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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
“If you’ve already nailed down a use-case scenario for a tablet in your life, this one’s worth the premium.”
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 →
“I started by strapping yet another notifier onto my wrist, but I came away a far less stressed individual.”
It’s the Kickstarter project that has largely defined what’s possible on the service, and if you’re reading this, you’re well aware of how many millions the Pebble team raised in order to concoct a wrist-worn notification device. A device that just so happened to emerge as the term “smartwatch” was taking hold. It was something of a perfect storm, really; years ago, Fossil and Sony Ericsson tried to bring the Dick Tracy motif to the masses, but the world wasn’t yet ready. Today, we’re all ready. More →
When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, the world looked on in amazement. What kind of sorcery was this? How could Apple squeeze a 13-inch laptop into a case so remarkably slim and sleek? But now we’re spoiled. Making gadgets thinner and sleeker with each new iteration isn’t impressive anymore — it’s expected. Forget the R&D, engineering and technology involved, this year’s phones, laptops and tablets have to be thinner than last year’s models. And so when Apple unveiled its completely redesigned iPad Air, people weren’t nearly as impressed as they were with the MacBook Air back in 2008. While the impact of the iPad Air on consumers can’t possibly match the wow factor Apple achieved with the MacBook Air, those who think Apple’s latest full-size iPad is anything short of a huge step forward should think again. More →
When Microsoft decided to focus the Xbox One marketing campaign around the console’s media capabilities, my main concern was that everything would work just well enough, and nothing about the console would stand out. If the Xbox One was going to be a living room media device and a cable box and a video game console, something would have to give. But Microsoft proved me wrong: First and foremost, the Xbox One is a very capable gaming device, and a worthy successor to the Xbox 360. More →
Killzone: Shadow Fall is a gorgeous mess. What could have been a heavyweight contender in an already crowded market for next-gen shooters is bogged down by a tedious, cliched, and ridiculous single player campaign that Guerrilla Games arguably forgot to finish. Maybe they just didn’t have time. I can’t be sure. Thankfully, the robust multiplayer buoys an otherwise sinking package by building upon what was offered in Killzone 3, one of my favorite competitive experiences on the PS3. More →
Pound for pound, the HTC One is easily among the best smartphones on the planet. Back in August, I pitted the One against Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 and crowned HTC’s handset the winner. With a gorgeous design, premium materials, solid performance, a stunning 1080p display and several unique software enhancements, it’s no wonder the One regularly receives praise from those who use it. But unfortunately, the sleek smartphone has done precious little to reverse HTC’s fortunes.
This year’s September quarter marked HTC’s first ever quarterly loss since becoming a public company. HTC makes terrific phones and the One is its best to date, but stiff competition from rivals has proven insurmountable thus far. Not even Iron Man has been able to help the struggling smartphone maker as Apple and Samsung continue to lob billion-dollar marketing campaigns at consumers around the world.
What on Earth is HTC going to do to turn things around?
It’s going to launch a gigantic phablet. More →
If the PlayStation 4 is any indication of the quality of the next generation of gaming, then it was worth the wait after all. I’m writing this review seven years to the day after Sony brought the PlayStation 3 to the United States, a console I swore I would never buy after Sony revealed the ridiculous price tag at E3. Seven years later, the Japanese electronics giant has value in mind and the PlayStation 4 is a bargain at $399.99. More →