Posts tagged with: Weekend Debate
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    BlackBerry is a confusing company these days, which makes it a natural subject for the Weekend Debate. BlackBerry has gone through a few iterations while reinventing itself. We have seen BB10, physical keyboards, and most recently, a jump to Android. It’s this last point that I want to take a look at as we look into 2016 and try to determine just what BlackBerry has up its sleeve for this. Specifically, is it time to kill off BB10 and go all in with Android? Naturally Right off the bat this seems like an easy answer. Of course it should. But when you look more closely, the waters get ...

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    Funny thing about 2015. A lot of really great flagships came out. One the other hand, some not-bad mid range phones came out as well. Leading the charge among these would probably be either the Moto G 2015, or the Alcatel Onetouch Idol 3, depending on your taste. But the thing is, either one of those phones would be just fine as a daily driver for any of us. Oh sure, maybe they don’t have the glitz and glam of the iPhone 6S or the Note 5, or any of the other premium flagships, but they don’t really have to. What we have in our flagships today is almost excessive compared to our needs. ...

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    CES is one of the largest consumer electronics expos in the world. This thing is huge. I don’t think it really translates how huge it is until you actually go and walk the show floor – for four days – and still don’t cover everything. There are a ton of electronics companies there but not all of them are necessarily in Pocketnow’s wheelhouse. There is a lot going on is the world of robotics, automotive, and appliances. Nothing sexier than that new refrigerator, right? This year, we had a lot of coverage coming out of CES – smart glasses, phone announcements, and quite a few ...

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    Ahh. The holidays are over (for most) and now is the time when we look back on our successes and failures over the past few days and reassess. Was drinking that second rum and coke before dinner a great idea? Probably not. Did you knock it out of the park with that Pandora bracelet charm in her stocking? You betcha. Should I have replaced her Nexus 5 with a 5x  or perhaps a OnePlus X?  Now we get into the meat of the matter. In short, are smartphone gifts a good idea or not? First of all, smartphone gifts are not to be taken lightly. Any smartphone you buy is going to be a pretty decent ...

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    On Thanksgiving, I decided to “invest” in a $35 tablet. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, normally a $50 tablet, dropped to just $35, and it was too cheap not to get. I even chronicled the experience in an editorial the following week. But then I started...you know…using the tablet, as one tends to do. It has largely been a Netflix/Instant Video machine with a game or two thrown in for the train. But here’s the thing. It’s not very good at it. This is exactly $35 worth of tablet. At $35, it barely justifies it's existence. What I mean is, the tablet is thoroughly unimpressive in every way ...

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    Samsung tripped up a few of us last summer when it decided to release the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6+ ahead of IFA. Traditionally, Samsung’s release cycle has been Barcelona/Berlin and why not? The entire mobile news world is already on site – it saves a bundle on catering. But last summer, Samsung released its large flagships a month earlier than usual, and some rumors indicate it may do the same with its plans for the Galaxy S7 release. Just recently, our own Joe Levi asked the question, would Samsung be better off releasing early?  Well, we in the weekend debate club can’t just ...

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    I was browsing Kickstarter as I tend to do from time to time, when I came across this interesting item. The Haize (pronounced Hi-zeh) watch (for lack of a better word) calls itself a “minimalist navigation device for urban cyclists.” I’m an urban cyclist, so I was intrigued. Before we get into our debate, let’s talk about what I learned. What is Haize? The Haize is a sort of smart watch/compass that attaches to your bike or your wrist whose sole purpose is to facilitate navigation. But how it goes about doing that is a little different and intriguing. It works with a very ...

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      Looking at the smartphone landscape, there is a lot to take in. The question of “What phone should I buy” is no longer so easily defined by questions such as “What is your budget?” Time was, if you wanted a phone, you first had to decide in what tier you belonged – the upper, midrange, or lower. From there you could start to define what you’d be looking for in a smartphone such as NFC, camera, front-facing camera, wireless charging, etc. Most importantly, you could start deciding where to cut corners. But the lines between smartphone tiers have started to blur. The high ...

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    Users of mobile, much like all users of technology, are always concerned about getting the latest and greatest. When it comes to Android updates, this is one of the biggest concerns in a potential smartphone purchase. What is the company's track record when it comes to updates? I know I consider those things. But there are two considerations when it comes to updates: what's coming and when is it going to show up? Consider last year, when Lollipop showed up. Some phones got the Lollipop update before the Nexus line of phones picked it up. There was much consternation. It really wasn’t ...

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    Apple and Samsung current sit solidly in the number one and two spots in the smartphone race. It's interesting then that both are attempting to develop technology which would allow something pretty neat. Specifically, both Apple and Samsung are looking at technology that would allow them to move their fingerprint sensors to a new place on the phone. Qualcomm is developing its own technology for the same task. Not the side of the phone and not the back of the phone. Rather, both are looking to move the fingerprint sensor of their respective flagships underneath the touchscreen. The obvious ...

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    At a casual glance, the new HTC One A9 looks a little bit like the iPhone 6. Ok, ok, I’ll confess, if you look closely, you’ll see that this phone slightly resembles the iPhone. Ok, well if you get out your slide rule and microscope, you’ll find that they’re pretty much dead ringers for each other. So folks are calling out HTC for blatantly ripping off the iPhone. And hey, they’re not totally wrong. When you put these phones next to each other, aside from the rounded rectangle vs circle home button on the front, these phones are twins. The HTC One A9 comes in more colors, which ...

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    The purpose of the Weekend Debate is to look at both sides of the story; to get a true idea about a concept, or two competing concepts and hash it out and see where we all stand about this. We’ve had some really great debates in the past, and I thank you for that. But if I’m going to be really honest with myself, there is one thing that I have not debated. I have taken it for granted that it is great, and maybe that was premature on my part. Wireless charging is a concept that hearkens back to the beginning of my webOS days. I’ve loved it ever since then, but maybe I have been ...

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    Microsoft has a lofty goal in mind, and it is very close to actually accomplishing it. Microsoft wants to bring to its customers the same computer-using experience, regardless of what sized screen you happen to be viewing it on. Its efforts have brought forth Continuum to the Windows 10 Mobile experience, and it’s a pretty sweet ride. Continuum, for those who are not aware, is the idea of using your phone as the CPU of a computer, which is connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard. All the functions are actually taking place on the phone, but you’re getting a desktop experience while ...

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    Over the past month or so, we have seen Apple and Google in a weird position. It’s a position in which we’re not used to seeing them. They’ve been trying to catch up to Microsoft. That’s right, the two leading smartphone manufacturers have been trying to catch up to their scampy little brother. They haven’t been trying to catch up in the phone department – not by a long shot. But it seems that Google and Apple have come to realize that Microsoft’s Surface is a big deal, and should be taken very seriously. To counter the Surface, Apple released the iPad Pro, and Google ...

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    Google introduced its two new Nexus phones by Hauwei and LG. These phones have all the fun that you’d expect – Android Marshmallow, beefy specs, fingerprint sensor, and all the trimmings. One thing Google introduced which has largely gone undiscussed thus far is the camera on the back of the Nexus 5X and 6P. Specifically what I’m referring to is Google’s introduction of ultrapixels. Ultra-ish-pixels I know, I know. “Ultrapixels” are HTC’s version of larger pixels. There are differences between the two as well – most notably number and size. But essentially, the concept is ...

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    This past week, Pebble introduced us to the Pebble Time Round. The watch is basically exactly what it sounds like – it’s a Pebble Time, with a round face. Sounds great in theory. I recently switched from my Pebble Time back to my Moto 360. I wanted to see first hand what improvements recent updates to Android Wear. There have been a lot, and they have been very good. But I started to wonder if “round” was going to help sell more Pebble smartwatches, despite what Android Wear brings to the table. The tables have turned I’m worried about Pebble, to be honest. Now that I’m on ...

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    Mobile phone enthusiasts like ourselves are often the butt of jokes by so-called “Normal people”. “Hey that thing is permanently attached to your head”, or, “why not just get an implant and save us all some time?” So, let’s talk about this. Hypothetically of course. Smartphone implants aren’t here yet (mostly), so we’re very much going to be delving into hypothetical waters here. But still, let’s talk. A couple of weeks ago, Michael Fisher had a great interview with the father of the cell phone, Dr. Martin Cooper. As part of the conversation, the topic of implants came ...

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    There is a disturbance in the force. You may have felt it. Perhaps you felt it on your wrist, perhaps in your wallet. Ever since a certain wearable came to market a few months back, something has been building. And it’s going to cost you, or someone, or perhaps everyone. Smartwatches have seen an upturn in price of late ever since the Apple watch came out with its base price of $350. Premium costs Don’t get me wrong, a lot of these watches are premium watches. If you’re buying a $10,000 Apple Watch, the thing is made out of gold after all. That’s not a trivial thing. Further it ...

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    Google is creating a wide array of products powered by Android. Phones and tablets are of course the big ones, but there are a number of other products Google is helping bring to market, including the category of wearables. Getting even more specific, as you have gleaned from the headline, I'm wondering about smartwatches. Smartwatches are leading the charge in the nascent category of wearables and are far and away the most popular wearable smart product on the market today. Where are they? But Google hasn't come out with its own smartwatch yet. Does that seem weird to anyone else? I mean ...

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    We’re in a rut, people. There’s not a lot you can say about that; there’s no real argument. Phones and tablets have gotten b-o-r-i-n-g. I held out hope with the Galaxy S6 Edge plus coming out, but it turns out it’s just a Galaxy S6 Edge that someone stuck a straw into and blew up a few puffs. I’m yawning just writing this sentence. Slab, slab, slab, slab, curvy slab, slab, slab. Bored yet? You wouldn’t be wrong. Putting the iPhone, Galaxy S6, LG G4, and HTC One M9 all on a table and you might think you’ve too many strawberry shots injected into your face (it’s alcohol, just ...

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    So there’s this thing on most smartphones. It’s a small thing, but it’s still a thing. It’s the power button. It has been on smartphones for as long as there have been smartphones. But does it really have to be? That’s what we’re here to talk about today. Right of the bat, you might be thinking, “It’s a power button. Who cares?” Well the thing is, I care. I care because I like optimizing the user experience, and I think we have moved – or are capable of moving – past the power button. It’s a relic of times past. Of course, an electronic device needs a power button. ...

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    It’s time to talk about a dirty word in apps – accounts. Never before has a single word ever inspired such passion in users and potential users of apps. Accounts. The very word makes one shiver. It seems like these days, accounts are everywhere. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what kind of app you’re using. It could be a game, a productivity app, or even something as simple as finding gas. Really, why does a gas price app ask me for an account every time I install it? Why do I need to give it my email address just so I can drive sixteen miles to save three cents per gallon on ...

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    When it's time to buy a new smartphone, you have a few options at your disposal – at least here in the United States. We have a few relatively unique options in our smartphone/carrier pricing options, so I thought it might be an interesting thought-experiment to take a look at those options and see what works for you folks. For the purposes of this article, imagine you have all of these options available to you wherever you are. Which would work best for you? Subsidized, contract pricing One of the older ways to purchase a cell phone was with the ol’ two-year contract. Basically you ...

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    This week, we’ll be attending a Motorola event in New York and it seems likely that we’ll be seeing the next Moto G, at least.  There may be other devices coming along with it, but we know the most about the Moto G because of some leaks that occurred over the last week.  This is interesting because the Moto G is really a fascinating phone in that it could be said that it made midrange phones “a thing”. But did midrange phones become a thing because of specifications or beauty? In the past, people bought midrange phones because, frankly, they couldn’t afford the flagships. But ...

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    Samsung hit a home run with its latest flagships – the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. You can read our review and review rebuttal if you don’t believe me, but there was one place where Samsung took one big step back in the design of the GS6 and GS 6 Edge – water proofing. The Galaxy S5 was waterproof bearing a 67 IP rating. The Galaxy S6, with its lack of memory card and non-removable battery does not get that same distinction. You would think it’d easier to waterproof a phone like that, but for whatever reason Samsung left it out. And it really shouldn’t have. All the protection ...

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