Notebooks, Tablets, Smartphones, Wearables And Gadgets

In-depth product reviews and news of notebooks, tablets, smartphones, wearable technologies and gadgets. We're now living in a contextually-aware computing world and mobile devices can not only help us enjoy the ride but create and capture new experiences as well.

When's the last time you saw a full-featured smartphone launch for well under $500? There have been a few to hit the market in this price range recently, usually with significant caveats, but in general the trend is towards more expensive flagship devices that are commanding upwards of $1000 quite often. Google's new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, however, buck this trend with HD OLED displays, big batteries, and the same great camera configuration that made Google's higher-end Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL the Android phones to beat, when it comes to smartphone photography. The new Pixel 3a is a 5.6-inch device, for folks who prefer their phone be a bit more pocketable, but the Pixel 3a XL sports a 6-inch... Read more...
We’ll see your 100 million assistant devices and raise you 1 billion. Google announced that it expects to sell one billion Google Assistant devices by the end of the month. The company's boast is in response to Amazon’s announcement that they had sold 100 million Alexa devices. Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, recently remarked that 100 million Alexa devices have been sold since Alexa’s release in 2014. This number includes both Amazon devices and other products that ship with built-in Alexa. Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google reported that they have sold 10X the number of Google Assistant devices since 2016. That estimate includes both Google products and... Read more...
Waiting for an app to update is not the end of the world, but it can certainly be very irritating. There soon may be a way to work around this annoyance; Google recently announced at the Android Dev Summit that users will be able to continue to use an app during less serious updates. Google’s latest "In-app Updates API" was released in response to the concerns of Android developers. Many devs were worried that users have not been updating their apps because it can be a disruptive process. Devs now have two options with the new API. First, devs can display a full message screen to let users know that an urgent update is available. The user can postpone the update if it is inconvenient... Read more...
Google unveiled an array of new hardware at a posh event in New York City last week, including the Pixel Slate, the Google Home Hub, and the products we’ll be showing you here, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel Slate is an Intel-powered convertible tablet running Chrome OS, the Home Hub is a touch-screen equipped Google Home device, and the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL likely need no introduction – they are Google’s latest flagship smartphones running the recently released Android Pie.  You can get a glimpse and some additional information on Google’s newest devices right here in our coverage of the original announcement, but we’ve had a few days to poke and prod... 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 than the OnePlus 6 -- an Android superphone in its own right, with 8GB of RAM and a near bone-stock... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive growth potential over the next decade and it's an area that Google wants to own. We all remember how... 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 a good old fashioned shoot-out. Before we get to the picture comparisons, let's cover some specs.... 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 12MP sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS). The camera features a dedicated image processing... 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 Daydream View VR headset. Designed by Google but manufactured by HTC (Pixel 2) and LG (Pixel... 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 that the Galaxy Note 8’s fingerprint sensor is now placed on the rear of the device, beside the dual... Read more...
It is time to take your GoPro footage to the next level. The company just announced the pilot program for Fusion, its new spherical 360 Degree VR 5.2K camera. GoPro founder and CEO, Nicholas Woodman remarked, “Fusion is just that, the ability to capture every angle simultaneously…as though you had six GoPro cameras fused into one. Whether filming for VR or traditional fixed-perspective content, Fusion represents the state-of-the-art in versatile spherical capture.” Fusion is particularly notable for its “OverCapture” feature that is enabled by its 5.2K resolution. Users will be able to capture non-VR videos and photos in HD from spherical angles. This device is therefore ideal for creators of... Read more...
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 Pixel XL phones, Google Home, Google Allo, and Android Wear. The system was similar to Google... 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 market currently that support Google’s Daydream VR headset technology. Google Daydream VR is a compelling... Read more...
The original Google Nexus 5 shipped right around this time two full years ago. Much has evolved in the smartphone space in the 24 months since then, but little has changed in terms of branding with this latest LG-built Nexus device. The 5.2-inch Nexus 5X we will be showing you here is positioned as the mainstream Nexus phone in the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) lineup, with an unlocked base price of only $379, though street prices are actually lower. Nexus 5X on the left; Nexus 6P on the right Put simply, the Nexus 5X is designed for mainstream smartphone users, looking for a strong value. Google thinks this phone hits a sweet spot in the lineup, and we'd probably agree with that assessment.... Read more...
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