Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, my grandmother ran a restaurant. It was in the middle of nowhere North Carolina, a solid 20 miles from any town of size in either direction. The exterior wasn’t much to look at, and the view was simply fields upon fields upon fields. Inside, however, was a different story. Inez’s Restaurant (simple times called for simple names, folks) was home to hand-patted hamburgers, hand-cut fries, apple turnovers, and a soft serve ice cream machine that I attempted to deplete daily while growing up. Farming was the family business, but it was Inez’s fixins that generated solid revenue regardless of the weather. More →
It’s funny to think how absolutely last-century speeding tickets are. I mean, a person actually has to take a radar gun, or laser gun, aim it at a stationary part of your vehicle like a license plate, and find out how fast you’re going. They then need to follow you and pull you over, just to let you know you were going a little bit faster than the speed limit on this beautiful spring morning with all of your windows open, and not another car on the road. More →
Apple just did something the company hasn’t done very often in recent years — it completely surprised nearly every single person with the announcement of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the next OS for the Mac. Inching a step closer to bridging the gap between iOS and OS X, Mountain Lion brings practically all of iOS’s featured apps to desktop and laptop computers. From Messages, which I’ve been waiting for ever since iMessage was announced, to built-in iCloud support, Notification Center, Game Center, Reminders, Notes, a much-improved Safari browser, AirPlay and more, the two OSes are practically the same now in terms of system apps. This is the first developer preview of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and the OS will only improve before it is released in the summer. If you’re itching for my thoughts, though, you’ll find them after the break. More →
Nokia proved it was back in the smartphone game when it launched the Lumia 800 last year. But can its Lumia 710 gain the attention of U.S. consumers? Many would argue that Nokia should have decided to launch the Lumia 800 to make a bigger splash in a market that has long forgotten the Finnish smartphone maker. But the Lumia 710 is affordable — it only costs $50 with a new two-year contract — and it’s also powerful. It’s not as feature-rich as the Lumia 800, but can it still compete with other smartphones in its price range? My full review follows after the break.
Amazon has been a leader in the eBook reader space since it first introduced the Kindle eReader in November 2007. At that point in time, the Kindle had a 6-inch E Ink display that supported just four shades of gray, it included 250MB of storage that could accommodate about 200 eBooks, and it retailed for $399. For the first six months or so, Amazon couldn’t keep the device in stock — it was a smash hit.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus isn’t just another Android phone, this is the standard by which all Ice Cream Sandwich phones will be judged. An example to every Android manufacturer out there, and every Android fan, this is the basic foundation of what you should expect in an Android smartphone. Is that setting the bar too high, though? The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the third addition to Google’s Nexus family, and second built by Samsung. It offers competitive specifications, innovative hardware, and it is the first phone to show off Google’s brand new OS, Android 4.0. Can Google and Samsung make the best Android device in the world together? Is Android 4.0 just another dessert-themed mess? I break it down like Jet Li in Chinatown after the break.
Nokia once had a big stake in the U.S. smartphone market. I remember being jealous in high school that I couldn’t tell anyone my Snake high score because I carried a Motorola phone. I seemed to be the only kid without a Nokia device so, when I went to college, I picked up the Nokia 6010. I was drawn to the color screen and interchangeable face plates, and I carried it through all four years of college, preferring its durability to the Motorola RAZR that all of my friends had bought. The iPhone was announced in 2007 and, seemingly almost overnight, Nokia was completely gone from the hands of U.S. wireless subscribers. Sure, there were a few flip phones from Verizon Wireless over the years and a handful of Symbian devices from AT&T and T-Mobile, but none of those phones had the power to bring Nokia back into the spotlight. The Lumia 800 does. It isn’t just a phone, it symbolizes Nokia’s efforts to re-enter the global wireless market with a unique point of view and a fresh portfolio. It’s not available here in the U.S. yet, but a variant almost certainly will be early next year. Does the Lumia 800 push boundaries? Is it the best Windows Phone out there? Are the hardware and software married so perfectly that the competition might be looking on with envy? My full review follows below.
Late last month, AT&T unveiled the first two smartphones that would launch with the ability to access its brand new 4G network (not to be confused with its old 4G network). The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket was a mouthful and a pocketful, identical to T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II save for the addition of an LTE radio. The other device was a brand new handset from HTC dubbed “Vivid.” In terms of hardware, the Vivid is a fairly substantial departure from other recent HTC phones. It is built with different materials and its shape is unlike any other handset from the vendor. Are its unique design, high-end specs and 4G LTE compatibility enough to make this smartphone worthy of your consideration? My full review follows below.
Verizon Wireless has not one but three powerhouse 4G LTE smartphones lined up for the holidays, and the HTC Rezound is one of them. Launching right after the Motorola DROID RAZR, the HTC Rezound takes things to another dimension, both visually and sonically. With an amazing 4.3-inch 720p HD display, a fast 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Beats-enhanced audio and other competitive specs in a solid package, is the HTC Rezound the 4G smartphone to beat this holiday season? Read on to find out how this phone shapes up against the DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus.More →
It has been a month since Apple released its latest smartphone, the iPhone 4S. A month since it crushed sales records. A month since consumers got their first hands-on experience with Siri, the intelligent assistant that may help change the way we interact with consumer electronics moving forward. A month since we had to fight the urge to dry heave upon seeing “The S stands for ____” in every third headline across various tech blogs. We reviewed the smartphone in October and called it “the best phone Apple has ever made,” and while the phone might look exactly like its predecessor, we’re not so sure that’s a bad thing. After all, Apple’s year-old iPhone 4 and two-year-old iPhone 3GS were the best-selling cell phones in the U.S. last quarter, so age doesn’t seem to be much of an issue among consumers. More →
I haven’t turned on my Xbox 360 in almost a year. I did to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, though.
Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t differ greatly from previous editions of the game, though that’s not always a bad thing. The story events pick up right where Modern Warfare 2’s storyboard ended and you’re plopped right in the middle of downtown New York City, which is under siege and swarming with Ruskies. The storyline itself doesn’t have much depth, but for something you can get through in around five to six hours, it doesn’t exactly need to. Besides, the gameplay and graphics surely pull the weight here. More →
The Motorola DROID RAZR is arguably the most exciting Android device to come across my desk in some time, but all the hype in the world doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves to carry the iconic RAZR name. It’s a 4G LTE device that packs in a powerful processor, high resolution display, 16GB of built-in storage, 1080p HD video capture capability and plenty more. But is this Motorola’s best phone since the original RAZR? I have spent the past few days with the Motorola DROID RAZR, so hit the break for my full review.
Samsung’s Focus Flash will soon join the Samsung Focus S on AT&T’s shelves as the South Korea-based company’s second and third Windows Phone devices in the United States. The Focus Flash is a budget-friendly $50 handset and, despite its low price point, it offers a number of enhancements over the original Focus. Is the Focus Flash a worthy successor to the Focus? Can Mango tango with other entry-level handsets in the sub-$50 smartphone space? Hit the break for my full Focus Flash review to find out.More →