Chinese firm Mobvoi — founded by ex-Googlers — has a history of making connected watches that stretches back to its original TicWatch and TicWatch 2 running the proprietary TicWear OS. Around this time last year, the TicWatch S and E were launched with Wear OS (then Android Wear) on board, and they were praised for their quality and excellent value proposition.
Now, Mobvoi is back with a premium Wear OS smartwatch, the TicWatch Pro. It offers better build quality and adds NFC, but the real star of the show is a transparent second display for more efficient always-on functionality with the promise of excellent battery life. Read More
Motorola has changed a lot since the days when it was a Google company. Ah, what a time that was! With the glory days of the Moto X long behind us, it's all about Moto Mods now. The company has just launched its first 2018 Z device—the Moto Z3 Play, and it's pushing the modular angle even harder. When you purchase the Z3 Play, you get a Motorola battery Mod in the box, plus support for all the Mods released thus far. Unfortunately, that's not as strong a selling point as Motorola would have you believe. Read More
Motorola's high-end phones have disappointed in the last few years, but its budget devices have offered the best value of any low-cost phones. We don't know how Moto's 2018 flagship story will shake out, but the new Moto G6 has arrived to (mostly) carry on the tradition of giving you a lot of phone for just a little money.
This phone makes several changes that I love, as well as a few that I don't. The Moto G6 has a slower processor than its predecessor, but the performance is still solid, and Moto's software impresses. You also get a Type-C port (finally) and a taller 18:9 screen, both features that were rare on budget phones not long ago. Read More
A year ago, it felt like LG was at the forefront of the next big movement for phone design. After handset sales had been dominated by models with 16:9 screens for so long, the G6 introduced us to the brave new world of 18:9 displays. And in the time since, we've seen manufacturer after manufacturer update their own lineups with similar phones featuring ultra-wide screens.
So while the G6 had a pretty compelling hook, not only have a lot of other players embraced that new screen shape in the time since its launch, but they've also been iterating around towards the next big evolution in screen design — the notch. Read More
Nest started by making thermostats, but following a Google acquisition and some reshuffling, it makes plenty of other smart home products. Having devoured Dropcam, Nest is one of the leaders in home security cameras with products like the Nest Cam and smarter Cam IQ. It had a "regular" outdoor camera previously, but now you can get an outdoor version of the IQ. The Nest Cam IQ Outdoor packs a 4K image sensor, a wide field-of-view, facial recognition, and incredibly sharp video. It's also one of the most robust outdoor cameras when it comes to tolerating cold weather. Read More
OnePlus got everyone's attention with the OnePlus One because it was cheap and powerful. Each successive OnePlus phone is a little more spendy, but it also adopts whatever hot new features are popping up in more expensive phones. OnePlus has gotten on board with fingerprint sensors, dual cameras, 18:9 screens, and now the OnePlus 6 fully embraces the latest smartphone zeitgeist. This phone sports a glass chassis and a display notch. Inside, it still has the top-of-the-line hardware and a clean build of Android.
If you don't like notches, this phone won't convince you to like them. However, it's the best notch implementation Android has seen thus far. Read More
Huawei has been on an upward trajectory for years, but 2018 has been somewhat less successful than Huawei would have liked. After being effectively shut out of the US smartphone market, it launched the Mate 10 Pro as an unlocked device. Now, it's time for Huawei's second flagship launch of the year, and this one probably isn't coming to the US even in an unlocked capacity. The new Huawei P20 Pro has a lot in common with the Mate 10 Pro, but there are several notable upgrades—or downgrades, depending on your perspective. Read More
I reviewed the Fitbit Ionic when it launched late last year, and at the time I didn't much care for it. I was not into the design, and there were multiple software issues. I've continued to wear the watch on and off since then, and I spent about a week with the Fitbit Versa just recently. The Ionic has gotten several updates since my original review, including the recent bump to FitbitOS 2.0 that matches what ships on the Versa. With Google's Wear OS still on a downward trajectory, I'm giving Fitbit's flagship smartwatch another shot.
With the software improvements, I find myself liking the Ionic much more than I did when it launched. Read More
Fitbit has become a household name in fitness tracking, and it's not shy about its desire to get into smarter wearables. It acquired bits of Pebble's carcass a while back and then launched the Fitbit Ionic. That first smartwatch was somewhat lacking in features, and it didn't offer enough to justify the $300 asking price. Now, Fitbit is back with a cheaper smartwatch sporting almost as many features and a less "retro-future" design. In fact, the Versa looks quite a lot like another famous smartwatch. Read More