Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The Tesla Model S and its CUV sibling, the Model X, are already ludicrously fast and have impressively long ranges for electric cars with their old maximum battery, a 90kWh pack. Today they've made them even better, with a 100kWh battery that lowers the 0-60 time to 2.5 seconds and raises the range to 315 miles for the Model S. The Model X P100D's stats are 2.9 seconds for the run to 60 and a 289 mile range. That makes the Model S, a large 5 seater sedan, quicker than any Lamborghini, BMW, Corvette, Mclaren, Audi, Mercedes or Aston Martin ever made, and slower only than the Porsche 918 and Ferrari LaFerrari. The Model S P100D will start at $134,500, the Model X P100D at $135,500, and existing P90D owners will be able to upgrade and recycle their old battery for $20,000.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
This news was announced at the Intel Developer Forum as a partnership with the chipmaker, but presumably if "all" new Windows 10 computers
will support Hololens, that also includes AMD-powered PCs.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The new DTEK50 has none of those things - instead, it's an Android 6.0 smartphone with similar customizations to the company's first Android device, last year's Priv. The main new feature is the DTEK app, which is essentially an anti-malware suite with a few other security-oriented features. There's also no keyboard. This is a full-touchscreen phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617, 5.2" 1080p display, 13MP camera and 3GB's of RAM.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Input options and setup:
As mentioned, there's a lot more options for how to use these pocket projectors than the old pico projectors, and they're more convenient. When you boot up the P0510 for the first time, you're presented with options for connecting to a local WiFi network, an Windows, Android, Mac, iOS device, or SD card media. The wireless options are great, and they're pretty easy to set up. I tested them with Android 6.0, Mac OS X El Capitan and Windows, and all of them just required a short pairing process and then hitting "share screen" on the device. I also connected the P0510 to my home WiFi and it found and downloaded a software update, so it's not a static feature set; Lenovo can keep making it better.
Like the ASUS S1, Brookstone Pocket Projector and AAXA P4-X, the Lenovo P0510 has a rather low 854x480 resolution. This was evident when binge-watching HBO's Silicon Valley compared to my laptop and phone's displays, but it actually still looks alright. The screen is pleasantly large(Lenovo quotes up to 110") and despite only putting out 50 lumens, I thought it was sufficiently bright. Still, considering LG's PH300 and the ZTE Spiro 2 are capable of 720p images and in the case of the LG, 300 lumens for only $150 more, an update might be due pretty soon for the Lenovo.
Another problem was that, especially when using Airplay as opposed to Miracast, there's quite a bit of connection lag on occasion. Sometimes it would play videos quite smoothly, but other times they were laggy, poorly synced with the audio, and had artifacting. This was rare, however.
The physical design of the P0510 is utilitarian, with a two tone grey color scheme, 90 degree rotating stand design, and rubbery d-pad for controls. Those controls work well, and I like the adaptability of the rotating hinge, but I'd say the LG competition is quite a bit better looking. The Lenovo is pleasantly durable feeling, however, and there's no need for a touchscreen and entire Android-based built in computer like ZTE decided on.
This was my main complaint with the P0510. I could only get through about an hour and a half to at most two hours of wireless usage, despite the estimated 3 hours. That's enough for a few episodes of your favorite TV show or pretty much any Powerpoint presentation, but just barely.
Between the battery life, occasional connection lag, and somewhat low resolution, the P0510 is far from perfect. Yet it's also fun, well designed, and useful, all for a price that's lower than most of the competition. I might recommend waiting for the next generation(in fact, I might buy one then myself) but even the current version would be a pretty decent choice.
Monday, July 11, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
In Lenovo's pantheon of devices, the 700 series is near the top, but not quite their flagship. Typically they're cheaper with almost the same specs, but missing the flashy designs and maybe some cool/gimmicky special feature of the top of the line 900 series models. That all seems about right for the IdeaCentre 700, an all in one desktop that does have a couple of pretty neat, unique features for the market and good specs but an uninspired design. It also has an absolutely gorgeous 4K display for a quite reasonable price, which makes it a tempting buy just for that reason.
The internals of the 700 AIO are... perfectly sufficient, if not top of the line. There's a 6th generation Intel Core i5 quad core CPU, 8GB's of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive with a small solid state cache. Performance is pretty good; I tried setting up a virtual machine and was able to run my usual workflow in Windows and the Ubuntu VM simultaneously, at a good clip. A full SSD would probably be a good idea, and is available on the 700 AIO, just not my review version.
What is not at all mediocre, on the other hand, is the display. As mentioned before, it's a 4K UHD 3840x2160p panel. But it's not just 4K - this thing is beautiful. It's also quite bright, has pretty good color reproduction to my non-graphics-artist eyes, and also happens to be a touchscreen. And normal HD content looks great, not just 4K video. Game of Thrones giant battle scenes in the latest episode at the time of this review were simply stunning on the 700 AIO.
The competition does have an even better screen though, in the form of Apple's Retina 5K iMac, but it costs more and doesn't have HDMI input.
As I said, a fancy industrial design is one of the advantages of Lenovo's 900 series, and the aforementioned iMac, but the 700 isn't exactly terrible looking. It's just a rather plasticy black monitor frame, though I do quite like the stand for some reason. There's also quite large bezels above and below the screen to accommodate the Intel RealSense camera(more on that later) and speakers. Also, while it does have a touchscreen, and has a nice adjustable hinge in the stand, if you want to use a Lenovo all in one in "tabletop mode," tilted 90 degrees backwards, you'll have to spring for the Yoga 900 AIO.
Overall, Lenovo's been trimming down the number of extra apps they put on their PC's, which I quite appreciate. This is the case with the 700 as well, though it still has more than I'd like; There's McAfee's ever-annoying antivirus suite, a whole bunch of Lenovo apps, and for some horrible, unknowable reason, Candy Crush. Please, PC manufacturers, do not preinstall the free version of the latest edition of an uninspired smartphone game that fell out of favor years ago on your computers.
Speakers, RealSense and miscellaneous:
Despite how large they are, and their prominent JBL branding, I'm not a big fan of the speakers on the 700 AIO. They sound pretty decent on classical recordings such as Isaac Stern and Leonard Rose's Beethoven: Triple Concertos album, but for anything country, such as Dierks Bentley's Black, I found them muddy. For watching a couple videos on Netflix, they also weren't nearly as good as my Logitech desktop speakers or some laptops I've used.
Meanwhile, the RealSense camera is pretty great. Besides enabling Windows Hello(facial recognition) logins, you can download a number of different apps designed for it. There's simple photo apps that let you add depth-related filters, motion controlled games in the style of the Kinect, and other interesting options. Basically, from a technical perspective, there's three lenses instead of one, and one of them is an infrared sensor, which together allows depth positioning and 3D imaging.
One other cool aspect of the 700 AIO that I actually didn't test out is that it allows easy access to upgrade and fix components, even without tools for some things. This is quite unusual for an all in one. By comparison, Apple seals things off as much as possible and uses unusual screws to make things harder to work on yourself.
As for the bundled mouse and keyboard, Lenovo still makes a good keyboard, but like any bundled set there's far better third party options. The 700 does have a built in optical drive as well, a rarity these days.
Next to Dell's XPS One 27, Apple's iMac or Lenovo's own 900 AIO, the 700 AIO is plain looking and not the fastest machine around. But the combination of a fabulous 4K display and reasonable price tag make it quite a compelling buy. I just would trade the mediocre but presumably somewhat expensive JBL speakers and cool but unnecessary RealSense camera for a Core i7 and the optional NVidia GTX 950 graphics card.
Monday, June 13, 2016
The new Alienware 13 OLED is basically the existing Alienware 13 from earlier this year, with its Intel Skylake Core i5/i7 processors, NVidia GTX 655m, multicolored LED light scheme, and thinner design. The difference is in the monitor: There's a new 13" 2560x1440p panel that's an Organic LED or OLED display instead of the traditional LCD, allowing for deeper blacks, less power usage, and brighter colors. OLED screens have been common in smartphones for years, and there's a few extraordinarily expensive TV's with them, but laptops haven't had them until this year with a couple of Lenovo devices. Of course, it also maintains compatibility with Alienware's Graphics Amplifier, a dock for hooking up an external desktop-class GPU.
That gives it another thing in common with the refreshed Alienware Alpha, the latest version of Alienware's "desktop console" idea. It's a small gaming desktop in a Wii U-sized case with a $599 starting price, Intel Skylake Core i3/i5/i7, NVidia GTX 960m or AMD Radeon R9 470x, and Windows 10. There's also a new Alienware Steam Machine, with essentially the same specs but Valve's Steam OS instead of Windows.
There's also new versions of the Alienware Aurora and Area 51 desktops, which promise full support for VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and can be configured with the NVidia Geforce GTX 1080.
On a tangentially related note, the new ReCore trailer looks sweet:
Introducing the new Xbox One S, featuring 4K Ultra HD video, streamlined controller, and more. #XboxE3https://t.co/CWuG5QEeF7— Xbox (@Xbox) June 13, 2016
Microsoft has been flat out losing the console wars this generation, with every metric - sales, profits, platform exclusives, developer preference, and hardware performance - lining up in Sony's favor. The team from Redmond is looking to change that with an avalanche of announcements at their E3 keynote today. Chief among them is the new Xbox One S, a mid-cycle refresh(to borrow an auto industry term) of the Xbox One S.
Starting at $300, which is what a standard 500GB Xbox One would cost you right now, it comes with 4 times the storage space at 2TB(still twice the previous high end 1TB model) and 4K video support - though probably not 4K gaming yet. Better yet, it loses the obnoxious giant power brick, for a simple one piece cable, and has a built in IR blaster for controlling other home entertainment devices. All of this is fit into a box(pardon the pun) that's 40% smaller than the rather massive, VCR-like original Xbox One.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Screen, ports, keyboard and trackpad:
The screen is an absolutely gorgeous 2560x1440p IPS touch panel at 12.5"(yes, the same size as the Macbook) that I found myself gravitating towards over every other display I have. Seriously, it looks great. As for the input mechanisms, I found the keyboard surprisingly good for such a thin laptop, actually preferring it slightly to my Macbook Air keyboard, and the trackpad is not bad but not great. Meanwhile, Lenovo's beating Apple and HP's Spectre by including not only a USB 3.1 Type C connector but a standard Type A USB 3.0 port and a separate power port that can be used as a USB 2.0 connection. Sadly the charger is not Type C, so if you have a phone with one of those new connectors you can't use the same charger.
As I opened with, the Yoga 900S is a very, very small laptop, and is as you might expect therefore not extremely powerful. However, Intel's done a great job updating their Core M processor line from last year, when it was in its first generation. The new Core M's are based on their 6th generation Skylake architecture, and the top of the line Core M7 in the Yoga is just about as fast as my Haswell Core i7 ultra low voltage chip in benchmarks.
All of that nerdery aside, unlike a Lenovo I reviewed last year with the old Core M, and the 2015 Apple Macbook, the Yoga 900S keeps up with normal usage just fine. I never felt any major speed penalties compared to even my desktop when using lots of Chrome and Edge tabs, Notepad ++ and a few Windows Explorer windows. Similarly, the graphics are much improved - streaming a 4K video from YouTube with a bunch of other background tabs open was absolutely fine. Besides the Core M7, there's 8GB's of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. All of that said, if you want the laptop equivalent of a Corvette, the 900S is not your computer - it's more like a Miata. In particular, gaming is out; Even something like Rocket League was too stuttery to be playable.
There's essentially 3 main direct competitors to the Yoga 900S: The Apple Macbook, ASUS Zenbook 3 and HP Spectre. The Macbook is slightly better looking in my opinion, and has OS X which is a huge advantage for some, but there's some severe usability issues with only having 1 port. Additionally, it costs a full $300 more for the base configuration. The Spectre is even thinner than the Yoga, yet somehow still fits in higher powered Core i processors. But it's pricier at $1169, has a lower resolution screen, and no touch capability whatsoever - I'd take the Yoga's beautiful 1440p screen over a slightly faster CPU. Finally, while the Zenbook 3 looks great, it's not out yet, so I can't really recommend it without some evaluation time. Of course, you could also move up to a standard, less crazily thin ultrabook like the Dell XPS 13, normal Yoga 900(the non-S version) or Macbook Air, but that's a different category of device. That leaves the Yoga 900S as the winner, unless you hugely prefer OS X.
Monday, May 30, 2016
I'm not always a big fan of extremely thin laptops, as they typically sacrifice a lot in usability and specs in the pursuit of design(or fashion over form) without always being that, well, good looking.
The Zenbook 3, though, looks cautiously like a better ultra thin laptop. Instead of a low power Core M processor and a plastic casing, it has a sleek patterned metal shell and up to a ULV Skylake Core i7. Despite that, and the rated 9 hours of battery life, it's just 11.9mm thick and weighing 910 grams. That's thinner and lighter than Apple's new Macbook, which has the lower powered Core M, though the Zenbook does look a lot like the Macbook. The Zenbook does come in a rather sweet dark blue, along with grey and rose gold, a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello biometrics, and up to 16GB's of RAM and a 1TB solid state drive.
It'll start at just $999, but for those high end options you'll be paying up to about $2000.
Sunday, May 29, 2016
This is sad for those looking forward to the game(including me,) but unfortunately has prompted numerous death threats against the developers, as mentioned by Sean Murray on Twitter. This is simply horrible, and of course makes no sense. Likely most of these threats are by internet trolls emboldened by anonymity with no intention of carrying out the attack, but it's still terrible behavior.
Even more incomprehensibly, Jason Schreier at Kotaku, the first journalist to report on this, has himself now received at least one death threat via Twitter, simply for writing about the incident.
People of the internet: Don't threaten to kill people over having to wait another month or two for a video game, or ever actually.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
That's where Google's new Home comes in: It's a slightly larger, but in my opinion better looking living room speaker with interchangeable shells and more powerful, higher quality audio. The main differentiator though is that since it's built by Google, it uses the excellent Google Play Music and has first party Google services integration. For example, there's full-featured Chromecast support for casting content to it from your other devices, or using its voice assistant to control your TV's Chromecast.
Speaking of the digital assistant, Google's excellent Google Now voice control/search features are freshly renamed as Google Assistant, slightly upgraded, and baked into Google Home. All in all, I will likely be buying one of these.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Design: This is a bit of a weak point for the 700 series. It's a giant, thick black slab, with rather flimsy feeling plastic and annoyingly-large bezels around the screen. And it's really thick.
But it's not meant to be thin or light, so I won't dock Lenovo too hard for the huge size - I just wish their was a little more design flair, and really, those bezels are ridiculous.
Display, Keyboard & Misc: The 15" full HD display is spacious, reproduces colors well, has a nice matte finish, and was generally good to use. A higher display resolution wouldn't be a bad idea on a screen this large for future revisions, but for a laptop at this price point I thought the display was great - certainly, the new season of Game of Thrones looked excellent on HBO Now streaming. The trackpad was equally good, and the keyboard has a full numpad, which is always appreciated. That said, having recently used a Lenovo ThinkPad X1, the keyboard on the 700 didn't feel anywhere near as good as any of the ThinkPad's I've tried.. I also prefer the Apple Macbook Pro keyboard, and some of Dell's.
Amusingly, the laptop actually comes with a bundled external DVD drive, which I never even tried - I live a pretty much disk free life, with the exception of Xbox One Blurays. Speaking of which, if you're going to include an optical drive, please make it a Bluray reader in 2016. Meanwhile, the speakers and port situation are great, as you'd expect on a big 15" desktop replacement.
Software: The IdeaPad 700 has Windows 10, as you'd expect of a modern non-Apple laptop, with an actually surprisingly light load of bloatware software. There's the ever present, ever annoying McAfee antivirus, a few Lenovo apps, and weirdly a version of Candy Crush preinstallled, but that's pretty great. Some laptops(cough, HP) that I've tried have literally dozens of terrible free trial apps installed. In fact, it feels a lot more like a typical business laptop setup... except for the Candy Crush.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
All of that background aside, the new TT RS looks legitimately awesome. It's actually a pair of cars, one coupe version and one roadster, which share a brand new turbo inline 5 cylinder engine that has 400 horsepower. Now, that's no longer bonkers supercar territory, with the Mustang and Camaro's V8 versions both making well over that, but it's still a lot of power for a relatively light little car. It translates into some pretty quick acceleration too, with the coupe making a 3.7 second naught to sixty run, and the roadster hitting 60 in 3.9 seconds. There isn't a single Porsche Cayman model that can match that, and even the base 911 is slower from 0 to 60. The BMW M2 and M4 are also slightly slower, as is Jaguar's base F Type, and the aforementioned Camaro SS and Mustang GT. The base Corvette matches the performance of the TT RS(which will probably cost much more than Chevy's finest) but there aren't a lot of other mid-level sports cars that do.
Friday, April 15, 2016
on Ebay. That'll net you an(out of date but still blazing fast) Intel Core i7 quad core chip running at 2.5GHz, 16GB's of RAM, an AMD Radeon R9 M370X, GPU, and a 512GB SSD. Plus all the normal Macbook Pro stuff like a 2880x1800 Retina display, amazing trackpad, etc.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Speaking of the Model X, when it debuted, you could only buy one if you'd pre-ordered, and they've been very gradually rolling out more general availability. This continues today, with the public launch of the online configuration tool and the entry level(well, as entry level as a luxury electric SUV with crazy doors can be) 75D version. Unlike the higher end options, this Model X has a 75 kWh battery good for a 237 mile range, 6 second 0-60 sprint and 130 MPH top speed. But in exchange, it has a $85,500(so roughly $75k after tax incentives) base price, $10,000 cheaper than a 90D.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
The T460S, meanwhile, lacks the Yoga hinge and pen, but is otherwise very similar. There's nearly the same specs inside, an almost identical 14" touchscreen, and that same great keyboard and trackpoint. It can be had with a discrete GPU, however, and costs roughly $300 less.
Specs: Both my review unit ThinkPad's came with Intel's latest Core i5 processors but can be configured with Core i7's, along with DDR4 2300MHz RAM(4GB's for the T460S, 8 for the X1) and 256GB SSD's. Those are overall decent specs, though I would definitely recommend upping the RAM on the T460 - if you use Chrome, it will rapidly eat up 4GB's. The displays were again the same, with nicely thin bezels that let these 14" laptops be about the same size as some 13" computers. They have a 1920x1080p resolution that looked quite good, but is in this day and age is the minimum I would accept on high end computers. However, both offer a 2560x1440p upgrade option(on the T460S, this requires sacrificing touch capability) and the X1 even has an OLED 2560x1440p panel available. Considering the 2560x1440 display is just $95 more on the T series, or $125 on the X1, go for it.
Overall, I found little to complain about with the specs - these are solid ultrabooks with good performance, displays and storage. The 4GB's of RAM on the T460S is rather ridiculous for a $1000 laptop, but it can be easily and affordably bought with 8, and 12 or even 20GB options are available.
Keyboard, fingerprint reader, radios & ports
- The T460S has nearly every port you could conceivably want, except perhaps for VGA if you spend a lot of time using out of date projectors, as many business people do. Other than that, you do get HDMI, mini Displayport, USB 3.0, SD, Ethernet(an advantage over the X1) and even a SIM card slot. Yes, both of these laptops have SIM card slots for mobile data, along with the 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, both of which are the latest versions of their respective protocols. Finally, the touchscreen is fast, responsive and complements the trackpad(which is also quite good) nicely.
- The X1 Yoga meanwhile lacks the Ethernet port, but retains everything else and adds the previously mentioned pen. Unlike some manufacturers that offer styli, the ThinkPad pen has a slot that can charge the pen's battery to 80% in 30 seconds, as well as providing somewhere to put it. I'm terrible at handwriting and drawing(I type much faster) so it's not a majorly compelling feature for me, but if you like taking notes by hand, it works quite well.
Here's one of the advantages of buying a ThinkPad instead of a consumer laptop: There's basically no bloatware installed. Sure, McAfee is there, and rather annoying in my opinion, but some people would actually consider that a benefit.
Other than that, you have Windows 10, which is still an excellent OS. There's not a whole lot you can do to differentiate yourself as a Windows laptop maker, other than offering a clean install, which Lenovo's pretty much done here.
At right around $1000, the ThinkPad T460S makes a lot of sense. That amazing keyboard and fingerprint reader, combined with the relatively solid specs & legendary ThinkPad build quality, make it my current top recommendation for a business laptop. For comparison, Dell's Latitude 7000 14" has a slower Core i3 processor, terribly low resolution display and otherwise similar specs for slightly more money.
However, the T460S being so good puts the X1 Yoga in an awkward position. When I first started using the two laptops, I much preferred the X1; I really like the 360 degree hinge, the pen is nice, and it just seems like a more modern device. But it's really a quite similar computer overall - yet it costs nearly $400 more. I just don't think the flexibility of the Yoga hinge and the excellent ThinkPad Pen are worth that kind of money. Certainly, if compared to something like Microsoft's Surface Book, which is at least as expensive and has a more awkward convertible design, it makes a bit more sense. But in a world where you can get a T460S or, if you don't need the business-centric features, a Dell XPS 13 or Lenovo Yoga 900 for less than 3/4 of the price, it's hard to justify. Once that OLED screen comes out, things might change however.
Friday, April 1, 2016
Tesla Motors has been promising a car with their unique design, technology, and high range electric capability at a price point far lower then their first vehicles for at least 5 years - and now we've finally gotten our first glimpse of it. At a flashy but short event in Southern California last night, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Model 3. It's a size smaller than the Model S, a lot cheaper, and is aimed directly at the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C Class, Cadillac ATS and similar entry-lux sedans. All of this we already knew, but we hadn't seen the design, with its gorgeous(but optional) front-to-back glass roof, grill-less nose, and front and rear trunks. More importantly, though we still don't know the details on specifications, there are some preliminary figures:The slowest base model will do 0-60 in less than 6 seconds and have a minimum 215 mile range on one charge, and have rear wheel drive. It'll also come standard with autopilot and Supercharger support across all models, along with having the largest volume of cargo space for the class, thanks to that front trunk. And it will start at $35,000 when it goes on sale in late 2017. Of course, there will also be higher end models available, including dual motor all wheel drive versions.
Amazingly, before they even had their event, Tesla had already secured 115,000 preorders(with a $1000 reservation fee) from people who hadn't seen the car or learned any details about it at all.
Monday, March 21, 2016
As for the products: The iPhone SE is for everyone who complains about how large phones are getting these days, but doesn't want to settle for low end or out of date specs. It's an idea Sony pioneered with their Z1 Compact years back, but a good one. Essentially, it has the specs of an iPhone 6S packed into the body of an old iPhone 5, with a 4" Retina screen with an 1136x640 resolution. Yet despite the iPhone 5-like outside and display, inside there's an Apple A9 processor, M9 coprocessor, NFC for Apple Pay, support for 802.11ac wifi, voice over LTE or Wifi calling, and 150Mbps LTE. There's also the 12MP f2.2 aperture camera with 4K video and LivePhoto support, all for $399 or $13.30 per month on Apple's installment plan. Unfortunately, that base price only gets you 16GB's of storage, which is just ridiculous in 2016 for a phone that can record 4K videos, though you can pay an extra $100 for 64GB's.
Inside, it's powered by the Apple A9X processor, which debuted on the larger iPad Pro, and of course has split screen app support. It weighs just 0.96 pounds, and has a 12MP still/4K video camera and HD webcam, along with TouchID. It'll start at $599 with 32GB's of storage space, with 128 and 256GB configurations selling for an extra $150 each, along with the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard and the usual LTE variants also available.
Finally, there's now a 256GB version of the 12" iPad Pro as well for an insane $1099 - yes, that's $300 more than a Macbook Air.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Popular team messaging/email replacement app Slack can already initiate voice calls through Google Hangouts and other similar services, but now it's getting native, in-platform support for telephony. For normal users, you'll be able to make one-to-one voice calls for free, while if you have their paid Standard plan or above, you can make conference calls with up to 15 users.
Nicely enough, Slack's leaving in the easy integration with other voice services, so you won't have to use their version unless it's convenient. Finally, since this is slack, you'll be able to send quick emoji reactions to a everyone in the call.
Monday, February 22, 2016
In other words, HP's aced the hardware here, but I see two main problems: First, Windows 10 Mobile is a distant 3rd in the smartphone race and as such doesn't have many apps that you want on a phone, and its Continuum dock mode feature is brand new and won't run classic Windows programs. Secondly, it'll likely be extremely pricey. Still, it's a nice phone, Continuum is nifty, and I still think the central idea is a good one.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
From a software perspective, the S7 duo run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the latest version of Samsung's Touchwiz software, which has seen a few refinements. It has an always on display feature, like the Moto X or LG G5, which is quite nifty, as well as a revised version of Samsung Pay that supports barcode payments. Meanwhile, one of the most important aspects of a smartphone is the camera, and the S7's sounds good so far. There's a lower resolution then last year at 12 instead of 16MP's, but this enabled larger pixels, which along with a brighter f/1.7 aperture lens, should help low light photography a lot. It's also super fast to start up.
That may change after today: The new G5 has top notch specs, looks great, and more importantly has a truly compelling differentiator: A set of accessories called "Friends" that add some pretty unique functionality, some even by becoming part of the device directly. But first, the phone itself:
The G5 is a sleek anodized aluminum and glass device with rounded edges and a gently curved display, in your choice of silver, pink, gold or a nice-looking gunmetal grey called "titan." The centerpiece is of course the 5.3" 2560x1440p IPS display, which has a trick backlight that can leave just a tiny bit on at all times in black and white at basically no hit to the battery life. Around back, there's a circular power button/fingerprint reader like on the Google Nexus 6P and 5X, and two cameras. The main shooter is a 16MP unit, and there's also an ultra-wide angle 8MP camera next too it, as well as another 8MP shooter on the front. Inside, there's Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 820, 4GB's of DDR4 RAM, and 32GB's of storage. Connectivity includes the new reversible USB Type-C connector, Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX HD for the highest quality wireless audio, and a microSD card slot. Also removable is the 2800mAh battery, which combined with Android 6.0 Marshmallow's battery savings and the more-efficient Snapdragon, should lead to pretty good battery life.