Hands On

Samsung Gear Fit: 5 things we love (and one we hate)

Samsung Gear Fit: 5 things we love (and one we hate)

Samsung's Gear Fit and Galaxy S5 are here, promising a brace of new features and a reboot to the South Korean company's wearables strategy. Our full reviews of both are well underway, but as it's perhaps the more unusual of the two devices, we thought we'd share some of the highlights from the Gear Fit that have caught our eye. Read on for five things about the Gear Fit we love, and one early frustration.

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HTC One M8 GPe hands-on: That Duo Camera compromise

HTC One M8 GPe hands-on: That Duo Camera compromise

HTC was taking no chances with the HTC One M8, confirming not only versions of its new flagship for the key US carriers but a Google Play edition right at launch, and that's what's landed on the SlashGear test bench. Google's approach with GPe phones is generally straightforward: get the best hardware from manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG, only with unmodified Android rather than whatever tweaks and changes would normally be present. Problem is, HTC has spent no small amount of time with the One M8's Duo Camera system, and so there was work to be done to get that up and running even without HTC Sense 6.

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Pokemon NXT gameplay hands-on: 3D MMO in the making

Pokemon NXT gameplay hands-on: 3D MMO in the making

It’s Alpha time for the game known as Pokemon NXT. Made by the fan community and aiming for an eventual (who knows when) full release, this game is a labor of love by members of the Pokemon-loving public, the public that has decided to stop waiting for Nintendo to create an online, 3rd-person, multiplayer experience with the Pokemon universe, instead making it themselves. We’re playing the game today not because we want to level our Pokemon up, but because we want the world to know about the game so that development can be encouraged.

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Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

When you have a product like Kinect, so closely associated with gaming, how do you convince everybody else that they should be installing a motion-tracking camera in the home? Microsoft is looking to smart home technology and health, among other things, to do just that with Kinect for Windows v2, though a stealthy spread through Cortana and smartphones may be just as vital. We caught up with Microsoft’s Michael Mott, general manager of Xbox applications and developer relations, to find out how virtual assistants and home automation could make Kinect-tech the next must-have.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1's most memorable feature may be Cortana, its Halo-themed personal digital assistant, but the chatty Siri-rival isn’t the only change Microsoft has brought with the new version. Greater customization potential, better control over settings, and improved integration of Skype and third-party services are all incoming. We spent some hands-on time with Windows Phone 8.1 to find out what's special.

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Nokia Lumia 630 dual-SIM hands-on [Update: 635 too!]

Nokia Lumia 630 dual-SIM hands-on [Update: 635 too!]

Nokia has a track-record with affordable Windows Phones. The new Nokia Lumia 630 - and its Lumia 635 sibling - follow on from the best-selling Lumia 520, only running Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box and thus benefiting from new features like the Cortana virtual assistant. Best of all, unlike many affordable Nokia of old, they're actually headed to the US market. We grabbed some hands-on time post-launch at Build 2014.

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Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1′s smart assistant

Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1′s smart assistant

The iPhone has Siri, Android has Google Now, and now Windows Phone has Cortana, Microsoft's new digital assistant for smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1. Launching as a beta when WP8.1 hits devices over the next few months, Cortana blends the speech-first approach of Apple's system with the contextual backbone of Google's, throwing in some location-based cleverness and a little AI snark along the way. We introduced ourselves at Build 2014.

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Google Project Tango hands-on: 3D mapping with phones

Google Project Tango hands-on: 3D mapping with phones

Google loves smartphones, but with Project Tango it’s hoping to make them even smarter and more aware. The handiwork of Google’s skunkworks Advanced Technology and Projects Group, it explores what happens when you add high-resolution 3D mapping sensors to an Android device, and what the potential is for gaming and more. We caught up with Johnny Lee, technical program lead at Google, to find out more about the project and get some hands-on time with the prototype device.

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This is the new HTC One M8

This is the new HTC One M8

HTC has been teasing the new HTC One for some weeks now, and the curtain has finally been lifted on the 2014 flagship. Refining the unibody design of the original One, and maintaining HTC's offbeat approach to photography tech, the new One adds Duo Camera to the mix as well, in addition to throwing in not only unlocked and developer versions, but a Google Play Edition too. Read on for the highlights.

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