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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
It’s not that we are too good for them or don’t see their importance, but we typically don’t review mid-range Android phones like the Moto G (3rd gen). We tend to stick to the high-end guys, the ones that most of our readers get all sorts of opinionated about after flocking toward with wads of cash. But there is something different about the new Moto G. Not only is it the 3rd version of Motorola’s most successful phone of all time, but it’s also impossible to ignore. This is a sub-$200 phone that bests many $400 and above phones in performance, battery life, and style.
Since receiving a review unit a couple of weeks back, I’ve spent enough time with and without the new Moto G (3rd gen) to share some final thoughts. And while this is a step out of our comfort zone, I think you’ll see why after reading this that we decided this one was worth a deeper look.
This is our Moto G (3rd gen) review. (more…)
What happens when you take the best Android phone you can buy today and toss a protective shell on it, enlarge its battery, and make it waterproof? You get the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, an AT&T exclusive that is aimed at the “active” crowd who enjoys working out, has a job that requires a tougher phone, or those who want a little extra protection around a phone without giving up flagship-level specs and experiences.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks with the Galaxy S6 Active, taking it on daily runs and a couple of hikes, to try and put it through what I would consider to be “active” tests. I also used it as a daily phone for checking email, messaging, cruising YouTube, playing music, and running my favorite apps, which is the way most will use it, since most of us aren’t working out or smashing our phones with hammers 19 hours a day. I didn’t drive over it with a car or throw it off of a building, because well, that’s just stupid. I used it like an active person would.
This is my Galaxy S6 Active review. (more…)
As we keep getting deeper into 2015, more flagship devices are being released by all of the big OEM players, and soon, folks will be able to grab the G4 from LG. Even though we don’t have an official date from the company yet, we were fortunate enough to grab a review unit from LG while attending the unveiling event in New York City and have spent the last couple of weeks testing out its every feature, to see if it can compete with the likes of HTC and Samsung.
The G4 has stiff competition in 2015, mainly from Samsung and its new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge devices. The S6 and S6 Edge have been met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, stating its camera and display can’t be beat, but after spending almost two weeks with this phone, it is quite apparent that the G4 can easily carve out a space for itself in the ever-changing Android ecosystem.
This is our LG G4 review. (more…)