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.
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.
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?
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.
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly three years since we reviewed Soundfreaq's original Sound Kick portable speaker. Over that period of time, we've seen a slew of new offerings from the company, including a few ultra-portable options, an alarm clock speaker, and a handful of others. The Sound Kick was really a groundbreaker for us though - it had standout features unlike any other speaker at that time.
Fastforward to today, and the SK's successor is finally here. The SK2 takes a lot of what made the original so great, including a tilting design and UQ3, and improves on that.
Sony has just announced the follow-up to its flagship device, the... why does it feel like I've written this story before? Oh, because I have. So a month after making its Xperia Z4 official in Japan, Sony is taking that device and releasing it with a more appropriate name for the global market: Xperia Z3+. Let's face it, the changes compared to the Z3 are minimal enough not to warrant a full number increase, so the switch back to the Z3+ is more honest on the company's behalf.
On the outside, the Z3+ looks almost exactly like the Z3, give or take a few slots and speaker grill placements.
The Sony Smartwatch 3 is one of the most compelling options among currently available Android Wear devices. Its comfort, water resistant body, great outdoor visibility, and inclusion of features such as GPS and NFC set it apart as the best Android Wear option for fitness and outdoor enthusiasts.
If the compelling features weren't enough to entice you before, a new low price may increase the watch's attraction. The SW3 is currently available on Ebay Daily Deals for just $169.99. That’s $80 dollars off retail and $30 lower than it has ever been listed before. In other words — it’s a freaking steal!
Along with the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony has announced the mid-range waterproof Xperia M4 Aqua today at Mobile World Congress.
With a 5" 720p display, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octacore, and 2GB of RAM, the Xperia M4 Aqua doesn't seem too impressive to begin with. However, when you start factoring in all the other specs, you'll understand why Sony says that there are "no compromises" in this mid-ranger.
First up, a 13MP camera (remember when that was a feature of high-end smartphones?) with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and a large F2.0 aperture with 3200 ISO sensitivity dons the back of the Xperia M4 Aqua and adapts to various environments.
Do you have a smartphone? Do you completely rely on it an entire day for navigation, music, gaming, communication, and more? Then you definitely understand the woes of battery life on these modern all-singing all-dancing gadgets. I personally have a charger at home, a dock at work, a car charger, a small portable charger in my purse, but I also like having MOAR POWER just in case I ever need it.
That power comes in the form of a big portable battery, the kind that Anker, New Trent, and Limefuel make. I was a Kickstarter backer on the latter's Limeade Blast L130X, a 13000mAh unit with two USB outputs, a handy carrying case, and a 2-in-1 MicroUSB and 30-pin cable.
HTC's Butterfly series is an interesting one. While this particular range of models rarely makes its way outside of Asia, HTC often uses it as a testbed for new technology and features, and some of the highlights of these phones make it into the primary international lines on the next go-round. The latest version of the J Butterfly, which will launch exclusively on Japanese carrier KDDI next month, has some additions to the basic One design that might be worth watching.
First of all, the body is designed differently, with what looks like high-quality polycarbonate (read: plastic, but nice plastic) instead of the metal we've become used to with the One family.