BlackBerry Priv Review

The BlackBerry Priv is, in my opinion, the most important phone of the year. That’s not something I say lightly. The Priv gets so many things right and has a uniquely beneficial experience that you can’t get on any other device, but like every other phone there are flaws. Is the Priv the phone of the year or just another nail in BlackBerry’s (née RIM) coffin?

This is our BlackBerry Priv review. (more…)

HTC One A9 Review

The HTC One A9 has received a lot of attention for looking a lot like the iPhone, and rightfully so. It looks a lot like the iPhone, but there’s a lot more to the phone than that. This isn’t an iPhone running Android; it’s an HTC phone through and through. The A9 feels like the culmination of everything that HTC began to do back in 2013 with the release of the original HTC One (M7). HTC has come a long way since then and it shows in the A9.

This is our HTC One A9 review. (more…)

Why the Blackberry Priv Matters [Opinion]

I’ve never been a Blackberry fan. Before I ended up getting an HTC Touch Pro 2 I had considered getting a Blackberry Storm because Verizon was offering a buy one get one free deal. I was too young to know that was a bad sign, but eventually I ended up doing more research before landing on the Touch Pro 2.

Since then I’ve continued to do what most smartphone fans have done regarding Blackberry; I’ve ignored them until a press release reminds me that they haven’t been sold to someone or finally closed up shop. I remember laughing to myself that the company who prided itself on having a stellar email experience (which, by the way, was not the case if you were a business that used Microsoft Exchange) didn’t have an email application for their first tablet. I remember reading about how the company was so baffled that Apple had made an honest to God smartphone that they thought Apple had faked the whole thing until they could get their hands on one. Blackberry has always been a joke to me, but the Priv is different.

Thoughts on the Galaxy Note 5 from an iPhone User [Opinion]

Late last year I was sitting in my car playing with my tiny iPhone 5c. I had just finished reviewing the Sony Z3v and it dawned on me. I missed Android. I started messaging with everyone at Droid Life and within a few minutes I decided I was going to switch to Android. I have an upgrade coming up in October so I figured I would upgrade to the Note 5 since it would be the latest phone out then. Then I got to spend some time with the Galaxy S6. It was a great phone with some shortcomings, but surely the Note 5 would be the phone for me.

More time passed and I continued to evaluate. Would the Note 5 meet my needs? Can I live with a more advanced OS that doesn’t get apps or updates first? Can I give up iMessage for SMS? I had lots of questions and few answers. Read on to get my impressions of the Galaxy Note 5 and what I decided.  (more…)

DL Favorites: Gallery Apps

DLF, or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite gallery apps.

Even though we call the tiny computers in our pockets “phones,” I like to think of them as communications devices. I use my “phone” almost exclusively as a means of communication. Sometimes I use my voice, sometimes text, sometimes I’m receiving messages from others, and a lot of the time I’m taking, viewing, and sending pictures. Below are my favorite apps to view and organize my pictures and videos. (more…)

Near Future Consternation [Opinion]

A lot of people seem to be upset that the OnePlus 2 does not have NFC. As we all know, OnePlus likes to talk a big game. They are the ones who “#neversettle,” after all. But how can this flagship killer actually kill flagships without NFC? Why not just include it?

Here’s the thing – Near Field Communication, or NFC as the kids are calling it these days, simply doesn’t matter in 2015. I want you to come with me on a journey back to yesteryear. No, literally, think back to 2014. Everyone thought that once Apple added NFC to the iPhone, NFC would become a big deal. The teens would be bumping their phones to exchange contacts, every single store in America would support mobile payments, and all of the big issues plaguing our country would be solved.

Well, it’s been almost a year since NFC was added to the iPhone exclusively for contactless payments and you can still hardly use it anywhere. Even major businesses like Starbucks are continuing to use barcodes for payment like it’s 2011. And it isn’t just Apple’s problem. While Android phones have been able to pay for things with Google Wallet and myriad of other services, most stores still want a credit card. (more…)

Pebble Time Review

The Pebble Time is an important product for a few reasons, but the most important is that it is the only serious contender for the space on your wrist besides Android Wear and Apple Watch. For most users, Android Wear and Apple Watch make more sense on their respective platforms. Really, the only reason the Pebble Time exists is because the original Pebble did a lot of what many users wanted in a smartwatch far before Android Wear and Apple Watch were a thing nerds argued about and normal humans looked at briefly as they passed through their mall.

Now that Android Wear and Apple Watch are here, though, can Pebble stay relevant with the Time?

This is our Pebble Time review. (more…)

Why is Android Still the Second Platform Developers Work On?

Every year we see the same promise: this is the year that Android-first development will become a reality. At the same time we see big companies like Instagram repeatedly introduce new apps that are iOS-only. Android has been able to tout more market share than iOS for quite some time, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into app developers releasing Android apps at the same time as their iOS counterparts, much less Android-first. Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking with developers and researching why this is still the case.