review Stories October 18

GOOG: 795.26

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We didn’t expect it to come as soon as it did, but Google’s first solely self-branded smartphone, the Google Pixel, is finally here. In light of how mature the smartphone market has become in the last few years, it’s hard for a new phone to stand out as something that takes anything more than a few baby steps forward. This phone isn’t that much different. But what is different is that it isn’t just any Android phone made by one of Google’s partners. This one is Google’s, and that’s special.

It’s special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It’s special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It’s special because it has a great camera. It’s special because it’s the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It’s special because it’s the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It’s special because it’s the best portal to Google’s services, full stop.

But most of all, I think the Pixel is special because it seems to me that Google’s newly-rebirthed smartphone line has a lot of potential. Yes, there are some things that this phone doesn’t have. But what phone doesn’t? Let’s talk about what the Pixel has going for it…

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review Stories September 12

GOOG: 769.02

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I hope that a day will come that I can review a Huawei/Honor device and not mention that software is its biggest weakness. Unfortunately, today is not that day. But I have good news. If the Honor 8 wasn’t a remarkable step forward for Huawei’s millennial-focused sub-brand, I probably wouldn’t be reviewing it. But here I am. I’m reviewing it. And that’s because it’s worth talking about…

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review Stories August 26

GOOG: 769.54

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I’m already late to the game on this one, but now seemed just as good a time as ever to share some of my thoughts on Sony’s mid-2016 flagship performer. Basically, this is the Xperia X with a Snapdragon 820. We already gave you our full review of the Xperia X, and most of what we said there rings true with this phone. It’s a nice handset with a high-quality build and all the features you would expect from a smartphone. Here’s what stands out to me about this version of the device, though…

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review Stories August 19

GOOG: 775.42

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Admittedly, I haven’t had enough time with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to be able to get used to it as a daily driver. As with all of the other reviews including Dom’s, we’re under a week in over here. But that doesn’t mean this thing hasn’t blown me away in a lot of respects. Nor does it mean that it is flawless.

Today is the first day you can pick it up at Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T in the US and through your favorite retailers, and I know a lot of you have itchy trigger fingers.

The question: Should you get this smartphone? expand full story

review Stories August 16

GOOG: 777.14

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Meet Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. We recently got a hands-on look at it at the official press event, but now it’s time to dig a little deeper. After our initial impressions of the phone, we decided to get a better perspective on everything involved here and let you know if Samsung’s latest and greatest is worth your hard-earned cash…

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review Stories August 1

GOOG: 772.88

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When you think of  ZTE, generally it’s not a name you’d associate with flagship devices. Despite its best efforts, the Chinese company just can’t get away from lower-end budget smartphones. But with its latest device, the ZTE ZMax Pro, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Just a few weeks ago the company launched the 6-inch, spec-heavy mid-range smartphone that would be impressive for most price points, but at just $99, it blew us away. I’ve been using the ZMax Pro for the past couple of weeks, and now I’m here to find out if it’s actually a good deal…

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