The Microsoft Surface got off to a shaky start. Preorder demand seemed strong for Microsoft’s (MSFT) debut tablet but the company made it a point to note that initial supply would be limited following the Surface’s launch. CEO Steve Ballmer then stated on multiple occasions that Surface sales have been relatively slow, likely in an effort to keep investors’ expectations in check. Microsoft’s partners have slammed the Surface time and time again, and analysts have done the same. Is Microsoft’s premiere Windows hardware offering doomed to crash and burn? More →
I don’t believe in cases for your smartphone. Why cover up your svelte phone with a piece of cheap silicone or a plastic when its designers worked so hard to get its form down to be perfect enough for you to buy it? Just as most people (I hope) don’t wrap BMWs in car “bras” to protect them from getting scratched up and people don’t put screen protectors around Rolexes, smartphone covers do nothing but make your phone thicker and bulkier – even the “thin” ones. What about “bumpers?” Those are so 2010. I can’t understand how Google (GOOG) thinks selling selling people $20 Nexus 4 bumpers is still cool. So when I got the chance to try out Element’s Sector 5 aluminum “bumper,” I wasn’t expecting much, especially since it sells for a whopping $145. But at that price, I had to find out — what kind of protection does a bumper that costs nearly as much as an iPhone 5 on contract get you?
Almost like clockwork, every year around this time, Google (GOOG) introduces a new version of the company’s flagship smartphone, the Nexus. This year, we have the Nexus 4 manufactured by LG (066570) instead of HTC (2498) or Samsung (005930). In addition to a new Nexus, the phone is usually accompanied by a new version of the Android OS, and with the Nexus 4 Google has introduced Android 4.2. These phones always try to set the bar for the Android ecosystem, but funnily enough, I have never found that to be the case in the past. Does the Google Nexus 4 change this? More →
Does the world need a newer, smaller iPad that’s practically the same price as the existing iPad 2? I mean, looking at it on paper, the iPad mini uses the same hardware as the iPad 2 — the same processor, same amount of RAM, same screen resolution — and it’s only $70 less expensive. Why would consumers choose this over the iPad 2 or even a regular iPad? The answer is immediately obvious from the moment you pick up the iPad mini. More →
In late March 2012, the tide seemed as though it was about to turn for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone platform. After a year and a half of struggling, the “first real Windows Phone” was about to launch in early April and change the smartphone landscape forever. People got excited. I got excited. After waiting so long for a true third player to emerge, this was it. The surprisingly affordable Lumia 900 flagship phone was released by AT&T (T) on April 8th and it was initially free for new subscribers or $99 for AT&T customers. What a deal! The phone was gorgeous, unique, fast and fresh, presenting a genuine alternative in an industry dominated by two behemoths. But no one cared. More →
According to recent estimates Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley provided to clients in a recent research note, Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) combined to capture 106% of smartphone industry profits in the third quarter this year. That’s not a typo. Big-brand smartphone vendors are still struggling to find a way to stop losing money while Apple pulled in 59% of industry profits according to Walkley’s figures, and Samsung accounted for 47%. But Samsung actually wasn’t the only global Android vendor that managed to turn a profit last quarter. More →
If ever there was a smartphone that screams “underdog,” the HTC Windows Phone 8X is that phone. In a handset market dominated by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930), HTC (2498) stumbled badly in late 2011 and has yet to regain it footing. And in a platform war dominated by Google (GOOG) and Apple, Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone now enters its third year on the market with little to show for it. This perpetually emerging mobile OS has received critical acclaim since its debut in 2010, but recent figures from market research firm IDC suggest Windows Phone hasn’t even captured 5% of the global smartphone market. More →
Following a special report on 60 Minutes, Huawei went from being a relatively unknown Chinese company to public enemy number one. It was alleged that the telecom equipment giant was in cahoots with the Chinese government and posed as a potential security risk to the United States. Shortly after the report was made public, however, a White House-ordered review found no evidence that the company was spying. Huawei has a large task at hand, along with attempting to fight Samsung (005930), Apple (AAPL) and others for smartphone market share: The company must now recover from a sea of bad press. After a short delay in production, Huawei is finally ready to unleash “the world’s fastest quad-core smartphone” to the world. Read on to see if the Ascend D Quad XL lives up to its name. More →
Almost exactly eight months ago, I reviewed Samsung’s Galaxy Note “phablet” and called it the smartphone that “Samsunged” Samsung (005930). I very much enjoyed certain aspects of Samsung’s debut tablet-smartphone hybrid and I thought the company’s implementation of the S Pen stylus was unique and intriguing, but I wrote that the complete package was far too monstrous to be usable. I went even further to call the device “an answer without a question” and hoped aloud that it would mark a turning point where smartphones like the Galaxy Note might begin to shrink back down to more manageable sizes. Then Samsung sold more than 10 million of them and it ended up being the smartphone that Samsunged BGR. More →
Some time ago, top executives at Microsoft (MSFT) realized the company needed to make some major strategic changes to adapt in a marketplace that was in the early days of a huge shift. Many would argue that the decision came later than it should have, and they could present some solid arguments. Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space and re-entry into the smartphone arena indeed came late, and the company has paid the price for its mistakes thus far. From the look of things, however, this giant has legs. More →
Record-breaking preorders. Anticipation. Lines that begin forming a week in advance. Excitement. Launch-day lines that extend for blocks. Chaos. Supply shortages. Heartbreak. Preorder delays. Panic. Record-breaking opening weekend sales. Doubt. Problems that begin to arise. Scandals. Troubles continue to mount. Apologies. Heavy demand persists… These are the makings of an Apple (AAPL) device launch. More →
Steve Jobs once said that touchscreen Macs wouldn’t make any sense because your arm would quickly become fatigued from holding it up in the air to poke the screen. So when Chinese company TMDTouch revealed its Zorro Macsk (that’s not a typo) that claimed to be capable of adding multitouch gestures to an iMac with mere plug and play functionality, my interest was piqued. Rather than add a touchscreen panel on top of the iMac, the Zorro Macsk uses infrared technology to track finger input. But does the $199 USB-powered accessory give the iMac a new lease on life? Read on for my full review.
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is practically the same phone as before! It’s just a little thinner and a little faster, no big deal! Right? Well, maybe. But in true Apple fashion, the real story is the way these refinements play into the bigger picture of the iPhone itself, and how the best smartphone in the world just got even better. Thinner, faster, stronger, lighter — the iPhone 5 is better than the iPhone 4S in almost every way. Instead of doing a review based on ridiculous scoring systems or specification checklists, here’s a real review of the iPhone 5 from a real iPhone 4S user.