Posts tagged with: first impressions
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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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    Samsung's newest Gear is also its most ambitious. The Gear S smartwatch packs a curved two-inch display, IP67 ingress protection, and a custom Tizen UI into a cuff-like wristband that weighs in at a surprisingly airy 66g. Oh, and it packs cellular and WiFi connectivity along with the usual Bluetooth. That last important detail makes the Gear S more than just your typical smartwatch. As we discovered during our first hands-on at IFA 2014, the Gear S is capable of fully independent operation, smartphone or no. Sure, you still need a smartphone to set it up –and a Samsung one at that– ...

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    Google’s newest tablet is for “movers and makers,” according to the company’s website. We’ll examine more about what exactly that means in the weeks ahead, but for now, we'll settle for getting to know the shell of the device in our Nexus 9 unboxing. The de-packaging experience itself is best described as minimal. The Nexus 9 comes in a fairly nondescript box with bare-bones branding calling out its Android ancestry, and once you get inside all you’ll find is some very low-key literature and a USB charging cable with wall wart. That wall adapter's design will be ...

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    Apple's launch of iOS 8.1 yesterday marks the completion of Apple's promise for what iOS 8 should've always been since we saw it announced at WWDC 2014. Apple spent a great deal of time announcing products like iCloud Drive, Apple Pay and Continuity, but none of these services worked as they should until this new "dot" update. It also includes a ton of the bug fixes that customers asked for after the launch of iOS 8. Make sure you walk our first impressions video of how iOS 8.1 enhances your experience with an Apple mobile device. Services like Continuity intend to give Apple customers an ...

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    The latest product from one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers … is not a smartphone. HTC brought us to New York City –and even took us aloft in a helicopter– to show us the utility of its one-handed action camera, and we've got a hardware tour and some quick first impressions! HTC RE hands-on An inhaler. A periscope. A water pipe. The list of everyday objects the RE resembles goes on and on. But that weird form factor makes it easy to hold, and it also makes the RE stand out - or stand up, if you prefer. It fits easily into a pocket and it’s designed to be used ...

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    Its name says "Desire," but this selfie-centric smartphone is much better equipped than other devices bearing the name. To learn a little more about it, HTC put us up in NYC –in more ways than one– so we could experience the curiosity of what the company hopes is a "selfie phone" done right. The Desire EYE gets its name from the eyeball-like sensor smack in the middle of its forehead, a 13MP camera mated to an f/2.2, 22mm lens and augmented by a dual-LED flash. That's a slight change from the f/2.0, 28mm lens of the rear-facing shooter, but otherwise these cameras are as close as ...

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    Our Moto 360 review unit is still days away from its official turn at our review desk, but it's already been on quite an epic odyssey. Picked up in Chicago by Adam Doud on his Motorola HQ tour, it was immediately overnighted to our resident Android guy Joe Levi for a proper unboxing and initial setup while Taylor Martin and I were covering the sights and sounds of IFA 2014 in Berlin. Then it was quickly repackaged for a cross-continental journey in time to meet me in Boston, whereupon I immediately pressed it into service for a day of sweet wearable-tech action before using it to answer ...

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    The Moto G last year took the world by storm, and you may not have even noticed. By targeting developing countries with an affordable yet smooth smartphone, Motorola was able to create its best-selling smartphone ever, and it's looking to follow that up in a strong manner with the latest entry to its portfolio of Android devices – the new Moto G. We've gone ahead and unboxed our review unit and given you a first look in the video below. Paying $179 for a smartphone generally means that the OEM won't have much extra dough to spend on a premium box, so the one the new Moto G comes in is ...

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    After reviewing the Moto X last year, many of our reviewers found themselves right back with the device after moving on to test other devices. And that was because of a simple reason: the device was easy to use, powerful, and it just worked. Now that the successor is out, we're naturally intrigued – so we have a review unit in-hand, and we've given the new Moto X a proper unboxing and shared our first impressions in a new video. Just like with the Moto 360, the new Moto X's box feels premium and is fairly minimalistic. Once you slide the box out of its cover, you can immediately open it ...

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    We've waited for it for months, and it finally went live across many stores this week. We've got it on our wrists now, too, so it's time to unbox it and give you our first take on Motorola's next-gen round wonder. This is our full Motorola Moto 360 unboxing, complete with first impressions. The box the Moto 360 arrives in is quite minimal, pretty much exactly what we're expecting from Motorola products. It's a round box – perfect for the round wearable hidden within – and opening it immediately gives you a look at the powered-off screen of the watch below. Setup is then a breeze ...

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    Barnes & Noble hasn't had much luck competing with Amazon's Kindle line of e-readers, its Nook tablets selling poorly enough to prompt an announcement from the bookseller in June that it was spinning off the whole division. That hasn't stopped the company from actively trying to better the line, though; it'll still sell the e-readers in stores even after the split is complete, and it's delegated manufacture of new Nook devices to Samsung. The latter company joined with Barnes & Noble this morning in New York City to announce the new Nook. Technically co-branded as the ...

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    The HTC One M8 for Windows is official as of this morning, and we're right this very minute getting some video coverage of the device for those of you who value sweaty, jittery hands-on phone footage above all else. But we also managed to snag a few minutes with the device formerly known as the HTC One W8 prior to this morning's festivities, and we've prepared some first impressions for those who prefer the written word to the spoken one. First the basics, in case you missed the official news post in this morning's flurry of releases. The HTC One M8 for Windows is a carbon copy of the ...

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    Those quotes up there in the title do more than apologize for our unoriginal, lame pun: they acknowledge a truth that's gotta be tough for Amazon to swallow. The company's first smartphone, which we laid hands on last week, has seen mixed reviews in its first wave of press. There are good reasons for that. With a dubious exclusivity deal in place, a boatload of extraneous features masking its not-quite-Android OS, and a price point that's all kinds of wacky, the Fire Phone's utility isn't clear outside its role as a portal to easier, faster Amazon purchases. Factor in the ho-hum ...

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    "If you’re looking for the best flagship smartphone experience, but want to stand out from the crowd, this phone's for you." HTC CEO Peter Chou's words, taken from the press release announcing the company's One E8 early last month, elegantly sum up the eye-catching device. When our review unit arrived in the office yesterday morning for its unceremonious off-camera unboxing, we took a few beats longer than usual just to stare at the "Electric Crimson" paint job of its polycarbonate unibody construction. The phone bears a thick glossy coating that we'd normally revile, but here it ...

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    The LG G3. It's one of the most anticipated smartphones of the season (if not the year), and ever since we first laid hands on it at LG's NYC launch event, you've been blowing up our Twitter accounts asking when you can expect our full review. While it's a little early for us to put our final thoughts down on paper, a weekend with the LG G3 has left us with some takeaways just begging to be bestowed upon the world: thoughts on the new flagship's design, its software features, and most of all, its refined camera. We've already expended plenty of hot air debating these and other aspects of ...

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    Today is Apple day. WWDC kicked-off just a few minutes ago, and we'll likely see three major things: a new version of OS X, iOS 8, and the further convergence of those two operating systems. Over the years, we've seen bits of iOS sneak into Mac OS, such as Notification Center; and some lighter versions of Mac apps have found their way to iOS, like iMovie, Garage Band, the iWork suite, and more. Although Apple still seems to refute the need for some sort of middle ground device. One of Apple's largest competitors, however, is diving into the hybrid computing market head first. Last week, ...

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    In case you missed the announcement, the rumored HTC One mini 2 finally broke cover this morning, and it's just what the rumors said it would be: a pint-sized version of the company's well-received One M8 smartphone. Aesthetically, the One mini 2 is everything you'd expect from a mini metal One M8 – but true to form, HTC has made some sacrifices on the spec side. Under the hood, we're looking at a quad-core Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) at 1.2GHz, leaning on a gig of RAM and 16GB of storage, with MicroSD cards up to 128GB supported. The display is a 4.5 inch LCD at 720p, the battery a 2100 ...

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    For the longest time, many have complained about their options for using Facebook on mobile. The company hasn't necessarily done the best job in porting Facebook to mobile phones in an elegant and reliable way, and proof of it lies in failed attempts like Facebook Home, in order to bring an enhanced experience of the service to Android. The answer to these complaints is Paper by Facebook, and we've taken it out for a spin. In a nutshell, the service is like merging Flipboard with Facebook Home, which is actually a good thing. Facebook's intention is for you to never have to leave the app, ...

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    There's a certain sequence of events that takes place when a new smartphone lands at your doorstep. Typically (at Pocketnow anyway), you unbox that sucker, throw it in the labs for some number-crunching, take a boatload of photos and video, put it head-to-head with its immediate competition, maybe showcase it on the Weekly or the U-Review, and then at the end of all that, you post a final review. Then you send it back to its builder and wait for the next one to drop. It's all very exciting. But when the device in question is an entirely new beast, a one-of-a-kind testbed for a new ...

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