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Reviews

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PowerSquare Tango Position-Free Wireless Charger Review: A Premium Accessory For A Premium Price

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.

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Hands-On With The Nuu Z8, A Decent New Smartphone In the $250-300 Range

We're entering into an era where you no longer have to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a good, usable smartphone. Manufacturers like Blu have done a lot for the budget smartphone, and more mainstream phone makers like Motorola have brought the words "budget" and "flagship" together in a way we didn't think would ever be possible.

I've been messing with a new affordable device from a relatively new manufacturer to the scene here lately: the Nuu Z8. Nuu currently has a couple of other budget devices on the market, but the Z8 is what the company is calling its flagship device.

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Creative Labs Sound Blaster Roar 2 Review: A Killer Successor To One Of The Best Speakers I've Ever Heard

Back in June of last year, I took the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Roar for a spin (and loved it). When Creative pinged me about the Roar's successor, I naturally couldn't wait to get my hands on it - and with a tagline like "Smaller, Lighter, & Sexier," I hoped that it would be even better than its predecessor.

Spoiler: it is. This thing is legit. And for a starting price of $170, it's hard to deny that it's one of the best speakers around right now.

Appearance and Features

From an aesthetic standpoint, the Roar 2 looks a lot like last year's model. No surprise there, really - what would be the point of completely changing the design and keeping the same name?

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Asus ZenPad S 8.0 Review: An Almost-Great Tablet Held Back By Its Software

Asus was one of the first Android tablet OEMs to distinguish itself with devices like the original Transformer, and it followed that up with two 7-inch Nexus tablets. While Asus is no longer the Nexus tablet maker of choice at Mountain View, it's still doing some interesting things with Android slates. After a run of heavily budget-oriented tablets, Asus is launching a somewhat more premium offering, the ZenPad S 8.0. As the name implies, this is an 8-inch Android tablet with a very similar vibe to the Zenfone 2. Depending on how you look at it, that can be either good and bad.

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Amiigo Review: An Activity And Gym Workout Tracker With Lots Of Potential And Even More Issues

I had my eyes on Amiigo the moment it was mentioned here on Android Police back in January 2013. The promised features seemed like everything I wanted in an all-day sleep and activity tracker, especially with its waterproof design and swimming capability. See, runners and cyclists have it easy: there are dozens if not hundreds of gadgets they have been able to use for the past years to track their workouts. But swimmers, well, let's just say the choice has always been limited and it was even more so in 2013 when you wanted a smart tracker that synced with Android.

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Microsoft Translator And Google Translate Compared: Is There A New Challenger In The House?

Microsoft's Translator isn't the first service to attempt to confront Google in the translation game, but it may be one of the first to pose a real challenge to Google Translate. Out of the gate, the app has an Android Wear component, a sorely missed feature in its competitor, and even though Translator does seem quite simplistic and limited, it has most of the basic features covered to warrant a more thorough comparison against Translate.

A different approach

While many of Microsoft's recent apps have adopted Material Design in their interface, Translator is more subtle about it. Both the welcome and the translation screens' blurry background and iconography are modern but not exactly Material.

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Asus ZenFone 2E Review: A Disappointing Low-End Entry In The ZenFone Lineup

Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.

These days things are a little different.

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Hands-On With YouTube Gaming (Creator Preview)

A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.

youtube_gaming

Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program.

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Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Selfie, Energy X Plus, And Studio C 5+5

Earlier this week, Blu announced a handful of new phones: the Vivo Selfie, Studio C 5+5, Studio C 5+5 LTE, and Energy X Plus. Each handset has something that makes it stand out from the others, and all of them come in at the low price points that we've come to expect from Blu. In short, we've got a thin and light phone made for selfies, a pair of ultra-affordable devices with dual 5MP shooters, and one with a battery that's in it for the long haul.

I've had three of the four for the last few days, with the only exception being the 5+5 LTE since it's virtually identical to the 5+5, just with the addition of LTE.

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FLIR ONE For Android Review: So Cool You Might Be Able To Justify The Exorbitant Price

FLIR Systems is one of the premier makers of thermal camera technology at the high-end of the market, but in recent years it has also been branching out to the consumer level. The first-generation FLIR ONE smartphone thermal camera was only available for the iPhone and it was a bulky case design. Now the second generation unit is coming out for Android in a few weeks, but it's not cheap. So, what does it do and is that worth $250 to you? Let's find out.

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