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HTC One (M8) Review: The New Best Android Smartphone

TechCrunch

There’s a new contender for Android top dog on the market, and it’s the HTC One (M8), the latest from the Taiwanese firm. This metal-clad unibody slab inherits the good looks of its predecessor, last year’s HTC One (retroactively referred to as the M7), but refines the look and adds a lot of significant software changes, too. It makes the new One a great device, and well worth a look as your next device.

Video Review

[tc_5min code=”518178504″]

Basics

  • 5.0-inch, 1080p display
  • 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM, 32GB storage
  • MicroSD expandable storage
  • 5MP front camera, HTC UltraPixel rear camera
  • 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • MSRP: $649 off contract, $249.99 on 2-year agreement
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Best design of any Android phone
  • Screen is just at the upper end of size/usability ratio

Cons

  • Some accidental touch on far side interactions
  • New Motion Launch feature makes for accidental unlocking

Design

The…

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Office For iPad Review: Surprisingly Worth The Wait

TechCrunch

Microsoft has launched new Office for iPad software, finally, after people have been asking for it since, oh, say, the day in 2010 when the iPad originally launched. The new apps are currently available for anyone to download, so you can scratch that four-year itch, but is it worth it? Read on to find out why Microsoft’s iPad-based productivity suite will be a lifesaver for some, but probably not a necessity for your average tablet user.

Video Walkthrough

[tc_5min code=”518175375″]

Basics

  • Free (but editing requires a $5/mo Office 365 subscription)
  • Word, Excel and PowerPoint support in separate apps
  • Cloud autosave and collaboration (but not real-time concurrent)
  • Available in 135 markets in 29 languages
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Reads all Office formats perfectly for free
  • PowerPoint offers presentation mode free

Cons

  • Full functionality requires recurring $5 monthly commitment

Design

The Office for iPad apps are each, to a tee…

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Motorola Introduces The Moto 360, Its First Smartwatch Based On Google’s Android Wear

TechCrunch

Motorola is an early partner for Google’s new Android Wear smartwatch SDK, and that’s not surprising given that the company was Google owned until Lenovo began the procedure of buying it in January. The new Moto 360 has a round face, which is one of two options for Wear devices (square is the other) and features the “Ok Google” voice control highlighted by Google for its new spin-off mobile OS.

Moto360_Macro_alt1_with text

The hardware features “subtle alerts and notifications,” and Motorola is selling it as a premium, fashion-first advice that uses high-end materials in its construction. It’s coming in a variety of styles as well, and should launch this summer beginning in the U.S. first.

Already with just two products officially unveiled, we have a look at a couple of different approaches to how Android Wear OEM partners might differentiate themselves. LG’s G Watch looks focused on being essentially a straightforward…

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Mophie Space Pack Review: Have Some Extra Storage With Your iPhone Backup Battery

TechCrunch

Apple offers the iPhone in a number of different storage capacities, ranging from 16GB to 64GB, but it doesn’t offer expansion storage options to let users add their own via micro SD or any other format. Mophie has spent years building backup battery packs for iPhone devices, and now it’s adding additional space to store your files, too, with the appropriately named Mophie Space Pack.

Basics

  • 16 or 32GB storage capacity
  • 1700 mAh battery for up to 2x iPhone power
  • 2.57″ x 5.66″ x 0.63″
  • 2.8 oz
  • iPhone 5/5s compatible
  • MSRP: $149.95 (16GB) or $179.95 (32GB)
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Spare storage and power in one
  • App UI is well designed

Cons

  • File types supported limited
  • Occasionally glitchy software

Design

The Mophie Space Pack has the advantage of being familiar – which is a good thing in this case. It’s essentially just a Mophie Juice Pack Air, the existing extended…

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A Look At Lumus, The Amazing Lens Technology That Is Going To Change Wearables

TechCrunch

You may not know the name Lumus now, but expect to be hearing a lot from them in the future. When we first met the Lumus rep Ari Grobman two years ago he showed us some amazing technology. It was basically an augmented reality display embedded into a standard lens that could fit into a standard pair of glasses. The 720p model displayed a binocular image at near HD quality right in front of your face, allowing you to watch movies, play games, and even interact with mobile devices on a screen floating in mid-air.

Now the team is showing off the next incarnation of Lumus, adding a full Android computer and camera to create a system that puts Google Glass to shame. The system can handle gestures – you swipe away notifications and even display map data on the ground in front of you. I tried it and it…

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Samsung’s Dust- And Water Resistant Galaxy S5 Gets Official With Heart Rate Monitor, Fingerprint Scanner

TechCrunch

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is here, and now we know everything about the 2014 flagship from the Korean smartphone maker. It’s pushing into phablet territory with a 5.1-inch, 1920×1080 display, and it comes with a fingerprint reader on the home button, as well as a heart rate monitor around back near the camera flash. The Galaxy S5 is also dust and water resistant, which may be the most useful new feature to ship on the phone.

Samsung’s Android 4.4-powered flagship doesn’t deviate that far from its predecessors in terms of case design, packing the larger screen into a larger chassis but sticking with a plastic (though there is a higher end metal variant) backing, rounded corners and a pill-shaped home button, but the fingerprint scanner and heart-rate sensor are significant hardware additions. The Galaxy S5 also seems to have a significant focus on health and fitness with this update, which…

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Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo And Gear Fit

TechCrunch

Samsung has announced three new smartwatch devices at MWC this year, including the successor to last year’s Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2, as well as a sleeker version called the Neo, and a fitness- and fashion-focused wristband device called the Samsung Gear Fit.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo both offer companion features for a user’s smartphone, which include the ability to receive notifications around incoming calls, texts and other communications. They have a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display capable of 320×320 resolution, as well as a 1.0GHz dual core processor and a 2.0 megapixel autofocus camera. They can record video at 720p, and also support microphone input. The Gear 2 also operates as a standalone music player, with easy transfer of music from your phone so it can be used independently.

Built-in health sensors include heart rate monitors, pedometers and sleep monitoring. Plus, the Gear watches are now based…

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