Can you make a smartphone without compromise? Is it possible to cram top-of-the-line hardware into a slim phone body, then fit it with well-regarded software, then sell it for about half the price of competing devices, and call the resulting product a "flagship killer?" Can you, as the ceaseless OnePlus promotion machine so succinctly puts it, "never settle?"
In a word, no. The OnePlus One, the maiden Android phone from a boutique manufacturer, is not completely without its shortcomings (or indeed, its compromises). Read More
Portal was released nearly seven years ago as part of the Valve Orange Box, which also included a few other games. Seven years is an eternity on the internet, but the excitement was still palpable when Nvidia announced it was working on a version of Portal for the Shield. Now here we are just a weeks later and the game is about to hit the Play Store. The questions we have to ask are... Read More
Hardcore Android fans are hard to please. We should know. So for a new company to attempt to please the most vociferous of Android users with a high-end phone that also manages to compete on price is ambitious to say the least. But that's what OnePlus, with their One phone, is doing. And if a day or so with the phone is indicative of the overall experience, they might have actually achieved success. Read More
As much as we like to give Kickstarter campaigns a hard time (or just outright laugh at them), we've seen some cool ideas come to fruition thanks to crowd-funding. Among those, Thermodo is an interesting little gadget: it's essentially a small thermometer that plugs into a phone's or tablet's headphone jack and interacts with the device through an app to give the temperature of the current location. I'm not entirely convinced of its practical usage, but the idea is definitely neat. Read More
We review a lot of Bluetooth speakers, most of which have the same basic features. Every once in a while, however, one comes along that brings more to the table in terms of flair, or additional usage that's outside of the normal scope. The majority of portable speakers pair with your wireless device, let you change tracks and volume from a distance, might charge external devices...and that's essentially it.
Then Creative Labs made the SoundBlaster AXX 200 ($150). Read More
Last year, I reviewed the original Galaxy Gear. Considering how that went, I'm not sure I am exactly the "ideal" candidate for reviewing the new-and-improved Gear Fit, but hey, it came with the Galaxy S5 I reviewed, so here goes nothing.
Samsung started over when it designed its new line of second-generation Gear devices, dropping the Galaxy branding and Android along with it, opting instead to power these new smartwatches with Tizen. Read More
I love to drive. No, seriously. I'm someone who actually enjoyed commuting to work, back before I landed my first gig putting words on the web. I'll gladly run to the grocery store to knock a few items off our shopping list, then sometimes head back on the same day to pick up something we forgot. If a friend lives less than two hours away, then they're local. Let's hang out this weekend. Read More
The single biggest issue I've found with most Bluetooth earbuds (or earbuds in general, really) is that they never stay in place during physical activity. Running, cycling, or just working out in general always knock my 'buds loose. Throw some good ol' Texas heat into the mix (where "good" should be interpreted as "I hate it more than almost anything in this world) to get the sweat flowing like a waterfall, and keeping them in in basically futile. Read More
The Galaxy S4 was the most popular Android smartphone of all time. The Galaxy S5 will likely take that title soon enough. Say what you will about Samsung's choice of materials or its design aesthetic, its phones are incredibly popular and well-liked by a great many people. The Galaxy S5 won't cause the faithful to waiver, either - it's an absolute affirmation of the company's commitment to improving its flagship product with every generation. Read More
In 1994, Amazon started as an online bookstore. Since then, the company has grown into one of the most important sites on the internet, and the largest online retailer in the world. In 2007, it released the Kindle, its first ebook reader. From there the Kindle line grew to include the Fire and Fire HDX, full blown tablets running Amazon's Android-based Fire OS.
Over the past 20 years, Amazon has broadened its horizons more than most other companies can even dream of. Read More