Moto X Pure Edition (2015) First Impressions and Tour!

What does Motorola do to try and upstage the madness that was OnePlus’ unveiling of the OnePlus 2, yesterday? They gave us three phones! Or four. Or…we’re all confused. One thing is for sure, Motorola is releasing a US flagship phone called the Moto X Pure Edition, which is known everywhere else in the world as the Moto X Style (see, confusing!).  (more…)

OnePlus 2: Software Tour!

We’re continuing on here with this massive barrage of OnePlus 2 posts by taking a look at the phone’s software. As we mentioned in our hardware tour video, the OnePlus 2 runs OnePlus’ new OxygenOS 2.0, which has all sorts of upgrades over the 1.0 version that came on the OnePlus One. We actually joked a bit about v1.0 not really being much of a skin, but this 2.0 has plenty of goodies to help it stand out.

Think of the way Motorola does Android and you will have a pretty good idea of how OnePlus approached Android with this phone and v2.0. The skin comes off as almost pure stock Android, but OnePlus added in gestures, all sorts of controls over the phone’s navigation buttons (like long presses and double taps), icon pack support, a dark theme, a home page called Shelf (with recently used apps and contacts), and more.

Give the video a quick look and then let us know if you like this approach to Android better or Motorola’s.  (more…)

OnePlus 2 vs. OnePlus One: Quick Comparison

This day wouldn’t be complete without a quick comparison of the OnePlus 2 to the original OnePlus One, would it? We have that for you below.

In this short video, we didn’t spend time running through benchmarks or showing you the major software differences (we’ll save that for our review) from one phone to the next. Instead, we really just wanted to show you a side-by-side hardware and design comparison to get the ball rolling.

You can see that these phones still look very similar, but the OnePlus 2 has been given the premium treatment with a metal frame, some added weight, an upgraded camera, and a fingerprint scanner that doubles as a home button. Next to each other, the untrained eye may not be able to tell the difference, but there are indeed plenty of changes for this year’s OnePlus phone.

OnePlus One owners, is this enough of an upgrade?  (more…)

OnePlus 2: Hardware Tour!

Now that you have seen the OnePlus 2 unveiling event come to a close and probably read through our announcement post and official specs list, it’s time to see the phone in action. We had a chance to play with the device for a lengthy period of time today and have put together all sorts of videos for you to feast your eyes upon. Our OnePlus 2 coverage is here.

In the video below, we walk through the hardware in hand, talk specs, how it feels with that sturdy metal frame, and preview the next post, which is our software tour.

If you want the short version of the video, I’ll just say this – OnePlus seems to have made a really, really nice phone here at an incredible price. I can’t wait to get more time with it.  (more…)

Comparison: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Sprint Data Plan Pricing

We get asked often to breakdown the costs associated with each major US wireless carrier in some form of a comparison. The task is not exactly simple, since each carrier uses its own tricks, sets of fees, data packages, and random charges to come up with a monthly bill that pads their pocket. It’s not all that straight forward, which is probably exactly how the carriers prefer it to be. They probably don’t want someone like us (or you) finding ways to quickly compare their plans to the competition and then making an educated decision on which is the best for you. Still, we gave it a shot. Well, we at least tried to break it all down into a simple comparison, one that is going to include more asterisks than you will probably know what to do with.  (more…)

Video: Android M Preview 2 Overview!

Yesterday, Google gave us an updated Android M Developer Preview 2 that had a good handful of tweaks and changes that we pointed out through a series of Android M feature posts. But since we realize that not everyone wants to read through each individual post, we went ahead and put together a quick video of each of the changes in action.

In the clip below, you’ll see the tweaked app drawer, new Storage and Memory areas in settings, fully-featured System UI Tuner (with status bar options!), and how you can quickly delete screenshots. None of this stuff is game-changing or even ground-breaking, but it certainly adds some polish to that original preview.

Should we find other little goodies, we will be sure to pass along that info.  (more…)

I’m Using the Nexus 6 Right Now…and Dammit, I Kind of Like It

I reviewed the Nexus 6 some eight months ago now, saying that it was the best Nexus yet and that everyone should try to get their hands on it at some point to see if they could handle the whale-like size. That was one of the last times I spent serious time with “shamu,” because for me, this big of a phone is just too much to handle. And not only that, but the Galaxy S6 arrived shortly after, a phone that I still would consider to be the best phone you can currently buy.

Over the last couple of weeks, though, something happened to my T-Mobile Galaxy S6. It has become a total lagfest of a disaster that needs constant reboots and RAM wipes and task kills in order to function. I don’t know why this is happening, but I’m leaning towards blaming the Android 5.1.1 update that it received in mid-June. My unlocked Galaxy S6 that is still on 5.0.2 seems to be fine.

Because of the recent frustrations that the Galaxy S6 gods have pushed down upon me, I’ve found myself firing up a Nexus 6. I couldn’t tell you what brought me this way instead of to the G4 or Moto X or variety of other phones on my desk (that’s a lie, I’m about to tell you why), but this is where I’m at. And you know what, as big of a sea creature as this may be, I’m kind of liking it at the moment. Like, really liking it.  (more…)

T-Mobile’s JUMP! On Demand Leasing Program: How It Actually Works

Smartphone leases seem to be the hot topic of the moment, thanks to a public battle between the CEOs of T-Mobile and Sprint. They also seem to be confusing to many, including those in this industry. What’s the difference between T-Mobile and Sprint leases? Do you own your phone or not on a lease? What happens at the end of your lease? Can you buy the phone or do you have to return it? How do upgrades work? Is a lease a good or bad thing? There is a lot to talk about here.

To try and make this all as simple as is possible, we are going to take some time to go through T-Mobile and Sprint’s lease plans, hopefully to give you some sort of comparison of the pros and cons of each. Since T-Mobile’s appears to be a decent deal for those who like to upgrade often, we’ll start there.  (more…)