Hands On

LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

LG Watch Urbane hands-on – Android Wear in metal

You can’t accuse LG of slacking on Android Wear, with the LG Watch Urbane the third model to run Google’s smartwatch platform. Announced a few weeks back, but making its official debut here at Mobile World Congress 2015, the new smartwatch keeps the circular P-OLED touchscreen of its G Watch R predecessor, but frames it in a brand new, high-quality metal casing for a feel more akin to traditional timepieces.

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HP Spectre x360 hands-on: When PC makers get OCD

HP Spectre x360 hands-on: When PC makers get OCD

The HP Spectre x360 is, if you're brave enough to play Devil’s Advocate, the Windows notebook you create when you channel Apple levels of obsessive-compulsion. Latest in HP’s high-end ultraportable family, the new Spectre isn’t just a capable aluminum laptop but a turning point in involvement between an OEM and Microsoft: a never-before-seen investment in time, energy, and Very Clever People. In fact, you could well argue that the Spectre x360 is the Surface Laptop that Microsoft refuses to make. I caught up with both companies to get my hands on their collaborative aluminum slab, and find out what makes it really special.

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LG Watch Urbane LTE hands-on – Phone freedom

LG Watch Urbane LTE hands-on – Phone freedom

LG has two smartwatches for MWC 2015, but it’s the LG Watch Urbane LTE that’s arguably the most interesting. Packing LTE for standalone connectivity rather than demanding a nearby paired smartphone, and running not Android Wear but a heavily modified version of webOS, it may look like its Watch Urbane sibling, but that’s only skin - or metal - deep. Read on for some first-impressions from here in Barcelona.

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Moto E 2015 Unboxing: inside Motorola’s special package

Moto E 2015 Unboxing: inside Motorola’s special package

Inside the Motorola Mystery Package we were promised last week comes the Moto E. Our review unit, complete with a box that's massive. This box has some clever outer bits - a "Slide to Start" marking to implicate the package opening direction and a "Fragile" stamp that suggests this is BREAKING NEWS. Inside is a wild Motorola presentation center with sliding doors and an array of bumper covers to outfit the Moto E. A wooden USB stick with information on it about the device and a tag to get us in to the special showing.

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Xiaomi Mi Note hands-on: More than just an Apple clone

Xiaomi Mi Note hands-on: More than just an Apple clone

Xiaomi is on a charm offensive, and that means setting the record straight. Outspoken VP of International Hugo Barra returned to San Francisco alongside Xiaomi President Lin Bin to introduce the MIUI flavor of Android, not to mention the latest Mi Note smartphone, to a curious - if a little skeptical - tech press. Wildly popular in China and other countries, but known more for the inspiration it's accused of taking from Apple and others in the West, Xiaomi isn't quite ready for a US launch but thought it was high time we saw just what Chinese users are enjoying.

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Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

Snapdragon 810 benchmarked: 5 things you need to know

The pace of mobile chip development is relentless, something Qualcomm knows better than most with its new Snapdragon 810. Announced nearly a year ago, yet only set to show up in commercial phones and tablets in the coming months, the new Snapdragon arrives at a challenging time in mobile: raw performance simply isn't enough to win customers any more. So, it was with expectations broader than for just another fast chip that I sat down in Qualcomm's San Diego offices, the new Mobile Developer Platform (MDP) tablet and phone in front of me. After the cut, yes, there are benchmarks, but pure potency isn't all that you should care about.

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2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

2016 Acura ILX first-drive – Luxury chasing loyalty

There’s an odd dance to be followed when, as Acura is with the 2016 ILX, you’re launching a revamped version of an existing car. On the one hand, you want to highlight just how improved it is over its predecessor; on the other, you can’t be too critical, because then drivers start asking why you were so enthusiastic - and are now so cruelly honest - about the older car. For the 2016 ILX, Acura is more blunt than many: the old model was designed before the host of “entry premium sedans” hit forecourts, with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and others changing the game in the process. For the MY2016, then, the focus is more rewarding driving, more luxury, and a generous injection of tech borrowed from Acura’s TLX.

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Raspberry Pi 2 hands-on: first boot on 2nd-gen

Raspberry Pi 2 hands-on: first boot on 2nd-gen

Today we took the Raspberry Pi 2 out of the box and the static shielding bag to give it a first start-up and go. As you'd expect, loading software to an SD card is much the same as it was in the past - except here you're using a much smaller microSD card instead. After that, you've got a more powerful processor and 1GB of RAM to work, so it's time to get quick. Today we're checking in on the basics - getting an operating system running and heading to boot.

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Apple Photos hands-on: Yosemite’s iCloud-loving image app

Apple Photos hands-on: Yosemite’s iCloud-loving image app

Goodbye iPhoto, hello Photos. Apple has revealed a new, cloud-centric photo management and editing app for OS X Yosemite, recognizing the changing ways people take and organize photos, and the rise of the smartphone camera. Built completely afresh, Photos is set to be baked into OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, due for release this spring, but will be offered in the developer build from today. Most critically, with iPhotos and, also confirmed today, Aperture being given their retirement papers, Photos wants to satisfy both novice and expert photographers alike. I've been taking an early look, to see if Apple really has struck the perfect balance between usability and functionality.

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Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Who says electric cars have to be boring? Toyota's Prius may be poster child for the eco-pious, but its i-ROAD tilting trike shows there's still potential for madness in the EV. SlashGear is no stranger to the i-ROAD, and in fact we've driven earlier prototypes over in Japan before now. They're less commonly found in the US, however, but Makoto Morita, Grand Master of the Product Planning Division and lead of the i-ROAD project brought a handful with him to test the waters among potential American drivers.

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