Back in April, I said that BLU "is a company to keep an eye on moving forward." A few months later, I reviewed (and loved) my first BLU device: the Life Play. Since then I've also taken a look at the Life View – the company's take on a large-screened phone – which was also very impressive for the cost. I'm definitely a fan of what BLU is doing right now, and the company seems to be keeping a nice momentum with the Life series.
If you're a regular user of the iHeartRadio service, there's a big update waiting for you in the Play Store. The most useful addition in the new version of the Android app is undoubtedly the expanded control options: you can now pause, play, or advance your streaming music on the lockscreen or the new notification. The notification is even expandable - are you watching this, Pandora?
The user interface gets a fancy new slide-out menu, accessible from the main player and home screens.
Google is in the habit these days of selling extremely well-priced mobile devices like the new Nexus 5, but the same cannot be said for the accessories. Cases and chargers are all more expensive from the Play Store than the third-party alternatives, but sometimes it's worth the cost. Last year's Nexus wireless charger was one of the few Qi-compatible units out there, but the same cannot be said this year. Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger comes in a little cheaper than last year's at $50, and it has some cool features.
We've talked about the Fuhu Nabi 2 quite a bit over the last year or so, and it's probably my favorite tablet designed specifically for kids. It's built tough, packed full of useful educational software, and sports enough power to stick with your little one for at least a few years.
Update: It looks like Wal-Mart has 'em beat, because they're letting the Nabi 2 go for $99 November 28th thru December 1st.
Do you have an affinity for the early 90s? Rockstar Games is preparing to take you back in time with GTA: San Andreas, which is coming to Android in December. This isn't just a straight port, though. Rockstar is doing some work to make the experience of playing San Andreas (which is a massive game) better on a mobile device.
GTA: San Andreas was by far the biggest GTA game of the PS2 era, so the developers have reworked the checkpoints to make it easier to advance.
If you've been hankering for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the high price for Verizon's contract phone may be off-putting. Wirefly is offering the Verizon Note 3 for $199.99 with a new contract, but Amazon has one-upped them - they've got the same phone-contract combo for just $169.99. The price for both is $249.99 ($50 off Verizon's price) for returning customers.
You could take the view that Wirefly has a better deal here, at least if you're willing to wait.
The Kyocera Hydro Elite may not be a top-of-the-line device, but it comes with something most phones don't - water resistance. It also packs 4.3-inch display and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, making it an admirable midrange handset. Now Verizon is distributing the first OTA for the phone, and while the Android version number remains the same, this update impacts many areas of the device.
The touch screen's sensitivity has been adjusted, including the virtual keyboard, and the call screen now stays lit for over 15 seconds when active.
Oftentimes many companies take the easy way out and produce a simplistic endless runner to shoehorn any popular character into. But in the case of Sega's Sonic Dash, it's a match made in heaven. Endlessly running is what this blue hedgehog has always done in his free time, and to be honest, this style of gameplay isn't all that different from what's available in many of his latest mainstream titles. This release frankly makes sense, and as far as runners go, it's actually pretty good.
We had previously heard that the US version of Motorola's shockingly inexpensive Moto G would be headed to the United States in January, a couple of months after some international markets. It looks like Motorola couldn't wait until next year and has started selling the phone on its website. You can order the US version of the GSM phone now, and it's set to ship on December 2nd.
The phone is being offered in 8GB and 16GB versions, with the low price of $179 and $199, respectively.
One of the biggest issues with many Android devices is the subpar camera – only recently have manufacturers really started to step up their game and put better hardware in top-end devices. What many users may not realize, however, is that simply trying different software can drastically change the entire camera experience. Sure, the device is still limited by the hardware, but changing the software can definitely help get the most out of any shooter.