Feature December 30, 2016

GOOG: 771.82

-10.97
Stock Chart

We once looked on wearables as the future, but now that they’re actually here, we haven’t been quite as enthused. Things started off well with various smartwatches from a variety of OEMs, but one-by-one those companies are either pulling out of the smartwatch market temporarily, shifting focus to other platforms or form factors, or closing their doors entirely. However, there is still hope.

We’ve long recommended Google’s Android Wear as one of the best wearable platforms, but sometimes it’s easy to forget it’s not the only one, nor is it for everyone. I’m here to tell you that Samsung’s Tizen has quietly grown into a fantastic option. Last year we saw it make a splash with the unique Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic, but this year, we have the Gear S3 and, spoiler alert, it’s fantastic…

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Feature December 14, 2016

GOOG: 797.07

0.97
Stock Chart

Tablets are a slowly dying form factor, but for many, a cheap tablet is a fantastic option for getting things done on the go or just consuming media. Not everyone wants to spend hundreds on a tablet, though.

About a year ago, Amazon stepped in to fix that problem by debuting a 7-inch Android tablet that cost just $50, and wasn’t just total crap. However, there were still some big caveats aside from the specs. The tablet ran fine and the software was OK, but its performance degraded over time and the lack of the Google Play Store was a pain.

Then, things all changed when Barnes and Noble, seemingly out of thin air, introduced the NOOK 7, another small Android tablet with Google Play, decent specs, and a price tag of just $50. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks testing it out, and I’ve been pretty impressed.

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Feature December 10, 2016

GOOG: 789.29

12.87
Stock Chart

A few years ago when Google announced Project Tango, it was something impressive, allowing our devices to see the world around us with detail they never could before. However, it felt like something so futuristic that we’d never see it. Then, Google released a 7-inch Tango developer kit to show off the tech. It was cool, but expensive and not at all aimed at consumers.

Then, in early 2016, Google and Lenovo announced plans to release the world’s first consumer device running Tango, and needless to say, we were pretty excited.

Now, that device is here ─ the Lenovo Phab2 Pro. I’ve been using this giant, powerful, impressive phone for the past several days, so let’s answer the question, who should actually buy it?

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9to5mac 

Feature December 9, 2016

GOOG: 789.29

12.87
Stock Chart

I’ve talked about this time and time again, but it seems today Google is giving me another opportunity: smartwatches just aren’t compelling. I haven’t always been this skeptical (many will know that I was on the “wearables are the next big thing” bandwagon for quite some time), but they’ve become little more than a way for smartphone makers to upsell you on an add-on. I don’t entirely hate them as products, but they’re not going to become — at least in their current form — anything close to a fundamentally useful new computing platform the way smartphones did.

And Google just so happened to announce its new “Magic Minute” marketing campaign for Android Wear today, and it only further proves to me that these watches just don’t have anything close to a killer app. In this new campaign, Google has enlisted a bunch of popular online figures and YouTubers to make one minute videos showcasing their use cases for Android Wear. But really, they’re videos showing some really cool things that they already do in real life without a smartwatch, and they are using their Android Wear watch to… time themselves.

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Feature December 6, 2016

GOOG: 759.11

-3.41
Stock Chart

I typically review Android phones, so looking at Google’s new non-phone products this year — including its Daydream VR headset, Google Home, and now Google Wifi — has been a nice change of pace. Over the last month, though, these posts have only gotten further and further from being phone reviews. The Daydream View uses an Android phone to function, while the Home is an always-listening Chromecast without the screen — although it functions very similarly to using Assistant on the Pixel.

The Google Wifi, as you probably already know, is a router. It’s what Google hopes will replace that little gray box that probably sits in the corner of your office, collecting dust since the cable guy came a couple years ago. Thankfully this isn’t just any router, though. This is the successor to the OnHub, and that means we get an attractive design, as well as a delightfully user-friendly app that lets you “set it and forget it” if you want to, but puts all the most important features at your fingertips if you ever need them…

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Feature November 26, 2016

GOOG: 761.68

0.69
Stock Chart

If you’re looking to buy a phone for someone else, chances are you’d rather not go all-out and get a top-tier phone on a contract. Rather, especially if you’re buying for an Android fan, it would make more sense to just buy an affordable unlocked device. And on this side of things, that’s fine because in many cases you’ll be getting the same capabilities as those more expensive options…

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9to5toys 

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