Motorola began pushing its Moto Mod accessories last year with the Moto Z and Z Force. Those phones were underwhelming, but the Moto Z Play won some fans thanks to the incredible battery life, solid performance, and the lower price. It also worked with all the same Mods, if you were so inclined. Not even a year later, Motorola has kicked off the Z2 era with the Moto Z2 Play. It's available now on Verizon and (soon) unlocked from Moto, priced at $400. Read More
How little can you spend on a phone in 2017 and still have a good experience? Companies like Lenovo-owned Motorola and BLU are pushing the envelope when it comes to the budget segment in the US. But, even a dated flagship can outcompete almost everything in the current entry-level market, and right now you can pick up one of 2016's most overlooked examples, the Nextbit Robin, for around $130 from Amazon. We think that deserves a second look. Read More
Prior to the Lenovo takeover, Motorola had a reputation for making flagship phones at very competitive prices. Since the acquisition was finalized, Moto's high-end phones have been a bit less attractive, but the cheaper phones are still good options. However, it's been a while since Motorola took the super-affordable Moto E seriously. After a very limited third-gen release in parts of Asia and Europe, Motorola is again making the 4th gen Moto E a mainstream product. It's available as an unlocked phone, and on carriers as a cheap prepaid device. But "cheap" here doesn't mean it's a bad phone. It's definitely not offering an experience on-par with something like a Pixel, OnePlus 5, or even a Moto G5. Read More
OnePlus burst onto the scene in 2014 with the OnePlus One, a phone running Cyanogen OS with an incredibly attractive price tag. From the very start, OnePlus talked a big game and was sometimes annoyingly overconfident. The success of that first phone ensured we'd see at least a few more phones from OnePlus. There have been some ups and downs since the OnePlus One launched, but the trajectory has been upward overall.
The OnePlus 5 has the most refined design this company has ever put out, but at the same time it would be impossible to ignore the resemblance to the iPhone. Read More
It's getting increasingly hard to justify a smartwatch purchase when so many of them are launching with such high price tags. Paying $400 or $500 for a watch that works the same as one that costs half as much is a tough sell, not that a cheaper watch is an easy sell either. That's what makes the ZTE Quartz intriguing. This is an Android Wear device that costs less than $200 and has a dedicated cellular connection on T-Mobile.
The Quartz is a bit large and clunky, and it's missing some of the features you get with more expensive watches. However, the design is solid considering the price, and it runs Android Wear just as well as more expensive watches. Read More
Asus was not on the radar of most US phone buyers until the ZenFone 2 popped up a few years ago with solid specs for a reasonable price, but the ZenFone 3 family hasn't been as prominent. It took Asus ages to roll these devices out in North America, and the pricing was not as generous. However, there are more variants of the ZenFone 3 still trickling out, from the flagship-level "Deluxe Special Edition" to the low-cost "Laser." The ZenFone 3 Zoom is somewhere in the middle with its $329 price tag and mid-range Snapdragon 625 chip.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom has some very impressive aspects, like the massive 5,000mAh battery and a camera with 2.3x optical zoom. Read More
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