in our pockets. Now it seems like everyone is trying to jump onboard the phablet train! Over the last few weeks I've been looking at the ZMAX from ZTE, which proves that even affordable phones have "big phone" fever! To start with, the ZTE ZMAX is big. With its 5.7-inch screen it's right up there with the big guys like the Note 4 and the Nexus 6. It feels significantly larger than my daily driver, the Nexus 5, even though it only stands about 1-inch taller and a quarter of an inch ...

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    The state of wearables is clearly going through experimentation, up to the point where even dictionaries struggle with the word “wearable.” Try a web search of any smartphone from back in 2006, and you’ll notice the same thing happened with smartphones, even up to the name “smart phone.” Today they’re almost entirely a slate of touch-sensitive glass, but eight years ago, you could see the oddest of form factors, from dual-sliding keyboards, to the unpopular backflip. What’s interesting is that the simplest of form factors became the predominant design, and the rest has become ...

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    Last week Microsoft released a new health service along with a fitness tracker called the Microsoft Band. Microsoft Health is the name of the service that goes along with it, and that's meant as a new platform for centralizing all of your health and fitness related information. Currently the software runs on Windows Phone 8.1, Google's Android, and Apple's iOS so that consumers can enjoy the benefits of platform agnosticism. The new platform is also meant to be very open to both app developers and device manufacturers so that anyone can really tap into it and create products that ...

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    As is the case for most smartphones these days, the One M8's time in the spotlight was very limited. Unlike the One M7, which won awards for all of 2013 (and even some in 2014), the One M8 is quickly fading into the background as competitors pile dozens of overpowered, chiseled pieces of art on shelves. Just look at the Oppo N3, LG G3, Note 4, Nexus 6, Moto X (2nd Gen), and the Droid Turbo. On paper, these phones make the One M8 look old and dated. Many newer phones come with innovative features I only wish I could have on the M8. And some even rival the look of the M8 – something I ...

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    I walked into my local T-Mobile store in little Syracuse, Utah, USA and set a nondescript smartphone down on the counter. "I need a SIM for this, please." The clerk picked it up, observing how light and thin it was, rolling it slowly in his hands, looking for the SIM tray. Then his eyes fixed on the bottom of the screen. "Acer makes smartphones?! Where did you get this?!" Before long the store manager was over looking at the little black slab. He, too, had never seen an Acer smartphone and took a good long time taking it all in. As far as the phone itself goes, it's light (110g) and fairly ...

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    HERE Maps has sort of been the salvation for navigation for Windows Phone users, especially offline navigation. The praises of this feature are sang across the internet almost any time the service is mentioned. Many prefer Nokia’s take on mapping over the baked-in Bing Maps on Microsoft’s mobile platform and understandably so. Although Nokia’s mapping services, such as navigation or transit directions, are divided across multiple applications, it’s typically a more reliable and renowned service. HERE Maps is one of the parts of the business Nokia didn’t sell to Microsoft, so ...

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    Interesting news in the world of smartwatches has been flying of late, not the least of which are rumors of a cross platform compatible smartwartch coming from Microsoft. But even more interesting was some recent news that Google was considering some Android Wear  compatibility options. As in, perhaps going cross-platform. ORLY? Well isn’t that interesting. As our news article suggests, this likely isn’t anything more than a flight of fancy on an “Ideas to kick around” spreadsheet somewhere, but it raises a few questions. Would Android Wear be better off being a cross platform ...

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    I admittedly do not have a ton of experience with Oppo. The first Oppo phone I ever held was the Find 7a I reviewed earlier this year. The first time I even heard the name Oppo was when the N1 was announced, and that was only because it had a massive 5.9-inch display and a rotating primary camera which can be likened to some flip phones from way back when. Outside that, my knowledge of the company, its products, and its perception globally is pretty limited. That’s mainly because Oppo hasn’t thrust itself into the U.S. market like some of its compatriots have. Huawei and ZTE, two other ...

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    Google teased its new software update, previously known as the Android L Preview, back at the I/O 2014 developer conference back in June. It showed off new features a new and improved recent apps menu, lock screen notifications, and Project Volta, meant to improve battery life. Among the most important changes, however, is the all new design language, called Material Design. This new interface design is meant to make the UI react to the user’s input the same way their analog – or material – counterparts would in the real world. There is depth and a visible hierarchy to the way ...

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    Android is everywhere, but sometimes it's a little hard to tell. Samsung's Android is not the same as HTC's which is not the same as Alcatel's. Every OEM pours a little of their own flavor into its version of Android. Some for the better, others...well, not so much. But in a world where 80% of the market is using the same platform and you have no less than two dozen competitors all touting the same OS, what can you do to make your product stand out and shine? Skin it of course! Which leaves us, the consumer, in an odd and sometimes confusing place. Android is Android is Android right? ...

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    Based on how 2014 is stacking up, I think it's safe to say this year will be remembered as the year of the phablet. We saw Apple's mammoth iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung released its Note 4, Google is set to begin taking pre-orders for the Nexus 6, and others like OnePlus and ZTE even threw their hats in the ring. Now Motorola has thrown another big phone into the race, and it's being called the DROID Turbo. Interestingly enough, it looks like it's pretty much a Nexus 6 for Verizon with a cool carbon fiber back. How do the two compare, and which one should you get? Specs Let's take a look at ...

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