Smartwatches haven't exactly taken off. In fact, a number of electronics companies have pulled back on plans for Android Wear including Motorola, Sony, and Asus. That's left fewer smartphone makers in the fray, but there are also fashion designers and traditional watch designers dabbling in Wear. We will see a lot more of these smartwatches in 2017, and one of them is the extremely spendy Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45. Read More
Huawei used to avoid releasing high-end phones in the US, but no more. The Mate 9 was launched in the US several months ago, and it was announced as the very first phone to have Amazon's Alexa built in. However, that wasn't ready at launch, and Huawei didn't even know exactly when it would be available. Alexa finally rolled out to the Mate 9 several weeks ago, but Google sort of cut Amazon off at the knees by launching Assistant on the Mate 9 and many other phones while we were waiting for this update.
As I noted in the original Mate 9 review, this is a good phone—Huawei has really turned things around in the software, the battery life is killer, and the build quality is top notch. Read More
The expansion of services like Netflix and Hulu has led to fewer people subscribing to traditional cable. Still, there are some things you can't get with those streaming services, most notably live TV feeds. That's what Google aims to offer with YouTube TV. Google announced the service a few months ago, and it went live in a handful of cities yesterday. I haven't had a cable subscription in years, so I was anxious to try it out. YouTube TV seems like an excellent start, but there are definitely some pain points.
YouTube TV is currently only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Read More
Motorola has gone through some big changes in the last few years; from its waning days of independence (with crummy phones), to the Google acquisition (with much better phones), and finally to being manhandled by Lenovo (with weird phones). One of Motorola's most important products through all of this has been the Moto G. The original Moto G boosted interest in budget devices by showing everyone they don't have to be terrible. Now, here we are with the fifth iteration—the Moto G5 Plus, a phone that can be yours for the low, low price of $230.
The Moto G5 Plus looks and feels more premium than past devices in the series, but it also comes with a few limitations that keep it slotted in firmly below the Moto Z family. Read More
It has now been more than six years since the first "real" Android tablets were let loose upon the world. Those Honeycomb slates are now a distant memory, but have tablets really changed that much? App support is still lacking, pricing is high compared to laptops, and distinctive features are few and far between. Despite some compelling devices over the years, sales of Android tablets (and tablets in general) are down. This is the backdrop for Samsung's release of the Galaxy Tab S3, the latest in the OEM's premium tablet lineup.
With a price tag of $599, the Samsung Tab S3 is priced to compete with the iPad Pro. Read More
Android Wear has been in a holding pattern since last year when Google announced that it was delaying the release of Wear 2.0. After months of re-working the software, Google unveiled Wear 2.0 alongside the LG Watch Style and Watch Sport. The smaller of the two was the one I had pinned my hopes on, and I'm sure many of you did too. However, the announcement showed we were off to a bad start with the lack of features like NFC and a very small battery.
We've already reviewed the Watch Style once, but I've been using the device for a while and have some thoughts on it as well. Read More
OnePlus started its existence as a brash upstart, and today it's... a brash upstart. It is, however, a brash upstart that has produced a very good 2016 flagship phone. The OnePlus 3 and 3T are basically the same phone, but the 3T has more power under the hood and dollars on its price tag. Both phones offered similarly good experiences at launch, and now they're even better with Nougat.
So, how do these phones (specifically the OnePlus 3T) hold up? Quite well, but OP's actions in 2017 will be telling. This will be a pivotal year for the company. It could become a staple of the smartphone industry or prove to be just another middling player that will eventually fade away. Read More
Huawei has become one of the largest phone makers on the planet, and it's done so without too much help from the US market. The company has dabbled mostly with mid-range phones here, including some from the Honor sub-brand. The Mate 9 is the first phone Huawei has brought to the US that isn't explicitly going after the budget crowd. It's running the latest version of Huawei's in-house Kirin SoC, has an all metal housing, and the Leica-branded cameras are present too.
The hardware side hasn't been Huawei's problem in western markets. It's the software. I've always had trouble using Huawei phones for very long because of the many, many annoyances present in the EMUI Android skin. Read More
You don't have to look far to find a home security camera with big names like Logitech, Google, and Netgear all offering up systems for keeping an eye on things. There are also some newer players with cameras you might want to consider. For example, the Xiaomi-funded Yi Technology. This Chinese firm has released a few home cameras, but the new version of its Dome Camera stands out from the crowd. Unlike other cameras, this one can actually rotate to get a full 360 degree view of a room, and it has built-in motion tracking. Unlike the old Dome Camera, this one also shoots 1080p video. Read More
Google always seems to be tweaking reviews in the Play Store, changing how they're presented to users and trying to make it easier to see how an app/game fares and how users perceive it. We've been seeing Review Highlights, detailed Feature Ratings for games that divide the rating by controls, gameplay, and graphics, and more. One of the tweaks is Top Features, a list of the best features a given app has, approved by users who give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.
Top Features started showing up back in August of 2016, but it seemed to be limited to certain users before (mostly in the US from our anecdotal evidence). Read More