So the LG Watch Urbane 2 LTE is available now from Verizon and AT&T, and we've had one in the house for a little over a day now. Since I've had some time to kind of run through it and see what it's all about, I figured this was as good a time as any to share some initial thoughts. So here we go.
First off, it's pretty thick. Like, a lot thicker than my current smartwatch — the Sony Smartwatch 3 — so I was a little worried about putting it on for the first time. You know what, though? That worry was really for nothing. Read More
There are a plethora of in-ear sports Bluetooth headsets for sale on Amazon, but if you want great sound and quality, it's hard to beat the Jaybird X2. I haven't had a chance to use them myself, but I know Artem loves his set.
The biggest reason I've hesitated in picking up a pair is the price. $180 bucks is a lot to drop on a set of headphones, even when they are as good as these. Well, the temptation has grown a lot stronger today because Amazon just dropped the price by more than $50 to $126.25. That's getting pretty dang close to my impulse buy territory. Read More
The CyanogenMod team continues to expand its selection of builds for its aftermarket ROM, and today no less than four new devices are being added. Those would be HTC's 2015 flagship One M9, Lenovo's budget-oriented ZUK Z1, NVIDIA's SHIELD Portable (the original one with the attached controller), and the SHIELD Tablet.
As usual, CyanogenMod arranges builds by codename: the M9 is "himaul," the Z1 is "ham," the SHIELD Portable is "roth," and the SHIELD Tablet is... "shieldtablet." Huh. All four devices are currently on nightly builds of CyanogenMod 12.1 (Android 5.1), and may or may not be added to the more stable releases as they come. Read More
Turn-based games are perfect for mobile platforms. The fact that they're essentially paused after every move means you can play in bits and pieces throughout the day. That same relatively slow pace means that the disadvantages of touchscreen controls are erased, and in fact the UI can be optimized for taps and swipes. If the rest of the game is designed well (particularly to account for a smaller screen), a turn-based game on a phone has the potential to be more engaging than a console or PC equivalent. Read More
Since the launch of the Moto X, Motorola has been pretty good about releasing timely Android updates... though that's been called into question recently. Apparently at least one variant of the original Moto X (the one from 2013) has been lagging a long way behind as well. The Sprint version of the phone only recently got its over-the-air update to Android 5.1 (the one from February). Before now it had been running Android 4.4.4 (the one from 2014). Ouch. Read More
After a series of shootings and explosions occurred in Paris Friday evening, Google has made calls to France via its Hangouts service temporarily free. Callers can use the Hangouts app on Android, iOS, and the web to place calls to the country without incurring the normal international charges. The Google+ post making the announcement did not specify any particular countries, so presumably free calls are available from any location where Hangouts can be used. It's not clear if Google Voice users are also being given free calls. Read More
The 2013 Nexus 7 may not see many more updates now that it has received Marshmallow, but it's still one of the best Android tablets out there. It's small, it's capable of running most apps, and it's cheap. Read More
At the 56th Battery Symposium in Japan, Huawei showed off its next generation of quick charging batteries. Huh? Yes, there's a Battery Symposium in Japan, and yes, there have been fifty-five of them in the past. Stay focused here.
Huawei says its new lithium-ion batteries can achieve charging speeds ten times faster than normal batteries. Read More
An over-the-air update is currently rolling out to the OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X. The update number, version 2.1.2, is the same for both handsets, but the changelog is not. Read More
Audio latency is defined as the time delay that a signal experiences as it passes through a system. On a mobile device, this is deeply related to how long it takes between tapping on a screen and receiving audio feedback. Low audio latency can be the difference between an immersive gaming experience and an unpleasant, disconnected one. Too long a latency and a device can begin to feel strangely laggy, even if every visual animation is snappy and responsive. It is especially important — essential, even — for recording and composing music, since slow audio feedback can easily throw off even the best artists and destroy their creative process. Read More