Posts tagged with: Review
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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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    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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