Hands On

LG G4 hands-on: Quantum physics, leather and a smarter camera

LG G4 hands-on: Quantum physics, leather and a smarter camera

There’s never been a tougher time to introduce a new smartphone, but LG thinks it has a hit on its hands with the new LG G4 for 2015. Building on last year’s G3 with a better camera, more high-quality materials, and a cleaner Android install, it may have a vaguely nonsensical tagline - “See the great. Feel the great” - but marketing hyperbole can usually be forgiven if the device lives up to expectations. I spent some time with the G4 to see why LG is talking Quantum Mechanics and movie theaters for its new flagship.

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Apple Watch Diary – On the road

Apple Watch Diary – On the road

A smartwatch arguably needn’t be too smart if you’re sat at your desk all day. Out on the road, however, if Apple Watch is going to be a useful traveling companion then it needs to step up: that generally means allowing your iPhone to stay in your pocket more often. Meanwhile, battery life becomes all the more critical when you’re not sure if you’ll be near an outlet until you’re back at your hotel. Question is, does the Apple Watch have what it takes to be a frequent flyer, or is it simply overbooked?

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ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector hands-on

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector hands-on

This week at IFA 2015 we've been given the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector. This device is a "2-in-1" projector with the ability to project AND use the device as a mobile hotspot. It runs Android and works with 200-lumens of light for projecting, and - like any good Android device - it's able to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot at the same time. This double-use device is as interesting as it is strange, that's for certain.

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Apple Watch Diary – Getting to know you

Apple Watch Diary – Getting to know you

iPhone was hotly-rumored before 2007; iPad a frequent topic of debate prior to 2010; but it’s hard to argue that Apple Watch, reaching consumers’ wrists today, is the most controversial of Apple’s recent line-up. Even before Tim Cook & Co. announced the wearable in September last year, the pros and cons of an iOS-powered companion for your iPhone were splitting party lines, and that debate hasn’t eased any in the months between then and release. Now, though, the waiting is over. The preorders are arriving. And Apple Watch needs to prove to us it’s worth a spot on our arm.

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Jawbone UP4 puts American Express on your wrist

Jawbone UP4 puts American Express on your wrist

Jawbone is taking on mobile payments, with the fitness wearable firm partnering up with American Express to show Apple Pay and others how the cashless society should go. Based around a new flagship wristband, the Jawbone UP4, the payments system embeds NFC into the strap for frictionless transactions across any wireless-capable cash register where a regular American Express card could be used. I caught up with Jawbone and AMEX to find out why UP4 is special.

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Jawbone UP2 packs UP24 tech in svelte UP3 style

Jawbone UP2 packs UP24 tech in svelte UP3 style

Jawbone may have had a few stumbles bringing the UP3 to market, but it's finally arriving and it's bringing a friend: the new Jawbone UP2. Taking the functionality of the well-regarded UP24, but repackaging it into a sleek new wristband form-factor borrowing the style of the UP3, the UP2 manages to be 45-percent of the volume of its predecessor while still delivering all the same fitness and sleep tracking abilities.

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Beyond batteries: How Mophie plans to tame storage

Beyond batteries: How Mophie plans to tame storage

Mophie may have its roots in providing snug-fitting extra power for the iPhone, but the future is all about the next big headache in mobile: storage space. Sure, running out of juice by mid-afternoon is an annoyance on your smartphone, but, Mophie points out, running out of memory is even more stressful. It might not happen so often, but with memory card slots getting rarer, having to face deleting your photos, music, and videos is a lot worse than needing to squat by an outlet. Enter the new Mophie Space Pack line and the companion Space app; I caught up with the Mophie team to find out more.

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Countertop smart scale bakes in recipe smarts: Hands-on

Countertop smart scale bakes in recipe smarts: Hands-on

Kitchen tech is big money, and Googling a recipe on your iPhone while you try to remember how many tablespoons are in a cup is no longer cutting it. Orange Chef believes it has the answer with Countertop, a new smart kitchen platform that bakes in NFC and Bluetooth. Building on last-year's Prep Pad connected scale with the ability to recognize appliances from Vitamix and Crock-Pot, Countertop not only suggests - and tweaks - recipes but walks you through making them. I caught up with CEO Santiago Merea for a DIY smoothie and some kitchen geekery.

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ASUS Chromebit packs Chrome OS into an HDMI dongle

ASUS Chromebit packs Chrome OS into an HDMI dongle

The Chromecast has now got a big brother, the ASUS Chromebit, packing a full Chromebook into an HDMI dongle that can turn any display into a Chrome OS computer. Plugging straight into a spare HDMI port, and running exactly the same Chrome OS software as any other Chrome machine, the stick marks a further expansion in form-factors for the platform, which began with straightforward notebooks but has since progressed to desktops, all-in-ones, and convertible tablets. It's also promising to be one of the most inexpensive ways to play with Google's web-centric software.

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Hail the $149 Chromebook: Haier and Hisense go cheap

Hail the $149 Chromebook: Haier and Hisense go cheap

Chrome OS has arguably always been best at its very cheapest, and now Hisense and Haier are looking to drive the cost of cloud-centric computing even lower, with a pair of $149 Chromebooks. Targeting not only budget-conscious families, schools, and businesses, but developing markets keen to get online, the two laptops each run Chrome OS on Rockchip's 3288 quadcore chipset. And, while they may be a world away from the Pixel in price, Google insists the recently-updated premium Chromebook had a hand in the design of the budget duo.

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ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

ASUS’ Chromebook Flip is a convertible Chrome OS steal

We've had cheap and cheerful Chromebooks, and expensive, high-end flagships like Pixel, but ASUS has finally delivered a premium-feeling Chrome OS convertible at a price you'll do a double-take at. Intended to raise the stakes for Windows notebooks, not to mention undercut more than a few tablets, the ASUS Chromebook Flip manages to deliver a Full HD IPS touchscreen, a convertible hinge, and fully metal construction for just $249.

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Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S6, Edge in-store near-hands-on at Best Buy

Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S6, Edge in-store near-hands-on at Best Buy

Here's what'll happen when you walk into a Best Buy this weekend - supposing you're in one of the locations that has The Samsung Gear VR Experience inside. You'll immediately be greeted by a couple of "SIX APPEAL" pylons covering the metal detectors that don every front entrance to Best Buy locations. From there, you'll see several massive Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge posters and metal-framed information boards. If you didn't already know before walking in, you'll know before you pass the front gate: the Galaxy S6 family is clearly in the house.

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