MrMobile [Michael Fisher]

When Google dropped its first Pixel smartphone last year, at first I was not impressed. I dogged it for its lack of waterproofing, its derivative design, and for having a custom launcher when I expected pure stock Android. But then an important thing happened: I used the Pixel. And in short order, its instantaneous responsiveness ruined me for every other Android phone out there. Well today in San Francisco, Google announced a couple successors to those original Pixels. The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL correct some of their predecessors’ shortcomings … and they introduce a couple more. I’m Michael Fisher and I went hands-on with the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and the new Pixelbook. Join me for a MrMobile first look!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 10/4/17

It’s been eight years since wireless charging first came to smartphones with the Palm Pre, but it took Apple building it into the iPhone 8 and iPhone X to make it matter to the mainstream. That's no snarky jab at Apple or its customers; in fact the iPhone's newfound embrace of wireless charging is reason to celebrate for all those who've ever known the joy of cutting the (charging) cord! That's because wireless charging is about to return to the scene in a big way – and this time, there's no pesky standards war to get in the way of progress. I'm MrMobile and here’s what you need to know if you’re treating your smartphones to a wireless charger in 2017.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/29/17

Sometimes you just have to put the conclusion up front: the iPhone 8 is a successful execution of a familiar idea. It’s as iterative an upgrade as you can get, and with a bleeding-edge iPhone X on the horizon and scads of Android phones that have had similar features for years, the iPhone 8 doesn’t seem likely to shine in the annals of iPhone history. But if you’ve got a lot invested in Apple’s ecosystem (and you don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on the iPhone X) well, the iPhone 8 was made for you. I’m Michael Fisher and this is part 2 of MrMobile’s iPhone 8 review, brought to you by dbrand.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/27/17

The iPhone 8 is already one of the most recognizable smartphones on the planet – because you have to look really close to discover it's not just an iPhone 7 with a glossy paint job. But spending two days with an iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in New York City reminded me that you shouldn't judge a smartphone by its chassis. The iPhone 8 family carries the fastest processor on the market and better low-light cameras than the competition – quite a far cry from the "specs aren't everything" Apple of years past. Join me for part 1 of my iPhone 8 review/iPhone 8 Plus review, and stay tuned for Part 2 coming the week of September 25!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/22/17

The Blue Satellite Headphones don’t just stand out thanks to their striking looks. With an onboard analog amplifier, dual drivers per earcup and one of the most well-known brand names in audio, the Blue Satellite should have been a shoe-in for first place in my ever-rotating collection of bluetooth headphones.

But after a month of using Blue Satellite in the real world, I'm looking forward to reverting to my old reliable Bose QC35s. Maybe that’s because I’m not really an audiophile – or maybe it’s because I think $399 is a steep price for a headset that doesn’t even give you the courtesy of a warning beep before its battery dies. As usual, the truth is probably somewhere in between. Check out my Blue Satellite review for the full story!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/20/17

If you’re not excited for the next iPhone, you’re not alone. The iPhone X is pretty neat, but if I weren't a reviewer, it's doubtful I'd plunk down $999 for the privilege of owning one. While the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are less expensive, they’re also less exciting, with basically the same industrial design Apple's been using since 2012. So if you’ve been toying with the idea of jumping to Android, this is a good year to do it – but the world of Android is so vast, it can be tough to tell what’s actually worth your time. Fortunately, that's why I'm here. I'm MrMobile and these are my top picks for iPhone alternatives in 2017. Beware, though: if you're here for just another rundown of Samsung Galaxy shoutouts, you're in the wrong place. About half of these picks are not what you might call "popular" – and they're pretty US-focused to boot. So dive on in to the Best iPhone Alternatives of 2017, and drop your own suggestions in the comments!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/15/17

If you know Apple at all, you’ve probably heard the cliché that it does things better, instead of doing them *first*. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the iPhone X announced today, which is easily the most exciting iPhone in years – thanks to a bunch of features that aren’t really new. But I’m not here to bash Apple. We’re not only gonna look at where these features came from; we’re gonna see how Apple will probably improve them, as is its wont. I’m MrMobile and even though I wasn't in Cupertino for the big iPhone X release today, I was glued to my MacBook the whole time – and I have some iPhone X First Impressions to share!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/12/17

For years, I’ve had the nagging desire to review a wearable camera. But none of the boxy designs on the market has really spoken to me, and as cool as Snapchat’s Spectacles are, they have a lot of limitations. What’s more, “lifelogging,” or the practice of digitally documenting your daily life, hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm since it hit the mainstream a few years back.

So I was surprised to find out, earlier this summer, that a company best known for making WiFi routers has waded into the wearable waters to “redefine the camera.” The device in question is FrontRow, a pendant that comes across as a blend of pocketwatch and Android Wear wristwatch, but is actually a very sleek – and very pricey – wearable camera. I’ve been wearing FrontRow between Boston and Berlin for a little under two weeks; this is the MrMobile review!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/7/17

6.3; 3300; 195; 12. Samsung's new Galaxy Note 8 is awash in numbers … but there’s only one that really matters: 105. That’s how many dollars more you’ll dole out at the register if you choose the Galaxy Note 8 over its close cousin, the Galaxy S8+. In exchange, you’ll get a larger screen, dual cameras, a few spec bumps … and the most misunderstood accessory in smartphones. Many folks are asking if adding a stylus is worth all that extra dough – and I'm here to help answer that question. I’m MrMobile and this is the Galaxy Note 8 review.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/5/17

The words "Star Wars" and "virtual reality" go together like "Bones McCoy" and "Tennessee Whisky," but don't go thinkin' this is just another Cylon attack on the Jupiter 2! Star Wars Jedi Challenges is not virtual reality but *augmented* reality – and when it launches later this year it'll let you go head-to-head with Kylo Ren, play a nasty game of holochess with your favorite Wookie, or manage major engagements full of AT-ATs! Check out MrMobile's first look from IFA 2017, and subscribe so you don't miss the Star Wars Jedi Challenges review, coming soon!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 9/2/17

If you thought the LG V30 was going to look like its predecessors the V20 and V10, join the club! I was expecting another steel-sided monster from a key grip’s toolbox with gaff tape patching the scuffs. Instead, we get this: a spit-polished glass sandwich of a smartphone that’s much lighter in the hand than you expect. Factor in LG’s first AMOLED screen in ages; the latest version of the company’s super-wide-angle camera; and wireless charging and a Hi-Fi Quad DAC on every version … and you might start thinking that the LG V30 is the most competitive phone to come from the company in years. Only the full review will tell for sure, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you might be right.

Click on through to the video above for MrMobile’s LG V30 Hands-On, and check out Android Central’s LG V30 Hands-On while you wait for the full LG V30 review coming soon!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/31/17

Samsung’s Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro and Icon X are all variations of designs we’ve seen before. The Gear Sport is an evolution of the Gear S3 Frontier, Samsung’s outdoor smartwatch I *reviewed* last year. I didn’t get as close a look at the Gear Fit2 or the Icon X earbuds – but maybe that’s just as well given how much the newer models improve upon their forebears. With MIL-STD 810G durability and 5ATM water resistance the Gear Sport and Fit2 Pro bring a strong outdoor game, while the 2018 revision of the Icon X earbuds improves battery life many times over. All that’s pretty exciting stuff even for a non-athlete such as myself – and to hear Samsung tell it, that’s kind of the whole idea.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/30/17

The stated goal of Essential Products is to make technology easier and more accessible, and it’s got an ambitious roadmap of devices planned to help it achieve that end. But its first product, the Essential Phone PH-1, fits better into the extended definition of the word: this is a phone that tries to get down to the brass tacks, the bare fundamentals of what a smartphone should be. The result is a beautiful ceramic-and-titanium slab unlike any Android phone produced to date – but its undercooked camera features enough flaws to put the whole package in jeopardy.

Click on through to the Essential Phone Review by MrMobile, and be sure to check out Android Central’s own Essential Phone Review for the deeper dive on this one-of-a-kind device!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/25/17

Last year’s Galaxy Note 7 was perhaps the most famous Samsung smartphone in history … for all the wrong reasons. The company kicked off its recovery with the excellent Galaxy S8 earlier this year … and now it hopes to complete the comeback with the world’s biggest do-over. I’m MrMobile, and I spent an afternoon with the new Galaxy Note 8. This is a first look, brought to you by dbrand.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/23/17

Tough as it may be to believe, the first Toyota Prius came out 20 years ago. Since then "Prius" has become synonymous with “hybrid” in America – I can’t go two minutes without seeing a Prius in my native Boston. But personally, hybrid cars don’t really get my motor running. If I can’t be behind the wheel of a true electric vehicle, then I want to be driving a “plug-in hybrid” that lets me drive pure electric at least some of the time. Fortunately for me, the Toyota Prius Prime 2017 is just such a car ... and I spent two weeks getting to know it. Join me for MrMobile's Toyota Prius Prime Review!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/16/17

Every single MrMobile video you’ve ever seen has been built on a notebook computer. I live on laptops, and I can’t ever see myself ditching ‘em for a desktop. But occasionally, I would like a little more screen space -- and that’s where the ASUS ZenScreen comes in. It's a 15.6" IPS monitor built to be super-portable, with no battery or even power adapter to deal with (it gets all the power it needs from its lone USB-C port). If you're thinking there are probably some serious sacrifices involved in a product like that, you're right – but it still might be just the thing you need to take your dual desktop workflow on the go. Check out the MrMobile review of the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AC!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/10/17

Last year, I reviewed four different headsets with acoustic noise canceling (which actively eliminates external sounds so you can better hear your music). That can be great on a plane or a train, but there are plenty of places out in the world where you don’t always want that kind of perfect isolation. So for the past six months or so, whenever I’ve gone out for a walk, I’ve swapped out my Bose QC35s for the Soul XTRA headphones: a pair of sport earphones that let your ears breathe – and even let you wash them when they get funky. Join MrMobile for the Soul XTRA Review!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/8/17

The Moto Z2 Force should be the best phone Motorola has ever released – and with its unbreakable screen, powerful internals and excellent camera, it comes close. But elsewhere, the Moto Z2 Force bears the unmistakable scars of cost-cutting: a smaller battery; an absent headphone jack; no StyleShell or 30W Turbo Charger in the box. And while those cut corners might be acceptable on a discount smartphone, they're awful tough to swallow on a $720 "flagship." Join MrMobile for the Moto Z2 Force review to find out why he'd rather save some money and get the Z2 Play instead!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/3/17

Normally, a new color option and a minor spec bump aren't newsworthy enough for a hands-on video. But the BlackBerry KEYone Special Edition (or, if you want to be all official about things, the "Limited Edition KEYone Mercury Black Device by BlackBerry made by Optiemus Infracom") is noteworthy for more than a new paint job. For one thing, the special-edition KEYone improves on the base model in RAM and internal storage, two areas it was especially lacking. And for another, it’s said to be assembled by an entirely different company. Of course, there's more to the story, so click on through for MrMobile's BlackBerry KEYone Special Edition hands-on!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 8/1/17

The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is the first Sony smartphone to hit MrMobile's review roster, and it's not playing around. Cutting-edge silicon and a 4K display crammed into an ostentatious and water-resistant mirrored chassis means the XZ Premium makes quite a splash the moment you open the box. But it's only when you fire up the XZ Premium's super slow motion camera and shoot your first video at an absurd 960 fps that you truly understand what a monster this smartphone really is. Join MrMobile for the XZ Premium review!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/28/17

For the fifth year running, Motorola’s spicing up the summer with a smartphone that’s not afraid to stand out – but this year, the bombastic brand name feels a bit … "Forced." I’m MrMobile and I went hands-on with the Moto Z2 Force Edition and the latest Moto Mod, the Moto 360 Camera. This is a quick look.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/25/17

The KaliPAK 601 is like no battery pack you’ve ever seen. Instead of fitting in your pocket or purse, it comes with a shoulder strap — because it’s a portable generator weighing in at 14 lbs and packing a staggering capacity of 558 Wh. I call the KaliPAK 601 a “generator” because it’s more than just a lithium-ion battery; nestled within the folds of this nuclear suitcase are a series of solar panels designed to let you live completely off the grid (for a while, at least). And all Kalisaya asks for the privilege of carrying this beast is … well, a lot of money. But, in the context of outdoor tech in 2017, not an unreasonable amount. Join me for the MrMobile review of the KaliPAK 601!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/20/17

Casio gets a lot more attention than some other watchmakers on the MrMobile channel, and that’s because it’s one of the few companies doing something different with Android Wear. Last year I *reviewed* the company’s feature-packed but pricey WSD-F10 outdoor smartwatch, and this summer’s sequel has ditched the clunky model number for a (slightly) streamlined brand name.

Much else is familiar though; the ProTrek Smart keeps the chunky frame, water resistance and the high price point – not to mention the confusing lack of both a heart rate monitor and an ambient light sensor. But there’s one major addition that puts the Casio ProTrek Smart firmly in “what last year’s model should have been” territory: baked-in GPS.

Does the addition of standalone navigation make this colossal chronometer worth its price tag? Tune in for the Casio ProTrek Smart Review by MrMobile to find out!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/18/17

The Surface Laptop is a lower-profile machine than its kickstand-packing, tablet-converting predecessors, yet it still carries the price tag of a super-premium product. Those factors together made me largely dismiss the device when it first debuted – but two weeks of real-world usage later, it's become my favorite Surface to date. To see why, click on through to MrMobile's Surface Laptop Review!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/14/17

How far would you go to save money on your smartphone? If you said "far enough to sell space on my lockscreen for ads," then you probably don't care that Amazon Prime Exclusive lacks the flagship-grade smartphones your tech-geek friends always gush about. The Moto E4 and IDOL 5 are hardly the most exciting devices on the block, after all. That said, the Nokia 6 is a hotly anticipated piece of kit if all of your review requests are any indication, and its arrival on Amazon Prime Exclusive coincides with its official US debut! Couple that with a $50 savings off the retail price in exchange for a few ads, and Amazon Prime Exclusive might just tempt the affordable-smartphone crowd -- assuming they're already Amazon Prime members, of course. For all the other caveats (and cool bits), click on through to MrMobile's test drive of Amazon Prime Exclusive - featuring the Nokia 6!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 7/12/17

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Created 4 months ago.

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CategoryScience & Technology

THIS IS A MIRROR OF THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL "MrMobile [Michael Fisher]"

FROM YOUTUBE:

Mobile technology videos for the discerning gadget enthusiast. Brought to you by Michael Fisher (formerly Captain2Phones).

My name is Michael Fisher. I’m a writer, sailor, podcaster and recovering actor whose childhood obsession with science fiction never quite faded. A quarter-century later, the technology that I coveted as a kid is woven into the fabric of everyday life. I’ve spent the past four years reviewing this technology, and now I’ve teamed up with Mobile Nations to take those reviews to the next level. Welcome to MrMobile!

New videos land every Wednesday and Friday! Subscribe to be the first to see them, and follow me across the socialsphere at the links below!