Review
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review

Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge dares to be different, but does it innovate?

By on November 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM.

Review: Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge dares to be different, but does it innovate?

Samsung doesn’t need saving just yet, but most people seemed to laugh it off last year when I said that the South Korea-based giant was quickly headed toward a big mess. In developed markets, customers flocked to Samsung’s giant phones and their magnificent displays. In regions where mid-range and low-end phones are more prominent, Samsung flooded the market with dozens of affordable models. Even more important, perhaps, the company devoted double-digit billions each year to marketing and advertising its devices, and all that money helped Samsung keep its impossible promise.

But a huge problem was developing and not everyone saw it. Samsung apparently didn’t even see it, or it simply turned a blind eye. The problem with being a leader is that others will follow. Apple’s lawsuits may have branded Samsung a copycat, but the company was absolutely a leader in building a wide range of big-screen smartphones and an even bigger arsenal of capable, affordable mid-range and low-end phones.

Then, others followed. And they did it better. Now, no one seems to be laughing anymore. More →

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Review
Nexus 6 Review

The Boy Genius Report: Nexus 6 review

By on November 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM.

The Boy Genius Report: Nexus 6 review

Google’s tradition of releasing a brand new flagship Nexus phone every year isn’t stopping, and the company has come an incredibly long way since the original Nexus One. The latest iteration is the Nexus 6 with, yes, a gorgeous six-inch display. It’s manufactured by Motorola and was codenamed “Shamu” for a good reason — it’s monstrously huge and just feels like it’s going to slap you with its dorsal fin.

This is one of the most well-manufactured, technology-packed, volcano-luging, shark-diving phones I’ve ever used. But is it the best of the best or the best of the worst? More →

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Review
Motorola Droid Turbo Review

Droid Turbo review: Motorola had to leave Google to become the king of Android

By on November 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM.

Droid Turbo review: Motorola had to leave Google to become the king of Android

The past few years have been crazy for Motorola. After the iPhone rocked the cell phone industry in 2007, Motorola was among the first companies to respond effectively, and it found success in the U.S. market when it launched the Droid with Verizon Wireless in late 2009. No companies were ready for Samsung and the double-digit billions it was prepared to spend on marketing in order to take over the Android market, however, and Motorola’s mobile phone business didn’t stand a chance.

Things seemed like they might turn around when Motorola Mobility was acquired by Google in 2011, but the company still couldn’t manage to set its devices apart from the crowd in any meaningful way. The Motorola division continued to lose money for Google until it was finally sold off to Lenovo in 2014.

While it remains to be seen whether or not Lenovo will help turn Motorola into a profitable cell phone company once again, there is no question that the once-great company hit its stride in 2014. In fact, Motorola’s latest Android phones are the best Android phones on the planet.

More →

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Review
Google Nexus 9 Review

Google Nexus 9 review

By on November 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM.

Google Nexus 9 review

Two years ago in 2012, Google saw an opening in the tablet market for a small, low-cost device that still offered good performance and a solid display. To this day, the Nexus 7 remains a fan favorite among Android enthusiasts and while Google no longer sells the tablet itself, the second-generation Nexus 7 can still be purchased from some retailers for under $200.

Now, of course, affordable mid-range Android tablets are a dime a dozen.

Ironically, the flood of low-cost Android devices that washed over the tablet industry has left a new gap in the market that Google is now looking to address with the Nexus 9. The company’s first bet in the tablet market landed it with a relative success that other companies rushed to compete with, and now it’s time to see if lightning can strike twice. More →

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Review
iPad Air 2 Review

The Boy Genius Report: iPad Air 2 is as monumental as original iPhone

By on October 23, 2014 at 12:17 PM.

The Boy Genius Report: iPad Air 2 is as monumental as original iPhone

It’s easy to get excited about Apple products. They get faster, thinner, lighter, smaller, better, more beautiful and more functional. But every so often Apple introduces a pivotal product, one that might be from a brand new product category, or one from an existing product that is just so much better it can’t help but impress.

The iPad Air 2 is that product right now. It is better than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and I would go as far as to say it’s the best thing Apple has ever made. More →

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Review
Galaxy Note 4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

By on October 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

It’s certainly open to debate, but I would argue that the Galaxy Note 4 is the most important flagship smartphone Samsung has ever launched. It won’t be Samsung’s fastest-selling phone and it definitely won’t ship the most units over its lifespan. The Note 4 doesn’t even necessarily break new ground like the original Galaxy Note did two years ago.

But 2014 marks the first time ever that Samsung will go up against Apple in the phablet space it helped pioneer, and whether or not Samsung’s Note 4 sales show continued growth could be a telling sign of things to come. More →

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Review
iPhone 6 Plus Review

iPhone 6 Plus review

By on September 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM.

iPhone 6 Plus review

My thoughts on large phones have been known since the beginning, and that’s why I wanted to review the iPhone 6 Plus instead of the iPhone 6. If there’s a device that could get me to reconsider how I view 5-inch plus-sized devices, it would be the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s the same phone as the iPhone 6, just a little bit larger. I spent almost a week with one and here is what I think.

More →

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Review
iPhone 6 Review

iPhone 6 review

By on September 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM.

iPhone 6 review

Reviewing an iPhone is a curious endeavor. One might think it’s just like reviewing any other device, and the processes are indeed roughly the same. The difference, and it is a vast difference, is the purpose.

When reviewing a smartphone, a pair of shoes, a computer, a car, a movie or even a toaster, the purpose is generally to use experience and expertise to assist readers, or viewers, in making a buying decision. Even small gadget blogs can influence thousands or tens of thousands of people. A site like BGR influences millions and a large media organization can influence tens of millions of people.

But with iPhones, this simply is not the case. More →

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Review
Moto X Review

Moto X review: Say hello to the best Android phone in the world

By on September 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM.

Moto X review: Say hello to the best Android phone in the world

“The best.” I know, I know… who’s to say which Android phone is the best? No two people are alike and different users have different priorities. There are so many factors to consider, it’s obviously impossible to determine the “best” phone for everyone.

But it’s BGR’s job to try.

While we obviously can’t say which phone will be the personal favorite of each and every person out there, we can consider users’ most common needs and wants in an effort to determine which smartphone might be most suited to the widest range of people.

Since we handle so many phones here at BGR, we’re also able to tell you which handsets offer unique and innovative features that other devices do not. More than that, we’re well equipped to say which smartphones’ unique features might be more widely appreciated than others.

It might seem like each and every new flagship Android phone that comes out is automatically the “best” until the next flagship phone comes along, but we can assure you that’s simply not the case. Impressive specs stuffed into a slim housing do not make a smartphone great — the user experience is what makes a smartphone great.

And when it comes to the user experience, no phone we’ve come across can match Motorola’s brand new Moto X. More →

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Review
Posh Mobile Review

Review: These are the new smartphones your carrier doesn’t want you to know about

By on August 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM.

Review: These are the new smartphones your carrier doesn’t want you to know about

Top telecom companies make a killing in the United States. AT&T and Verizon combined to pull in more than $64 billion in revenue during the most recent quarter alone, yielding about $13.3 billion in combined operating income. Wireless represents the biggest business for each of the nation’s top carriers, and high-margin smartphone sales play an important role in maintaining growth.

If smartphone sales start to move away from carriers, they stand to lose a huge amount of money in the long run. This could be one of several reasons we now see carriers actively promoting new smartphone purchasing options. But what happens if handset companies start successfully selling their own devices directly to consumers at ridiculously affordable prices?

One fresh new company intends to find out, and it could end up being your carrier’s worst nightmare. More →

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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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