(Update 2: Video has been placed into private mode while we re-upload a replacement video, folks. Thanks for your patience.)

(Update: added final viewer scores. See below.)

For a while now, the mobile-tech review landscape has looked much the same. Reviewers like us craft lengthy written pieces packed with charts, photos, and videos, and readers like you … read them. Sure, you have the opportunity to respond in the comments, and most good editors will answer questions there, but there’s precious little real-time interaction between reader and reviewer. There’s not much chance to ask questions, seek clarifications, or take a quick look at that one little detail.

For a while, we’ve been trying to break down the wall between reviewer and reader – to allow you to (virtually) get your hands on a demo device and see for yourself how some feature, or measurement, or tiny detail feels. And -until the advent of holodecks- we think we’ve found the best way to do that.

Introducing the Pocketnow U-Review, a monthly, hour-long Hangout similar to the Pocketnow Live, but focused entirely on letting you get your fill of new mobile devices on your own terms. We keep the demo smartphone or tablet in our own hands, but for your five-minute block of Hangout time, you can ask us to show you anything and everything on that device (within reason). So get ready to ask away, because the U-Review is here to get you as close to hot new mobile devices as any fuzzy webcam can.

Devices

It may have been overshadowed a bit by the arrival of a Snapdragon 800-powered stunner from LG, but this episode’s hallmark device will likely end up being more significant, despite its lower-end specs. The Moto X is the first Motorola device to land on retail shelves since the nearly century-old company was acquired by Google, and it represents an entirely new category of Android smartphone. We gave it the full review treatment earlier in the week, when we termed it the Android for the average Joe, and now you get your chance to ask us anything you want about the Moto X.

device rough

But before Google’s phone-for-the-everyman tickled our fancy, there was another beast on another platform: a polycarbonate slab with a big Oreo-shaped mountain tacked on the back, making some pretty serious claims about its camera quality. That device was the Lumia 1020, the long-awaited and much-desired “true PureView” Windows Phone from Nokia. We called its 41MP camera the best smartphone shooter you could find in our July review, and we also called it a Warthog. Weigh in on whether you agree or disagree with our assertions, and queue up your own questions relating to this mammoth monstrosity!

DSC00433

And, yes – there’s still more. Considering the Pocketnow Live is on summer hiatus, we thought ya’ll would appreciate a bit of a bonus this time around on the U-Review. So, though we’re still mid-review and still letting our thoughts gel on it, we’re going to trot out another weirdo – this time from Sony. It’s wafer-thin, it’s waterproof, and it’s (practically) weightless … but it’s also too big even for Taylor Martin’s ponderous paws. It’s the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, and it’s here for you to virtually poke, prod, and pontificate on.

z-ultra-unboxing

So tune in this Friday, August 9, at 4:00 PM Eastern for the third installment of the Pocketnow U-Review!

Note: Link for the hangout will be made public on all our social channels five minutes before start time at the following links: TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Hosts

Devices

Live Broadcast

Live broadcast will appear below. After airtime, this embed will be replaced with the recorded show.

Join us at the following link:

(U-Review 003 over; link expired)

 

Final Scores

In accordance with our new numeric reader-review structure, the U-Review 003 resulted in the following scores from today’s audience:

Moto X: 8.3

Lumia 1020: 8.6

Z Ultra: 8.0

Wanna know why our viewers scored these devices this way? Watch the show recording embedded above! Want to submit your own opinions next time around? Stay tuned for next month’s edition of the U-Review. See you then!

Can’t join us but still want to say hey? Awesome. Send comments, questions, suggestions and fan mail to UReview [at] Pocketnow [dot] com.

 

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