Posts tagged with: Review
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    It was over two years ago that we gave you a taste of life on the very first Pebble – the product that smashed crowdfunding records and almost singlehandedly launched the modern smartwatch era. The little Bluetooth wearable would go on to sell over a million units in both standard and Steel trims, and when the sequel Pebble Time hit Kickstarter this past March, it broke another record by being the first Kickstarter project in history to raise a million dollars … in 49 minutes. Clearly, the people at Pebble know a little something about getting the masses excited for a new gadget. ...

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    Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are absolutely beautiful smartphones … but they're also absolutely impractical for anything resembling a sporty lifestyle. Enter the Galaxy S6 Active, a heavyweight version of the 2015 flagship built to take tougher treatment and last longer on a single charge. We covered the differences between them in a comparison last week; now, after seven days, it’s time to render our final verdict. Does the Galaxy S6 Active correct the problems faced by its two Active forebears? Is it worth considering over its well-regarded siblings in the S6 ...

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    Our title plays on the Miami-based company's tagline, "Bold Like Us." BLU is pretty bold for bursting onto the low-cost segment of the smartphone scene some six years ago. The company takes foreign-produced devices, rebadges them, and markets a standout spec for each one: this one's the thinnest in North America, that one's got the largest battery here ... ... these ones fit into any size hand ...   And this little piggy is our flagship. On paper, the 2015 iteration of the BLU Life One brings LTE connectivity on reliable hardware at a competitive price point. But as with BLU's ...

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    Ever since Microsoft bought Nokia's mobile device division, the Lumia line of Windows Phones has been focusing on affordable smartphones that still bring a lot of good-enough features with less compromises. This is probably a good strategy, since I'm sure a huge percentage of the population doesn't need an $800 iPhone for texting, Facbook, and Instagram. The Lumia 640, is one of the first Lumia smartphones to finally include Microsoft's own branding, and it removes many of the compromises you might have to endure on other low-priced budget smartphones like the Lumia 5XX series and even the ...

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    In the US, the concept of the “$200 smartphone” isn’t likely to bowl anyone over. After all, carrier subsidies routinely bring retail prices at least that low for some of the fanciest devices around, and for many people that's enough. But when you break or lose that phone and need to replace it (or when you tally up the total of all those monthly installments) the line between "$200 smartphone" and "$600 liability" can get mighty fuzzy indeed. Is it possible to buy an unlocked smartphone that's just as inexpensive as a carrier-subsidized one, without sacrificing a flagship-level ...

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    At $349 dollars in the Google Store, it is the most expensive Android Wear device, dethroning its predecessor (or almost twin sibling), the LG G Watch R, which was also the most expensive product, at $299 (and so was the G Watch before that). Even at this price point, at the time of this review, the gold version of the Watch Urbane is out of stock. Is it worth paying the extra dollars for it, when you can go with a cheaper option from a competitor? That's what we're trying to find out in our LG Watch Urbane review below, and, given that it's among the select few running the latest version ...

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    It was the headline that shook the wearable world: late last month, in just 24 hours of preorders, Apple had sold more of its smartwatches than its competitor Google had managed to sell in an entire year. This is the kind of blitzkrieg we've come to expect from Apple, with its talent for transmuting even mundane releases into world-altering events using sheer marketing muscle. Indeed, some of us wondered whether the initial wave of preorders would prove to be the zenith of public interest in the Apple Watch. Given its lukewarm reception in the broader press and a target audience ...

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    We’ve seen a few companies experiment with smartphones and pico projectors for a while, and none with positive results. But what happens if you do things backwards, and instead you build a projector that’s powered by Android? The ZTE SPro 2 is the company's second attempt at redefining how a projector should work, and the idea is to mix the capabilities of a regular 200 lumens projector with some Android smartphone capabilities. The combination has a ton of potential, since you can carry the SPro 2 with you anywhere and project your favorite movie, or play your favorite game from any ...

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    For all the things modern smartphones do very, very well, there's one issue (OK, way more than one) they struggle with to this day: input. Touchscreens remain an inelegant wall standing between us and the capabilities of mobile hardware, and while they're eminently accessible, they lack the sort of precision and feedback that old hats like myself -more at home with a keyboard and mouse than a glossy expanse of glass- crave. Efforts like the active stylus in devices like Samsung's Galaxy Note series are well appreciated, and go a long way towards overcoming the accuracy limitations of ...

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    One of the most frustrating problems about today’s smartwatches is that once their batteries run out, they’re pretty much useless. The biggest challenge that most of these companies face, is being able to give you a smartwatch that lasts for days, or even months. Charging these can also be a challenge, as not all mechanisms are either practical, or durable. All this said, what if a company approached things differently and focused on giving you a smartwatch that you wouldn’t have to recharge? Hong Kong-based Cogito is one of the few companies with a solution to that problem, but you ...

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    In the United States, Huawei’s only reputation is as an ODM (original device manufacturer), making budget handsets for prepaid networks. It’s been making waves overseas lately with its new Honor lineup, offering fairly powerful phones at an affordable price, but we haven’t seen many truly premium smartphones come from Huawei, save for the huge (and hugely niche) Ascend Mate series. The P8 is the Chinese manufacturer’s first flagship handset that offers top-notch specs in a reasonably sized package, and if its reveal presentation was any indication, the company intends for it to ...

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    It's really easy to dismiss a non-flagship smartphone as unusable. Why? Simply because of the fact that it's mid-range or low-end. Historically, these words have been used to describe smartphones which barely function, unable to muster anything more than the littlest of usability. That's probably what went through the heads of most as Motorola announced the second-gen Moto E, adding in 4G LTE and bringing the smartphone to $150. In the world we live in, in which flagship smartphones regularly retail for prices north of $600 in the United States, that's a pretty low number. It must ...

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    Back in the days when talking 2G, flip phones, and PocketPC on message boards was still a thing, LG had what you might call a reputation. While the company pushed out its share of winners in the heyday of the feature phone, it also often played second fiddle to the competition in aspects ranging from build quality to cellular reception. For a time, LG was more curiosity than contender in the world of mobile technology. The tide began to turn sometime around 2007, when in the wake of the first iPhone launch, LG started producing very competitive handhelds for Verizon Wireless that split ...

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    At a time when most smartphones look and feel the same, our inner geek is always in need for something new, something we could seriously call cool! Oppo is one of the few companies that has realized this with most of its offerings, and today we get a chance to review its most unique offering yet, the Oppo N3. Yes, we know we’re a little late to this review, but this is one of those devices we were simply not going to leave without the full Pocketnow treatment. The best way to describe the Oppo N3 in a word is by calling it Unique. At a time when smartphone designs are just flat slabs ...

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    Meizu’s a well-established brand on its home turf in China as one of the top ten smartphone manufacturers, but its reach has never really extended much past that. But we recently got the chance to see their latest hardware in the MX4 Pro, and after spending a few weeks with the handset we’re ready to give you our full review. If bright displays, sharp cameras, metal designs, and fingerprint scanners get you going, you just might want to stick around. This review unit was provided to us by our friends at Efox-shop.com, one of Europe's largest online retailers of electronics. Pay them a ...

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    “You get what you pay for.” We’ve all heard that before. The philosophy is simple: inexpensive products are shoddy, pricey ones are premium. Working for two years as a sales rep at T-Mobile, I’ve seen countless customers come in to complain about their $100 smartphone, only for an overhearing bystander holding the latest flagship to chime in with that very phrase. But like all black-and-white statements, there are exceptions to this idea, and the Idol 3 from Alcatel OneTouch may be the biggest exception of them all. I wasn’t thrilled when I was first approached about reviewing ...

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    BLU (Bold Like Us) is a fairly new smartphone manufacturer. Well, they're really a white-label manufacturer, meaning that they often rebrand phones made by other manufacturers in order to sell them in different markets. They've been mainly targetting the low-end with inexpensive yet interestingly innovative Android and Windows Phones. They've only been around since 2009 though and are based in Miami Florida. Back in February we looked at the BLU Vivo Air, and now we've got the new BLU Win HD LTE to try out. While the BLU Vivo Air had the stylings that were very reminiscent of the iPhone, ...

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    It’s such a small and subtle variation on the standard Galaxy S6 that Samsung didn’t even decide to capitalize its brand name. But don’t be fooled by the understatement: as we discovered on other bold devices from our recent history, it’s amazing what a little curve can do. Editor's Note: This companion text piece to our Galaxy S6 edge review video covers only those areas in which the edge differs from the standard S6. As such, it's shorter and less elaborate than our standard review format. For the full deep dive on Samsung's 2015 flagship, see our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S6 ...

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    Back in January, I got my hands on LG’s latest curved contender, the G Flex 2, at CES 2015 alongside Michael Fisher and Jaime Rivera. The following month, Michael took a closer look at the device and praised it for its ergonomic design, but ultimately had trouble recommending it for its poor battery performance and sluggish performance. There's just one problem: the unit he tested was made for South Korea. That makes factors like battery endurance, cell reception, and price hard to judge properly for most readers ... which is where I come in. I’ve spent a week with the Sprint G ...

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    About this time last year, I stood with hordes of other press in a packed Galaxy Studio in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood, listening to Samsung tell us how its then-new Galaxy S5 would change everything. Over the piped-in orchestra music, we were promised "meaningful innovation." Samsung had learned that its customers did not want "the most complex technology," but rather "relevant improvements for day-to-day use." While a refreshing change from the bizarrely tone-deaf Galaxy S 4 launch event, the Galaxy S5 reveal still felt like a kind of middle ground – a layover for a company ...

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    It's been almost a year since we reviewed the first generation of Motorola's most budget-priced smartphone: the Moto E. The word "budget" carries with it images of dread and avoidance - though it shouldn't, especially when referring to the Moto E. Last year we said "you don't get something for nothing," and questioned whether Motorola Mobility sacrificed "too much" on the way to becoming "affordable." This year the 2015 Moto E (or "Moto E Gen 2" if you prefer) hit the ground running. Has Motorola done enough to elevate the Moto E from a "you get what you pay for" product to a loftier ...

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    As an aspiring naval cadet in my senior year of high school, I was placed in charge of my ROTC unit's drill team. It was a well-regarded outfit, but it had used the same choreography for years; no matter how cool a 12-person team looks spinning 16-pound rifles, anything gets monotonous if you don't change it up. Seeking to leave a lasting legacy while bringing home a trophy or two, I told our unit's Chief of my plans to completely overhaul our stale performance routine. "Fisher," he said, his face wrinkling with impatience, "you've got a good routine already. Don't go reinventing ...

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    If you are looking for a phone with a gorgeous design and premium feel, but you also have some budgetary limitations and are living in 2014, we have some really good news for you: the Xiaomi Mi Note might just be the phone you’re looking for. We had the opportunity to take it for a test drive courtesy of our friends at Efox-shop (where you can grab your own - use coupon code "pocketnow" for $10 off until June 30). The price tag on this phone accurately reflects what you’ll be getting. We tested this phone for three weeks in the Chicago area on AT&T and on US Mobile. It's not the ...

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    "This might be my next phone." That's how I wrapped up our hands-on coverage of the LG G Flex 2 at CES 2015, and I meant it so hard. It was the tamest quote I could come up with after spending an hour with the curvaceous crimson smartphone, which seemed poised to finally catapult curved construction from obscurity to the mainstream. I'd spent weeks with its predecessor back in 2013, whose principal shortcomings were its oversized footprint and its lackluster display – and it took only minutes with the G Flex 2 to see how well those issues had been addressed. It took six days ...

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    Huawei’s never quite been synonymous with premium handsets - at least, not in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that the company is incapable of making them, and we were reminded of that at IFA 2014 when the company unveiled the Ascend Mate 7. The phone effectively serves as Huawei’s flagship phablet, and though it’s been out for a few months now in some regions, it may still be worth your money. Video Review · Specs & Hardware Software · Camera · Performance · Pros/Cons Pricing/Availability · Conclusion · Scored For Me   Huawei Ascend Mate 7 Review Video ...

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