Posts tagged with: Hands-on
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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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    If your virtual assistant of choice comes from the world of Halo, great news: she’s not confined to Windows Phone anymore. As we reported earlier today, an early Windows Insider build of Cortana for Android has leaked to the masses, and we've got it running like a dream on our Samsung Galaxy S6 review unit. It's a prerelease version, so performance might not exactly match what we'll see from Microsoft's final take, but it's a pretty darn polished Beta – and we're here to share it with you in our very first Cortana on Android hands-on! Check out the original news post for a few more ...

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    What do you do when you’re HTC and you want to create the perfect blend of price, design, and specs? You build a Desire phone. The company invited us to take an early look at its new HTC Desire 626, and we happily obliged. Join us as we go hands-on! HTC Desire 626 hands-on gallery [gallery columns="5" ids="441292,441293,441294,441295,441296,441297,441298,441299,441300,441301" orderby="rand"]   We’re actually taking a look at two phones here: the Desire 626 for postpaid Verizon and AT&T, and the 626S for a variety of prepaid carriers (including Cricket, MetroPCS and Boost Mobile, ...

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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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    At the Google I/O 2015 keynote we were shown pieces of the next version of Android, currently codenamed "Android M". While we don't know what the final dessert name will be we were treated to a Developer Preview of Android M (just like last year with Android L). Not everything we saw in the keynote is available in the Developer Preview, but many of the features are. If you want to give the Developer Preview of Android M a try on your supported device, head over to the Android Developer website and flash away. It's buggy, as one might expect, so proceed at your own risk. In the meantime, ...

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    I was never a fan of handwriting while I was in school.  Later I was introduced to fountain pens and all of that changed. My "daily carry" pen is an aluminum-bodied, steel-nibbed pen from Schrade that writes wonderfully and looks great. The downside is that all my handwritten notes are analog. I have to manually scan them - every single one - if I want them in a digital format. Since then I've been looking for a digital solution. My old Apple Newton fit the bill. Notes I'd write there on it were handwritten "ink", but digitized on the fly. Since then I haven't found anything that ...

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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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    The third big flagship launch of the year is finally here. Following the MWC launches of HTC's One M9 and Samsung's Galaxy S6, we're onto the next big contender for your bucks, the newly-announced G4. All the images you saw and the specs you read probably aren't quite enough to give you the look you want at the year's next big Android phone, so we've prepared for you an LG G4 hands-on video straight out of New York City. Chief News Editor Stephen Schenck gives us our first video look at the phone, showing off the chassis that's oh-so-familiar thanks to its predecessors, the LG G2 and G3. ...

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    We're no stranger to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. About three years ago, we concluded our Ascend P1 review with the remark that the Huawei phone, while imperfect, made us excited for what the company had in store for the future – and that excitement has since proven justified. Last year's Ascend Mate 2 brought outstanding battery life and a competitive price point; its followup the Ascend Mate 7 blended luxury design with top-tier features; and the forthcoming Huawei Watch seems poised to class up the Android Wear catalog when it drops later this year. The Huawei P8 is 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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    At last year's Mobile World Congress, Android Wear and the Apple Watch weren't realities. That is to say, the wearables race at that point in time was nowhere near as heated as it has become now, and the devices themselves weren't all that abundant. This year, though, all that changes. We saw Huawei launch its new Watch (which we thought was one of the hottest-looking Android Wear watches yet in our hands-on time) as well as the Huawei TalkBand B2 and N1, all leaps ahead in the wearable sector for the company. We had a chance to go hands-on with the latter two on the show floor at Mobile ...

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    One tablet that's been on our radar but relatively elusive for quite some time now has been the Nokia N1. The device was launched to mixed reception months ago by the remnants of Nokia (the parts of the company that didn't go to the Microsoft Devices and Services group during the buyout), with some loving the sheer promise of it and others denouncing it as an iPad mini clone. Now we've had a chance to form an opinion of our own, having just had a chance to use the tablet for a good bit, so here's our initial Nokia N1 hands-on video! As people who make a living off of testing out different ...

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    One element that was relatively absent in smartwatch design in 2014 was design (save for some obvious exclusions such as the Moto 360). Android Wear brought great utility at launch, but the hardware supporting it sometimes didn't quite provide the hottest looks. That all looks to be changing this year though, with the release of new, better wristwatches. And this is our LG Watch Urbane hands-on, straight from MWC 2015! First off, a reminder: the Watch Urbane comes in two flavors, the webOS-toting LTE version and this Android Wear one. We additionally went hands-on with the former in a ...

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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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    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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    It may not be the sexiest-sounding piece of software out there, but the "Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones" just landed on our Lumia 830 review device, and boy howdy, are we ready to take a look at it. From Action Center improvements to Start Screen UI upgrades to totally rewritten core apps, the new Windows 10 phone platform packs nearly as much excitement as 8.1 did, and we're here to give you a guided video tour. Keep in mind as you watch the below video that this is not Windows 10 as it will release to consumers. The Technical Preview release is very early software, and as ...

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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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    Of all the manufacturers who might give us the first commercial Android smartphone with 4GB of RAM, who did you think it might be? LG has a history of being a spec leader. Or maybe Sony? Heck, why not Samsung? But of all the names you might have offered, did you ever think ASUS would be among them? Nevertheless, ASUS came to CES ready to impress, and in addition to its optical-zooming ZenFone Zoom, the company introduced the ZenFone 2 with its (up to) 4GB of memory. We went hands-on with the phone before packing up and saying goodbye to CES for another year. With prices starting at just ...

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    While manufacturers are racing for the title given away to the one manufacturing the thinnest smartphone (including BLU, and its Vivo Air), there's a significant part of the market that couldn't care less about how thin a phone is; these users don't want to sacrifice battery life, even if that means having to carry a beefier device. Check out the BLU Studio Energy, the smartphone that rocks a 5,000mAh battery, which will surely last you a couple of days, and some more. The specs aren't in line with all the flagships on steroids out there, but they're not bad either: five-inch 720p display, ...

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    Lenovo has been relatively quiet here in the United States, and CES is one of the few occasions throughout the year that the company makes it into the American news cycle with a new smartphone announcements. This year it chose to debut the successor to its Vibe X2, and we visited the Lenovo booth in Las Vegas to create the below Lenovo Vibe X2 Pro hands-on video. The phone is decidedly mid-range (but not terribly so), flanked by specifications such as a 5.3-inch FHD display, a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 2GB of RAM, and other such specs that aren't all that bad when put into ...

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    We were hoping that Samsung would use the CES stage in Las Vegas to unveil something grand in mobile, be it a tablet or a new smartphone, but we were left waiting out in the cold with no new announcements. That doesn't mean that Samsung's booth at CES was empty as far as phones go, however – the company took the opportunity to highlight two of its recent smartphone unveils, one of them being this one. So here's our Samsung Galaxy A5 hands-on video straight from the show floor in sunny Nevada. Now, this isn't quite a flagship smartphone – so don't expect it to facilitate any ...

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    Samsung didn't have any new mobile products to show off at CES this year unfortunately, but in its booth it was showing off some recently-announced products we hadn't had a chance to go hands-on with as of yet. One of these is the Samsung Galaxy A3, an entry-level Android phone targeted at the growing and competitive Asian markets. We decided to take to take the opportunity to put together a Samsung Galaxy A3 hands-on video, and it's available below. The phone most definitely isn't the best device out there – just one look at the spec sheet can confirm that if you have any doubts – but ...

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    Sony's got one of the best Android Wear products out there in its SmartWatch 3, the wearable with both the largest battery out of all the other competitors and a dedicated GPS built-in. But one problem people found with the device was that it wasn't exactly ultra-stylish with its plastic band option. Now that Sony has gone official with a metal band option, we couldn't resist trying it out at CES 2015. So here's our stainless steel Sony SmartWatch 3 hands-on video. Internally, nothing has changed from the silicone strap-toting model to this one. It's all in the aesthetics, with a ...

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    When LG first announced the G Flex way back in 2013, the buzz was all around one thing: the curved display. Now that the curve isn't as novel as it once was, the G Flex 2 is going to need more than just that to catch our attention. Fortunately, we found plenty to pique our interest in our LG G Flex 2 hands-on (as detailed in the below first impressions video). Everything about the G Flex 2 screams refinement, both when compared to the G3 and original G Flex (which we've compared the G Flex 2 with as well). The curve has been made more ergonomic, and LG has supposedly fixed those nasty ...

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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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