After the thoroughly underwhelming and slightly weird U Ultra, it's safe to say many HTC fans have been waiting for a "return to form" sort of product from the struggling smartphone manufacturer. While the U11 isn't what I'd call a massive leap forward, it does take steps in the right direction - some obvious, some less so. But this isn't a phone without compromises.
The headphone jack is still gone. HTC tries to suggest that since it includes its U Sonic earbuds (now with active noise cancellation) and an adapter in the box, the pain of this will be offset for most consumers - but I'm getting ahead of myself here. Read More
The KEYone, the latest in the BlackBerry Ltd/TCL collaboration, is a phone that returns to the Canadian brand's iconic roots, for better or for worse. With Nougat and a strong focus on security, the KEYone is aimed at enterprise users and long-time fanatics. Read More
I have been using the Google Pixel XL for six months now. Not continuously, mind you - I have taken breaks here and there. But after using the Galaxy S8+, the LG G6, and the OnePlus 3T, there is only one phone I've instinctively found myself returning to, and it's this one. Google's Pixel isn't without its flaws; in fact, it has a great many I can cite with ease.
The Bluetooth connectivity sucks. The back of the phone has very obvious wear rub. The glass window scratches easily. It's not waterproof. 'OK Google' hotword detection breaks for no apparent reason, necessitating a reboot. Read More
When you talk about Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, it's hard not to talk about 'the average consumer.' Because the Galaxy S series is the second-most popular line of smartphones on earth, its audience is unashamedly mainstream, and the vast majority of sales of these devices will be to consumers who aren't what you'd call tech-savvy. The issue for Samsung, increasingly, is learning how to split the difference between a smartphone that provides a good experience for everybody and maintaining that all important credibility with its fans and enthusiasts.
The Galaxy S8 and S8+, for example, have Quad HD displays - the best ones I've ever seen. Read More
Huawei used to avoid releasing high-end phones in the US, but no more. The Mate 9 was launched in the US several months ago, and it was announced as the very first phone to have Amazon's Alexa built in. However, that wasn't ready at launch, and Huawei didn't even know exactly when it would be available. Alexa finally rolled out to the Mate 9 several weeks ago, but Google sort of cut Amazon off at the knees by launching Assistant on the Mate 9 and many other phones while we were waiting for this update.
As I noted in the original Mate 9 review, this is a good phone—Huawei has really turned things around in the software, the battery life is killer, and the build quality is top notch. Read More
We all know that Huawei is no stranger to making great phones (take the fan favorite Nexus 6P, for example). Even at the low end of the price spectrum, the hardware is laudable. The P-series kicked off on a new foot last year with the P9 and P9 Plus, which brought great hardware and the impressive Leica cameras to the high-end smartphone business.
For 2017, we have the P10 and P10 Plus that bring sleek hardware, even better cameras, and a nicer software experience. Huawei has delivered something that provides almost anything you could ask for in a phone: good battery life, great camera, nice screen, and even an improved software experience. Read More
The Galaxy S6 was, by all accounts, a truly transformational moment for Samsung's industrial design. After years of building plastic phones constantly lambasted for their "cheapness," Samsung made radical changes in an attempt to completely redefine its smartphone brand. Those changes were generally well received, but it always felt like they stopped short: the software was still slow, bloated, and the battery life surprisingly poor. With the Note5 and S6 edge+ we saw significant refinement of that reinvention "moment," but not until the S7 and S7 edge did Samsung really build the concept I think they set out to with those first metal and glass sandwiches. Read More
If the G5 was the low watermark for LG's mobile division, you might think there was only really up to go for LG in 2017. The G6 can feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy that way: the narrative around the G5 was almost universally negative, and the idea that 2017 would yield a "comeback" product from LG seemed to become a given. After all, it was obvious what LG did wrong last year, so how could they not address these issues?
At the same time, we often find ourselves saying tech companies make a habit of poor product decisions year after year, so it's never quite a sure thing that a new gadget really will check the very-obvious-to-us boxes we've communally decided are so important. Read More
Motorola has gone through some big changes in the last few years; from its waning days of independence (with crummy phones), to the Google acquisition (with much better phones), and finally to being manhandled by Lenovo (with weird phones). One of Motorola's most important products through all of this has been the Moto G. The original Moto G boosted interest in budget devices by showing everyone they don't have to be terrible. Now, here we are with the fifth iteration—the Moto G5 Plus, a phone that can be yours for the low, low price of $230.
The Moto G5 Plus looks and feels more premium than past devices in the series, but it also comes with a few limitations that keep it slotted in firmly below the Moto Z family. Read More
When the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge launched in March of last year, they received fantastic reviews. Everyone, including the notoriously-critical David, raved about their fantastic AMOLED displays, water resistance, more grown-up software, excellent cameras, and so much more. Virtually any and all niggles that the Galaxy S6 warranted were fixed in the latest iteration. The S7 edge, in particular, received extraordinarily high praise for its gorgeous curved screen and excellent battery life.
However, Samsung devices aren't exactly well known for holding up well over time. With the highly-anticipated Galaxy S8 launch rapidly approaching, it's time to take a look at how the Galaxy S7 edge is doing, one year after its debut. Read More