I spend a lot of time on the road in my role as an automotive journalist, and that means I'm always on the lookout for versatile tools that allow me to capture as much of a given experience as possible without taking up a huge amount of space in my luggage. Until recently the demands of video and photography have compelled me to juggle a variety of cameras and recorders to make sure I can not only snap in-the-moment pics for social media and online sharing but also grab more composed shots suitable for publication.
Some people couldn’t care less about the camera on their smartphone; if you’re interested in Sony’s new Xperia Z5, there’s a good chance you’re not one of them. The handset sports an image sensor the same size as ones you’ll find in many ordinary budget-tier compact digital cameras, trumping the sensors found in some competing handsets. As well, it greatly outpaces many phones' resolutions at 23-megapixels, making it all the more attractive. At the end of the day, though, it's the quality that matters. How does it hold up? Find out in the first part of our Xperia Z5 review!
Lust. That's what Samsung was counting on with the Galaxy S6 edge: enough people seeing its curvaceous AMOLED screen and uncontrollably coughing up the premium over its flat-fronted sibling. Problem was, though the hardware was clever, the software made little use of it, and so with the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge arriving even sleeker and even swifter, we have to ask: has the functionality finally caught up to the flexibility?
You could forgive Samsung for harboring a little resentment toward Android phone buyers. After all, it gave us the Galaxy S6 - and in the process answered the most vocal and persistent criticisms of build quality and style, among other things - only to see sales fail to live up to expectations. Turns out, we're a fickle bunch, smartphone buyers, and so the Galaxy S7 arrives with courage screwed to the sticking place but no guarantees. Just one big question: is this the phone to buy if you're an Android fan?
The NextBit Robin smartphone may be the first in a new era of smartphone - far more trusting in its creator. Or it could be a mistake, holding on to the cloud when the public continues to fear the worst - hiding their data in their mattresses instead of allowing the data banks to do their job with security. Then there's the NextBit Robin's hardware design. It's gorgeous. It looks like the sort of hardware you'd find in a museum under "historic groundbreakers in industrial design." It looks like someone contacted the finest designers of the 1960's, each of them bent on making all things as visible as they were functional, and told them to imagine a smartphone.
The Huawei Mate 8 (or NXT-L29 as it is also known) asks you to make a fundamental choice about what you are looking for in a phone. Or rather, it makes that decision for you by way of its generous form factor. The Mate 8 certainly puts the 'phab' in phablet - it's fast, features a beautiful display, and offers enough battery power to jumpstart your car - but along the way it also requires its users to accept some very specific compromises to how they use the device on a daily basis. It also charges a significant premium over its primary competitors both Apple and Android, despite not exactly matching its peers on the spec sheet.
Today we're having our first look at the Microsoft Lumia 950 on the review bench, showing you just one - perhaps the most compelling - feature of the bunch: Continuum. When Microsoft first created Windows Phone, it wasn't any secret that they wanted the software to look and feel like a mobile version of what was on the way for their desktop operating system. Almost as if desktop begat mobile. Now, several years down the line, Microsoft attempts to tie the two together implicitly with a feature called Continuum.
Certainly there have been devices that've had second displays in the past - everything from the Kyocera Echo to the lesser-known Samsung Doubletime. What's been missing from this equation hasn't been the hardware, but the skillfully implemented purpose achieved. In the LG V10, you've got a second display that shows you the time. It'll show you some other things, too, but the second screen shows you the time - and, most important of all - it shows you this information without giving your battery a hit.
Hello there BlackBerry users, and welcome back! It's been quite a while since we've had a review of BB device like the BlackBerry Priv - one that's a real competitor on the open marketplace. One that feels like BlackBerry is confident in the product its delivering. And why would you want a device like this? An Android device with a push-out physical keys keyboard? Because you've always trusted the BlackBerry brand, and you always will. Just having the brand name there staring you in the face - and having the three volume button combo available - that'll get you every time.
Over the past several years, Samsung and LG have waged a silent battle against one another. This was a battle of the big phones. The Samsung Galaxy Note reigned supreme for several generations, checking all the boxes for a power user. These must-haves included a removable battery, a massive display, expandable storage (via microSD slot), and an excellent camera. But in the same year that Samsung does away with two of these "must have" features for their most powerful smartphone, LG picks up the slack. In the LG V10 is the home for the power user.
ASUS has introduced a new variant of the ZenFone 2, which we reviewed earlier this year. This new variant is called the ZenFone 2 Laser, and it comes with a modest $199 USD starting price, shaving $30 or more off the ZenFone 2’s price tag. The Laser variant is largely the same as the original ZenFone 2 smartphone, but with some small differences, not the least of which is the laser-assisted auto-focus from which the variant gets its name.