I still remember when we used to bicker over iPhone vs Symbian, before Android took over the second part of that argument. I also remember when Xenon vs LED flash was the most controversial discussion in the smartphone world for several years - some of you may have been toddlers when that started. And I remember when apps weren't a thing, when 3G was the hottest novelty, when we thanked our lucky stars because companies stopped using massive proprietary charging and earphone ports, and when a smartphone with a 2.8" display (Nokia N95 8GB) counted as monstrous. Nowadays, we feel cheated when the second back lens in a phone doesn't bring a lot of improvement, or when the display's color shifts at an angle as if everyone is side-glancing at their phones all the time, when a device has a MicroUSB port and not USB-C, or when it takes a fraction of a millisecond longer for a swipe to register. Read More
The mid-range flagship market has been a heated place in the last few years, with OnePlus coming out on top and filling the void that was left by the Nexus phones (6 excluded). While it may be no shocker to anyone why this is, it also shouldn't be a surprise to see some of the big players in the world take notice of OnePlus' success in this space. Cue Hua-, er, Honor with the View10, a device aimed squarely at the 5T.
Until now, the View10 (also called the V10) was sold outside of the U.S. and therefore not really relevant in a competitive sense to us here in the States. Read More
A couple of months ago, my brother in law came to me with a question: he needed an affordable $200-300 Android smartphone that he could purchase from the UAE or Lebanon and that would do the basics right. My ready-made answer in the category in the past few years has been Samsung's A/C/J series. You get nice hardware, decent software with less bloat nowadays, excellent after-sale support no matter which mom-and-pop repair store you stop at, easy accessory purchase, and it's super fast to sell it on when the time comes to part with your phone. But that's only because Samsung's presence in Lebanon is huge, LG's midrange devices are too costly for the features, Moto and HTC essentially don't exist, Nokia/HMD hadn't begun selling phones again yet, and Huawei started breaking into the market about a year or so ago. Read More
Huawei’s cheaper sub-brand Honor held an event in London early December to announce the launch of not one but two new smartphones. Jordan has already reviewed the first of those, the Honor 7X, which impressed him as a contender to the Moto G5S Plus in the budget category. But Honor actually spent more time at the show talking about the View 10, its latest flagship device.
The View10 sports Huawei’s Kirin 970 chip, with a built-in neural processing unit that the company says can be used to learn your habits and improve your overall experience. Features of the moment such as face unlocking, an 18:9 screen, and dual cameras potentially make the View10 a compelling option in the affordable flagship category, where it slightly undercuts the OnePlus 5T at £449 in the UK (around $600). Read More
OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T in November, just a few months after the OnePlus 5. While the price was slightly higher, the 5T added a few notable features like an 18:9 display and rear-facing fingerprint reader. Since then, OnePlus has dropped the limited edition Star Wars 5T in India, and now a similar device is coming to the rest of us. The new Sandstone White OnePlus 5T doesn't have Star Wars branding, but it seems otherwise identical right down to the bright red alert slider. Read More
I look at my phone. It vibrates. It asks for my password.
This is the single most annoying experience I have on a regular basis with the iPhone X. Face ID is at once pretty good and absolutely infuriating. The iPhone X is, as a result, the most frustrating smartphone I have used in recent memory. The iPhone X is also pretty great, but when it rubs me the wrong way, it really rubs me the wrong way.
Switching to the iPhone hasn't been without annoyances and sacrifices. In fact, it's come with quite a few, if I'm going to be honest with you about it. Read More
Honor is back here at the end of 2017 with another budget phone that, for all intents and purposes, is a better bang for your buck than its predecessor, the 6X. The specs have seen a slight boost, but the biggest change is the addition of Huawei's FullView display. Yes, that's right: a budget phone with an 18:9 screen, something thus far uncommon. Read More
I can already tell I’ll have a hard time going back to Android’s software navigation keys.
One of the most pleasantly surprising features of the iPhone X - and something that’s going to read like it’s straight out of Phil Schiller’s marketing playbook - comes in the form of what Apple removed from the phone: the home button. By forcing the issue of gesture navigation instead of going half-in with soft keys, Apple’s made a convert of me. I like gesture nav.
It’s also kind of broken. There’s no universal gesture to go back (some apps let you swipe from the left - sometimes), and the quick switcher button at the top left of the phone requires some serious thumb acrobatics to reach. Read More
Asus has been busy in 2017, but amongst the madness that is the Zenfone 4 family, the company took some time to partner with Verizon to launch another device exclusive to Big Red. This is the Zenfone V, a phone that bears some resemblance to one of Samsung's older phones, but it packs 2016 flagship specs into a small, manageable frame all for just $240 ($10/month). Read More
On a fall day over eight years ago, I walked into an AT&T store in Davis, my college town, to see the iPhone 3GS. I held it, stared at it, looked at the price card, then back at the phone, and then down at the price card again. Reality began to set in.
I was locked into a contract with my Sony-Ericsson feature phone for another six months. I asked about early upgrade pricing - $200 on top of the $199 AT&T already charged for the phone - but I was a student, and my meager checking account balance could barely withstand the regular on-contract price and accompanying increase in the monthly service fee. Read More