Category: Hands-on
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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 »

Sony Xperia Z2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 – camera comparison

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Now that we have our hands on the Sony Xperia Z2 for more than a booth tour we decided to go straight for what matters. Has Sony tuned its software to make it more mature and deliver better image quality or are 4K and slow-mo video recording the only benefits of the faster chipset?

The hardware remains unchanged – the Xperia Z2 and Z1 share a 20.7 MP snapper with an Exmor RS 1/2.3″ sensor, Sony G Lens f/2.0 aperture and the Bionz image processor. The only thing that potentially tips the scales in either direction is the software processing, which was rather heavy-handed on the Z1 and we hope Sony has tweaked it to achieve better results. Let’s see the samples shall we. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z2 hands-on

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The Sony Xperia Z2 is finally here and despite coming to market just five months after the Xperia Z1, it improves quite a few bits of the package making for a very tempting upgrade.

The Xperia Z2 is only slightly taller than its predecessor but compensates with less width, girth and lower weight. More importantly, it fits a larger 5.2″ screen and stereo speakers at the front.The display itself comes with Sony’s latest tech, including the Triluminos tech and X-Reality Engine, and this time it’s an IPS unit for improved viewing angles. Read more »

The Sony Xperia T2 Ultra hands-on

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Sony announced the Xperia T2 Ultra Back at CES back in January 2014. It fills a growing market segment of large screen mid-range smartphones. The 6-inch phablet only comes with 720p resolution and may not be powered by the fastest Snapdragon chipset around but it offers one of Sony’s latest Exmor RS 13MP cameras with all the bells and whistles.

At 7.65mm, the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra is really slim despite the generous battery capacity of 3000 mAh. The only thing missing is perhaps the water-proofing Sony’s high-end smartphones have been known for. Read more »

Pebble Steel smartwatch review

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Announced at this year’s CES in January, the Pebble Steel was one of the brightest stars of the show. The newcomer is the young company’s upscale sidekick to the original Pebble, which took Kickstarter by storm last year.

In addition to its sleek looks and premium build, the Pebble Steel arrives with a well-polished, dedicated store for apps and watchfaces. Read more »

Alcatel Idol X+ hands-on

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Alcatel has slowly been building momentum in the midrange segment, and has accrued quite a following in emerging markets, particularly in South America.

Its latest Alcatel Idol X+ offering is an update to its flagship Idol smartphone, this time with a “true” octa-core processor from Mediatek that also comes with a boost to its battery, but still manages to retain the same slick design at a competitive price point. Read more »