Review
LG G3 Review

LG G3 review: Android has a new king

By on July 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM.

LG G3 review: Android has a new king

As I walked through Times Square on my way to the office one day last week, something odd caught my eye that made me do a double take. A sizable line had formed outside of the AT&T store as it prepared to open. I have seen people line up outside of that store before, of course, but typically only when a fresh batch of recently launched iPhones is waiting on the other side of the doors.

This time, however, people weren’t lining up to buy a new iPhone. They were lining up for the just-released LG G3.

And truth be told, this is a phone worth lining up for. More →

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Review
HTC One Mini 2 Review

HTC One mini 2 review

By on May 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM.

HTC One mini 2 review

Most of the excitement in the global smartphone market is found at the high end, where premium handsets packed to the gills with cutting-edge technology battle for consumers’ attention in developed markets. As we have now established, however, that’s not where smartphone sales growth is currently coming from.

Apple sells more and more iPhones each year and yet its global smartphone market share continues to sink. Why is that? Because despite how huge Apple’s iPhone sales figures are, they’re not growing anywhere near as fast as combined sales of entry-level and mid-range phones.

This is where growth is coming from and if HTC hopes to someday return to its former glory, it had better be prepared to battle in these cutthroat market segments.

At the low end, we have no idea if or when HTC plans to compete with next-generation handsets. In the mid-range though, HTC recently announced its new HTC One mini 2. More →

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Review
Huawei Ascend P7 Review

Huawei Ascend P7 review: The closest Android will ever get to having an iPhone

By on May 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM.

Huawei Ascend P7 review: The closest Android will ever get to having an iPhone

Love it or hate it, there’s no question that Apple’s iPhone lineup brings some things to the table that rival devices do not. Specifically, Apple’s designs and its attention to detail are completely unmatched. There are some Android phones with gorgeous designs and there are some with sleek software enhancements, but none offer the total package that Apple’s iPhone affords.

It stands to reason, then, that rival companies would copy the iPhone in some ways. There is nothing wrong with that of course, and Apple has copied various things from other companies as well. The iOS Notification Center was inspired by Android, Apple’s new app switcher interface in iOS 7 is a blatant webOS ripoff, and the company’s iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and 5s all bear a striking resemblance to an LG smartphone that debuted in 2006.

It’s the nature of the beast.

Of course, many Android phone makers take inspiration from different aspects of Apple’s iPhone — not just Samsung. Try as they might, however, no other company has been able to offer an end-to-end user experience that even approaches the iPhone.

Until now, perhaps. More →

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Review
Xperia Z2 Tablet Review

Review: Can Sony’s pricey new Xperia tablet really take on the iPad?

By on May 2, 2014 at 2:07 PM.

Review: Can Sony’s pricey new Xperia tablet really take on the iPad?

When it comes to the tablet market, Sony seems to be stuck in neutral. We previewed the Xperia Tablet Z over a year ago to find that Sony hadn’t yet found an angle for its lineup, resulting in an unremarkable device priced far above its more enticing competition. A year later, Sony is making a bold bet with the Xperia Z2 Tablet — it bet that it can go head to head with Apple’s market-leading iPad Air. More →

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Featured
Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The worst thing about the Samsung Galaxy S5

By on April 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM.

The worst thing about the Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 might be a brand new smartphone, but it’s also quite familiar in a number of ways. The look of the phone is very similar to the Galaxy S4 aside from the new texture on the back, and the software is unmistakably similar as well. In fact, I noted in a recent post that the best thing about the Galaxy S5 just so happens to be its gorgeous display. The screen, of course, was also the best thing about last year’s Galaxy S4.

As it turns out, these two flagship phones also have something else in common: Their worst feature. More →

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Featured
Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S5

By on April 14, 2014 at 11:10 AM.

The best thing about the Samsung Galaxy S5

It feels like we have been waiting forever for the Galaxy S5 to launch. The release of Samsung’s new flagship smartphone actually comes less than a year after the Galaxy S4 first debuted, but to be frank, the S4 was a pretty big let down. It was a jack of all trades, master of just one: the display.

Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2013 wasn’t a bad smartphone, per se, but it really wasn’t anything special. And it certainly wasn’t the envelope-pusher we were looking for from the top smartphone vendor in the world.

But with the Galaxy S5, Samsung tried even harder to wow us. More →

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Review
HTC One M8 Review

HTC One (M8) review: The smartphone that changes everything… again

By on March 25, 2014 at 11:45 AM.

HTC One (M8) review: The smartphone that changes everything… again

It is considered poor form to begin a review with the conclusion, but there’s really no reason to drag this out: the HTC One (M8) is the best Android phone the world has ever seen. Period. Full stop. Of this, there is no doubt. In many ways, in fact, it is the best smartphone the world has ever seen. From the design of the device to the power of its components and everything in between, HTC’s new One better than its predecessor. And its predecessor, as you might recall, was the best all-around Android phone the world had ever seen last year.

Actually, it might still have been the best all-around Android phone in the world until about 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

With all that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the new HTC One (M8) smartphone to find out exactly what makes it the best Android phone in the world. And just as important, of course, is the question of whether or not being the best will draw away enough Samsung and Apple customers to finally help HTC get back on track.

More →

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Review
South Park: The Stick of Truth Review

Review: ‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’ for PlayStation 3

By on March 4, 2014 at 9:20 AM.

Review: ‘South Park: The Stick of Truth’ for PlayStation 3

South Park: The Stick of Truth is, among other things, the best episode of South Park I’ve seen in years. Matt Stone and Trey Parker went as hands-on with this project as they have with anything outside of the actual cartoon, and it shows. It’s belligerent, horrific, hysterical and it feels fresh. But woven between the hysteria, there’s a game that you’re going to have to play. So is that game any good? More →

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Review
Thief Review

Review: Thief for the PlayStation 4

By on February 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM.

Review: Thief for the PlayStation 4

Thief might be the fastest-paced stealth game I’ve ever played. Garrett, the master thief and reluctant protagonist, is swift, agile and sturdy, three traits that you’ll have to take advantage of in order to survive while sneaking, climbing and fighting your way through the streets of The City and its bordering regions. More →

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Review
Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Review

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) review

By on February 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U) review

In many ways Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is as faithful of a sequel to the beloved Super Nintendo series as any fan could hope for, but despite the eye-popping visuals and controller-clenchingly tense mine cart rides, this sequel comes apart at the seams. More →

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Review
Jawbone UP24 Review

Review: The best fitness band in the world is one I swore I’d never even try

By on February 21, 2014 at 11:15 AM.

Review: The best fitness band in the world is one I swore I’d never even try

The Jawbone UP was the best fitness tracker I had ever used. From design, to accuracy, to the accompanying software, everything about the UP was fantastic… except for the quality control standards employed by Jawbone and its manufacturing partner. After going through five defective UP bands in the course of seven months, I had no choice but to give up on Jawbone’s UP and switch to the vastly inferior Fitbit Flex. At the time, I also said I probably wouldn’t try any future fitness bands Jawbone might release, since my experience with the UP was so disappointing.

Well, it turns out I lied. More →

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Review
Sony Xperia Z1S Review

Sony Xperia Z1S review: Does the Uncarrier finally have its Unphone?

By on January 23, 2014 at 11:40 AM.

Sony Xperia Z1S review: Does the Uncarrier finally have its Unphone?

It’s understandable if you missed the unveiling of Sony’s revamped Xperia Z1S for T-Mobile in early January. After all, it was buried in a sea of seemingly unending announcements from this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show. But if you did miss Sony’s latest and greatest flagship Android phone, it’s worth doubling back. Sony’s presence in the U.S. smartphone market is hardly where the company wants it to be, and the Xperia Z1S represents Sony’s first effort of 2014 as the Japan-based consumer tech giant looks to gain momentum around the world.

Sony said during CES 2014 that it will aim to double its smartphone sales volume over the next two years. A T-Mobile exclusive almost certainly won’t go very far in helping the company achieve that goal.

But interestingly, the Z1S may actually be a fantastic fit for T-Mobile. The company brands itself as the “Uncarrier” — a scrappy underdog looking to shake up the industry. T-Mobile is not without its problems, of course, but as we learned recently when CEO John Legere announced that T-Mobile added 4.4 million net new subscribers last year, its strategy is working very well.

Could the Sony Xperia Z1S be the Uncarrier’s “Unphone” — a handset that comes from out of nowhere, defies convention and finds success against all odds? More →

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“If you’ve already nailed down a use-case scenario for a tablet in your life, this one’s worth the premium.”
— Darren Murph
Review
iPad Mini Retina Review

Retina iPad mini: The best tablet you can buy, but do you really need one?

By on December 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM.

Retina iPad mini: The best tablet you can buy, but do you really need one?

Listen, I don’t have the greatest history when it comes to tablet relationships. We have… a checkered past. I was pitched on this fabled third device long ago, but I can’t help but feel that we’ve all been hoodwinked. I’ve found myself maximally productivity on a flash-based laptop, and on the go, with a phone at least keeps me in the game. I’ve been struggling to figure out how a tablet fits into such a workflow for years, and after living for a while without one, I talked myself into giving the whole thing another whirl. More →

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