Around this time every year, Google releases a new version of their Android flagship: the Nexus. Up until this summer, the Nexus was always the only phone in the world to run stock Android out of the box. It was always Android the way Google wanted it, in terms of both hardware and software, and that alone caused many Android fans to buy the Nexus year after year.
But each Nexus seemed to always have a major flaw or two – the Nexus 4 lacked LTE and a stellar camera, the Galaxy Nexus didn’t have a very good camera, either, and the Nexus S wasn’t dual-core – which caused Android fans the world over to praise the cleanliness of the software but ask, “why couldn’t my favorite phone ship with stock Android?”
But nowadays, you can get your favorite phone (well, at least a few non-Nexus devices) with stock Android from no less than Google itself. That means, however, that Google is, in a sense, competing with itself – having “true” Android on multiple devices means that people may not agree with what Google believes to be THE flagship Android phone.
This year, Google’s put out the Nexus 5 – has it finally put out a device without any major flaws, or will the new Nexus fall slightly below expectations? Is it really the pinnacle of Android, or do other companies simply do it better? Read on after the break to find out.
Is bigger better or is less more? It seems that Samsung (along with a majority of phone manufacturers) is hoping that the former holds more water than the latter – both of its flagship products, the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note, are getting bigger every year.
Here’s how it works: Samsung releases a new Galaxy S every springwith a lot of great new software features, slightly improved design, and the latest internals. Then, in the fall, they release the corresponding version of the Note, which is essentially a bigger version of the Galaxy S, with updated internals (to keep up with the times) and a stylus.
The size of the Galaxy S has gone up over the years (4 to 4.3 to 4.8 to 5 inches), so it only makes sense that the size of the Note has, too – 5.3 to 5.5 to 5.7 inches.
The only catch is that people have been complaining about the size of the Note since the screen was “only” 5.3 inches large. Some say it’s just too big; some call it a “phablet” (a mix between a tablet and a phone), and some declare it’s just downright silly. Is it? Read on after the break to find out.
These days, smartphones are all about software. Long gone are the days where the best Android phone was whichever one had the fastest processor, the most RAM, the most pixels on the screen and in the camera. Who cared about software, right? These days, though, manufacturers are pulling back the hardware punches and instead focusing on software – because who needs more than a 1080p screen, a 2 GHz quad-core processor, and 2 GB of RAM in a phone?
There seems to be two sides when it comes to software: minimalists and the kitchen sinks. Apple with iOS, Google with stock Android, Motorola with the more recent versions of their skin, and HTC to a lesser extent with Sense are the minimalists. Samsung and LG, on the other hand, make kitchen-sink-type phones; they throw everything and the kitchen sink into their phones. If there’s something that you could think to customize, something that’s cool to show off to your friends, something that makes for a “good” TV ad, then the latest phones from these Korean giants probably have it.
The LG G2 is a kitchen sink of a phone, and not just in the software department, either. On paper, this phone looks like it’s the best phone ever; it’s packing some serious apparent wallop. But is it the best phone ever? Does it pack serious wallop? Does it do everything you want it to? Do you even want it to do all that it can do? Or is it just a jack of all trades and master of none? Read on after the break to find out.
Following up the Galaxy S III is hard to do. Samsung’s flagship of yesteryear sold wildy, selling more than 50 million units in less than a year. Just as updating the iPhone is tough for Apple, updating the Galaxy S is hard for Samsung. Rather than opt for a near-total redesign like the last two updates, Samsung has decided to incrementally improve upon the GSIII, at least on the hardware side, much like the jump from the iPhone 4 to 4s; what you get is the Galaxy S4. With stiff competition from the likes of the HTC One, is this “small” upgrade enough to keep Samsung on top of the Android heap? Read on to find out.
Like Jack, my birthday falls within a month of Christmas. In the same fashion, I decided to complete a few mini reviews of the tech gifts I received. I’ve included links to the products on Amazon, where the prices are generally the lowest. Please consider using the provided links as they will help me to keep reviewing the latest products.
I’ve been waiting for the Nexus 4 for a while. Even though the Jelly Bean update to the Galaxy Nexus (the previous Nexus device) over the summer definitely made it faster, it still wasn’t quite as refreshing as a new device altogether. I played with the iPhone for over a month for its review, but I was ready to move back to Android, and stock Android is the only way to go, in my opinion. Does the Nexus 4 satisfy my tech needs? Is the lack of LTE a deal-breaker? Read on after the break to find out.
Having your birthday and Christmas come in the same month has its advantages. Here’s a few quick mini-reviews of what I got for my birthday and Christmas this year. I’ve included links to the products on Amazon, where the prices are generally the lowest. Also, consider using the links I provide; it will help me to keep reviewing the latest products.
This fall, Apple unveiled the iPhone 5, and many complained that it was not enough of a refresh from the iPhone 4s to make the phone desirable. Are the critics right? Is the iPhone 5 a worthy successor to the previous iPhone 4s? Does the iPhone retain its popular position as “best smartphone on the market”? Read on to find out.