This is My Android: March 2016

Every so often, we try to take you into the personal setup of a smartphone that we have chosen as our go-to, through a feature we call “This is my Android.” You see, as we review phones, we do so in a setup that the manufacturer has handed us, because we want to experience the phone the way they think it should be used. That means by using their launcher and skin, a number of their apps, and without any sort of special setup, other than by placing the apps we use the most in places they had other apps we wouldn’t bother sniffing on a normal day.

With the “This is my Android” series, we want to show you what happens when that review period is over, which launcher we switch to, the icon pack of choice for that day, which apps we use the most, if we have folders or gestures or anything special customized, and if a theme has been applied, depending on the phone, of course.

We haven’t done one of these since June of last year, so let’s get into another and see what has changed in the way we use smartphones. This is my Android for March 2016.  (more…)

LG’s UX 5.0 on the G5 Further Detailed, Will Include App Drawer at Launch

Over the weekend, LG sent out a press release detailing the UX 5.0 experience that users will see when the G5 launches this Friday. The list of changes, along with an accompanying video, talk about the experience being “more playful and innovative,” making it easier to keep track of your “Friends,” which is what LG calls anything you pair to the G5 over Bluetooth. The new UX also adds new camera features and a “refined” skin to “enhance usability and convenience.”

The video below details every single new change, most of which are options that you would only use in special situations that aren’t necessarily headline grabbers. Feel free to take a look.  (more…)

Look at This Silly Ass LG G5 Commercial

This bad LG G5 commercial is bad.

Why is this guy on the subway or bus with his battery out? Is that a new thing we are all going to start doing, just popping out batteries to make clicking noises that no one else can make? God no! Who wants to ever pull their battery out just because? That shit is no fun at all. Ever. It takes at least 2-3 minutes to boot up any Android phone to fully working status. You gotta let Android fully load everything in the background, which probably means optimizing 188 apps for 10 minutes at the boot screen, then LG’s garbage skin and your data connection, before finding the app you want in an app-drawer-less iOS-like, completely inefficient jukebox layout, which will then let that stream of House of Cards continue. It sure as hell isn’t instant, as this video suggests. Hot swap…gtfo, LG.  (more…)

Video: 20+ Galaxy S7 Tips and Tricks

Now that our Galaxy S7 review is ready, it’s time to switch our focus over to helping you get the most out of your new phone, assuming you plan to pick-up a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. We tend to do that after major phone launches by sharing a handful of tips and tricks through a series we started all the way back with the Galaxy S4 and One (M7). Since we already gave you the first 10 things you should do after setting up your S7, in this next video, we’ll continue that thought and move into adjusting even more settings.

During this 20+ Galaxy S7 tips and tricks video, we’ll mention the Quick Launch camera shortcut again, along with Always-on Display, but we’ll also talk about moving apps to SD, adjusting default apps, learning about the phone’s “Advanced Features,” when battery saver modes might come in handy, and how to reset specific areas of your phone without doing a full factory reset.

Enjoy!  (more…)

Video: Nextbit Robin Unboxing and Tour

After a bit of waiting, we have a Nextbit Robin in-house at last. Back in September, I declared that Robin, a phone featured on Kickstarter, might not suck, and for the most part, reviews from across the web have somewhat validated my claims. While it is 2016, and the Robin ships with only a Snapdragon 808 processor, the device delivers what it promised, which is intelligent cloud storage in direct partnership with built-in storage.

For those new to Robin, Nextbit created a system which loads and offloads non-used apps to the cloud, allowing storage to be freed up on the device for when you need it. When an app is needed, a user simply reloads the app (plus app data) onto their device. With that said, the plus side is that a user does not need to dictate which apps are important and which are not. The Nextbit OS, built on Android 6.0 “Marshmallow,” handles the learning and cloud storage aspect.

As a freshening up, specs on the Robin include a 5.2″ 1080p display, Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, 100GB of online cloud storage, a fingerprint reader built into the power button along the side of the device, 13MP rear-facing camera, 5MP front-facing camera, front-facing speakers, USB Type-C, NFC, 2,680mAh battery, and the Nextbit OS running atop Marshmallow. For all of this tech, the price of Robin is set at $399, and the phone is available in two color options. (more…)

Video: LG G5 is in House, Let’s Take a Deeper Look

The LG G5 won’t launch in the US until early April, but we now have one in house to get more familiar with. While that doesn’t mean full testing or an incredibly early review (because this is a really early unit and that wouldn’t be fair to LG or the phone), that does mean we can show you all of the G5’s features in greater detail, take software and hardware tours, and get all up in the comparison game with the Galaxy S7.

In the video below, you won’t find an LG G5 unboxing, since we don’t even have retail packaging, but you will find all of what I mentioned above – a better hardware and software tour than we gave you a few weeks ago at the launch event, along with impressions after using the phone for a full day.  (more…)

Video: A Quick Look at What’s New in Edge Panel on the Galaxy S7 Edge

During my review of the Galaxy S6 Edge, I turned off the Edge Panel features. Why? Franky, because they sucked. On the Home screen, there was one panel, People Edge, and it wasn’t all that great. On the lock screen, there were plenty of tickers to choose from, but in real life scenarios, they weren’t helpful or fun to use. In 2016, Samsung is offering the Galaxy S7 Edge, with a completely remodeled Edge Panel. But, does it have any worthy features? Surprisingly, yes, it absolutely does. Unlike the Galaxy S6 Edge, the Edge Panel found on the Galaxy S7 Edge is highly useful, and I intend to use it quite often. With that being said, let’s go over what’s new.  (more…)

Whaaaaaaat: Lil Wayne is Pouring Champagne All Over his Galaxy S7, and Delivering Baby Elephants in VR

Hopefully, you enjoy Lil Wayne and champagne, because both are about to be all over your commercial breaks as the stars of Samsung’s new line of Galaxy S7 commercials. We first saw Wayne in Samsung’s Oscar commercials alongside a bunch of other celebs, but he seems to have emerged as the lead in the S7 and S7 Edge campaign.

The commercials aren’t bad. Lil Wayne can be a funny dude, especially when he’s mocking his own lifestyle and his friends and the thought of wasting really expensive champagne to show that his phone is water resistant. Will these help Samsung sell lots of phones? They might. I don’t know.

Whaaaaaaaat.

UPDATE: Weird, Samsung made two of the champagne videos private. (more…)