The holidays are fast approaching and Amazon seems to be announcing one new product or service every day, so it's hard to keep up. The latest, however, is a waterproof Kindle with a larger 7" display that has us really jealous and itching for something like it but also compatible with Play Books.
Unlike its predecessors, the Oasis doesn't sport a 6" display, but takes it up a notch to 7". And it does that while reducing most bezels and thus still being roughly the same height and weight as the Paperwhite or Voyage. Only the width is larger, mainly thanks to that big black bezel on one side. Read More
Unlike some other flagship phones, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are not officially water-resistant - their Ingress Protection rating is a mere 53, much less capable than some Samsung and Motorola designs. If you're left feeling a little exposed, LifeProof has a case to sell you. Previously only available on the manufacturer website, the FRĒ series of cases are now being sold on the Google Store alongside the phones themselves. The good news is that the cases have an IP68 rating, meaning they're dust-proof and submersible for up to two hours in 2 meters of water. The bad news is that the cases cost $89.95, for either the Pixel or Pixel XL. Read More
For the past 4 years, I've been wearing a Fitbit device of some sort. I started with the One, which stuck with me for the better part of 3 years, then I tried the Blaze, the Alta, and the Charge 2. My main complaint with each of these trackers was the lack of water-resistance, which meant that I couldn't wear them in the pool or track my swims with them. I've tried several swim trackers including the Misfit Shine 2 Swim Edition and Amiigo, looking for something that could replace Fitbit, but the best that I found was the Garmin vivoactive, which has excellent swim tracking and can send the main stats to Fitbit through MyFitnessPal. Read More
With Bluetooth speakers so common these days, it is pretty easy to find one that fits in almost every price bracket. One of the more popular ones that I see around my hometown is the UE Roll line, due in no small part to its portability and water resistance (Colorado folks like to go outside, what can I say). The Roll 2 brought some improvements, including a longer range and louder output than its predecessor, but it maintained the utter simplicity that makes this speaker iconic. Coupled with the UE Roll app, you can set up an alarm, adjust EQ settings, remotely power on the device, and connect up to three phones to it. Read More
There are a lot of sports-oriented tech products, but not many are aimed squarely at surfers, skiers, and snowboarders. Which is why this new Android Wear smartwatch from Nixon – a major Californian manufacturer of watches and accessories – is so fascinating.
The Nixon Mission is a $400 smartwatch unabashedly aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts, and as a consequence, has been designed with an emphasis on durability. It packs a vivid AMOLED screen which is protected by a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, and a chassis constructed out of rugged stainless steel and polycarbonate.
The Nixon Mission is no slouch in the performance department either. Read More
Saygus, the company that really will have an actual smartphone for sale any day now, they totally promise, has some more promises for you. A press release issued at Mobile World Congress lays out a series of improvements to the crowdfunded V-Squared phone, which should be easy to implement since the phone still isn't finished despite a first quarter manufacturing target. No less than four, count 'em, four new features have been introduced since... last year's Mobile World Congress. The fact that Saygus has missed multiple ship dates between now and then is conspicuously absent from the press release.
Those features are "waterproofing" (an interesting claim, since every other manufacturer has the sense to cover their asses with the term "water-resistant"), Android 6.0 software, dual-SIM card slots (a popular feature for unlocked and low-cost phones outside the US), and a USB Type-C port, a la that OnePlus 2. Read More
The Galaxy S5 was water-resistant, one of the most hyped features of that particular Samsung generation. The Galaxy S6... wasn't. While the S6 and S6 Edge were huge leaps forward for Samsung in terms of both style and engineering, the loss of water resistance (not to mention expandable storage) was a bummer for some. T-Mobile employee Des would seem to agree, since he took advantage of the Ingress Protection 68 rating on the new Galaxy S7 to unbox the phone underwater. It sure beats the usual blogger's desk, right? Read More
Kyocera is one smartphone manufacturer that could care less about beating the competition on specs. It makes cheap phones that either won't receive updates or won't get them until long after you've given up hope. But the handsets are affordable, and many of the later models tend to be pretty rugged.
Both of these hold true for the Kyocera Hydro Wave, which is now available from T-Mobile and on its way to MetroPCS. This 5-inch qHD phone comes powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory. Fortunately, there's a microSD card slot for extra storage. Read More