In the realm of wall-tethered wireless speakers, there isn't a great shortage of high-end brands. B&O Play, Sonos, and Bose are probably getting the lion's share of revenue in this space, considering the absolutely bonkers prices of some of their products. They all offer something, too - with B&O, you buy into the striking European style of Bang & Olufsen. Sonos offers a unified, proprietary communication protocol with good platform support and a variety of speakers and price points. Read More
In June of last year, Blu released its sleekest phone yet, the Vivo IV. This ultra-thin, super-svelte handset really put an emphasis on design, something that no other Blu phone before had really done. At CES, the company announced the newest member of the Vivo line, the Vivo Air. At just 5.1 mm thick, this is the thinnest smartphone you can currently buy in the US. It's stupid-thin, but it also weighs under 100 grams, so it's equally as light. So, stupid-light.
Based on its specs, I wouldn't necessarily call the Vivo Air the IV's successor, but rather just a new addition to that product family. In fact, the Vivo IV is still more powerful than the Air, though both devices feature the same MediaTek octa-core chipset. Read More
When it comes to IP security cameras, Dropcam is (and has been) one of the biggest names in the game. It's easy enough to use, sets up quickly, and can basically be left alone once everything is in place (most of the time, at least). That's the kind of simplicity that most home and small business owners want, which is what Dropcam has been offering since day one. Add in the fact that the company is constantly adding new, useful features to its apps, and you have a winner.
Naturally, challengers are going to come. There's clearly a market for products like this, so why let one manufacturer own it? Read More
When Motorola released the revamped Moto X a few months ago, there was plenty of discussion about whether it or the still-unannounced Nexus 6 would be a better purchase. It's completely reasonable to prefer the Nexus 6 because of the larger screen and improved camera, but the 2014 Moto X still stands out to me as one of the best Android phones ever made. Now that we've got a little distance, let's see how the 2014 Moto X is holding up.
In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables. In fact, I bet there will be some solid discounts on these devices in the not too distant future.
If you simply can't decide which—if any—watch is the right one for you, here are all the strengths and weaknesses of the current crop. Read More
You may remember Anki as the company that took the stage at Apple's iOS 7 announcement in 2013 only to have its demo bogged down with bugs. Since then, the product has done quite well on iOS and it came to Android a few months ago. At $150 for the starter kit, it's a lot to pay for AI-controlled race cars. Anki Drive seeks to bring basic artificial intelligence into the real world, making for a unique gaming experience. Should you consider dropping cash on what is essentially a really fancy slot car set?
One of my favorite Bluetooth earphones of all time is Plantronics' Backbeat GO 2. Ever since I got it over a year ago, you'd rarely find me outside of home or work without seeing it around my neck. It accompanies me on my walks, my shopping, and most of my daily activities. It is small and minimalistic, easily fits in my purse, and lightly hangs around my neck when not in use. It's also quite comfortable to wear for 2 or 3 hours continuously, enough to entertain me on all of my outings.
The one problem with the Backbeat GO 2 is its fit, especially when engaged in more energetic activities like running. Read More
While I don't personally do a lot of work from a tablet, the option of a keyboard has always been appealing to me. I'll occasionally use my tablet to take notes for whatever review I'm working on at the time, pen a quick email, or some other third thing that I can't think of right now. For anything more than a short sentence or two, the software keyboard just doesn't cut it for me. I've reviewed several hardware keyboards designed for Android, but none seem quite as elegant as Google's Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio ($130). The overall design is well thought-out, and thanks to the magnetic connection to the tablet, it's super slim. Read More
Nearly two years ago, Samsung unveiled a prototype for a curved-edge display in a smartphone. They didn't give it a name, and most of us assumed it was a one-off engineering experiment that would never be explored much further. As it turns out, we were wrong - Samsung apparently set to work putting one half of the concept in production (as in, only one curved side on the screen), and now we have the Galaxy Note Edge.
The Note Edge is based on the Note 4, a phone I reviewed several months ago. Given that they are otherwise identical but for the side-screen features, a full review is sort of missing the point (that, and reviews of the Note Edge are up on the web elsewhere already). Read More
We've now seen the entire first generation of Android Wear watches, many of which have their own angle—a reason for being, if you will. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is great for outdoors, the Moto 360 is pretty and round, the G Watch R is rounder, and the original G Watch is cheap (sometimes). The Asus ZenWatch is the last device to hit the market, but just like the others, it now has the Android Wear 5.0.1 update. I decided to wait until the update was pushed out before posting this review because this will be the first chance we've had to dive deep with a Lollipop watch. Read More