Google Home Essentials: Sonos Roam falls just short of the perfect portable Assistant

sonos roam

Google Assistant is available on devices of all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority of useful smart speakers that support it are designed to be used in one place, indoors. I’ve been wanting a solution to bring Assistant and, in turn, Chromecast audio around my home wire-free. As it turns out, the Sonos Roam is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

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Review: OnePlus Watch doesn’t just settle, it demands you do too

Smartwatches for Android are a tough subject. Wear OS works, but it has a lot of flaws. Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches are great, but they’re also pretty expensive and work best on Samsung’s own smartphones. Fitbit smartwatches are excellent for fitness, but not so amazing for smart features. That’s why there was a lot of excitement for OnePlus to debut its own smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch. The final product, though, isn’t what most people wanted, and after using it for nearly two weeks, it’s hard to express just how disappointed I am in the OnePlus Watch.

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Review: I tried the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, but I won’t be buying it

Samsung is the current leader when it comes to foldables, and after spending a few months with the Galaxy Z Fold 2, I was eager to get my hands on the company’s other option, the Galaxy Z Flip 5G. After the company opened up a 100-day trial, I figured it was worth a shot, but here’s why I won’t be buying the Galaxy Z Flip.

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Review: Nest Hub (2nd gen) sleep tracking ushers in a radically more pervasive Google Assistant

Nest Hub 2nd gen

Technology today is already quite assistive, from location-aware reminders to notifications telling you when to leave, factoring in live traffic conditions. In fact, that’s now the base level of usefulness we expect from our gadgets. After using Google’s 2nd-gen Nest Hub for the past week, I experienced the next level of computers passively suggesting what improvements can be made in your life, and it will take some time to get used to.

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OnePlus 9 Review: A well-rounded step down that’s arguably the better buy

OnePlus has spent the better part of a decade building its reputation on two thing: the best specs and the lowest prices. Over time, the latter has been eroded away a bit, and OnePlus also introduced its “Pro” lineup that, well, creates a device that directly goes against the “Never Settle” motto. In 2021, though, the regular OnePlus 9 still stands in the Pro’s shadow, but it’s a better alternative than ever before.

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Shot for Shot: Does Hasselblad finally turn OnePlus into a real camera contender? [Gallery]

The OnePlus 9 series delivers updated specs, refreshed designs, and higher prices, but the biggest point of emphasis on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro is the camera array. A new partnership with Hasselblad is being massively hyped up, but is it actually an improvement? We’ve been putting them to the test, and the pictures speak for themselves.

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Google Home Essentials: TP-Link’s Kasa cameras solve problems that Nest ignores

I love keeping a close eye on my home throughout the day with a series of security cameras around my property, with Google’s Nest at the core. The simple fact is, though, that Google’s system just doesn’t fit into every niche and ignores problems such as cost and local storage. That’s where TP-Link Kasa has come in, offering excellent and flexible hardware with an affordable cost and some of the best Google Assistant integration currently available.

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Google announces 2nd-gen Nest Hub with Soli-powered ‘Sleep Sensing’ for $99

New Nest Hub sleep

In deciding to not put a camera on what was initially called the Home Hub, Google made its first Assistant Smart Display ideal for nightstands. The new 2nd-generation Nest Hub is further embracing that role with Sleep Sensing to track your rest. Otherwise, it looks the same and is not that much more expensive than the original.

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Samsung Galaxy S21/+ Review: Making the right compromises [Updated]

Around a year ago, Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 series. While they proved to be great smartphones in the end, they were flawed. Samsung’s pricing was out of control, and the value for its devices just wasn’t there. Now, Samsung is correcting a lot of that with the Galaxy S21 series by making cuts to bring the price down by $200. Samsung is admitting its mistake, and it’s for the best.

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Android Nougat revisited: The birth of the ‘Pixel Experience’ [Video]

android nougat revisit

Back in 2016, Google embarked on a more prominent and marketable smartphone line in the form of the Pixel series. The direct successor to the Nexus series came with its own unique build of Android Nougat, something we have come to know as the “Pixel Experience” — not to be confused with the third-party ROM.

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Review: Galaxy S21 Ultra is everything the Pixel 5 isn’t, but that’s not a bad thing

Samsung has long made some of the best flagship phones in the Android world, and starting in 2020, the company decided to go all out with its “Ultra” models. To enthusiasts, it sounds like an amazing idea, but for the average customer, it’s not exactly an easy sell, especially when we’ve seen the rise of excellent devices at nearly half the cost with “affordable flagships” such as the Pixel 5. Still, Samsung accomplished its goal, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Android phone you can buy, and it might even be worth its price tag. 

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5 reasons the Pixel 5 might defy your expectations [Video]

Pixel 5

It’s hard to deny that with the Pixel 5, Google has taken a completely different — and somewhat confusing — path to what we expect given recent “flagships.” At first glance, it seems like a swing and a miss. However, sometimes it takes a step back to really see the bigger picture, and by doing so you can see just why the Pixel 5 might even defy the expectations of even the most ardent Android enthusiast.

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Review: Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro strike nearly the perfect balance

Last year’s Galaxy Buds+ were some of the best truly wireless earbuds to date, but they still left quite a bit of room for improvement. For 2021, Samsung is launching the Galaxy Buds Pro that provide a new design, additional features, and a higher price tag. Through it all, they might be Samsung’s best earbuds to date.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 series goes official w/ Snapdragon 888, S Pen, $200 price drop

It’s no secret that pricing was the Achilles heel of last year’s Samsung smartphones, but the company is starting off 2021 with a huge step in the right direction with its new Galaxy S21 that sees a $200 price cut. Here’s what you need to know about Samsung’s new trio of flagships.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Review: Three months later, I’m convinced foldables are the future

samsung galaxy z fold 2

You still shouldn’t buy a foldable. 2020 has seen tech move leaps and bounds, with Samsung especially releasing the excellent Galaxy Z Flip and, more importantly, the Galaxy Z Fold 2. After three months using the $2,000 foldable, I’m thoroughly convinced that this technology is the future, but it’s not ready yet. Let’s talk.

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You should have these apps on your new Android smartphone

android pixel apps homescreen launcher

Just got a new Android smartphone for the holidays? If it’s your first one it could be a little intimidating so, to get you started, here are 5 apps you should immediately install or set up on a new Android device. Alternatively, if you’re not already using these apps, it might be time to give them a shot!

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Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 Review: Solid smartwatches w/ the fitness chops Google needs

The state of smartwatches on Android has been relatively unimpressive. Google’s Wear OS platform has a decent foundation but lacks any strength when it comes to health features. That’s why Google in the process of buying Fitbit. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been wearing the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3, the brand’s latest smartwatches, to learn what all the hype is about. While, personally, I still wish the operating system on these watches was closer to Wear OS, I finally see what all the hype is about in the health department. Here’s what you need to know about Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense.

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