Posts tagged with: Review
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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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    We know what you're thinking or at least we can suspect it: this is a surprise. It is to us, too. We had our hands-on of this thing all the way back in July, for crying out loud! But since we had an opportunity after the litany of other devices — the good, the bad and the ugly — we got during the fall, we figured that we could set some perspective for one of the Chinese OEMs with intensified American ambitions going forward. ZTE beat its traditional manufacturer cohorts to the punch in this respect, commissioning a US design firm to give the Axon a signature look, a prestige the ...

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    Update: After a week with the Lumia 950's bigger brother, the 950 XL, we've decided to append our new observations to this review. Scroll down to the bottom for that addendum if you're interested in hearing about Microsoft's bigger and badder (in more ways than one) Windows smartphone. When Microsoft announced in July that it was writing down almost the entire cost of its Nokia acquisition and laying off 7,800 employees from its phone division, many took it as a sign that the bell had finally tolled for Windows Phone. Despite a promising debut in 2010 and some very compelling ...

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    If you’re a casual music consumer you’re probably fine with the headphones that came with your smartphone (if any), or you have a pair of earbuds/phones/cans that you prefer to use while on the go, regardless of the smartphone of your choice. If you’re a music enthusiast (or audiophile), however, and you are a perfectionist when it comes to your favorite tunes, you’re either enjoying your content from a computer, HiFi system, or dedicated headphone amp/DAC. What you do know, by now, is that your smartphone isn’t good enough to drive your (high-end) cans. But, if you still want to ...

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    The Pixel C probably isn't the tablet you think it is. When it was announced a few months back alongside Google's new Nexus phones, it was presented with its optional keyboard connected and positioned not as a tablet, but as a convertible (in fact, that's what the C stands for.) But while the hardware absolutely delivers in this respect, the software is still more smartphone than tablet. Does the Pixel C belong on your desk this holiday season? Scroll on down for our full Google Pixel C review! Video Review · Hardware & Keyboard · Software · Performance Pros/Cons · ...

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    We've just seen the most robust fall mobile phone releases in a long time. From the iPhones to an iPhone-like, the Lumias to the DROIDs, the Nexuses to the Priv. And also the OnePlus X, but we can stop counting at this point. A couple of these devices came from manufacturers who put up flagship machines this very same model year: one was a "plus" to a company's device lineage, the other "One" was regarded as a necessary evil to its respective maker. HTC and OnePlus, in the end, decided to trail their main high-end device of the year with "diet flagship" slabs. Enter LG. The V10 comes to ...

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    "Welcome to Pocketnow, your one-stop-shop for smartphones, phablets, tablets, and wearables - and Chromebooks? I'm going to have to find some bigger pockets." - Joe Levi, Pocketnow Android has been powering smartphones since 2008 when the T-Mobile G1 was released. Later on, OEMs scaled the phone-centric OS up and crammed it into tablets (Google put the brakes on that until it could release Android Honeycomb, which was specifically designed for tablets - and horrible). Google even rolled out not one, but two flavors of Android for televisions. The only experience missing was the one right ...

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    Update: Our Lumia 950 review is now up. Go check that out down below and then come back here for the final word on Microsoft's latest mobile flagship. Enjoy the weekend! Microsoft might be getting the last word in our review queue for 2015. But that also means that we'll be getting the last word on it. We've gone through the Continuum experience and have held Windows 10 Mobile with all 10 of our fingers. And by "we," it's not just Michael Fisher. Vernon E.L. Smith of the MS Mobile Show podcast joins us to make light work of the Lumia 950. You'll have your chance to nominate which ...

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    We spent quite some time thinking before sitting down to build this review: what’s the reason behind the Xperia Z5’s existence, since it packs the exact same internals as the Z3+/Z4 before it? Aside from the fingerprint scanner embedded in the side-mounted button and a slightly improved camera (on paper), we couldn’t find any. Well, maybe a better take on the Snapdragon 810, which managed to heat up the Z3+/Z4 pretty badly (it manages, to a certain degree, to do the same inside the Z5 Premium too. More on this later). Luckily, this isn’t the Xperia Z5 review, as we’re looking at ...

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    Standing alone, the iPad Pro is a pretty confusing product. Priced within a stone's throw of the much-more-capable MacBook Air and packing dimensions closer to a desktop monitor than anything you'd willingly include in your everyday carry bag, Apple's latest tablet seems strangely out of character for the company better known for cautious iteration than bold reinvention. Last year's move to a larger screen size with the iPhone 6 Plus was an essential choice given consumers' ever-growing appetite for supersized smartphones; by contrast, no one seems to be asking for a nearly-13-inch ...

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    After over a week with the BlackBerry Priv, I'm still not entirely convinced it's real. I was joking when I tweeted that it felt like a phone from an alternate universe, but just barely. If you told me the Priv was a prop from the set of a 2005-era science fiction movie, some decade-old concept for what the future of BlackBerry would be, I'd probably believe you. That's a testament to the level of consistency BlackBerry has achieved with the Priv: no matter what else it is, at its core it's still a BlackBerry. That means it's complex –sometimes needlessly so– and also expensive, ...

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    Take a look at any roundup of the best smartphones under $300 and you're bound to find a list of compromises. Handsets like Motorola's Moto G and ASUS's ZenFone 2 bring useful features like waterproofing or high-end silicon, but skimp on fit and finish. Devices like the BLU Vivo Air go the other way, delivering a sleek and slender build but sacrificing essentials like LTE in the process. This is understandable given the enormous challenges inherent in modern smartphone design; after all, manufacturers can only deliver so much quality at a given price. With its newest smartphone, ...

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    "It is obvious that this contest cannot be decided by our knowledge of the Force... but by our skills with a lightsaber." –Count Dooku One of the best things Verizon Wireless ever did was acquiring the rights to use the word “DROID” to differentiate its Androids from phones from its competitors, and one of the latest phones to carry the DROID name is the DROID Maxx 2, made by Motorola. In our Verizon Motorola DROID Maxx 2 review, we're taking a close look at this brand new device on Big Red. Motorola made some compromises on this device, but did it keep the DROID Maxx 2 worthy of ...

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    Motorola captured the adoration of a tech geek nation with its first Android wearable. The first-generation Moto 360 was a round-faced anomaly in a sea of squares, a distinctive wristwatch that actually looked like a timepiece, rather than a piece of technology. Its sequel updates the original’s underpowered processor and brings additional sizing options and a lot more Moto Maker customization, but leaves other controversial aspects intact. The "flat tire" at the bottom of the display remains, for example, and the screen itself is an LCD panel once again, instead of the better-suited ...

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    BlackBerry. Windows Phone. Android Wear. Samsung. Droid. These are just a handful of the brands that have adopted some form of wireless charging in 2015. Like it or not, cable-free charging is a thing – and you should like it, because it’s awesome. Sure, if you wanna be pedantic about it, there are still wires involved at some point, and its charging rates aren't yet as quick as a cable can deliver … but the convenience of dropping your phone on a pad (rather than fiddling with a connector) is something that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Now, a company called ...

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    Why buy a Droid? Six years ago, when Motorola and Verizon Wireless introduced the very first Droid as the alternative to the AT&T-exclusive iPhone, the answer was obvious. With near-stock Google software running on an aggressively angular chassis and backed up by an even more aggressive marketing campaign, the original Droid was a carefully crafted "anti-iPhone." It was positioned as the more-powerful, more-capable answer to Apple's offering, and it sold by the truckload. More than any other device in the US, Motorola's original Droid put the Android platform on the map – ...

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    There's a scene in the 1994 action comedy True Lies that goes like this. Two bad guys are in a truck which ends up perched precariously on a ledge, its front end poised for a long drop to the water below. The truck shakes and shimmies but then eventually rights itself, balancing perfectly on its center of gravity, its occupants breaking out into cheers of relief at their improbable salvation. Then a pelican lands on the hood, and the now-imbalanced truck plummets to the sea below. (And because this is a James Cameron movie, it explodes.) The Android stalwart HTC is a truck on a ledge. ...

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    When we took Samsung's first smartwatch flagship, we pinned the thing as a smartphone that tried to be everything it could on a chunky wrist lump. It did so much, maybe too much for a watch. The company took the reins of a fluorescent excitement around wearables a couple of years ago, promoting its own Tizen-based projects while also chipping into the Android Wear platform.  Today, the chaebol promotes only three wearables: the more-than-a-year-old Gear Fit, the Gear VR and, it seems, the ever-so-popular Gear S2. The Gear S2 is the latest front in the wearables field for Samsung, not only ...

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    The “Nexus phone” has meant many things to many people since the Nexus One rolled off the assembly line nearly six years ago. With the debut of 2012's Nexus 4, it morphed into a super-affordable smartphone for anyone who didn't want to be tied down by a contract. That was succeeded by 2013's Nexus 5, which brought LTE and a more accessible design to become the first Nexus to be embraced by the masses. In 2014 Google arguably "jumped the shark" with the oversized Nexus 6, a Motorola-made phablet that some considered an abandonment of the fundamental principles behind the ...

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    The "Nexus phone" has meant many things to many people since the Nexus One rolled off the assembly line nearly six years ago. It's been a platform for Android developers; a poke in the eye at the traditional carrier sales model; an ill-fated attempt to play nice with those same carriers; a super-affordable smartphone and a not-so-affordable one. And through it all, the Nexus has been saddled with the responsibility of serving as the Android baseline, the showcase for Google's idealized vision of its mobile platform. That's a lot of weight for any one smartphone to carry, so ...

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    In June of 2012 at Google I/O, Google's developer conference, the company announced an all new product category designed to be conduit between your smartphone or tablet and your media. The product Google used to launch this category was called the "Nexus Q" and was offered for sale for the steep price of US$299. At the time, the orb-shaped device was supposed to let users cast audio to their high-end speaker systems, and could allow people to create their own party soundtrack through its "social, shared experience". The product was eventually given away to those who attended I/O or had ...

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    The hunt for a quality tablet that won’t break your budget is an elusive one. There are some really low prices out there, and the Android tablet landscape is littered with tablets that should not exist, because they are incredibly bad. So, what is a budget conscious tech nerd to do? The answer used to be, “Get a Nexus” and indeed once upon a time, the Nexus 7 tablet was extremely budget friendly and worked pretty well. But since the Nexus 9’s $400 price tag came out, we’ve been searching for other options. Amazon? Samsung? The good people over at Lenovo think they might have the ...

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    In 2015, almost every smartwatch maker on the market is emphasizing style over smarts. Both Huawei and Motorola recently told us their new watches were designed as timepieces first and geeky gadgets second, and Samsung's fancy new Gear S2 bears almost no resemblance to its cuff-like predecessor. Further, all these refinements have been round: a quick look at the Android Wear section of the Google Store and even the latest out of Pebble confirms that it's no longer hip to be square. ASUS doesn't seem to care about any of that. The company made headlines earlier in the year by ...

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    I know BLU is mostly known for budget smartphones, but this device is actually one you need to pay attention to. 2015 has been BLU’s boldest year when it comes to design and hardware improvements, and the BLU Pure XL is proof of the company’s evolution. At a time when smartphones are toning down price tags and beefing up specs, it's always interesting to see a competitor defy everyone with a smartphone that's aggressively priced, and doesn't compromise on the spec sheet. As it stands, if you want a smartphone with 64GB of storage, the closest batch start at around $700 depending on the ...

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    The S cycle is an interesting part of the iPhone buying experience. Since 2007, Apple has introduced at least one new iPhone every year, but only half of them are redesigns. The other half ... are reimaginings. Improved takes on tried-and-true existing hardware. These takes are never the most exciting phones, but they’re always the ones worth buying. This year, that reimagining means a new software revision, improved camera optics, and even a new way to interact with the screen. It may not be revolutionary, but this might just be Apple's biggest evolutionary update yet. Decide for ...

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