Video: Google Allo First Look and Tour!

Google Allo launched last night and is fully available to almost everyone on Google Play at this point. We know that many of you have had a chance to install Allo (download here) and take it for a spin, but there are potentially just as many of you who are wondering if this is even worth your time. For those who are curious but not yet ready to make the jump, the 15-minute video tour of Allo we just put together should help.

Below, we walk through Allo from just after you’ve signed in to whether or not it is the app that could replace your current messaging choice. We dive into group chats, SMS integration (or lack thereof), show what happens when you send a message from Allo to someone who doesn’t have it, talk about multi-device support (spoiler: there isn’t any), and of course, spend time with Google Assistant both by itself and in conversations.

Allo.  (more…)

Video: Pixel Launcher First Look and Tour!

With the Pixel Launcher floating around for sideloading fun (download here), we installed it on a couple of devices and decided to take it for a quick spin on camera. This version feels quite final and polished and completely worth a deeper look now that it has changed names from Nexus to Pixel. For those who missed out on previous Nexus Launcher coverage, now would be a good time to catch up with the name change going forward and new phones from Google under the Pixel name hopefully on the horizon.  (more…)

LG V20 First Look and Tour!

Oh the LG V20, the return of stuff and things. In all seriousness, after really learning to appreciate the “stuff and things” of the V10, last year’s surprise sensation, I’m pretty excited for the V20 even though Nexus Pixel phones are on the horizon and the Note 7 is/was available. The V20 is just a different kind of beast that focuses on media, which means dominating audio and video.

In my short time with the V20 earlier today, I certainly came away impressed by the overall package. I don’t know that anything is new here in the sense that none of this has been done before in a smartphone, but LG has packed in a bunch of pieces that other phones have used and created a single package.  (more…)

Video: Honor 8 Unboxing and Tour

With pre-sales still taking place for the Honor 8, what better time would there be to grace you with an unboxing and initial hands-on with the device? Listed at a price of $399 for the 32GB model, this is the first “flagship” device for the US from Honor, whose parent company happens to be Huawei.

For specs, the Honor 8 features a 5.2″ FHD display, HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor, 4GB of RAM, dual 12MP rear-facing cameras (like on the Huawei P9), USB Type-C (USB 2.0), LTE connectivity for GSM carriers, microSD support, 32GB onboard storage (or 64GB for $50 extra), and the Huawei Emotion UI 4.1 on top of Android 6.0 “Marshmallow.” (more…)

Watch Samsung Unveil the Gear S3 Right Here!

At 9AM Pacific (Noon Eastern), Samsung will unveil their new smartwatch, a watch we are expecting to be called the Gear S3. It’ll probably be round and premium and do all the smart things one could ask for in a modern smartwatch. After last year’s solid effort in the Gear S2, this might actually be a watch worth getting excited about.

We aren’t live blogging the event, since it is just for a watch, but you can watch it through the video above.

Again, things kick off at 9AM Pacific.

Galaxy Note 7: First 10 Things You Should Do

Many of you probably already own the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, since it has been out now for almost two full weeks. On the other hand, many of you may have just picked one up within the past couple of days or are planning to do so in the very near future. Either way, we want to help you get started on a path to a greater Note 7 experience. To do so, we’ve whipped up another “First 10 Things You Should Do” post featuring, you guessed it, the new Note from Samsung.  (more…)

Video: BLU Pure XR Unboxing and Tour

BLU announced the released the Pure XR today, its latest smartphone to pack a mighty punch for a relatively inexpensive price. Available right now on Amazon for $299, BLU has baked in everything they could to make the Pure XR compete with some of the best phones on the market. If you need a fingerprint reader, it has it. Octa-core processor? It has that, too.

BLU was kind enough to ship us over a unit in the White and Gold look. but there is also a Grey model available for the same price. Specifications for the device includes a 5.5″ Full HD display (1080×1920), MediaTek Helio P10 64-bit 2GHz octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 16 mega-pixel rear-facing camera with f/1.8, Android 6.0 “Marshmallow,” and LTE connectivity for all major GSM carriers.  (more…)