• Devices

    by Published on 01-29-2016 03:19 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
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    Samsung’s not the kind of company that believes less is more. Their strategy is to saturate the market at pretty much all price points often times with multiple overlapping models.

    The Samsung Galaxy A5 was released in Canada recently. Looking at the spec sheet, highlights include a 5” 1280x720 display, 13 megapixel camera, a Snapdragon 410 processor and 2GB of RAM. The biggest feature however is the metal frame which makes it very solid. Please note that even though it was released in Canada in late 2015, this is the 2014 version of the A5, the SM-A500W. ...
    by Published on 01-27-2016 06:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices
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    Is Google dumping stock at a discount to get rid of it? Or weaponizing it to do battle in the war of mid-range phones? Whatever the case the 5X has never been a better deal—even here in Canada!

    Let's be sensible and take the 16 GB version off the table; unless you're an Android developer using the phone for testing you'll want 32 GB. That model listed for $559 CAD at launch, but the last two weeks have seen two price cuts, bringing that number down to $449 CAD ($349 USD).

    That's a lot of phone for the money. ...
    by Published on 01-26-2016 06:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis
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    ... Be grateful you're not a Xiaomi user.

    Back in the day when their "flagship killer" slogan actually had some merit, OnePlus took a fair amount of heat for the way they sold phones, and deservedly so. The dreaded invite system was bad enough, but a would-be customer would often have to jump through additional hoops just to get an invite—retweeting an ad, liking a Facebook Page, posting on their forums, that sort of thing.

    It's recently come to light that fellow Chinese OEM Xiaomi is also making users jumps through hoops, for phones that those users already own. ...
    by Published on 01-25-2016 06:15 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors
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    If this photo is to be believed, the phone on the right is Apple's forthcoming successor to the iPhone 5c. It's shown next to an iPhone 5 for comparison's sake.

    And if other rumours turn out to be true then this phone will not be released as the iPhone 6c but instead as the iPhone 5se, taking the place (and price) of the still-available iPhone 5s—possibly as early as March.

    The Dutch forums where this photo was posted has had some prior success with leaks, showing the world what turned out to be the iPad 2 display and iPad Air design. Now, from the same table under the same lamp as the iPad Air comes a pre-production iPhone 5se. Allegedly. ...
    by Published on 01-20-2016 06:22 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers
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    I came across a story on reddit yesterday that's just too good not to share.

    It seems that a Rogers subscriber of some 15 years suddenly found himself with a dead LG G4. After a phone call to tech support and a visit to two separate Rogers stores it was determined that the phone needed to be sent in for repair.

    Repair time was estimated at about three weeks. And what was this customer to do in the meantime with their $100+ per month phone plan? Pony up a $50 deposit for what you see here, the fabled Rogers "loaner" phone. ...
    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.
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