Posts tagged with: Review
  • by | October 3, 2013 2:30 PM

    Fingerprint scanners are all well and good, but what happens when someone decides to lift that print for his own nefarious purposes? Benchmark results are important to some folks out there, but what good are they when major manufacturers repeatedly cheat the system? And the rumored HTC One Max looks to be a beast of a device ... but what exactly it being built to compete with? Those are the highlights from the news of the week and letters from the listener mailbag for the week ending October 4, 2013. All that -plus Brandon Miniman's first thought thread in quite some time- awaits you in ...

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  • by | October 3, 2013 11:35 AM

    We got two iPhones this year. The lesser model, the 5C, is ideal for those who want an iPhone but want to save a Benjamin and have color choices beyond the typical black or white. The premium model, the 5S, is ideal for those who want the best iPhone. It's the same as the outgoing iPhone 5, save for three areas: CPU, camera, and fingerprint security. Oh, and there's a new gold color if you want to stand out a bit. Are such minor improvements enough to satisfy the increasingly demanding smartphone buyer? Read our full iPhone 5S review to find out! ...

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  • by | October 2, 2013 4:51 PM

    Know what I love doing at Pocketnow, more than almost anything else? Reviewing mobile devices. You could feed me a steady stream of smartphones and tablets, one every ten days, month after month, and I'd still love it. Yes, it's exhausting, and sometimes balancing timeliness with thoroughness is an ulcer-inducing tightrope walk, but it's still my absolute favorite part of being a technology writer. Know what my least-favorite part is? Assigning review scores. We've graced this editorial with the Pocketnow Insider tag, so let me be candid for a second: I absolutely cannot stand assigning ...

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  • by | October 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    The Sony Xperia Z from the very beginning of the year tried to close the gap between ruggedized (sort of) and flagship phones. There were a lot of pros, and, of course, cons, but we applaud Sony for taking the project further. At this year's IFA, in Berlin, the Japanese company unveiled the Xperia Z1, the natural evolution to the Xperia Z from CES. It is improved in many categories over its predecessor, bringing improved IP-ratings, better specs, a larger camera, and, to sum it up, basically a better everything. We've had the pleasure of using the Z1 for a period of ten days, exclusively, ...

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  • by | October 1, 2013 7:55 PM

    Watching the Galaxy Note line evolve over the past two years has been very, very interesting. Samsung kicked off a new category with the original Note back in 2011, packing the specs and performance of a small tablet into the body of a large smartphone, and throwing a modern-day stylus into the mix to sweeten the pot. The device beat all expectations to become a hit - but it did so at a fairly modest scale. So for its next trick, Samsung endeavored to "consumerize" the Note line, slimming its hardware and aligning its feature set more closely with the flagship Galaxy S series - something ...

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  • by | September 30, 2013 8:48 AM

    Many consider Android and iOS to be the two biggest competitors in the mobile space. And while that's not technically wrong, there is a lot separating the two platforms. Surprisingly, there's far less between the global popularity of iOS 7 and Windows Phone. There's only roughly 10 percent separating them in terms of global market share, whereas Android has nearly a 60 percent lead on iOS. With the new face of iOS and Windows Phone 8 finally blossoming into a globally recognized platform with serious hardware, we figured it would be a great time to put the two platforms toe to toe. Be ...

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  • by | September 27, 2013 7:01 AM

    Last week, both Android and iOS underwent changes. Android turned five-years-old, which we paid tribute to here, and iOS 7 officially received a major face-lift. (We also paid tribute to that with an extensive walkthrough, which you can find here.) In their most recent forms, both platforms look totally different from their original versions. What better time to compare them than now? We put both platforms under the microscope and compared them in design, functionality, user friendliness, ecosystem, and performance. Which one comes out on top? Well, we wouldn't want to spoil that for you, ...

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  • by | September 26, 2013 6:02 PM

    For the first time in its history, "the new iPhone" is not a single device. It's a one-two punch comprising the iPhone 5s and the midrange iPhone 5c, the phones separated by a small gap in functionality and a huge gulf in aesthetics. Whereas the "deluxe model" packs new features like an improved camera, fingerprint scanner, and 64-bit processor, the more humble iPhone 5c offers almost nothing to set it apart from last year's iPhone 5 on the spec sheet. But Apple has never been one to cater to the specification seekers. Instead, the iPhone 5c seems squarely aimed at the kind of customers ...

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  • by | September 25, 2013 6:16 PM

    BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion, has most definitely seen better days. It's on the brink of a buyout, with Fairfax offering a $4.7 billion bid, undergoing layoffs, and retreating from the consumer market. No thanks to rapid mobile innovation and operating systems like Android and iOS, BlackBerry has faced years of plummeting sales, profits, market share, and mind share. It wasn't always so bleak when talking about BlackBerry, however. Some of us remember the glory days quite well. To break up the pattern of the doom and gloom surrounding the failing company, we wanted to ...

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  • by | September 18, 2013 6:39 PM

    Update: Score revised 10/2/2013. For more on this, see related story. About this time last year, I wrote the following in Pocketnow's full review of LG's 2012 Android flagship: LG has ... an excellent smartphone in the Optimus G. Within its well-crafted, jewel-like casing, industry-leading hardware and one of the most responsive implementations of Android we’ve ever seen combine to deliver a smartphone experience that’s not just adequate, but outstanding. [...] For those in search of an excellent, modern Android smartphone with the proper balance of aesthetics, performance, and ...

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  • by | September 4, 2013 5:01 PM

    Motorola and HTC both have something in common. This year, 2013, was a sort of rebirth for both companies. Motorola Mobility was purchased by Google last year and has been building up to the release of its new era of smartphones ever since. HTC has fallen since its glory days and needed a breath of fresh air. Enter the Droid Ultra and HTC One. Both are flagships from each firm, and they have quite a few things in common, if you get past their exteriors. But how do the two compare? Which one is the better phone? Surprisingly, it's a pretty even match, but one definitely comes out on top. ...

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  • by | September 2, 2013 7:01 AM

    After a short hiatus and an acquisition by none other than Google, Motorola has hit the market full force over the summer. In July, it announced three new Droids for Verizon: Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini. And at the beginning of August, it announced the Moto X for all major US carriers, as well as US Cellular. Two of those phones are in our labs, the Droid Ultra and Moto X. Naturally, we put the two under the microscope, together. Be sure to watch the comparison video below to see which of the two Motorola smartphones comes out the victor!

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  • by | August 30, 2013 12:36 PM

    Sometimes, as a tech reviewer, you encounter a smartphone so good that you don't want to send it back to the manufacturer at the end of the review period. Other times, you can't wait to drop it in the mail and scurry back to the safety of your daily driver. For this reviewer, Samsung's ATIV S Neo is, unfortunately, an example of the latter. Not because it does much wrong, necessarily, but because it's almost totally unremarkable - and it fails to live up to a promise Sprint made its users back in January not to relaunch its Windows Phone lineup on six-month-old hardware. Indeed, the Neo is ...

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  • by | August 29, 2013 2:26 AM

    When you see a smartphone available on the Home Shopping Network for $99, you might think that it would be something horrible that would fall apart after a month or it would be so slow and crashy that it would be unusable… unless it's a Nokia Windows Phone. We went ahead and ordered the budget friendly Nokia Lumia 521 to see how it works.  It's also available from T-Mobile, Walmart and other retailers, but the Home Shopping Network bundles a few extra accessories for a really great price.  Not ony is this Nokia Lumia 521 a really great deal, but there are a few things that actually put ...

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  • by | August 20, 2013 8:59 PM

    Most new device launches go the same way: usually the press gets review units before they’re widely available, and we get to use them for a few days -or a week if we’re lucky- as we work on our review. Then press day arrives. The embargo on media coverage lifts, and everyone posts their reviews and videos at the same time. It’s a huge frenzy, commenters go nuts, and it’s a giant explosion of frantic opinion-sharing activity. For about … a day. And then it all goes away. Sure, there’s followup coverage as people find bugs and hidden features, but after that initial blast, not ...

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