Nearly two years ago, Samsung unveiled a prototype for a curved-edge display in a smartphone. They didn't give it a name, and most of us assumed it was a one-off engineering experiment that would never be explored much further. As it turns out, we were wrong - Samsung apparently set to work putting one half of the concept in production (as in, only one curved side on the screen), and now we have the Galaxy Note Edge.
Guys, the smartphone world is getting crazy. Phones just seem to keep growing, and Blu's Studio 7.0 is the biggest I've seen yet. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of what this massive phone is all about, I want to get one thing out of the way: this is not a tablet with telephone capabilities. Stylistically and functionally, the Studio 7.0 is a massive smartphone through and through.
I think the real appeal of the Studio 7 (you know, for those who are actually looking for a 7-inch smartphone), is the price: this oversized handset only costs $150.
Reviewing a Nexus phone is always a daunting task. It’s one of the most important devices of the year for much of the Android community, and it represents - in theory - the very best of what Google has to offer on phones for the respective update period.
I’ll start by saying the Nexus 6 is a great phone, albeit huge. It’s also different from previous Nexus phones in a number of key ways, which I’ll try to cover as faithfully as possible in this review.
The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The LG G3. All very good phones - all phones that I like, for various reasons, and dislike in certain respects for others! HTC, Samsung, and LG have generally been the de facto leaders of the high-end Android smartphone market here in the US. But what about Sony? I'll freely admit that I've never been much of a Sony smartphone fan. I didn't like the Xperia ZL as well as its competitors.
When the Galaxy Note 3 was released one year ago, it marked a substantial step forward not just because it was new, but was arguably the big generational "tock" in Samsung's handset lifecycle. It had a brand-new bright, vivid (even accurate, in the right mode) 1080p Super AMOLED display, more modern design language that later influenced the Galaxy S5, excellent LTE support, a Snapdragon 800 (remember, the S4 had the lowly 600), an up-to-date 13MP camera, and launched with Android 4.3, which had been announced just around two months prior (even if KitKat did launch four weeks later on the Nexus 5).
The original Moto X was a very well-reviewed phone, but it just didn't sell as well as Motorola and Google had hoped. It deserved more attention than it got, but the smartphone consuming public can be a fickle beast. That's why this year's Moto X makes a few changes to appeal to a wider audience. It's a little bigger, a lot faster, and has a more premium design.
This approach is rife with benefits and a few drawbacks, but one thing is certain, this is one of the best smartphones ever created.
Samsung has seen incredible success with its Android devices over the years. The Korean OEM didn't have to change much from one year to the next, but still the smartphone-consuming public was practically begging to trade up to the latest and greatest Galaxy S. Then something changed with the Galaxy S5—despite being a competent phone in almost every way, sales were below projections. Samsung's profits declined when they should have been skyrocketing.
If you've never heard of a smartphone maker by the name of Meizu, that's understandable. (Even though we actually reviewed their first Android smartphone about 2 years ago.) That's because Meizu, despite selling some phones outside of its home market - China - does no advertising and has very little press outreach in the western world.
Meizu's latest phone, the MX4, sells in mainland China for under $300 (1,799 Chinese Yuan) in 16GB trim.
I wrote a review of the G3 just about two months ago, and at the time, I really enjoyed it. While the model I was provided was designed for Korea, it worked on AT&T's LTE network and generally provided a steady wireless experience. I found Wi-Fi connectivity was a bit spotty, though, and there were occasional network hiccups that are to be expected of a piece of hardware not specifically certified for a particular carrier.
When it comes to affordable, off-contract handsets, BLU is one of my favorite phone manufacturers on the market. The company offers a myriad of devices to fit a wide range of budgets, and today's release features a couple of new handsets for those looking to pick up a smartphone for around $150 or less. As always with BLU, that's an off-contract price.
These two new phones – the Studio C Mini and Studio 5.0 C HD – are made to compete directly with Motorola's budget devices, the Moto E and Moto G, respectively.