Hayato has been blogging about mobile technology for over five years, and following for many more. In the past, he’s worked for Pocketnow and Tech4Geeks, reviewing smartphones and covering trade shows such as CES and IFA. Hayato now provides coverage for 9to5Google, including news, editorials, and videos on the latest mobile technology.
The Galaxy Note 7 was poised to be one of 2016’s best phones, but when a dangerous hardware defect sent some models up in flames, Samsung was quickly forced to pull it from the market. It was eventually revived in the form of the Galaxy Note Fan Edition, but limited availability and an aging design kept it from being the resurgence to the Note brand Samsung needed. Enter the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung modernized its latest flagship by bringing over design elements of its hugely popular Galaxy S8 and S8+, creating a new Note that feels fit for 2017. At a starting price of nearly $1000, however, it’s the priciest Note yet, and with so many new competing flagships on the horizon, it’s putting longtime fans and power users in a tough spot.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is finally available in stores, marking the start of the Note brand’s comeback after last year’s recall disasters. It’s one of the most powerful phones on the market, but it’s also one of the more complicated ones. We compiled a short list of some of the first things you’ll want to do with your Galaxy Note 8 after taking it out of its box.
Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!
The Moto Z2 Play and Moto Z2 Force are already great phones in their own regards, but the whole reason to own a Moto Z device is to gain access to the Moto Mod ecosystem. There are plenty of great Mod accessories ranging from speakers to battery packs and 360° cameras, but the Moto Gamepad might be the most entertaining Mod yet.
The smartwatch craze has seemingly already come and gone, but not everybody is as quick to dismiss the convenience of notifications at a glance. Michael Kors is just one in a long list of well-established designer brands that decided to start making smartwatches, and they’ve sent us their new Sofie and Grayson models to take a look at.
The Galaxy Note 8 is arguably one of the most beautifully designed phones of 2017, but that beauty (along with features like wireless charging) comes at the cost of durability with a glass back. As always, there are hundreds of accessory brands making cases for Samsung’s new flagship, and Tech21 sent us a few to check out.
In an attempt to bring AR to more users, Google recently announced ARCore, which should allow for similar augmented reality capabilities without the need for specialized hardware, and thanks to the developers at Signal Garden, we have our first look at what it can do.
The Galaxy Note 8 is one of the most highly anticipated smartphone releases of 2017, and after taking a first look at it last month, we finally have a press kit. Join us in the unboxing experience and find out what you can expect to see when your Note 8 preorder arrives!
The LG V30 was announced earlier this week, and it’s already been met with some mixed feelings. While many (myself included) are excited to try out its professional-grade video capabilities, many longtime fans of the V series are disappointed by LG ditching the iconic secondary displays and rugged designs of previous generations.
No matter your feelings on the V30, though, it’s gearing up to be one of the best phones of 2017, and this week’s Friday 5 takes a look at some of the reasons you might want to consider getting your preorder in.
Good phones are getting cheap, and Amazon is helping make them even cheaper with its range of Prime Exclusive Phones, offering discounts on already-inexpensive handsets in exchange for preloaded Amazon software.
The Prime Exclusive lineup features popular budget phones like the Nokia 6 and Moto E4, and the new addition of the Alcatel A50 brings budget modularity to the masses.
The Galaxy Note 8 is gearing up to be Samsung’s best phone yet, but that power and design comes at a cost. Starting at nearly $1000 before tax in the US, the Galaxy Note 8 is significantly more expensive than last year’s short-lived Galaxy Note 7 and the hugely popular Galaxy S8+. So why should you spend the extra money on this new superphone?
Between Samsung and LG, there are plenty of affordable 360° video cameras these days, but they’re all pretty frustrating to set up. You always need to carry around a separate device, connect it to your phone via WiFi Direct, fuss with an additional app…
None of it is as simple to use as the Moto 360 Camera Mod, but simplicity doesn’t mean much if it comes at the cost of quality, so we wanted to see what footage from the 360 Camera Mod looks like.
When it comes to Google’s Tango platform for augmented reality (formerly known as Project Tango), there aren’t a whole lot of options. In fact, up until now, the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro was the only device that supported Tango, but ASUS announced its own entry into the AR front with the ZenFone AR earlier this year at CES 2017.
Skip forward half a year, and the ZenFone AR is finally available to the masses, and even has backing from a major US carrier. Combined with its support for Google’s Daydream VR platform, the ZenFone AR could potentially be the darling phone for altered perception enthusiasts, but a proof of concept device may not be the best option for most people.
Google Home has come a long way since it launched back in October of last year. The air freshener-shaped Assistant speaker was initially criticized for being a little lacking in features compared to Amazon’s competing Echo collection. However, ten months of software updates have made it a much more capable product than ever before.
Back in the days of Nexus, Google phones were always criticized for having poor cameras, but all of that changed when the Pixel came out last year and soared near the top of smartphone camera rankings. A large part of that is thanks to the Pixel’s HDR+ capabilities, which was incredibly quick to process and gave terrific results without having to dabble into manual controls.
Thanks to the efforts of a developer named B-S-G, the Google Camera app has been ported to non-Google devices, enabling the Pixel’s terrific HDR+ feature on just about any modern phone.
We’ve already reviewed the OnePlus 5 and written plenty of editorials about it, touching on how some of the team feels about the phone and why despite some pretty rough issues, it’s still my daily driver. If you’re as fond of the phone as I am, but haven’t had the chance to pick one up yet, your options just expanded a bit with the addition of a new Soft Gold finish, and we’ve got our hands on a unit to take a close look.
Motorola has gone through a lot of changes over the last few years. The company was acquired by Google back in 2011, then sold to Lenovo just three years later. Where Moto phones used to allow you to choose colors and materials, these days you customize your phone with different Mods.
Ownership and phone strategies aside, though, Motorola is still largely the same ambitious company it’s always been. The brand that invented the cell phone as we know it today has always stood out as one of the few Midwest-based tech companies in an industry largely dominated by Silicon Valley. Being a Midwesterner myself, I drove up to Motorola’s headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, where they graciously gave me a tour of their facilities.
Google Tango is a powerful platform for augmented reality, but if you’ve never experienced AR before, you might not know where to start. Thankfully, the Tango app makes it easy to find new AR-compatible apps, ranging from games to stores and productivity tools.
ASUS announced the ZenFone AR all the way back in January at CES 2017. Since then, the company has hyped the phone up quite a bit, hosting several launch events and allowing attendees to spend some time with the phone. The device, however, has just become available for preorder now, and we were luckily able to secure of a unit of our own. After nearly seven months, it’s time to finally see what ASUS can do with Google’s Tango augmented reality platform.
One of the best parts of using a third-party launcher (and even some default launchers these days) is getting to use icon packs. With so many options on the Play Store, it’s easy to find great icon packs, but discovering some of your favorite apps missing from the pack is an all-too-common occurrence. Thankfully, Adapticons makes it easier than ever to make your own icons.