OnePlus likes to talk a big game, but sometimes the company fails to live up to expectations. The OnePlus One offered solid specs at a low price, but it was hurt by scarce invites and the collapse of the Cyanogen partnership. The OnePlus 2 struggled with hardware and software issues throughout its life as well. In fact, that phone just got Marshmallow a week ago. That brings us to the OnePlus 3. Again, OP is making big promises, but at least it's not threatening to kill other phones this time. This is a big departure for OnePlus in terms of design, and for once you don't need an invite to buy it. I've been using the OnePlus 3 for a day, and I have some initial thoughts to offer. Read More
Sony has never been a major player in the North American smartphone market, but it still gives it a shot every now and then. Sony has famously found every way to fail at gaining traction with its Xperia Z line of smartphones. This year Sony traded the Z for an X (I guess it traded with Motorola) and has launched a US version of the Xperia X in relatively short order. This phone is a mix of old and new from Sony, but the combination is problematic—it might have kept the wrong things. Sony is looking to sell a phone with a mid-range SoC at a flagship price. Read More
I can't recall ever using a smartphone larger than the Xiaomi Mi Max. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is the closest I've ever come, and the Mi Max is over a tenth of an inch larger on the display diagonal than even that phone. While it's not the largest smartphone ever, the Xiaomi Mi Max is certainly in the upper echelons of size in the taxonomic order smartphonus, dwarfing 5" devices we once called "large" just four or five years ago. Read More
The only Samsung smartphone I have owned and used was the Galaxy S3 (well, I also had the Galaxy 5 - not S - for a few weeks, but that doesn't count). I had been eyeing the company since the original Galaxy S, checking what it's doing and waiting for it to be convincing before I dipped my toes and grabbed the S3. I liked the rounded design, even though everyone criticized it. I loved the powerful hardware too, but I hated TouchWiz. It took me two weeks to get fed up, root the phone, flash a custom recovery, and start trying different custom ROMs that removed some of the bloat and smoothed the experience. Read More
You've read our HTC 10 review, and now we're back with the video version with our ever-lovable video host Mark Burstiner. Mark takes a look at what makes the 10 tick, and if the 10 ticks the boxes it needs to in the increasingly cutthroat flagship smartphone game. HTC's latest device has been almost uniformly praised as the best smartphone they've released since the progenitor of the One series, the One M7, while still inheriting that vital HTC design DNA that made the original One such a showstopper. But is HTC's best good enough in 2016? That's a tougher question. Read More
You've read our text review of the G5, but what about video? Well, Mark Burstiner breaks down the latest from LG in our official video review. Read More
Smartphones are, in my opinion, in something of an innovation rut. Underlying technical advancements have slowed in the last couple of years, and reasons to upgrade from year to year seem to decrease with each new generation of device. That's in large part because smartphones are already, generally speaking, very good products.
This is not to say they are near-perfect, or even optimal. Of course not - batteries still don't last long enough for many people, their cameras have notable limitations versus traditional dedicated systems, and we still have real performance bottlenecks that could be widened. There is refining that can still occur, and when major companies like Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and LG keep pushing the envelope on that refinement, there is always a chance a new product simply won't stack up well against the competition. Read More
LG is a company whose smartphone products have gone from bottom of the barrel to highly competitive in under four years. Once the butt of bad phone jokes in the early days of Android, the company has lifted itself up into prominence in particular with the G Series, the originator of that lineage being the Optimus G.
The original G was a model for the Nexus 4 - the glass front and back blended a fairly bold design with modern and high-end components. LG's software really wasn't quite there yet, but they quickly stepped up their game with the G2 in the following year, and in the eyes of many fans perfected that formula in the G3. Read More
Hey there everyone! My name is Mark. You might have seen me floating around here lately, so I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I make videos! I hope you like videos. If you’ve never seen any of my other content, go give it a look. I think you’ll find that we’ll get along just fine as long as we’re all nice to each other.
I’m a big gamer. I’ve been streaming a ton of Overwatch on Twitch. I’ve been playing The Division, Fallout, and replaying Final Fantasy X in HD with my wife at the moment, too. Read More
The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge come into 2016 with a rather tremendous amount of baggage in the eyes of the phone enthusiasts of the world. Many viewed Samsung’s move to sealed batteries, non-expandable storage, a non-waterproof design, and glass backs as open and Apple-hued traitorism last year, feeling the company had lost sight of what its most ardent fans considered reasons to buy into the Galaxy brand. The same set of changes also befell what I long thought Samsung’s bulwark in the high-end, high-feature part of the enthusiast market in the Note line (minus waterproofing, as the Note never had it). Read More