Posts for Mobile Category

Review: Samsung Galaxy S10+

Mohammed Rayan

In a world of smartphones dominated by notches, Samsung was the only company to stick to its industrial design of curved sides and thick top and bottom bezels. While some would say that this looked “old-fashioned” , others would choose words like “practical” and “symmetric”. And now with its latest offering, the Galaxy S10/S10+, Samsung has gone back to the drawing board to create a design that reflects the smartphone of today.

I have spent one month with the Galaxy S10+ as my daily driver and here’s my review. Please note that whatever I say holds true for the regular S10 as well, save for the battery capacity and the display size.

Starting from the front, The S10+ has the new “Infinity-O display” which has a cutout for the front camera in the screen, allowing the bezels to be thinner than ever on any Samsung phone till date. The screen is curved on the sides allowing it to blend seamlessly with the side. The rear of the phone is all glass, housing a triple camera system(which I’ll get to in a bit), also curving on to the sides.

The power button is on the right, which is placed slightly higher than I am used to on other phones. The volume rocker is placed on the left, right on top of the Bixby Key- which can thankfully be remapped this time around. To the bottom of the phone we have a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-Type C port, and a speaker. The top of the phone houses the secondary noise cancelling microphone. Sadly, No IR blaster this time.

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Review: Protecting your iPhone XS: We Reviewed 20 iPhone Cases

Mark Rogers

Choosing how you protect your Apple iPhone XS has never been harder, with hundreds of iPhone cases to choose from, it can be very confusing deciding between them all.

Phone cases today can be made from single, double, triple and even 5 layer construction using materials such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polycarbonates (PC), one manufacturer in particular is even incorporating materials used for crash protection in motorcycle gear into their cases for superior drop protection.

When it comes to how well a phone case protects the phone, some manufacturers use a military grade drop test to prove how well their case works if the inevitable happens, it’s a test the US Department of Defense designed to ensure overall durability for the product to be combat worthy. For the test the manufacturer repeatedly drops a case with a phone in it from a height of 4ft onto 2-inch plywood over concrete. The case is dropped a total of 26 times, 6 times face down, 8 times on the corners, and 12 times on the edges. After every drop the phone case is inspected for any damage. Not every manufacturer uses this test and it can only used as a guide to how well a phone case protects your phone.

For some, choosing a new iPhone case can be as simple how it minimalistic it looks without detracting from the iPhones overall shape and how it feels in the hand, while for others it’s about protecting their investment, choosing the biggest and most protective case available and not worrying about how it looks or feels. Continue Reading

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Review: iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Sonny Dickson

Every other year, Apple comes out with their S line of phones. While these phones look almost completely the same from the outside, they bring major improvements internally. These improvements go on to be defining features for future iPhones. The 3GS brought video recording, the 4s brought Siri (which went on to be one of Apple’s biggest features across their product line), and the 5s brought Touch ID security. Once again, Apple has released an iPhone that looks almost exactly the same on the outside, but do the new internal features make this a radical step forward for the iPhone?

The design of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is almost exactly the same as the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The iPhone 6s is one of the best smartphone designs ever. The edges of the device are rounded, there is not one hard angle on the main body of the phone, which makes it feel really good in the hand. The glass extends from the border of the screen and slopes down into the metal casing of the phone. The antenna bands extend over the sides over to the back, creating a rounded trapezoid shape on both the top and bottom of the back. The Apple logo is the main highlight of the back of the phone. It has been cut from a piece of polished stainless steel, and then inserted into the cutout in the casing. This creates a two-toned transition between the sand blasted aluminum and the polished stainless steel. One problem with last years design was the use of series 6000 aluminum. This, unfortunately, made the extremely thin iPhone 6 and 6 Plus susceptible to bending. This has been fixed in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with series 7000 aluminum. Pure aluminum is now mixed with zinc and magnesium, which creates a very strong alloy. Another material upgrade is the dual ion-exchange glass, which is the most durable glass used on a smartphone ever. Rose Gold joins the existing Space Grey, Silver, and Gold. I would describe this color as a metallic peach more than Rose Gold, but I still like the color regardless. Continue Reading

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Review: Motorola Moto X Pure Edition

Sonny Dickson

Motorola recently has been creating some really impressive low and mid-range phones. Starting in 2013 with the original Moto X, they have tried to perfect the ideal Android smartphone that doesn’t break the bank. Motorola almost got the formula right back in 2014, however lackluster battery life and cameras made it hard to compare the phone to flagships such as the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. So the question is, does the 2015 Moto X Pure Edition perfect the mid-range smartphone?

The design of the 2015 Moto X reflects the newer design language that Motorola applies across all of their phones. The swooping lines and curved back make it really easy to hold the phone. These details actually look more inviting and friendly than some other phones that use straight edges. The structure of the phone is made of anodized aluminum and this makes the Moto G feel really solid. The back plate can be customized to use plastic, leather, or wood, and the leather and wood options add a bit of class to an already handsome phone. The two major design changes over previous versions of the Moto X are, first, the camera trim, which has been redesigned to be a little less intrusive and second, the bigger screen. The screen got a sizable bump from a 5.2 inch Full HD AMOLED to a 5.7 inch Quad HD LED display. While the screen is nice, it’s not anything special, however the colors and clarity are perfectly fine for the price. Continue Reading

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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Sonny Dickson

Samsung introduced the world to large screen phones branded as “phablets” back in 2011. While many people didn’t think this approach to phones would work in the long run, it actually did. Now if you look around in the phone market, you rarely find a phone that has a screen less than 4.5 inches. In 2015, most phones have the large screen that was once the Note’s biggest feature. So, the big question is: “Does the Note 5 still have the competitive edge in a large screen world?”

When I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S5 back in 2014, the one thing that stood out to me was just how horribly designed Samsung phones were. The plastic design was actually the focus of a lot of negative reviews directed at Samsung phones before this year. Samsung picked up on this and completely redesigned their handsets to incorporate premium materials, such as metal and glass. The result is a beautiful phone that feels solid in the hand. The front of the phone looks similar to other Samsung phones, but the real design marvel is the curved glass on the back. The back glass not only looks amazing, but it also creates a more comfortable surface to hold. The chamfered edges on the side of the metal enclosure look nice, but, just like the iPhone, do not hold up to long-term wear and tear. Continue Reading

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Review: OnePlus 2

Sonny Dickson

The OnePlus 2 is a paradox. On one side, it is a phone that compares itself to flagships like the Galaxy S6 or the iPhone 6. Conversely, the OnePlus 2 is half the price of those very same phones. The OnePlus 1 was a wildly popular phone in 2015, so the question is: “Does the OnePlus 2 have what it takes to be the 2016 flagship killer it claims to be?”

The design of th OnePlus 2 isn’t very exciting. The main frame of the phone is made of aluminum, a material now commonly used on flagship phones. This design decision makes the OnePlus 2 feel really solid, it’s unbelievable that this phone costs less than $400. The phone comes with a removable plastic back that features a rough matte finish that feels somewhat like sandpaper. This texture actually gives you more grip and prevents you from dropping your phone. If the matte black finish isn’t your style, OnePlus will sell you a different back, including a real wooden one, for $27. Continue Reading

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Review: LG G4

Sonny Dickson

LG is somewhat of an underdog in the mobile phone world. In a mostly saturated market, Apple and Samsung seem to be the ones that sell the most phones; however, the LG G3 was a solid competitor last year. So the question remains: does the LG G4 improve upon the G3, or is it just another phone that will fade into the shadows?

The design of the LG G4 isn’t very special and is actually a step down compared to other 2015 flagships. The whole phone is made of plastic, and nothing about it looks premium. The good news is this can be fixed by replacing the removable plastic back with the leather one, which can be purchased from LG for $69.99. One other design decision that is a bit odd is the placement of the volume and power buttons on the back. It isn’t very natural to use and requires some getting used to. However, don’t let one strange design decision deter you from buying this phone. Continue Reading

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