This is the HTC One A9 - this isn’t an iPhone. But, if you wish you could get an Android device in the shape of an iPhone, well, here you go. HTC says that it sold aluminum unibody devices before Apple did, and they’re right. Ever since the One M7 at the start of 2013, HTC has been promoting its signature aluminum unibody design, characterized by a particular mix of subtle curves and precise straight lines. But hey, the camera, camera flash, and even corner radius on the A9 device matches the iPhone 6 and 6s, and those antenna bands look awfully familiar as well.
If you read the One A9’s spec sheet, you’d probably think of it as a mid-range phone with nothing special about it. But that’s why spec sheets should be ignored for the most part. Using the One A9 shows what happens when a phone makes the most of its components, resulting in a device that compares favorably with most other companies' flagship smartphones.
The HTC One A9 is a good phone. However, the price is the issue. $500. Decent battery life, above average performance, decent software options, decent camera. This is a mid-range phone with mid-range specs with an expensive price tag. It doesn’t compete in a market where you can drop $500 on a Nexus 6P flagship, Galaxy S6, or the iPhone 6.
When the A9 launched at $399 In the United States, that was the time to pick one up, despite the insane backorder. The metal unibody frame is nicer than what you will find on the Nexus 5X.. But after a week, the price increased to $499, and that 25% jump in price means that the One A9’s value diminishes greatly. Now you compare it to the Nexus 6P, which many consider to be the best Android smartphone to date. No way HTC is winning that contest, even if simply for the fact that the Nexus device includes long-term assurance that you will get Android updates faster and for a longer period of time.
You can pick up HTC One A9 now.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, a role-playing game released for mobile platforms last fall, initially struck me as a game I could skip without a second thought. It had the appearance of a cheap cash-in meant to capitalize on the launch of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Although I'm not generally not the sort of person to write off a game for being free-to-play (some of my favorite games don't cost a dime to start playing), there's something about the combination of that business model, mobile, and a major franchise that made me assume it was not worth so much as a download.
I was wrong.
The Philips Hue Go personal wireless light might be the coolest lighting accessory I've ever used. As you can see in the video, it looks like a cereal bowl that's been filled with light that you can carry around with you. You can turn on the natural dynamic effects feature for a living light color show, or set it to one of 16 million different colors of light with a 300 lumen light output. It's controllable with the Hue Light app for iOS and Android, but also has a button on the back that allows you to cycle through a bunch of different colors without the need for a smartphone or tablet.
The only downside is that you do need to have a Philips Hue Starter Kit or Hue Bridge in order to use it to its full potential, so if you don't already have a Hue system set up, that will set you back an extra $50 or so. Still, it's a great lighting accessory.
You can pick up the Philips Hue Go now!
I give you a look at the rugged Samsung Galaxy S6 Active in this episode! The S6 Active is a more protected version of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. It's got a 5.1-inch Quad HD 2560x1440 display, 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, a fantastic 3,500mAh battery, and a built-in rugged design that can withstand the elements. I'm talking about IP68 certification, making it water resistant, windproof, dustproof, etc.
The Super AMOLED display has a 577ppi capacity, and looks great even in sunlight, and the Samsung Exynos 7420 is an octa-core 64-bit processor (4 2.1GHz cores, and 4 1.5GHz cores.) On the inside it's got 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage.
You can order the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active now.
The Monster SoundStage S2 is the medium-sized wireless speaker in the SoundStage line, and it brings with it a seriously big punch when it comes to sound. The audio can easily fill a room without distortion. The SoundStage S2 connects wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You can also connect it directly with an AUX cable or digital optical Toslink cable. SoundStage speakers support multi-room audio, allowing you to control the audio across your home from the palm of your hand thanks to Qualcomm AllPlay technology.
You can pick up the Monster SoundStage S2 wireless speaker now.
Play-Fi is the whole-home wireless streaming technology from the audio experts at DTS. With Play-Fi, compatible speakers and receivers can be controlled from your smartphone, tablet, or PC, sending music from your favorite music services like Spotify, Rhapsody, SiriusXM, and Deezer, as well as songs stored on your local home network DLNA server.
You can find Play-Fi compatible audio components from companies like Phorus, Definitive Technology, Polk, Wren, and Hewlett-Packard.
You can get Play-Fi-compatible devices now!
The Monster SoundStage S1 is a small wireless speaker that packs a seriously big punch when it comes to sound. The audio can easily fill a room without distortion. The SoundStage S1 connects wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You can also connect it directly with an AUX cable or digital optical Toslink cable. SoundStage speakers support multi-room audio, allowing you to control the audio across your home from the palm of your hand thanks to Qualcomm AllPlay technology.
The SoundStage S1 is even humidity-proof!
You can pick up the Monster SoundStage S1 wireless speakerr now.
We open up the Google Motorola Nexus 6 Android smartphone in this episode. Running Android Lollipop, the Nexus 6 sports a brilliant 6" screen and dual front-facing stereo speakers, and a 3220mAh battery with turbo charging. You can pick up the Nexus 6 and use it with multiple carriers - this one is from AT&T.
You can pick up the Motorola Nexus 6 now.
When looking at the overall landscape of smartphones in the US, most casual conversation is dominated by talk of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S—currently that means the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6. The thing is, though, that there are other great phones out there that deserve to be a part of the conversation. Last year, my favorite Android phone was the LG G3, and I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on the successor ever since LG announced it.
As most know, I’m one of the rare people who owns multiple smartphones. I didn’t need the LG G4, but I definitely wanted it. LG sent one over, and I’ve been enjoying the process of learning all the ins and outs of the superb camera. If you’re unfamiliar, LG did a great job differentiating the camera on the G4. It’s got fantastic performance in low light situations thanks to the f/1.8 aperture, and sports a manual mode with 15 settings and over 135 options for configuring the camera to capture just the right shot. Pair that with the laser autofocus that gets things looking great in an instant, and the ability to capture RAW images and you have a winner. Super cool.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 is a crazy large phablet-style smartphone, sporting a full 6-inch high definition 720p display. On the back you have an 8-megapixel camera with a bunch of built-in photo editing tools, along with a private mode, easy mode, and even a single-handed use mode.
We bring you the full rundown of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 Android smartphone from AT&T in this episode.
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