Category: Hands-on
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Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G unboxing & hands-on

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Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G, as its name suggests, is the successor of the original Ascend Mate which debuted last year. The 6.1” LTE phablet just went up for pre-order in the United States for $299 unlocked and free of contract commitments.

Visually, the Huawei Ascend Mate2 is no different than its predecessor. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active unboxing & hands-on

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Like its predecessor, the freshly announced Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is a more rugged version to the already robust SM-G900. The smartphone is exclusively available for AT&T in the United States for the time being.

Visually, the Samsung Galaxy S5 looks worthy of being a Chuck Norris companion, particularly in the camouflage color scheme worn by our review unit. The new color will likely not appeal to everyone, though we found it to be quite the conversation starter. Read more »

Asus PadFone X unboxing and hands-on

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Announced during this year’s CES, the Asus PadFone X for AT&T finally got its pricing and launch date detailed. The high-end Android KitKat phone and its 9” docking station will be available to purchase tomorrow for $199.99 with a two-year contract, or $22.92 per month with AT&T Next 18 plan.

Earlier this week, the gadget got an international version as well – the Asus PadFone S. Just like it, the Asus PadFone X packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with 2.3 GHz quad-core CPU. Read more »

Panasonic HC800 noise cancelling headphones review

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The Panasonic HC800 sits on top of the Japanese manufacturer’s range of headphones in the United States. At a quick glance, the over-ear, noise cancelling headset is designed primarily with iPhone and iPad-toting road warriors in mind.

In regards to headphones, Panasonic has established a reputation for offering high-quality, keenly-priced headsets. The HC800 appears to fit the same mold as its price tag undercuts some of the heavy hitters in the segment. Read more »

Motorola Moto E hands-on

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Motorola Moto E has just arrived at our office bringing KitKat experience on the cheap. Google’s latest version of the OS lowered Android’s minimal system requirements thus retiring the good ol’ Gingerbread.

So, the Moto E is running on a low-end Snapdragon 200 chipset with a dual-core Cortex-A7 processor and 1GB of RAM. This should be more than enough to handle the Android 4.4 KitKat hassle-free on the 4.3″ qHD display. Read more »

Element Case Soft-Tec Ducati Folio case for iPad Air review

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As its name suggests, the Element Case Soft-Tec Ducati Folio case for iPad Air is a result of a partnership between the California-based company and the iconic Italian motorcycle manufactuer. At a quick glance, the flip cover aims to offer a motorsports-themed alternative to Apple’s own Smart Case for the iPad Air.

Announced during this year’s CES, the collaboration between the two boutique companies includes accessories for iPad, as well as iPhone 5s. The accessories’ lineup is currently offered in Ducati showrooms alongside the legendary motorcycles. Read more »

Gionee Elife S5.5 hands-on

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We met the Gionee Elife S5.5 back at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we were absolutely impressed by its build quality. While the brand may not be terribly familiar with most people out there, it’s going to quickly gather traction if it continues to make such extraordinary smartphones.

Why this fuss? For starters, the Elife S5.5, along with the Allview X2 Soul, is the slimmest smartphone in the world right now and measures just 5.55mm thick. It features a metal frame which gives it a premium feel, while the glass back panel improves the feel in the hand even more. Read more »

HTC One (M8) Harman/Kardon edition mini review

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Announced late last month, the HTC One (M8) Harman/Kardon edition brings enhanced audio abilities to the Taiwanese company’s already excellent smartphone flagship. The latest addition to the M8 lineup is exclusively available for Sprint Wireless in the United States.

In addition to its solid audio credentials, the Harman/Kardon edition M8 also comes with a brand new, exclusive paint job. To top things off, the handset comes bundled with a high-end Harman/Kardon in-ear headset and six months of free Spotify Premium music streaming. Read more »

Spigen Tough Armor, Slim Armor, and Neo Hybrid cases for Samsung Galaxy S5 review

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In a manner fitting for a high-profile smartphone, Spigen released a full range of cases and screen protectors for the Samsung Galaxy S5. They range from ultra-slim snap-on cases, all the way to properly rugged offerings.

Over the past couple of weeks, I got to spend time with three members of the Korean accessories manufacturer’s range for Samsung Galaxy S5. Made in Korea like the handset they adorn, the Spigen Tough Armor, Slim Armor, and Neo Hybrid bring different levels protection without breaking the bank. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 630 hands-on

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The first smartphone to run Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box – Nokia Lumia 630 – was released officially on May 14. Today we finally managed to grab a retail unit and we are ready to take it for a spin.

Nokia Lumia 630 is not only the first WP8.1 device, it is also the first ever released Windows Phone headset with dual-SIM support. The single-SIM Lumia 630 is super cheap at about €140, while its dual-SIM flavor goes for €20 more. Read more »

HTC Desire 816 hands-on

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The HTC Desire 816 is the company’s second phablet after the HTC One Max from last year. Unlike that one, the Desire 816 is a mid-range device with specs similar to the new HTC One mini 2. Not an aluminum unibody though it does have front-facing stereo speakers and a 13MP camera.

So, why hasn’t HTC entered the phablet market the way Samsung, LG and Sony has, not to mention the countless smaller brands? Read more »

Skullcandy Crusher over-ear headphones review

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The Skullcandy Crusher over-ear headphones are among the least subtle offerings in their segment. Whereas, most manufacturers push their products with claims about true-to-life audio quality, Skullcandy promises you “bass you can feel” with its sub-$100 creation.

Based in Park City, Utah, Skullcandy designs and manufactures headphones which combine eye-grabbing looks and forward thinking tech in one package. At a quick glance, the Crusher headphones seem to fit the bill, as they feature a dedicated audio driver which powers the unique bass delivery system. Read more »

Motorola Moto G 4G hands-on

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The Moto E might have stolen the spotlight at the Motorola event today, with its impressively low price tag, but the updated Moto G might actually turn out to be the more important announcement of the day. Motorola Moto G 4G might have settled for the silver medal today, but the smartphone is certainly eager to triumph at the end.

A microSD card slot and an LTE radio might seem like a great deal when you consider the six-month period from the launch of the original, but fixing the two main issues on what was already the company’s bestselling smartphone in recent years sounds like a sure recipe for success. Read more »

Motorola Moto E hands-on

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Motorola is part of a small subset of phonemakers that doesn’t take part of specification races, but focuses on delivering great value at attractive price points. As such, ever since the summer of 2011 when Google set its eyes on the company, Motorola has set its focus on the mid- and low-end of the phone spectrum and it appears things aren’t changing after the Lenovo acquisition.

The Motorola Moto E is the company’s latest effort to capture the hearts of the budget-conscious smartphone customer. It did so with the Moto G, but it seems many of the boffins inside of Motorola though they can do better. Read more »

Sony Xperia M2 hands-on

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The latest talk of the town has been revolving solely around top tier smartphones like the Xperia Z2 and while it has been flaunting its 4K video capabilities in everyone’s face the Xperia M2 has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a chance to shine.

We think 15 minutes of fame wouldn’t hurt it, so here comes our hands-on time with the Xperia M2 – Sony’s latest midrange smartphone. Read more »