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
Anyone who's been around AP for a reasonable amount of time knows that I'm a big fan of my iPad Mini simply because I love the guitar amp sims available on the platform. For roughly $50(ish), I'm able to cover essentially any tone I can imagine, most of which are very true to the amp they're recreating. While I wouldn't think about using this in a live situation, it's absolutely indispensable for practice and recording quick licks.
I've longed for this type of functionality on Android for a few years now, and while Google has done a little bit to reduce the amount of audio-in latency with Lollipop, we're still not quite there. Read More
When you hear the name "NVIDIA," the first thing that comes to mind is most likely graphics cards, or at the very least the company's Tegra chips that have been powering Android devices for several years now. Either way, it's probably not "the company that makes the killer Android TV box that's hanging out in my living room."
But after today, it honestly might be.
We've spent the last week or so playing with both the base model SHIELD and storage-laden SHIELD Pro, which at this point are unquestionably the best Android TV boxes that money can buy. Read More
I've spent time with a lot of Blu handsets over the past couple of years, and one of the biggest downsides (to me, at least) is always the outdated software. In fact, every Blu phone I've looked at so far this year has been running KitKat. Fortunately, Lollipop is set to hit a few of the company's handsets starting this month, and it also just released the Studio C - its first offering to run Lollipop right out of the box.
The Studio C is a modest midranger with specs similar to some of Blu's other more recent devices (like the Studio Energy):
Powerhouse? Read More
It takes a special skill set to make something as repetitive, boring, stressful, and annoying as blood pressure (BP) monitoring look and feel good. While I'm lucky enough to still be too young and healthy to worry about my own BP, I do manage a small town pharmacy in Lebanon, which requires me to perform routine measurements on many patients.
Unroll the cuff, slide it around the arm, correctly position the diaphragm, close the cuff, adjust the stethoscope, inflate the cuff, let it slowly deflate while listening in, and finally remove everything after the readout is done. Rinse and repeat. It always feels like there are way too many steps involved than necessary. Read More