Samsung Galaxy Alpha Unboxing (AT&T)

When Samsung first introduced the Galaxy Alpha back in August, we weren’t exactly sure what to make of it. Was Samsung trying to take on the iPhone by using premium materials like metal? Was Samsung trying to set a new standard for their design going forward? Were they trying to enter Sony’s “Compact” arena, where you have a smaller device that still packs mostly high-end specs? They may have been trying to do a little of all that.  (more…)

BREAKING: Verizon Cancels Plans for Network Optimization of Unlimited Data Users

That title says just about all you need to know. Verizon has informed us that they are canceling plans to move forward with Network Optimization of unlimited data customers. In other words, Verizon is not going to slow down the data connection of customers with unlimited data plans who fall in the top 5% of the carrier’s data users. Instead, Verizon is going to focus on delivering exceptional mobile service to every customer, while continuing to work with industry players to make sure that  you and I are receiving “world-class” mobile service.

The statement Verizon provided to us can be read in full below.  (more…)

Does the Moto 360 Really Have Dramatically Better Battery Life Now? Yes.

On Monday morning, Moto 360 owners couldn’t help but take to the internet to talk about the “dramatic” increases they were now seeing with their smartwatches thanks to an update that rolled out to the masses on Friday. Even Tim pinged me that morning to mention that the 360 was a “bossy little watch now” because of the battery life he had witnessed over the weekend. After posting about the potentially amazing news, our comments filled up with others who were experiencing similarly extended single-life charges. Some were even considering switching Ambient Mode back on. Seriously.  (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Unboxing

Sony may not have a presence at all in the US mobile market anymore, but within the last year, they really grabbed my attention thanks to their introduction of the Compact series. While other manufacturers continue to release flagship phones followed by mini, low-spec, just-because-it’s-small-it-has-to-be-cheap, variations of those flagships, Sony is taking the opposite approach.

They first introduced the Xperia Z1 Compact as the still-powerful-but-not-oversized version of the flagship, Xperia Z1, earlier in 2014. It was a solid little phone with high-end specs that I tested for a good month or so before moving onto the heavy-hitters released by Samsung and HTC for the year. But then just over a month ago, Sony came back with the Xperia Z3 Compact, the compact, yet equally as powerful and impressive version of their newest flagship, the Xperia Z3. Don’t call it a “mini.” This is by all means a flagship phone packed into the body of a much smaller device than we are used to seeing. As a fan of the original Compact, I couldn’t help myself and picked up the new one too.  (more…)

How to: Upgrade Phones at Verizon and Keep Unlimited Data

Continuing to hold on to your unlimited data plan at Verizon is becoming increasingly more difficult, assuming you want to upgrade to a new phone at some point. The options to upgrade are disappearing quicker than we can count, but there are still a handful of ways for you to pick up a new phone and keep living life without data caps. Unfortunately, the options that include discounted phones or reasonable monthly payments are either incredibly limited now or gone altogether. If you want to upgrade and keep unlimited data, your best bet is to pay full retail in most cases.

Since we haven’t talked about the methods for keeping unlimited data on Verizon in a while, we wanted to do that today. Many of you are considering your next phone as we head into a busy holiday season, so knowing your options can’t hurt the situation.

By our count, there are six methods for keeping unlimited data. Here they are.  (more…)

iPhone 6 First Impressions – Yes, Really.

For years, we have debated whether or not we should do an iPhone review of some sort. And for years, we always decided against it for one reason or another. But this year, with iOS 8 reinventing all of our favorite Android features, along with a reinvention of the big phone (“bigger than bigger,” people) through the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we thought that it was finally time. So yes, we have an iPhone 6 and we are going to review it.  (more…)

Moto X Review (2nd Generation)

Last year’s Moto X earned “Top Android Phone of 2013” honors from our staff even though it had some pretty major flaws. With its below-average 720p display and mostly-terrible camera, the overall package still bested the rest of smartphones in the game, thanks to its perfect size, Moto Maker customizations, and incredible software add-ons from Motorola. So what happens when Motorola takes what it created from last year’s best Android phone and tries to improve it in all areas, especially those two we just mentioned? You get the Moto X (2nd generation).

With generation two, Motorola has gone with a bigger 1080p display, because that’s what their research showed that people want. They also tossed in a 13MP camera, premium metal frame, and added options like Leather to Moto Maker, but managed to keep a phone that looks and acts very similar to last year’s model. So did Motorola get it right again? Let’s find out.

This is our Moto X (2nd generation) review.  (more…)