After what I can only describe as a confusing 2015 for OnePlus, the upstart Chinese manufacturer is back for 2016 with another flagship phone. This time, though, the hypetrain has departed, there are no gimmicky feature trollouts per week, promises of it destroying 2017 phones are no where to be found, and that f*cking invite system that stayed around for far too long, might be gone for good. Oh, and that phone is the OnePlus 3, a phone that on paper, stacks up with the best without any major sacrifices and even has NFC. Yes, NFC is here.
I’ve spent the better part of the past three weeks with the OnePlus 3 in hand and can’t help but nod in appreciation or congratulation to OnePlus. There just aren’t any glaring issues with this phone, nor is OnePlus doing and saying a bunch of annoying things to turn us off. They, for lack of a better descriptor, seem to have done a great job. Let’s talk about it all in greater detail.
This is our OnePlus 3 review. (more…)
With the HTC 10, I get the feeling that HTC is looking for a fresh start. They are coming off of years in a row of bad smartphones, but seem to have a renewed vision or outlook now that they are a VR company. That’s only part-joke there, by the way, because I really do get the feeling that this has become a VR company who also makes phones. Just look at the lack of a big splashy press event, commercials, or other promotion for the phone outside of handing it off to a bunch of tech blogs and tweeting about their findings. And that’s not a bad thing, because HTC probably needed their focus adjusted into something other than the tough-to-compete-in smartphone market, in order to get back to making good phones again. The HTC 10, without spoiling too much, is without a doubt a really good phone.
We’ll dive into all of the details below, but HTC, with the 10, has done almost all of the things we look for in a smartphone, right. They trimmed up the software experience, will probably deliver updates to it faster than anyone else, built a phone that looks and feels equally as good, included almost all of the top tier specs, and even managed to deliver a very solid camera experience.
Let’s get into it. This is our HTC 10 review. (more…)
After Samsung finally took design seriously in 2015 by incorporating copious amounts of glass and metal into phones like the Galaxy S6, they left LG as one of the last major phone companies to still produce all-plastic flagships. LG caught some flack for it with the launch of the G4, so for 2016, they introduced the G5 as their first all-metal phone.
Along with the metal body, LG managed to keep their popular removable battery feature while attempting to usher in an era of modularity through phones, by offering up modules that could potentially add-on functionality on the fly. The idea could mean big things in the future, but the G5 and its couple of modules are here now. In other words, we are going to judge them today. LG also went with a dual-camera setup to give its users more flexibility when taking photos, a move that may have led to a questionable design.
I’ll say this, though, you’ve got to give it up to LG in the risk department because they certainly took some this time around. Did they pay off? Let’s find out.
This is our LG G5 review. (more…)
I reviewed the Galaxy S6 Edge last year, coming away impressed overall with Samsung’s design, camera, and display technology. There were a few shortcomings, such as battery life and the usefulness of the Edge Panel, but as Samsung announced when they introduced both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge, most of the problems I had with last year’s device have been addressed. There’s a bigger battery, they completely reworked Edge Panel, and even threw in water resistance and expandable storage as a bonus. On paper, this should be the ultimate phone.
I will say, the Galaxy S7 Edge is much like the Galaxy S7, so instead of diving deep into features that have already been touched on in Kellen’s review, I will attempt to primarily speak about features specific to the Galaxy S7 Edge. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty to talk about.
Here is our Galaxy S7 Edge review. (more…)
In 2015, Samsung finally took design seriously. By doing so, they created a line-up of Galaxy S and Note phones that featured metal frames and glass panels with jewel-like appearances, on top of next-level specs. The S6 series, along with the Note 5, were nothing short of amazing. They were all, without a doubt, phones that few could match up to not only in 2015, but maybe even beyond. It was the first time we were able to look at a phone (or phones) and realistically say, this phone might be better than phones released a year from now. OnePlus claimed they were making the 2016 flagship killer, but in reality, it was Samsung.
Now that we are in 2016 and Samsung’s first two flagship phones are out – the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge – one has to wonder if Samsung has bested their previous efforts? Or better yet – has Samsung done enough from last year to this year? After spending the past couple of weeks with the Galaxy S7, I can safely say that they certainly have in many ways. The Galaxy S7 fixes all of the issues we had with the Galaxy S6, yet still puts forth an even better overall design.
As I mentioned, I have had the regular S7 and am about to tell you all about it. If you were looking for the full Galaxy S7 Edge review, Tim will have that shortly. Edit: Our Galaxy S7 Edge review is now ready. You can read it here.
For now, this is our Samsung Galaxy S7 review. (more…)
The BlackBerry Priv is, in my opinion, the most important phone of the year. That’s not something I say lightly. The Priv gets so many things right and has a uniquely beneficial experience that you can’t get on any other device, but like every other phone there are flaws. Is the Priv the phone of the year or just another nail in BlackBerry’s (née RIM) coffin?
This is our BlackBerry Priv review. (more…)
I think it’s safe to say that LG’s G4 wasn’t exactly the smashing success the company had hoped for and so it makes sense that they would put together another offering to end 2015. At a time when everyone outside of Apple is struggling to find ways to make boatloads of money, releasing another phone just before the holiday season isn’t a bad move. And that’s what we have here with the LG V10.
The V10 is a phone very similar to the G4 on the inside, but on its outside LG has improved things dramatically. The phone is large, but it should be very durable with its steel reinforced sides and new Dura Skin cover. It’s also quite lovely looking, with its mix of industrial yet minimal aesthetic. Yes, I just called an LG phone “lovely looking.” (Hey, times are changing!) It even has a somewhat unique new feature that LG hopes will help it standout from a crowded market, and that’s a secondary front display with numerous features of its own.
But is this the phone that can push LG back up the leaderboard? Is it even a phone you should consider, knowing there are at least three or four other phones worth buying? Let’s find out.
This is our LG V10 review. (more…)
Verizon and Motorola partnered together yet again this year, giving us two devices in the DROID lineup for the holiday shopping season. We have the DROID Turbo 2 and DROID Maxx 2. The DROID Turbo 2 has a lot to highlight, including its Shatterproof display, as well as the ability to customize it through Moto Maker. The DROID Maxx 2, on the other hand, really does not have as many marquee features, with the exception of its large battery.
When compared to the DROID Turbo 2, no doubt, the DROID Maxx 2 is its little brother. It features a few mid range to high-end specs, coupled with a somewhat reasonable price when compared to current flagship models on the market. So, is the DROID Maxx 2 worth the nearly $400 price at full retail? Let’s go ahead and find out.
This is our DROID Maxx 2 review. (more…)