Posts tagged with: first impressions
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    2016 is turning out to be a year for interesting camera experiments. Huawei is the second company this year to use dual rear cameras on a flagship phone. Unlike the LG G5, which has a standard camera and an extreme wide angle shooter, the P9 has two cameras with the same view, but with different tasks for color and light. The primary camera takes color photos just like any other smartphone might, but the second sensor only shoots in black and white. This monochrome sensors is designed to maximize light and detail. It's something of a tech metaphor, meant to perform similarly to how the ...

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    The iPhone SE still has that new car smell. We just recently unboxed the phone and shared our first impressions, but what have we learned about it during the first day of use?Apple's mini-mid-ranger is checking a lot of the right boxes, and doing so while making a pretty compelling price argument. Sure, the screen is smaller and lower resolution than many people might be used to since the iPhone 6, but pairing that screen with the A9 processor and 12MP camera from the iPhone 6S makes for a snappy and powerful gadget. First day of battery life? Early audio impressions? Design? Ergonomics? ...

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    The iPhone SE is a curious little beastie. Apple recycled the chassis from the four inch screened iPhone 5S, including the same Retina resolution, and then packed in the top of the line A9 processor and 12MP camera from the flagship iPhone 6S. On paper, this seems like it should be really to explain and categorize, but this is only Apple's second attempt at building a new phone specifically for the mid range market. In years past, Apple would simply reduce the price of the one and two year old iPhones when releasing a new phone.The SE manages to disrupt Apple's pricing strategy, but ...

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    We really don't want to bore you with a full "Apple Edition" of the Pocketnow Daily. Apple's March 21st event ended a few hours ago and we decided that it would be best if we made a separate video that focuses on Apple's announcements, and our first impressions. By now most of you know that Apple announced the new iPhone SE, in addition to a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, along with a few other updates that should bring important improvements to existing products. Make sure you watch our first-impressions video to learn more.

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    We recently reviewed the Huawei Honor 5X, and found it to be a stylish solution for its $199 price. However, Huawei is bringing more phones to North America, providing shoppers more options at a wider variety of price tiers. The GX8 is an unlocked variation of the international G8, and it sells for $100 more than the Honor 5X.What might we expect for that price difference? We know this internal hardware really well by now. The performance we should expect from a Qualcomm 616, 2GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery shouldn't be much of a surprise. There are other ways to refine a phone though. ...

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    Budget phones are hot right now. You can buy a lot of phone for less than $300, and there's a sweet spot around $200 where average consumers might be hard pressed to tell the difference between entry level and upper mid-range fare. Huawei is looking to take entry level phones one step further by adding a premium aluminum finish to the Honor 5X, with specs that easily would have competed against flagship phones from three years ago, and a killer fingerprint scanner. Before we can review this budget buster though, we have to get it out of the box. Here are my first impressions of the Huawei ...

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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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