Posts tagged with: Review
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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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    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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