In the early days, Android Wear had a luxury problem. Okay, the early models had a far way to go to be considered luxury. They had to first work their way up to unembarrassing, let alone classy.
But these days you can throw half a grand at a stylish gold watch if you want to. Better yet, you can catch one on sale for less than half that. Read More
Most OEMs don't have much of a reputation for providing timely and consistent OS updates. There are a few exceptions here and there — LG's V20 is set to become the first non-Nexus smartphone to launch with Nougat sometime around September — but while there may be a growing trend for devices to receive major updates shortly after they're released, it is much rarer to see them getting software support for more than a year or so. Only last year did Google begin promising 3 years of security updates and 2 years of major OS updates for all Nexus phones and tablets — which is still almost half as long as an iPhone's lifecycle. Read More
Although the Honor 8 was revealed more than a month ago in China, it's just now been introduced to the US. Honor is calling this its first flagship for America, so it had better impress. The company is specifically toting the 8's 12MP dual camera system (no Leica branding?), the snappy fingerprint sensor, and the performance. Read More
The corporate half of the Cyanogen world might have seen better days, but the community-developer ROM is still going strong. They've recently released the CyanogenMod ROM to two new devices. The Huawei Honor 5X and ASUS ZenPad 8.0 have all been given initial nightly builds of CM 13 (based on Android 6.0 code), available to download and flash now. Read More
Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible. Read More
Far be it from me to tell you what smartphone to own, but if you were looking at getting a Nexus device, I'm going to go on a limb and advise you to skip the Nexus 6 and 5X and even the 32GB Nexus 6P, and go straight to one of these 64GB or 128GB Nexus 6P deals on Amazon.
As part of its Prime Day Deal, Amazon is discounting these models of the Nexus 6P by 26%. If memory serves me right, the biggest discount we've seen on the Nexus 6P is $80 off plus a $50 gift card from B&H. Read More
The 5.5-inch Huawei Honor 5X Marshmallow update is finally rolling out, solving one of the major issues we had with this device in our original review. With only 16GB of on-board storage (which we figured closer to 8GB after counting the OS and bloatware), Android 6.0 Marshmallow's SD card capabilities make this a much more attractive offering, especially considering the price! We saw the 5X on eBay for $159.99 back in March, but this is by far the best deal yet: $119.99 on Amazon for an unlocked device that will work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.
Just to recap our initial thoughts:
A $200 smartphone with a fingerprint scanner, a decent camera, solid battery life, and LTE...
The Honor 8 is Huawei's newest offering announced yesterday from China. It seems to compete with Huawei's own recent flagship, the P9, on every dimension except two: build quality (glass back vs. unibody construction) and price (this one is about 30% cheaper). We covered the P9 back in April, and the Honor 8 really is almost identical as you can see from the specs:
| ||Honor 8||P9
|Processor||Kirin 950 (4 x Cortex A72 2.3GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz + always-on I5 coprocessor)||Kirin 955 (4 x Cortex A72 2.5GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz + always-on I5 coprocessor)
|Memory & Storage||3GB/32GB, 4GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB
|Screen||5.2" 1920x1080 LTPS LCD (423 PPI), 96% NTSC color reproduction
|Camera (rear)||12MP, F2.2, dual lens (1 B&W, 1 RGB)
|Camera (front)||8PM, F2.4
|SD Card||Hybrid microSD (dual nano SIM or nano + SD)
|Software||EMUI 4.1 on Android 6.0
|Measurements||145.5 x 71 x 7.44 mm, 153 g||145 x 70.9 x 7 mm, 144 g
|Build||"2.5D" glass front and back, metal frame||All metal unibody construction
|Colors||White, Gold, Black, Pink, Blue||White, Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Gray
As far as I can tell, except for being ever so slightly slower, bulkier, and cheaper with the glass back, these two phones are almost identical. Read More
See that green bugdroid above? It's carrying a heavy(ly customized) version of Marshmallow specially to your Huawei Honor 5X. Wrapped tightly with it is a new version of EMUI for the device: 4.0.
In terms of Marshmallow, you should expect the usual features that we've been talking about for nearly a year now: Now on Tap (which is getting more useful with time), Doze mode for better battery optimization while idle, better volume controls, a new open apps menu, and more.
As for EMUI 4.0, it brings a few interesting modifications. There's motion control to launch different apps or perform some actions while the screen is off (draw M to launch the music player, double tap to wake, etc), a personalized navigation bar with a notification drop-down shortcut à la LG, one-handed mode, different drag locations to drop the notification shade or the toggle shortcuts, and a few more. Read More
Huawei isn't just in the smartphone and hard-to-pronounce name businesses, they're also a telecommunications giant that handles an enormous amount of business-to-business infrastructure all over the world. That means a diversified portfolio of hardware, software, and (waaait for it) technology patents. BizJournals reports that the Chinese company is bringing that portfolio to bear against T-Mobile US today, alleging that the budget-friendly cell carrier refuses to license 14 of its 4G patents. Read More