review Stories December 31, 2019

One of the hallmarks of Google Stadia is the ability to game on traditional devices like computers and TVs along with more portable form factors like a Pixel phone. To make the most of playing Stadia on your Pixel, you’ll need a phone mount for your controller. But is the official Made for Google Stadia Controller CLAW from Power Support worth your money?

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review Stories April 6, 2019

Each year, Chromebooks become thinner and more portable, but this unfortunately comes at the cost of once-indispensable ports like HDMI and Ethernet. Some devices, like the Pixelbook, don’t even have so much as a full USB-A port.

These can, of course, each be replaced with a separate dongle, but many Chromebooks have only two USB-C ports, which would make it impossible to use two dongles and charge simultaneously. The Moshi Symbus Q, which plugs in with just one USB-C port, is able to replace all of these dongles, charge your Chromebook, and wirelessly charge your phone simultaneously.

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review Stories March 30, 2019

As Chrome OS continues to improve and offer consistent features and experience across all devices (with the exception of the Pixel line’s special treatment), the only real difference between two Chromebooks is the external and internal hardware. The Acer Chromebook 514 has hardware that certainly sets itself apart from the pack, but not always in a good way.

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review Stories October 22, 2018

HMD is doing an excellent job with the Nokia brand and that continues with the Android One powered Nokia 7.1. The handset doesn’t try to introduce anything majorly groundbreaking or particularly innovative, instead, it does a whole lot to a high enough standard that could make it a great purchase for a substantial subsection of the public.

Having had plenty of time to make a decision on the handset, I’m almost certain that this could be one of the best sub-$400 smartphones on the market. With the software update security net of Android One on top of a solid build and quality experience, anyone looking for a great backup or an Android device for a tech-fearing loved one, the Nokia 7.1 deserves some serious attention. expand full story

review Stories May 17, 2018

Ed. Note: After publication, Acer changed the price from $250 to $270 which is only $20 more but quite a bit in this budget segment. 

The Chromebook train keeps on trucking with Google’s partner companies turning out new, better specced, higher quality devices every few weeks it seems. Today we are taking a quick look at Acer’s new $270 fanless 4GB Chromebook 11 (CB311-8H-C5DV) in an Indigo Blue matte finish. It puts a speedy higher end 4GB/32GB SSD storage into a durable package kids will love.

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review Stories October 27, 2017

LG has a funny habit of announcing new phones way ahead of their release, then losing excitement from the would-be buyers who get tired of waiting and decide to buy something else. That’s a shame, because LG has really started to offer some phenomenal flagship devices.

That couldn’t be more true of the V30, which we’ve already had for months in the forms of both retail and preview units, but the phone only just launched in the US over the past week, and you know what? The V30 is the best phone LG has ever made, and I’d even say it’s one of the best Android phones of the year — with some caveats, of course.

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review Stories July 13, 2017

Sony has never had a strong presence in the Western smartphone market, but that doesn’t mean its phones aren’t worth your time. The Japanese company was one of the first to introduce water resistance on a smartphone, as well as a two-stage camera button (at least on the Android front), and now it’s the first and only manufacturer with a 4K phone.

These days, 1080p is still perfectly fine for the vast majority of users, and a lot of people can’t even tell the difference between 1080p and QHD on such a small screen anyway. So why is Sony cramming even more pixels into its latest superphone? Well, simply put, because it can.

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review Stories July 2, 2017

OnePlus has a reputation for making high-performance phones — self-branded “flagship killers,” at abnormally low prices. Those prices have climbed with each new phone the company puts out, and the OnePlus 5 sits in the same price range as some “true” flagships like the LG G6.

That might not necessarily be a bad thing, though. The higher cost also means OnePlus was able to put better specs in the 5, and it’s starting to look less like a flagship killer … and more like a proper flagship.

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review Stories May 26, 2017

When ZTE released the ZMax Pro last year, we were very impressed with its performance and features — especially for a device as inexpensive as $99. It had some minor drawbacks — a lack of fast charging and a subpar camera, to name a couple — but it was undeniably one of the best deals around for MetroPCS customers.

The Blade X Max is essentially a refreshed version of the ZMax Pro coming soon to Cricket Wireless, bringing updated specs and minor improvements to an almost identical design. While the price is slightly higher this time around, it’s still a great prepaid option for all the same reasons as its predecessor.

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review Stories February 22, 2017

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Smartwatches tend to range from incredibly basic, offering not much more than just notifications, to supercomputers that have everything built-in while also making the watch big and bulky. Ultimately, the smartwatch that most customers want is one that lands somewhere in between these two categories. The LG Watch Style is an Android Wear 2.0 device that resides more on the basic side of the spectrum but at least it does the basics extremely well…

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review Stories February 20, 2017

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I still look back to the day that Android Wear debuted as the one that I finally took wearable devices seriously. I remember getting excited that, finally, someone had gotten a wearable operating system right. However, after its debut, that shine quickly wore off. I found myself no longer enjoying the ecosystem I had come to love, and looking into other options.

Now, it’s 2017, and it’s been almost a year since Android Wear was on my wrist on a daily basis. In the time since, I’ve used a variety of wearables like the Pebble, the Ticwatch, and Samsung’s Gear S3, all while Google worked on Android Wear 2.0 in the background. Now, Android Wear 2.0 is here, and with it, new hardware.

Google partnered with LG for this new hardware, resulting in two new devices: the LG Watch Sport, and the LG Watch Style. For the past several days, I’ve been using the “flagship” of the two, the Watch Sport…

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review Stories December 30, 2016

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Smartwatches still haven’t proven themselves to me. I was quick to jump on the Android Wear train with the launch of the LG G Watch, but since, this Android Wear ride has been nothing more than mundane. I think one of the easiest ways to sum up my underwhelming experience is to say that this watch — the third generation of the budget “ZenWatch” line from ASUS — is almost functionally identical to the Moto 360 that launched two years ago.

That’s not to say that this watch is bad. It’s actually pretty good. It actually might be the best Android Wear device that you can buy right now. But for me, that’s not enough. It has required discipline to go out of my way for the last week to wear this thing, and I probably won’t keep wearing it every day from now on. But this review isn’t about me; don’t let me sway you if you’re dead-set on getting a smartwatch. If you are, the ASUS ZenWatch 3 might be a great option for you…

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review Stories December 6, 2016

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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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review Stories November 21, 2016

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Huawei is an ambitious company. Over the next two years, the Chinese behemoth plans to overtake Apple to become the second biggest smartphone maker on the planet. It sounds impossible, but considering the company took the number three spot in just four years, I would give them a chance at reaching that goal. Why?

Huawei releases a ton of phones each year and for the most part, they’re all pretty solid. We’ve reviewed several Huawei-made devices over the years including the Nexus 6PHonor 5X, Huawei P9, and most recently, the Honor 8. All four of these devices are fantastic in their own respects, but there’s a common flaw on all of them ─ the software, but we’ll get into that.

Now it’s 2016, Huawei isn’t slowing down in the slightest, and  we’ve got the Huawei Mate 9. Long story short, this phone is great, but let’s take a closer look…

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review Stories November 10, 2016

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Like many of you, I first heard of Google’s Daydream platform — then rumored to be called Android VR — back at Google I/O 2016. I had hope that Google would pull an actual VR headset out of a hat at its annual developer conference, but, unsurprisingly, that didn’t happen. I felt a bit let down when I learned that the company was rather going to double-down on Cardboard.

It seemed like a good idea in theory, but I was skeptical. Would smartphone-in-a-headset ever be a good enough experience for people to use VR for any longer than 10 minutes? Can phones handle captivating VR experiences? I’m still not completely sure, but having now spent a week with Daydream, I feel for now that the answer is going to be yes and no.

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review Stories October 18, 2016

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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, 2016

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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, 2016

xperia x perf

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, 2016

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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, 2016

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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, 2016

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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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review Stories July 13, 2016

Moto G4 Plus

I’ve long been a big fan of the Moto G since the original version, and I’ve used an iteration or two since its initial debut. The latest smartphones to bear the G-series moniker are the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus, and upon first glance, you might have trouble discerning which is which.

That’s because both smartphones look strikingly similar. In fact, the Moto G4 Plus is essentially a Moto G4 with a few notable enhancements. As such, I’ll make references to both devices throughout this post.

Starting at just $199.99 (or as low as $149.99 via Amazon Prime special offers), the Moto G4 family of smartphones are unlocked out of the box, and work with LTE on all US-carriers. Is the Lenovo-owned Motorola still on top of its game when it comes to offering great value to budget-minded customers?  expand full story

review Stories May 31, 2016

Crystal Shell Spigen

Last week, Spigen sent over a few cases for the recently released HTC 10. That was great news for me, as I’ve been extremely hesitant to use the device as my daily driver without some sort of protection.

If the HTC 10 wasn’t so pretty and well designed it wouldn’t matter, but it’s a beautiful smartphone that I wish to keep in tip-top shape. As such, I was more than happy to take Spigen’s offerings for a test drive. Take a look at our hands-on video to see the cases in action. expand full story

review Stories May 1, 2016

Samsung Gear VR Box

I’ve long be intrigued about the potential of virtual reality, and as such, I’ve been dying to try the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Sadly, I’ve yet to have the opportunity to try either.

I humbly settled on Google Cardboard, which is a nice novelty, but a less than ideal experience. For all that Google Cardboard lacked, it made it clear that VR is more than just a passing fad, and that it features some serious potential.

Google Cardboard, for all of its merits, doesn’t do the idea of VR justice. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend ~$1500 to enjoy a proper VR experience. Samsung’s Gear VR, an idea brought to reality via a partnership with VR pioneer Oculus, is a legitimate VR experience that makes me downright excited about the future of this technology.

Gear VR is far from perfect, but it’s a huge upgrade over Google Cardboard, and cheap enough to where the masses can both experience and validate it. expand full story

review Stories April 30, 2016

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In this week’s top Google stories: new Android device news surrounding the Galaxy Note 6, the death of the Nexus 9, Huawei’s upcoming P9 flagship, and more. And we went hands-on with LeEco’s new Snapdragon 820-powered Le Max2 w/ 6GB of RAM, the BlackBerry PRIV running Android Marshmallow, and the Oppo F1 Plus in this week’s top videos.

In addition, HP and Google launched the impressive new Chromebook 13, and a handful of notable Google and Android app updates arrived as well as news of a completely overhauled design for Instagram in testing.

Head below for all of the quick links to this weeks top stories, videos and more. 

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review Stories April 16, 2016

LG G5 Unboxing First Thoughts

After making a huge splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, the LG G5 is now available for purchase. Thanks to the handset’s modular design, which nabbed it an award for 2016’s best innovation of MWC, it stands out from the rest of this year’s flagship releases. Is the modular design enough to make the LG G5 a better buy than competing 2016 flagship offerings? expand full story

review Stories April 15, 2016

huawei-p9-review

2015 was an incredible year for Huawei. No Chinese OEM made as big a dent on the western smartphone market as the Nexus 6P makers did. There’s no denying that it released some fantastic hardware last year, including one of the best Android Wear smartwatches. The year culminated in the launch of the first Chinese-made Nexus phone. With all that success, there’s a lot riding on this year and, arguably, its first flagship of 2016: The P9.

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review Stories April 14, 2016

HTC 10 Review

As an “Apple guy” the HTC 10 has been the one smartphone that I’ve immediately identified with in the Android ecosystem. That’s not to say that there haven’t been other Android devices that I’ve enjoyed or wanted to use, but I’ve always connected with HTC.

That probably has something to do with the fact that the HTC Wizard was the first “smart” phone I’ve ever owned. That phone ran the now defunct Windows Mobile and featured a resistive touch screen. Needless to say, I’ve long been a fan of the Taiwanese company, and its passion and desire to put out well-designed products continues to resonate with me in 2016.

So it’s with great empathy and concern that HTC has been struggling as of late. To be honest, the HTC 10 feels like the company’s make or break — the major fork in the road, if you will.

It’s very possible that the HTC 10 will be the release that paves a path to one of two destinations. Fortunately, I can report that this is a phone that’s good enough to pave that path in the right direction. It’s a phone that lives up to its billing, and in many ways exceeds expectations. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s the best-looking and most complete HTC offering that we’ve seen thus far. expand full story

review Stories March 29, 2016

Nintendo’s first Android game Miitomo will launch in US & other countries on March 31

Update: The Miitomo app is now available on the Play Store.

The game is already available in Japan— that’s how Jeff managed to go hands-on in our first look video earlier this month— but today Nintendo confirmed that its first smartphone game, Miitomo, will officially arrive in the US on March 31st.

The game isn’t exactly bringing over any of Nintendo’s very popular first party franchises to Android devices, but it does feature known Mii characters and, as we noted in our review, the release feels very much like a Nintendo title:

When you first start Miitomo, it’s immediately recognizable as a Nintendo title. It feels like someone took my Nintendo Wii and shrunk it down to fit inside of my iPhone 6s. The music and sound effects, most notably, are of the characteristic Nintendo style. The Miis themselves look just like the Miis on the game-maker’s handheld and home consoles. The writing — witty, with just a hint of corniness thrown in for good measure — is classic Nintendo.

Nintendo noted in its press release today that Miitomo was downloaded over a million times in the first three days after launch in Japan and it also managed to become the #1 most downloaded free app in both the App Store and Google Play.

While Nintendo didn’t mention other countries by name today, it did say that “several other countries” will receive the title on the 31st alongside users in the US.

Check out our review of the game on our sister site 9to5Mac from earlier this month to get a first look before it officially arrives in the US and other countries on the 31st.

review Stories March 23, 2016

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Google is apparently kicking off the April Fools’ Day jokes super, super early this year. As has been noticed by several Android developers (via Android Police), the company seems to putting a new section called “Reviews from Space” in the developer console. The review, as you can see above, comes from one “Alex Scott”, sports 5 rocket ships, and was written on April 1st, 2029. Oh, and the device and physical conditions of the user are hilarious, too…

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review Stories March 18, 2016

lg g5

The LG G5 is a weird phone, but that’s not a bad thing. If you only look at the spec sheet, there’s not much about LG’s latest G series handset that sets it apart from the other Snapdragon 820-powered competition. On paper, it might as well just be another option available for those perusing the shelves at their local carrier store. It has USB Type-C, a fingerprint sensor on the back, a nice camera set up, and a decent build. All of these things are expected of a 2016 flagship.

But the weirdness of the LG G5 is what makes it intriguing to me. Samsung ditched its plastic in favor of a premium metal and glass build with last year’s handset, and this year LG is following in step with an obvious evolution in the design of the phone. The all-metal beast now just has a single lock button around the back, the volume rockers have been moved to the sides, there’s a dual-camera set up, and most of all, this phone is modular…

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review Stories February 25, 2016

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Compared to the dozens of other Android Wear watches we’ve seen over the last couple of years, the Moto 360 Sport is both different and the same. It’s different because, unlike the more popular classy offerings in the form of the Huawei Watch, the Fossil Q, the Moto 360 (2nd gen.), and others, the Moto 360 was made from the ground up with an active lifestyle in mind. It’s the same, however, in pretty much every other way imaginable… expand full story

review Stories February 2, 2016

nexus 6p

One of Google’s latest slogans created to showcase the essence of Android in a nutshell spells: “Be together, not the same.” It is both a testament to the company’s general embracement of diversity and arguably one of the most precise ways to describe the OS as a whole. Fans, however, have long had trouble trying to identify the ‘ultimate’ Android device, despite the sea of devices whose supposed heterogeneity should guarantee a perfect match for everyone.

In an endless fight among the various OEMs to come out at the top of the critics’ — as well as the fans’ — rankings, one trend has notoriously stood out. People love Android devices because of the software (specifically its flexibility), and in spite of the countless efforts made by manufacturers to tweak and enhance the OS in order to make it better, the pure, unadulterated experience offered by Google has long been preferred by virtually every enthusiast.

Be it because of its simplicity and cleanliness, dedication to Google’s brand, or the sheer fact that updates are not hampered by carriers and other third parties, stock Android has always had the upper hand over UXs such as Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense — at least to those who even know what “TouchWiz” is. To this day, the problem with Google’s vanilla OS still resides almost solely in the hardware it runs on.

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review Stories January 15, 2016

honor 5x

I’ve been using my Honor 5X on and off for about a week now, and my thoughts on the phone pretty much align with what everyone else is saying: The phone’s significance is not that it’s an amazingly great phone, but that it’s yet another inch toward driving down the price of good phones in general.

In the future, a “budget” phone (you know, the $150 Moto Gs of the world) will offer everything that today’s flagships tout. They will be made of metal, they will have fingerprint sensors, they will have more than capable processors, they will have great cameras, and they will have good software.

To me, the Honor 5X is our first peek at such a future. But it’s definitely not without its flaws…

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review Stories December 5, 2015

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The Huawei Watch is quite possibly one of this year’s best surprises. We didn’t know Huawei was working on an Android Wear watch until they showed it to us at MWC, and when it did, we knew it was going to take some beating. Now that it’s on the market and I’ve had my time with the final, released product, I can safely say my first impressions have lasted. This watch is fantastic, and easily a contender for the title of “best Android Wear watch.”

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review Stories December 4, 2015

Google soon pushing a fix for false 1 star App Store ratings in search results

According to a post today on the Google Search Help Forum, Google will soon push a fix for a long standing search bug that falsely shows iTunes App Store listings as having 1 star ratings (via MacRumors). The problem was first reported by several iOS app developers in late October, and it seems Google has finally acknowledged the issue…

Today, a Community Manager on the forum said that a fix is scheduled for the next release:

Hi everyone, thanks for your continued reports here. As Spencer mentioned, he’s been following up thoroughly with us regarding this and I’m happy to share that we’ve been working hard on providing a solution, and a new fix has been scheduled for the next release, which should be rolling out early next week. Appreciate your patience here.

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Meet the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium. Sony’s smartphone lineup is known for a couple of things that make it popular: incredible cameras and waterproof durability. And it’s safe to say that both of those boxes are checked here. But this time around, Sony added a new category: stupidly high resolution. The Z5 Premium packs the first 4K display on a smartphone, but is it all worth the hype?

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review Stories November 25, 2015

lg v10

I used a Nexus 5X throughout most of October (and was very frustrated with it), but earlier this week the LG V10 showed up at my doorstep — and I just had to give it a shot for a couple weeks. Although my opinion may be skewed thanks to my less than joyful experience with the 5X, I actually found the LG V10 to be a contender for best handset I’ve used this year. It’s huge and heavy, yes, but at least for me, it’s more than feature-complete enough. And it’s especially great when you ditch LG’s software… expand full story

review Stories November 16, 2015

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I’ve been feeling up the Nexus 5X for about a week now, and I’m undoubtedly impressed. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a Nexus phone in this size range, and — as someone who used the Nexus 6 as his daily driver for a year — it’s really refreshing to once again have a handset to match my hands. That was the first thing I noticed about the Nexus 5X. I have little-to-no tolerance for third-party bloatware, skins, and gimmicks, and stock vanilla Android is almost a non-negotiable for me. And in this one area, the 5X — the 6P, as well — delivers, and that alone puts it in a league of its own in my eyes. That alone makes this phone, for me, one the cream of the Android crop.

But there’s one thing that has been a recurring theme in my first week with the 5X: performance. It’s just simply not good enough, and in 2015, OS stutters, frame rate drops, and lag while switching apps is quite simply inexcusable, (but especially in any phone that costs more than $100). It’s not that the 5X is a crippled experience — no, I’m sometimes in buttery smooth Android heaven. But in those times that my phone just slows to a crawl in the middle of my day, whatever the reason may be, I can’t help but want to throw the 5X at a wall…

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review Stories November 13, 2015

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A while back, we took a look at Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatch, which is probably the best oneswe’ve seen released in 2015. Well, Samsung actually made two versions of this watch. Meet the Gear S2 Classic and damn, does this thing look good… expand full story

review Stories November 12, 2015

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This is the OnePlus X and in some ways, it’s the best budget smartphone you can buy, but allow me to elaborate. This is basically a OnePlus One packed inside of a smaller and more premium body, for less money. With that, you’re getting mostly the same specifications and performance, which makes it a big win in my book. But before we get into everything you need to know, let’s get the truly negative things I have to say out of the way…

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review Stories November 10, 2015

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Meet the Blackberry Priv. And in case you’re curious, that stands for “Privilege of Privacy” thanks to its super strength data encryption. What makes this phone unique though comes from a couple of places. First off, it’s a BlackBerry phone running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and second, that physical keyboard. But before you instantly dismiss this new smartphone, let’s take a look under the hood…

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review Stories November 5, 2015

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This year Google decided to change things up a bit and release not one, but two new Nexus devices, with different builds, and different price points to satisfy a wider range of people. So there’s the LG-made Nexus 5X that starts at $379, which I recently reviewed, and then we have the Huawei-made Nexus 6P that starts at $499. These two options aren’t very far apart in terms of pricing, but the difference between them is pretty significant in a few areas…

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review Stories November 4, 2015

nexus-6p-usb-type-c

A Google engineer by the name of Benson Leung is one of the many proponents of USB Type-C at the Mountain View company, and he’s now doing us the kind service of reviewing dozens of third-party Type-C cables on Amazon. Why? Because some of the cables coming from a variety of manufacturers could be “dangerous,” according to Leung, and are likely less-than-functional… expand full story

review Stories November 2, 2015

It’s certainly not the only connected-security camera, but following Google’s acquisition of popular security cam maker Dropcam last year, the company has just launched a second-generation product with new features. The new product was re-envisioned by Google’s Nest team— the people building smart home accessories like the Nest thermostat and fire alarm— and in the process dropped the Dropcam branding and gained a few notable enhancements.

But is the new Nest Cam worth an upgrade from your current Dropcam setup? And how does the product compare to the other connected home security-cam and all-in-one security devices on the market? We’ve been testing out Nest Cam since its release a few weeks back to find out. expand full story

review Stories October 29, 2015

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Google’s Nexus 5X may not the best budget smartphone you can buy, but it’s the only one that will appeal to purists out there. Google’s LG-made Nexus 5X is definitely worthy of some attention, but these days it’s a tough market out there for a flagship with a midrange price. The question is, can its $379 price tag win your heart and the cash in your wallet?

The Nexus 5X is the first budget Nexus we’ve seen in quite a while, the smallest as well, and as the name suggests, it’s the sequel to the Nexus 5. With that, you’ll find a very familiar plastic build with updated internals and a few extra surprises…

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review Stories October 21, 2015

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Android tablets are something of an unusual product. No one’s quite convinced that Google’s operating system has been adequately optimized for big displays, but slowly and surely, it’s improving. One thing you can say about them is that they’re normally good value for money. Never has that been truer than with the ASUS ZenPad S 8.0. It’s a small, portable tablet that only costs $200 and has a 2K resolution screen. For the money, there isn’t too much to complain about…

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review Stories October 5, 2015

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Today we’re taking a closer look at Samsung’s Gear S2. This new smartwatch was announced just last month during IFA 2015 and has been the talk of the town lately. We took a first look at it not too long ago and compared it with one of the other top smartwatches on the market, but it’s finally available to purchase. Either way, the Gear S2 is shaping up to be one of the top dogs in smartwatches thanks to some of its unique features — which surprisingly have nothing to do with Android Wear. Yep… this little guy is running Tizen and for the first time, I absolutely love it…

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