Competition in Android smartphones is better now than it's ever been, and not just in the flagship segment. With devices like the Moto G, the ZenFone 2, and various Blu designs, the mid-range is heating up with phones that are jam-packed with value. But how about the low-end, entry phone segment? For those people who just want a device that runs a few apps, plays a nice round of Threes, and maybe browse for some sports scores? Before a few years ago, they were limited to whatever bottom-of-the-line, low-margin phones Samsung and LG would spare.
These days things are a little different. Read More
A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers. YouTube Gaming is hailed as the brand-new service that aims to fill that gap.
Currently, YouTube Gaming is only available as a beta program. Read More
Earlier this week, Blu announced a handful of new phones: the Vivo Selfie, Studio C 5+5, Studio C 5+5 LTE, and Energy X Plus. Each handset has something that makes it stand out from the others, and all of them come in at the low price points that we've come to expect from Blu. In short, we've got a thin and light phone made for selfies, a pair of ultra-affordable devices with dual 5MP shooters, and one with a battery that's in it for the long haul.
I've had three of the four for the last few days, with the only exception being the 5+5 LTE since it's virtually identical to the 5+5, just with the addition of LTE. Read More
FLIR Systems is one of the premier makers of thermal camera technology at the high-end of the market, but in recent years it has also been branching out to the consumer level. The first-generation FLIR ONE smartphone thermal camera was only available for the iPhone and it was a bulky case design. Now the second generation unit is coming out for Android in a few weeks, but it's not cheap. So, what does it do and is that worth $250 to you? Let's find out. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the Inateck MercuryBox, a cheap speaker that left me extremely unimpressed. Like I mentioned in that review, I'm normally really skeptical of speakers that cost less than $100 -- especially ones that hit around the $50 range. But while I was writing about the MB, I got my hands on the new hotness from G-Project: the ultra-portable, water-resistant G-Tube.
I'll say this: at $40, the G-Tube changes everything. A new bar has been set.
Appearance and Features
Like its name suggests, the G-Tube is a cylindrical speaker. It has dual 1.25" drivers in the "center" (not on the ends like some speakers), a sort-of ridged design that allows it to easily be positioned with the audio pointed in a number of directions, and all the controls/ports on either end. Read More
I wouldn't say that I've reviewed a ton of keyboards that are compatible with Android, but I would say I've spent my fair share of time pecking away at various keyboards that work on various operating systems. One thing I've noticed over time is that most ultra-portable keyboards just aren't very good. The keys are generally too small to be useful or the keyboard itself is too big to really be considered "portable." Or there's some other weird design flaw that comes along with making it easy to carry. It's really pretty annoying.
And that was all true until the Logitech Keys-To-Go ($69). Read More
I may have more than half a dozen Bluetooth earphones lying around home and at work, but my personal preference is almost always skewed toward Plantronics. The BackBeat GO 2 has been a mainstay in my purse for almost two years, and the BackBeat Fit is my absolute favorite workout headset. Both provide a great balance of features, battery life, and portability that fits with my needs. That's why I was eager to see what the company has in store with its newest foray, and the BackBeat SENSE didn't disappoint me. But before I go into my thoughts on this pair of headphones, let's start with the specs. Read More
A charger is a charger is a charger, right? Pff, nope. Not all chargers are created equal for even basic charging, and if you have a device that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0, that's even more true. Sure, all Quick Chargers charge, um, quickly...but there's more to it than just that.
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I've reviewed a lot of Bluetooth speakers over the past few years. So, so many speakers. In fact, I've even written about the best speakers that money can buy in a national magazine. I feel like, at this point, I have an excellent idea of what's out there, and what's good for the money. Historically, $99 has been my starting price point when recommending a good speaker, as I haven't really been impressed with anything below that price point.
So, when Inatech reached out to me about the MercuryBox, a compact, waterproof, $55 speaker, I had my reservations. But it's been a while since I've checked out anything in this price range, so I figured this would be a good unit to see how far more affordable speakers have come. Read More
The Galaxy S6 has been out for three months now, so it's time to revisit this phone and see if any of my feelings from the original review have evolved. At the time this seemed like a pretty fantastic phone with few drawbacks. Samsung made a lot of changes with this year's Galaxy flagship, so does it also avoid some of the long-term pitfalls of past phones? Let's find out. Read More