NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller Review

With the Android platform continuing its growth, mobile app and game developers, as well as hardware manufacturers, are all looking to slice themselves off a piece of the pie. NVIDIA, known for their long history in desktop computing, has always seemed highly focused on mobile gaming on Android, going back as far as the release of the Tegra 2 processor which powered the DROID X2.

Now, NVIDIA has the Tegra K1 quad-core processor, capable of running PC grade games on mobile devices. Not only are mobile processors stronger than ever, but the hardware game has changed significantly in the past few years, with the company releasing the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller as of this morning.

Both devices broaden the newly-named “SHIELD Family,” which also includes last year’s SHIELD Portable, previously known as just SHIELD. This new tablet and controller are NVIDIA’s commitment to make mobile gaming on Android an experience like you have never had on Android. I’m not sure anyone could have imagined when we all got our first DROID devices back in 2009, that this is where we were headed in terms of mobile gaming. Below, we take a look at NVIDIA’s new Android-powered gaming offerings, putting them to the ultimate Android fanboy gaming test.

This is our SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller review.
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Dear Carriers, If You are Going to Take Features From Phones to Make Money, Give Us Options to Get Them Back

Last week, we featured a deal for an unlocked LG G3 that could be snagged on eBay for $500. We picked one up because international versions of phones not only seem to receive updates much quicker than their counterparts here in the States (a topic for another day), but this is the model of the G3 that features wireless charging out of the box, something US carriers (Verizon and AT&T in particular) removed so that they could make extra money off of customers like you and me with accessories that add features like this on.

Once the device arrived, I slapped it on the Qi wireless charger that never leaves my desk, just to test the functionality on a G3. Sure enough, it worked without hassle straight out of the box. I didn’t need to slap a new cover on or attach a case, it just charges as if the feature is built-in, which it is. While this should have brought immediate joy, it also brought on a substantial amount of anger even quicker. Why? Because carriers in the US have robbed us of features like this for years to help them make an extra buck or two. And while I’m fine with companies trying to get richer (I’m sure we all would do the same), the way they go about it frustrates the hell out of me. What I mean is that if you are going to dumb down my smart device, so that you can charge me for accessories to make it smarter, give me some damn choices.  (more…)

Starting October 1, Verizon Will Include Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in “Network Optimization”

Back in September of 2011, Verizon introduced a new initiative called Network Optimization that only affected unlimited data customers. What is Network Optimization? Well, it’s a little bit like throttling in that Verizon can slow down your data connection if you meet a list of factors, because they don’t want you to ruin the data experience for the rest of their customers.

The thing is, up until now, Network Optimization only affected the 3G connection of those with unlimited data plans. Since most of you are all on 4G LTE now, it really didn’t matter much. But according to sources of ours, along with at least one reader who has been notified of the change, LTE will become a part of the “optimization” starting October 1. Like before, this only affects unlimited data customers.

This is what we know.  (more…)

OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus One has grabbed more headlines over the past few months than almost any other phone outside of an iPhone. Some of them have been good, many have been, well, not so good. The phone boasts incredibly good specs with an equally good price point, yet the world isn’t able to buy one because OnePlus can’t seem to get their sh*t together. Apologies for the strong words, but this phone had the potential to be a game changer, yet here we are months after it was announced and the general public still cannot buy it.

We were lucky enough to pick one up because this is what we do for a living, but that also made this review quite difficult. You see, we have had our OnePlus for almost two months now and have absolutely enjoyed every minute with it. The problem is, reviewing it seemed silly if none of you could buy one for yourselves after we said our piece. Thankfully, more invites are about to open and a handful of readers have begun asking for this review in case they get the chance to buy one.

So, here you go – this is our OnePlus One review.  (more…)

LG G3 Review

Quad HDs. Lasers. Floating Arcs. Q all the things. LG has filled its new G3 flagship with so many keywords and flashy marketing terms that you can’t help but give it a look. And you know what, you would be a fool not to give it more than a look.

LG has slowly been rebuilding its reputation over the last couple of years, partly with the help of Google and the Nexus brand, but also thanks to last year’s G2 and some of its recently released tablets. The Korean company has even tried to become the alternative to Samsung and those looking for something different. LG wants to be taken seriously, so they are playing with design ideas (rear buttons), testing out new materials (self-healing backs), and of course, pushing out new display types often (think of the curved panel in the G Flex).

The LG G3 feels like the culmination of all that LG has worked for. It introduces new technologies, its accompanying marketing plan is taking direct shots at Samsung, and they finally have people truly excited about one of their products. It’s time to take a long look at whether or not LG has ultimately succeeded.

This is our LG G3 review.  (more…)

Video: LG G3 vs. Galaxy S5 vs. HTC One (M8)

Our LG G3 review is on the way, don’t worry, but as we put our final touches on it, we wanted to continue showing you all there is to see about this incredible phone. We gave you our 25+ tips and tricks for the LG G3 yesterday, ran through a series of features on Monday, and now have a better comparison of the device to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8) to show off.

At this time, these are the three flagships of the moment. Sure, the new Moto X is still on the way, as is the Note 4, but for now, if you are considering a smartphone purchase, these are the three phones you would look at.  (more…)

LG G3: 25+ Tips and Tricks

Each time a new flagship device is released, we have tried to make a habit of putting together 25 or so tips and tricks to help new owners of the device get the most out of it. Since the LG G3 is by all means the ultimate flagship of the moment, we wanted to give it the same treatment.

In this video, we cover everything from the simplest of navigation tricks to utilizing the advanced features built-in to the G3. The video is 15-minutes of must-see tips for new G3 owners. If you want to learn to use Knock Code, get the most out of your quick toggles, quickly access Dual Window/QSlide/QuickMemo, use your phone with one hand, customize the navigation area, and take phone calls without ever leaving the app you are in, you should watch this.

Once you are finished, let us (and the DL community) in on any other tips and tricks we might have missed.  (more…)

LG G Watch Review

Android Wear, Google’s new wearable platform, is now available for use in the form of the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch. Tim already reviewed the Gear Live, so it’s now my turn to weigh in with thoughts on this other option.

In short, Android Wear and the G Watch offer what I would consider to be first generation, almost-beta-like experiences. The G Watch is one of the first Android Wear devices ever made and Android Wear is so fresh and new that we don’t really know where it will be in two months from now, let alone a year or two years. This is one of those products that you buy if you have to own all things Google, are an early adopter, or are a developer who plans to explore the potential of Android Wear. The rest of us are probably better off waiting to see where things shake out.

Below, you will find more thoughts on those ideas, along with a full G Watch video review.  (more…)