Huawei’s budget sub-brand Honor is the subject of increasing chatter in phone geek circles of late. In January, the Honor 5X introduced the “company” (insofar as they operate as a separate business unit) to a Western audience with a very affordable, metal-bodied phone.
The device, though, seemed to land on deaf ears, at least among enthusiasts. I can’t speak to how the Honor 5X did in US sales channels, but initial launch buzz quickly wore off once reviews went to press, and the phone itself really was pretty mediocre in retrospect. Its dazzle, its allure really came from looking the part of a $300-400 phone while costing much less. Read More
OnePlus phone owners can probably agree that the company needs to work on faster OS updates. (It's a safe bet: pretty much everyone can agree on that, including Nexus owners.) OnePlus is trying. To that end, the company has announced that its two disparate Android software builds will be merged into one: Oxygen OS and Hydrogen OS. I'll pause for a moment to allow the chemistry nerds to make an H2O joke before we continue. Read More
Let's be honest: the Xperia X was kind of a ripoff at its MSRP of $549.99. It's a solid mid-ranger, but that much dough for a non-flagship? Come on. A few months back, this Sony smartphone got a price drop of $50 to $499.99. Now, numerous official retailers have dropped their prices to an even more palatable $449.99, and BuyDig is also throwing in a Lexar Class 10 128GB microSD card. Read More
Does a calendar app need a voice control function? Samsung seems to think that it does. That's the premise behind JifiCal, the company's latest published app in the Play Store. It's essentially a voice control add-on for a phone's built-in calendar. So what makes it better than, say, Google Now's voice control system (especially since the actual voice recognition in JifiCal is using Google's own servers)? According to the app description, the special sauce here is the natural language processing. Read More
S Note is the included app for Samsung's Note series that enables, well, notation. It's designed to be used with the S Pen stylus for a variety of quick notes and drawings. It features most of the things that you'd expect from a notation tool, but since it's such a signature part of the differentiating hardware, Samsung seems interested in making a beta version of the app available to its users. The beta app is up on the Play Store now - head to this address to opt-in to the program, then this address to download it. Read More
Hot on the heels of a recent update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Verizon has released one for the Galaxy Note5 and S6 edge+. Like the S7/S7 edge update, this adds support for a barcode scanning app called Barcode Beaming Service. Unfortunately, Note5 and S6 edge+ owners will not receive the FM radio capability that S7 and S7 edge owners just did. Fixes for Verizon's Advanced Calling are included as well. Read More
Following the death of Google's Project ARA, it has been revealed that Dan Makoski, founder of Project ARA and former head of design at Google ATAP, has now officially been confirmed to be working at Nexpaq. In case you don't know what Nexpaq is, it's a startup that campaigned on Kickstarter to create modular phone cases for popular phones like the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 edge, and Galaxy S5. Read More