Amazon Fire Phone review: The smartphone that shouldn’t exist

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Sometime after Amazon launched their first tablets, the rumors started circulating that they were readying a smartphone. However, it took nearly 3 years until something official was introduced. What took so long? Reports indicated that Amazon went back to the drawing board at least once, possibly more. Amazon knew this was a bold move and they wanted to “get it right.” They decided that the world needed something different, and it would take a little longer. By incorporating multiple camera lenses, the Fire Phone features a user interface with a Dynamic Perspective giving you a somewhat 3D experience. Yes it’s a gimmick, but the Amazon Fire Phone is more about selling Amazon products and services. Gimmicks aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Samsung has made a lot of money with gimmicks, so it’s possible Amazon could find that same success. However, this is no Android phone. Yes, it’s built using Android, but it feels like a completely different operating system. It doesn’t even have any of the same Google services that you will find on the majority of other Android (and Apple) phones. Buying the Fire Phone is like buying into something completely different, so it better offer something very compelling. Does the world need an Amazon phone?


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LG G3 Review: Everything you want in a smartphone

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Will the third time be a charm? You can tell that LG really wants to swim with the bigger fish, that is Samsung and Apple, but they just can’t seem to gain any market share. The G series is their flagship, but go up to the average person in the street and ask them if they have heard of the Optimus G, the G2, or even the G3, and I can guarantee you that 8 to 9 out of 10 people will say no. It’s not even like LG is an unknown brand. They are very well known for their TVs and appliances, but when it comes to smartphones, they continue to play second fiddle to Samsung and Apple.

So here we are again, wondering if the G3 will take LG to the Promised Land. It certainly has the fire power to do just that. With a Quad HD display and a camera that features laser autofocus, LG is ahead of Samsung and Apple in terms of hardware. Another plus is that Samsung’s market share is on the decline so consumers might be looking for something different. The G3 might be classified as a “big boy,” but is it ready to play with the “big boys?”


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Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review: It’s all about the display, and it’s gorgeous

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Samsung is the reigning king when it comes to smartphone market share, but that success never translated to tablets. With the smartphone market slowing, Samsung made a decision to go “all in” on tablets for 2014. It all started in January with the Galaxy Tab Pro series and the Galaxy Note Pro. Then they followed up with the Galaxy Tab 4 series a few months later. That seemed like enough, but Samsung wasn’t done. They decided to come out with something extraordinary. The Tab S promises to sport the most amazing display on a tablet ever, not to mention it’s pretty thin. There is no shortage of tablets available today. From budget to high-end, you won’t have trouble finding something. This begs the question…..Do consumers really care about the high-end when it comes to tablets? The Tab S isn’t crazy expensive, but you will find plenty of cheaper offerings. Should the Tab S be your next tablet?


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LG G Watch and Android Wear review: The smartwatch revolution has begun

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Smartwatches have been around for a couple of years now, but most consumers sat on the sidelines waiting for something more compelling. Watches like the WiMM One, Sony SmartWatches, and Galaxy Gears (now just Gear) were all okay, but they seemed to serve as appetizers for the main course. Why? Because they lacked consistency or a solid foundation. Plus, most people knew Google, not to mention Apple, had something up their sleeve.

Google did have something up their sleeve and it’s called Android Wear. A simple version of Android that allows developers to add code to their existing apps rather than creating something from scratch. Android Wear will also be free from manufacturer skins, which gives everyone a consistent user experience.


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[App Review] Take control of your mobile data with the redesigned My Data Manager 4.0

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Not too long ago, we went over some of the best apps available for monitoring how much data you use per month on your smartphone. On that list, we featured My Data Manager, which was a fully featured and well designed data monitoring tool. Just a few weeks ago, My Data Manager was updated to version 4.0, bringing a brand new interface and several new features that give you more control over how you keep up with your monthly usage. Since it was a pretty big update, we decided now would be the perfect time to give My Data Manager an in-depth review.


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[App Review] UberConference is a conference calling service with a focus on efficiency

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UberConference aims to take the stress and confusion out of conference calling. There are a ton of similar services, and many are very expensive and a hassle to use. The goal of UberConference is to offer a free/low-cost option that can integrate with  your other social media accounts.

There is a desktop component to UberConference, but mobile is just as important these days. Being able to do things away from a computer is the whole purpose of an application. With UberConference’s mobile application, users can instantly call or schedule calls with contacts by selecting a meeting time. The leaders of UberConference’s team all worked on Google Voice and CEO Craig Walker is the man behind what is Google Voice today. It’s safe to say the people behind UberConference know exactly what they’re doing.

Hit the break for the review of UberConference. You will also find out how you can try the Pro plan for free.

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Huawei Ascend Mate2 4G review: Extra large and light on the wallet

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Huawei (pronounced  Wah-Way) isn’t the most well known name, at least in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. They might not be in the same ballpark as Samsung and Apple, but they do sit in the 3rd spot with just under 5% of the global market share. Now Huawei has set their sights on Samsung. That is lofty to say the least, but one thing is for sure, you can’t be number one without a presence in the U.S. So Huawei has made the Ascend Mate2 4G available for purchase now. Unfortunately, it’s not available at a carrier store, which is where most consumers feel comfortable buying a phone. However, if you’re willing to order it online, you can grab it unlocked and contract free for only $299. It’s GSM and LTE based, so it will work on either AT&T or T-Mobile. Should your next smartphone be a Huawei? Well hit the break to get started.


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Moto E Review: A cheap smartphone worth buying

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If I asked you which phone is Motorola’s best selling phone of all time, you would probably answer with the Moto X. You would be wrong as it is the Moto G, which is a budget phone. Budget phones are generally laughed at, but they happen to part of the fastest growing segment. With 70% of the worldwide population using a flip phone or feature phone, they are unlikely to upgrade to a flagship when they finally join the smartphone craze. They could opt for a Moto G, but Motorola is now offering something that is even more budget-friendly. The Moto E promises to be built to last and priced for all. You can’t argue that $129 isn’t an amazing price for a contract free and unlocked smartphone, but is it too good to be true? Well hit the break to get started.


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Samsung Galaxy S 5 review: Sticking with what already works

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It’s hard to believe we are already on the 5th generation of the Galaxy S phone. The Galaxy S series is by far the most popular line of Android smartphones, and the reason is simple – marketing, marketing, and did I say marketing? It’s hard to watch anything on television without seeing some sort of Samsung commercial. The “Galaxy” name has become a household name much like the iPhone has. Samsung is also famous for its consistency. Their smartphones and tablets look and operate very similarly from year to year. Hardcore fanboys don’t go for that, but Samsung didn’t get to the top of the mountain selling hardcore fanboys, they did it by catering to the mainstream audience. These are the folks that when they buy a new phone, they want it to operate just like their previous one. Samsung does that better than anyone. Last year’s Galaxy S 4 didn’t change much in terms of design, so most people thought the Galaxy S 5 would bring a radical change, but that didn’t happen. Much like last year’s Galaxy S 4, the Galaxy S 5 appears to be a slight upgrade. Some will say this is a lack of innovation, but Samsung feels the Galaxy S 5 is very innovative. Will the Galaxy S 5 keep the Samsung faithful happy? Well hit the break to get started.


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[App Review] UpTo, the expansive calendar app, is ambitiously returning to the Play Store

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There are so many calendar applications available in the Play Store. In fact, we looked at some of them as 2013 came to a close. Many calendar apps fail to be presentable when swamped with a ton of content. Because of this, managing what is really important becomes way too difficult. And by now, the experience is confusing and almost unusable. So what if there was an application that had a personal calendar on the forefront and everything else pushed to the back, ready when called upon.

Putting it all together in a meaningful way is where UpTo comes in. This is not UpTo’s first time in the Play Store. It was actually available for Android devices previously, but was silently removed to be relaunched. Today, UpTo returns to the Play Store with a brand new design.
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