• Devices

    by Published on 05-16-2016 06:20 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors
    Article Preview



    As an addendum to last week's post, here are two new press renders of the 4th generation Moto G—sorry, Moto Gs. There are two of them.

    First up is the XT1622. According to Android Central it's launching in India tomorrow, but has already received FCC certification for the USA. "But wait," you say, "I thought the new Moto G had a physical home button/fingerprint reader..." Nope, apparently that's a feature of its bigger brother, the XT1642—Otherwise known as the G4 Plus. ...
    by Published on 05-12-2016 10:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    I remember when HTC was synonymous with Smartphones. While most of us were still pressing the “3” button twice to enter in the letter “e”, HTC was making Smartphones with HTML web browsers, email, MS office with WiFi and Bluetooth.

    However, their 2015 flagship, the HTC One M9 left something to be desired. If I was to describe it in one word it would be “underwhelming”. On paper it was an improvement over the 2014 M8, but in the real world, it was more of a sideways step rather than a step forward.

    The camera had beefy specs but it wasn’t really that great, the processor should have been formidable but wasn’t really any faster than last year’s model. It just didn’t stand out.

    Fortunately, HTC isn’t messing around with their 2016 flagship; the HTC 10 lines up much better with its competitors.

    In Canada, the HTC 10 is available unlocked from HTC’s website for an eye-watering $999 Canadian. Otherwise, it’s a Bell exclusive. At $349.99 Canadian on contract it’s $50 more than the LG G5, $50 less than the GS7 and $150 less than the GS7 Edge . Let’s check it out:
    ...
    by Published on 05-12-2016 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News
    Article Preview



    Here's Marty Cooper, who built the world's first cell phone for Motorola in 1973. Today he sits on the board of a company called Energous, which just got approval from the FCC to deploy a new type of wireless charging.

    Through radio waves.

    The technology, branded as WattUp®, is currently capable of charging hearing aids and similarly small medical devices. Medium and large-scale transmitters are planned for release by 2018. Energous isn't the only player in this new space—uBeam is attempting to charge phones with sound waves, while Wi-Charge is working with lasers. But, according to Cooper, Energous has been at it the longest, has commitments from strategic partners and uses a technology that can charge at longer distances than its competitors. ...
    by Published on 05-11-2016 07:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview



    One vision for the future of smartwatches would look very much like personal computers today. As the technology gets better (smaller) and Google courts the likes of Swatch and Timex, Apple will inevitably be reduced to a boutique player in the smartwatch space; Android Wear will run on everything else—just like Windows on desktop PCs.

    Wareable's James Stables sees an entirely different future for the connected computers on our wrists. Why? For the simple reason that wristwatches follow fashion much more than tech. ...
    by Published on 05-09-2016 06:25 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors
    Article Preview



    If these renders are to be believed, we now know what 2016's Moto X, Moto G and Moto Droid look like. This first image is supposedly the Moto X. The images were published by a Google+ account called hellomotoHK; they were republished by Android Police, so presumably there's some legitimacy to them.

    New to the X is a physical home button with what will almost surely be a fingerprint reader. There's also a curious 16-pin assembly on the back. Finally, there's a cutout in the bottom lens assembly that might possibly house a dual LED flash, but at the very least will attempt to make users feel better about the flat tire on their Moto 360 smartwatch. Yeah, I went there. ...
    by Published on 05-05-2016 06:32 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    Here's a funny story that you may have missed; it broke while I was on break.

    A previous post about 2016 being the year of the dual rear camera smartphone included news of the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus—both with camera modules designed and presumably manufactured by famous German camera maker Leica. Well, guess what? Turns out those modules are actually being made by Sunny Optical Technology of China. Oops. ...
    by Published on 05-04-2016 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    A quick heads-up for Canadians reading this: there are two really good deals on round smartwatches right now, ones that won't last long.

    Until May 9th Google is offering $125 CAD off the sticker price of the Android Wear-powered Huawei Watch. Unfortunately, it can't be combined with the $50 credit that Google previously offered to folks like myself who purchased a Nexus 6P. Also, the cheaper silver model is currently listed as out of stock.

    And for Pebble fans there's an even better deal. ...
    by Published on 04-29-2016 06:40 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    What we're looking at here is a thousand-dollar paperweight that I carried with me across Asia. What a fail.

    Two days into my twelve-day trip this Fujifilm X-T10 mirrorless digital camera suddenly and inexplicably stopped talking to its kit lens—as bizarre as that sounds it's apparently a frequent problem with these cameras. What does Fuji have to say about it? From their own support pages:

    The camera is malfunctioning or defective. Please contact the place of purchase.
    Done and done, Fuji. The camera is being shipped back to Amazon today. The whole experience has given me a new appreciation for smartphone cameras, and how far they've progressed in a relatively short time. ...
    by Published on 04-28-2016 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    The T-Hotel is my favourite place to stay in Hong Kong. Tucked away in the sleepy village of Pok Fu Lam, this boutique property is actually a training facility for hospitality students. Simply put, you get the five-star hotel service of tomorrow, today—and at two-star hotel prices, I might add!

    My girlfriend and I stopped over in Hong Kong for a few days on our way back from Seoul. A new service for T-Hotel guests is a complimentary Android phone from handy, with free data for the duration of their stay. When I first wrote about handy exactly two years ago it was a freebie you could only get from the city's most expensive hotels; it was an unexpected perk to be able to try it out on the cheap. ...
    by Published on 04-20-2016 03:22 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview


    The other day, I wrote about my Nexus 4 and how it’s still able to get the job done. What I didn’t mention was that I was also fiddling with my Nexus One from many years ago. While a bit smaller, feature wise, it’s not all that far from the current crop of Nexus’.

    Oh and before I continue, all the pictures here were taken with the very same Nexus 4 I wrote about yesterday. It’s old, not obsolete!

    I mean the recipe for a smartphone hasn’t changed all that much. They’re still basically just a processor, touch screen, RAM, storage, camera(s), speaker(s), radio and software, all crammed into a bar like device. Despite manufacturer’s best efforts, this recipe probably won’t change for a while.

    Along the way, companies have tried to mix things up. Samsung includes a heart rate sensor on many models. The Note series includes a stylus. They also included a UV sensor on the Note 4.

    A few have tried infrared blasters. There are a handful of phones with dual rear cameras, for various reasons including 2 different focal lengths, fake bokeh effects, 3D, you name it.

    Call it innovation or running out of ideas, but there is one feature which is slowly becoming a standard feature which I absolutely love; the fingerprint reader.
    ...
    by Published on 04-18-2016 07:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview


    Forgive me for the provocative title, but I was doing some spring cleaning the other day when I stumbled across my old LG Nexus 4. Released in late 2012, it’s now a little over 3 years old and no longer gets the latest version of Android from Google.

    I turned it on and it still works just fine. It got me thinking; just how fast is it compared to something more contemporary? And since when is something barely 3 years old not contemporary?

    Since the Nexus 4 came out, it’s seen 3 generations of successors. After the 4 came the LG Nexus 5 in 2013. 2014 saw the Motorola Nexus 6 while 2015 saw a pair of Nexus (Nexi?); the Huawei Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5x.

    If I may jog your memory, the Nexus 4 came:


    • quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro 1.5Ghz SoC
    • 2GB RAM
    • 8GB or 16GB storage
    • 4.7” 1280x768 LCD
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.3MP front camera
    • 2100mAh battery
    • Android 4.2 at release now at 5.1.1


    Aside from lacking official LTE support and the slightly lower resolution display, the 4 doesn’t seem very far off from the latest Nexus devices. So, what kind of jumps in performance do we see from one generation to the next?
    ...
    by Published on 04-15-2016 11:05 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview


    Previously I discussed the merits of both the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and HTC 10’s speakers. If you missed it, both have different strengths but are excellent in their own way.

    To make things more spicy, I figured I’d toss the iPhone 6s Plus and Huawei Nexus 6P into the equation.

    Next up, let’s talk screens; The HTC 10, Edge and Nexus all have 2560x1440 displays while the iPhone gets by with a more modest 1920x1080. If you look really closely there is a small difference in sharpness between the Androids and the iPhone’s display. However, all displays have more than 400PPI which to my eyes is enough that I don’t really care about having more.
    ...
    by Published on 04-14-2016 02:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Since Andrew is off for a couple of weeks, I’m going to try to take over and share some thoughts each day. Recently, I’ve been playing with the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and HTC 10 (LG G5 is coming but not here yet) so I figured I compare the 2. I’ll have full reviews for all 3 phones eventually but for now I’m just going to focus on specific areas.

    As a reviewer, one of my jobs is to figure out if newer models are better than previous ones. However, when it comes to features, once they’ve reached a point where they’re “good enough”, most people stop caring about them.

    A good example is screen size. Once phones breached 5.5ish inches most people stopped clamouring for bigger screens. It’s not to say that future phones won’t get bigger, just that the current crop of screens are large enough for most. If we find new ways to use our phones that require a bigger screen, this will obviously change.

    Another thing people don’t really about anymore is camera resolution. As long as you have more than 10 megapixels (enough to also capture 4K video) most people don’t really care about having more. It’s enough for Facebook/Instagram and thus enough for most.

    Still, there are still areas which can use some improving. Areas which I’ll be focusing more on.



    First up are the speakers. The 10 and Edge both have 2 speakers; one on the earpiece and a bigger one on the bottom. ...
    by Published on 04-13-2016 06:57 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. How-To
    Article Preview



    When I travel, nothing beats the World Watch watchface for Pebble. Monochrome though it may be, no other face I've tried lays out so clearly the local times at my stopover, destination and back home.

    Grabbing a screen from my Pebble, however, is needlessly complicated. So much so that I thought I'd post a quick guide so that other smartwatch users can share their favourite watchfaces as well. If you wear a Fitbit you can stop reading here. ...
    by Published on 04-12-2016 07:46 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview



    I had a chance to play with the HTC 10 the other day. Here are some first impressions:



    While the 10’s predecessors, the M7, M8 and M9 all shared a common design language, the 10 takes a different approach. The speaker grill stickers are gone in favor of a more minimalistic all-glass front. I don’t know about you but the grills starting to get long in the tooth so this is a welcome change.



    That said, looking at the pictures I kind of wish the silver version came with a white front as the black front is a bit bland but maybe that’s just me. ...
    by Published on 04-07-2016 07:04 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    What we're looking at here is an "exploded" view of the lens assembly—sorry, assemblies—on Huawei's new P9 Plus, launched together with the P9 this week in London. They are not the first smartphones with dual rear cameras (HTC tried it on the One M8) but Huawei's system was designed in partnership with German camera-maker Leica, for whatever that's worth.

    The idea behind Huawei's setup is this: one camera captures colour, the other black and white. Software merges the two images together, producing an image with vivid colours and perfect exposure. If it sounds like a gimmick don't be too dismissive of it just yet; rumour has it that Apple will be using dual rear cameras in the forthcoming iPhone 7 as well. ...
    by Published on 04-06-2016 06:58 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
    Article Preview



    I'm not yet sure if this is going to end up being a regular feature or not, but for the next couple of Wednesdays I'm going to devote this space to smartwatches and other wearables. Let me know if you like this idea or not.

    Today I'd like to discuss a subject that's rarely reported on in the gadget-sphere: smartwatches for women. According to Wikipedia wristwatches were made exclusively for women up until the early 20th century (men used pocketwatches), yet many modern smartwatches (Android Wear) look comically large on the female wrist.

    With fashion in mind, Kelly Boyle has posted a very thorough round-up of smartwatches for women. Elsewhere, Erica Griffin laments the lack of innovation in the wearable space. ...
    by Published on 04-05-2016 06:44 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
    Article Preview



    Way back in the beginning in February I posted a link in the daily news about a new initiative to bring tourists to Korea—up to 250 lucky visitors per week can enjoy a free Galaxy Note 5 for 5 days with 5 GB of free data, courtesy of Samsung, SK Telecom and the Korea Tourism Office.

    The contest site has since gone live, and after entering the missus and myself in three consecutive weekly draws we each got an email last night notifying us that we had both won. So... I guess we're going to Korea? ...
    by Published on 04-01-2016 12:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview


    Until last year, the previous couple of iterations in the Galaxy S lineup were pretty predictable. They were all plastic bodied phones with removable batteries and memory. Then last year, they took the Galaxy S line in a new direction. The GS6 had an all glass and metal body and they did away with the user changeable battery and MicroSD. The last change struck a chord with users because you had to decide how much storage you’d ever need when you bought the phone plus you’d have to pay an inflated price if you needed more than the base model - just like you do with an iPhone.

    Fortunately, the MicroSD is back with the latest version along with water resistance - a feature which took a hiatus last year.

    Otherwise, the GS7 is an evolution of the GS6. The look follows Samsung’s latest design language, the camera has been improved, you get a more powerful processor a bigger battery. That sort of thing. Is it worth the upgrade? ...
    by Published on 04-01-2016 12:42 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on

    I’d never really cared much for the BB10 O/S, but I was most certainly looking forward to seeing what sort of Android phone Blackberry could produce. Clearly they needed to differentiate themselves from the rest of the Android rabble, but at the same time they couldn’t substantially change the O/S without taking away what makes it Android. They also wanted to reintroduce the physical keyboard, which has mostly disappeared from Android. As far as I can tell, the keyboard is there mostly to appease old Blackberry fans, who were used to typing on physical keyboards in older Blackberry devices. ...
    Page 3 of 56 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 53 ... LastLast