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Reviews

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ZenFone 3 review: Zen and the art of great midrange phones

The original ZenFone would be two years old this month, but I doubt many of them are still in use. It was highly anticipated before release, and widely panned shortly thereafter. I have friends who bought the first generation ZenFone, and the issues were obvious right from the start: the battery couldn't last half a day, the UI was clumsy and unresponsive, it got so hot you could barely hold it, and the build quality and design really weren't up to par.

A lot has changed in the last two years. The ZenFone 2 was well-received by our team and continues to be a good buy for the price.

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[Review + Deal Alert] The Tronsmart Presto 12,000mAh power bank is a speedy, spec-compliant battery pack that will keep your Nexus (or QC 3.0 device) charged while hunting Pokémon

You and your girlfriend are exhausted. You've been engaged in a vigorous physical activity together for the past two hours and you are both nearly spent. No, you haven't been doing that (guys, I'm a tech blogger, not a romance novelist), you've been playing Pokémon Go! Earlier this morning you read on Twitter that someone had found a Zapdos near the top of ol' Benson Hill and you've been climbing and searching ever since.

The summit is in sight, and soon the reward for all your efforts will be attained! Just then, you notice that there's a problem. Your Nexus 6P and your girlfriend's HTC 10 are both below 5 percent battery life.

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Moto Z and Z Force hands-on and first impressions

Motorola under the stewardship of Lenovo is doing something very different this year. The Moto X brand may not be gone, but it's certainly not the company's focus right now. Instead, we have the Moto Z and Moto Z Force. They're thin and they have Moto Mods—snap-on modules like projectors and speakers that make the phones much less thin. The Z is coming to Verizon first as a Droid phone (that's what I have to review), but the device I'm looking at now is very similar to what Motorola will release unlocked later this year.

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BLU Energy XL review: Huge screen, epic battery life, and a reasonable price

BLU released a new phone a few days back called the BLU Energy XL and they sent me one to take a look at. The XL in the title is there for good reason; everything about this phone is massive. It has a huge 6" HD screen, 64GB of on-board storage, and mammoth 5,020 mAh battery. The only thing that isn't enormous about this behemoth is the price, which is a very reasonable $300.

Sound pretty good on paper, right? Let's see how good it is in practice.

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[Review + Deal Alert] Aukey's 10 port USB charging station with dual QC 3.0 ports is perfect for five normal people or one Android Police reader

I've spent time with a lot of chargers since I began reviewing them a few months ago. I've seen one port, two port, five port, and even six port chargers. The charger I'm taking a look at today blows them all away, well at least in terms of the number of ports it has. This is one of Aukey's latest USB chargers, and it rocks a crazy 10 charging ports!

Eight of the ten ports are standard 2.4A adaptive ports, the other two, denoted by an orange-colored plug, are QC 3.0 ports, meaning they will give a speedy charge to any Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 compatible devices (a cool guy I know made a list of phones that support QC 3.0, you can check it out here).

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Video: Galaxy S7 versus OnePlus 3

In Android Police's latest video, we take you on a comparative journey or, as it is known in the YouTube parlance, a versus. The Galaxy S7 may be a smaller, more expensive phone than the OnePlus 3, that much is true. But if you're in the unlocked device market, the S7's frequent discounting could mean you're actually cross-shopping these devices. Or maybe you're just not sure if you want to get back on a carrier contract or payment plan, and want to see if the no-strings-attached model of the OnePlus 3 could sway you to pay that MSRP up front.

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Cat S60 review: The only phone that gives you Predator vision

The Cat S60 is the very first Cat phone we've reviewed on Android Police, and it should be obvious why. These are niche devices that mainstream consumers mostly don't care about. They can take a beating, but they're also big and heavy. The S60 isn't necessarily different in that respect, but it does have one very interesting feature that other phones don't—this is the first phone with a built-in FLIR thermal camera. It would be silly to compare the Cat S60 (manufactured under license by Bullitt Group) directly to a phone like the Galaxy S7 or HTC 10, although the $600 price tag is in the same ballpark as those phones.

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iBlazr 2 review: A more powerful and more versatile LED flash for your phone

I never thought I needed more LED flashes in my life. My phone, whichever model it happened to be, came with at least one and that was supposed to be enough for those instances when I was in dark surroundings. But then I spotted the original iBlazr on Kickstarter and immediately fell in love with the idea. An LED light that you could attach to your phone, use on demand, and even with front-facing cameras? Sign me up!

But upon delivery, I discovered a few flaws with the concept. You could only insert it into the 3.5mm plug on your phone, which made no sense for devices with the plug on the bottom since it put the flash far away from the camera.

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I'm going to use Amazon's "Prime Exclusive" $60 smartphone for a month

A $60 smartphone (or rather, $50 - but hold on) is basically a headline unto itself. It is a novelty solely because of its cost. And that makes talking about it in a way that doesn’t always use “yeah, but it’s only $60” as a reflexive crutch difficult. (Which is not to say I won't do that, because I will. Probably even in this post. Several times.)

BLU’s Amazon-supported R1 HD is far from the cheapest smartphone ever. And it’s far from being a revolutionary product - the only thing interesting about it is, frankly, the business model. And in particular, Amazon’s proposition that it being a nag on your lockscreen and in your app drawer is worth $50 if you’re already a Prime member.

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Review: The JBL Clip 2 is a pint-sized speaker that punches above its weight

Last week I reviewed the largest portable Bluetooth speaker I've ever seen. This week, the speaker we're looking at slots in at the opposite end of the spectrum. It's called the JBL Clip 2 ($60), and you'd need 44 of them to balance the scales with one Braven BRV XXL. Sure it's smaller, but its compact size makes it about a thousand times more portable, giving it a complete different set of uses. Is it any good? Read on and you'll find out.

What's in the box

  • The JBL Clip 2
  • MicroUSB charging cable
  • Instructions & warranty information

Notable features

  • IPX7 waterproof: Go ahead and dunk it, it can take it, as deep as 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
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