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…)

OnePlus One Review

The OnePlus One has grabbed more headlines over the past few months than almost any other phone outside of an iPhone. Some of them have been good, many have been, well, not so good. The phone boasts incredibly good specs with an equally good price point, yet the world isn’t able to buy one because OnePlus can’t seem to get their sh*t together. Apologies for the strong words, but this phone had the potential to be a game changer, yet here we are months after it was announced and the general public still cannot buy it.

We were lucky enough to pick one up because this is what we do for a living, but that also made this review quite difficult. You see, we have had our OnePlus for almost two months now and have absolutely enjoyed every minute with it. The problem is, reviewing it seemed silly if none of you could buy one for yourselves after we said our piece. Thankfully, more invites are about to open and a handful of readers have begun asking for this review in case they get the chance to buy one.

So, here you go – this is our OnePlus One review.  (more…)

LG G3 Review

Quad HDs. Lasers. Floating Arcs. Q all the things. LG has filled its new G3 flagship with so many keywords and flashy marketing terms that you can’t help but give it a look. And you know what, you would be a fool not to give it more than a look.

LG has slowly been rebuilding its reputation over the last couple of years, partly with the help of Google and the Nexus brand, but also thanks to last year’s G2 and some of its recently released tablets. The Korean company has even tried to become the alternative to Samsung and those looking for something different. LG wants to be taken seriously, so they are playing with design ideas (rear buttons), testing out new materials (self-healing backs), and of course, pushing out new display types often (think of the curved panel in the G Flex).

The LG G3 feels like the culmination of all that LG has worked for. It introduces new technologies, its accompanying marketing plan is taking direct shots at Samsung, and they finally have people truly excited about one of their products. It’s time to take a long look at whether or not LG has ultimately succeeded.

This is our LG G3 review.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The first half of the last two years has been all about the competition between HTC and Samsung’s new flagships. This year, the battle became testier than ever thanks to HTC calling out Samsung for what it perceived to be a lack of innovation and the continued use of plastics in its Galaxy S5. While you could argue that HTC is either wrong or right, there is no denying the continued success of all things Samsung, with the Galaxy S5 likely only continuing the trend.

We aren’t necessarily going to try to settle the battle between these two (that is up for you to decide in the end), but after having reviewed HTC’s new One (M8), it is now time for us to share our thoughts on Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Tim and I have spent three weeks with the phone, so as you can imagine, we feel like we have a pretty good grasp on everything it has to offer. And just like with our M8 review, we have tag-teamed this one.

This is our Galaxy S5 review.  (more…)

HTC One (M8) Review

HTC is back this year, with a new flagship device titled the One (M8). Last year’s One (M7) was mostly well-received, as the company announced they would be refocusing more on creating the best device possible and stepping away from over-the-top marketing and flooding of the market with mid-range devices. The company wants the consumer to do the marketing for them, and as we all know, word of mouth is by far the strongest form of advertising.

In 2014, major devices are on the roadmap from all of the top OEMs such as Samsung, Apple, Motorola, and LG. If HTC wants to remain competitive, it is without question that the One (M8) would need to blow the socks off of anyone who touched it. It needs the right specs, the right features, and the right build quality.

While the company was able to do most of these things, the M8 did fall somewhat short in a few categories, but if you have been paying attention, there is no shortage of people willing to argue that the One (M8) is one of the greatest smartphones ever made.

Both Tim and I have had more than a week with the One (M8), so we have tag-teamed our full review, going over the pros and cons of the device.

This is our HTC One (M8) review.  (more…)

LG G Flex Review

The hype train is always fully fueled when it comes to new phones, and with a new year beginning, the hype is bigger than ever. LG announced the G Flex  late last year right after Samsung announced the Galaxy Round, a device which we thought looked like a complete abomination. The G Flex however is curved the correct way, supposedly allowing for a perfect fit on your face (or butt), while still delivering a phablet experience for those who enjoy large phones. It was initially introduced for international markets, but has now come to the U.S. for 2014.

We had hands-on with the G Flex at CES, but now that we have had one in our own possession for about a week, we can give a detailed opinion this monster of a device. Is the curved display just a fad? Are back buttons here to stay? Is 720p a viable option for a device with a 6″ display in 2014? Let’s find out together.

This is Droid Life’s review of the LG G Flex.  (more…)

Quick Review: HTC One Max

From a consumer standpoint, HTC launched the One Max to counter Samsung’s booming Galaxy Note line and enter into the “phablet” market. The only issue is that when entering a market completely controlled by Samsung and its marketing teams, you are fighting a constant uphill battle to gain traction. The One Max takes its looks from the HTC One, a device we did enjoy much earlier this year in our reviews. Although, with the Max’s 5.9″ display and extremely heavy body, is it possible that HTC designed themselves completely out of the race against other large devices?

The device has been on the market now for almost one month exactly, so we won’t be dropping a complete full-on review, but did want to touch on the essentials and go over our thoughts on HTC’s latest. Plus, it has a fingerprint scanner.

Here’s our quick review of the One Max.  (more…)

Nexus 5 Review

The Nexus 5 and Moto X are without a doubt the most hyped phones of 2013 for us. We certainly covered the HTC One and Galaxy S4 aplenty, but as we inched close to the launch of both Google and Motorola’s new phones, it’s all anyone could talk or think about. We were often greeted on unrelated stories in the comments with, “Not about the Nexus 5, not news.”

So as I received my Nexus 5 (white “panda” with 32GB of storage), it seemed only fitting that I had to put down my Moto X for a bit. As painful as that was, I told you months ago that this would happen. As good as a phone may be, including the Moto X, our job is to bring you Google’s view of Android, and nothing does that better than a Nexus.  (more…)