Reviews

HTC Desire 816 — Review

HTC Desire 816 — Review

There’s long been a split in the market between the “flagship” phones manufacturers launch with much pomp and circumstance like the Galaxy S5 or One (M8) and the second-tier devices like the Galaxy Ace or F Series. While expensive high-end phones allow manufacturers to show off their latest and greatest technology, many of them are keenly aware that the real money in the market is in the midrange. Devices with “good enough” specs have become the new battleground, and midrange phones have become top-selling products for a number of manufacturers. Motorola‘s Moto G is their best-ever selling devices, while phones[Read More...]

by 2:31 PM on August 7, 2014 3 comments Design, Reviews
Samsung Galaxy K Zoom — Review

Samsung Galaxy K Zoom — Review

Let’s just get this out of the way now. Touchwiz; you either love it or hate it. My first Android smartphone was the original Samsung Galaxy S I9000 “iPhone killer”. I didn’t mind TouchWiz back then as I had nothing to compare it to, plus it didn’t feel that heavy. As for the current version of TouchWiz running on this device and all new Samsung devices, it’s very heavy. They may have stripped back TouchWiz a bit since the Samsung Galaxy S4 as Chris found out when he reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S5, but it’s still a little heavy for[Read More...]

by 1:04 PM on August 7, 2014 0 comments Design, News, Reviews
Motorola Moto E — Review

Motorola Moto E — Review

When I attended the Motorola breakfast announcing the Moto E and Moto G 4G back in May this year, I had to say that at least in relation to the E, I didn’t have high hopes. By that stage, I’d already reviewed the Moto G, and while it (then) lacked a 4G option, it seemed to me to be the quintessential ‘budget’ phone; a price-tag under $300, and features that knocked many phones out of the park even up to the $500 mark. It was the right size, the right feature set, and the right power for the market. The[Read More...]

by 3:54 PM on August 5, 2014 4 comments Design, Phones, Reviews
Samsung Wireless Audio Multiroom M7 Speaker — Review

Samsung Wireless Audio Multiroom M7 Speaker — Review

Samsung’s making a big push this year with their Multiroom Audio products under the Samsung Sound name. We had a brief introduction to the products at their Smart TV launch in April, followed by a full launch event in May and an exclusive concert series over the next couple of months. It’s taken a bit of time for the review units to arrive on the Ausdroid test bench, but arrive they have! We’ve been checking out Samsung’s M7 speaker and a Multiroom Hub (which seems to be named “M2″ this week, and it’s time to share some thoughts. Revisit our[Read More...]

by 9:04 AM on August 4, 2014 7 comments Accessories, Reviews
Oppo N1 — Review

Oppo N1 — Review

Oppo is one of the ever increasing batch of “nearly there” brands who have some nice hardware, pretty acceptable software. The Oppo N1 is a solid phone which looks great and feels nice in your hand, but can a phone that’s 6 months old with no LTE connectivity at $689 (16GB, Colour OS version of the device) stand up in the current generation of flagship devices? Does Size Matter? The market as a whole is very accepting of phones in the 4.7 to 5.2 inch form factor, and sizes above that are met with scepticism and awarded “niche” status. This[Read More...]

by 2:51 PM on August 1, 2014 1 comment Design, Reviews
Lantronix xPrintServer Cloud Print Edition — Review

Lantronix xPrintServer Cloud Print Edition — Review

The term ‘Paperless Office’ has been around for some time now, but we’re a long way away from it being a reality. Companies still require you to physically sign documents they email you before re-digitising them and returning them, and there’s no real ‘standard’ for digital signatures at the moment. As Android and ChromeOS users, of course Google has options for printing – Google Cloud Print – and though there’s a lot of printers which are compatible, there’s a longer list of printers which aren’t. There are workarounds – but leaving your PC with printer connected switched on all the[Read More...]

by 11:32 AM on July 22, 2014 3 comments Accessories, Reviews
Sony Smartband (SWR10) — Review

Sony Smartband (SWR10) — Review

Fitness trackers are a-dime-a-dozen these days. There’s a large market out there that’s ripe for the taking and with no clear dominant manufacturer there are some deep pockets out there looking for the right product. The Smartband is Sony’s first fitness tracker, and they’ve delivered just a little bit more than others. The Sony Smartband is what Sony call a ‘Lifelogger’. It’ll count your steps and track your sleep – just like the majority of fitness trackers out there – but Sony has gone a step further and the Smartband records almost everything you do. To do this recording, the[Read More...]

by 8:00 AM on July 14, 2014 6 comments Reviews
Accessory review: Magnetic Charging Dock and Sonivo Fusion Bumper Case for Xperia Z2

Accessory review: Magnetic Charging Dock and Sonivo Fusion Bumper Case for Xperia Z2

I recently had an opportunity to spend some time with the Sony Xperia Z2, a device I really enjoyed. While I was reviewing the phone, I was contacted by Yianni from Gadgets 4 Geeks, to see if I wanted to try out some accessories. I agreed and he sent me two new toys to play with; a magnetic charging dock and the Sonivo Fusion bumper case. Magnetic Charging Dock One of Sony’s big innovations over the past few years has been making all their phones waterproof. This is all well and good, but anyone who has actually used one of[Read More...]

by 5:02 PM on July 12, 2014 1 comment Accessories, News, Reviews
Nokia Treasure Tag WS-2 — Review

Nokia Treasure Tag WS-2 — Review

Editor’s Note: This review has been contributed by @AdrianGHughes – please make him feel welcome! There’s been a marked increase in the number of “device finders” in the last couple of years. These are small bluetooth keychains and dongles that you can attach to something valuable, and use a companion app on your smartphone or tablet to alert you when you move too far away from it (or more worryingly, when it moves too far away from you). Many of these devices are borne of a Kickstarter campaign or some other kind of crowd-funding, and Ausdroid has also previously reviewed[Read More...]

by 12:50 PM on July 11, 2014 7 comments Accessories, News, Reviews
Retro gaming with the JXD S7800b Android-powered portable console

Retro gaming with the JXD S7800b Android-powered portable console

Editor’s Note: We don’t cover many Android-based gaming consoles here on Ausdroid, so we jumped at the chance to publish a review of the JXD S7800b, imported by Jason Weber of Dark Side of the Pants – please make him feel welcome! Having previously owned an NVidia Shield, I’ve been looking for an Android gaming device to satisfy an itch that needed scratching. I already have a Moga Pro gamepad, but while it works ok it just always feels like a bit of a kludge. A dedicated gaming device had to be the go. My love of retro gaming needed[Read More...]

by 11:45 AM on July 11, 2014 7 comments Other, Reviews
Sony Xperia Z2 — Review

Sony Xperia Z2 — Review

2013 was a good year for Sony. After spending several years trying to get it right, the Xperia Z finally had people talking about them in the same breath as industry leaders like Samsung and HTC. The phone’s premium design with quality internals ensured popularity with power users, and it brought features like waterproof and dustproof into the mainstream – a feature on which Sony was genuinely ahead of the curve. Not one to rest on their laurels, Sony followed up the Xperia Z almost immediately with the Xperia Z1 in the latter half of the year, throwing a 20.7MP[Read More...]

by 11:59 AM on July 7, 2014 14 comments Design, News, Reviews
ZTE V969 — Review

ZTE V969 — Review

ZTE isn’t a brand you’re likely to have heard of – yet. They’ve been active in various markets around the world under their own brand, but kept a low profile in Australia, producing whitelabel products for Telstra and occasionally, Optus. That’s changing now, as they’ve entered the Australian retail market with their first ever own-branded dual-sim smartphone – the V969. The V969 is a phablet-class device with a 5.5-inch screen at a budget price sold exclusively by Dick Smith. Right now, it’s going for $274 on their site, attracting customers looking for a large screen at a low price. In[Read More...]

by 1:59 PM on July 3, 2014 1 comment Design, Phones, Reviews
Game Review: VVVVVV Android Port

Game Review: VVVVVV Android Port

I absolutely fell in love with VVVVVV when I grabbed my first Humble Bundle for PC and despite never completing it, it became my number one favourite indie game of all time.  So when I saw the game had been ported to Android I was over the moon, I just had to buy it.  At first I was a little scared that the game would be a bad, laggy port with terrible controls, but in the hands of Terry Cavanagh who has ported several games like Super Hexagon and being at the price point of $3.59 I felt quite safe.[Read More...]

by 8:00 AM on June 19, 2014 1 comment Apps, Reviews