Review: Google’s Nexus 6 sets a new standard for Android devices (Video)

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Demand for Nexus devices has always been crazy, but this year Google took it a step further in every department and created somewhat of a super-smartphone. Most of what makes the Nexus 6 so great stems from its pure Android experience. Essentially, you’re experiencing this mobile OS exactly as it was crafted and straight from the source.

Because of Android’s openness, many smartphone makers dilute Android with their own custom skins. This is mostly great for consumers as skins add features that help create the core concepts of devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note line, but there’s almost always a tradeoff. You’re sacrificing overall speed and fluidity thanks to the resources being consumed.

Google’s Nexus lineup is a series of devices without all of the added bulk. This is the cleanest Android experience you can find. While it may not be as feature-rich when compared to other devices and their skins, it might be the best Android experience you can get…

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Google Nexus Player review: stuck in the middle

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For the past several years Google has been winning. The company is responsible for the world’s most popular search engine. Its Android mobile operating system has the lion’s share of worldwide smartphone shipments and the tech juggernaut’s advertising platform generates gigantic sums of money every year. So when a habitual winner like Google actually loses, it typically doesn’t handle defeat too well, and despite all of the company’s accolades, it’s been getting clobbered in one area for almost four years straight.

Google has successfully captured your desktop’s homepage and managed to work its software into the pockets of millions of people, however the Internet’s reigning search king has continuously struggled to find success in one very critical space — the living room.

Since 2010, Google has been aggressively trying to attach itself to your television, and despite several software and hardware revisions, the company has continued to come up short. However, when Google revealed Android TV during its annual I/O developer conference earlier this year, hordes of cord-cutting couch potatoes were optimistic about what the future might hold.

Fast-forward to today and Google’s first Android TV-powered device has been deemed fit for full duty by the company’s leadership. But does Google’s Nexus Player have enough bells and whistles to stand out in an extremely crowded space loaded with cable boxes, game consoles and other TV-friendly contraptions?

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Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

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Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform. Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: The best phablet on the block (Video)

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The industry’s most popular large screen smartphone is back again and better than ever, but will “better” be enough to call it your own? Today we’re getting into our full review of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 to find out if this phablet king can hold the throne.

Just prior to the Galaxy Note 4, we had the Galaxy Alpha. This was Samsung’s first attempt at a metal-framed smartphone and gave me an optimistic view on the future of its mobile devices. So as you can imagine, when the Galaxy Note 4 was announced, my optimism grew tenfold. Samsung is building things better, there’s no doubt about it…

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Review: Living with Android Wear and the LG G Watch (Video)

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When Android Wear was first announced, I was very impressed. Aside from Google Glass, Android Wear and its associated devices is Google’s first major step into the wearables market for consumers. Let’s be honest, Glass came around a bit too early and it’s definitely not ready for mass consumption.

LG, Samsung, and Motorola jumped on the Android Wear train and so far, we’ve seen a couple of different smartwatches hit the market. The G Watch and Gear Live are our first Android Wear devices and I’ve been getting to know them over the past few weeks. This my experience…

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OnePlus One review: A true flagship killer that’s second to none (Video)

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There’s nothing worse than wanting something you can’t have. Unfortunately, that happens to be the case for the best Android smartphone on the market. Of course, “best” is completely subjective, but there are a lot of factors that make the OnePlus One my go-to Android smartphone and 2014′s “flagship killer.” It may not have everything for everyone, but it has everything I need and all for half the price of the current competition.

When the OnePlus One was introduced, it dropped jaws within the Android community. It’s powered by the latest and greatest specifications on the market and priced at just $299 for the 16GB model and $349 for the 64GB model. The catch is, you’ll need an invitation to buy it. Yup, that’s right an invitation, but we’ll talk about that more in a little bit…

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Review: A month with the Samsung Galaxy S5 (Video)

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With the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S5, it was clear that the company had decided against reinventing the wheel. The Galaxy S line has been evolving for quite some time now, and more than ever, the smallest refinements make the biggest difference.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to really put the Galaxy S5 through its paces. This flagship device may seem like a minor update from the outside, but as always, it’s important to not judge a book by its cover.

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HTC One (M8) Review: It’s almost perfect (Video)

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The HTC One (M8) has been one of the most anticipated smartphone releases in 2014. Following the success of the One (M7) wasn’t going to be an easy task, but somehow the company pulled it off. Well, almost. This is nearly one of the best smartphones for your money, but there are a few things that hold the HTC One (M8) just inches away from Android perfection.

With the M8, you’re getting an even better build quality than its predecessor. HTC claims that the One (M8) has a body constructed of 90 percent metal, which is a 20 percent boost over last year’s model. There is nothing about this device that feels cheap. It’s an epic win in the quality department. It may be a little slippery (and look like a stainless steel refrigerator), but overall I’m very happy with the build quality here.

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Review roundup: LG G Flex bends, flops, still feels like a prototype

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Reviews for one of the first smartphones with a truly flexible, curved OLED, the recently announced LG G Flex, have just started hitting online. While the first reviews seem to be mixed, the recurring theme seems to be that the curved display and overall hardware experience doesn’t justify the nearly $1000 price tag. Most reviewers describe it as still feeling like a proof of concept, despite mostly decent reviews on the rest of the hardware and software experience.  The LG G Flex is still only available Korea, but it will soon be launching in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Europe. Head below to get a taste of what the reviews are saying:  Read more

Samsung Galaxy NX Review: The first professional-level Android powered camera

As a blogger, taking great, print-quality photos when covering events or doing reviews is a necessity. So carrying around a big DSLR or comparable digital camera system has become a necessary evil. I say evil because the camera world and I just don’t understand each other. The camera market has become stale and full of devices that cater to professional photographers, while seemingly ignoring the incredible innovations that have happened with mobile devices in recent years. Just because pro photogs want their tried and trusted physical controls and pricey glass, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for beautiful touch screens with easy to use UIs, WiFi, LTE connectivity, USB charging, and everything we love about the app and developer ecosystem that we get with Android.

Samsung is the only company that gets it: It’s the first to integrate what is essentially a full Android smartphone on the back of a full fledged, professional mirrorless camera system. It’s the big brother, high-end version of the Galaxy Camera (review) point and shoot it introduced last year.  It’s an intriguing concept and certainly where I hoped camera manufacturers would look to when attempting to take their professional product lines out of the stone age, so I’ve been more than excited to have the opportunity to put the device to the test over the last few weeks.

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