The ultimate and original automation convenience is the universal remote: a simple gadget that replaces all your similar devices, turning elaborate multi-step operations into a one-button convenience. Logitech's Harmony series of remotes and hubs have offered one of the best experiences out there, but at the cost of a complex setup and maintenance process. The new Harmony Express streamlines almost everything about the experience, but I don't think that convenience is worth the sky-high price tag. Read More
Anker's recent PowerPort Atom PD 1 set a new standard when it came to wall chargers here at Android Police, so we were excited to take a look at the more powerful PowerPort Atom PD 2. Like its smaller sibling, this bigger version harnesses the magic of gallium nitride to pack more power into a smaller footprint, while also doubling both the number of Type-C outputs (2) and the maximum wattage (60W). Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to the smaller model's performance. Read More
Charging isn't just something you have to do at home, that's why they make portable chargers/battery packs and super-small wall warts. But sometimes, you can't be sure where you'll get your power — not just in terms of which coffee shop or hotel you'll plug in at, but which country. If you travel a lot for work, you're used to the added complexity that travel adapters impose, but with a compact design thanks to gallium nitride, one 30W USB-C port, and three USB-A ports, Zendure's Passport Go might save some space in your rollaboard. It's a decent value at $39 right now, but it's set to get more expensive later. Read More
We've tried out plenty of Anker projectors over the past few years, most recently the Android TV-equipped Nebula Capsule II. The Capsule II is great, but it's also very expensive — the regular price comes in at $579.99. If you want something just as bright, and you're willing to sacrifice on the portability (and the Android OS), Anker has another model just for you.
The Prizm II is a home projector designed to be sat on a table and not moved around often. If you have a need for something like that, Anker's projector is a relatively inexpensive option, but it doesn't have any incredible qualities that make it stand out from the crowd. Read More
Anker has been producing portable projectors since 2017, when it released the first Nebula Mars. Since then, it has made a sequel to the Mars, and a smaller Nebula Capsule the size of a soda can. While the hardware and build quality were excellent on all of them, the heavily-modified Android software always left a lot to be desired.
Anker's newest model, the Nebula Capsule II, is significant because it's the first portable projector to run full-blown Android TV. Read More
Google was among the first companies to embrace wireless charging in the days of plastic flagship phones, but it ditched the feature when metal became trendy. Now that the Pixel 3 and 3XL are glass, wireless charging is in again. Google even unveiled its own fancy wireless charger alongside the 2018 Pixels. However, those phones only fast charge wirelessly with Google's custom technology. Google sought to cool tempers over the Pixel Stand's $80 price tag by pointing out that other companies would license its custom fast charging standard. Belkin was the first, and still only, company to do so. Read More
You've probably heard of quick charging, adaptive fast charging, rapid charging, USB power delivery charging, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0/3.0/4.0 before - or at least one or two of these things. What you may not know is that all but one of them are actually basically the same thing, based on the same licensed technology from Qualcomm known as Quick Charge. More recently, Qualcomm's technology has slowly been supplanted by the likes of USB Power Delivery, the standard for charging governed by the USB-IF, the body behind USB itself. Additionally, new proprietary standards from companies like Oppo, OnePlus, and Huawei have split off from both Qualcomm and the USB-IF, further increasing the amount of charging confusion out there in the market. Read More
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