Sunday, November 29, 2015

Unboxing the Nexus 5X (& Periscope)



Ah, the infamous Nexus device. The device Android lovers long for throughout the year. This year we were lucky enough to get two of them. If you haven't already, read our first impressions of the Nexus 6P. But now, ladies and gentleman, I'll unbox for you the Nexus 5X.

Note: I attempted to also Periscope the unboxing at the same time. After all, you can't unbox something twice. That's why the filming is a little off-center at times, and we apologize for that.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Unboxing the 3rd Gen Moto x (Pure Edition)



Motorola announced the next in line in their Moto X line earlier this year in August. But they didn't actually released for a few weeks later. I wasn't able to get a review unit from Motorola, so the next best thing is to buy one for myself. It's bigger, it's got the right version of Lollipop. Let's unbox this bad boy and see what it's really all about.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nexus 6P - The First Date


First Impressions
Setting up the Nexus 6P proved to be as simple as Google promises everything will be. Plug in the phone, turn it on, select your preferred language, log into your Google account, confirm on your previous device’s Google Settings that everything can be transferred and let Google work its magic on getting all of your apps and contacts on your Nexus 6P. It was seamless, flawless and relatively quick. (I say “relatively” because I was basically like a kid on Christmas morning, too excited to wait to play with my new toy.) I finally set down the phone to let everything sync properly without me flipping through apps and such.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mobile Blast Podcast Episode 2 "That Nexus Feelin'"


Join us tonight at 9PM Eastern for Episode 2 of the Mobile Blast Podcast where Matt, Devin, myself, and special guest Genny Toddy, who is a journalist in a separate industry (music) and lover of her new Nexus 6P. We'll talk about our first impressions of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. We've got both devices in hand and we'll be ready to answer your questions.

You can participate in the Q&A via Hangouts or your can email us ahead of time at mobileblast@baldypal.com. We'll try to answer all your questions on the air.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

UPDATED: PSA: Verizon Unlimited Data Customers: Here's How to Save $444 over the next 2 Years


Oh, Verizon! You've been trying to run us out for a few years now. Each year a new attempt to get us grandfathered unlimited data customers to jump ship and join in the fun of "capped" data. Several of us, nay, many of us, say "no way!" Several have left you and went to T-Mobile's unlimited option. This guy can't do that. T-Mobile has no signal at my work. So with each attempt you make, I dig deeper and find a new way to out fox the fox.

Verizon dropped unlimited as an option back in June of 2011. This year, Verizon is increasing the cost of unlimited data by $20 per monthly bill. Originally, $30 for unlimited data will now be $50. They have closed a few loopholes in the past. Such as buying a new line of service, moving that smart phone to your unlimited line, then reducing that new line down to the bare minimum. That's how I got my Moto X in 2013. Then in 2014, they closed that loophole by mandating that if you buy a new line of service with data, it has to keep data on it for the full 2 year agreement.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Are These the Droids You've Been Looking For? Verizon Announces the Droid Turbo 2 & the Droid Maxx 2


This morning, in New York City, Verizon and Motorola announced the release of the new Droid devices, yes, "devices", as in plural. The Droid Turbo 2 and the Droid Maxx 2. It was a small gathering, no flashy cinema, no extravagant dancers or sing-along songs. Just 3 or 4 executives giving us the download on this new phones. Short and Sweet! 

Live Event to be Held by Verizon Wireless & Motorola to Announce New Droids 11AM Eastern


This morning, at 11AM Eastern in New York City, Verizon and Motorola take to the stage to announce their new line of Droid products. We expect that to be the Droid Turbo 2 (at the least) and quite possibly the Droid Maxx 2.

We gather from past rumors that the Droid Turbo 2 will be the rebranded version of the Moto X Play. Then the possible Droid Maxx 2 will be a rebranding of a phone we haven't even seen yet, the Moto X Force. Take it with a grain of salt though, it could be the other way around.

This is the link to the livestream at 11AM Eastern.
http://www.verizonwireless.com/news

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mobile Blast Podcast: Episode 1 "Let's Do This Thing!"


The very first episode of the Mobile Blast Podcast went off without a hitch! We talked on Microsoft to Dell Streak 2015 (does not exist), from iPhone 6S to Galaxy S6. So many bases and we covered them all. Thank you to everyone who joined us. But if you missed it, you can catch it here on the Android Anthem YouTube channel.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Note 5


The Samsung Note lineup has been an interesting evolution in technology. It began as "that's too much screen" and now 4 years later it's "the best phablet option on the market". To say that it's an option infers that there are multiple phablets from which to choose, and the Samsung Note series started that trend.

Now, almost all manufactures are making top of the line smartphones in the 5.5" to 6" range. Although, personally, I prefer a 5" to 5.3" screen, I'm obviously in the minority. They wouldn't be making their flagship, top of the line device, so large if the consumers didn't demand it. 

<sarcasm>Thanks, Samsung! </sarcasm>

Friday, July 31, 2015

Nvidia Announces a Recall on the Shield Tablet


This morning, Nvidia announced a voluntary recall on all Nvidia Shield tablets purchased between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015. Apparently there is a major battery overheating issue that they feel is sever enough to pose as a fire threat.

Again, this recall is voluntary, so you can decide to take your chance to keep using you Shield Tablet. But if your concerned, all the details of the recall can be found on the official Nvidia press release.

Also, there is a form to fill out in order to register for a replacement tablet, at no cost to you. Reading the form will explain in greater detail that the battery category has two potential options, B01 and Y01. It's the Y01 battery that should have you concerned. If you have a B01 battery, you have nothing to worry about.

Recall registration form can be found here. Start by downloading the most recent system updates and them walk through the steps on that page.

Did you have a Y01 battery Shield Tablet? Of course this comes as a surprise to us all. Who's bummed out? Are you going to take your chances and keep your shield anyway?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Motorola Announces the Moto X Style, Moto X Play and the 3rd Gen Moto G


Although the company has had 3 different corporate owners in four years, Motorola Mobility continues to bring forth some nicely designed hardware in the "smart" market. The Moto X and it's custom design "by You" process via MotoMaker.com was something no one else had tried up until that time, 2 years ago. Then the Moto G, the best selling smartphone for the company, ever. Today, Motorola is holding a 3 city event across the globe to introduce the newest versions of both of these products, plus one more.

Monday, July 27, 2015

UPDATED: The Launch of the OnePlus 2


Through the aid of cardboard goggles, OnePlus announces it's predecessor to last years #NeverSettle smartphone; the OnePlus 2. Taking the event from the typical stage and into Virtual Reality, OnePlus allows any of its fans to participate in their launch event of the year.

Their humble leader Carl Pei expresses over and over that most launches are focused around the specs of a telephone, but they want to focus on the experience. Despite all that, the specs are still very important. Last year, the One Plus One was truly in direct line of any other flagship phones but for a fraction of the cost. This year, they stay true to their roots and build another specked out phone, and made sure it was future proof with the first time use of of the USB type C charging component. That's a USB charger that will plug in either orientation.

The rest of the specs include: 3300 mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, SnapDragon 810 Octa-core processor, 5.5 inch 1080P HD display, and a 13 MP camera. This phone has the top specs of the year, though they boast it is future proof enough that it is the 2016 flagship killer, insinuating there will not be a phone in 2015 that can compete.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Unboxing the Nvidia Shield TV


Android TV has been on the seen for just over 1 year now. Just as the name suggests, its purpose is to bring the power of the Android operating system to your television. Some manufacturers are building Android TV directly into the software on the television, while others are building it into a "set top" box which you can connect to any TV which has HDMI input.

The original set top box with built in Android TV was the Nexus Player which was built by Asus but "envisioned" by Google themselves. It definitely has a place in the history of Android as its the first with Android TV and it's a Nexus. A few other manufacturers have joined into the game recently. One of them being Nvidia. You may know about Nvidia because typically they make the processors for computers or other computing hardware. Their Shield TV is the 3rd iteration of their "Shield" product line where they have also built the full piece of hardware donning Android.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge


Samsung has introduced 2 new top tier phones this year with the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge. Thanks to my partners at Verizon, I've been able to get my hands on the latter and take it for a test drive. But first, all good phones deserve a great unboxing video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Unboxing the LG G Flex 2


Last year, there were two phones that broke ground in "curved" screens: The LG G Flex and the Samsung Galaxy Taco Round. The biggest difference being the choice in direction of curve. Now, Samsung chose not to follow up with a second Galaxy Round, but LG really thinks its really on to something. So this year, they introduced the LG G Flex2, lightly smaller screen, higher pixel resolution, same curve; from top to bottom.

My partners at LG loaned me a G Flex2 so that I can review all the pros and cons of this years only (right now at least) flexible and curved phone. But before the review can begin, we have got to unbox the thing. Let's take a look....

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Unboxing the Sony Xperia Z3v from Verizon Wireless


In October 2014, Sony and Verizon announced their partnership in a unique build of smartphone and dubbed it the Sony Xperia Z3v. It's a mixture of the Z2 and Z3 in look, design, and internal components. The Z2 was released early 2014 and the Z3 was released just a month earlier. Stay with me after the break and let's take a look at the hardware and components to come along inside the box of the Sony Xperia Z3v brought to you by my partners at Verizon Wireless.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Hardware Tour of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge


Samsung is daring. I think everyone can agree to that statement. They are not afraid to push the limits to see how far you will accept their concept of adventure in technology. In this case, they bent down the side of a phone's screen so that it curves around the edge. Join me as I take you on a quick hardware tour of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Brought to you by my partners at AT&T.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Unboxing the HTC Desire Eye from AT&T



Last October, HTC released a mixture of mid-range and top of the line. Nice size screen, decent specs, and not just 1, but 2 ... yes 2....13 megapixel cameras; one on the back, and unexpectedly, one on the front as well. The call it the Desire Eye.

My friends at AT&T let me borrow one for a few weeks so that I could put it through the paces and test it out so that I can tell you everything you need to know and help you decide if this is the phone for you. But before any great review, comes a traditional unboxing ceremony. Ladies and gentleman, with no further adieu, I present to you the HTC Desire Eye.

Friday, February 6, 2015

With 3 ways to Hold, It's Hard to Put Down the Yoga Tablet 2 from Lenovo (Review)



They have taken the enterprise laptop market by storm with the ThinkPad series after purchasing it from IBM in 2005. Now Lenovo is breaking into the mobile market with the Yoga tablet. They even purchased Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014 to advance their endeavor. Recently released in October 2014, Lenovo brings us multiple options with both size and operating systems, be it Android or Windows. Thanks to my friends at Lenovo, this past month, I've had the pleasure of using the Yoga Tablet 2, 10 inch Android model.

I had never used a Lenovo made Android device before, so I went into this review with an open mind and was ready for anything. I had a few expectations based on the fact that I have used so many other Android devices, but I couldn't wait to see how Lenovo has chosen to spin Android with their own tweaks, or design.

Yoga differentiates itself in the tablet market in a number of positive ways. No matter how you prefer to hold your tablet, or what purpose you choose use it for, Lenovo designed the Yoga Tablet 2 to fit all your needs.  From the start there are two sizes to choose from that run Android: 8 inch and 10 inch. And  they run a respectfully current version of it too, Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat. I'm glad to see that Lenovo continues to support this tablet. In fact, during my review something like that happened. Granted, the update was just minor bug fixes, no major jump in operating system version, but that's perfectly OK. Honestly, the latest and greatest isn't important if it doesn't run smoothly. Being that the very most current version of Android, Lollipop 5.0.2 is still fairly new and brings its own buggy baggage to the table, I'm sure Lenovo wants 5.0 to bake a little bit longer. I don't blame them for taking that approach. The version of Android out of the box has baked for a year now. It runs smooth, fluid, and little to no hiccups. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Google & Motorola Bring Us the Nexus 6: Here's the Review


When it originally began, the Nexus program was a Google adventure to help developers get their hands on hardware that was best suited for the latest and greatest version of the Android software. The devices were very cool, elite, and expensive. Expensive mostly because they couldn't be purchased with subsidized contract prices from carriers. As the years pass though, Nexus products reduced in price while remaining high in standards and quality. 

The Nexus series is owned by Google, but Google doesn't make their own hardware. So they would partner up with a manufacturer such as HTC, Samsung or LG. The plan was to take one of their top of the line phones, tweak the hardware a bit, and then match it up with the perfect Android software. The first was the HTC Nexus One which was first released in January 2010. Five more iterations later, and today we have the Motorola Nexus 6. My friends over at AT&T let me borrow one for a few weeks and take it on a test drive. I'm ready to bring you the Nexus goodness in the package. And some unexpected lows as well. Stick with me to learn more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Which One Will You Choose? A Comparison of Samsung's Note 4 & Note Edge



For the past 4 years, Samsung has released a large screen phone and they pioneered the phablet concept. They call it the Galaxy Note series. They have been big hits too. The thing is four years ago people would joke about phones that large, but today its pretty much expected. I, for one, am not a phablet guy. One thing is different this year, though. Instead of just releasing one new Galaxy Note, Samsung decided that they needed to release two.

And we are talking about Samsung here. Something has to be significantly different about the second device in order to release two Notes in one year. Once you put your eyes on them, you'll immediately recognize one has a screen that wraps along the right edge. 

Welcome to the Android Anthem, and this is a comparison of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Two new phones in Samsung's most popular line of phones, one very distinct difference. Let's compare them both in order to find out all the other unique factors.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Verizon Droid Turbo from Motorola (Review)



The Verizon Droid series. Many would say its how Android got its start. They would be right to a certain degree, as it is the series that brought Android out into the public eye with the original Motorola Droid in October 2009. With a 3.5 inch screen and a sliding keyboard, both of which are pretty much unheard of these days, it was the must have in Android for its time. There have been many iterations of a "Droid" phone, many times there were more than one released in a single year. I couldn't begin to name them all, but I think you're starting to understand my point that it all pretty much started with "Droid". (Queue the robotic voice in your head from those early commercials "DROOOIIIIID".)

The newest to the Droid family is the Motorola Droid Turbo, unlike its predecessors, the Droid Turbo was built with top of the line...everything: Battery, display, processor, software. If you name the spec, and this puppy probably has the latest and greatest. Verizon and Motorola really put everything on the line with their partnership phone this year. Thanks to my friends at Verizon Wireless, I was able to take this baby on a test drive for two weeks and I'm prepared to address all the hardware and software concerns. Leave me a question in the comments if I accidentally leave anything out.