Hands On

Chevrolet fits 14 cars with Android Auto and CarPlay

Chevrolet fits 14 cars with Android Auto and CarPlay

Chevrolet has announced the most ambitious Android Auto and Apple CarPlay roll-out so far, with a full fourteen of the GM brand’s 2016 line-up supporting the infotainment systems. “There are a lot of smartphones out there today,” Dan Kinney, director of user experience at Chevrolet pointed out, “and not all of them are being used responsibly.” Unlike rival manufacturers, Chevy will be making the advanced smartphone connectivity a standard-fit item, not charging more for it.

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Xiaomi did something interesting with Snapdragon 810

Xiaomi did something interesting with Snapdragon 810

If you're a smartphone company that doesn't make its own mobile processors, you're at a disadvantage. Xiaomi isn't at the scale to follow Apple and Samsung and dive into quite silicon yet - though the increasingly popular manufacturer is growing rapidly - but that doesn't mean the latest Mi Note Pro doesn't have a performance edge over Snapdragon 810-powered rivals like the HTC One M9. Usually they're rarer than hen's teeth in North America, so you can consider me curious when I had the opportunity to do some benchmarking with the fettled phone.

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FOVE headset hits Kickstarter for eye-tracking VR

FOVE headset hits Kickstarter for eye-tracking VR

You might not realize virtual reality has an owl problem, but it does. Turn your head while wearing most VR headsets, and the scene you see will move accordingly; flick just your eyes around, however, and nothing happens. Startup FOVE believes it has the answer, a VR rig that can track eye-movement and in the process not only make games and entertainment more immersive, but potentially allow them to be run from something as humble as a smartphone.

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Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

If you're reinventing the camera, why not make it fly? That's the concept behind Lily, a drone that puts flying photography at its core, but doesn't require a pilot's license to use. Promising not only autonomous flight but eye-catching drone footage with zero operator talent, the new quadcopter wants to usurp the GoPro as the extreme sportsperson's go-to gadget, and snap the selfie-stick for family gatherings. I ventured into the park to strike a pose as I was filmed from the sky.

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B&O’s 90th birthday treats are Danishly delicious

B&O’s 90th birthday treats are Danishly delicious

When you hit ninety you could be forgiven for slowing down, but Bang & Olufsen is celebrating its 90th anniversary by giving some of its recent highlights the rose gold treatment. Dubbed "The Love Affair Collection", the name might be a little cheesy but the tech isn't, spanning B&O's best-selling BeoPlay H6 headphones all the way through to the indecently vast BeoVision Avant 85 with its 85-inch, 4K display.

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HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

Back in January, HoloLens was a Frankenstein’s monster of a headset. In fact, the eyepiece itself was only part of the test rig: the rest was conspicuously tethered to it with a physical cable hooked up to a Windows 10 PC. To say there’s been a dramatic shift in hardware in the ninety days or so since then is an understatement. Microsoft brought a fleet of HoloLens prototypes to BUILD 2015, each of them a standalone computer, eyepiece, sensor rig, and spatial sound system all integrated into a single headset, and offered me the opportunity to see what creating a Windows Holographic experience was like.

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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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