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Phone Reviews

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BlackBerry Priv Review: Good, But Probably Only For Keyboard Junkies

When I was in high school, BlackBerry was still an up-and-comer in the US cell phone market. The sleepy suburb I grew up in really had no widespread knowledge of them until after I had left for college. And when you start college in 2006, a year before the first iPhone (released at the end of my freshman year), it’s probably not surprising to learn that shiny-new-MacBook toting shiny-new-adults at a big state school turned up their noses at something as staid and “establishment” as a BlackBerry. Everyone who was into “cell-phone-as-status-symbol” knew it was the iPhone that was changing everything.

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ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser Review: One Of The Best Budget Phones Gets A Little Bit Better

ASUS in the recent past has been pushing harder into Western markets and into smartphones in general with the ZenFone product line and its associated ZenUI software layer. Those who remember the Transformer tablets of yesteryear may be surprised at the non-geeky, colorful, feature-filled approach of these devices. Now well into the second generation of ZenFones, ASUS has announced the ZenFone 2 Laser for wide release, including the USA.

It is a slight refinement on the ZenFone 2, which we reviewed back in June. David felt that its base model was one of the best values around for just $199.

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HTC One A9 Review: Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good (Pretty Good)

At a wedding reception this past Saturday, I finally had a chance to put the HTC One A9 side-by-side with an iPhone 6. “It looks just like an iPhone. Even the little camera bump looks similar,” remarked the person whose iDevice I had temporarily pilfered for this little visual experiment.

I was forced to agree. Flip them over, of course, and the story changes. HTC’s phone, with its elongated speaker grille, HTC logo, and Samsung-pill-style capacitive home key and fingerprint scanner is noticeably distinguishable from any iPhone - and really no different from any other white Android phone in that regard.

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Nexus 5X Review: It's Better Than You Think

The Nexus 5 was a big hit; an unqualified success for Google. People loved that phone, and many of them are still using one. Now, there's finally a true successor to the Nexus 5 in the LG-built Nexus 5X. Hopes were understandably high for this phone, and the handful of missing features led some Nexus 5 owners to planning how they'd keep their 2013-era phones running for another year. Specs don't tell you the whole story, though. The Nexus 5X doesn't have the most RAM or highest resolution screen, but it still deserves your attention because it offers a wonderful experience for not a lot of money.

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Nexus 6P Review: Google And Huawei Have Made Magic

A week ago, we took an early look at the Nexus 6P, the larger and more "premium" of Google's phones for 2015. Now that I've lived with the 6P for a bit longer, it's time for the full review.

As stated in the preview post, the 6P is undoubtedly the more premium of the two new Nexuses. It's got the larger, more dense display, the aluminum body, the higher-specced processor, the stereo speakers, and the higher price tag to prove it. And my experience with the Nexus 6P has proven that - to me - the phone is worth that price, even as an upgrade from the original Nexus 6.

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Nexus 5X Review Preview: Plastic Fantastic

The 2013 Nexus 5 was a much beloved device—it was great at a few things, good at others, and cheap enough that its shortcomings didn't seem so glaring. It struck such a good balance that many owners passed on the (humongous and expensive) Nexus 6 last year. Now, there's the Nexus 5X, a spiritual successor to the 2013 Nexus. I haven't had the 5X for long enough to give it a proper full review, but I've got some impressions to share in advance of the review.

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Nexus 6P Review Preview: So Far, It's Everything I'd Hoped

I've been getting to know the Nexus 6P for a few days now, and while I don't feel a few days is enough time to write a complete review, I thought it would at least be helpful to write a review preview with initial impressions and findings from the new Nexus.

The Nexus 6P is undoubtedly the more "premium" of the new Nexus phones this year. While the 5X is meant to carry on the affordable and performant legacy of the original Nexus 5, the 6P has perks like 240fps slowmo video, a higher-specced (if somewhat embattled) processor, true stereo front-facing speakers, a bigger, denser display, and an all-metal body.

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Moto X Pure Edition (2015) Review: A Great Phone For A Great Price

The original Moto X was a modestly sized phone with modest specs, but it's gotten more powerful and bigger each year. Now, the third-generation Moto X is a true phablet with flagship specs, but the price is still quite reasonable. After experimenting with carrier exclusives and subsidies, the company is going it alone with the new Moto X Pure Edition (AKA the Moto X Style outside the US).

This phone starts at $399 and is not being sold through any carriers. It still has Moto Maker customizations, and some of Motorola's past shortcomings have been addressed. So, has Motorola finally hit one out of the park, or is it overshadowed by more expensive phones?

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Blu Pure XL (2015) Review: Blu's First Real Flagship Contender Is A Strong One, But Its Future Is Uncertain

We've talked about Blu phones a lot in the past, and I've personally gone hands-on with essentially every phone the company has released over the last couple of years. I've seen everything from the cheapest of the cheap to the higher-end stuff from Blu, but never anything like the 2015 Pure XL. Sure, it carries the same name as one of the higher-end devices that the company put out last year, but trust me when I say this one is nothing like that phone. This is on a whole different level. This is easily the highest-end, most flagship-quality phone the company has ever done.

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Hands-On With The Blu Vivo Air LTE: Now With 100% More 4G Speed

Earlier this year, Blu released what would end up being my favorite phone from the manufacturer today: the Vivo Air. It was super sleek and thin, had a beautiful display, and was a generally great phone for just $199. Today, Blu announced the Air's successor, the Vivo Air LTE.

This phone basically corrects the weaknesses found in the original Air by bumping the RAM up to 2GB and adding LTE. This, of course, means the processor has also changed, and Blu has chosen to go with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 this time around. Otherwise, most of the other specs are the same:

Specs

Display 4.8-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
RAM 2GB
Camera 8MP rear, 5MP front
Storage 16GB
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5mm audio
Wireless GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, LTE 1700 (4) / 1900 (2) / 2600 (7), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions 141.9 x 68.1 x 5.1mm, 98 grams
Battery 2050 mAh
OS Android 5.0.2 (slated to get Marshmallow in Q1 2016)
Available colors Black, White
Price $199
Buy Pre-Order exclusively on Amazon

It's really an incremental update, but it's a pretty significant incremental update...if that makes sense.

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