I've grown jaded to the Bluetooth speaker market lately, but I always hop on the chance to review a new one in the admittedly futile hope that it will exceed my general expectations of the product segment. I get really excited when I'm pitched something that has a truly unique aspect to it — and no, I don't consider durability or weatherproof-ness to be unique anymore. But do you know what I really dislike? When something has a lot of promise, both in premise and presentation, but falls flat on its face, so to speak, in most areas.
This is the Divoom Timebox Mini, a little speaker/smart alarm clock that seriously excited me when I heard about it. Read More
Fabriq is a relatively-new speaker brand. Its first product was the Fabriq RIFF, a speaker about the size of an Echo Dot, but covered with a soft fabric in a variety of patterns. Not only did it have the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, but you could connect more than one for synced multi-speaker playback (like Google Cast/AirPlay). The Riff used either a direct microUSB connection for charging, or the included charging dock.
Today, Fabriq unveiled its second speaker, the Chorus. In most regards, it's a larger and more powerful version of the Riff, but with the added bonus of Alexa always-listening for commands (the Riff required a button press to activate Alexa). Read More
When I was young, I absolutely loved toy robots. I remember having a particular fascination for toys from WowWee, like the 'Robosapien' and the 'Roboraptor.' I managed to convince my parents one year to get the Roboraptor for my birthday, which I still own to this day. It was pretty basic by today's standards (the most advanced part of it was the IR sensor), but it was awesome at the time.
A few years later, I got my hands on the second-generation LEGO Mindstorms NXT. It was a robotics kit with pieces like IR sensors and motors, but it used LEGO's standard 'Technic' pieces. Read More
Anyone who reads Android Police probably has a good idea who Andy Rubin is—he founded Android before it was acquired by Google, and was in charge of the platform for a number of years. After leaving Google, he dabbled in a few ventures, as very wealthy people are wont to do. Eventually, Rubin started Essential, a company that has now launched its first Android smartphone. The hype train got started earlier this year when Rubin posted an image of the phone showing off its impossibly small bezels, but they hid the unusual cutout in the teaser. Read More
Last year, I reviewed the ASUS ZenPad 3S 10. At the time, it was ASUS' flagship tablet and took a fair bit of design inspiration from the iPad. I came away mostly impressed, but the outdated version of Android (6.0 Marshmallow) and meager battery life definitely held back its potential.
Around the same time, ASUS released the ZenPad Z10, a similar tablet exclusive to Verizon. If you read Jordan's review, you'll know it was a much better device. It had a better processor, a bigger battery, and Verizon LTE support. ASUS has now followed up that tablet with the ZenPad Z8s, another Verizon-exclusive tablet with similar specs and design. Read More
A little under a year ago, I'd have said that there might not be a Galaxy Note8 at all. Of course, I'd have been wrong. But after the Note7's disastrous recall episode, it seemed perfectly fair to ask whether the Galaxy Note would continue be a thing. After all, battery fires aside, the Note really didn't seem to be the focus of Samsung's smartphone development the way it once was. The Note7 wasn't much more than a stretched, squared-off Galaxy S7 edge. And even before that, the Note5 wasn't much different from the pen-less Galaxy S6 Edge+ it debuted alongside. If there were a perfect time to call it quits on the Note series, a major recall followed by a total product cancellation would have been it. Read More
I am very cynical about Bluetooth audio these days. Even if the sound is good, the battery life sucks, the buds themselves aren't comfortable, and so on. However, I think I finally found a product that actually meets a lot of the criteria that make a good pair of Bluetooth earphones. Optoma's NuForce BE2 is made for athletes; it packs an IPX5 rating, decent sound, and a nice 10-hour battery life span all for $50. Read More
The Galaxy S8 Active is the fifth Samsung S phone to bear the Active name, and it's easily the most refined take on the concept yet. Currently, the S8 Active is only available on AT&T, and that's the model we've received for review, but eventually, Samsung has less than subtly implied it will make its way to other carriers here in the US, as well to the unlocked market.
What's new compared to the outgoing S7 Active? Frankly, everything.
There are no more hardware navigation keys. The Active key is gone, too. It also doesn't look like it was styled by someone at the local army surplus, either. Read More
I'll admit it here: I may work at Android Police, but I think Android Wear is terrible.
I'm not the type to poke away at a wrist-mounted touchscreen, and the last thing I want is yet another device to charge. So, I've been interested in hybrid smartwatches like the Skagen Connected line for some time. Although I went into this with plenty of optimism, I found the experience to be a bit lacking. The Signatur is an attractive timepiece, but a poor smartwatch. Read More
There is no shortage of portable projectors on the market, but most of them aren't very good. 'Nebula' is a sub-brand from Anker, with just one product so far - the Nebula Mars. It's a smart portable projector that runs Android, with built-in JBL speakers and a battery big enough to watch a movie or two on a single charge.
So how does Anker's first foray into projectors end up? The Nebula Mars is a pretty great product, but it's not without a few faults. Read More