Smartphone Product Reviews And News

Smartphones are like miniature super computers in your pocket these days, with the ability to get serious productivity work done or kick back with some media consumption and gaming on the go. Smartphones are also more and more serving as life moment-capturing devices with fantastic digital still image shooting and video recording capabilities. Want to know what's the best hardware or latest news for Android or iOS? Tune in here...

ASUS recently sent us its brand-spanking-new ROG Phone II and we are in the process of evaluating the handset for a full review. We hope to have that posted within the next few weeks. In the meantime, we have some preliminary benchmarks and initial analysis to share, starting with the observation that this is the fastest Android phone we have ever tested. More on that in a moment. Before we get into the initial performance data, let's take a moment to talk about the gaming phone category, the ROG Phone II Ultimate Edition, and the specs. Gaming phones are still a somewhat new and niche category, albeit a growing one. ASUS threw its hat into the ring last year with its first generation ROG... Read more...
Do you even game on your phone, bro? Sorry, we'll slap ourselves silly for the obnoxious comment, but it's actually a valid question. Some people primarily use their phone to snap pictures for posting on Facebook and Instagram, while others go old school and -- gasp -- make actual phone calls with their handset. The ASUS ROG Phone does both of those things with aplomb, but it was really built for playing games first and foremost. Purpose-built gaming phones are a relatively new thing, at least to the extent that they are starting to become popular. There have been attempts to capitalize on this concept before, like when Nokia tried (and failed) to grab the attention of gamers with its N-Gage... 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 supports Daydream, Google's virtual reality play. Being Daydream-ready is not quite as exclusive as... 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 and others could employ big.LITTLE designs that paired a cluster of high-performing CPUs with the... 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 are often sold as one complete unit and therefore affect the display panel, front glass,... 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 Home button and relocate it underneath the display surface. There is even a slight chance... 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 ZenFone 3 Laser is a $199 phone, which the 5.7” ZenFone 3 Deluxe Special Edition commands a loft $799.... Read more...
At a glance, you may assume the phone we're testing here is one you've seen before -- a Nokia Lumia 1020 clone perhaps? Despite having a similar circular camera fixture on the handset's back side, suggesting a strong focus on photography, this is actually a newly released phone produced by ASUS. The ASUS ZenFone Zoom is an interesting beast. Though it was initially released for a more international audience, ASUS has since seen fit to bring the device to North American shores. It makes sense, though. Other than calling or texting, cameras have long been a key smartphone feature that gets used most frequently and many consumers will tell you that photo image quality is paramount when it comes... Read more...
When ASUS released the ZenFone 2 Laser, the company’s goal was to offer a premium smartphone experience with strong camera performance at an affordable price. On the surface the ZenFone 2 Laser has many of the key features of a premium phone, including an octa-core SoC with Adreno graphics, dual active SIM capabilities, a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a removable battery. Given that many flagship Android phones sell for $599 and up for an unlocked version, ASUS’s price of $249 for the high-end 32GB model of the ZenFone 2 Laser is very reasonable. If you want to save some cash, ASUS is also offering this phone with 16GB of storage for $199. This phone is compatible with GSM... Read more...
You don't need a crystal ball to figure out Apple will release a new iPhone handset every year. It's been doing it since the original came out in 2007, and starting with the iPhone 3G, Apple's naming convention has consisted of introducing a new model number every two years, with "s" variants in between. There was the iPhone 3GS in 2009, iPhone 4s in 2011 (the first to use a lowercase "s"), iPhone 5s (and iPhone 5c) in 2013, and now the iPhone 6s/6s Plus. The one thing that's been true of each "s" upgrade is they've all been faster than their predecessors while retaining the same overall exterior design. That's again true of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, though there's quite a bit more here... Read more...
The rate at which the industry is pumping out smartphones these days is staggering. Even more impressive is the rate at which truly outstanding phones are shipping, even from names that weren't significant just a few years ago. BLU, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and ASUS (just to name a few) have all produced handsets in recent months that rival the best offerings from Apple, LG, Samsung, and other historical greats. It signals a shift in the industry where we've reached a certain level of market maturity at the hardware, software and ecosystem level. It's just that much easier to launch a smartphone in market than it was a few years ago.The ASUS ZenFone 2 is one of the more interesting devices to hit the... Read more...
Back in early January, during our coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show, we gave you all a first glimpse of the Asus ZenFone 2. For those unfamiliar with the ZenFone 2, it is an Intel-powered smartphone, rocking Android Lollipop, that’s compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, and other cellular networks that utilize GSM technology, like Straight Talk, MetroPCS, and Cricket Wireless among others.Asus Offers The ZenFone 2 In A Handful Of Different ColorsA couple of days ago, Asus held an event to officially launch the ZenFone 2 and announce availability in the U.S., and we left with one of the flagship versions of the phone in-hand. The ZenFone 2 pictured here is packing a quad-core Intel Atom... Read more...
ASUS is a relative newcomer to the smartphone market in the US, but they have had worldwide presence for quite some time. Overseas customers have long enjoyed access to devices such as a giant 7-inch smartphone that makes American phablets look tiny by comparison. Even though most consumers are no longer put off by holding up 5 - 6 inch phones to their head, 7 inches is stretching it. So, when it came time to make inroads here in the states, ASUS went a slightly different route with the Padfone X Mini. As was the case with the Padfone X, released earlier this year, the Mini is a 2-in-1 device: it's a smartphone and tablet. The two don't work separately, however.... Read more...
When introducing the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple described it as the “biggest advancement in iPhone history.” Naturally, the use of “biggest” was quite intentional, a pun almost. Prior to 2014, Apple’s entire iPhone line had only ever had two screen sizes: 3.5-inch and 4-inch. Those sizes were perfectly acceptable in their day, but of late, the market has asked for more. More screen real estate, more pixels, more horsepower and more battery life. While Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and just about every other smartphone maker on the planet introduced larger and larger smartphones, Apple held steady. Samsung pushed the very limits of what we’d label... Read more...
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