Hands On

iPhone SE first impressions and hands-on – quite familiar

iPhone SE first impressions and hands-on – quite familiar

This afternoon we're getting our hands on the iPhone SE, a device that looks like the iPhone 5s but acts like a newer device. This is the first time Apple has effectively skipped a generation with smartphone design, keeping the innards of a device that's more than two years old, packing in hardware that's brand new. As such, we're expecting this iPhone SE to run a lot quicker than its predecessor, the iPhone 5s, but to feel just as classic. Surprise! It does both of these things.

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Hands-on with Star Wars: The Trials on Tattooine

Hands-on with Star Wars: The Trials on Tattooine

Something I've wanted to do since I was a little kid was grab a lightsaber and fight bad guys with it. So when I was told that I'd be seeing a demo from ILMxLAB during GDC, you can be that I was pretty excited. After strapping on an HTC Vive and getting my controller ready (after being told I'd only need the one controller, I was pretty certain of what I'd need it for) the familiar text popped up: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

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Hands-on with Valve’s The Lab – Your introduction to VR

Hands-on with Valve’s The Lab – Your introduction to VR

The Portal games are among my favorites for a number of reasons. I'm a big fan of solving puzzles and condescending robots, and those games really satisfied both areas. The second game wrapped up the story of Chell pretty neatly, but there's still a lot more to explore at Aperture Laboratories. While at GDC, Valve gave me a peek into some of the various Pocket Universes that we'll be able to explore in The Lab.

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VR’s Secret Sweet Spot: The Mundane

VR’s Secret Sweet Spot: The Mundane

With the launch titles being shown for each of the first major players in VR this week, it's quickly becoming clear: mundane is in. Simplicity, not insanity. Not the most visually spectacular. Instead - like it was with the first big games and apps for the smartphone back when it first gained steam - the games with the most recognizable mechanics are set to be the most important. Case in point: mini golf.

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PlayStation VR first impressions

PlayStation VR first impressions

Yesterday, Sony finally took the wraps off of their highly-anticipated PlayStation VR headset. With an entry price of just $399, it's significantly less expensive than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. After the announcement I had a chance to test out the headset and see how it stacked up against the competition.

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Oculus VR Preview – The Climb

Oculus VR Preview – The Climb

I've mentioned before that you need an open mind when going into any VR title. And when you hear that there's a game about climbing rocks in virtual reality, you really do need an open mind. The Climb lives up to its name, as you'll spend the whole game climbing. But your arms won't get too tired.

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Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

Zuli adds Hue support to presence-tracking IoT plugs: Hands-on

In the smartest Smart Home, everything plays nicely together, and IoT smartplug maker Zuli is further joining up its dots with the addition of Hue support. The Zuli smartplugs, which differentiate themselves by using Bluetooth to figure out when rooms are in use and adjust devices accordingly, can now command Philips' color-changing LED bulbs too.

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popSlate 2 is E-Ink for your iPhone done right

popSlate 2 is E-Ink for your iPhone done right

E-ink iPhone case-maker popSlate is back, with a new, sleeker, more functional version of its customizable shell for Apple's smartphone. Just like the first-generation case launched a year ago, the premise for popSlate 2 is straightforward: we're addicted to checking our phones for notifications or simply what time it is, and so why not give the iPhone a second, low-power screen that can deliver that more frugally?

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Sony Xperia X hands-on: unabashedly replacing Z

Sony Xperia X hands-on: unabashedly replacing Z

Today we have a look at the Sony Xperia X, a replacement for the company's Xperia Z hero phone lineup. These Sony Xperia X and Sony Xperia X Performance smartphones take a unique approach - and one that makes a whole lot of sense. While companies more invested in the smartphone game need to reveal devices that are distinctly different from their predecessors, Sony is still small enough (in smartphones, anyway) to release a device that's just ever-so-slightly different from the one that came before it.

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Xiaomi Mi 5 hands-on: The surprise buzz-maker

Xiaomi Mi 5 hands-on: The surprise buzz-maker

For a company which doesn't officially sell its Android smartphones in the US or Europe, there's an astonishing amount of buzz around Xiaomi here at Mobile World Congress. The Chinese firm has made a name for itself with surprisingly well-specified phones at impressively competitive prices, and the Xiaomi Mi 5 is shaping up to be no different.

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Jolla’s Aqua Fish swims into MWC 2016 to prove Sailfish OS isn’t dead

Jolla’s Aqua Fish swims into MWC 2016 to prove Sailfish OS isn’t dead

Jolla's hardware plans may have crashed and burned, but the company's strategy of licensing its Sailfish OS has borne fruit here at Mobile World Congress. The first smartphone to run Sailfish 2.0 has been revealed, the handiwork of Indian phone maker Intex Technologies, dubbed the Aqua Fish.

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Alcatel Idol 4S hands-on: aiming even higher

Alcatel Idol 4S hands-on: aiming even higher

This week we're taking a look at the successor to one of the finest (and most surprisingly fine) budget smartphones of last year. This is the Alcatel Idol 4S. This device keeps its 5.5-inches screen from last year with the Idol 3, but this time (with the 4S) we're working with a full 2K resolution instead of just 1080p. This device employs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 and 3GB of RAM as well as 32GB of internal storage - there's a microSD card slot here as well, of course.

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