This holiday season, I have little doubt that over-the-ear headphones will be a big seller. Among those sold, it's hard to deny that the bulk will likely be Beats by Dre, because that's what all the cool kids are wearing. If you're more concerned with what sounds good and is practical over what's "popular," however, Phiaton is a brand to keep an eye on. I've been using the company's two newest offerings, the Bluetooth Chord MS 530 and the compact Fusion MS 430 for the last several weeks, and definitely recommend both for those looking for such a product.
Badland is a game about adaptation – the rotund birds you control in this title are simple things that fly up and to the right at your direction, but they're always changing. Toss in a few power ups, and things get wild really fast. The game can change in an instant and you have to be ready for it. Just survive – that's all you need to do, but the assortment of unexpected dangers and physics puzzles make this game something to take a closer look at.
You know what can be fun if done in moderation? Most things, actually. Among those things, alcohol is probably high on the list for most people. While drinking, it's also fun to be able to quantify how intoxicated you actually are – something a little more than "my face is numb" or "Nah, I'm OK – I've only had 12 shots." That's where this nifty little Bluetooth breathalyzer from BACtrack ($150) comes into play – it can tell you exactly how drunk (or not drunk) you are in about 30 seconds.
Last year, PowerA tried to change the game (quite literally) with its MOGA (later changed to MOGA Pocket) and MOGA Pro controllers. While the idea was great and execution was decent, there was still a lot of room for improvement with both. This year's models – the Hero Power and Pro Power – not only look to improve the overall form factor and experience over last year's models, but also bring more juice and the ability to charge your device while you play using the internal battery.
The Moto X is undeniably one of the most important Android devices of 2013, and it's probably also one of the best. This phone can be had for a pittance on-contract, but many prospective buyers were disappointed the off-contract cost was so high. If $500 for this phone seems like too much, Republic Wireless is offering an alternative. The Moto X on this Sprint MVNO is just $299 and you can walk away at any time.
Imagine your perfect full-sized tablet. It's light, thin, has a gorgeous high-resolution display, multiple-day battery life, powerful speakers, and a cutting-edge processor. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is all these things and more. From a hardware and engineering standpoint, it is truly a marvel. And, for a certain class of buyer, it may very well be that "perfect" full-sized tablet.
When I reviewed the Fire HD (7") last year, I came to a similar conclusion - I was wowed by the hardware (perhaps excepting the processor, which was a laggardly dual-core TI OMAP), but the software made it difficult to recommend for enthusiasts like you and me.
I'll be honest, I've never really understood the appeal of fishing, and the concept of sitting on a boat for hours hoping to get a bite already strikes me as pretty ridiculous. Thanks to grocery stores, I can think of much easier ways to get fish, and with a memory foam mattress, I can think of even easier ways to relax. But Ridiculous Fishing, which made its Android debut last week as part of the current Humble Mobile Bundle, doesn't earn its name by even remotely simulating the pastime it resembles.
Google is in the habit these days of selling extremely well-priced mobile devices like the new Nexus 5, but the same cannot be said for the accessories. Cases and chargers are all more expensive from the Play Store than the third-party alternatives, but sometimes it's worth the cost. Last year's Nexus wireless charger was one of the few Qi-compatible units out there, but the same cannot be said this year. Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger comes in a little cheaper than last year's at $50, and it has some cool features.
Asus has been in the business of making Android tablets for as long as it has been a viable business. The company has certainly won praise for its efforts on Google's Nexus tablets, but Asus still makes its own separate tablets in the Transformer line. The newest entrant in that group is the Transformer Pad TF701T. It's not the catchiest name ever slapped on a wedge of metal and glass, but it's not the name that we're interested in – it's the experience.
There is a growing selection of third party cases already available for the Nexus 5, but Google's offerings, tucked away at the bottom of the Play Store page, are poised to be the first ones many people see. There are two types of cases available: the official bumper case and the LG QuickCover. Liam provided a quick look at the former option already, but what about the latter? It's a solid, snug-fitting case that I strongly want to recommend, but at $49, doing so doesn't come easy.