Hands On

S6 vs One M9 – A great year for full metal Android

S6 vs One M9 – A great year for full metal Android

Once upon a time, Android had the geek appeal and iPhone had the polish. If 2015 has any theme in mobile, it's the year when metal-bodied Android smartphones came of age. HTC has been plowing the aluminum fields for its past few generations of flagship, but it's only with the arrival of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge - and Samsung's inevitably huge marketing budget for the pair - that we can honestly say that Android has grown up in feel-appeal.

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Olio’s smartwatch bets on quality and minimalism: Hands-on

Olio’s smartwatch bets on quality and minimalism: Hands-on

We still don't know what a smartwatch should - or shouldn't - do, but startup Olio is betting on just the right number amount of context and some serious timepiece quality. The Olio Model One, up for pre-order today, is the result: a chunky, touchscreen-faced smartwatch which eschews feature overload and instead focuses on what analog watches have been doing for hundreds of years: giving you the essentials at a glance. I sat down with founder Steve Jacobs to find out why he believes there's more to learn from traditional horology than just blunt case design, and how time saved might be the smartwatch secret.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge release details and first-impressions

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge release details and first-impressions

Samsung has announced US availability for its flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones, and what better way to celebrate them landing on the SlashGear review bench than an impromptu photo-shoot. Announced back at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, the metal- and glass-bodied Android smartphones mark the beginning of a new - and welcome - design direction for Samsung, swapping the plastic of their forebears for a far more premium feel. The S6 edge, meanwhile, raises the stakes with a double-curved AMOLED display. Consider the gauntlet thrown down well and truly to the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9; read on for our first-impressions.

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Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook raised a few eyebrows when a premature alert teased teleportation technology at today's F8 conference, but it's really virtual reality that the social network hopes to make its next killer feature. To herald the upcoming support of 360-degree virtual reality content right on your Facebook wall, the company was offering to "teleport" people from San Francisco to the company HQ in Menlo Park, courtesy of an Oculus-powered headset and a whole load of cameras. Still slightly disappointed at having put on my Star Trek uniform for no good reason, I found the reality of 360 VR might not live up to Mark Zuckerberg's enthusiasm, either.

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TrackR bravo hands-on – Tracking with Bluetooth and the crowd

TrackR bravo hands-on – Tracking with Bluetooth and the crowd

Where are your keys? How about your cat? Personal locator devices have come a long way since the days of "whistle and your keychain bleeps," and TrackR is hoping to lead the charge with its new sub-$30 bravo dongle. Aiming to not only allow users to leave their smartphone to keep track of their belongings, rather than forcing them to memorize where they last saw everything, but to also rope in the power of crowdsourcing to replace costly GPS, TrackR bravo is a 2014 Indiegogo success that's finally shipping today. It's been dangling from my belongings for the past few weeks; read on for some first-impressions.

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I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

I hitched a ride in Mercedes’ F 015 self-driving car

When you take away the driving from the driver, what do the meat-popsicles inside an autonomous car do while the AI is at the wheel? That's the question Mercedes-Benz has tackled with the F 015 Luxury in Motion, a dramatically different approach to the future of transportation. Starting with the assumption that space will eventually be the biggest luxury, the self-driving concept treats driving much in the same way that a smartphone does the voice call: just one of many features and, as I discovered when I hitched a ride in the space-age pod, no longer the most important.

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Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Up close with F 015, Mercedes’ incredible self-driving car

Mercedes-Benz dropped jaws back at CES 2015 in January when its autonomous F 015 Luxury in Motion concept drove onto the opening keynote stage. Then, the UFO-like prototype turned heads when the German firm drove it through the streets of San Francisco last week. The size of an S Class but markedly different from every angle, not only can the F 015 drive itself and four people, but do so surrounded with ridiculous levels of both technology and luxury. So, when Mercedes-Benz asked us if we'd like to check out the F 015 in person, an opportunity to get closer to the autonomous car than ever before, we didn't turn them down.

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Nokia HERE Maps for iPhone is out: Here’s why you want it

Nokia HERE Maps for iPhone is out: Here’s why you want it

iPhone owners have another navigation app option today, with Nokia's HERE Maps for iOS landing in the App Store complete with full - and free - offline mapping support. The app, which has been available to Android users since a beta last October, allows those who might commonly be relying on Apple Maps or Google Maps to instead download entire countries-worth of navigation data to their iPhone, meaning even with data turned off while abroad they can still get around.

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This is Apple Watch: Hands-on

This is Apple Watch: Hands-on

Six months ago, Apple showed us the Apple Watch. Today, I got to look past the prototypes of last year's event and instead try out a fully-functional version, more than a little curious about whether Apple had, indeed, cracked the smartwatch question. There's no denying that plenty of thought and design effort has been put into the timepiece - and some details are, frankly, inspired compared to what the competition is doing - but will that mean Apple Watch is an instant must-have?

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This is the new Apple MacBook: Hands-on

This is the new Apple MacBook: Hands-on

With a newly thinned-out body, trackpad, keyboard, and parred-down collection of ports, the New MacBook is truly simplified. This device is not a MacBook Air - and it's certainly not a MacBook Pro. This device sits beside the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in a lineup that'll go through 2015 and beyond. Will the MacBook replace the MacBook Air eventually? Maybe. For now, it looks like this notebook is going to stand on its own as a rather unique piece of work - a new generation of MacBook hardware, to be sure.

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