• Devices

    by Published on 10-18-2018 12:38 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Sonos has been around for some time for a while it felt like they owned the whole home audio market. However, there are now alternatives and many of them are not exclusive to a single manufacturer. Google’s Home, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Homepod devices are marketed first as speakers that have microphones/voice assistants which can also provide whole home audio.

    With that in mind, Sonos has released the One, a Sonos with built-in microphones. Out of the box it has support Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition. Presumably it also has the capability to recognize Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri commands if Sonos can work out necessary licensing deals. ...
    by Published on 10-16-2018 08:24 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Commentary and Analysis,
    4. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Apple iPhone XS Max

    Here’s the Apple iPhone XS Max. According to Apple, “XS” is pronounced “Ten S”. However it’s hard for me to not see it as “iPhone Extra Small Max”. Silly name aside, the most striking thing about the Max isn’t its notched, large 6.5” display, dual cameras or even the cutting-edge 7nm A12 processor. No, it’s the Max’s breathtaking price tag; the 512GB variant costs a heart stopping $1999 Canadian before taxes. Let’s check it out. ...
    by Published on 10-15-2018 04:52 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Verizon fans: You ever take off for the weekend and wish you could take a smaller more portable version of your smartphone with you?

    Yeah me neither.... But a hot new Cali startup named Palm has you covered for all ya'll who don't have friends in low places. This company is hoping you have room in your life, and your wallet for a new Smartphone Companion. Yes you read that right! A smartphone companion. And Verizon got dibs on it first. Yay!

    For $10 per month, you too can carry this credit card sized piece of fresh air. This device itself which so far is known as: "The Palm," will set you back $350 gives you:

    Android 8.1
    3.3-inch HD screen
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor
    3 GB of RAM
    32 GB of storage
    12-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera
    800mAh battery
    LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a SIM card.

    The hoped for end result is that you pair this device to your phone like any other wearable with use of Verizon's NumberShare service as a pre-requisite. It's not a replacement to your phone only a compliment. The irony is that this device is supposed to get you away from being attached to your smartphone's display by.... adding another one.

    From an industry perspective, Palm is hoping to create a new category of devices that customers will soon realize they can't live without. Verizon is watching this closely to see if customers are willng to pad thier bills and increase DARPU (Data Average Revenue per User).

    Whether or not adding another screen to your life is worth it to you is totally a personal choice. Let's us know what you think? Will you be buying this? Do you know anyone who this would work perfect for?

    For more details check out this awesome video on the gadget:

    by Published on 10-15-2018 03:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    It looks like a review embargo for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is being lifted today; such things often happen so that reviewers get a chance to use something resembling production software. Anyway, I've chosen three reputable tech blogs—The Verge, Ars Technica and Mobile Syrup (Canada represent!)—plus a companion video by The Verge, above; together, they'll hopefully provide you with a pretty good idea of what Google's 2018 smartphones are all about.

    The Verge: The best camera gets a better phone
    "The single biggest improvement this year on both sizes is the quality of the screens. As we learned last year, it’s all too easy to make an OLED screen that looks bad. The Pixel 2 XL screen was muddy, reds looked more like browns, and it felt like there was a layer of parchment paper making everything hazy. There was also a burn-in scare at launch that caused a whole lot of drama.

    I obviously can’t speak to burn-in yet, but the color problems are 100 percent gone this year. The Pixel 3 XL’s screen is vibrant and bright with colors that pop at any viewing angle."
    Ars Technica: Google software deserves better than this hardware
    "The (3 XL's) notch design isn't just embarrassing, it actively hurts the phone's usability. The status bar might be twice as tall as normal, but horizontally, it doesn't have nearly enough room to work with. On the left side, you'll usually be able to see a whopping two or three notification icons. If you have exactly three icons, you can see three notification icons. But usually the third slot is taken up by the "more" icon, so you only actually see two icons."
    Mobile Syrup: All the small things
    "The Pixel 3 deserves special praise. For those who love smaller phones, its 5.5-inch screen and 68.2 mm x 145.6 mm x 7.9 mm body feels perfect. If you prefer the look and feel of the Pixel 3, don’t feel like you’re missing out going for the XL’s smaller sibling. A smaller screen and battery notwithstanding, the Pixel 3 is every bit as capable as the Pixel 3 XL. This is a departure from the Pixel 2, which, between its inferior haptics and older display technology, was the lesser of the two Pixel 2s."
    If you have another Pixel 3 and/or 3 XL review that you'd like to share, please do so below!

    by Published on 10-12-2018 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    This is just a stock photo from Wikipedia, but I have something almost identical to it sitting on my nightstand right now. I've had it for at least as long as I've lived in my current apartment—and come to think of it, the one before that as well. That's 21 years and counting!

    I don't think that I've used the radio function in about 10 of those years, and I don't even use the alarm any more. It's just a big, red LED display that I don't physically touch except to set the time an hour ahead or behind in the spring or fall.

    If ever there was a piece of home electronics ready for disruption, the ancient clock radio would be it.

    Enter the Google Home Hub. Just a year ago I was rather outspoken on the dubious value of Google Home products; now, but one product cycle later, the addition of a screen—and critically not a camera—makes an appliance you can yell at suddenly useful. I know it's able to control your smart home devices but I don't have any of that; what I do have is WiFi and a connected music streaming service, all this thing needs to match the same core functions as my current clock radio. Add to that the ability to view weather and traffic and the Home Hub becomes an easy sell to the person who shares my bed with me—all the impetus she needs to call in sick will be staring her in the face from the moment she wakes up.

    Hey Google, please bring the Home Hub to Canada, mmkay?

    by Published on 10-08-2018 03:39 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. News,
    4. From The Forums

    Release notes below:

    iOS 12.0.1 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone or iPad. This update:
    - Fixes an issue where some iPhone XS devices did not immediately charge when connected to a Lightning cable
    - Resolves an issue that could cause iPhone XS devices to rejoin a Wi-Fi network at 2.4GHz instead of 5GHz
    - Restores the original position of the ".?123" key on the iPad keyboard
    - Fixes an issue where subtitles may not appear in some video apps
    - Addresses an issue where Bluetooth could become unavailable
    - For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222
    No word on LTE fixes.

    Source: MacRumors
    by Published on 10-03-2018 09:31 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Hey T-Mobile fans: LG is back and ready to showcase its latest flagship. Yes it's the V40 with the totally awkward and unnecessary adage of: ThinQ.

    LG knows what it's up against. I'm talking to you iPhone XS, Galaxy S9 and Note 9. Does the V40 have what it takes to compete? Well here's a list of some of its features, software/hardware under the hood:

    • ThinQ AI
    • 6.4” OLED display
    • 3300mAH battery
    • Snapdragon 845
    • 6GB RAM
    • 64GB storage (expandable with microSD)
    • Standard (8MP) and wide-angle (5MP) selfie cameras
    • 32-bit quad DAC
    • Headphone jack
    • Boombox speaker
    • IP68 water / dust resistance
    • Qi wireless charging
    • Android Oreo

    This device comes in Blue and Black and to sweeten the pot LG is offering a free accessory bundle which includes a DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal (for all you YouTubers out there) and a 256GB micro SD for those of you not keen on using cloud storage.

    For you network geeks this thing is equipped to support: 4x4 MIMO, carrier aggregation, 256 QAM and those really hard to find / mythical License Assisted Access (LAA) speed zones.

    This thing is basically a supped up G7 but with a major difference. It has 5 cameras. More on that in the video below.

    This device is going to be priced at $920. Yikes! You know what that means. Yes you got that right there will be a down payment required even for those: "well qualified!" I know that sux. If it makes you feel better it's still $30 cheaper than AT&T, $ 40 cheaper than Sprint and $60 cheaper than Verizon.

    Pricing will be set at $200 down and $30 per month for 24 months on an Equipment Installment Plan or $200 down and $30 per month for 18 months with a JUMP! On Demand lease.

    This thing launches on October 19th so if you have an extra $920 to burn head on over to your local T-Mobile corporate store or authorized dealer and show them some love. Still not convinced? Today T-Mobile was crowned the fastest LTE network for the 19th quarter in a row so there is literally no better network to use LG's crown jewel on! https://www.t-mobile.com/news/fastest-lte-19-quarters

    Check out the video below for more about this device and its supposed AMAZING camera:

    by Published on 09-28-2018 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    If you're in the market for a mobile Internet device and/or you really miss your old iPhone 4, the GlocalMe G3 is here to save the day!

    Terrible name aside, they're currently running a promotion on Amazon where you can get almost $40 off the $150 USD list price with the promo code "25GlocalMe". But wait, there's more...! According to CNET, you'll also get 1 GB of free data anywhere that GlocalMe provides service. Canadians will have to pay the full $189.99 CAD list price, but will at least get the free data.

    The G3 uses what GlocalMe calls "cloud SIM technology" (sounds like an eSIM) but also has two slots for physical nano SIMs. By far the best thing about this hotspot, though, is its massive 5,350 mAh battery, which should be enough to keep multiple devices connected for multiple days.

    It's certainly not for everyone—least of all those of us who have a "roam like home" option on our existing plan—but if you travel a lot and want to get connected the moment you touch down, the GlocalMe G3 could be what you're looking for.

    Links: Amazon Canada, Amazon USA via CNET

    by Published on 09-27-2018 02:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Nokia fans and Android modders, rejoice!

    Juho Sarvikas, the chief product officer at HMD Global, announced via Twitter this morning that Nokia will now allow the bootloaders on select devices to be unlocked. Can TWRP, Magisk and even custom ROMs be far behind?

    The first eligible product for their new program is the Nokia 8, unfortunately a phone that is now a year old. Hopefully all new hardware from HMD will also be eligible, though something tells me that the ad-supported models on Amazon probably won't be.

    To unlock the bootloader on your Nokia 8 you'll first have to register for an online account, then see if your device is eligible. That's not as convenient as it would be with a OnePlus phone or Pixel, but it's in line with other OEMs like Motorola—and at the end of the day, it's certainly better than a bootloader that's locked.

    If HMD does this right I suspect that they'll see an uptick in their North American sales in fairly short order. More info at the links immediately below.

    Source: Nokia via @sarvikas on Twitter

    by Published on 09-25-2018 10:39 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on
    Article Preview

    Times up!

    Our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch (46mm) bluetooth

    I thought I’d do something different with this review of a Galaxy Watch; I tested it paired to a OnePlus 6 rather than a Galaxy line device. I’ve used a Galaxy device with a Gear in the past so I knew how it performed under those parameters, but with Wear OS and the devices being somewhat at a stagnant point, I thought it important to review the device as it performs outside the “Samsung Experience”. After all there are those looking for another Android smartwatch option who may not be using a Galaxy handset.
    by Published on 09-16-2018 05:58 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Looking for a new lower cost alternative to the super expensive iPhone XS / XS Max devices? Look no further. The iPhone XR has you covered.

    Features include: 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD Display with a 1792x828 resolution, Tap to Wake, True Tone and Haptic Touch. It sports the A12 Bionic processor just like it's more expensive cousin with a 6-core CPU with two high performance cores and four efficiency ones. Due to software improvements Face ID works faster as well.

    It comes with a single 12 MP wide angle camera with OIS (f/1.8 aperture), smart HDR and better low light performance.

    The phone is rounded out with an anodized aluminum band, IP67 water and dust resistance plus better batter life than the iPhone 8 Plus. And it has Dual SIM technology included via a software update.

    Pre-orders start October 19th and the phone goes on sales on October 26th. It comes in six colors: white, black, blue, yellow, coral, and red. It supports all modern LTE bands including Band's 14 and 71. Pricing will start at $749 for the 64GB version, $799 for the 128GB version and $899 for the 256GB model.

    by Published on 09-13-2018 10:02 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Stop the presses folks! We have pricing and payment options for T-Mobile fans looking to get the hottest new iPhones and wearable.

    Yes there is even a "zero down, " option for the 64GB XS for "super well-qualified," customers (whatever that means).

    Don't forget we even got trade in promotional pricing (scroll down for more info).

    iPhone XS EIP
    64GB: $279.99 down, $30 per month, $999.99 full retail
    256GB: $429.99 down, $30 per month, $1,149.99 full retail
    512GB: $629.99 down, $30 per month, $1,349.99 full retail

    iPhone XS JOD
    64GB: $279.99 down, $26 per month, $999.99 full retail
    256GB: $429.99 down, $24 per month, $1,149.99 full retail
    512GB: $629.99 down, $21 per month, $1,349.99 full retail

    iPhone XS Max EIP
    64GB: $379.99 down, $30 per month, $1,099.99 full retail
    256GB: $529.99 down, $30 per month, $1,249.99 full retail
    512GB: $729.99 down, $30 per month, $1,449.99 full retail

    iPhone XS Max JOD
    64GB: $379.99 down, $25 per month, $1,099.99 full retail
    256GB: $529.99 down, $23 per month, $1,249.99 full retail
    512GB: $729.99 down, $20 per month, $1,449.99 full retail

    iPhone XS Max EIP
    64GB: $379.99 down, $30 per month, $1,099.99 full retail
    256GB: $529.99 down, $30 per month, $1,249.99 full retail
    512GB: $729.99 down, $30 per month, $1,449.99 full retail

    iPhone XS Max JOD
    64GB: $379.99 down, $25 per month, $1,099.99 full retail
    256GB: $529.99 down, $23 per month, $1,249.99 full retail
    512GB: $729.99 down, $20 per month, $1,449.99 full retail

    Trade In Value:
    • $300 offer value: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, or iPhone 8
    • $200 offer value: iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus
    • $100 offer value: iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

    Apple Watch Series 4 40mm EIP

    Aluminum: $0 down, $20.83 per month, $499.99 full retail
    Stainless Steel: $171.99 down, $22 per month, $699.99 full retail

    Apple Watch Series 4 44mm EIP
    Aluminum: $0 down, $22.08 per month, $529.99 full retail
    Stainless Steel: $221.99 down, $22 per month, $749.99 full retail

    Once again: Pre-orders start @ 12:01 on Sept. 14th and all devices will be available in store pending inventory availability on Sept. 21st.


    by Published on 09-13-2018 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    You should all know by now that whenever I lead with this image it's a sign that OnePlus done messed up. In 2015 it was leaving out NFC on the OnePlus 2 and now, in late-2018, Carl Pei has revealed to TechRadar that there will be no 3.5mm audio jack on the OnePlus 6T.

    For some users it's potentially great news. A choice quote from the interview:

    "By removing the jack we've freed up more space, allowing us to put more new technology into the product," Pei said. "One of the big things is something our users have asked us for, improved battery life."

    Pei wouldn't be drawn on what the "new technology" will be, but we already know the OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, which will eat up some of the space left by the exiting jack.
    But for fans who've stayed loyal to OnePlus, if for no other reason than to enjoy a dongle-free smartphone experience, it smacks of betrayal. In the launch presentations for their last two devices OnePlus employees have gone so far as to joke about there being no headphone jack, and then immediately retort: "Just kidding, we know that's a feature our customers want."

    And the desire for an audio jack persists—proof can be seen in the results of a Twitter poll conducted by Pei himself this past spring:

    Even more bizarre is that the Oppo R17 Pro—on which the 6T is supposedly based—has a headphone jack on board, as well as a bigger 3,700 mAh battery.

    Maybe the move is shameless attempt to sell more Bullets wireless earbuds? I'm very interested to hear from fellow OnePlus fans how this news affects their interest in the 6T. Personally, I'm starting to see a Pixel 3 in my future. If I can't have an audio jack I might as well have a decent camera, at least.

    Sources: TechRadar, @getpeid on Twitter

    by Published on 09-12-2018 02:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices

    Apple's September keynote for 2018 has just wrapped up. Here's a quick rundown of notable announcements. Check tomorrow morning's news briefing for additional reactions from the wider tech press.

    Apple Watch Series 4

    30% larger screen
    thinner - 40mm vs 44mm
    new complications, faces
    improved digital crown and speaker
    back is now ceramic & sapphire
    new s4 chip - dual-core 64-bit
    fall detection - fall, trip and slip
    automatic sos call if inactive for 1 min
    new electrocardiogram sensor & app
    same 18-hour (all day?) battery life
    new finishes - stainless, gold stainless
    nike, hermes editions
    $399 usd for gps / $499 usd for cellular
    watchOS 5 available on september 17th

    iPhone - XS, XS Max, XR

    xs: 5.8 inch oled @ 458 ppi
    xs max: 6.5 inch oled @ 458 ppi
    gold, silver, space grey
    faster faceid
    new a12 bionic chip - 7nm
    6-core cpu, 4-core gpu, neural engine
    512gb storage option
    cameras: 12mp wide + 12mp tele
    improved true tone flash
    true depth selfie cam
    improved signal processing, smart hdr
    depth of field controls after capture
    stereo sound capture with video
    longer battery life, gigabit lte
    dual sim for china only (not india...?)
    sim + esim everywhere else (b/c carriers)
    more eco-friendly component materials
    apple giveback: will buy back old devices
    xr: 6.1 inch lcd "liquid retina" lcd @ 326 ppi
    a12 bionic, faceid
    no 3d touch; haptic touch instead
    white, black, blue, coral, yellow, red
    single 12mp wide-angle rear camera
    portrait mode from software
    true depth selfie cam
    longer battery life than 8 plus
    xr: 64 / 128 / 256gb, starts at $749 usd
    pre-order oct. 19th, ships oct. 26th
    xs: 64 / 256 / 512gb, starts at $999 usd
    xs max: 64 / 256 / 512gb, starts at $1099 usd
    pre-order this friday, ships next friday

    Props to The Verge's live blog for helping me double-check the specs!

    by Published on 09-11-2018 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    CNET has, somewhat suspiciously, managed to scoop every other tech blog with this, an alleged standby screen from the forthcoming OnePlus 6T. They're not saying how they got it, which leads yours truly to suspect that this "leak" is actually the latest guerrilla marketing move by Carl Pei and co.

    There's the icon indicating the presence of an in-display fingerprint scanner—which we already know from last week's box leak—but also the unusually specific time and date above that. Could it be that the official unveiling of the 6T will take place at 11am on Wednesday, October 17th? Well, duh...

    Source: CNET

    by Published on 08-22-2018 03:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    It's the Jay Leno of phones!

    Some Russian dude has posted photos of—and also photos taken with—the forthcoming Pixel 3 XL from Google. I get the mandate for front-firing stereo speakers but damn, that bottom bezel... Fortunately, there will also be a smaller Pixel 3 for the chin and notch-averse.

    In a second blog post the same person uploaded a gallery of photos taken with the as-yet unreleased phone. They all look fantastic, particularly the subtle HDR effect on shots taken at dusk like the one above.

    But Ivan wasn't done yet (his name's actually not Ivan); he then proceeded to tweet a video demonstrating how the Pixel 3 XL supports wireless charging.

    Google's third-generation Pixels are expected to be announced in early October. At the rate we're going, expect a lot more leaks before then.

    Source: Максим Хорошев (1) (2) (3)

    by Published on 08-20-2018 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Rumors

    If XDA got this right, you're looking at what's going to be the next volley in the escalating arms race on smartphone cameras (or at least lenses). Expected to be made official in the next two to three months, the Huawei Mate 20—codenamed "Hima"—will apparently ship with no less than three cameras on board, just like the already-available P20 Pro. Based on leaked firmware files, notable specs are as follows:

    6.3 inch AMOLED display @ 1080 x 2244 pixels
    HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
    Triple rear camera system
    At least 6 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
    3.5 mm headphone jack / stereo speakers
    4,200 mAh battery with wireless charging
    Android 9 Pie with EMUI

    As yet there are no specifics on the Mate 10's tri-camera setup, but there's every reason to believe that it would be similar to what's on the P20—that is:

    40 megapixel RGB sensor with OIS
    20 megapixel monochrome sensor with OIS
    8 megapixel telephoto sensor with OIS

    Unfortunately the Mate 10 will also almost certainly ship with an unlockable bootloader, as per Huawei's new policy. If you're still interested, there are more details and renders at the link directly below.

    Source: XDA

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