Smartphones

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...
Lenovo introduced their Moto Z family last year with high hopes of being something different. The evolution of smartphone design has been more iterative than innovate in recent years from most manufacturers. The Moto Z smartphones, however, offered modularity to allow the phones to adapt to a user’s in-the-moment needs. The Moto Mods concept is an intriguing one, but was ultimately met with mixed reviews. It is certainly the best execution we have seen to date with a growing selection of mods and simple plug-and-play operation, but many users are put off by needing to keep the phone-sized mods... Read more...
The Galaxy Note 8 is an important product for Samsung. Not only because the Note 8 is the company’s newest, flagship, large-screen smartphone, but because it also carries the additional burden of righting all of the wrongs associated with the company's Note 7 snafu. For some people, there is a certain stigma attached to the Note series now that could be erased if the Note 8 is a success and resonates well with consumers. We can tell you this up front -- all of the right technology seems to be in place. And from a design standpoint, the Note 8 sure is a looker. But good looks and the right... Read more...
Owners of the ASUS ZenFone AR may be tempted to ask their friends and co-workers, "Do you even AR, bro?". Asking that question is a surefire way to solicit puzzled (and perhaps annoyed) looks, but once they see what the ZenFone AR is capable of, those dirty glances and quizzical faces will quickly morph into ones of excited curiosity, and maybe even jealously. That's because this whole augmented reality business is rather new, and the ZenFone AR is one of only two smartphones to support Google's Tango (formerly Project Tango) AR platform (Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro being the other). The ZenFone AR also... Read more...
Here's the long and short. Huawei’s Mate 9 may no longer hit all the high notes on the cutting-edge smartphone release circuit, but it still remains more than competitive on performance and stocked with impressive base-level features, including rear dual-camera capabilities.In his fascinating book The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley discusses the propensity of millionaires to buy their cars used rather than new. The reasoning is as obvious as it is practical: You get nearly all the benefits from buying used at a fraction of the cost, and the money saved can be invested with compound interest,... Read more...
If you keep a pulse on the premium smartphone arena, you probably have a line on the fact that there might be something special about the forthcoming LG V30. Set for an official IFA 2017 unveiling, the new handset has been leaked, rumored and even teased by LG itself. LG in fact has been on a consistent marketing blitz, releasing bits and pieces of LG V30 features to keep the buzz factor and discussion of its new device at peak volume. Regardless, with a complement of features that may not be earth-shattering, but when combined add up to what could be handset nirvana for many, it's beginning... Read more...
Last year’s release of the Moto Z family of phones introduced the world to Mods – magnetic accessory attachments that added features to the phones, like higher-quality speakers, a portable projector, or optical zoom camera. However, the US release of the Moto Z was limited to Verizon and unlocked customers only. This year Motorola is back with the new Z2 Force, packing support for the same Mods, but launching on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. While the latest Moto Z2 Force has all the makings of a flagship smartphone with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, Super AMOLED display, and... Read more...
We had the chance to spend some time at Samsung’s Unpacked 2017 event in New York City today, where the brand new Galaxy Note 8 was officially unveiled. If you missed our initial coverage of the announcement, the Galaxy Note 8 features a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with a WQHD+ resolution (2960×1440) and many design cues borrowed from the Galaxy S8. Here’s a quick hands on to give you a closer look at the device and how it handles... The Note 8’s design is slightly more square in comparison to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. We should also mention that the near bezel-less display means... Read more...
ARM has developed a new generation of mobile chips that will empower smartphones and tablets of tomorrow with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, along with claimed significant increases in power efficiency and performance. The company's new Cortex-A75 CPU core for premium, high performance device requirements and Cortex-A55 processors for mobile power-efficient workload processing will also both be the first to feature ARM's DynamIQ technology, which gives design partners like Qualcomm more flexibility in how they pair CPU clusters. Prior to ARM's DynamIQ design, Qualcomm... Read more...
Buzz for Samsung's highly anticipated "next Galaxy" devices, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, has reached a fevered pitch, and for good reason. When it comes to smartphone market share percentages, there's Samsung and Apple, and then there's everyone else. Huawei and Oppo might be sneaking up on the leaders, but are still in the single digits, while Samsung and Apple are currently jockeying for the 1 and 2 slots. Though Q4 2016 may have been a virtual draw (Apple with a sliver of a lead) between the two handset titans, something tells us Q1 into Q2 2017 is going to swing back Samsung's way. Pre-order... Read more...
There's absolutely no question about it. LG obviously launched the new LG G6 right in the middle of the marketing buzzsaw that is Samsung's Galaxy S8 launch. And while it's fair to compare the G6 against the backdrop of the Samsung dynamic duo, some of the reviews I've seen so far, in my humble opinion, are unnecessarily critical of LG, largely due to timing I think. Since when did we become so jaded, like undercover restaurant critics in our own inner circle, that we can't judge a product based on its own merits? I'm not calling anyone out but I'm here to tell you that the LG G6 is likely a very... Read more...
Shrimp on the barbie? Try Apple on the barbie. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is suing Apple over “Error 53”, which bricked iPhones and iPads last year that were repaired by third-parties. The ACCC claims that the forced software bricking violated Australian consumer law. Last February, several iPhone 6 users received the “Error 53” message after trying to upgrade to iOS 9. The message effectively bricked the phones. It turns out that these users had repaired their screens and other components through "unauthorized" third-party service centers. iPhone 6 screen replacements... Read more...
We spent the better part of this morning at Lincoln Center in New York City attending Samsung’s Unpacked 2017 event, where the company unveiled its brand-new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones and a few new accessories. If you missed our early coverage of the event, you can check out the initial announcement here and the new Gear 360 Camera, cool DeX Dock, and Gear VR right here. While at Unpacked 2017, however, we also got some hands-on time with both devices that we wanted to share with you. Take a look... The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are virtually identical, save for their screen sizes. The S8 features... Read more...
Based on its features, specs and power consumption claims, Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 835 SoC (or Mobile Platform, as Qualcomm is referring to it now) was already looking like a notable improvement over the Snapdragon 820 and 821. The Snapdragon 835 is expected to provide up to 11 hours of 4K video playback and more than a day of talk time on next-gen smartphones with a single charge, for starters. However, it will also serve up hours of VR gaming and claimed general performance lifts of up to 25 percent in both CPU and graphics/gaming workloads. Regardless, until now, we could only speculate... Read more...
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