Moto 360 (2nd Gen) Review

The original Moto 360 was the best smartwatch released in 2014. It had the looks of a modern yet traditional timepiece, along with the feature set of the current vision of a smartwatch, all at a price that wasn’t insulting to consumers understanding that it was a first gen product. Sure, it had its faults, but in the end, when you are talking about a fashion accessory that also has smarts, it’s all about aesthetics – and the Moto 360 was king by a mile.

With the release of the Moto 360 (2nd gen), Motorola had a lot to live up to, but they also had a chance to improve upon last year’s best watch. We all know that this year’s watch needed a major bump in processor to help in performance, so Moto took care of that. They also introduced size options, because not everyone wants to lug around a tank on their wrist. They even tweaked the design a bit, making it more classic looking than ever, while offering even more custom options through their Moto Maker software. Overall, the new 360 is upgraded in all of the right places.

So is it still king? Let’s find out in our Moto 360 (2nd gen) review.  (more…)

OnePlus 2 Review

OnePlus launched a fantastic phone last year in the OnePlus One. It was even good enough to earn a spot in our list of the top 5 smartphones of 2014. That’s saying something. So, of course, when OnePlus began the #hype for the OnePlus 2, many in the Android community seemed genuinely excited.

Fueling a bit of this excitement was OnePlus insisting that the device would be much, much easier to acquire. Before launch, the company claimed it would be 30-50x easier to purchase the device, even though they were still relying on an invite system to purchase it. Along with the claims of better availability, OnePlus also called this phone the “2016 flagship killer.” Not 2015, but 2016, as in, this phone should be better than next year’s phones too.

While the simple fact still remains that it is very difficult to purchase this phone, and it is no one but OnePlus’ fault, we aren’t even sure if this phone is even a 2015 flagship killer, let alone a 2016 killer.

This is our OnePlus 2 review.  (more…)

Moto X Pure Edition Review

The Moto X Pure Edition has a lot to live up to around these parts. For two straight years, its predecessors have grabbed the “Phone of the Year” crown in our end of year top 5 list. That’s a pretty big deal when you consider all of the phones that come out each year. Obviously, we love the approach Motorola takes to Android phones and so if you have used any of the Moto X products, you probably aren’t surprised that they won even with a couple of troublesome areas (their cameras, for one) that certainly weren’t best-in-class. Motorola gets Android – that’s about the best way I can explain their phones.

So what about this year’s model? Can this phone 3-peat with its incredible combination of specs, price, and availability? Well, I’d be spoiling this whole review if I told you that now before we even get into this. What I will say is that we’ve spent a good week+ with a custom designed Moto X Pure Edition and have a ton of opinions to share about it.

This is our Moto X Pure Edition review.  (more…)

Thoughts on the Galaxy Note 5 from an iPhone User [Opinion]

Late last year I was sitting in my car playing with my tiny iPhone 5c. I had just finished reviewing the Sony Z3v and it dawned on me. I missed Android. I started messaging with everyone at Droid Life and within a few minutes I decided I was going to switch to Android. I have an upgrade coming up in October so I figured I would upgrade to the Note 5 since it would be the latest phone out then. Then I got to spend some time with the Galaxy S6. It was a great phone with some shortcomings, but surely the Note 5 would be the phone for me.

More time passed and I continued to evaluate. Would the Note 5 meet my needs? Can I live with a more advanced OS that doesn’t get apps or updates first? Can I give up iMessage for SMS? I had lots of questions and few answers. Read on to get my impressions of the Galaxy Note 5 and what I decided.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Review

No time for the pageantries, let’s cut straight to the chase. The Galaxy Note 5 is the best Note device Samsung has released up to this date. Featuring a completely reworked design in addition to top tier specifications, if a big phone is something you want, it is likely you will end up purchasing the Galaxy Note 5. But hey, don’t be so surprised, this is a very good choice you are making.

A redesigned exterior is something we have seen coming, thanks to the massive overhaul we saw in the Galaxy S lineup, and frankly, it is super nice. With the combination of a sexy look, ridiculously awesome display, superior camera, and a few added benefits of TouchWiz, the Galaxy Note 5 is “Phone of the Year” material in its purest form. But enough with the small talk, let’s get into it.

This is our Galaxy Note 5 review.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Review

After having spent the last couple of months with a Samsung Galaxy S6 in hand, you would think that setting out to review the newly released Galaxy S6 Edge+ would be easy. And it is, actually.

People have joked since this phone’s unveiling that it’s nothing more than a blown up version of the original Galaxy S6 Edge, and as it turns out, that’s really all this is. It’s a Galaxy S6 Edge with a bigger display, battery, and more shine. Otherwise, it’s got the same set of specs for the most part, but it feels slightly different in hand. So yeah, reviewing a phone that’s a bigger version of a previous phone really is as easy as you would think that it would be.

With that in mind, understand that this is going to be somewhat short because well, we’ve already said just about everything there is to say about this phone in two separate reviews here and here. If you haven’t yet, be sure to read both of those, then come back to get the specifics about the differences from those phones to this one.

This is our Galaxy S6 Edge+ review.  (more…)

DL Favorites: Gallery Apps

DLF, or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite gallery apps.

Even though we call the tiny computers in our pockets “phones,” I like to think of them as communications devices. I use my “phone” almost exclusively as a means of communication. Sometimes I use my voice, sometimes text, sometimes I’m receiving messages from others, and a lot of the time I’m taking, viewing, and sending pictures. Below are my favorite apps to view and organize my pictures and videos. (more…)

“What’s Android M Gonna be?” – We Might Find Out Very Soon.

What does the “M” in Android M stand for? WE DON’T KNOW. But we might soon! Googlers Nat and Lo gave us this fun little jingly video this morning, teasing that we might find out within the next week. The description under the clip says “Here’s a little musical hint about our next episode,” so since they tend to do weekly videos, next week is a good bet.

Keep in mind that if they are preparing the next name and statue, that also means that stable Android M will be out, or at least the final preview. Then we move towards the release of new Nexus devices and a whole new wave of updates that will take months and months to arrive on your favorite phones. Fun!

My official guess is Marshmallow.

What’s yours?  (more…)