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Reviews

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Pixel C Review: A Great Tablet With The Wrong Operating System

I've long been an advocate for the usefulness of Android tablets, but even I've been questioning my own words over the past year or so. After switching to a Chromebook Flip as my main laptop and tablet, I rarely even use my Android tablets for anything more than reading in bed or playing a quick game.

But deep down I guess I'm a dreamer—I keep hoping Google will step up and make Android tablets not only relevant for more than the "I want a cheap tablet" market, but for power users. People who want to get things done and don't always want to break out a laptop to do it.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick (2015) Lightning Review: Still Probably The Best Streaming Stick Money Can Buy

It's been about a year since Amazon released the first Fire TV Stick (give or take a couple of months), which was probably the best streaming stick at the time—arguably better than both Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick. Naturally, the company didn't want to wait too long before updating both the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, though I'm not sure that I'd call what the FTV Stick got an actual "upgrade." Really, it's the same stick as last year, but now there's an option to bundle it with the voice remote for just $10 more than the normal price of $40 (making it $50).

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[Hands-On] Camera MX Now Takes iOS-Like "Live Photos" On Android

Introduced with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Live Photos was a new iOS feature that created a more dynamic photo experience. Instead of being limited to the single shot that users see when they press the shutter button, the camera would capture several shots around that moment, allowing you to move a few seconds or milliseconds and choose a better timed picture. Another benefit was the creation of a small stop-motion or gif-like animation of the different photos, to capture the breadth of the moment instead of fixing one frame in time.

I liked the Live Photos idea and was certain that some enterprising Android developers would soon bring it to their third-party camera app.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review: Living Life In (Sort Of) 4K

Sony rushes from one flagship phone to the next, making only iterative changes most of the time. With the Z5 generation, there are three different variants of the phone—a standard Z5, the Z5 Compact, and our focus today, the Z5 Premium. What makes it premium? Well, it's the first phone with a 4K display. Does that really do you any good, though? Let's find out.

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Fossil Q Founder Review: Good Watch, Mediocre Smart Watch

Until now, all the Android Wear watches you could buy were made by technology firms moonlighting as watchmakers, but now there's the Fossil Q Founder. This is the first widely available Android Wear smart watch designed by a company that makes regular watches. In some ways it looks more like a real watch than any of the others, but there are also some design concessions that remind you Fossil is new to the whole wearables thing.

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[Hands On] Popular Lip-Sync Music Video App, Triller, Comes To Google Play - It's Actually Incredibly Fun To Play With

Triller. That's a silly sounding name and a really dumb idea for an app.

Those were my first thoughts when I saw this app pop up on the Android Police to-do list. Triller is the kind of app I assumed would appeal only to narcissistic, college-attending, plaid-wearing, hipsters born after the year 1995. The fact that it launched as an iOS exclusive back in July, and this promo video didn't help that perception. It turns out I was wrong, but I'll get to that in a minute.

The concept of the app is pretty simple. First, pick one of the songs featured by the app, or one from your own music library.

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Jide Remix Mini Android Desktop PC Review: Interesting Software Let Down By Bargain-Bin Hardware

Android is many things. A mobile operating system, a tool for smart watches and set-top boxes, any much more. But one of the things it most certainly is not is a desktop OS... at least in its current form. That said, it's also the world's biggest piece of open-source software, so when Jide decided to make what it calls "the world's first true Android PC," they were more than free to do so. Whether or not it's a good idea is a subject for discussion... and this review.

Specs

Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Allwinner A53
RAM 2GB
Storage 16GB, MicroSD card slot
Wireless Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery AC Adapter
OS Android 5.1
Dimensions 124 x 88 x 26mm
Price $69.99
Colors Black
Buy Amazon

With the Remix Mini, you get a tiny Roku-sized box that, at least technically, works like a desktop PC.

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Blue Lola Headphones Review: A Cheaper, Lighter, Simpler Version Of The Mo-Fi With The Same Lovable Sound

The Blue Mo-Fis were one of the more controversial headphones of 2014, owing to a built-in, battery-powered amplifier that Blue - a company traditionally in the microphone business - alleged made them superior for mobile device listening. I reviewed them and found Blue's claim to be accurate - especially when it came to Android smartphones, which generally offer lower-power built-in amplifiers than comparable iOS devices. But many headphone nuts were unconvinced, and begged Blue to release a cheaper, amp-less version of the Mo-Fis. And that's exactly what the $250 Blue Lolas are.

Gone are the internal battery, amplifier, the headband adjuster, and a fair bit of weight owed to these features.

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Blu Life One X (2015) Quick Review: The Perfect Balance Between Price And Performance

 

Back in January of 2014, Blu released what I then called my "favorite Blu phone to date"—the Life One X. At the time, it was a solid budget phone, but affordable smartphones have come so far since then. The last year or so has been great for the budget phone scene, and we've watched devices get more and more powerful while prices kept dropping.

Today, Blu announced the new version of the Life One X, and guess what? It's probably the best budget device I've ever used. One might even say it's probably "my favorite Blu phone to date," save for maybe the new Pure XL.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Review: A Sony Z3 Owner's Take On Sony's Latest Handset

Writing an unbiased review is a lot easier said than done. Every reviewer, myself included, has their own preferences, opinions, and experiences that will in some way affect his or her attitudes and conclusions. So rather than pretend that I am an unbiased reviewer, I will begin by telling you a little about the phones I have owned for the last few years. My hope is that this information will lend you greater insight into my thoughts and feelings regarding the Sony Z5.

I like Sony phones. I've owned every generation of the Sony Z series that T-Mobile has sold in the US, including the Z, Z1, and Z3.

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