Now that the primary Galaxy S7 series has regained its water-resistant powers, one might wonder why we need a ruggedized "active" version. And the answer is that, while the S7 and S7 Edge are some damn fine phones, all that delicately curved and exposed glass isn't exactly what you'd call durable. If the general tank-like construction of the Galaxy S7 Active isn't enough to turn your head, consider that it has almost exactly the same capabilities as its more mainstream brother (which is fairly unusual for rugged phones), plus an even bigger 4000mAh battery. Read More
Despite being well received, the Jaybird X2 wireless earbuds caught some heat for not being significantly different from the first gen version. The new Jaybird Freedom (technically the Freedom F5) wireless earbuds are a different animal entirely. Jaybird has slimmed down the size of the earbuds to make them more comfortable, but says it hasn't sacrificed sound quality. They do look almost impossibly small. I've been taking these earbuds for a spin to see if they are worth the admittedly high $200 price tag. Read More
This is the JBL Boost TV ($200), one of the newer speakers in JBL's ever-expanding audio portfolio. As you might surmise by the name, the Boost is a compact TV sound bar. It's also a capable Bluetooth speaker compatible with JBL's Android app and boasting some pretty cool features. I spent the last month using one as the primary speaker in my bedroom; spoiler alert – I really liked it. Let's take a look.
Design & Build Quality
The JBL Boost TV has a smaller footprint than most TV sound bars. It's 15 inches long, five inches wide, and three inches tall and shaped like an elongated football that's been slightly deflated (just the way Tom Brady likes it) that's had its ends cut off. Read More
Notifications are the bread and butter of our Android experience. Something happens, we get a notification. It could be as urgent as a new email from our boss telling us that we missed a comma in a post (stuff like that has been known to happen when your boss is Artem) or as ordinary as a new Twitter mention or a shipping status change on an order or a new episode available of your favorite series. The difference between how you act on these notifications is huge. You can instantly tap to check a notification or, if you're on Android N, directly reply to it, you can dismiss it without a second look because it's not something you care about all that much, or you can leave it hanging in your notification shade as a reminder to check later. Read More
I can't recall ever using a smartphone larger than the Xiaomi Mi Max. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is the closest I've ever come, and the Mi Max is over a tenth of an inch larger on the display diagonal than even that phone. While it's not the largest smartphone ever, the Xiaomi Mi Max is certainly in the upper echelons of size in the taxonomic order smartphonus, dwarfing 5" devices we once called "large" just four or five years ago. Read More
I've owned, used, and abused a lot of USB car chargers over the years. They all do more or less the same thing, and most look nearly identical to every other car charger on the market. When Nonda contacted me asking if I was interested in taking a look at their ZUS dual port car charger ($30), I almost deleted the message.
With a max output of 2.4A per outlet (ideal for Apple products), the charger sports decent charging speeds, but with no Qualcomm Quick Charge technology or Nexus Rapid Charge support, I didn't think it was worth my time to review. Read More
The UE ROLL was one of the most interesting new Bluetooth speakers launched last year. With a waterproof (IPX7), disc-shaped body, and an attached bungee cord, the ROLL was marketed as a perfect companion for any adventure, rain or shine. Cam was a big fan of the device and had almost no complaints in his review.
Ultimate Ears is back at it again this year with an update to the original ROLL. It's called the UE ROLL 2 ($99), and as you might expect, it's even better. Read More
The only Samsung smartphone I have owned and used was the Galaxy S3 (well, I also had the Galaxy 5 - not S - for a few weeks, but that doesn't count). I had been eyeing the company since the original Galaxy S, checking what it's doing and waiting for it to be convincing before I dipped my toes and grabbed the S3. I liked the rounded design, even though everyone criticized it. I loved the powerful hardware too, but I hated TouchWiz. It took me two weeks to get fed up, root the phone, flash a custom recovery, and start trying different custom ROMs that removed some of the bloat and smoothed the experience. Read More
There are a lot of great in-ear Bluetooth headphones that are designed for active people. They sport many different features like water-resistance, earbuds that lock into place, and tangle free wires, but they all have one thing in common – they go in your ear. For some people with irregular/oversensitive/teeny-tiny-baby-mouse sized-earlobes, in ear headphones aren't an option.
The problem for people who don't like in-ear headphones is that most on/over-ear headphones are not great for workouts either. They can be bulky, heavy, fall off easily, and can be ruined by the moisture and salt excreted by their sweaty owner. Urban Ears has heard the cries of dismay and despair of the earbud intolerant sweaty masses and created a product that promises to solve these problems. Read More
Logitech is unveiling a new product today, and its exclusively for Android with the aim of making it easier to use your phone in the car without distraction. Logi ZeroTouch is a smart car mount with included voice control app. And yes, you need one to use the other. These two things are not usually so intertwined, but ZeroTouch is an unusual product. Would you like to know how unusual? Read on. Read More