Competition is always good for any market, but when it comes to smartphone platforms, there have only been two viable choices for the better part of a decade — Android and iOS. Microsoft poured billions into Windows Phone and Nokia, only to capture a small fraction of the market for a few years. Tizen, Sailfish, webOS, Symbian, Ubuntu Touch, and Firefox OS also failed to take a decent chunk of users away from Google and Apple.
There's another mobile operating system on the rise, but this one is special for a few reasons. First, it's not necessarily trying to unseat iOS and Android — it's designed to run on feature phones. Read More
The original Chromebook 14 from Acer came out in 2016 and was a decent device for the price (around $300) — as such, it was popular with critics and consumers alike. So we were naturally excited when we heard Acer was going to bring out a successor. I first got my hands on the Chromebook 514 in Berlin at IFA in the summer of 2018, but it was rather a disappointment. The build quality of the pre-production unit Acer had on display at the show left much to be desired, leading me to an initial opinion that it was too flimsy to even command a $350 price tag. Read More
We would love for USB-C to be as ubiquitous as possible, and to avoid using USB-A and MicroUSB cables and ports, but the truth of the matter is that we're still in a transition phase where smartphones have adopted the standard, computers are moving in that direction, and accessories are still (generally) lagging behind. If you have multiple devices that can charge over USB-C, a hub that only provides one C port isn't ideal. But those with two ports or more are still a rarity.
Aukey had the PA-Y6, but it turned out to be not up to spec; ZeroLemon and Scoche have some options, but their low output makes them less ideal for charging laptops; and Anker just announced the 100W PowerPort Atom PD 4, but it's not yet available and should cost about $100 when it does come to market. Read More
There are plenty of reasons to pick up a microSD card, should your phone support one. It can be a lot cheaper to get a phone with less storage and plan to add more. Media maniacs and data hoarders can also make use of the super cheap extra space. But if you think SanDisk's new A1 and A2-rated microSD cards are going to provide anywhere near the experience of your phone's built-in storage, think again. Read More
Odds are you didn't buy your phone or laptop because of the charger that it came with. They're an incidental feature compared to the gadget itself — some reviews don't even mention them — but you definitely need one. If that dependency drives you to buy another USB Type-C PD-compliant wall-wart, Anker's new PowerPort Atom PD 1 is among the best 30W chargers you can get. It's tiny, powerful enough to drive some laptops, and pretty cheap at a mere $30. Read More
As well as offering simple light bulbs and accessories for your home, Philips has been pushing its Hue lights for entertainment purposes more and more. The Zigbee-toting Hue lights can now be used as accent lighting for music, film, and even gaming, which may seem gimmicky or cool, depending on your outlook. I would say it’s a bit of both, or at least that’s how I view the latest addition to the lineup, the Hue Play. Read More
It's weird to think that there's a high-end power accessory market, but there is. Mophie pretty much dominates it with just a few special characteristics: a slightly more premium build quality, better materials, and high-end specs. Of course, Mophie's products also typically come with a sky-high price tag, and that's the case here with the Powerstation USB-C 3 XL. You get 45W of power on both USB-C input and output (with pass-through and different ports for each, too), a voluminous 26,000mAh capacity, and an exorbitant $200 MSRP to go with it. Unfortunately, it refused to work with any Chromebook I tested it with. Read More
The device we currently know as the "NVIDIA SHIELD" is not the first one to carry the name. That honor goes to the handheld device launched in 2013, later renamed SHIELD Portable. After that came the SHIELD Tablet, and finally the SHIELD Android TV in 2015. It was not the only way to get Android TV, but NVIDIA's box is the only one that had any staying power. Three years on, this device has gotten 20 updates across three major Android versions. I can't think of another Android device that offers so much value after more than three years of use. That's why we're taking another look at the SHIELD—it's changed quite a lot. Read More
We don't often discuss Xiaomi's software layer here on Android Police, but it isn't for lack of desire to. Most of our team lives in the US where Xiaomi doesn't officially operate and, even if we were to import units there, they wouldn't be compatible with most carriers' LTE bands. I'm based in Lebanon, and the first limitation applies here as well, but imported devices do work (we have LTE band 3), so I've been trying to get my hands on some of the companies' phones to test them out. Read More
We've reviewed a few Android-based portable projectors in the past, like Anker's Nebula Capsule and the AAXA P2-A. The Optoma UHL55 is something else entirely. It's still a projector, and it still runs Android, but it's closer to something you would find in a high-end home theater. Read More