In June of last year, Blu released its sleekest phone yet, the Vivo IV. This ultra-thin, super-svelte handset really put an emphasis on design, something that no other Blu phone before had really done. At CES, the company announced the newest member of the Vivo line, the Vivo Air. At just 5.1 mm thick, this is the thinnest smartphone you can currently buy in the US. It's stupid-thin, but it also weighs under 100 grams, so it's equally as light. So, stupid-light.
Based on its specs, I wouldn't necessarily call the Vivo Air the IV's successor, but rather just a new addition to that product family. In fact, the Vivo IV is still more powerful than the Air, though both devices feature the same MediaTek octa-core chipset. Read More
When Motorola released the revamped Moto X a few months ago, there was plenty of discussion about whether it or the still-unannounced Nexus 6 would be a better purchase. It's completely reasonable to prefer the Nexus 6 because of the larger screen and improved camera, but the 2014 Moto X still stands out to me as one of the best Android phones ever made. Now that we've got a little distance, let's see how the 2014 Moto X is holding up.
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.
The Note Edge is based on the Note 4, a phone I reviewed several months ago. Given that they are otherwise identical but for the side-screen features, a full review is sort of missing the point (that, and reviews of the Note Edge are up on the web elsewhere already). Read More
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. Of course, you get $150 worth of hardware, as well; but let's be honest here - this isn't for the average user. Read More
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.
Besides just being a great phone, though, the Nexus 6 represents a shift for Google’s Nexus strategy. Read More
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. Nor the TX. I've had a chance to play with most of Sony's major devices in the last couple of years; the Ion, the S, the Z, the Z1, the Z2 - and they did seem to genuinely be progressing into better and better phones. Read More
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). Read More
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. It's time for a change, and the Galaxy Alpha is the first stage.
The Galaxy Alpha is not a replacement for the Galaxy S5, but the two devices have a lot in common. Read More
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. Now that the smartphone enthusiast world has been opened up to the incredibly competitive pricing of Chinese phonemakers via OnePlus, though, this doesn't sound especially crazy. Read More