The original Asus ZenWatch was one of my favorite first-generation Wear devices because it had a slick design and competitive price ($200). It wasn't perfect, but it offered a good alternative to expensive devices like the G Watch R. The ZenWatch 2 is going to hit shelves in a few days, and at first glance it's very much like its predecessor.
Asus actually made a number of notable changes, but not all of them are positive. At the same time, the price is very attractive and there are two size options—the large one starts at $129.99 and the smaller will be $149.99. Read More
Google has been branching out into new areas of hardware in recent years. It bought Nest and Dropcam, and now the Google Store acts as a storefront for Google to push its own hardware, as well as products made by others. The OnHub was an unexpected twist for Google's hardware aspirations, though. It does make some sense when you think about it. Routers are usually ugly and annoying to use, but is the $200 OnHub the best way to fix that? Read More
OnePlus came out of nowhere last year with a phone that appealed to a lot of cynical smartphone-using curmudgeons. A device with great specs, capable software, and a reasonable price? What's the catch? Oh, invites. Well, the OnePlus One still managed to win a lot of fans, and now the company's followup, the OnePlus 2 is (sort of) available. This device also has an invite system, and the price is a little higher. Is it worth scrounging and begging to get an invite to buy this one, though? After all, they claim it's a "2016 flagship killer." Let's find out. Read More
Here's the thing about wireless charging: in its current form, it's a convenience. A perk, another skirmish in the eternal arms race of mobile specifications. It's nice. Wireless charging is great if you happen to sit at a desk or other stationary place, for hours at a time, and need to constantly refer to your phone. Coincidentally, that pretty much describes the entire working life of a gadget blogger, so the Tango wireless charger is great for me. Whether or not it will work for you, or be worth the considerable expense for what's basically a neat way to avoid plugging your phone in half a dozen times, will depend on how much you value that convenience. Read More
You don't usually think of HP as a company that makes desirable Android tablets. And in fact, when you go to the HP site and peruse the tablet section, you'd be proven right. However, tucked away in the business-oriented side of the site are some devices that might qualify as lust-worthy for certain Android fans.
One such device is the HP Pro Slate 8, which was announced back in January and was released late this spring. It's basically an iPad Mini running Android, plus a screaming ultrasonic pen. That sounds more awesome than it is. Read More
Samsung must have known it had a problem early in the Galaxy S5's run when most of the reviews called the phone "boring" or "predictable," while also conceding that it was a good device. A good, predictable phone isn't going to sell like gangbusters, and indeed, the Galaxy S5 fell short of expectations. Over the next few months, we saw devices like the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 that played around with more premium materials and different designs, but the Galaxy S6 is the culmination of Samsung's plans to rehab its reputation.
The Galaxy S6 is still distinctly Samsung with the oblong home button, big camera sensor, and industry-leading AMOLED panel, but it almost feels like it was made by a version of Samsung from some bizarre parallel reality where plastic doesn't exist. Read More
For the last couple of months, we've seen a lot of big things happening for Drive, Maps, Search, and even the News & Weather app. It's been fairly quiet for the suite of Google Play content apps – but don't be fooled, big changes are coming. A recent Update Wednesday release of Play Movies didn't present any noteworthy or visibly obvious changes; but a look inside revealed a couple of hints about upcoming changes. Just two days later, a brand new release of the Play Store came along to not only fill in some of the gaps, but to add even more interesting bits. Read More
Dell has a new Android tablet, and it's actually interesting for once. You don't usually think of Dell as a leader in the area of tablet design, but that's what seems to be happening here. The new Dell Venue 8 7000 series tablet is currently the thinnest slate in the world at just 6mm. Ignoring for a moment whether or not it's a good design, you can't deny that's impressive—even the iPad is thicker. The Venue 8 makes some compromises to get there, but maybe that's okay. Let's see how this tablet measures up. Read More
When Motorola released the revamped Moto X a few months ago, there was plenty of discussion about whether it or the still-unannounced Nexus 6 would be a better purchase. It's completely reasonable to prefer the Nexus 6 because of the larger screen and improved camera, but the 2014 Moto X still stands out to me as one of the best Android phones ever made. Now that we've got a little distance, let's see how the 2014 Moto X is holding up.
In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables. In fact, I bet there will be some solid discounts on these devices in the not too distant future.
If you simply can't decide which—if any—watch is the right one for you, here are all the strengths and weaknesses of the current crop. Read More