When Samsung announced the Galaxy S9, “that’s it?” wasn’t exactly an uncommon reaction. The Galaxy S9 is, frankly, kind of boring. But when you’re the most successful manufacturer of premium Android phones in the world by a wide margin, you can afford to be a little boring every once in a while.
Samsung knows this. As such, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ don’t represent a sea change. Rather, they’re an affirmation of success. Everything that made the Galaxy S8 and S8+ great phones is still to be found here. Wireless charging, Samsung Pay, headphone jacks, brilliant displays, extremely refined industrial design, and IP68 waterproofing make these phones extremely feature-rich. Read More
The Android tablet market is a proverbial scarce wasteland these days. It has been quite some time since we saw something from Samsung or Asus, two of the last major stalwart players in this space (excluding Amazon, obviously). Tablets are not what they were in years past, though I personally still find having one useful for certain situations, despite Android leaving much to be desired in this aspect. Read More
Truly wireless earbuds are fast becoming a crowded space, and it's getting tougher to discern who the big players really are, and who's just the latest to try and cash in on the next trend in personal audio. Enter the Zolo Liberty+.
Zolo is the audio sub-brand of Anker, the company famous for its battery packs, chargers, and mobile accessories. The Liberty+ are its second true wireless earbud, following up on the original Liberty. The Liberty+ feature a charging case with a larger battery (up to 48 hours of additional playback), an uprated wireless radio with support for Bluetooth 5.0 (though Bluetooth 5.0 doesn't really do anything to improve the experience), and "graphene-coated" drivers, which I'm going to take Zolo at its word on being a desirable product feature. Read More
The headphone jack is dead, or so we're told by OEMs, but the selection of wired USB Type-C headphones is still woefully inadequate. If you aren't interested in all the problems associated with Bluetooth audio, you're pretty much forced into the donglelife. But Essential just launched two new pairs of USB Type-C powered headphones, including the Earphones HD. Although the HDs aren't bad, for $100 it's tough to recommend them unless you absolutely can't use a dongle. Read More
Just ahead of this year's CES, Mophie announced a massive 22,000mAh battery capable of spitting both 30W USB-PD over Type-C and 100W over a standard AC outlet, all in a relatively dinky 7.5" x 4.5" x 1.1" package. It even had what looked like a swanky gray fabric shell, so our interest was certainly piqued. The only real potential drawback we noted at the time was the price. $199.95 is pretty serious cash for a 22,000mAh battery.
Since then, the battery has been marked down to ~$125 on Amazon. Now that I've had a chance to play with one for a while, I can say that it's a great battery, but depending on your use case it might not be a great value. Read More
Atari is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic companies in the video game industry. Pong was one of the first arcade games ever, the Atari 2600 computer was wildly popular in the late 70s and early 80s, and the 1985 Atari ST was fairly successful. However, the company began to falter in the 90s, and the poorly-sold Atari Jaguar was the last nail in the coffin. After that, Atari Corporation merged with hard drive manufacturer JTS Corp, who later sold the Atari brand to Hasbro in 1998.
Atari has since joined the ranks of Polaroid and RCA as a brand name passed around different companies, with the original Atari Inc. Read More
It's sad, but the headphone jack is being included on fewer and fewer phones every year. Ever since Apple started the trend of relying on one connector with the iPhone 7, Google, HTC, Motorola, and more companies have all released flagship devices without the 3.5mm jack that all of us knew and loved. 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 few months ago, I reviewed the Collectors Edition of Anki's popular 'Cozmo' robot. Cozmo was first and foremost a toy, but the app included a 'Code Lab' where owners could create simple block-based programs (Anki has even extended that in subsequent updates).
After that review, Wonder Workshop asked me if I wanted to try out two of its toy robots - the 'Dot' and 'Cue.' Unlike the Cozmo, where coding functionality was more of an afterthought, programming is at the heart of the Dot and Cue. Almost all the activities you can do with these robots involve some level of coding, but they are accessible enough for most kids to get some enjoyment out of them. Read More
Google has now released three versions of the Google Home, each with its own unique size and price point, but none of them are portable out of the box. Untether them from their power cords, and you'll be left with an interestingly-shaped paperweight (well, the Home Mini actually somewhat resembles one).
Those of you looking for a mobile Home have probably run into this: Ninety7's LOFT battery base for the original Google Home. Ninety7 is no stranger to these battery bases, having made the similarly-priced VAUX, a base with a more powerful speaker for the Echo Dot. But at $49.95, the LOFT isn't cheap, and it doesn't add better speakers like the VAUX does. Read More