2014 was an exciting year for smartphones. Among other things, it was the year of the phablet, with even long-time big screen holdout Apple getting into the game with the new iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve had the opportunity to use the big iPhone (I opted for the more modestly sized iPhone 6 myself), but what I want to talk about today is the latest version of the smartphone that started the whole phablet thing: the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The newest Galaxy Note was a late arrival, hitting Canadian shelves at the end of October, but after spending a few weeks with the device early this year I can definitively say two things: worth the wait and still the phablet to beat in 2015.
Chances are you own a smartphone or a tablet—perhaps both. And if you do, you probably realize that you are carrying a very valuable piece of gear with you. They don’t just give these things away ... You may not realize just how fragile these devices are, but when you think about it they have at least one entire side that’s a sheet of glass and the electronics within are sensitive to dust, moisture and physical shocks. Then there’s the data on your mobile device which often includes digital photos, your web browsing history, e-mail, instant messages and passwords. That thing is a ticking time bomb! However, if you protect your tablet or smartphone like a pro, you can make the most of it on the go—like it was meant to be used— without losing sleep. Here’s how to do it.
The cool gear coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show continues, including the latest trend in desktop PCs: curves! I don’t mean the case, manufacturers are taking what they’ve learned with those curved Ultra HD TVs and are applying the same treatment to PC displays. The latest USB standard (more interesting than it sounds) is also being shown off, iPhone 6 case choices are ramping up and Nabi is offering new wall-mounted kids tablets that are probably bigger than your TV.
The first official day of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show is wrapping up. Between today and the pre-show press conferences, a huge number of new products are coming down the pipeline when it comes to computers and mobile technology. I’ve put together an overview of some of the biggest news in this area, including one announcement that’s already had a big ripple effect in the PC industry: Intel’s “Broadwell” 5th generation Core processors.
byBradMoon12-16-201407:34 AM - edited 12-17-201408:53 AM
When it comes to choosing a new smartphone, hardware features are important —the display size, CPU and camera image sensor are always something to consider. The operating system is arguably an even more important choice. Right now there are four main mobile operating systems: iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry. Not sure which one should be on your next smartphone? I’m here to help you choose.
If you’re like most typical Canadian homes, you probably still have a landline plus several cell phones. The Panasonic Connect series include the Panasonic KXPRD262 and Panasonic KX-PRW120c that provides a bridge between your landline and smartphone.
Did someone on your holiday shopping list pick up a new smartphone this year? Or maybe they have an older one but aren’t making the most of it. Either way, here are some great ideas for gifts that will help them get the most from their smartphone.
2014 saw a bumper crop of new smartphones, including the long-awaited “bigger” iPhones, what is arguably Samsung’s best looking smartphone ever and BlackBerry’s return to its classic QWERTY roots. If a new smartphone is on your holiday shopping list, I’ve put together a collection of 10 of the biggest smartphone releases of the year —complete with a comparison of key features— that should make choosing the perfect smartphone a little easier.
You may not know that OtterBox is one of the fastest growing high tech companies, a supplier of ruggedized electronic gear protection to the US military and the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phone cases. Chances are, you know the OtterBox Defender, though. These super-tough cases have a well-deserved reputation for protecting smartphones and tablets from drops, scratches and other hazards. For those who aren’t familiar with the OtterBox Defender, here’s an overview of this award-winning series of protective cases.
Samsung makes the world’s the best-selling Android flagship smartphone in the Galaxy S5, but not everyone is a fan of the device. Among the most frequent complaints are its large size and its all-plastic design. Samsung was obviously listening because the Galaxy Alpha addresses both of those issues with a premium metal-framed body and compact design. The Galaxy Alpha is Samsung’s best-looking smartphone to date, yet still offers a high performance Android experience.
Sony has been making waves with its latest smartphones, the Z3 Compact and the flagship Xperia Z3. I just sent a loaner Xperia Z3 back to Sony after several weeks of enjoying its big screen Android experience. This is one nice-looking smartphone and just in time for winter snow showers, it’s waterproof. And don’t get me started on the battery life. Read on for my full Sony Xperia Z3 experience.
Fans of Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile platform can be forgiven for feeling left out with the glut of new smartphone releases every fall. New iPhones, BlackBerries and Android phones are commonplace, but Windows? A little tougher to come by. However, Microsoft announced a new “affordable flagship” Lumia smartphone at IFA 2014 in September and the Nokia Lumia 830 is now finding its way into Canada. It sports the familiar colourful polycarbonate shell and a big 5-inch display at an affordable price point.
Last year’s Moto X was a surprise hit, winning praise for its attractive design, nearly pure Android UI and excellent value proposition. This year’s follow-up Moto X is much more than a spec-bumped version 2. The new Moto X is significantly bigger, much more powerful and gains new features, while retaining much of the appeal of the original. I just wrapped up a week with the 2014 Moto X and I’ll be sorry to see it go.
byBradMoon11-13-201405:48 PM - edited 11-14-201411:41 AM
If you’re one of those long-time BlackBerry fans who still holds on to your battered BlackBerry Bold 9900 because you just don’t see the point of an all touchscreen BlackBerry and couldn’t live without the trackpad and navigation keys that didn’t make it to the Q10 or Passport, the company has your back. It just officially announced the BlackBerry Classic.
The task of switching from your summer wardrobe to your fall wardrobe can feel daunting; going from espadrilles and sundresses, to boots and sweaters is like saying goodbye to sunshine and welcoming the cold, and that can be tough. But there’s something amazing about embracing new styles and colours, it’s like going back to school without the textbooks and teachers. Each fall you get the chance to try a new style on for size!
So you think you might want a Virgin Mobile phone. You’ve heard about Sir Richard Branson and his plans to travel through space and time (OK, maybe not time) and you’re thinking that Virgin Mobile might be the best place for you. You’re right. Because with us you’re not just a customer, you’re a Member. But, what does that mean?
Sometimes a return to basics gives you enough features that you can forgo the more expensive models out there. I will first give an overall review of the Moto G, then delve a bit deeper into its unique apps including Motorola Migrate, Assist, Alert as well as the privacy settings, speakers, camera and video features.
Every time Apple release a new version of iOS —the mobile operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (and behind the scenes the Apple TV)— it’s a big deal. On September 17, the company began rolling out iOS 8, what it’s calling “the biggest iOS release ever.” What can you expect from iOS 8? Should you upgrade immediately? Here are my thoughts after I installed iOS 8 on my iPad, as well as using it for a day on a newly arrived iPhone 6.
Books, tuition fees and supplies can leave a dent in your wallet. With only a two-year contract, these budget friendly phones get an A+ for affordability. They take the sting out of not being able to afford iPhone 6.
Motorola kept everyone guessing about exactly when they were going to do their official product announcements at IFA 2014, but it finally happened on Friday. That’s okay, we pretty much knew what was coming. The Moto 360 —the round-faced Android Wear smartwatch that everyone’s been talking about for the past six months— is finally official and coming to Canadian launch partner Best Buy this fall. Also announced were the next generation Motorola smartphones, the Moto X and Moto G and the tiny Moto Hint earpiece.
IFA 2014 was the location for yet more high tech announcements as Sony got in the game. Among the new products from Sony are the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (billed as the world’s slimmest and lightest compact tablet), new smartphones led by the new Xperia Z3 flagship, a new Android Wear-powered Smartwatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk fitness tracker.
At its first Unpacked event in February, Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy S5 smartphone along with a trio of wearables: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 took place on September 3 and this time Samsung unveiled the successor to its best-selling Galaxy Note phablets —and a lot more. Introducing the Galaxy Note 4, the curved screen Galaxy Note Edge, curved display Gear S smartwatches and the Gear VR.
There’s a dead zone in my home. If you’re not outside on the back deck or by the front door you won’t get a cell phone signal – doesn’t matter the phone or the service. With the prospect of another winter shivering outside to talk on the cell, I was anxious to check out the Wilson DT Desktop Signal Booster.
One of the rituals of going back to school these days is choosing a new smartphone. I’m going through it myself as my daughter starts high school. Which smartphone is the best for students? The answer depends on many factors, and ultimately everyone is going to come up with a different pick depending on how much importance they put on things like price or app selection. In this post I’ll walk you through factors you should consider and offer a few contenders as the best smartphone for students.
Heading back to school in September? Chances are you have a tablet and even if you own a laptop PC as well, I’ll bet you’d rather be carrying the ultra-light tablet to classes than the heavier and bulkier computer. And many students are choosing to go with a tablet exclusively. Whether you’re using the tablet as your primary device or switching back and forth between it and a PC, this list of must-have productivity apps that will ensure you get the most out of your mobile device.
With its signature Moto G 4G LTE, Motorola proves that simplicity is powerful. Don’t let the low price tag fool you. The MotoG may cost less than other devices but it performs like a higher end Smartphone.
byBradMoon06-29-201409:47 AM - edited 06-29-201409:47 AM
Sometimes two products work together so well that they mesh into an extension of one another and become that much better than either is on its own. Each might be pretty cool, but together, they becomes something special. That’s the case with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone and its Galaxy Fit fitness band. I had a week to try out these Samsung flagship devices and came away impressed with how well the two combine into what’s currently one of the best experiences out there for someone with an active, connected lifestyle.
Every year Google holds a conference aimed at its developer community. Every year a preview of the latest version of its Android mobile operating system is shown and sometimes there are some surprise appearances —like the public debut of Google Glass at I/O 2012. This year, a wicked fast and new-look Android was revealed (it’s “L” for now, with no sweet-themed name attached), Android Auto was announced for connected cars, Google Fit confirmed the rumours Google is interested in your health, Android Wear showed off awesome new smartwatches from LG and Samsung while Android TV is another crack at conquering your living room. Basically, the theme was Android everywhere. Here’s what you need to know from Google I/O 2014.
Welcome to the Plug-in Blog!
Get the latest news, reviews and how-to’s from tech enthusiasts across Canada and learn how technology can enhance your lifestyle. Looking to eliminate techno stress? You've come to the right place!