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.
Sonos has introduced the second-generation Play:5 wireless HiFi speaker, and we bring you our full Sonos Play:5 review in this episode.
A lot has gone into the redesign of the new Play:5, which you'll notice sports a curvier look and does away with the awkward handle that was found on the original model. On the inside, you've got a collection of six drivers with dedicated amplifiers behind the grille.
Being a smart speaker, the Sonos Play:5 integrates with the rest of the Sonos HiFi wireless audio system. It connects to your home network by way of the Sonos app, and from there, can stream music from just about any source you can think of--whether it's a streaming music service, podcasts, or files stored on your local network.
The new TruePlay feature allows you to accurately and automatically tune the sound of the Play:5 to be optimized for its placement in the room that you're in using an iOS device, and it really works.
Check the video for the full Sonos Play:5 review - if you're looking for a smart speaker that packs a serious punch when it comes to sound and features, this is the one to get.
You can pick up the Sonos Play:5 now.
If you talk to DJs both old and new about the Technics 1200 turntable, you'll quickly realize just how legendary the deck truly was. Last year, Panasonic revived the Technics brand, and customers the world over had one question: "Where's the 1200?" Passionate fans even went to far as to sign petitions to let Panasonic know that they wanted to see the iconic record player make a triumphant return. At CES 2016, they got their wish, as the Technics SL-1200G and SL-1200GAE were announced, and they've been improved over all of the previous models.
As many folks know, we're big fans of headphones here at Gear Live. We live in a portable world, with portable entertainment available at our fingertips, and we wanna make sure we have great sound when we are on the go. At CES 2016, Panasonic's Technics brand showcased a pair of headphones that may have been the best I've ever heard - the Technics EAH-T700.
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2013, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2013!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
I bring you my Apple Pencil review in this episode. Apple designed the Apple Pencil alongside the new iPad Pro, to allow artist to draw and sketch on the tablet, but also for everything to be able to write and take notes as well. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I was very impressed by what I could accomplish with the iPad Pro once I had the Apple Pencil in my hands.
It gives an immediate sense that you can do more with the iPad, and when you go into an app that is use for image editing or drawing, even someone like me all of a sudden feels capable. It's rare that I get that Apple feeling that a lot of people who aren't technically inclined get. I'm an expert, and know all the features and how they work. With the Apple Pencil though, I definitely felt it - I'd say that I suck at drawing and fail at Photoshop...but with the Apple Pencil, I was empowered to try those activities with surprising results.
I highly recommend the Apple Pencil to buyers of the iPad Pro!
You can pick up the iPad Pro now!
I bring you my full review of Apple's epic iPad Pro in this episode. It's the largest iPad to date, and the largest iOS device to date, with Apple hoping that this can be the tablet that will replace your laptop. How does it succeed? I talk to you about all the iPad Pro features that are meant to make this a premium tablet, including things like multitasking, the Smart Connector for using Apple's Smart Keyboard and third-party keyboard add-ons, and of course, the use of the Apple Pencil and how important it is to the iPad Pro experience. Of course, there's also the A9X processor, 4GB RAM, and greatly-improved speakers, and the gorgeous 12.9-inch Retina display.
The iPad Pro starts at $799 for 32GB Wi-Fi model, and also comes in a $949 128GB Wi-Fi model, and a $1079 128GB Wi-Fi + LTE version, which is the one we used in this review.
You can pick up the iPad Pro now!
Thinking about picking up the Apple iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus? Make sure you check out my full review of both Apple 2015 flagship smartphones in this episode! I give you a rundown of all the new iPhone 6s features - things like 3D Touch, Live Photos, the new 12 megapixel iSight camera, 5 megapixel FaceTime HD camera, second generation Touch ID, Taptic Engine, 7000 series aluminum body, Retina Flash, 4K video recording, and so much more!
Join me as I walk you through each new feature, as well as specify the subtle differences between the iPhone 6s and the larger iPhone 6s Plus (spoiler: battery life and optical image stabilization!)
You can pick up the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus now!
Apple iPhone 6s & 6s Plus: 3D Touch, 12MP camera, 4K video recording, starts at $199 on September 25
During it's Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint event, Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones. The updated smartphones still sport the 4.7-inch Retina HD display for the 6s and 5.5-inch Retina HD display for the 6s Plus, but there's a lot of new stuff that Apple is bringing to the table with this years flagship models:
- 12 megapixel iSight Camera: Apple has bumped the megapixel count in the iPhone for the first time in 4 years, going from 8 megapixels to 12. This is a 50% increase in pixels, and with it comes 50% more focus pixels, making autofocus even faster than before as well.
- 5 megapixel FaceTime HD camera: Another big improvement, as the front camera on the iPhone goes from 1.8 megapixels to 5.0. Apple will use the display itself as the True Tone Retina Flash for those selfies you need to take while in the dark.
- 4K video recording: You can now shoot 4K video directly from the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
- 3D Touch: This is one of the tentpole features. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can now sense depth. This is similar to Force Touch on the Apple Watch, but much more advanced. Pushing down on different elements throughout iOS will allow you to select shortcuts, preview information with the "peek" gesture, go further into that data with the "pop" gesture, and more.
- A9 processor: Apple's A9 processor offers 70% faster performance and 90% faster graphics than the previous A8 chip. Not only will things feel much faster, but games are now "console quality" according to Apple.
- Touch ID Second Generation: Apple has doubled the speed of the Touch ID sensor
- Wi-Fi speeds doubled
- LTE Advanced with support for 23 LTE bands, and speeds that are twice as fast
- Live Photos: This might have been the coolest thing Apple showed today. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will capture 1.5 seconds before and after you take your photo
The new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available in silver, space gray, gold, and a new rose gold color option. Be sure to check out our iPhone 6s pricing guide.
During today's Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint event, Apple announced the long-awaited, completely redesigned Apple TV. In an effort to bring TV into the modern age, Apple is focusing on an app-based solution for reinventing television. On the inside, Apple has added 802.11ac Wi-Fi networking, giving the Apple TV faster networking access. The App Store is now front and center on the new Apple TV, allowing users to download television-optimized apps from developers. The user interface has been modernized, and on the inside, Apple has included the A8 processor from the iPhone 6. This is a big improvement over the A5 processor found in the previous model. Apple has updated the software to a version of iOS 9 that it's calling tvOS.
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