Asus was not on the radar of most US phone buyers until the ZenFone 2 popped up a few years ago with solid specs for a reasonable price, but the ZenFone 3 family hasn't been as prominent. It took Asus ages to roll these devices out in North America, and the pricing was not as generous. However, there are more variants of the ZenFone 3 still trickling out, from the flagship-level "Deluxe Special Edition" to the low-cost "Laser." The ZenFone 3 Zoom is somewhere in the middle with its $329 price tag and mid-range Snapdragon 625 chip.
The ZenFone 3 Zoom has some very impressive aspects, like the massive 5,000mAh battery and a camera with 2.3x optical zoom. Read More
AOSPA has just released a new update to its long-loved Paranoid Android ROM, and it's bringing back a bit of the old with the new. The recent build is based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, so it's the latest you can get. Along with Nougat, a few old features are making a new appearance. Most notable is the return of the pie mode alternate navigation bar — which some people (me) prefer even over real pie. To be brief, the ROM is absolutely fantastic and may become my daily driver going forward. If you'd like to know why, though, you'll have to read on. Read More
Smartwatches haven't exactly taken off. In fact, a number of electronics companies have pulled back on plans for Android Wear including Motorola, Sony, and Asus. That's left fewer smartphone makers in the fray, but there are also fashion designers and traditional watch designers dabbling in Wear. We will see a lot more of these smartwatches in 2017, and one of them is the extremely spendy Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45. Read More
5217, a productivity app made by well-known developer Francisco Franco, has been updated with a new Freemium payment model. Anyone that might be interested in trying new methods for boosting productivity can install the app and give it a try for 10 free work cycles. In addition to the new payment model, 5217 has been updated to include a host of new notification options, Android Wear support, and stats for users. Read More
After the thoroughly underwhelming and slightly weird U Ultra, it's safe to say many HTC fans have been waiting for a "return to form" sort of product from the struggling smartphone manufacturer. While the U11 isn't what I'd call a massive leap forward, it does take steps in the right direction - some obvious, some less so. But this isn't a phone without compromises.
The headphone jack is still gone. HTC tries to suggest that since it includes its U Sonic earbuds (now with active noise cancellation) and an adapter in the box, the pain of this will be offset for most consumers - but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Read More
Some of you might know that Hulu rolled out a Live TV service to their existing streaming platform. I've spent a bit of time checking it out (if you do things right, kids, watching TV can be work) and I think I'm in a good position to provide a reasonably educated opinion on the service. Overall, I'm a bit confused about who, exactly, it's for. Read More
The KEYone, the latest in the BlackBerry Ltd/TCL collaboration, is a phone that returns to the Canadian brand's iconic roots, for better or for worse. With Nougat and a strong focus on security, the KEYone is aimed at enterprise users and long-time fanatics. Read More
I have been using the Google Pixel XL for six months now. Not continuously, mind you - I have taken breaks here and there. But after using the Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, and the OnePlus 3T, there is only one phone I've instinctively found myself returning to, and it's this one. Google's Pixel isn't without its flaws; in fact, it has a great many I can cite with ease.
The Bluetooth connectivity sucks. The back of the phone has very obvious wear rub. The glass window scratches easily. It's not waterproof. 'OK Google' hotword detection breaks for no apparent reason, necessitating a reboot. Read More
I have a love-hate relationship with Bluetooth, especially headsets. As a regular gym-goer, I like the convenience that they offer, which by-and-large outpaces wired earbuds. However, most are not as reliable, lose connection, and don't have the best sound quality. Despite all of this, I see more Bluetooth sound devices these days than wired ones. The neckband style especially (think Powerbeats) is gaining in popularity — they're all over the gyms, hiking/mountain biking trails, and sidewalks. Read More
This little guy is the UE Wonderboom, the newest speaker in UE's product line. It's half as tall, and almost twice as fat as its more expensive and elegant big brother, the UE Boom 2. At $50 less, it's nearly as loud and sounds almost as good. The catch? It's missing a few of the features of its older siblings. However, if the missing features are ones you don't care about, it's a better bargain. Read More