If you asked me two months ago about using a Huawei smartwatch or smartphone, I would have scoffed. Yet, here I am doing just that. Timing on the latter is ironic. On Oct. 15, 2015, I bought a 128GB silver (and white) iPhone 6s Plus using Apple's 24-month finance plan, rather than paying in full up front. Huawei-made, Google-branded 64GB Nexus 6P arrived the next day for review. The following morning (the 17th), I hauled down to Apple Store and returned the iPhone for full refund. That act sums up my reaction to the new Android flagship running "Marshmallow".
I didn't expect to be so wooed by Nexus 6P, but Google got me by delivering superior contextual experience. This device, and Android 6, is all about context, starting with what for me is the killer function I couldn't part with: the fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. Picking up the device and placing my forefinger on the circular indentation wakes and unlocks the 6P. Wow-way is right! The mechanism beats the Hell out of Apple's two-handed jimmy from the Home button.
The ability to read reviews of products before making a purchase is one of the great advantages of online shopping. But how do you know that what you're reading is a genuine review and not just glowing praise planted by the seller or manufacturer? Fake reviews are a serious problem, and Amazon is trying to do something about it.
The retail giant has filed a lawsuit against 1,114 individuals for writing "false, misleading, and inauthentic" reviews. Amazon says that the fakers are tarnishing its reputation, and the attempt to clean up the site is something that will be welcomed by consumers.
I could have reviewed Apple’s new iPhone as soon as it came out, but I preferred to wait until I’d spent a decent amount of time with the device. My initial thoughts weren’t all that favorable, thanks to a bug that affected the mobile data feature, but Apple thankfully corrected this problem fairly swiftly and that’s the only major fault I’ve encountered to date.
Apple says with the iPhone 6s, "the only thing that's changed is everything", but that’s a bit of an exaggeration seeing as the phone looks pretty much identical to its predecessor, and sports the same 4.7-inch 750x1,334 screen (326 ppi).
Flash used to be a core part of the internet, because for a time it was the only practical way to produce animations on websites.
It was also easy to use which made it attractive to designers and advertisers and at one time it seemed almost every site was decorated by Flash banners and adverts. But the arrival of HTML5 and CSS3, plus worries about security vulnerabilities, means that Flash has been on the decline for some time.
Streaming set-top boxes are no longer about media consumption. The newest entrants—from Amazon, Apple, and Google—fit into a larger lexicon of connected digital lifestyles. Think intelligent television for the information-obsessed and for visual voyeurs demanding the highest-quality video that is commercially available.
On Oct. 1, 2015, I started testing the new Amazon Fire TV, which goes on sale October 5th. I will later review the newer Google Chromecast but unlikely Apple's device (because a review unit isn't available and I wouldn't buy one for personal use). There is nothing radically new about Fire TV. It's more of the same only much better. Key benefit for some: 4K Ultra HD video support. Benefit for all: Enhanced voice-interaction capabilities that include Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. Then there are iterative enhancements that improve overall benefits.
When you buy earphones you usually have to choose between audio quality and how much you want to spend. British company Rock Jaw Audio, however, is on a mission to provide a strong listening experience at an affordable price.
There's a definite grey theme here, supplied in an attractive grey box, the earpieces themselves are aluminium with a smart grey finish, they come with a selection of rubber ear tips so you can get a good fit. There's also a clip for the cable and a soft carrying pouch. They have an in-line microphone for making phone calls and the earpieces have 8mm dynamic drivers. The jack plug is gold-plated, it's a 90 degree design though so may be awkward connecting to some devices. They have a 1.2 metre long cord, which is fine for listening to a smartphone in your pocket but a bit limiting for other situations.
Buying a Bluetooth speaker generally presents you with a choice between style and sound quality. The latest MarsBox from Inateck immediately scores on the style front. The red and black design certainly looks different -- though it might not be to all tastes -- and the speaker has a smooth matt finish which is pleasant to touch.
There are four main controls on the top, a multi-function button to make calls or switch on the tuner, a play/pause button and +/- controls, these are easy to use though there's a hint of the playroom in the bold rubbery buttons. On the back are a power button, a USB charging port and an aux-in socket. When it's powered on there's a blue status LED behind the front grille though this is difficult to see unless you're looking at it head on.
If you are thinking about buying a new iPhone to get Apple Watch, reconsider. Hard. There's a new Android Wear timepiece that is just as stylish, if not more, but costs much less. If Huawei Watch isn't the Apple Watch killer, it foreshadows what could be.
For the comparison today, my quick review focuses on the two smartwatches that I purchased, with which materials and attractive designs are most similar (other than their shapes—squairsh vs circular). To reiterate: I paid for both devices. Neither manufacturer sent a loaner for review. The one came from Apple Store and the other from Amazon.
Are you are in the market for a flagship Android smartphone, but you do not know what to buy? This is totally understandable, as there are many from which to choose. Let me save you some trouble -- stick to Samsung. Sure, there are other great phones from other manufacturers, but Samsung takes things to another level. Its Touchwiz enhancements are actually an improvement over the stock Android experience, while its hardware are often works of art.
But hold on there, I know what you are wondering; which Samsung flagship should you choose? True, the company does have two Android smartphones which are worthy of your hard-earned money -- the Galaxy Note5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Both phones are wonderful, and you should be happy with either, but after extensive testing, I have a definitive answer as to which is better.
One word describes Google's wireless router: Fantastic! That should be enough said, but one of my colleagues asked me how much OnHub costs. He bristled at $199.99, calling it too much. So, okay, let's do a real review that explains the magic that Google and partner TP-LINK accomplish with this remarkable router. But I warn you now: Buying one, even for two C notes, isn't easy. This thing is out of stock most everywhere, as it has been for weeks.
Simply stated: OnHub is the best router ever to anchor my home network. Beauty, simplicity, availability, and extensibility are On Hub's defining characteristics. Sold in blue or black enclosures, the thing is gorgeous, and it feels as solid as it looks. Setup and maintenance are frightening for their ease. The usable wireless range far exceeds the Apple AirPort Extreme router that OnHub replaces in my home. The network device packs protocols and other features you won't need now but will want later on.
Smartphone battery life has improved over the years, but it is still largely deficient. For many consumers, it is still impossible to make it through a full day without needing a charge.
Luckily, for those of us with cars, we can charge it while traveling. The problem? Most chargers will only accommodate one phone at a time. Yeah, some can handle two, or even three, but what if your family is larger than a trio? Ahh, well, that is where VisionTek's 40W Five Port USB Car Charger comes in. Yes, it offers five USB ports with simultaneous charging. Should you buy it?
You might think it would be hard to get overly excited about a keyboard. I understand, I felt the same. But then I tried out the iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard and my opinion changed. I've used various portable/mini keyboards before and they have been -- almost without exception -- utterly awful.
The iClever Portable Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard gets off to a great start; it has a lot of things in its favor. The metal construction gives it a solid, robust feel and a great semi-industrial look. The aluminum has neatly curved edges, but at the same time it feels wonderfully brutalist. The real killer feature, however, is the foldability of the peripheral which means beautifully sizable keys are available for typing on.
More and more devices now either connect through, or are powered by, USB connections which means you can easily find yourself running out of ports. This is especially true of the latest slimline ultrabook type systems.
Adding a USB hub is an easy way of expanding your number of ports and these latest offerings from Inateck give you a choice of solutions as well as a handy way of accessing wired networks.
Motorola’s Moto range for 2015 includes two variants on the standard Moto X. The Moto X Style is focussed on how it looks, and this phone the Moto X Play is aimed at providing a good entertainment experience.
To that end it has a large 5.5-inch 1080p screen, a standard version of Android and a 3,630 mAh battery that promises plenty of use between charges. There’s a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage (a 32GB version is available too), plus 21 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras. Naturally it’s 4G and has dual-band Wi-Fi.
At the very top of the Acer range are the Aspire V Nitro gaming laptops. Slotting in below those, the workaday Aspire V models deliver decent performance and smart design at a price that’s more attractive to business and home users who want a fast machine without needing, or wanting to spend a lot of money on, a premium gaming rig.
The latest release is part of the V15 range, meaning it has a 15-inch screen, though rather confusingly it’s called a V3 -- V3-574G-51ZI to give it its full official title -- so what does it have to offer?