Smartphones

Most Android users will be happy to know that Google is actually working to make Google Assistant as universal as possible across a myriad of devices. The AI assistant will be rolling out to all smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow eventually but will also be available on some newly announced partner devices like the fabulous new LG G6 (our hands-on preview). What is Google Assistant and why would you want it in the first place? Google Assistant is an intelligent personal AI that was recently only available on Google proper devices like Pixel and... Read more...
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas every January, is one of the prime spots for unveiling hot new hardware. In fact, manufacturers often keep tight-lipped about the new gear that they'll have on display, in order to deliver an unveil spectacle at the show. The show is the birthplace of big, expensive amazing machines, as well as more practical devices that hope to deliver worthy features at prices mere mortals can afford. We managed to get some hands-on time with one of the the latter at the show: Huawei’s Android-powered Honor 6X smartphone.  The Honor 6X... Read more...
Diamonds are the traditional tenth anniversary gift, but Apple reportedly has a little something different up its sleeve. Apple is planning on releasing a tenth anniversary iPhone 8 with an OLED display and it will likely cost upward of $1,000 USD. The 5.7-inch iPhone 8 (or iPhone X) will likely look quite different than its predecessors. It is believed that the iPhone 8 will be composed of stainless steel, instead of pricier aluminum. The back of the iPhone 8 may also be made of glass instead of metal (like its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s predecessors). Apple has been working to remove the physical... Read more...
When Google set out to develop and market its first Phone by Google branded device - not co-branded with a partner - and spiritual successors to its legacy Nexus brand, the company drew a line in the sand. Not only was the target to develop smartphones that demonstrated best of breed functionality and performance for the Android platform, but these devices would have features and capabilities not found in other Android devices on the market. To date, very few other smartphones, save for the LG V20 for example, are running Android 7 Nougat and there are only a handful of phones on the... Read more...
Lenovo introduced the Google Project Tango Augmented Reality-infused Phab 2 Pro smartphone back in June and the product marked a number firsts for both the manufacturer and the industry as a whole. The Phab 2 Pro is the first consumer retail device to support Google Project Tango AR technology, with a multi-camera and sensor array that gives the smartphone the ability to sense and "see" the environment around it, and then map and render virtual augmentations in the environment for the user. The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro is also one of the largest Android smartphones on the market currently, with a ginormous... Read more...
ASUS launched an array of products a few weeks back at its Zenvolution event in New York City. Among them was the gorgeous ZenBook 3 Ultrabook, the convertible Transformer 3, and an assortment of Android-based smartphones that carried ZenFone 3 branding. The four ZenFone 3 models that launched included the entry-level ZenFone 3 Laser, a 5.5” ZenFone 3 Deluxe, a 5.7” ZenFone 3 Deluxe, and a flagship 5.7” ZenFone 3 Deluxe Special Edition, which packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 SoC. The specifications, build materials, and pricing for the various ZenFone 3 phones that launched are all different. The... Read more...
Season's greetings; it's that time of year again, when we here at Hot Hardware assemble our holiday gift guides for your browsing and shopping pleasure. There was an embarrassment of riches this year, as the industry continued to innovate and come up with interesting new designs based on the latest, greatest technologies. Those of us buying computer hardware demand more and faster from every iteration, and many OEMs usually manage to deliver. Some don't but you won't see them on this list. This list is a collection of some of the best hardware for gifting in four top categories that we think are... Read more...
Electronics manufacturer, Huawei (pronounced "wah-WAY"), has been around for a very long time. It's the largest telecommunications company in the world, actually, though it doesn't have the same brand recognition in the US versus competitors like Apple, Samsung, or Motorola. We won't delve into all of the politics surrounding the situation, but will note that part of the reason Huawei's consumer footprint in the U.S. isn't more significant is because buyers have been caught in the crosshairs of a strained relationship between the U.S. and China in the tech sector. There's even a ban in place preventing... Read more...
Moto introduced the Moto Z family back in July with the launch of the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. Packed with flagship worthy hardware like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, both phones made a serious statement (click for full review) thanks to their modular capabilities, by way of Moto Mods. Moto Mods tune the already premium smartphones to a whole new level when attached. We were impressed by the Moto Mods we played with, including JBL's SoundBoost and the Moto Insta-Share Projector. Unfortunately, these phones were tied to Verizon at the time of our review, but unlocked variants are now trickling... Read more...
Although most of us would prefer to own all of the latest and greatest smartphones, there are plenty of us who don’t need all of the power and features today’s top phones have to offer. In addition, the high price tags on today's flagship phones presents a barrier for many. For casual smartphone users, there isn’t enough to gain by spending many hundreds of dollars more on a high end phone versus a more modest (and budget-friendly) model. It is for these reasons that Moto created the Moto G4 Play. As the third member of the new Moto G family, the Moto G4 Play is designed for fundamental smartphone... Read more...
Android 7, aka Nougat, has been rolling out primarily to Google's Nexus and new Pixel phones, as well as a few Motorola handsets, but a new Nougat contender has entered the fray, hot off the press from LG. The LG V20 is the follow-on to last year’s LG V10 and a current follow-up to the modular LG G5 that we reviewed recently. LG’s V series focuses on high quality, premium, larger-format designs that are feature-rich and the new LG V20 very much sticks to that mantra. Sporting a large 5.7-inch QHD display with 2560X1440 resolution and powered by Qualcomm's venerable Snapdragon 820 SoC (System... Read more...
Now, more than ever, manufacturers are exploring alternative ways to differentiate smartphones. One savior to the oversaturated smartphone market, that is rife with products with similar specifications, may come in the form of modularity. The promise of a modular phone, is an ability to adapt to a user’s needs in the moment. Purchasing a smartphone is traditionally a long-term investment. What might perfectly address day-to-day use, however, could come up short under specific use cases. We already took a close look at the Moto Z family and see promise in Moto Mods, but modular smartphones... Read more...
Update - 9/2 - 8:40AM EST: Samsung has issued a global recall and replacement of all current Galaxy Note7 devices and will replace all phones. You can read more about it here. We applaud Samsung for stepping up quickly and addressing the potential battery issue for early customers of the Note7. It's an excellent smartphone and this recall does not change our view of Samsung's flagship device. Once early units are purged from the marketplace, we are confident replacement units will meet customer expectations. We did not experience any anomalies with our test unit so please read on for... Read more...
Motorola recently launched two new flagship Droid offerings, the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. We really liked them for their ultra-premium design, strong performance, and innovative Moto Mods add-on features. However, Moto is also ushering in a refresh of their more mainstream, cost-effective Moto G family as well. We last looked at the Moto G in 2014. We weren't blown away by performance, however, we were impressed how much the device managed to offer for just $149. The Moto G delivered Android’s core experience with good enough web browsing and general productivity performance to stand... Read more...
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