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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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Choetech Aluminum And Fast Charge Wireless Chargers Review: The Chargers Are Good, The Names Are Not

You know what I love about the Nexus 4, 5, 6, and 7? Wireless charging. In fact, that's the primary reason I haven't moved to the Nexus 6P or 5X yet — I just can't stand the idea of having it plug in every time I need to charge my phone. I realize that some people don't care about it either way, but it's been a game changer for me. I have a few wireless chargers around the house, and when I need to power up, I just toss my phone on one of them. Done. Every phone should have this.

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ASUS ZenFone Selfie And ZenFone 2 Laser International Edition Review: Great Values As Long As You Can Handle ZenUI

ASUS has been getting more invested into the smartphone market, both in the US—where we recently talked about the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone 2—and in their closer-to-home markets in the Eastern Hemisphere. This review will focus on two models that will not make it to the US, but should be of interest to those in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. The main focus will be on the ZenFone Selfie, which is much like the familiar ZenFone 2 and ZenFone 2 Laser but with a high-quality front-facing camera sensor. I will also discuss the ZE550KL model of the ZenFone 2 Laser, which is available in some non-US markets.

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TYLT Energi 6K Quick Review: This Thing Just Makes Sense

There are two things that are staples in the bag that I carry basically everywhere I go: an external battery pack and charger, because sometimes I'm near a wall, and sometimes I'm not. At least one USB cable comes into the equation somewhere too, because what good is a charger without a cable. None, I'd say. None good.

Anyway, this new Energi 6K from TYLT is pretty neat, because it's both of those things in one thing. It's got a 6,000 mAh battery pack and charger all in one. It's not a Qualcomm-certified Quick Charger like the one I usually carry, but that's OK.

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Runtastic Moment (Elite) Review: Just Buy A Smartwatch

I like smartwatches. I also like fitness trackers. Somehow, neither one is very good at what the other can do (and no one has figured out a way to fix that yet), so generally people in my position are stuck choosing one or the other. While I've chosen the smartwatch side, I still have a soft spot for both activity trackers and traditional watches. When Runtastic announced the Moment, it really just made sense to check it out — regardless of what I wear on my wrist from day-to-day, I've always been a fan of Runtastic's stuff.

The Moment, however, just misses the mark.

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[Hands-On] Join Is A Neat Beta Pushbullet Alternative From Joaomgcd

Around the Android corners, joaomgcd is known for his automation tools, most of which rely on heavy Tasker integration and require a level of tinkering that most of us lazy people can't bother with. So when Joao released his new app Join and the featureset seemed to closely mirror Pushbullet's upon close inspection, I was intrigued. Not just because of Pushbullet's latest switch to Pro plans, but because the main selling point of the service was its simplicity. That has not been Joao's strong suit — at least through a newbie's eyes, his apps always seemed a little too overwhelming.

So could Join break the mould and stand out as a capable and simple alternative to Pushbullet?

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Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Review: The Only Small Phone That Matters

I remember not that long ago thinking that a 4.7-inch phone screen was pretty large. How could they get bigger than that and still be usable? Surely this is the end of the road... and here we are a few years later and the Xperia Z5 Compact is considered diminutive at 4.6-inches. When I say this phone is small (and it is) I mean it's small compared to every other Android flagship.

Consumers have voted with their dollars and told OEMs they want big phones, leaving the Xperia Compact series as your last bastion of tiny flagship phones. When a device basically owns a niche, it doesn't have to be amazing, it just needs to be.

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[Android Car Review] The 2016 Honda Accord Is Android Auto's Most Grown-Up Application Yet

The Honda Accord may not be a car you’re terribly familiar with if you don’t reside in North America. You may also not realize just how popular it is here. While Honda sells the Accord abroad (and also a modified Chinese-built version called the Crider in Southeast Asia), nowhere has the Accord been more successful than the US of A. This is because when the Accord was introduced for the American market in the early 1980s as an affordable, reliable, American-built Japanese sedan, it was at a time when domestically-designed and produced American sedans were, well, pretty universally... terrible.

The Accord was not terrible.

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NVIDIA Re-releases SHIELD Tablet As SHIELD Tablet K1, Drops The Price To $199 [Quick Hands-On]

In my personal opinion, NVIDIA's SHIELD Tablet has been one of the better Android tablets on the market for the last year and a half (give or take). Sure, it's had its ups and downs — a mandatory recall due to battery issues back in August probably hurt it more than anything, but NVIDIA did what was right and replaced all affected units.

Around that same time, SHIELD Tablet as we knew it was EOL'd. Initially we kind of assumed that this was because NVIDIA was prepping to release SHIELD Tablet 2, but we haven't seen nor heard anything about that. Now the company is bringing back the original SHIELD Tablet, albeit with a few changes and a nice new price tag.

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