We're entering into an era where you no longer have to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a good, usable smartphone. Manufacturers like Blu have done a lot for the budget smartphone, and more mainstream phone makers like Motorola have brought the words "budget" and "flagship" together in a way we didn't think would ever be possible.
I've been messing with a new affordable device from a relatively new manufacturer to the scene here lately: the Nuu Z8. Nuu currently has a couple of other budget devices on the market, but the Z8 is what the company is calling its flagship device. Read More
Instagram has a reputation. It's true. Whether it's the users who constantly snap pictures of their food or the ubiquitous use of filters, something immediately comes to mind when someone mentions the social network. One major aspect of its identity, for better or worse, is about to disappear. Instagram will no longer exclusively support square imagery.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen, Instagram is finally acknowledging that cameras don't take pictures in squares. Yes, cropping is a thing, but good cropping is also part of taking a decent shot in the first place. It can be a pain to have to crop things down again. Read More
The touchscreen issues that plagued the OnePlus One are well known at this point, but what about the OnePlus 2? This device is still trickling out to the illustrious recipients of invites, and it appears to have a different grounding issue. Rather than affecting the screen, this one affects the capacitive home button. Maybe I'm holding it wrong? Read More
The new Moto X is set to come out in a week or two, but the 2014 model is still a fine device. It's even more fine if you can get one for a mere $180, as you can today on eBay. This is the Verizon model of the phone (XT1096), but that means it's unlocked and should work fine on GSM carriers. Read More
Whispering Willows is the kind of game we'd like to see more of on any platform. The art style alone shows how much care and attention the designers approached the game with. That it happens to be fun is almost a perk.
The hand-drawn experience centers on Elena, a girl who can project her spirit outside of her body. Controlling her astral projection to solve puzzles forms the crux of the gameplay. Read More
Amazon's Fire Phone, the logical smartphone extension of its Kindle Fire tablet series, is a dud. A combination of lackluster reviews, carrier semi-exclusivity, and most of all being tied into Amazon's app and service environment have made it more or less a total failure. The company never publishes hard data for its hardware sales, but casual observation and constant discounts (sometimes more than $500 off of the original $650 off-contract price) imply that the product has been a wash.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon isn't eager to continue in the phone market. According to the paper, "dozens" of engineers in the Lab126 hardware team have been laid off. Read More
John Sculley, a man who served as CEO of Apple for a decade starting in 83, is working with the design firm that helped create Beats headphones to produce a new breed of smartphones for use outside of the US. The idea isn't to hit developing markets with more cheap, plastic devices that serve as hollow shells of the high-end counterparts sold elsewhere. Sculley's Obi Worldphone wants to offer young people a slightly more premium device with spiffy packaging.
Yes, the Obi Worldphone SF1 (named after San Francisco, where the Ammunition design firm is located) is a pretty generic looking black rectangle, but it comes with a unibody design supplemented by metallic accents and a raised glass display. Read More
There was a heist (presumably) and you're on the run. Will you be caught or get away scot-free? That's entirely dependent on how you arrange events in Framed. This game looks incredibly polished and I can't say I've ever seen anything like it. Read More
Folks who desire an HTC One M9 but don't have that kind of cash lying around don't have to settle for nothing. The Desire line does a decent job of taking the flagship's form factor, stripping away the premium gloss, and producing a piece of hardware that everyday smartphone users can get by with just fine. And they typically cost around a third of the price.
The latest option for Verizon Wireless customers is the HTC Desire 626, announced earlier this month. This device comes with a plastic white and gold body that looks like a paired down version of the M9. Read More
As promised, Square Enix has released Lara Croft GO on Android today. It's a followup to the fantastic Hitman GO, but it's a distinctly Tomb Raider take on the turn-based genre. Lara Croft GO is less about precision, and more about exploration. Read More