OnePlus 3: First 10 Things You Should Do

Thanks to OnePlus’ stellar launch of the OnePlus 3, a number of you already have the device in hand and have spent most of the weekend with it. For those of you with your shiny new phone or for those of you with one still on the way, we’ve put together a little video today with 10 tips or suggestions for things you may want to consider doing out of the box.

We do this for all of the major flagship phones, but if you are new to the series, expect to see tips that remind you to setup the fingerprint reader on your phone or show you ways to get the most out of your display (turning on ambient, proximity modes; tweaking color balance). The tips here also talk through choosing between on-screen or capacitive navigation buttons, utilizing gestures, and launching the camera in various ways.

Here we go, here are the first 10 things to do with the OnePlus 3(more…)

Video: First Look at Android Apps on Chromebooks

As we noted this morning, Chrome OS 53 is rolling out to Chromebooks, bringing with it Google Play and Android apps. Three devices are scheduled to receive that access this month and the ASUS Chromebook Flip just so happens to be the first to go live. Since we have one in house, it’s only fitting that we take it for a spin to show you just how this whole Android-on-a-Chromebook thing is going to work.

Keep in mind that this is Chrome OS 53 in the developer channel and it is running on the Chromebook Flip, which isn’t exactly the most powerful of computers (2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Rockchip 3288-C). What I’m trying to say is that there will be bugs and slowness – lots of both. Not only that, but things aren’t going to be the smoothest or quickest just yet, since this is the first release and all. Still, this is pretty cool stuff.

In the video below, you’ll see how to get setup with Google Play on your supported Chromebook and take a tour of the store, install an app or two, and then enter a quick walk-through of apps and games up and running on the device.

Enjoy!  (more…)

OnePlus 3 Unboxing and Tour!

Hey, we have a OnePlus 3 in house! No, we don’t have a review yet, but that won’t stop us from diving into this device from the beginning and sharing that journey with you as it unfolds.

As a recap, the OnePlus 3 was announced yesterday and made available moments after that initial announcement. You can buy OnePlus’ latest flagship today for $399 and you may have it within a week (or less). That’s awesome, if you are already blown away by the 3 after reading early reviews. By all means, it ticks a lot of the boxes that smartphone nerds get excited about.

Since we just received our review unit from OnePlus and it came in special packaging, we thought we’d kick this off as we always do with a classic unboxing. During this clip, you’ll see what accessory are available, how the phone is packaged, and hear our initial impressions. Spoiler, they are good.

Enjoy!  (more…)

OnePlus Announces the OnePlus 3, Available Today for $399

The OnePlus 3 is now official, available starting today for $399. For that price, buyers get a device featuring a 5.5″ AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB of RAM, and much more. For anyone willing to try out the Loop VR experience, you can purchase the device starting right now, no invite required. If VR is not your thing, the phone will on sale via the web at 12PM PT (3PM ET).

Other specifications for the OnePlus 3 include a 16MP rear-facing camera, 8MP front-facing camera, fingerprint reader on the bottom chin, an Alert Slider, Dash Charge, as well as a 3,000mAh built-in battery. Dash Charge, OnePlus’ take on fast charging, gives a user 60% battery on only 30 minutes of charge. OnePlus also heard the cries of many, including NFC on the OnePlus 3, too.  (more…)

Video: Moto Z First Look and Hands-on

During Lenovo Tech World, we were able to go hands-on with all of the new products announced this morning. First, let’s go over the Moto Z, which is the standard flagship of the new lineup from Moto and Lenovo. You should already know the complete list of specs, but if you don’t, here’s a recap. The Moto Z features a 5.5″ QHD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera, 2,600mAh battery, USB Type-C fingerprint reader, and Android 6.0.1.

You will immediately notice that the phone is extremely thin. Measuring in at just 5.2mm, it’s one of the slimmest phones I have ever held in my hands. While it did make holding the device rather odd, I will say that the thinness was extremely attractive. While a bit bigger of a battery probably would have served users a bit better, there’s no denying that this is an intriguing smartphone.  (more…)

The Smartphone Industry Needs to Take New Chances, Like Motorola and LG are Doing With Modules

With Motorola on the verge of announcing its newest phone fit with modular capabilities and LG having just come off a an opening month or two where it introduced its take on a modular phone, I think it’s clear that smartphone makers have realized that in order to survive going forward, they need to do something new. It’s time to innovate again. It’s time to take chances, offer more value in new ways, make phones more than just phones, and move beyond the simple, slab smartphone that just gets the basics right. The smartphone world needs something new, something fresh. The last thing it needs are a bunch of devices that the average consumer can’t tell apart but seem to fit a tech media narrative of what they view as success or good.

Many of your favorite smartphone makers, outside of Samsung, are struggling and have been for years. Since the early gold rush to Android supremacy four and five years ago, the industry has matured, maybe even plateaued, and made it extremely difficult for anyone to succeed. Companies like Samsung and Apple are still doing quite well as they established dominance long ago and haven’t given it up, partially because they have massive marketing budgets, but also because they keep making great products that mean something to owners of them. For companies like Motorola and LG, they can’t compete with that reputation or marketing budget by just doing the same old thing. And that right there is why I’m glad that they are both taking chances by going this modular route. (more…)

Video: Android Wear 2.0 First Look and Tour!

During Google I/O last week, Google showed off Android Wear 2.0, the biggest update the platform has ever seen. They told us to expect it later this year on consumer devices, but did push out a developer preview to the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane LTE for those interested in getting their apps ready ahead of time. It’s also available for those of us who live on the bleeding, buggy edge of all things Android. Yep, that means we flashed 2.0 to a Huawei Watch to take it for a spin.  (more…)

Chromebooks Just Killed the Tablet

If you are at all considering an Android tablet purchase at the moment, feel free to stop. I say that because in a couple of weeks, Android apps and the Google Play store will arrive on select Chromebooks. By the end of the year, those same apps will arrive on dozens and dozens of additional Chromebooks at varying prices and in a variety of forms, some of which can emulate a tablet experience. This major move of Android apps onto Chromebooks from Google has all but eliminated the need for Android tablets to even exist.

Let me explain.  (more…)