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Reviews

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Galaxy S7 And S7 edge Review: An Iteration, But One Samsung Can Be Proud Of

The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge come into 2016 with a rather tremendous amount of baggage in the eyes of the phone enthusiasts of the world. Many viewed Samsung’s move to sealed batteries, non-expandable storage, a non-waterproof design, and glass backs as open and Apple-hued traitorism last year, feeling the company had lost sight of what its most ardent fans considered reasons to buy into the Galaxy brand. The same set of changes also befell what I long thought Samsung’s bulwark in the high-end, high-feature part of the enthusiast market in the Note line (minus waterproofing, as the Note never had it).

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JBL Everest Elite 700 Bluetooth Headphones Review: Solid Wireless Headphones At A Decent Price Point

I'm a huge fan of what JBL has been doing in the portable speaker scene here lately — the Xtreme ($299), Charge 2+ ($139), and Flip 3 ($99) are all absolutely incredible at their respective price points. There's no doubt in my mind that JBL is at the top of the Bluetooth speaker game right now.

Knowing what the company has done with speakers, I was all over it when they reached out about the new Everest Elite 700 over-the-ear headphones ($300). I really just wanted to see if the Bluetooth headphone situation was on the same level as the speakers.

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Creative Labs iRoar Bluetooth Speaker Review: An Overpriced Speaker That's Still Somehow Pretty Good

While my initial impressions of Creative Labs as a speaker company weren't so great, the company made me a believer in the Roar brand with the first speaker to carry the namesake. After the Roar 2 came out and once again impressed, I knew this would be one to keep an eye on moving forward. So when the iRoar ($370) was announced — the self-proclaimed "most intelligent speaker on the planet — I knew I had to check it out.

Is it better than its successors? Without a doubt. It's sleeker and smarter, but most importantly: it sounds better.

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Yeelight Bedside Lamp Review: A Pretty Nice Wireless LED Lamp For A Pretty Reasonable Price

Connected "smart" lighting is far from a new concept, but in late-2012, Philips released the first Hue lightbulb which became the blueprint for a new category in an old market. It was no longer enough for lights to turn on at a scheduled time or with a clunky wireless remote, they had to become smarter, more efficient, more flexible, and we wanted to control them with our smartphones. But a product of this type lends itself to variations, special features, and stylistic choices beyond those of the original innovation. This brings us to the Yeelight, a Bluetooth-enabled bedside lamp with a stylish look, simple controls, and a couple of clever features to go along with it.

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[Review + Deal Alert] Aukey's Lineup Of QC 3.0 Chargers Is Ready For The Next Generation Of Smartphones

Since the time I began writing for Android Police last spring I have written dozens of deal alerts. Many of these articles have featured mobile accessories from brands I had not previously heard of, let alone tried for myself. While reviews on Amazon are a nice tool to help determine if a product is any good, there is no substitute for a recommendation from a source you trust. With that in mind, today I'm starting a new series of articles reviewing mobile accessories from the manufacturers that we often feature in Deal Alerts at Android Police.

First up in the series is Aukey's lineup of QC 3.0 chargers. Aukey sent me four different QC 3.0 chargers to test, including a single port charger, a dual port charger, a dual port car charger, and a five port charging station.

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Nextbit Robin Review: A Surprisingly Solid Crowdfunded Smartphone, But Not Without Its Flaws

We're used to crowdfunded smartphones being delayed into obsolescence by poor planning and over-promising. Coming from that sort of pedigree, the Nextbit Robin is already a success because it actually exists. This phone hit Kickstarter last year and raked in over $1.3 million. The promised delivery was January, and now it's out there just a little late. So, good on Nextbit for releasing a phone, but is it worth buying? Let's find out.

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ASUS ZenFone Zoom Review: 3x Optical Zoom On A Phone That Would Still Be Good Without It

It wasn’t long ago that ASUS, while beloved by many on the desktop computing scene, was hardly a player when it came to smartphones. Some early Android tablet adopters will remember their Transformer books, but the ZenFone line is relatively new and has been the most serious attempt by ASUS to break into phones. It would be easy to overstate the popularity of the ZenFone, especially in western markets, but there’s no doubt that lovers of Android now have ASUS on their radar.

We at Android Police have looked at several ZenFones and the latest entry is the ZenFone Zoom, which is a characteristic mixture of uniqueness, ambition, value, and zaniness that we have seen before.

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Blu Vivo 5 Quick Review: $400 Worth Of Phone For $199

Back at CES, Blu announced two phones: the Vivo XL and Vivo 5. While we've already taken a look at the former, the latter is the one we've really been waiting for. I've had it in-hand for about a week now, and there's honestly a lot to talk about with this handset. From the specs to the design, this definitely offers more than a $200 handset should, though there are definitely some quirks with the software.

But I'm getting ahead of myself now. Let's start at the beginning. And when we get to the end — stop.

Specs

Display 5.5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek 6753 64-bit with Mali T720 GPU
RAM 3GB
Camera 13MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Wireless 3G: 850/1700/1900/2100; 4G LTE: 2/4/7; Dual SIM
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone
Battery 3,150mAh
OS Android 5.1
Dimensions 151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9 mm
Price $199
Colors Gold, Silver
Buy Amazon; Best Buy

The Good

Great performance for the money It's hard to argue with what this phone is capable of for just $200.
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Moto 360 Sport Quick Review: Good On Paper, Hard To Recommend In Practice

Motorola launched the second-generation Moto 360 last fall and fixed many of the issues with the original watch, but at the same time it teased the Moto 360 Sport. It took months for it to come out, and even then there was little promotion surrounding it. I don't think you can deny that it's a less elegant device than the standard Moto 360, which comes with the same $299 starting price, but there are a few distinct, sporty features that might tempt you.

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Acer Predator 8 Gaming Tablet Review: It's Everything That Nobody Wants In A Tablet

My first desktop PC was an Acer many years ago. If I recall correctly, it ran Windows 95, AOL was my ISP, and it was the coolest thing on the planet to me at the time. It was like the Wild West—the rules hadn't yet been established, so the internet was just a huge playground for…whatever. I could get into a nostalgic post about all the stupid stuff I used to do on that computer when I first got the 'net, but that's another story for another day. (Or maybe never.) Either way, those were good times.

Ever since that computer, though, I've had a bit of a soft spot for Acer—oftentimes not unjustified.

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