The Blue Mo-Fis were one of the more controversial headphones of 2014, owing to a built-in, battery-powered amplifier that Blue - a company traditionally in the microphone business - alleged made them superior for mobile device listening. I reviewed them and found Blue's claim to be accurate - especially when it came to Android smartphones, which generally offer lower-power built-in amplifiers than comparable iOS devices. But many headphone nuts were unconvinced, and begged Blue to release a cheaper, amp-less version of the Mo-Fis. And that's exactly what the $250 Blue Lolas are.
Gone are the internal battery, amplifier, the headband adjuster, and a fair bit of weight owed to these features. Read More
Back in January of 2014, Blu released what I then called my "favorite Blu phone to date"—the Life One X. At the time, it was a solid budget phone, but affordable smartphones have come so far since then. The last year or so has been great for the budget phone scene, and we've watched devices get more and more powerful while prices kept dropping.
Today, Blu announced the new version of the Life One X, and guess what? It's probably the best budget device I've ever used. One might even say it's probably "my favorite Blu phone to date," save for maybe the new Pure XL. Read More
Writing an unbiased review is a lot easier said than done. Every reviewer, myself included, has their own preferences, opinions, and experiences that will in some way affect his or her attitudes and conclusions. So rather than pretend that I am an unbiased reviewer, I will begin by telling you a little about the phones I have owned for the last few years. My hope is that this information will lend you greater insight into my thoughts and feelings regarding the Sony Z5.
I like Sony phones. I've owned every generation of the Sony Z series that T-Mobile has sold in the US, including the Z, Z1, and Z3. Read More
You know what I love about the Nexus 4, 5, 6, and 7? Wireless charging. In fact, that's the primary reason I haven't moved to the Nexus 6P or 5X yet — I just can't stand the idea of having it plug in every time I need to charge my phone. I realize that some people don't care about it either way, but it's been a game changer for me. I have a few wireless chargers around the house, and when I need to power up, I just toss my phone on one of them. Done. Every phone should have this. Read More
ASUS has been getting more invested into the smartphone market, both in the US—where we recently talked about the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone 2—and in their closer-to-home markets in the Eastern Hemisphere. This review will focus on two models that will not make it to the US, but should be of interest to those in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. The main focus will be on the ZenFone Selfie, which is much like the familiar ZenFone 2 and ZenFone 2 Laser but with a high-quality front-facing camera sensor. I will also discuss the ZE550KL model of the ZenFone 2 Laser, which is available in some non-US markets. Read More
There are two things that are staples in the bag that I carry basically everywhere I go: an external battery pack and charger, because sometimes I'm near a wall, and sometimes I'm not. At least one USB cable comes into the equation somewhere too, because what good is a charger without a cable. None, I'd say. None good.
Anyway, this new Energi 6K from TYLT is pretty neat, because it's both of those things in one thing. It's got a 6,000 mAh battery pack and charger all in one. It's not a Qualcomm-certified Quick Charger like the one I usually carry, but that's OK. Read More
I like smartwatches. I also like fitness trackers. Somehow, neither one is very good at what the other can do (and no one has figured out a way to fix that yet), so generally people in my position are stuck choosing one or the other. While I've chosen the smartwatch side, I still have a soft spot for both activity trackers and traditional watches. When Runtastic announced the Moment, it really just made sense to check it out — regardless of what I wear on my wrist from day-to-day, I've always been a fan of Runtastic's stuff.
The Moment, however, just misses the mark. Read More
Around the Android corners, joaomgcd is known for his automation tools, most of which rely on heavy Tasker integration and require a level of tinkering that most of us lazy people can't bother with. So when Joao released his new app Join and the featureset seemed to closely mirror Pushbullet's upon close inspection, I was intrigued. Not just because of Pushbullet's latest switch to Pro plans, but because the main selling point of the service was its simplicity. That has not been Joao's strong suit — at least through a newbie's eyes, his apps always seemed a little too overwhelming.
So could Join break the mould and stand out as a capable and simple alternative to Pushbullet? Read More
I remember not that long ago thinking that a 4.7-inch phone screen was pretty large. How could they get bigger than that and still be usable? Surely this is the end of the road... and here we are a few years later and the Xperia Z5 Compact is considered diminutive at 4.6-inches. When I say this phone is small (and it is) I mean it's small compared to every other Android flagship.
Consumers have voted with their dollars and told OEMs they want big phones, leaving the Xperia Compact series as your last bastion of tiny flagship phones. When a device basically owns a niche, it doesn't have to be amazing, it just needs to be. Read More
The Honda Accord may not be a car you’re terribly familiar with if you don’t reside in North America. You may also not realize just how popular it is here. While Honda sells the Accord abroad (and also a modified Chinese-built version called the Crider in Southeast Asia), nowhere has the Accord been more successful than the US of A. This is because when the Accord was introduced for the American market in the early 1980s as an affordable, reliable, American-built Japanese sedan, it was at a time when domestically-designed and produced American sedans were, well, pretty universally... terrible.
The Accord was not terrible. Read More