Phone Reviews

126 articles
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LG G3 Review Addendum: 2 Months Later

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.

Shortly after our review, I received an AT&T-branded LG G3 to try out, and I've been using it as my daily driver for around a month now.

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BLU Announces The Studio C Mini And Studio 5.0 C HD To Compete With The Moto E And Moto G [Hands-On]

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.

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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. I'm sure most people are familiar with Moto's handsets by now, but here's a direct spec comparison:

Moto E

BLU Studio C Mini

  • 4.3-inch 540x960
  • 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB Storage, SD card slot
  • 5MP rear shooter
  • 1,980mAh Battery
  • HSPA+
  • Android 4.4
  • 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3 mm
  • $130
  • 4.7-inch 480x800
  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB storage, SD card slot
  • 5MP rear shooter, 2MP front
  • Removable 2,000mAh battery
  • HSPA+ 21
  • Android 4.4
  • 138 x 71.5 x 9.5 mm
  • $120

Moto G

BLU Studio 5.0 C HD

  • 4.5-inch 720x1280
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB Storage
  • 5MP rear shooter, 1.3MP front
  • 2,070mAh battery
  • HSPA+
  • Android 4.4
  • 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm
  • $180
  • 5-inch 720x1280
  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB storage, SD card slot
  • 8MP rear shooter, 2MP front 
  • Removable 2,000mAh battery
  • HSPA+ 21
  • Android 4.4
  • 145 x 73 x 9.7 mm
  • $150

Spec-for-spec, BLU's handsets appear to mostly hold their own against Moto's offerings (at least on paper), with the 5.0 C HD offering what appears to be the best value between the four.

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Amazon Fire Phone Review: It's Not Terrible, It's Just Pointless

By now, you've probably heard a lot about Amazon's Fire Phone. I figure that most people aren't really curious about what the overall phone is like – if you've used a Kindle Fire/HD/HDX then you already know. It's about Amazon services and a weird launcher layout thing. Most people are curious about the four front-facing cameras and Dynamic Perspective. I'm with you on that – that's exactly what I was curious about before getting this phone for review.

Spoiler alert: it's just a gimmick. A novelty. It looks flashy, but doesn't offer a whole lot of utility. Sure, it's cool for about five minutes and is something you can show off to your friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers...but that's about the extent of it.

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LG G3 Review: The G2 Gets A Proper Successor

LG's G2 was one of the most cultishly-loved smartphones of 2013, to an extent that, frankly, befuddled me. It had a terribly ugly software layer, felt cheaply built, and ticked almost no boxes in terms of innovation. The G2 was a specification junkie's wet dream, and that's exactly the sort of buyer the phone ended up attracting. Appearance, software features, and design aren't high on such people's lists.

Even in the face of criticism, though, success with a group like that isn't something you just let go. The G3 very much builds on the G2's appeal to the numbers crowd, and seeks to one-up competitors like Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's One M8 at almost every measurable corner.

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OnePlus One With CyanogenMod 11S Review: The Best Flagship Phone You Can't Buy

Can you make a smartphone without compromise? Is it possible to cram top-of-the-line hardware into a slim phone body, then fit it with well-regarded software, then sell it for about half the price of competing devices, and call the resulting product a "flagship killer?" Can you, as the ceaseless OnePlus promotion machine so succinctly puts it, "never settle?"

In a word, no. The OnePlus One, the maiden Android phone from a boutique manufacturer, is not completely without its shortcomings (or indeed, its compromises). But even so, it's a brilliant first effort, and one well worth considering for the Android enthusiast or the bargain hunter.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Review: The March Of Polycarbonate Progress

The Galaxy S4 was the most popular Android smartphone of all time. The Galaxy S5 will likely take that title soon enough. Say what you will about Samsung's choice of materials or its design aesthetic, its phones are incredibly popular and well-liked by a great many people. The Galaxy S5 won't cause the faithful to waiver, either - it's an absolute affirmation of the company's commitment to improving its flagship product with every generation. The Galaxy S5 may be iterative, but it's iterative in ways that matter.

The phone is faster, the screen is better, the camera is better, the software is better, the battery life is better, and it even feels better in your hand - Samsung has been hard at work in these areas, and it shows.

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HTC One (M8) Review: A Big Bet On Small Changes

I loved the HTC One M7. Last year, it really did feel like a new breed of Android phone - bringing premium materials, a modernized interface, an innovative (if controversial) camera, and those trademark Boomsound speakers. The One M7 felt fresh in almost every way - it felt vital, it felt relevant.

The One M8 seeks to tame some of the raw newness - to build on it, soften up the edges, and modernize it. The chassis is sleek, smooth, and comfortable - gone is that sharp, angular look. Capacitive buttons have been eschewed for a set of correctly arranged (are you listening, LG?) software navigation keys.

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Oppo N1 With CyanogenMod Review: You Have To Start Somewhere

The Oppo N1 isn't a phone you'd expect to see sold in markets like the United States. It's eccentric and, frankly, kind of weird. A rear touchpad panel? A swiveling camera? A 5.9" display? Official CyanogenMod support from the factory? It has "niche" written all over it (not literally, but that would be kind of funny, I suppose). As such, the N1's appeal in western markets is likely to be limited to the enthusiast audience, an audience Android Police has long entertained.

The Oppo N1 is, indeed, the first smartphone ever to be sold with CyanogenMod pre-installed as an option. The CyanogenMod edition of the N1 went on sale Christmas Eve, and while it looks no different from its skinned counterpart, marks a huge milestone in the custom ROM saga, a veritable "first" in the industry.

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LG G Flex Review: An Engineering Concept You Can Actually Buy, Not That You Necessarily Should

LG G Flex is just like a lot of modern, high-end smartphones. It has a fast processor, lots of RAM, a big battery, and a large display. Using it isn't particularly different from any other Android smartphone. And yet, hand the G Flex to almost anyone, and they will immediately notice there is something very different about it, and I'm not talking about the buttons on the back.

The G Flex is one of two phones currently on the market to use a flexible OLED panel, the other being Samsung's Galaxy Round. Both phones are quite expensive, and apart from their curved displays, neither particularly stands out from the crowd.

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Nexus 5 Review, Voltron-Style: Read Three Android Police Authors' Takes On The Latest Nexus

Introduction

By: David

The Nexus 5 was perhaps the worst-kept secret in tech this year, but nonetheless, rumor and speculation built up a category 5 hypestorm around it - everything from the farfetched, like revolutionary camera tech and flexible displays, to the mundane-but-desirable, like a much larger battery or 3GB of RAM.

But now the Nexus 5 is finally here, and Google has, for the most part, built a very iterative product. As with every Nexus, the design is all-new, though the phone still carries that typically understated Nexus look. The display is just a bit larger, at 4.95", the 8MP OIS camera isn't a huge step forward, the phone isn't all that much lighter or thinner (9g and 0.5mm, respectively), and the battery has grown a paltry 200mAh.

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