Moto X (2014) review: Specs matter this time around

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Last year’s Moto X was a highly anticipated phone, but when it was announced, you could hear a pin drop. Then the reviews starting coming in and eventually it was selected as the Android smartphone of 2013 by many tech writers, including myself. Unfortunately as with many award winning phones, it doesn’t always translate into sales.

Fast forward one year, and Motorola has an all new version of the phone with the same name. Motorola felt they already had a winner, but based on consumer feedback, they wanted to upgrade many aspects of the device to make it even more appealing. With a larger display, beefier processor, better camera, an aluminum frame, and upgrades to the software, is this the smartphone of the year again? Hit the break to find out.


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[App Review] Amazon joins an already crowded field with Prime Music

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The competition between music streaming services is fierce. Everyone from tech giants to smaller, individual services are going at it to get ahold of you for some listening time. In June, Amazon entered the arena with an extension to its Prime subscription that costs $99. The company introduced Prime Music, an unlimited music streaming service that has absolutely no advertisements. Prime Music offers more than one million songs by thousands of artists to be streamed endlessly. It is built into the Amazon Music app that brings together your existing library, a traditional store, and Prime Music.


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Moto 360 review: Does it live up to the hype?

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Google introduced Android Wear back in March with a lot of fanfare all because of a circular watch about the size of an Oreo cookie. Motorola announced the Moto 360 on the very same day telling us that we would have to wait until the summer. The anticipation seemed to grow daily for what seemed to be the sexiest smartwatch ever. We would see a few leaks here and there, but they just left us salivating for more.

Then came Google I/O in June when Google officially launched Android wear and a couple of watches. The hopeful were anticipating the release of this fine device, but we were told to expect it later in the summer. We were able to get our hands on it, but again, we were just salivating dogs eagerly waiting for the big day.

That day came on September 5th, when the Moto 360 was finally offered for sale. It has been nearly 6 months of anticipation and just about as much hype as any Nexus phone. Now that it’s finally here, there is only one question left….Does it live up to the hype? Priced at $249, it isn’t the cheapest, but it’s round (well mostly) and it looks damn good. Hell, it’s $100 cheaper than the cheapest version of the Apple Watch, and that isn’t even available yet. So is the Moto 360 the holy grail of smartwatches? Well hit the break and let’s get started.


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Galaxy S 5 Sport for Sprint quick review

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Samsung is the king of variant phones, meaning they release a phone and proceed to release different versions of the same phone. The Galaxy S 5 is already available on Sprint, but they are offering a different version called the Galaxy S 5 Sport (Galaxy S 5 Active on AT&T). It’s basically a Galaxy S 5 geared towards the fitness crowd. The design is by far the biggest difference, but it also includes Sprint’s new Fit Live app. The Galaxy S 5 Sport also comes with a $100 premium ($199 vs $99 on contract). Are these differences a good enough reason to spend the extra dough? Hit the break to find out.


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A closer look at the battery life on the Moto 360

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The Moto 360 debut was a little tarnished from a lot of talk about the battery life, and rightfully so. After using the LG G Watch for over 2 months, and switching to the Moto 360, I too noticed a dramatic difference. The early reviewers immediately said you can’t get through a day with it, then other sites chimed in saying, “it’s not all that bad,” and chalked it up to everyone overly using it the first few days. That can be true at times, but the opposite can happen when someone is trying to prove something they want so bad. It’s called rationalization. Let’s face it, we all want to say the Moto 360 has fantastic battery life since it’s a very cool watch. I find that people will purposely not use a device as much to convince themselves that things are A-OK. Get a notification and grab it from your phone instead, and so on. Trust me, I am guilty of this myself. Plus there is the whole argument about my usage is more than yours and his usage is less than hers, and blah blah blah. So how does one test the device taking all that out of the picture?


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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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