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
Consumer security cameras have become a huge product category in the last couple year with the likes of Google, FLIR, and Logitech taking a swing at home monitoring. Your options are greatly reduced if you need a camera that operates for long stretches on battery or in the great outdoors. This is something Netgear has attempted to address with its Arlo security cameras. The new Arlo Pro adds a few features to the lineup, bringing it to parity with standard wired cameras. However, the wireless aspect means you'll have to make some compromises. Read More
Logitech has been making cameras of the web variety for years, and it recently got into the home security camera market with Logitech Circle. The initial reviews were alright, but Logitech was lacking some important features that other cameras had. I guess it took the criticism to heart because a series of app and firmware updates have added lots of new stuff to the existing hardware. It's actually gotten much more capable, and the pricing remains competitive. Taking another look at Logitech Circle, it's a great option for home video monitoring. Read More
Let's get this out of the way first: smartwatches have not been the big sellers that many technology firms were hoping they would be. Android Wear is stumbling, and even Apple is having trouble convincing its rabid fans to pony up $300 to $1000 on a wearable device. Samsung has taken a long and winding road through the land of wearables, having released an Android-powered smartwatch before Android Wear existed, then adopting Android Wear ever so briefly, then diving into its own Tizen-powered watch ecosystem.
That's where we are now—Samsung is making its own smartwatches running Tizen, but unlike earlier devices, the Gear S3 works on all Android devices. Read More
Wireless headphones are more important than ever as phones start (inadvisably) ditching the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack. Jaybird has been on the scene for a few years, making some of the most highly regarded wireless earbuds you can get. The Jaybird X2 are particularly popular, and have been coming down in price a lot. Earlier this year the company launched the Freedom earbuds, which didn't get such high praise.
What everyone wanted was a successor to the X2, and now we have that with the Jaybird X3. The design has been refined, it's got some cool new software features, the sound is nicer, and the launch price is more competitive. Read More