LG G Watch R Unboxing and Tour

The other round Android Wear smartwatch is now in house at DL HQ. Or as LG would put it – the only fully round smartwatch. That’s right, the LG G Watch R is here and already on wrist after we filmed a quick unboxing and first impressions video. With its use of premium materials and upgraded specs over the original G Watch, LG is aiming at Motorola’s round effort, the Moto 360. Can it stand up to what we consider to be the best Android Wear watch on the planet? Let’s start to find out.  (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

I love Sony’s current approach to smartphones. They start with a flagship phone that has top tier specs to compete with anyone. But then to compliment that phone and appease those of us who don’t like oversized phones, they release a smaller, “compact” version that doesn’t lack in any department. These “compact” phones are flagship-level devices, unlike the “mini” phones that LG and Samsung tend to release each year as alternatives to their own flagships.

As you all know, I can’t stand the trend of smartphones these days, which is to constantly make everything as big as possible. (No, folks, bigger is not always better.) Sony gets that. And this year, they are proving that by releasing the Xperia Z3 Compact, a smaller, but equally impressive version of the Xperia Z3.

The Compact line from Sony is not new to me, as I tested the Z1 Compact earlier this year for a month or so. All I can say after using both it and the Z3 Compact is that I wish more manufacturers would do similar things with smaller phones. They feel amazing in hand, can be used with one hand, and are a fantastic option. Let’s talk about this particular model in more detail.

This is our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Review

After being announced by Samsung, the Galaxy Alpha was a device we saw unexpected excitement for. Maybe it is the new design language Samsung implemented for the hardware, or the fact it features decent specs in a smaller package, but many people across the web seemed interested in the device, so we decided to pick one up and try it for ourselves.

Having spent my time with an iPhone 6 before the Galaxy Alpha, the smaller size was no big deal, as I was already accustomed to a display smaller than 5″. However, making that jump between iOS and Android was a weird one, as the operating systems are certainly very different from each other, but it felt great to be back on Android. Plus, given that a few in this industry labeled the Galaxy Alpha as an “iPhone Killer,” I was excited to see if the phone could live up to that hype.

This is our Galaxy Alpha review.  (more…)

A Video Tour of Google’s New Inbox by Gmail

Inbox is Google’s new take on email, but as many of you have already noticed, the app is a lot like Mailbox, a popular email app that helps make you more productive by turning your inbox into a task manager of sorts. Both are pretty awesome. Both are also very different ways of attacking email, though. To use either, you really need to look at your inbox in a different way, which for some of you, may be too much to ask.

Since we received an invite for Inbox, we decided that we should show you how it works. If you decide to take Inbox for a spin at some point (assuming invites become available in the near future), then we want you to know what you are getting yourself into. Because again, this isn’t the typical email setup where you receive all emails into your primary inbox, many of which fill up that inbox and make you feel like an unproductive slug.  (more…)

Video: Android 5.0 “Lollipop” Quick Tour

This morning, a close-to-final Android 5.0 “Lollipop” was released for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013), so as you can imagine, we flashed it immediately to start looking for new features, test out performance, and drool at all of the Material Design. While this isn’t technically “final,” all of its APIs are final, so this is likely the last preview we will see before over-the-air updates are made available in the coming weeks. One would hope that most of the early bugs have been squashed.

So, what are we looking at in terms of differences between this and the previous preview builds of Android L? Polish. So much polish. This new Android 5.0 preview build is so buttery smooth and fast, that I wish you could all take it for a spin. If you own a Nexus 5 or 7 (2013) you can, but the rest will have to wait a bit. And if you own either of those devices, this may be worth flashing, unlike the previous previews. In fact, this is me basically tell you to flash it now. You need to experience this.  (more…)

Yes, Verizon Will Carry the Nexus 6.

Shortly after Google and Motorola announced the Nexus 6, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, and T-Mobile all confirmed that they would carry the device. T-Mobile even gave us a date of November 12 and a full retail price of $649, which matched Google’s. But what about Verizon? They have remained quiet since Wednesday, leaving many of you with questions.

We reached out to Big Red today to see what we could find out and they confirmed to us that they would be carrying the Nexus 6(more…)

History of Nexus Phone Pricing – Why the High Price for the Nexus 6?

You are standing in a carrier store, staring at a mystery phone on a shelf that sits next to the Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3. Like those phones, it has top tier specs, including a 6-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 13MP camera with optical image stabilization, premium metal build, and is made by Motorola. It looks gorgeous and feels amazing in hand, even for a big device. Those other phones cost anywhere from $599 to $825 without a contract (depending on the carrier), or between $199 and $299 with one. After toying with all three phones for a few minutes, you decide that the mystery Motorola device might be the phone for you. So how much are you willing to pay for it? What if I told you that it was $649 without a contract? Would you be offended by that?  (more…)