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.

Shenzhen China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has been on the rise as of late, cultivating a strong following of mobile users that subscribe to the company's "Never Settle" moniker. Its Never Settle mantra refers to an effort the company has made to bring lower cost, unlocked phones to market that do not compromise on quality or performance. If there's one device that perhaps underscores that mantra best, it may be the OnePlus 6.  Codenamed "Enchilada", the OnePlus 6 really has it all (almost, more later). On board is a gorgeous 6.28-inch OLED display, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, up to 8GB of RAM, dual rear cameras, up to 256GB of storage, USB-C, and a dedicated headphone... Read more...
The Dell XPS 15 should look familiar if you're a regular HotHardware reader. We’ve seen various iterations of this power-users’ mobile PC over the past few years, usually with an Editors’ Choice logo pegged at the end of the review. The latest version keeps that winning streak alive, thanks to new, more powerful six-core Coffee Lake-based Intel Core processor options and robust NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics. As in previous generations, this new model is all about the upgrades, and the big news this time around is a selection of Coffee Lake 8Th Gen Intel Core i5, i7, and yes, i9 processors. In addition to the new CPUs though, the machine's maximum RAM config has been... Read more...
DJI has once again stepped into the spotlight with another powerful, yet portable, 4K drone that combines the video capabilities of its highly regarded Mavic Pro, with the smaller footprint of the consumer-focused DJI Spark. DJI has gone to great lengths in recent years to appeal to consumers looking for more portable devices. As a photographer, I carry a camera bag littered with lenses and DSLR bodies; but most will agree that something like DJI's earlier Phantom drones were simply too large to consider highly portable. With DJI’s latest and greatest drone, the Mavic Air, however, photographers and videographers alike are able to carry a foldable, simple to deploy, and extremely easy to... Read more...
Although they are well known overseas, those of you that live in the United States are probably not as familiar with a little company called Huawei. The thing is, it isn't little, and it has been around for quite a while. In fact, Huawei has been around since 1986 and is actually the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. As of 2018 they are also the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, second only to Samsung. Huawei pushed Apple into third place earlier this year by taking a 15.8% stake in the worldwide market. That's impressive seeing as just three years ago Huawei's market share was only 8.7%. Not everything has come easy for the company, though. Breaking... Read more...
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 launch from last week at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Brooklyn Nets play here,... 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...
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 were high for the new Moto Z3 Play’s battery life to improve over the Z2 Play’s minor... 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 the base configuration from 64GB to 128GB. However, for those that crave even more internal storage,... Read more...
Gamers are willing to spend more on PC hardware than the average consumer, but at the same time, they are a knowledgeable and discerning bunch who understand exactly what it is they are getting for their hard-earned buck. They also follow market trends and appreciate a good value when one comes along. Dell is likely hoping that is what gamers will see in its recently introduced G Series laptops. And after spending some hands-on time with the new G7 15 Gaming, we think the Round Rock crew might be on to something. As the model name suggests, the G7 15 Gaming is a 15.6-inch laptop. It sits atop the new Dell G Series stack, offering a bit more power and style than the G5 and G3 SKUs, but with... 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 those newfangled notched flagships). However, we do have a bit of mixed news on the processing front.... Read more...
The Lenovo Smart display is the first in an assault of Google Assistant-enabled devices set to hit the market this year. They will take on Amazon's Echo Show in a battle for smart home assistant technology, with not only a set of ears, but also a set of eyes and a display face to complete the experience. Priced at $249.99 for a 10-inch version and $199.99 for an 8-inch variant, with identical hardware specs except for the display, these are a new breed of smart home devices that have the potential to give Google and its OEM partners a leg-up on Amazon. Since they're part of the "Android Things" ecosystem, Android users will have direct access to their data and media on Google's many... Read more...
Nokia is perhaps better known for their smartphones and strong telecommunications presence, but the company also has a foothold in the digital health market. The company has embraced the “connected health” wearables trend since their acquisition of French consumer electronics company Withing in April 2016. Nokia has continued to offer and relaunch many of Withing’s award-winning products, including items like the Nokia Steel HR activity tracking hybrid smartwatch we're looking at here today. Withing launched multiple versions of their Activité activity tracker in 2014 and 2015 and Nokia quickly released the Nokia Steel shortly after purchasing Withing. The Nokia Steel... Read more...
HP's EliteBook series laptops launched back in 2008 to general success, and a decade later it remains one of HP's top-selling thin and light laptop lines. To celebrate 10 years of that success, the company decided to completely redesigned their business class powerhouse notebook to cater to today's changing workforce. When first launched, baby boomers were still a force in the corporate world. Fast forward a decade, and many of those boomers are living out their golden years on the golf course, with millennials making up nearly half of the mainstream workforce in the United States currently. To appeal to this younger, more tech-savvy road warrior, HP claims to have reinvented their EliteBook... Read more...
Had someone asked us a year ago what we thought the top laptop brands would be heading into the summer of 2018, one name that would probably not have been mentioned is Huawei. It's not that laptops are a foreign product category to the Chinese manufacturer, it is just that Huawei is better known here in the U.S. for its smartphone lineup. It would be a mistake to overlook Huawei's new MateBook X Pro, however. Cutting right to the chase, the MateBook X Pro challenges the notion that you have to pay a hefty premium for a high-end ultraportable, one that brings all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a pricier laptop, while maintaining a thin and light profile. Typically, the compromises... Read more...
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