04
Jun
1

Once upon a time, Blu was pushing out low- to mid-range phones once every couple of weeks. Then a shift happened – the company stepped up its game and started putting out higher quality handsets, leading up to last month's release of the Life Pure XL – a Snapdragon 800-packing monster.

Fast-forward to now, with the launch of two new Blu handsets: the Vivo IV and Life 8. While the Life 8 is more of a "mid-range" octa-core device (1GB RAM, 1280x720 display, 8GB storage), the Vivo IV is another beast entirely.

28
May
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The number of Bluetooth speakers I've looked at in the past year (give or take) is vast. As a result, I feel like I have a good understanding of what's available on the market, as well as what offers the most bang for the buck. As time has gone on, I've started holding each new speaker to a higher level, because the competition is just too stiff not to. Manufacturers absolutely have to one up the other guys if they want to stand out in this saturated market.

20
May
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Monument Valley came to Android a week ago after attracting roughly a million downloads on iOS in the one month since its release. That's no small number, but it doesn't take much time with the game to understand why (a good thing, considering just how little time you're going to spend playing it). Monument Valley has been put together pixel by pixel, with the game offering no more nor less than it needs to provide an absolutely captivating experience.

17
May
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A few days ago, Google added a line of official snap cases to the Play Store for the Nexus 5. Some readers may be yearning for a closer inspection of Google's late-entry accessory, which - at first glance - looks a lot like the myriad cheaper options available online, so we're going to give it a quick look.

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To tell the truth, the selection of snap cases online isn't separated from the official case by much.

16
May
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In the past, Blu has offered budget-friendly phones with mid to mid-high end specs. The biggest issue that most power users have had with the company's handsets is a simple one: MediaTek processors. While these particular chips offer good bang for the buck, they are still mostly underpowered for heavy multi-taskers or anyone looking for lightning quickness from their handset.

It looks like we may be getting into a new era for Blu if the new Life Pure XL is any indicator of what to expect moving forward.

14
May
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If you've ever eaten a cheap frozen pizza, you know it's not exactly a delicacy. It's edible, but if you had to eat it every day, you'd probably lose your mind (and your appetite). Now, if you put some sriracha on that pizza, you do make it considerably better. But it's still a frozen pizza, it just happens to be marginally better than the other, non-sriracha'ed frozen pizza.

The Gear 2 is frozen pizza...

14
May
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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).

07
May
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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...

06
May
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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.

06
May
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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.

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