Affordable phones will always be a compromise, but Google hopes it can make entry-level devices a bit better with something new: Android Go. It's the same Android platform you know and presumably love, but optimized for sub-1GB RAM environments. That way low-end hardware can have its own low-end version of Android, rather than suffering an OEM debate between shoehorning in the latest version to perform terribly, or an older version which won't be secure or feature-filled.
Enter the Alcatel 1X. It's the second Android Go device to hit the US behind the ZTE Tempo Go—and the only one you can actually buy right now—at a mere $100. Read More
The budget phone space is certainly filling up with some spectacular options. From the extremely capable Honor 7X to the newly-released Moto G6, buyers strapped for cash have several great phones to choose from. But as much as those devices have impressed us in the last few months, HMD Global's Nokia 6.1 has surpassed all of my expectations for a sub-$300 phone. Read More
The BlackBerry KEY2 is a phone unstuck in time, marrying modern silicon and software with a look that recalls handsets from a good decade before its release. Models like the Priv and last year's KEYone have been fighting the good fight for physical hardware keyboards long after the rest of the world has moved on.
Now the KEY2 is picking up the torch (no pun intended) with its mid-range Snapdragon 660 SoC, relatively petite 4.5-inch HD display, and a new dual-12MP rear camera system. Pricing is up $100 to $650 this year, and it's available in July unlocked at Amazon and Best Buy. Read More
Back at CES, I had the chance to chat with Optoma about what we could expect from the NuForce brand this year. I was promised that something good was in the works and that it would be worth the wait. So when the BE Sport4 arrived on my doorstep, some six months after I got home from Vegas, I was pretty excited to see if the wait had, indeed, been worth it. Read More
With more and more phones dropping the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack, one might have hoped that more USB-C accessories, notably earphones, would have appeared by now. Sadly, the market of reliable, trustworthy options is still quite small and the ones you do find aren't cheap. If you own a Pixel 2 XL, for instance, you probably understand how frustrating the dongle situation can be... if you can even get one at time of writing. Read More
Chromebooks now spread across a wide range of price points. You have the ultra-premium Pixelbook, complete with a really high cost, and mid-range options like the Samsung Chromebook Pro. Then you have the budget models — it's still surprising to me that you can pick up a functional laptop that does most everything that a normal person needs for a few hundred bucks. Read More
It may be the silliest idea to some, but it may be the most interesting idea to others. Wearable Widgets, an app that transforms your phone's widgets into Wear OS (né Android Wear) watch faces, has added support for complications. So instead of replacing your entire watch face with a widget, you can leave whichever design you like and choose a widget from your phone as a complication inside it. How well does it work? I tested it to find out. 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
The U12+ is the latest high-end smartphone from HTC, and while the ‘+’ moniker may have you wondering where the “regular” version is - this is it: HTC is, for the time being, only launching a large premium phone in 2018. It packs the latest Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm, a large 6.0” Quad HD LCD display, and four cameras. It also costs a whopping $800, and you can only buy it direct from HTC or Amazon in the US. Read More
Depending on where you live, most houses could be built with central heating and thermostats in mind or not. Even in houses that have a fully ducted system, getting a small expansion done like a bigger garage, an additional room, or a guest house could require you start looking at other options for heating and cooling. Ductless systems, whether they're split air conditioner units, window ACs, portable or floor standing units, or heat pumps, are the go-to solution then. But in a world that's more connected than ever, they present one main disadvantage compared to thermostats: they can't be easily retrofitted for automation and smartphone control. Read More