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[...]
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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.
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 →