• Devices

    by Published on 01-14-2016 01:09 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Here’s my review of Microsoft’s Lumia 950. I’ll be honest, I normally carry an iPhone (6s Plus) and some sort of Android device (lately a LG G4 or Nexus 6P) around with me. I only play with Windows Phones when I have a unit that I’m reviewing. This will help you understand the type of shades I’m wearing when I look at a Windows Phone - you'll understand where I’m coming from.
    ...
    by Published on 01-14-2016 07:22 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. Rumors
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    Still catching up on notable news stories that I saved while on vacation... This post is about the future of Motorola under its new owner, Lenovo. Keep in mind that all the pieces I've assembled here are from a single source, albeit a fairly reliable one.

    So apparently last week at the Consumer Electronics Show the following bombshell was dropped:

    At CES today, Lenovo higher-ups announced that their company, which has owned Motorola since 2014, will be phasing out the brand name.
    This was likely the worst possible news for Moto fans, as the products they've come to love over the past few years—the Moto X, Moto G and even Moto E—would be no more. On the other hand the move makes perfect sense for Moto's new owner; I despise using this term, but at the moment Lenovo has no real "brand equity" [shudder] for their mobile products in the Americas—whereas in their home market of mainland China their phones seem to be quite popular. ...
    by Published on 01-13-2016 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
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    I'm catching up on some notable stories saved while I was away on vacation—that's right, even while yours truly was wandering through the carrier kiosks on the first floor of Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, he was still thinking of you.

    Here's a little something from December 30th: Apparently more than 100 iPhone 4s owners have filed a Class Action Suit against Apple in New York State, seeking $5 million USD in damages. Why? Here's a direct quote from the filing itself:

    Plaintiff and the Class bring this action against Apple Inc. for deceptive trade practices and false advertising in violation of New York General Business Law § 349 and § 350.

    Plaintiff and other owners of the iPhone 4S were harmed when their devices’ software was updated to the newest version, iOS 9. The update significantly slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone.

    Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4S. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4S owners that the update may or will significantly interfere with the device’s performance.
    The rest of the filing looks legit, and I don't doubt that the latest version of iOS would probably suck on a 4 year-old phone. For me, this story begs an important question: Should users have control over the software on their device? As someone posting on a mobile enthusiasts' forum, my answer would be a resounding "yes". ...
    by Published on 01-12-2016 07:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers
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    Yesterday I wrote about the horrors of getting a prepaid data SIM in Tokyo. The other thing that sucks about visiting Japan is seeing all the sexy domestic handsets that you can't use back home in North America—well, for LTE data, anyway.

    Sexy handsets like this ARROWS ケータイ F-05G, which still runs the world's first successful mobile Internet, NTT DoCoMo's i-mode... Last time I checked there were still one or two English i-mode sites, like The Daily Yomiuri—since re-branded as The Japan News.

    This particular Fujitsu-made flip is available in three colours; for me, ruby and gold is a hard combo to beat. ...
    by Published on 01-11-2016 07:12 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Tips,
    4. Carriers
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    Just got back last night from a Christmas and New Year's trip to Hong Kong and Tokyo. Getting connected in Hong Kong was as simple as swapping out my home SIM for a Hong Kong Tourist one—which still worked perfectly despite the change in service from PCCW to csl.

    Japan, though, was a whole other story. And the worst part is that it could have been so much easier. ...
    by Published on 01-06-2016 11:24 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. How-To
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    I’ve been reviewing smartwatches on and off for the past few years. If you look closely you’ll notice that I’m not generally a big fan of them. I don't like how they take 2 hands to operate; you need one wrist to hold it up and your other hand to operate it. By the time I’ve done that I’m better off taking a phone out of my pocket and using it with one hand.

    So check it out, I got so dissatisfied with Smartwatches in general that I started wearing regular or ‘dumb’ watches again even though I stopped wearing them all together a few years ago.

    I guess I missed the feeling of having something on my wrist. As I tried more and more smart watches I got even more annoyed and purchased my first mechanical watch or should I say watches.



    What is a mechanical watch? Smartwatches store power in a lithium ion battery. Mechanical watches store energy inside a spring which powers the watch as it unwinds.

    So why am I talking about mechanical watches on HowardForums? Well, you know that feeling of disappointment when you get a new watch and scratch it? That’s something to common to both smart and dumb watches.
    ...
    by Published on 01-05-2016 09:23 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    I recently received a Nok- I mean Microsoft Lumia 950. I’m currently working on a full review but since Andrew is on vacation I figured I’d share some first impressions. Full disclosure, these are MY FIRST impressions and purely anecdotal - chances are they’ll be completely different from my review which I’ll publish in a few days.



    The first thing I noticed is that the box is way bigger than I was expecting. It made me kind of nostalgic. Back in the day, you could tell how fancy a phone is by the size of the box so seeing the 950’s made me feel kind of nostalgic. You get points if you remember the Nokia n97. It reminded me of the n97’s box. You could fit 3 or 4 iPhone 6s’ or Galaxy S6’s in the 950’s box. Ergo, it must be better right? ...
    by Published on 01-04-2016 11:53 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Recently, I started cooking with my cast iron cookware. Unlike 'regular' Teflon coated pans, cast iron can handle temperatures of 600+ degrees. While cooking at 600 makes for some tasty, juicy food, the heat blows more smoke than a politician.

    There's enough that it usually sets off my smoke detector. This is a problem when you have young kids in the house as the beeping from the detector will wake them up/scare the hell out of them. Still, I put up with this until one night at 5AM one started to beep because the battery needed to be replaced. That was the last straw - I decided I needed a smarter smoke detector that would politely alert my phone when there was a problem rather than me having to figure out what's going on. Oh and in case you're wondering, I have a fancy range hood fan.

    We don't make the greatest decisions when we're woken up in the middle of the night so in my sleepy haze I decided to pick up a Nest Protect, or rather 3 Nest Protects for my house. My house has 3 floors so I replaced the old detector(s) on each floor. ...
    by Published on 12-18-2015 10:36 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. From The Forums,
    5. Contests and Giveaways


    For our final giveaway of the holiday season on HowardForums we're giving away a iPhone 6S! Before entering, please check out our review of its big brother.

    To enter you can leave a comment on this post, like us on Facebook and like the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @howardforums and tweet a link to this post with #HoFoiPhone6SGiveaway. Any one will give you an entry, two or all three will give you that many chances to win. Bonus: if you are a HowardForums Premium Member you will automatically get an extra entry (for it to count you must also leave a comment in this thread)! If you are not currently a Premium Member you can sign up or renew here.

    Contest ends on Tuesday December 22nd at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!

    ***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: "To what iOS feature do "peek" and "pop" refer to?" 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.
    by Published on 12-18-2015 05:56 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    I know, I know... the very premise of lists like these is faulty. Who could possibly be so presumptuous as to survey the vast and diverse market of smartphones, the most personal of personal computers and tell anyone what's "best" for them?

    This list is a little different, though. Produced by Australian YouTuber Dagogo Altraide for his channel, ColdFusion TV, it uses statistical data from multiple sources to arrive at the result—not something that you usually see from the tech press. ...
    by Published on 12-16-2015 07:04 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers,
    4. Off-Topic
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    "Tablets aren't mobile... they're immobilizing."

    That's a random quote from a Tomi Ahonen blog post that I've come to agree with. Because the vast majority of tablets out there connect via WiFi they lock you down to a specific place, be it a coffee shop or whatever. So despite being extremely portable I wouldn't really call tablets mobile, and thus don't write about them very much.

    I do have some tablet-related news to share, though—a few small stories rather than one big one. So today I'm going to dump them here. ...
    by Published on 12-15-2015 02:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Last year, OnePlus made a big splash with their first model; the One which they dubbed the “flagship killer”.

    However, the ‘almost flagship’ market has matured considerably in 2015 and now, there is quite a gap between the the One’s follow up; the 2 and an entry level handset.

    With that in mind, here’s the OnePlus X which is designed and priced to fit neatly in this gap.

    It basically has the guts of a late 2014/early 2015 flagship with an upper-midrange price tag.
    ...
    by Published on 12-15-2015 10:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. From The Forums,
    5. Contests and Giveaways



    To continue our celebration of the holiday season on HowardForums we're giving away a Nexus 6P! Before entering, please check out our review.

    To enter you can leave a comment on this post, like us on Facebook and like the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @howardforums and tweet a link to this post with #HoFoNexus6PGiveaway. Any one will give you an entry, two or all three will give you that many chances to win. Bonus: if you are a HowardForums Premium Member you will automatically get an extra entry (for it to count you must also leave a comment in this thread)! If you are not currently a Premium Member you can sign up or renew here.

    Contest ends on Thursday December 17th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!

    ***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 version of Android currently ships with the Nexus 6P?" 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.
    by Published on 12-14-2015 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. How-To
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    Where there's a will, there's a way.

    What we're looking at here is a Nexus 6P, wirelessly charging on a TYLT charging stand. If you weren't aware, Google has dropped Qi charging as a spec from 2015 Nexus phones, much to the dismay of Nexus fans like myself. So one redditor (imgurian?) took matters into their own hands with a clever hardware hack.

    There's not much in the way of a description accompanying the photo gallery posted to r/Android, but I think I've more or less figured out how it was done. ...
    by Published on 12-12-2015 12:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Contests and Giveaways,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
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    When we talk about Android flagships, each year HTC is usually one of the first names to pop up. However, 2015’s flagship, the One M9, has been maligned a bit in the media because it’s not that much better than it’s predecessor, the M8. While it ships with a more powerful SoC, due to heat issues, it rarely gets a chance to stretch its legs; the camera, while higher resolution doesn’t take very good pictures. That sort of thing.

    Fortunately, HTC usually releases something interesting in Q3/Q4. Previous Q3/Q4 releases include the HTC Butterfly (one of the first 1080P phones), HTC One Max (their first phablet) and the Nexus 9 (their first tablet in a while).

    Since the M9 is the most maligned HTC flagship in a while, they’ve decided to market their Q3 curiosity as their new flagship.

    Indeed, the A9’s slick metal body is certainly a good start. What about the rest of it? ...
    by Published on 12-09-2015 07:18 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. HowardForums,
    4. From The Forums,
    5. Contests and Giveaways,
    6. Reviews and Hands-on



    To continue our celebration of the holiday season here on HowardForums we're giving away a Nexus 5X! Before entering, please check out our review.

    To enter you can leave a comment on this post, like us on Facebook and like the link to this post that appears on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter @howardforums and tweet a link to this post with #HoFoNexus5XGiveaway. Any one will give you an entry, two or all three will give you that many chances to win. Bonus: if you are a HowardForums Premium Member you will automatically get an extra entry (for it to count you must enter in at least one of the aforementioned ways)! If you are not currently a Premium Member you can sign up or renew here.

    Contest ends on Monday December 14th at 9:00 PM Pacific and the winner will be chosen randomly afterward. If the winner does not respond to us within 24 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen.

    Good luck!

    ***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 company manufactures the Nexus 5X?" 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 notification.

    _______________________
    by Published on 12-09-2015 06:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Humor
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    Yesterday Apple quietly released this $99 USD Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6s. Or so they thought.

    In short order the Internet was all over this, and with good reason: the thing is hideous. Honestly, would anyone buy this over a Mophie juice pack just because of the Apple logo on the back?

    It's a rare misstep for a company that prides itself on design, devoting entire videos to components used in their products and how they fit together. Sure, it's only an accessory, but by Apple's own high standards I'd have expected them to come up with a more elegant solution than this.

    And with that I present to you, the scorn of the Internet! ...
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