Posts tagged with: Review
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    Never settle! Flagship killer! OnePlus makes some bold comments regarding its phones. On this third iteration, are there compromises to make when buying a phone for $400? Our Real Camera Review series looks to raise the bar on how we talk about smartphone cameras. These days, it's not a severe compromise for many people to use their phones as their main photography solution, so we're aiming to talk photos and videos for phones in the same way we would for a standalone camera. For the OnePlus 3, we've got a 16MP sensor, which is a bit more pixel dense than the trend of 12MP cameras found on ...

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    Four generations ago, Samsung's Active lineup was more of a device for clumsy people. A Galaxy S looking phone that could resist a little more, so long as you read the instructions well. The last two generations have instead been about telling the world that rugged doesn't have to be ugly, and this year model continues to push that mentality forward. Smartphone usage patterns are definitely a contradiction these days. Designers go to incredible lengths to make a beautiful phone, and then most people will just snap it on a case to keep it that way. Look and feel went down the drain, and all ...

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    We've shared our first impressions. We've talked a little about some of the things we like about the this phone, and a few things we didn't, but now it's time to share our full review. The X is a tricky phone to pin down. Sony's mission here is to trim the fat, walking away from some of the more outlandish hardware specs and feature creeping our phones are experiencing. Instead we see Sony engineers trying to scale back and refine specifically those hardware elements which they believe truly affect consumer use. We've scaled back to a mid-range tier processor, using the Qualcomm 650. Most ...

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    When Google first launched the Nexus, it was a phone platform designed to set a threshold for what an Android phone should resemble. While focused on developers, there was a novelty for consumers in owning a phone supported directly by Google. As one could receive top tier processors at market disrupting prices, the Nexus quickly developed a passionate fan base among the Android savvy. However, today it's a lot more common to find manufacturers playing with lower price points and including powerful internals. This space has become increasingly competitive, as companies look for ways to ...

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    OnePlus wants to set its latest smartphone to a "trial by fire". Could the hottest fire fueled by the passion of the people? The company seems to think so. It has set up "The Lab" as a community criticism outlet that will help the manufacturer tweak its products. Its first initiative is getting 30 OnePlus fans to submit comprehensive reviews the OnePlus 3. The application form includes a section that asks users to write "no fewer than 500 words" on how qualified they are to review the product and a fill-in box for URLs showing off their work. Approved applicants will receive test units ...

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    Microsoft hasn't managed to inspire much confidence of late in the mobile market. Six months ago we reviewed the newest Lumia flagship. It was an interesting phone, running the earliest builds of Windows 10 for mobile, and packed a few neat tricks like an iris scanner to unlock the device. Plus you could count on the Zeiss branded camera to produce solid photos and videos. Unfortunately, the phone suffered from bland design, and buggy software. While we could handily recommend it to fans of Live Tiles, people willing to travel the BETA software journey with Microsoft, it was more difficult ...

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    You know the drill. A new phone launches. We all go crazy with commentary and videos for a couple weeks. Then, we all move on to the next new phone. How a phone ages is an important part of discussing smartphone performance. Let's revisit a fan favorite. This phone is a beast. This phone is a tank. This phone is a monster. LG was in an odd spot following the launch of the G Flex 2. Performance concerns surrounding the Qualcomm 810 eclipsed the discussion on both HTC and LG at the beginning of 2015. Following that debacle, LG's next phones, the G4 and V10, both utilized less powerful (but ...

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    Most of the discussion on Huawei's latest phone has focused on photography and video performance. No surprise there, as the dual camera experiment, a joint collaboration with boutique manufacturer Leica, is an interesting development. We're a bit guilty of that too, as our first video after unboxing, was to take that camera for a spin. The P9 is more than just a pair of camera sensors however. Our review unit arrived with a 5.2" 1080p LCD, 3GB, 32GB of storage, a Kirin 955 octa-core chipset, and a 3,000mAh battery. This processor was something of an unknown, as this is the first time we've ...

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    The HTC Vive has become such an important focus of the company’s business, that there are even rumors of a branch spin-off recently, but is the Vive truly worth more dedicated focus? Virtual Reality is not just difficult to show off in a video review, but also a hard concept to explain for someone who’s never tested a service. I’ve actually had to invite friends and family to test the Vive because everyone thinks this is similar to a Samsung Gear VR, and there’s simply room for comparison. For starters the HTC Vive is a product designed from the ground up for VR. The words Virtual ...

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    The most interesting things about Huawei's P9 are the dual camera sensors on the back. This is the first device born of the collaboration between Huawei and Leica, and it's not without a little controversy. While Huawei representatives insist that Leica was an active partner in developing the camera hardware and software for the P9, many are still concerned this might only be a branding exercise. Regardless of the logos on the box, or the lofty certifications referenced, the P9 is an interesting photography experiment. We've seen dual sensor phones before, but none with quite the same ...

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    Apple is at the beginnings of a transition. The high end smartphone market is maturing. Mac sales continue to fall. Cupertino supports two different computing environments between OSX and iOS. Pushing to find new sales growth, Apple is working to bring more professional features to iOS instead of adding multi-mode or touchscreen options to MacBooks and iMacs. We now have our hands on the second iOS "Pro" product following this philosophy. The 9.7 retains most of the design of the iPad Air 2, but includes more storage, better cameras, a new display, quad speaker sound, and support for the ...

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    There’s no such thing as the perfect smartphone. Even if a company were to stack its latest flagship with all the hardware that today’s technology can offer, it doesn’t guarantee that it’ll serve everyone the same purpose. Fact of the matter is that even perfection is subjective, as my needs are definitely different to your needs. Still, HTC has decided that it wants to launch a perfect 10. During our briefing, one of the masterminds behind the new flagship told us how important this smartphone is to them. It’s not just about rescuing a company that’s been struggling to achieve ...

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    The year for me was 2001. I was just 21 years old and had just gotten promoted to the job of my dreams! As Operations Chief I would be in charge of managing a fleet of 12 aircraft, and I was so excited and scared at the same time. In this job you just couldn’t make mistakes, and I needed a tool to ensure I never forgot anything, and had computing power for quick calculations on the go. You might not remember this, but laptops back then were huge, and a new product was just surging to rescue people in need of mobile power - the PDA. A company you might remember as Palm owned the market ...

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    Back in February when we were briefed by LG, the company claimed the main inspiration for the G5 was, quote on quote "to wake up our play instinct" and end the boredom surrounding smartphones lately. The era of experimentation ended in 2007, and the market is currently in desperate need for a shake up. Whether LG has achieved that goal has been a major topic for debate and controversy over the last few weeks, and it's now time to reach our final thoughts and conclusions. Innovation is hard to come by these days. Ever since the first iPhone launch, competitors have stopped experimenting, ...

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    For the past few years, Samsung has been pretty synonymous with Google's Android. Some would say that Samsung is really the reason for Android's success. They've released many Android powered phones and tablets to satisfy all of the price points, but these days consumer tablet interest has waned. Everyone who wanted an Android or iOS tablet for media consumption on the couch already has one. There is a different segment that has seen a lot of growth though, and that's in business-friendly tablet 2-in-1's. The Surface Pro 3 was relatively successful as a "tablet that can replace your ...

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    Update: We’ve changed the review score from 8.8 to 9 in order to better reflect current smartphone rankings and recent developments. This has not overly affected commentary on individual topics listed below. What makes a Galaxy phone a Galaxy phone? Samsung has been in a state of transition, trying to nail down a brand identity. In the past, making the features and price argument, that strategy stumbled with the Galaxy S5. Last year’s Galaxy S6 was a bold move away from plastic phones, but it met criticism over excluded lifestyle features. The claim for 2016 is that Samsung executives ...

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    In a quest for regaining the popularity it once had, Samsung has spent the last two years trying to re-invent itself. Internally dubbed as “Project Zero,” last year’s Galaxy S6 was all about starting again from scratch. The company was clearly paying attention to customer complaints over its choices of cheap plastic in hardware, the overbearing and clunky experience in its software, and the subpar results from its camera when compared to the likes of its major competitor, the iPhone. The main problem with the Galaxy S6 was that it became too much of an iPhone in the things we like ...

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    You can always count on a new Galaxy phone to generate a lot of discussion. Samsung is refining its wares this year, bringing back several of the lifestyle features missing from the Galaxy S6. Water resistance, a larger battery, and Micro SD card storage expansion all return. When paired with the stunningly attractive metal and glass build materials, it results in a formidable competitor. This is also a year for experiments. Reducing the resolution of the camera sensor is an attempt to improve photos and videos taken in low light situations. After the somewhat disappointing performance of ...

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    We don’t see “experiment phones” as often as we used to. Smartphone design is largely homogenizing around a limited range of design options and aesthetics. Whenever a company takes a risk, targets a specific niche, it’s always exciting to see what might arrive. Asus is doing just that for the camera crowd, building a phone around one specific feature. This isn’t just a “camera phone”, the clue to their targeted demographic is in the name of the device. Immediately we can drop any pretense of this being an “all rounder” phone, but who is this device actually for? Does the ...

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    We asked recently if 2016 will be the year of the mid-range phone. With flagship phone sales maturing, the competition at the mid-range and entry level is heating up. The most visceral battle for smartphone sales happening around the $200 threshold. Encouragingly, these devices are now packing tech which would have been bleeding edge three years ago, but often they can't elicit the same desirability as more expensive options. Huawei is aiming to change that with the Honor 5X, clad in aluminum, and bringing some nifty tech features to the party. Using this budget friendly solution for the ...

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    Back in December I was faced with a situation familiar to anyone who's ever bought a gadget as a gift: I needed to replace my parents' iPhones. Not because there was anything wrong with them, and certainly not because my parents have a need for the latest or greatest in mobile technology; rather, I needed to replace their devices because, after two years, their paltry 16GB apiece of storage had run out. You don't need to be an iOS user to know the pain of running out of smartphone capacity. With more and more Android manufacturers omitting the once-standard MicroSD card, choosing the ...

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    Expertise is something earned. It's also a big marketing tool. With OPPO having some eight years on the mobile market, it has been able to innovate in hardware time and time again. But its flamboyant output has typically been outside the scan of those with thinner wallets. And that's where the company has to make do with the basics and punch up a spec or two in the hopes of being the right kind of "different." The F1 tackles the mid-range with internals in line for 2016, a so-so screen that doesn't fair so well in sunlight and some cameras. Here's the catch: the rear unit has 13 ...

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    You’d be shocked at the amount of requests we get every day of people asking us to recommend a good wearable for fitness. Surely this is the era of smartwatches and fitness trackers, but not all of these products are good enough to address the needs of people who take fitness seriously. As a result, just like we review smartphones and smartwatches, we decided to create a separate segment that only focuses on the fitness capabilities of wearables. This is Pocketnow Fitness. --- Even though Android Wear is still far from the popularity of products like FitBit, we get constant questions on ...

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    When we first laid eyes on the Huawei Mate 8 at CES 2016, we were only mildly impressed. While its clean industrial design and oversized battery were welcome additions to the Mate family, the phone still came with software quite literally designed for another continent – and its overloaded feature set seemed more at home on a Samsung phone from 2012 than a modern Android flagship. A week with the Mate 8 back home in Boston hasn't changed our feelings about the phone's shortcomings, but it has given us time to appreciate all the advantages this device has to offer. And when one of ...

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    CES 2016 was proof that a lot of companies are out to build wearables that do fitness to a certain degree. Some of these are good enough to solve some needs, but the fact of the matter is that most are still experimenting. Serious fitness requires a little more of the things that are proven to already work, and never have we seem a more holistic approach to fitness than with the Under Armour HealthBox, made by HTC. See, most trackers can do a decent job at being just that, Trackers. But if you’re the type that is either starting out or is already invested in the fitness life style, you ...

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