This is the first Samsung Galaxy to have a metal frame around the edges (the Galaxy Note 4 will soon join it) and it's meant to be the classy model. It's also downsized and designed to compete with the 4.7" iPhone 6. The Alpha shrinks the standard sized flagship Galaxy S5 without dumbing down the specs too much. Thus the Alpha has a 4.7" Super AMOLED display, the same 2.5GHz quad core Snapdragon 801, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It has a 12MP camera that takes photos and videos that are nearly indistinguishable from the 16MP GS5 and it has a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button. Sounds lovely if you prefer a more manageable size phone and better looks than the Galaxy S5. The drawbacks? No microSD card slot and the display resolution drops to 720p.
The $99 Amazon Fire HD 6 is a 6 inch tablet with a 1280 x 800 IPS display, 1.5GHz CPU and 8 or 16 gigs of storage. It runs Fire OS 4 "Sangria" and it does everything you'd expect an Amazon Fire tablet to do: books, Prime Video, magazines, apps and more. It has front and rear cameras, WiFi and Bluetooth but there's no 3G/4G option. If you're on a very tight budget or are looking for a starter tablet, it's worth a look.
It's Apple's first phablet, or really big smartphone if you hate that label. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" full HD IPS display that's one of the best, long battery life, a crazy slim design and as ever an attractive unibody aluminum design. The phone runs iOS 8 on Apple's dual core, 64 bit A8 processor with multi-core graphics and 1 gig of RAM. You can get it with up to 128 gigs of storage and in your choice of silver, space gray or gold. Is it a handful? Yes it is. Is it wonderful for watching videos and playing games? You bet!
The next generation Moto G increases screen size to 5", adds a microSD card slot and increases camera resolution while keeping the same low $179 full retail price as the first gen model. This is an unlocked GSM phone that works with AT&T, T-Mobile and other GSM carriers (not Sprint or Verizon) and it's a quad band world phone with 3G. It has a 720p LCD display, 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1 gig of RAM and 8 gigs of storage. Once again, it's a hard phone to beat for the price thanks to good styling, quality components and decent specs.
Once again Motorola mixes extreme fashion with a low price tag, but the 2014 Moto X amps up the specs to battle the flagship competition. The Moto X has a 5.2" AMOLED display, this time running at full HD 1080p resolution. It's wildly colorful with impressive contrast. The Android 4.4 KitKat phone will get the upgrade to Android L and it runs on the Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, just like other high end phones. You can order it with your choice of 25 different back colors, including 4 wood and 4 leather options, and it's one of the best looking smartphones money can buy. The Moto X is available as an unlocked GSM phone with LTE 4G and both AT&T and Verizon sell it too.
Apple's mainstream phone is larger now at 4.7", but it's still hand and pocket friendly. The IPS display is stunningly colorful and sharp with great viewing angles, and the newest iPhone is fast thanks to the Apple A8 dual core 64 bit CPU. The iPhone 6 has an aluminum body finished in silver, space gray or gold, and it's available with 16, 64 or 128 gigs of storage. It has a very good rear 8MP camera with fast lens and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that will work with Apple Pay for mobile payments.
The Moto 360 garnered more attention than any smartwatch at launch, at least until Apple teased us with the Apple Watch. Why is the Moto 360 so interesting? It's not ugly like most smartwatches and it has a round face, just like a traditional watch. It has a stainless steel casing and a classy leather band and looks like a swollen Movado (which is better than it sounds). The Moto 360 runs Android Wear and it works with any Android phone running OS 4.3 or newer. It provides notifications, weather, sports scores and acts as a pedometer and a heart rate monitor.
It's hard to argue that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S isn't the best Android tablet on the market, be it the 8.4" model we look at in our review or the 10.5". With stunning high resolution Super AMOLED displays, top notch quad core CPUs, plenty of RAM, the latest Android OS and Samsung's usual everything including the kitchen sink set of features. Greatness comes at a price though, and like the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, the Tab S isn't cheap at $399 for the 8.4" and $499 for the 10.5" model. Is the Tab S just the tablet you've been waiting for? Read our review to find out.
If you like the HTC One M8 but want to save $100 or don't like the M8's metal casing, the E8 might be for you. It has the same iconic design as the One M8 along with the BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers and 5" SLCD 3 full HD display. In fact, it has the same Snapdragon 801 quad core 2.3GHz CPU and 2 gigs of RAM too. The HTC One E8 has a traditional 13Mp rear camera, front 5MP camera, 4G LTE with Sprint Spark, 16 gigs of internal storage and a microSD card slot. The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6 software.
The HTC One M8's little brother sports an aluminum unibody design and looks much like the first generation HTC One. The somewhat more compact and midrange Remix keeps the excellent BoomSound stereo speakers and SLCD3 display, while downsizing to 4.5" and 1280 x 720 resolution. The Remix runs on a quad core Snapdragon 400 CPU with 16 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot. It has a very good 5MP front camera and a 13MP rear camera.
Dell's answer to the Lenovo Yoga 2 11 inch is a sweet and affordable 11.6" Windows 8.1 convertible with a 360 degree hinge and an IPS 1366 x 768 touch screen. Starting at $399 list, the laptop offers the usual solid Inspiron build and very good keyboard, along with a healthy selection of ports for a machine this small. It runs on a dual core Intel Celeron CPU clocked at 2.16GHz, and there's a quad core Pentium option. While most Ultrabooks, Windows tablets and convertibles have a few upgradeable parts, the Inspiron 11 offers fairly easy access to upgradable RAM, a standard 2.5" drive bay and a socketed wireless card, making it quite the tuner. Worth a look if you want a small Windows 8.1 convertible with enough power to handle web, MS Office and HD video playback.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is the latest in MS' line of tablets with the brains of a laptop. It's a power user tablet that's on many folks' wish lists, even if it isn't entirely practical as a laptop replacement, because it's just so darned sexy and cool. This time, Microsoft ups the ante with a more mainstream 12" size that might just steal a few buyers who were pondering 12.5" Ultrabooks like the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga and Dell XPS 12. We take a first look at the $999 Surface Pro 3 with the 4th generation Intel Core i5 ULV CPU and Intel HD 4400 graphics, 4 gigs of RAM and a 128 gig SSD.
The HTC One M8 for Windows: it's everything you loved about the HTC One M8... unless you're an Android person that is. Given the name, you've already figured out this is the Windows Phone version of the M8, and if you're a fan of that elegant smartphone, you'll be thrilled to hear the hardware hasn't changed a bit. The HTC One M8 for Windows has a 5" full HD display, a quad core Snapdragon 801 CPU, 32 gigs of storage plus a microSD card slot and of course HTC BoomSound stereo front-facing speakers. It runs Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and is initially exclusive to Verizon Wireless, though it will be coming to AT&T and T-Mobile.
This 8" tablet is a gamer's dream with the 2.2GHz NVIDIA K1 quad core CPU with 192 core Kepler graphics and a 1920 x 1200 IPS display. Throw in front-facing stereo speakers, GameStream for streaming PC games to the tablet, NVIDIA Grid cloud gaming to play free PC games from the cloud and a few nice Valve ports to Android and you've got quite the recipe for hours of fun. The tablet is available in WiFi-only and 4G LTE models and it has 2 gigs of RAM and an SDXC microSD card slot. It has dual band WiFi with MIMO, Bluetooth, a GPS and HDMI for gaming on the big screen. The optional Shield wireless controller is sold separately and is a must-have if gaming is your thing. It makes a fine general purpose tablet too, and it's cheaper than the iPad mini with Retina display and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4.
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