• Devices

    by Published on 11-29-2013 03:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    While a new LG G2 would be nice, not everyone wants or has the means to sign a contract on an expensive plan. They also don’t want to spend $700 on a new phone. So what can you get if you’re on a prepaid budget?

    Now, since most fancy phones are available on prepaid, I’m putting a $200 limit on the cost of the phone. $200 is still a sizable chunk of change but to be honest, if I set it lower there just aren’t enough phones that I would recommend. Let’s check out the contenders. ...
    by Published on 11-29-2013 09:11 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    The idea that the market can bear a third successful smartphone OS has been bandied about a fair bit, but the source is not often cited. It was Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam who, way back in September of 2011, introduced this idea to tech bloggers who, in turn, picked up and ran with it.

    The direct quote:

    "The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem... Over the next 12 months I think it will coalesce and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem."
    At that time the race for third was between BlackBerry and Windows Phone; two years later this still looks to be the case, albeit with a few new contenders at least.

    In my short time here as a front-page blogger I've had the opportunity to spend some quality time with at least three of the third-place contenders — BlackBerry (in its latest incarnation), Firefox OS and Windows Mobile. The somewhat ambitious goal for today is to crown a winner.

    ...
    by Published on 11-28-2013 10:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview

    Before I left the bed this morning to begin writing my girlfriend pulled me close and whispered softly in my ear:

    "BlackBerry sucks."

    Thanks to a care package from Howard we are now suddenly a BlackBerry family — she's got a Q10 and me a Z30. I have to say that the word which best sums up our experience so far is "frustrating".

    The swipe up/down/left/right thing isn't really a big deal. In my first hour or so I did spend a fair amount of time pressing the BlackBerry logo below my Z30's screen, hoping for a home screen to appear. I eventually got used to swiping up instead.

    My issue is with the home screen itself.

    ...
    by Published on 11-27-2013 09:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    How long should an electronic device last? You're probably thinking why does that matter but I've run into a major problem with my Mac Pro that's now 7 years old. It's a beautiful machine that has been powered up 24/7 for 95% of those years. I've maxed this computer out with 16GB of RAM, 6TB of hard drives and an SSD. I can't ever go back to using just one monitor and I've learned my lesson to back up everything. I think it's hardware failure and I have this theory that Steve Jobs' ghost has entered countdown code to doomsday… right on the eve of the new Mac Pro being released. I'm a huge Apple fan and am fully aware of the company's fallibility. I had my video review ready to post and I found my computer off the next morning unable to get past the screen with the Apple logo on it.

    Here's where I'm going with this: for the premium I pay Apple, I expect their products to outperform and outlast the competition. I do not have this same expectation for Samsung. It's not a bad thing if that's what their business model is designed for (i.e. high volume, low margin).

    One other point is more of a challenge: can you post a review (with photos and video clips) using only a tablet? I had high hopes for the Note 10.1 but it's not quite there yet. Apart from not being able to create an article on this forum, I think we're almost there. Howard? Any takers on that challenge?

    Bottom line for those with a short attention span: the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has outstanding specs on paper but doesn't execute appropriately. In other words, it doesn't get the horsepower to the road. The Apple iPad is still the clear leader in this field. I see the potential in the Note 10.1 but it might be the 2015 Edition that pulls it all together. ...
    by Published on 11-21-2013 09:10 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    To do yet another graffiti walk would be, in my opinion, a disservice to the Lumia 1020. Most modern-day camera phones can deliver acceptable results with vivid colours in bright light — as per previous examples here and here. So for the Lumia I tried something different: I took it with me on a dinner date to a new ramen joint in the neighbourhood.

    All of the images that you'll see in this post, save for the one screen grab below, are embeds from my Flickr account. That way you can click through and see them resplendent in their full 41 megapixel glory should you so choose.

    ...
    by Published on 11-20-2013 10:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Now that 2 year contracts are the norm we’re experiencing an influx of mid-range phones for customers who want a subsidized phone, but don’t want spend 80 bucks a month on service. Among the mid-range phones, two tiers are starting to emerge. Lower-end, mid range phones and higher-end ones.

    Here’s the latest one from HTC, the Desire 601 it sort of slots in-between high and low end. It has LTE, a 960x540 display and stereo speakers like you’ll find on a higher-end unit but the camera sensor is only 5 megapixels which you typically find on something cheaper. If you want something fancier from HTC there’s the One Mini which fits in between the Desire 601 and their flagship the HTC One.

    In terms of competitors, the first two that come to mind are the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini and the recently released Motorola Moto G. After thinking about there’s also the Nokia Lumia 625 and maybe even the Google Nexus 4. Let's take a look at them. ...
    by Published on 11-20-2013 08:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    ***ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED. GOOD LUCK!***

    If you're not familiar with the Motorola Moto G check out our coverage of it: Motorola's Moto G | A Moto G Miscellany | Is 8GB Enough Memory for a Modern Android Device?

    We're giving away an unlocked black Moto G (8 GB) and a black flip shell (a back with a cover) and a white back shell. To enter you can leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook "like" us and then "like" the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user follow @howardforums and tweet about it using #HoFoMotoG and linking to this post. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    Contest Rules and Terms: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. If a Canadian wins they must answer the skill testing question: What year was Google founded? U.S. winner will be responsible for all taxes and customs. Carrier compatibility not guaranteed. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Only one entry per method described above allowed. Contest not open to HowardForums staff and their families. Rules and Terms and contest details can be modified at our discretion at any time and without prior notification.

    Contest ends on Friday November 29th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly within three days afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    The Moto G has been unlocked courtesy of UnlockPhoneNetwork.com

    Good luck!
    by Published on 11-18-2013 09:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview

    Don't call this a review; it's more a dump of random observations about Motorola's new Moto G.

    I've had a pre-release unit in my hands for all of five days, and I can really only compare it to the Nexus 5 currently on loan from LG Canada, plus my own LG Nexus 4. But as I will hopefully demonstrate, the Moto G compares quite well to both of them.

    Let's take a closer look...

    ...
    by Published on 11-15-2013 01:10 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    The other day Steve Punter (site) and I decided to do a camera shoot out. Right now I have almost all the flagship devices sitting on my desk including the new Nexus 5 so we figured why not?

    I remember back in the day when most phones came with VGA or megapixel cameras. The megapixel phones were much better than the VGA ones but either way, they took pretty lousy pictures.

    Back then, a built-in camera was a nice thing to have but if you wanted to capture an important memory, you’d be wise to bring a proper camera along with you be it a point-and-shoot or even something with a large sensor and removable lens.

    In the past couple of years a funny thing has happened. While point-and-shoots have improved during that time, they passed this invisible line where they took pictures that were ‘good enough’ for most people.

    Yeah, a SLR with a fast lens will take better pictures in a variety of conditions but then again, there’s that saying that that the best camera is the one that’s with you. A SLR will run circles around a camera phone in terms of handling, performance, speed, and quality but then again, a camera phone fits in your pocket - It’s always with me. So which one really is best?
    ...
    by Published on 11-14-2013 11:33 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    The Nexus 5 is the newest iteration of the Pure Google Experience smartphones. Like the Nexus 4 before it, this one is manufactured by LG (and it has their logo on it lest you forget). It’s roughly based on the new LG G2, but the two phones differ in a number of ways. The most obvious is that the G2 has a 13-megapixel camera and a 5.2-inch display, while the Nexus 5 has an 8-megapixel shooter and a 5.0-inch display.

    This time around Google has decided to officially support LTE. While there was a working LTE radio in the Nexus 4, it could only be made to work on Band 4 which virtually limited it to use in Canada, plus you had to make a change to the settings each time you booted the phone to get it to work.
    ...
    by Published on 11-14-2013 11:07 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. Contests and Giveaways



    ***Comments are now closed. Good luck!***

    We're giving away a Nexus 5! To enter you can leave a comment on this post, if you use Facebook "like" us and then "like" the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, and if you are a Twitter user follow @howardforums and tweet about it using #HoFoNexus5 and linking to this post. Any one will give you an entry. Doing all three will give you three chances to win.

    *Contest Rules: Contest is open to U.S. and Canada users who do not reside in Quebec. If a Canadian wins they must answer the skill testing question: What is the latest version of Google's mobile operating system? U.S. winner will be responsible for all taxes and customs. Wireless carrier compatibilty not guaranteed. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Only one entry per method described above allowed. Contest not open to HowardForums staff and their families.

    Contest ends on Tuesday November 19th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly within three days afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!
    by Published on 11-13-2013 12:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    This morning I visited the swanky offices of Google Toronto to watch the launch of a new Motorola handset, broadcast live from Brazil to select audiences in London, Mexico City and Toronto — along with the rest of the world via YouTube.

    That handset is the Moto G. The 'G' stands for 'global'.

    It's touted as delivering a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price. In some parts of the world it will be a revolutionary device. In the United States it will be at the very least a massive bargain. In Canada? Well, in Canada it'll be locked to Telus...

    ...
    by Published on 11-08-2013 09:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    A lovely double date was had last night with Howard and his Mrs. An added bonus was that I got to take home a brand-new black 16GB Nexus 5 to try out.

    I've only had it in my hands since dinnertime last night, but so far it's looking like a worthy upgrade from the Nexus 4. Here is a brain-dump of my first impressions about the device...

    ...
    by Published on 11-07-2013 12:04 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on

    Ray's been playing with the Z30 and just finished up his video review. Check it out:



    The Z30 we're playing with is from TELUS. I've used it a little. While the Z30's screen doesn't have any more resolution than the Z10 the extra size makes a big difference. The keyboard is easier to use and it's more pleasant to look at.

    Performance is snappy but what really stands out are the speakers. They sound almost as good as the HTC One's but what really sets the Z30 apart is that they're much louder than One's. They're the loudest speakers I have ever heard on a phone.

    Battery life also seems pretty strong. Battery life on the Z10 was a weak spot so I'm glad Blackberry fixed this on the Z30.

    The camera is similar to what you get on the Z10/Q10 - it's not terrible but it's not particularly awesome either. Then again, you don't buy a Blackberry because you want an awesome camera. ...
    by Published on 11-07-2013 09:29 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    With its 6.44” display the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a pretty unique device. On one hand it competes with other large phablets like the 6.3” Samsung Mega and 6.1” Huawei Mega. On the other hand, under the hood the Ultra packs much more of a whallop compared to the Mega and Mate which are mid-range phones. It’s the only high-end phone with a 6”+ display right now.

    As such, it doesn’t really have any competitors. Sure, the Samsung Mega and Huawei Mate have similarly sized screens but they sport more modest specs and are they’re substantially cheaper.

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has similar guts but it only has a 5.7” display which sounds big but when you have them side-by-side, the Ultra is substantially larger. They’re not really competitors either.

    So, sorry, I’m not going to compare the Ultra with anything though I will say, if you want an enormous phone then it doesn’t get any bigger than the Ultra.

    If you want the biggest possible screen with the highest specs and water resistance this is your only ticket. ...
    by Published on 11-04-2013 08:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Let’s face it, the real reason I tested this phone was to try out the camera. The lure of a 41-megapixel camera was just too great. Now I can’t speak for most people who might get the Lumia 1020, but I strongly suspect that the camera will be at the top of their list of reasons for buying it. For that reason the bulk of this review will be devoted to the camera, though I do touch on most of the other hallmarks of my phone reviews.
    ...
    by Published on 11-01-2013 08:55 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    I myself was out and about when the LG Nexus 5 finally showed up on the Google Play Store yesterday, and by the time I got to a proper computer there were no more to be had. You'll have to believe me when I say that I only really checked out of curiosity, and I'm not planning on ordering my Nexus 5 just yet.

    But this Nexus 4 owner is most definitely getting one. I've owned every Nexus device except the Nexus 10 tablet. I don't take hardware subsidies on phones, and an annual handset upgrade/hand-me-down cycle suits both me and my girlfriend very well.

    If you're considering the Nexus 5 there are some compelling reasons to grab one as soon as you can, but also some benefits to waiting a bit.

    It's win-win either way, really.

    ...
    by Published on 10-29-2013 10:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview


    Just got an interesting email from Juniper Research with some Q3 2013 smartphone shipment numbers. There were a total of over 250 million smartphones shipped which is up almost 49% from Q3 2012 and up 10% from Q2 2013.

    No surprise are the top 2 players: Samsung shipped 85 million smartphones for a 34% market share. Apple sold 33.8 million -14%.

    Is 14% marketshare going to be enough for Apple to maintain their ecosystem in the long term?

    The surprise is that Nokia shipped 8.8 million Windows phones and 6 million Asha Smartphones for a market share of just under 6%. Breaking that down, Nokia's Windows phones accounted for 3.5% marketshare.

    8.8 million is a lot of phones - Nokia is definitely building some momentum with Windows Phone but they still have a long way to go before they can challenge iOS for number 2.

    LG clocked in at 12 million smartphones or 4.8% marketshare.

    Actually, Huawei, ZTE, and LG shipped a combined 37 million phones for a marketshare of just under 15%.

    Blackberry managed 3.7 million phones for a marketshare of 1.5%. Ouch. ...
    by Published on 10-29-2013 08:49 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    The worst thing that I can say about Oppo is that they didn't pick me to participate in their N1 Pioneer program. But they have shown excellent judgment in including Mr. Marques Brownlee, so we're cool.

    Some of you may know this Chinese company for its DVD players. But 2013 has seen a lot of buzz about their Android smartphones as well. In that department here's what Oppo currently has on offer:

    ...
    Page 10 of 42 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ... LastLast