Smartphones

If we were to characterize a Samsung Galaxy Note user in a single word it would have to be "enthusiast." Specifically, we're talking about an Android smartphone enthusiast but regardless, among the vast general populous of smartphone consumers, if you're packing a device like any of the previous Samsung Galaxy Notes, you likely want the most powerful, feature-rich, large format device you can get your hands on. And when it came to the 9th incarnation of the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung spared no expense once again, not only in its design and feature set, but even the venue it chose to... Read more...
If there's one bit of messaging we keyed on, with respect to Samsung's recently announced Galaxy Note 9 flagship and its high-level feature set, it was the promise of a robust thermal solution that would maintain performance over time and under pressure. Samsung claims the new Galaxy Note 9 employs a "water-carbon cooling" system, with a heat spreader for its Snapdragon 845 SoC and associated circuitry, that's three times larger than the previous generation Galaxy Note. So we figured we'd like to put that to the test. Meanwhile, we've also been spending quality time in the test lab with none other... Read more...
The original Motorola Z Play made a name for itself among users who champion smartphone battery life above all other features. It was not uncommon to hear of Moto Z Play users getting multiple days of power out of a single charge. In our review, Its battery life trounced every other phone we have ever tested by a wide margin. So, when the Moto Z2 Play was introduced last year, many lamented Motorola’s decision to slim the phone down and ultimately reduce battery capacity. While battery life was still exceptional, it fell far from eclipsing its processor. It is no surprise then that demands... Read more...
After months and months of leaks, we’ve finally had a chance to lay our hands on the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung’s latest Android 8.1 Oreo smartphone. Given that nearly all of the Galaxy Note 9’s specs have been leaked ahead of today’s official reveal, you’re likely already familiar with what the smartphone has to offer. However, we’ll give you a quick rundown of what makes the smartphone special. Starting things off, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC running the show in this beastly device. Samsung has kicked things up a notch on the storage front, doubling... Read more...
Back in late June, we were alerted to a new product announcement on tap for August 2nd from Motorola. Luckily for us, we're here live in Chicago at Motorola HQ today to see what the company has in store for consumers, and it's quite interesting. The company launched the all-new Moto Z3, which serves as the follow-up to last year's Moto Z2. It has a 6-inch Full HD+ OLED display with an 18:9 aspect ratio that takes up most of the front of the device. There are still notable bezels on the bottom and top, but it at least doesn't mar your viewing experience with a notch (if you’re not into... Read more...
LG debuted the G7 ThinQ in early May and certainly turned some heads with the promise of a 1000 nits capable display, an AI-powered camera, and its Boombox Speaker features. On the surface, if you consider some of the salient features consumers are looking for in a modern smartphone, the marketing folks at LG had their ears to the ground, so to speak. The new LG G7 ThinQ checks many of the key feature boxes consumers look for in a handset, and it strikes a nice size balance as well, in a thin-bezel 6.1-inch form factor.    However, what makes true smartphone success is practical... Read more...
In most major sports, there are a handful of teams that dominate the competition and garner the lion's share of attention from fans. The same is true in the smartphone market where there are relatively few established players at the top. Every so often, however, a contender comes along to potentially disrupt the hierarchy, and that is what Huawei hopes to accomplish with its newest flagship phone, the Mate 10 Pro. Who exactly is Huawei, you ask? While not as recognizable in the US market as Apple and Samsung, Huawei is no Johnny-come-lately to the land of mobile. Huawei is a major player in China... Read more...
Mobile device makers have made a concerted effort to improve camera performance on each new generation of smartphone. While there is still a gap between a handset and a Digital SLR (DSLR), today's phones are capable of taking excellent photos. It's become a point of focus, and with the advances in imaging, like Bokeh effects, armchair photographers can snap some truly remarkable looking shots. Two recent flagships, Samsung's Galaxy S9+ and Google's Pixel 2 XL, both have been praised for their photo taking capabilities. Is one appreciably better than the other? The only way to find out is through... Read more...
One of the biggest unveils at this year's Mobile World Congress was the new and highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which we were lucky enough to get some hands-on preview time with for you here late last month. Samsung's Galaxy S9 series doesn't look a whole lot different than the previous generation Galaxy S8 and 8+ line. And though the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are ever so slightly smaller than their older siblings, with slightly thinner top and bottom bezels, these new Galaxy S devices have been upgraded and re-engineered in a number of ways with some impressive new features... Read more...
After months of leaks and weeks of teasers, Samsung has finally officially pulled the wraps off its next generation flagship smartphones: the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. If you're familiar with the current generation Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, the designs of the refreshed models should be immediately familiar. However, there is plenty going on under the surface that make these new flagship Android phones worthy of attention. First of all, let's talk about the new, state-of-the-art camera that is featured on both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. The primary rear shooter features a Super Speed, Dual Pixel... Read more...
Though the company has been evangelizing its next generation Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform for a while now, Qualcomm is lifting the veil today on the new SoC's benchmark performance profile. As we showed you back in December, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 is based on a bleeding-edge 10nm LPP FinFET manufacturing process with Samsung, and an entirely new architecture that promises significant gains in power efficiency and performance. Snapdragon 845 is a grounds-up silicon redesign from Qualcomm, targeted at a new breed of flagship smartphones and other premium mobile devices. At the heart of the Snapdragon... Read more...
Yesterday, Qualcomm gave us a sneak peek at its next generation mobile processor: the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform. Like its Snapdragon 835 predecessor, the Snapdragon 845 will be used in countless flagship Android smartphones arriving in 2018, and will also likely end up in future "Always Connected" Windows 10 mobile PCs. Today, Qualcomm is spilling the beans on some of the components that makeup the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, which now includes a Kyro 385 CPU. This revamped CPU features four high-performance cores operating at 2.8GHz (a 25 percent uplift over the Snapdragon 835) and four... Read more...
If there's a sleeper phone that's been on our radar for a while here, it's the LG V30. LG has been teasing this phone for what seems like an eternity. We actually got our first hands-on time with it a couple of months ago in August. However, LG has been conservative with its last couple of handset roll-outs, taking the same preview tease approach with the LG G6, where we got an early look prototype unit and firm rules of engagement with it before final production units arrived. The G6 was one of the first generation thin bezel phones on the market at the time and LG wanted to make doubly sure it... Read more...
Google has been designing and building premium Android smartphones for many years, co-branding with various hardware partners since back in the days of the company's Nexus devices. More recently with its first generation Pixel series, the Mountain View team has taken more prominent ownership of the brand, with devices specifically underscored as "Made By Google." And indeed the design signatures of the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL were distinctly different from any other handset on the market, as are the latest Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that Google is launching today, along with a redesigned... Read more...
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