Several weeks ago I took a look at the Creative SoundBlaster AXX 200 portable Bluetooth speaker and came away less than impressed. It's chockfull of neat features, but really falls on its face in the sound department. Creative has a new speaker out now, however: the SoundBlaster ROAR ($200). There's a lot to live up to right out of the box with a name like ROAR, so I had pretty high expectations from this one.
LG's G2 was one of the most cultishly-loved smartphones of 2013, to an extent that, frankly, befuddled me. It had a terribly ugly software layer, felt cheaply built, and ticked almost no boxes in terms of innovation. The G2 was a specification junkie's wet dream, and that's exactly the sort of buyer the phone ended up attracting. Appearance, software features, and design aren't high on such people's lists.
Even in the face of criticism, though, success with a group like that isn't something you just let go.
Game controllers for Android are a dime a dozen these days, and most of the newest ones do very little to inherently change anything. They're basically all the same Xbox or PlayStation-like designs that may or may not allow a phone to clip to them. The Phonejoy wants to change that with its controller, an interestingly designed unit that actually opens up and holds the device to replicate a PS Vita-type gadget.
Last month I took Amazon's Fire TV for a test drive and came away pretty damn impressed. It's a nice box with a lot to like – but there's also some pretty stiff competition in the streaming box arena. Companies like Google and Roku are both ready to take your money in exchange for enhancing an otherwise stale television experience.
Since there a variety of options on the market today, we decided to take four of the most popular and put them in a head-to-head deathmatch.
The Hitman games have been a staple of third-person stealth action for years. I still remember playing the original on PC many moons ago and being absolutely floored at the detail-oriented gameplay – you had to actually hide unconscious bodies to avoid raising the alarm and disguises only worked so well. Gaming as a whole has advanced considerably since then, but Hitman GO is an attempt to distill that stealthy combat experience into a clean and easy to play package for mobile devices.
Once upon a time, Blu was pushing out low- to mid-range phones once every couple of weeks. Then a shift happened – the company stepped up its game and started putting out higher quality handsets, leading up to last month's release of the Life Pure XL – a Snapdragon 800-packing monster.
Fast-forward to now, with the launch of two new Blu handsets: the Vivo IV and Life 8. While the Life 8 is more of a "mid-range" octa-core device (1GB RAM, 1280x720 display, 8GB storage), the Vivo IV is another beast entirely.
The number of Bluetooth speakers I've looked at in the past year (give or take) is vast. As a result, I feel like I have a good understanding of what's available on the market, as well as what offers the most bang for the buck. As time has gone on, I've started holding each new speaker to a higher level, because the competition is just too stiff not to. Manufacturers absolutely have to one up the other guys if they want to stand out in this saturated market.
Monument Valley came to Android a week ago after attracting roughly a million downloads on iOS in the one month since its release. That's no small number, but it doesn't take much time with the game to understand why (a good thing, considering just how little time you're going to spend playing it). Monument Valley has been put together pixel by pixel, with the game offering no more nor less than it needs to provide an absolutely captivating experience.
A few days ago, Google added a line of official snap cases to the Play Store for the Nexus 5. Some readers may be yearning for a closer inspection of Google's late-entry accessory, which - at first glance - looks a lot like the myriad cheaper options available online, so we're going to give it a quick look.
To tell the truth, the selection of snap cases online isn't separated from the official case by much.
In the past, Blu has offered budget-friendly phones with mid to mid-high end specs. The biggest issue that most power users have had with the company's handsets is a simple one: MediaTek processors. While these particular chips offer good bang for the buck, they are still mostly underpowered for heavy multi-taskers or anyone looking for lightning quickness from their handset.
It looks like we may be getting into a new era for Blu if the new Life Pure XL is any indicator of what to expect moving forward.