Articles about Review

Android Nougat on Samsung Galaxy S7: A big step in the right direction

Android Nougat Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung started the Android Nougat roll-out for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge last week, but only members of the Galaxy Beta Program could get it right away. That changes today, as Samsung is finally making the much-awaited update available to more users, starting in China and UK.

After installing the hefty Android Nougat update on my Galaxy S7 edge, it became immediately clear that Samsung has put in a lot of effort to deliver a much more user-friendly experience. Its skin is much improved over what we had before on Android Marshmallow, packing lots of nice changes, both visual and under the hood. It is not perfect, but there is lots more to like now.

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RockJaw Resonate -- clever design combined with quality audio [Review]

RockJaw Resonate 1

We've looked at earphones from RockJaw in the past and they've always offered a good compromise between reasonable price and a quality listening experience.

The company's latest Resonate model is more expensive than its other offerings but it does combine clever design touches with a tuneable listening experience.

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NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ad Smart WiFi router (R9000) [Review]

R9000_Side

The NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 802.11ad Smart WiFi router (R9000) costs $500. Let's get that out of the way. Some people think this is way too much to spend on a wireless router. Depending on your budget and needs, yeah, this could be too much for you. If you have a big home and spend a lot of time on the internet, however, money may be no object for a fast and reliable connection.

This particular router is NETGEAR's top-of-the-line home offering, meaning it is chock-full of features and technology. In fact, it even has 802.11ad -- something that is not worth getting excited about -- yet. This is not found on many routers nowadays, and for good reason -- it is very short-range and there are virtually no devices that can leverage it.

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Inateck KTU3FR 4-port USB 3.0 card and HB4101 4-port USB 3.0 hub [Review]

Inateck USB 3.0 card

The USB 3.0 standard has been around for a while, first appearing on consumer devices in 2009. It's likely therefore that any new PC purchased in the last few years will have USB 3.0 built in. If you have an older machine, or you need more ports, then you can add a PCIe card to add extra USB 3.0 capability.

Inateck's KTU3FR 4-port card is an easy way to boost your USB 3.0 options. It's easy to install though it does need more power than the PCIe slot can provide so it comes with SATA and Molex cables, one of which needs to be connected to your machine's power supply. Drivers are supplied on a CD and should work with all versions of Windows from XP up to Windows 10.

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Apple AirPods are very cool, but I am returning them -- here's why

money_refund_return

When Apple first announced the AirPods, I was intrigued. The technology looked incredible -- for those that own Apple devices, that is. Unfortunately, I sort of had a feeling that I would not like them as soon as I saw them. Why? They are the same shape as Apple's wired EarPods. This is a problem, as those headphones hurt my ears. I pretty much decided on day one that I would not buy them.

But then I went ahead and bought them anyway. Because they were delayed so often, and because stock was so limited, I bought them as soon as they went on sale as I knew they would sell out. Since Apple makes it easy to return products, I figured I'd buy them, try them, and make a decision. Well folks, I am returning them. Here's why.

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OnePlus 3T: Refining the 'flagship killer' [Review]

OnePlus 3T

If you look at the specs of the new OnePlus 3T, there is nothing that gives away the fact that it costs hundreds of dollars less than a "traditional" flagship, like an Apple iPhone 7 or Samsung Galaxy S7. In some areas, it outdoes the big boys. It has everything that you would want in a high-end smartphone, with no compromise in sight.

I've had the OnePlus 3T as my daily driver for about two weeks now, after previously using the OnePlus 3 for a couple of months. And the new kid on the block is, to put it simply, the best "flagship killer" to date. It might even be the best smartphone that you can get for around $400.

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Vufine+ wearable display review

Vufine+

Having a small display strapped to a pair of glasses may seem like a bad idea in a post-Google Glass wearables market, but Vufine is not afraid to take chances. The company successfully launched the original Vufine on Kickstarter in 2015, and now it is at it again with an updated model. And this one is proving to be a hit as well.

It is called Vufine+ and what it does is give you a viewfinder or external display for an action camera, laptop or smartphone. There are no fancy smart features here. Instead, you can mirror what's on your device's screen or watch what you are recording with your camera. It sounds simple, and that is because it is. So, what's it like to use?

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Noontec ZORO II wireless headphones review

Noontec ZORO II wireless headphones

Wireless headphones are the future. Apple knows it, and pretty soon you will too. Let's face it, the good old 3.5mm jack is on its way out. Smartphone evolution will see to it. And when it will no longer be an option, many of us will come to realize that we have been living in the past for far too long After the first couple of minutes of using the Noontec ZORO II, this much was clear.

Noontec has designed the ZORO II for the discerning headphone buyer who is looking to get rid of wires but, at the same time, still enjoy a quality sound. This is the first pair of wireless cans that I have used and, I have to admit, I am really impressed by it. Needless to say, I am a convert now.

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SJCAM SJ5000x Elite action camera review

SJCAM SJ5000x Elite

When looking at the budget action camera market there are few brands that stand out from the crowd. SJCAM is one of them. The company has built up a reputation for delivering quality action cameras at attractive price points and, most importantly, that can hold their own when pitted against premium rivals. It is no wonder that so many folks recommend them.

SJCAM's SJ5000x Elite is among the most popular options in this segment, featuring impressive specs just above the $100 mark. On paper, it seems to have everything that you could want and more, but just how good is it really?

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LG V20 Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone [Review]

LG_V20_01

Android is in a weird place. The latest version, 7.0 Nougat, is on very few devices, which highlights the operating system's biggest issue -- fragmentation. True, most apps will work fine on slightly older versions of the OS, but the true problem is security -- not compatibility. Once a manufacturer stops supporting a smartphone or tablet, the user is at risk of future vulnerabilities.

With OS upgrade concerns in mind, I decided to test Android Nougat on a new Verizon smartphone -- the highly anticipated LG V20. This is the followup to the sleeper-hit V10. The new device retains the famed "second screen", but improves upon its predecessor in every way. Is it worth your money, however?

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For the audiophile: Grado Labs RS1e [Review]

Grado RS1e

Late last month, I sold my beloved Grado RS1e headphones, which get my highest recommendation. Parting ways, time is long overdue for a review, even if post-mortem. I let go the cans mainly because my lifestyle changed. Being tethered by wires is too confining; I listen to music more on the move now. As such, fine-fidelity Bluetooth cans—Master & Dynamic MW60—give great sound with more flexibility and mobility.

I purchased the RS1e direct from manufacturer Grado Labs in late July 2014, soon after release. Grado is a family-owned/run Brooklyn, New York-based business that opened in 1953 offering turntable cartridges. In 1990, the company started selling headphones, which are hand-crafted and tested for the distinctive, sound signature that defines them. Founder Joseph Grado passed away in February 2015 at age 90.

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Inateck BH1105M earphones [Review]

Inateck BH1105M

A few months ago we reviewed the Inateck BH1105 earphones and while we enjoyed the decent sound quality given their low price, we did criticise their lack of a microphone for smartphone use.

Well, either Inateck has been listening to us or it realized the design was limiting sales, because here we are with the BH1105M which is essentially the same product but does now have an in-line mic.

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Master & Dynamic MW60 wireless headphones [Review]

Master & Dynamic MW60

For Christmas 2015, I bought myself a new pair of Bluetooth headphones. After trying several sets, I settled on Master & Dynamic MW60, which were a fantastic choice then and are still my top recommendation nearly a year later. The wireless cans replaced my beloved Grado RS1e -- no small feat.

Read no further and buy the M&D cans, if wireless listening is priority -- and should be if using iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, which lack 3.5 mm jack. Authentic audio, spacious soundstage, and full fidelity (without over-punchy bass) make the MW60 the gold standard for Bluetooth cans.

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Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite action camera review

Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite

In trying to compete with more premium brands, some action camera makers are pushing the envelope in terms of quality at lower price points. Some of the best devices in the affordable category, while not on the same level as the latest GoPros, come reasonably close to the leading players, but at a fraction of the cost.

One of those devices that is touted to offer great value for money is the Elephone EleCam Explorer Elite. It comes in below the $70 mark, so it certainly delivers on the cost front. And, being powered by a proven and competitive chipset in the entry-level market, it seems to have what it takes to deliver quality videos. But, how does it perform in real life?

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DKnight Big MagicBox portable Bluetooth speaker review

DKnight Big MagicBox power button

Smartphone users who want to enjoy their favorite music through a portable Bluetooth speaker have a sea of options to choose from these days. Many accessory makers offer small setups that promise to deliver a much higher sound quality than the built-in speakers, and in plenty of cases at a pretty reasonable cost too.

DKnight is no different. Its Big MagicBox setup, which features dual 10W drivers and "advanced bass enhancement technology", claims to offer "exceptional sound quality" and is touted as "the most competitive speaker" in its segment of the market. But, just how good is it in real life?

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