Author Archives: JC Torres


Xbox One October update: Alexa, Dolby Vision, new Avatars

Xbox One October update: Alexa, Dolby Vision, new Avatars

Unlike smartphones or even PCs, gaming consoles are something you buy once every 5 or so years and almost never upgrade. Their value comes primarily from the new games that arrive annually and the updates that extend the device’s functionality way beyond the original release. Often without having to buy a new part or peripheral. One such update lands for the Xbox One this month that, among other things, make it seem like you can talk to your console even if you’re actually talking to your speaker instead.

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Huawei Watch GT is official, almost, and officially not Wear OS

Huawei Watch GT is official, almost, and officially not Wear OS

Huawei’s event isn’t until next week but it seems at least one part of the company’s big day has leaked early. And it’s not exactly all good news. The Huawei Watch GT, both in name and in form, is pretty much official as its product listing has gone online. And while it has all the makings of a modern smartwatch, Huawei has made changes that might mean it will be compatible only with its own smartphones and very little else.

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Xiaomi Black Shark 2 might go global

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 might go global

Sharks are coming, the black kind even. And they’re coming to take a bite out of the rather small pie known as the gaming smartphone market. Xiaomi-backed Black Shark launched a gaming smartphone not so long ago but was easily upstaged by the ASUS ROG Phone and even the older Razer Phone. Part of that may have been its limited availability. That might change soon if this new global landing page means that the Black Shark phone, or even the Black Shark 2, will be available worldwide soon.

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Nokia 3.1 Plus goes big to correct predecessor’s flaws

Nokia 3.1 Plus goes big to correct predecessor’s flaws

It has barely been half a year since HMD Global launched the Nokia 3.1 along side the Nokia 2.1 and Nokia 5.1. Our review of the unit left us a bit conflicted. On the one hand, the device was good enough for a budget smartphone and its Android One software is better than even what some high-end models have. And yet we felt it could also be so much more. That “more” has arrived in the Nokia 3.1 Plus and it addresses the pain points of the non-Plus model.

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Garmin Instinct GPS watch is built for outdoor adventures

Garmin Instinct GPS watch is built for outdoor adventures

Garmin is a name probably most associated with in-vehicle navigation systems but it has dipped its hand into anything and everything you can put a GPS in. And, yes, that includes wearables naturally. It has, in fact, a line of smartwatches and fitness trackers and there are no signs of it slowing down. In fact, it has just launched the Garmin Instinct, a rugged smartwatch that’s built like a tank and looks the part as well.

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Pokemon GO AR+ comes to Android, requires ARCore

Pokemon GO AR+ comes to Android, requires ARCore

Some might contest branding Pokemon GO as an augmented reality game. Yes, it does use your real-world location and, at least, can at least use streets and building structures in maps. But the Pokemon themselves look more like stickers superimposed on the real world when you enable AR mode. Pokemon GO’s AR+ mode took care of that last year and it’s now finally available for Android smartphones. Provided yours is one of the few dozen that supports the ARCore framework.

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Google Assistant is bringing even more smarts to your pocket, homes

Google Assistant is bringing even more smarts to your pocket, homes

For the past two years or so, Google’s events have revolved around the themes of AI and, in ways consumers can understand, Google Assistant. The recent Made by Google event, a.k.a. Pixel event, was no different. Yes, Google brought out a couple of new devices and bundles, but the one thing that connects them all together isn’t Android, much less Chrome OS. Yes, it’s Google Assistant. And guess what? Google didn’t have time to say everything it wanted to. So here are some of the things that are still coming in next weeks and months that aim to make your devices smarter so that you can be too.

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Luna Display turns an iPad into a second monitor for Macs

Luna Display turns an iPad into a second monitor for Macs

Multi-monitor setups are so common these days that even notebooks that are normally meant to have only one screen are being used with external monitors. Those external monitors, however, are often expensive, bulky, and stationary. There are, of course, portable monitors which are just as expensive. If, however, you own a MacBook and happen to also have an iPad, you're in luck, because Luna Display can wirelessly join those two screens together to give you a bigger but still portable digital workspace.

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Honor Magic 2 official teaser hints at another magic trick

Honor Magic 2 official teaser hints at another magic trick

We have a rather interesting lineup of phones this month. In addition to the usual serving of high-end phones like the Pixel 3 and the upcoming Huawei Mate 20, we've also got the odd ones like the quad camera Galaxy A9 and, of course, the Honor Magic 2. This modern take on a retro design is going on state at the end of the month but its slider might not be its only act. Thanks to Honor's official teaser video, we can expect one or two more.

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Galaxy A9 official: 4x the fun, 4x the choices to make

Galaxy A9 official: 4x the fun, 4x the choices to make

Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy A9. No Pro or Star after its name, just Galaxy A9. At this point, there was little it could say that wasn’t already leaked before, even by its own crew. But a confirmation is still a confirmation and the Galaxy A9 does confirm that Samsung may have gone a bit overboard. In obviously trying to appeal to an “Instagram generation”, it is throwing in everything, including the kitchen sink, to see what sticks.

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Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL updates will stop with Android S

Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL updates will stop with Android  S

Even before the Pixel phone became famous for its software-driven camera prowess, Google's phones have always been chosen for their software support. Unlike other manufacturers, Google makes a commitment to push out timely updates to its Nexus and now Pixel phones. With the launch of the new Pixel 3, Google has updated its support page to let both owners and jealous non-Pixel users know how long the phones will be getting sweet updates.

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Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop gets new Base, Limited models

Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop gets new Base, Limited models

The market's smallest 15.6-inch gaming laptop just got fraternal twin siblings. In addition to its second generation gaming smartphone, Razer is also announcing the expansion of its Blade 15 line. Understanding that gamers have different budgets and tastes, Razer is introducing a new Razer Blade 15 Base Model for the budget conscious. The Razer Blade 15 Mercury White model, on the other hand, is for gamers who want to mask their gaming prowess behind an unassuming white matte finish.

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