Hands-on with the LG G3

May 27, 2014

I just got a chance to play with the LG G3 at the satellite launch event here in San Francisco. Wow! This is one impressive handset… Last year’s G2 was a solid phone, but this year’s G3 looks to be even better. The big news are the quad-HD (2560×1440 pixel) 5.5-inch display and the laser AF system on the OIS-equipped 13MP camera. Check out my hands-on video and matching pictures.

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HTC One mini 2 video review

May 26, 2014

After spending 10 days with the HTC One mini 2, I almost prefer it over the HTC One (M8). This is an excellent compact phone that feels great in hand and provides solid performance and battery life. It fixes most of the shortcomings of last year’s model (like NFC) and even beats the M8 in some areas (camera resolution). Here’s my video review.

Update: Here are camera samples, as promised.

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HTC One (M8) video review

April 27, 2014

I’ve already discussed the new HTC One (M8) at length in my hands-on video and most recent podcast, but here’s my video review. The verdict? It’s one of the finest phones on the market today.

After you’re finished watching the video, check out some camera samples.

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HTC One for 2014: hands-on with the new “M8″

March 25, 2014

Last week I briefly got the chance to handle HTC’s new “M8” flagship — the HTC One for 2014. My takeaway? This is a beautiful handset, but very much an evolution of last year’s “M7” design. Most updates (5-inch display, Snapdragon 801 processor) are to be expected, and some are welcome (microSD expansion).

The phone features a trick new dual-lens “Duo” camera, pairing a 4MP UltraPixel lens with a 2MP module for depth perception — expect my thoughts (and full review) in the next several days. The new HTC One is available today from multiple carriers ($200-250) along with a Google Play edition ($700).

Here’s my hands-on video, along with some pictures and notes after the break.

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HTC Butterfly S review: the tale of a lost flagship

December 31, 2013

It’s hard not to argue that for one hot minute last winter, HTC’s Butterfly — known as the Droid DNA in the US — eclipsed the One X/X+ as the company’s flagship. The combination of a brilliant 5-inch Full HD display and zippy quad-core S4 Pro chip set a new benchmark for all superphones. HTC’s follow-up — the One — hit the tech world like a ton of bricks. It raised the bar even further thanks to its superb design, Snapdragon 600 processor, UltraPixel camera and BoomSound speakers. Which brings me to the Butterfly S, an updated Butterfly that incorporates many of the One’s features and packs a massive 3200mAh battery without being supersized like the One max. It isn’t coming to the US this time around, but I got a review unit anyway. So, how does the Butterfly S differ from its predecessor? Is it a better phone than the HTC One? Hit the break to find out.

Here’s my unboxing video, captured #throughglass:

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BMW ActiveE review: the affordable electric sports car

December 11, 2013

I play with a lot of mobile devices each year. While some are larger than others, a few are so big that they don’t fit in the palm of my hands or even in my messenger bag. I’m talking about electric and plug-in hybrids vehicles, of course — tech which defines mobility not in terms of fitting in my pockets, but in terms of moving me around. Then again, it helps that I’m both a phone enthusiast and a car buff.

Since 2010, I’ve covered a wide variety of autos — from Toyota’s Prius plug-in hybrid to the Chevy Spark EV. I’ve tested Ford’s Focus Electric and Fusion Energi. I’ve even driven Tesla’s phenomenal Model S. Today I bring you my take on BMW’s ActiveE, a limited-production electric 1-series coupé that served as a testbed for the company’s i3 city vehicle. Like the Focus Electric, it’s built on a platform that was originally designed to be gasoline-powered. Like Tesla’s Roadster it uses a chassis with a credible sporting pedigree. Still, it slots between these two in terms of price, performance and practicality.

Last year, I spent a weekend driving the ActiveE on the hilly streets of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge and on the highways and twisty back-roads of Marin county. Has BMW hit the sweet spot when it comes to making an affordable electric sports car? Is the ActiveE fun to drive? Does the actual range match what’s on the spec sheet? Is the ActiveE the foundation for BMW’s electric future? Join me on a very special road-trip after the break.

Here’s my video review:

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Nexus 5 video review

November 17, 2013

I’ve been using the Nexus 5 as my primary handset for a little over two weeks. Here’s my video review.

Once you’re done with the video, take a look at some camera samples.



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