Posts tagged with: Review
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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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    The new iPhone is here – and 2015 being an "S year," the new iPhone is a lot like the old iPhone. That means it’s a solid device, simple yet capable. It’s the phone you recommend to your friends who can’t be bothered with constant optimizations, to parents who want something that just works, to those who take seriously Henry David Thoreau's philosophy to "simplify, simplify." But with a new operating system and one of the most significant interface upgrades in Apple's history, the supersized edition of the company's 2015 flagship is perhaps the least simple iPhone yet. How ...

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    "We have something bold to say."                         –OnePlus As this review goes to press, Apple's newest iPhone is hitting store shelves for the first time. The iPhone 6s starts at $649, but that model's anemic storage capacity means the smart folks will be stuck paying $749 for the 64GB version. Across the platform border, the new iPhone's most visible competitor –Samsung's Galaxy S6– comes in at around $540, while the fancy accoutrements of its Edge and Note siblings catapult their prices to near-thousand-dollar levels. High-end smartphones are expensive ...

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    When your principal standouts in the United States are fringe or affordable smartphones, debuting your first Android Wear smartwatch at $349 is an audacious move. Only one other wearable in the Google Store hangs out in the rarified air above the $300 mark, after all, and $349 is just entry level pricing for the Huawei Watch. Does the company –whose name has yet to ring out in any meaningful way in the United States– bring enough quality to justify the coin? Let's find out. Huawei Watch Review Video   Hardware The Huawei Watch was designed to make an impression – and it does, ...

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    "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood." –Daniel Burnham Back in 2013, the original Moto X came as a breath of fresh air to a smartphone community already growing fatigued of phablet overload. It was a smaller, humbler handheld that focused on usability rather than the latest features or supercharged specs. It was a product that we said wasn't for "nerds like us." It was, to borrow a phrase, a smartphone to restore sanity. Sanity, though, is not a popular virtue in the smartphone space. Despite positive reviews, the first Moto X did not sell well, and ...

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    What do you do when you want to build a phone that has the perfect blend of price, design, and specs? If you're HTC, you create a Desire phone. We've been fairly pleased with how well the HTC Desire lineup has been performing recently and we've even gone as far as calling them "a mid-tier phone with flagship DNA" and "a phone with a midrange name and flagship performance". Does the HTC Desire 626 live up to the expectations set by its predecessors? Let's dive right into the HTC Desire 626 review! Video · Specs/Hardware · Software · Cameras · Performance ...

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    At a glance, you could be forgiven for mistaking the Galaxy Note 5 for its smaller sibling the Galaxy S6 – and that's no accident. The Galaxy Note 5 marks the company's second major attempt to bring its large-format phablet into the mainstream, at least in terms of aesthetics. The first came in 2012, when the Galaxy Note II supplanted its predecessor's wide, matte chassis with a narrower casing and a shiny paint job that evoked its contemporary, the Galaxy S III. The two generations since have seen Samsung take the opposite tack, distancing the Note from its flagship siblings: the ...

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    There are folks out there who don’t have the time for a ten-minute video or a 4,000-word review, and they certainly don’t have an hour to absorb a meandering podcast (no matter how many awards it’s won). These people might be sneaking a quick YouTube fix on a bathroom break, trying to make a point to a rival smartphone owner at a bar, or even standing in line at a wireless retail store, waiting to make a purchase. They need the facts delivered quickly, with a minimum of window dressing and a firm conclusion in as little time as possible. For them, we’ve created the 60-Second ...

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    What's it take to make a pair of Bluetooth headphones exciting? Well, a good first step is launching them alongside some highly anticipated smartphones at a widely publicized press event and giving a sample to everyone in attendance. But free swag is a momentary thrill; making the excitement last takes an authentically impressive product. The Moto Pulse bluetooth headset is just that. I've been using it as my primary audio accessory for a solid week, and in that time I've gotten to know its highs and lows – in every possible sense. With the Pulse, Motorola has crafted a solid set of ...

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    Motorola calls it the "Moto G (3rd generation)." We call it the "Moto G 2015." Some people call it the "Moto G3" … but that’s confusing. Whatever you call it, the newest iteration of Motorola's best-selling smartphone is more fully featured than ever before, and its affordable price tag has barely seen a bump. The Moto G is the product that redefined what an affordable smartphone could be, and it's been our automatic go-to suggestion for a cheap-but-awesome Android handset for two years running. But in a world of plunging smartphone prices and increasing smartphone quality, does ...

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    Windows 10 is finally here!  While the Windows 8 interface was designed for the future of computing where software could recognize where your eyes were looking or understand your hand gestures in three dimensional space, people just aren't ready for that. We want that same old start menu that we've known and loved ever since 1995. Enter Windows 10, which brings a lot of backpedaling to the UI for those who just didn't get Windows 8's interface (of which there were many), but at the same time adds a "tablet mode" which retains many of the touch-friendly interface features of Windows 8. So ...

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    We’ve always criticized the “thin and light” mentality of most smartphones today because feel in the hand isn’t everything. Compromises in battery life and expandable storage are enough to frustrate anyone, no matter how beautiful the phone is. There’s a very interesting trend happening lately of thin smartphones, high end design, lower than flagship price points, and a Snapdragon 615 processor under the hood. Last year’s Oppo R5 was one of the first, and this year’s Oppo R7 continues that legacy. Taste varies from user to user. For some, powerful specifications are ...

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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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