When Google announced Android Auto at Google I/O 2014, I was already sold. And by "sold," I mean I fully expected it to be something I'd want [were I in the market to buy a car that had it]. And while I don't actually plan on buying a car with Auto any time soon, after spending a week with it, I do feel pretty OK with that gut feeling. We reviewed Auto earlier this month on a Pioneer head unit, but I figured I'd also share my own thoughts on it.
For a little bit of background, recently Hyundai allowed me to borrow a Sonata sedan (I reviewed it) with Android Auto loaded up. Read More
If you aren't familiar with the controversy over Samsung's decision to make the S6 and S6 Edge's batteries non-replaceable, you probably don't follow Android news very much. Because you can't just swap out another battery, more people have gotten interested in figuring out how to ensure they have an operating phone after a long day. One method that owners of many smartphones have been using for years is the battery case. While there are tradeoffs involved in putting a case on your phone that is big enough to house a battery, there is a payoff too: no need to find an outlet or juggle wires when your device would normally be running out of juice. Read More
It's no secret that I love Ultimate Ears' Bluetooth speakers - the BOOM was my absolute favorite speaker for nearly two years. Then the MEGABOOM came out, and UE once again impressed the hell out of me with the amazing sound it can get out of such a portable package. Today, the company announced the smallest in what I still think can be classified as the "BOOM Family" - the UE ROLL. (OK, it doesn't necessarily have BOOM in the name, but c'mon - it's clearly part of the family.)
The ROLL is made to take the place of the UE Mini BOOM, which was the smallest member of the family. Read More
You've probably heard of quick charging, turbo charging, adaptive fast charging, rapid charging, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 before - or at least one or two of these things. What you may not know is that all of them are actually basically the same thing, based on the same licensed technology from Qualcomm known as Quick Charge.
With that basic premise in mind, what I want to dispel in this article is the notion that you need an OEM-branded charger to get the maximum charging speed out of your smartphone, because this generally isn't true. And understanding that could save you a fair bit of money, especially if your phone doesn't come with a quick charger, or you need a second one for work or travel. Read More
When you think smartphones, ASUS probably rarely comes to mind. While the company has been building Android phones for several years now, their market penetration outside of Asia has been relatively low, and so they rarely get much attention in American or European markets. But the ZenFone 2, when it launched at CES six months ago, definitely raised eyebrows.
At a starting price of just $199, ASUS is offering up a phone with extremely impressive specifications for a do-a-double-take MSRP - it almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, I don't think it is - the ZenFone 2 is a solid phone that works pretty much like any Android 5.0+ device you'll encounter while simultaneously blowing the doors off pretty much any competitor at this price point for raw spec sheet power. Read More
The Neo Smartpen N2 is the company's second shot at an intelligent analog writer and this one comes with very few compromises. In a market without a whole lot of competition, especially for those who support Android, Neo's N2 needs to be on your radar if you want a smartpen. I've been testing it out for a couple of weeks and, on the whole, I am really excited about it. With that said, it does have a few drawbacks that you will want to think through before deciding to buy.
This is the second smartpen I've reviewed for Android Police. The first is the Livescribe 3, whose review you can see here. Read More
Back at CES earlier this year, Blu announced a handful of phones, including the Vivo Air, Studio X, and Studio Energy. Today, we're looking at the final phone from that announcement, the Life One, as well as another handset Blu has coming out in a few weeks, the Life 8 XL.
Let's jump right in with specs.
The first thing worth noting about the Life One is the processor - it's a 64 bit Snapdragon 410. Read More
It's been a year since Android Auto was announced, and it's only now starting to hit the market. You can buy a handful of cars with support for Auto (with a software update), and more vehicles are on the way. There are also some aftermarket head units that can smarten up your dumb old car. Now that it's finally reaching consumer availability, we can see how Google's car infotainment platform works.
I've had a chance to play with one of Pioneer's NEX Android Auto kits (the AVIC-8100NEX), and have already posted some initial impressions. Now let's dig in and explore this new frontier for Android. Read More