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Other Reviews

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Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL: Lots of power for lots of money, but device compatibility is a deal-breaker

It's weird to think that there's a high-end power accessory market, but there is. Mophie pretty much dominates it with just a few special characteristics: a slightly more premium build quality, better materials, and high-end specs. Of course, Mophie's products also typically come with a sky-high price tag, and that's the case here with the Powerstation USB-C 3 XL. You get 45W of power on both USB-C input and output (with pass-through and different ports for each, too), a voluminous 26,000mAh capacity, and an exorbitant $200 MSRP to go with it. Unfortunately, it refused to work with any Chromebook I tested it with.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV re-review: Not the box you bought three years ago

The device we currently know as the "NVIDIA SHIELD" is not the first one to carry the name. That honor goes to the handheld device launched in 2013, later renamed SHIELD Portable. After that came the SHIELD Tablet, and finally the SHIELD Android TV in 2015. It was not the only way to get Android TV, but NVIDIA's box is the only one that had any staying power. Three years on, this device has gotten 20 updates across three major Android versions. I can't think of another Android device that offers so much value after more than three years of use. That's why we're taking another look at the SHIELD—it's changed quite a lot.

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The joys, disappointments, and sorrows of using MIUI on the Poco F1 (updated)

We don't often discuss Xiaomi's software layer here on Android Police, but it isn't for lack of desire to. Most of our team lives in the US where Xiaomi doesn't officially operate and, even if we were to import units there, they wouldn't be compatible with most carriers' LTE bands. I'm based in Lebanon, and the first limitation applies here as well, but imported devices do work (we have LTE band 3), so I've been trying to get my hands on some of the companies' phones to test them out.

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Optoma UHL55 Android projector review: There's no point

We've reviewed a few Android-based portable projectors in the past, like Anker's Nebula Capsule and the AAXA P2-A. The Optoma UHL55 is something else entirely. It's still a projector, and it still runs Android, but it's closer to something you would find in a high-end home theater.

Forget about the 720p resolutions and low brightness of other portable projectors — the UHL55 is 4K with a brightness of 1,500 lumens. It has all the features you would expect from a top-of-the-line projector, like full 3D and HDR support, multiple inputs, and Digital Light Processing (DLP). The UHL55 also has integration with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can turn it on/off or change inputs with only your voice.

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Pixel Stand review: A cool but tragically overpriced wireless charger

You could be forgiven for thinking Google was new to wireless charging if you haven't been obsessively following its products for years. The Nexus 4, 5, and 6 all had wireless charging capabilities, and Google even released its own wireless charging pad in 2013. After ignoring wireless charging for several years, the feature is back on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google is also selling a wireless charger again: the Pixel Stand.

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Superbook review: Turning the dream of a laptop-phone into a nightmare

Many of us hope for the eternal dream of convergence, that the day may come when a phone can serve double duty as a laptop via a bit of cheap, dumb hardware. Motorola had its mediocre Lapdock, and Canonical tried and failed to crowdfund the Ubuntu Edge. More recently, Samsung's DeX dock has built a small fanbase for its desktop-like experience. But in 2016, the Superbook hit Kickstarter, promising to turn smartphones into laptops for only $99. Over two years later, the Superbook technically delivers on the abstract concept, but it's an unpleasant and rough experience.

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Sphero BOLT review: A good robot for schools, but not for everyone else

As the name might suggest, Sphero's claim to fame is its sphere-shaped toy robots. These include the original Sphero, Sphero 2.0, Sphero Mini, BB-8, and BB-9E. The company has also been marketing some of its products towards education as STEM learning tools, particularly with the SPRK+.

Sphero's latest product is another educational robot - the Bolt. It's a minor upgrade from the existing SPRK+, with a configurable LED matrix display, infrared sensors for communicating with other robots, and "more than two hours of continuous play."

I think the Sphero Bolt is a well-designed product, but I'm not sure there's enough value to justify the $150 price tag, especially when it's only an iterative improvement over the company's existing robots.

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Google Titan Security Key review: A $50 hardware 2FA bundle with outdated connectors

Those of us that care about our online security probably use some form of two-factor authentication to secure our most important accounts, but even the strongest password and the longest authentication code are still subject to something as simple as a phishing attack, which is why so many have switched to hardware security keys. Google helped to create the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) hardware authentication standard, and now it's releasing its own product to consumers: the $50 Titan Security Key.

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Anker Nebula Mars II review: Another good Android projector

Slightly over a year ago, I reviewed Anker's first Android-powered portable projector, the Nebula Mars. It packed a bright projector and JBL speakers into a small package, and the $599.99 price reflected that. The heavily-modified build of Android 4.4 worked decently well, but app compatibility was limited, since most apps have stopped supporting KitKat.

Anker then released the $350 Nebula Capsule, a smaller (and dimmer) projector that doubled as a Bluetooth speaker. It was more expensive than competing devices, but it was also much better than all of them. The excellent build quality, decent projection brightness, and newer software (based on Android 7.1) made it a great product.

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CTL Chromebox CBx1 review: A good Chrome OS desktop at a great price

Two months ago, we reviewed the Acer Chromebox CXI3. Even though the CXI3 is a fantastic Chrome OS desktop, it's somewhat expensive - the model we reviewed with a Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM costs $519.99. There's a $469.99 Core i3 version and a $289.99 Celeron model, but those are also slightly expensive given the hardware inside.

If you've been looking for a basic Chrome OS desktop, there's another option - the CTL Chromebox CBx1. CTL primarily manufactures computers for the education and government sectors, and the company has been all-in on Chromebooks for years. The Chromebox CBx1 is CTL's first Chrome OS desktop, and it starts at the low price of $219.

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