Tag Archive: HandsOn


Hands-on with the Nextbit Robin update — a major improvement

Nextbit has addressed issues with the Robin in the latest update, and we had a look to see how they did.

Nextbit released the Android 6.0.1 update for the Robin, promising better performance and battery life, improved camera response and better audio tuning for both the front speakers and through the headphone jack. They’ve also made the Robin available through Amazon Prime, which makes it easier to buy.

I’ve had early access to the update, and  [Read More…]

Huawei P9 + P9 Plus hands-on: Dual cameras in Huawei’s new high-end duo

Huawei’s latest high-end phone aims to prove that two cameras are better than one.

The concept of two cameras in a smartphone isn’t new. In the Android world, the trend dates all the way back to the dark ages of 3D phones, with manufacturers like HTC and LG using dual cameras to take 3D images or produce depth-dependent effects. Even Huawei got on the dual-camera bandwagon with 2014’s Honor 6 Plus.

The Huawei P9 — the  [Read More…]

Hands-on with Neato BotVac Connected, a robot vacuum your phone controls

Most robot vacuums kinda suck. But Neato manages to make one that’s better than most — but still has its own room for improvement.

Robot vacuums are, with few exceptions, expensive toys that occasionally clean things about as well as asking a 7-year-old to run a regular vacuum. Many of them have obstacle-avoidance issues that cause them to crash into everything, and you basically have to pre-clean your floors of most things that aren’t dust bunnies to  [Read More…]

A quick hands-on with PlayStation VR

Virtual Reality is hard to miss this year.

Just about every booth here has some kind of VR demo and a huge line to try it out. Today found ourselves immersed within a PlayStation VR helmet, the $ 399 accessory to your $ 349 game console. While that sounds like a lot, especially if you’re not really sure what VR is about or why you should care, Sony’s offering undercuts the current “best in breed” but  [Read More…]

Hands-on with SolarTab, a giant solar panel for your gear

Charging with solar energy is an appealing concept for many, but there are still plenty of obstacles.

For some people, a battery backup is a part of everyday life. Our phones are growing more capable every day. But when you’ve got a hour commute home and want to watch a movie or play games the whole ride home at the end of the day, the last thing you want to see is a low-battery warning. Every  [Read More…]

Watch our Xiaomi Mi 5 hands-on video from MWC 2016!

Xiaomi dropped its latest high-end smartphone, the Mi 5, at Mobile World Congress, and we had a chance to spend a little time getting to know the new phone.

Sure, it’s only going to be released in China for now, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

We wrote up our full first impressions already, but for those wanting to see a little bit more of the Mi 5, check out the  [Read More…]

Sony Xperia XA hands-on

Sony’s new mid-ranger takes the design DNA and performance of the Xperia X and transforms it into a more affordable package.

So we’ve already seen the Xperia X and Xperia X Performance, Sony’s two new hero phones that broke cover today at Mobile World Congress . The regular Xperia X looks like a great mainstream phone, while the “Performance” version brings the power of a Snapdragon 820 into the mix. But what about  [Read More…]

Alcatel Idol 4 + 4S hands-on

The new Alcatel brings two new handsets to MWC — with a slick glass and metal design, faster performance and Marshmallow out of the box.

One of the major trends of the past year in smartphones has been the move towards increasingly affordable phones with high-end features. Alcatel was part of that conversation in the last year, with the Idol 3 delivering surprisingly capable hardware for not a whole lot of cash.

So  [Read More…]

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 and A7 2016

Flagship-level design and build quality for half the cost.

For those that can’t justify the cost of a Galaxy S6, Samsung has the Galaxy A series, which offers a similar design with hardware that’s a step down from its flagship. When the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7 launched last year, there wasn’t a frame of reference for Samsung, as the A series was its first attempt at all-metallic devices. But with the Galaxy S6 and Note  [Read More…]

Hands-on with Particle Electron, a DIY IoT kit with cellular radios

The confusing mess of products and services in the Internet of Things exists in two basic forms right now. You have the off-the-shelf products that only support a handful of things you have to buy separately in order to make that thing truly useful, or you have a pile of developer boards and starter kits that encourage you to build something yourself. The DIY space for IoT is a lot of fun if you know what you’re  [Read More…]