It's been a little over two weeks since I received my Google Pixel (XL) review unit, so I thought I would provide an addendum to our review based on more time with the phone. I won't be covering every category I did in the review. But I will try to give you the broad strokes on areas where my thoughts haven't changed much, and some of the specifics where they have.
Look, feel, and form
I still think this phone looks a bit dull. Other members of the team disagree, though! And I think that really is the subjective nature of design coming into play here. Read More
Everyone was intrigued when Fossil announced it would make Android Wear devices. After all, it makes "real" watches, so maybe its smartwatches would be a cut above. The Q Founder was an okay smartwatch for its time. It was a little big, but it looked nice and had a fast Intel SoC. Now, Fossil is back with the Q Marshal and Q Wander. These smartwatches are some of the first to have the wearable-focused Snapdragon 2100 chip, but is that enough to make the a good purchase? Sadly, not really. Read More
DoubleTwist got its start way back in the early days of Android, when users wanted an easy way to sync music from iTunes to their non-Apple phones. (And also, this was back when human beings still used iTunes.) The scope of the music player has broadened and generalized since then... and truth be told, it's kind of stalled as well, especially since the Cloud Player came out. The last update it had before today was way back in February. But today's bump is significant: in addition to a new user interface, it brings baked-in support for Chromecast, Android Wear, and Android Auto. Read More
Pocket Casts is one of the most popular podcast apps on Android, and for good reason. It's fast, well-designed, has built-in backups, and has always been fast to support new Android features. In the latest update, Pocket Casts hops on the split-screen hype train, adds audio effects, and launches a new podcast sharing feature. Read More
The new Moto Z line is divisive. It's probably the best example in a limited field of new "modular" phones, consisting of only the Z variants and LG's G5... and LG already dropped the modular design for its more recent G20. But if you've been eying either the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid (or the Moto Z Force Droid with a bigger battery) or the unlocked Moto Z, the sticker shock of the phones and the Moto Mod add-ons may have been a disincentive. Now Motorola is giving a generous $150 off all of them on its web store. Read More
If you need to benchmark the storage in a device, Androbench has long been the go-to way to do it. One major drawback: it was horrendously ugly. It has just been updated to v5.0, and I wouldn't say it's not ugly, but it certainly less ugly. That's a win in my book. Read More
You think you know pinball, right? There are hundreds of variations on the game, thousands of themed layouts to freshen up the experience, and millions of dollars in IAPs to unlock this ball or that theme or that bonus. But PinOut is different, and the first sign is that it comes from the same guys that gave us Smash Hit, Does Not Commute, Granny Smith, and other beautifully and thoughtfully designed games: Mediocre.
Unlike what their name might make you expect, Mediocre's games are fantastic and PinOut is no exception. Somehow, the game is both dark in its environment yet vibrant with its neon colors, both retro in its music and menus yet modern with its 3D graphics and layered platforms. Read More
It's rare for our David Ruddock to call anything "absolutely stunning," let alone a blue and slightly orange phone of all things, but Samsung managed to extract that statement out of him when he had some hands-on with the Galaxy Note 7 (RIP). And David wasn't the only one to think that. So what's Samsung to do with this splendidly concocted color now that it can't market and sell it on the Note 7? Well, it's releasing it for its other flagship device, the Galaxy S7 Edge.
And it is a beaut. Behold. Read More