Posts tagged with: first impressions
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    The DuraForce XD is an AT&T exclusive, so while the packaging isn't going to be particularly impressive (we all know that orange box), what's inside is pretty audacious. Kyocera has built a monster phone here. The specs sound pretty familiar, with a 5.7-inch 720p LCD and Qualcomm 400 series CPU, but the casing surrounding that tech is pretty intense. I can't say I've ever played with a rugged phablet before, and this might be the largest phone I've ever been tasked to review. The chunky build provides MIL-STD 810G drop and shock protection with an IP68 water resistance rating. It's ...

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    The OPPO F1 does not have an engine. It does not pull hairpin turns. And it most certainly will not crash into a heaping pile of flames. But you can drive its eight processor cores up to 1.7GHz. It's manageable enough in the hand to toss around. And while it is possible to crash it in a sense, the software on this thing will try very, VERY hard to not let you do so. As if we already had our fill of auto jokes from the LG V10, this Chinese upstart seems to have added... fuel to the fire. Okay, we'll stop now. The F1 has jumped into a mesmerising mash of metallic mid-range monsters in 2016. ...

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    The future of connected fitness is here, and it comes in a big red box. When HTC and Under Armour invited me to a briefing on their newest “connected products” several weeks back, I felt the same way I always do about athletic technology: optimistic about the potential, but guarded because I’m really out of my depth when it comes to anything concerning fitness. And when the demo videos started rolling, a hard rock anthem playing over jump cuts between pro athletes and impossibly fit gym rats, I tuned out. I’d seen this kind of commercial before, more than once, and I had yet to ...

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    The Google Pixel C is a funny little device. Running stock Android Marshmallow, but with a Chromebook’s branding and design, with an expensive accessory a must-buy if you want to get the most of it, it won’t be on everyone’s shopping list this holiday season. And that's before you consider all the rough reviews it's gotten from other publications already. Given that less-than-stellar debut, you might expect our first impression of the Google Pixel C to be equally underwhelming. But 24 hours in, we’re actually quite captivated by this little contradiction of a machine. With its ...

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    It’s taken us a little while to get a hold of one, but thanks to the good people at Clove we finally get to test Windows 10 Mobile on something a little roomier: the Lumia 950 XL. Pay them a visit at clove.co.uk if you want one of these for your own collection, but first join us for a first impressions pass as we take a look at the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL!  The first thing to note about the 950 XL is that while it's bigger than the 950, it doesn’t feel that much bigger. That’s an automatic win for the XL, because it’s bringing a bigger battery, better processor and a half-inch ...

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    Everyone’s said the same thing about Apple's iPad Pro over the past few weeks, and while I'd love to hit you over the head with some new and amazing insights ... I can't. The number-one most noteworthy thing about the iPad Pro is this: it's huge. The iPad Air 2 was the biggest tablet I regularly used up till now – and the iPad Pro positively dwarfs it. You might as well think of it as a computer monitor or a small TV set, rather than a tablet. It's that ponderous. That added size works both for and against the iPad Pro. The huge display is obviously fantastic for media consumption ...

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    Every smartphone geek knows about the "honeymoon phase," the epic high immediately following the delivery of a new device, during which it can seemingly do no wrong. This phase has been documented in countless unboxing videos at Pocketnow and elsewhere, and it's what led to my near-manic elation in the BlackBerry Priv first-impressions piece I wrote earlier this week. Novelty junkie that I am, the honeymoon phase represents the absolute zenith of my time with a new device. Usually, it's all downhill from there. Less often talked about is what comes next, the inevitable slump that I'll ...

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    As I write this, I have known the BlackBerry Priv for three hours. It's sitting beside me, plugged into the wall, only about halfway through downloading the mess of apps I asked it to sync when I typed in my Google account info. My hands-on time with the phone amounts to a total of perhaps four minutes, one of which was spent positioning the phone for a mildly amusing tweet that more people than usual seemed to like. All this is to say: this is not a BlackBerry Priv review. This isn't even a hands-on. This is more like the editorial equivalent of an unboxing video, a setup for the ...

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    The OnePlus X is no joke. That's our first impression. Seriously. $249 isn't the cheapest price tag around, but for a phone that looks, feels, and acts this good ... it's pretty damn competitive. Say what you will about OnePlus, with its strange invite-based purchase model, but the company really knows how to build a smartphone. More than that, it knows how to present one: an unpacking experience like this is what makes (otherwise-passé) unboxings worth it. Because with so much obvious effort spent on making for a beautiful retail presentation, unboxing the OnePlus X really is an ...

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    It’s a radical departure in design for a company desperately in need of some change – but for all that’s new here, there’s also a heaping helping of the familiar. Critics call HTC's new "iPhone clone" evidence of the company's ultimate surrender, while CEO Cher Wang has positioned it to employees as a well-balanced iPhone alternative. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Whichever side of the debate you fall on, it's pretty clear that the HTC One A9 announced today is a make-or-break device for the financially troubled smartphone manufacturer, and we went hands-on to ...

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    Every year, we see a new version of Apple's mobile operating system iOS, coming out right around the same time as the new iPhones. That time this year has finally come with the consumer release of iOS 9, just in time for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to drop next week, and the new software brings with it quite a few new features for those coming from iOS 8 and below. Siri has been updated with a more elegant design and better contextual queries. Maps now offers public transit information. Notes supports drawing and folders now. There's a back button to return to apps when links jump you into ...

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    In addition to the modern connotations ranging from "intelligent" to "geeky," the word smart used to be synonymous with "classy," "elegant," and "timeless" – witness the enduring term "smart casual" for sharp-looking business attire. But today, the term "smart watch" conjures images of early adopters at best and technology nerds at worst. That's how Huawei sees it, anyway, and its first Android Wear device looks to turn back the clock on "smart," restoring the word –and the category– to a more dignified status. Does the Huawei Watch have what it takes to de-geekify Android ...

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    To call it controversial would be an understatement. The Galaxy Note 5 is gorgeous, taking from the design of the Galaxy S6, and expanding upon it with a curved back for improved ergonomics, and of course Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The 5.7” QHD AMOLED display is among the best we’ve ever used, and the bump up to 4 GB of RAM on top of already unprecedented specs make the Note 5 one of the most powerful and attractive handsets currently on the market. But this time around, there’s no longer support for microSD expansion or a removable battery, two things that until now have been ...

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    So remember yesterday when I unboxed the OnePlus 2 and removed the free included screen protector, thinking it was part of the packaging? Yeah, I’m kind of a n00b when it comes to OnePlus phones. But judging from the comments, so are many of you – and that’s awesome, because it means we can all learn something together. Join me as I answer five of your most-asked questions in our 24-hour OnePlus 2 roundup! 24 hours with the OnePlus 2   How do dual SIMs work? The first question we’re hitting is the one that was asked the most often in the unboxing comments: how does dual-SIM ...

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    It feels like Affordable Technology Week around these parts, doesn't it? We kicked it off Monday with our full review of Motorola's Moto G smartphone, kept the ball in the air Wednesday with a review of the same company's Moto Pulse Bluetooth headphones, and we debated the sanity of "settling" for affordable mobile technology in this week's podcast. Now it's time to take the cheap talk to tablet town with a look at a product from Motorola's parent company, Lenovo. Having answered the question of whether you can survive on a $200 smartphone, we now turn to the question of whether you ...

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    Nearly every member of the Pocketnow team uses digital personal assistants in some way. Whether it's Google Now, Siri, or Cortana, these systems offer voice commands, as well as personalized recommendations based on contextual information like location or emails. But while each service has its own unique features that set it apart from the others, none of them offer the same kind of fully fledged, natural language-based voice interface found on services like Wolfram Alpha. SoundHound recently demoed a new product, simply called Hound, that seems to offer similar functionality to these ...

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    Huawei has paired up a phone and wearable to launch in the United States. We'll have complete coverage of the Talkband B2 later on. First, we're giving a full physical check-up on the Huawei P8 Lite, or the younger cousin to the international flagship, the Huawei P8. You may question why the Chinese OEM continued its modus operandi of providing lower-end phones to the U.S. market, like the SnapTo and Ascend Mate 2. But it seems that this is as close to a flagship as we might expect from the company for now. The unlocked phone is competing on a price level similar to that of the ASUS ...

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    For all the excitement on the high end, some of the most surprising developments in today’s smartphone world can be found lurking down in the midrange. We’ve just spent 24 hours with one of the most interesting of those developments: the ASUS ZenFone 2 US edition, and we've got some thoughts to share. In case you need a refresher: the ASUS ZenFone 2 US edition is the same model ZE551ML that blew our hats off back at CES 2015, except that it now bears a much more conservative back cover (on our test unit, anyway). Having officially gone on sale in the States earlier this week, the ...

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    As recently as last week, the phrase "virtual reality headset" was, for me, a guaranteed ticket to a midday nap. I'd grown up amid the fizzle of projects like Sega VR and Virtual Boy; I'd seen several variations on more modern smartphone-powered visors; I'd tried out an Oculus headset. While I enjoyed the latter experience, I also forgot about it pretty quickly. With its ungainly hardware, nausea-inducing graphics, and limited mass adoption, VR has never topped my list of fun things in tech. So when HTC brought us to Barcelona for a briefing on its new virtual reality device, I ...

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    For the third year in a row, HTC is kicking off the Spring season with a smartphone called the One. And for the third year in a row it’s an aluminum powerhouse built to make the world take notice. The company brought us to Barcelona for some HTC One M9 hands on time, and we've come away with some first impressions on the world's next metal-encased Android flagship. HTC One M9 Hands On   Hardware HTC cited the Porsche when explaining its approach to building the One M9, drawing a parallel to small iterations on a successful design. The company also said it wanted to strike a ...

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    A couple of weeks ago, I used a BlackBerry phone for the first time as a daily driver. I carried it for a couple of weeks a learned a lot about what it means to be a quintessential BlackBerry user. Today, I have dashed completely to the other side of the market share spectrum and I have entered another culture, which is in some ways more interesting and in other ways a bit scarier. Today, I am an iPhone user. For the first few years of my career in mobile technology, I had in irrational hatred for all things Apple. They were too expensive, too limited, too…Starbucks…for me to take ...

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    If the BlackBerry Passport is "not your grandfather's BlackBerry," then the BlackBerry Passport AT&T edition is ... not ... your cousin's, either. That analogy didn't really work out for us, but this unboxing and first-impressions video sure did! That's right: after literally months of fielding comments, tweets, emails and voicemails wondering why we weren't paying BlackBerry its proper due with a Passport review, we finally caved and picked up a BlackBerry Passport sample device. (It wouldn't have been possible without the assistance of the good folks at AT&T, either – so ...

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    The Inateck BTSP-10 Plus Bluetooth Speaker is powered by double 3-watt precision-tuned drivers, multi-band compressors and built with a high performance composite diaphragm 40 mm Rotunded 16-core NdFeB 3W magnetic driver. What's any of that mean? I don't know ... yet. But I'm fixing to find out! In the meantime, check out the first impressions video below so I can show you what I do know so far. Namely: the BTSP-10 Plus (or BTSP-10P if you wanna get personal about it) is a chunky, hexagon-studded, red-and-black monster box of a speaker. It's intensely loud, aggressively designed, and ...

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    If you’ve been using the popular music-streaming app on Android and iOS for the past few months, almost nothing about today's Spotify news will surprise you. But for Windows Phone owners, there’s lots to celebrate indeed. The new Spotify Windows Phone update brings Microsoft's smartphone platform one step closer to parity with its Android and iOS rivals. Version 5.0.5491.5995 clears away the oversimplified, space-wasting Spotify of yore with a refresh that cleans up the layout, streamlines the typefaces, and dims the background so the content "pops" more dramatically. It also ...

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    Android 5.0: it's not just for smartphones anymore. (Well okay; it was for smartphones and tablets before, but that kinda ruins the joke.) With the latest software update out of Google, the company's wearable computing platform gets a big boost. Around here, we call it the Android Wear Lollipop edition – and it's already made our Moto 360 and G Watch R smartwatches much more capable. Join us for a guided tour of Android Wear Lollipop! In five minutes, we take you for a spin around new notification settings, specialized modes for movie theaters and beach days, a new gallery built just ...

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