Samsung has a bit of a tough act to follow in the Galaxy S4. The company’s flagship smartphone has been the top-selling Android smartphone since its release in 2013, it’s the biggest competitor to Apple’s iPhone and in many ways it set the bar for what other manufacturers brought to the table since then: bigger displays, more powerful CPUs and innovative software like S Health. Competition in the smartphone market is fiercer than ever in 2014, so the Galaxy S5 really has to hit it out of the park to stay on top. Based on what we saw at Samsung Unpacked today, it looks like the Galaxy S5 has the chops to keep Samsung’s winning streak going.
Samsung got a head start on most of its consumer electronics rivals with the launch of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in 2013. While the Galaxy Gear had many fans, it missed the mark in terms of mainstream acceptance. Samsung was obviously taking notes because when it announced the replacement —only five months after introducing the original— most of the issues noted with the Galaxy Gear had been addressed. A day before the start of the Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled a pair of new smartwatches: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
For years, the basic smartphone form factor hasn’t changed much: a rectangular slab of plastic, glass and metal. As displays have become larger, some people have found that rectangle becomes a bit cumbersome to use as a phone and all the flat glass leads to a lot of glare. Enter the G Flex from LG. Canada’s first curved smartphone, the G Flex ups the display size to 6 inches and offers the high contrast ratio and deep blacks that only OLED can. Thanks to its innovative curved design, the G Flex feels much more natural to use as a phone than much smaller traditionally shaped smartphones, while the curved display reduces annoying screen glare. The G Flex offers even more technological breakthroughs than its unique form factor and it’s coming soon to Best Buy.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung unveiled new Pro series tablets: the Galaxy NotePro and Galaxy TabPro. All four tablets share a number of common features like a high resolution (WQXGA) 2560 x 1600 pixel TFT LCD display, 8 megapixel rear camera, and Android 4.4 (KitKat). So which of these tablets is the right one for you, the Galaxy NotePro or the Galaxy TabPro? Here’s a breakdown of some of the key differences between the two and the target market for each.
Are you one of the lucky ones that snapped up a Pebble smartwatch when Best Buy started carrying the “must-have” wearable, Kickstarter success story and CES star? If so, thanks to the newly launched Pebble appstore, your Pebble is going to be even cooler, more customizable and more capable than ever. And if you’ve been sitting on the smartwatch fence, the availability of over 1,000 apps and watchfaces —with more arriving every day— should make the decision to take the Pebble plunge a lot easier. Whatever the Pebble smartwatch does right now out of the box that you find irresistible will just be the starting point of its capabilities thanks to a rapidly expanding app ecosystem.
When it comes to e-readers and tablets, Kobo has grown from an underdog competing against the Kindle to a leading manufacturer that also happens to operate a top notch e-bookstore. The current line-up of Kobo Arc tablets is particularly attractive, offering performance, brilliant high resolution displays, full access to Android apps and combined this with Kobo’s e-book expertise. Kobo has positioned the Arc line as the best tablet choice for readers. But which Kobo Arc is the right choice for you? In this post, I explore the differences between the Kobo Arc 7HD, Kobo Arc 10HD and the Kobo Arc 7.
One of the cool things about PCs is that nothing ever stands still. Whether it’s new video games that redefine immersion, or the ability to edit photos at full resolution with a 4K monitor, progress often means pushing the limits of a video card. If you’ve hit a wall when it comes to your computer’s graphics capabilities, or maybe you made a New Year’s resolution to upgrade your PC so you can use that big 4K monitor to full advantage, the good news is this doesn’t need to mean shelling out for an all new system. Chances are you can get back to enjoying the best PC technology has to offer by simply upgrading your video card.
We all want to save money and VoIP (Voice over IP) technology is one of those great ways to cut your spending. It uses the Internet and its cheap data as an alternative to making voice calls using a telephone or cell phone. Great idea. When it comes to VoIP, netTALK is one of leaders in Canada and the company has just announced the launch of a new Android app that’s exclusive to Canadians. This netTALK app features a long list of benefits including a free Canadian number, free international calls between app users and free international radio streaming. Given the popularity of NetTALK’s Duo VOiP telephone hardware, this app is definitely worth checking out.
Many of us have more data than we know what to do with. Digital photos, digital movies, MP3s and old school stuff like documents and spreadsheets can start to take up a lot of space on your PC. On your smartphone or tablet, it’s even worse —a lot of those photos get snapped on a smartphone and with limited storage, it doesn’t take long to fill them up. Cloud storage is always an option, but then you’re at the mercy of the provider and there may be charges associated with the service. Western Digital offers a compelling alternative —a “personal cloud”— with its My Cloud series of network hard drives. I tested a 3TB My Cloud drive and came away convinced that this is the best thing to happen to hard drives since USB.
Sony’s Vaio series of PC laptops has always won points for style and design and the company has become a leader in producing Windows 8 hybrid machines —portables that combine Windows 8 PC and tablet capabilities. I’ve spent the past week trying out Sony’s latest take on the hybrid form factor. After putting it through its paces, I can assure you that the Vaio Fit 15A is one of the most useful variations yet on the tablet/notebook convertible hybrid, a real looker (especially in the black finish of the test unit) and an able performer. It’s held back a little by a few details —a loud and persistent fan, so-so keyboard, and not so stellar battery life among them— but offers a solid portable computer experience, along with tablet capability, in a single package that just happens to look pretty smashing.