The Samsung Galaxy S III is going to be a wild smash hit, I'm sure. And it's a very good phone; a lot of people will be very happy with it. But stepping back to look at the current state of Android smartphones, it's interesting to look at the S III compared to last November's Samsung Galaxy Nexus—a slightly older but extremely similar phone, loaded with a pure install of Android 4.0 that Samsung wasn't allowed to mess with, on Google's orders.
This time, Samsung put their hands all over the Android install inside the Galaxy S III, and it's a phone crammed full of ideas--new gestures, camera options, sharing options, big and strong hardware, and the best implementation of near-field communication we've seen yet. But do all these new features really improve the experience? Or is it just a phone badly in need of an editor--someone to say "no"?
Cyclists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains (and derailleurs)
By Michael BerkPosted 06.07.2012 at 5:46 pm 19 Comments
Summer's here and it's time to get back on the bike. We could have looked at a fancy new ultralight, but the NuVinci is the bike that's really going to shake things up. It answers a question you may not have thought to ask: what if you could pick up a new ride with a transmission that made sure you'll never be in the wrong gear?
A NuVinci bike effectively has an infinite number of gears. You can adjust it smoothly, without worrying about clicking into gears, to provide the precise right amount of resistance. You can start at a very low gear to pedal easily and then smoothly ramp up to a higher gear as you gain speed. And since everything is internal, repairs are rarely necessary. It's a revolution, really--one of the most fundamental changes to the bicycle in decades.
In Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, Anna Anthropy wrests gaming out of the hands of the mainstream
By Filipe SalgadoPosted 05.18.2012 at 3:33 pm 9 Comments
The internet revolution has changed the way we create and showcase work. Amateur videos recorded on cellphones are getting more eyes than the latest ABC midseason replacement. The blog has brought democracy to the written word. Cheap technology and digital distribution make it easier than ever before for your little brother's band to be heard around the world. Why hasn't this populist revolution happened to video games?
In her new book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form, Anna Anthropy looks at the daunting technological barrier to the medium's growth, and presents a solution.
The new roadster has been substantially redesigned for 2013--but you'll still look awesome while driving it
By Jon Alain GuzikPosted 05.15.2012 at 3:35 pm 3 Comments
With the new sixth generation SL, Mercedes-Benz once again redefines the two-seater luxury roadster segment that it helped to create in 1954. For 2013, Mercedes-Benz started from the ground up on the SL, this time building upon a lightweight aluminum bodyshell similar to the top-of-the-range SLS. The platform is entirely new--its first in a decade.
Last year, we declared the Jambox by Jawbone the "best, tiniest wireless speaker" with good reason. The six-inch brick produces an unreal amount of high-quality sound for its size, went anywhere, and paired simply with any Bluetooth-ready device. It's great! So Imagine our glee at the first sight of the Big Jambox, which, as its extremely literal name states, is a bigger version of the Jambox.
A few weeks ago, a company called VooMote sent me a press kit that included two universal remotes. The first was a VooMote Zapper, a little infrared dongle that turns your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch into a customizable universal remote. The other was the QuantumFx REM-115, a sled-sized slab of blackish industrial plastic outfitted with buttons big enough to be operated with your forehead. The conceit: "look how far remotes have come!"
But here's the thing: the QuantumFx REM-115 the remote I actually want to use. The QuantumFx is massive, clumsy, physical, tactile, primitive. And useful.
By Jon Alain GuzikPosted 04.09.2012 at 5:38 pm 3 Comments
When BMW rolls out an all-new 3 Series, it's big news, since these have been the benchmark of German sedans for the last 30 years or more. It also sets off a tectonic shift in the entry-level luxury market, with the Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi A, not to mention the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G and the Lexus GS suddenly called upon to step up their game to follow along.
This automotive war of attrition becomes a win for the consumer, as the arms race among the automakers gives the consumer a lot more choice. Really, who can argue with better, faster and safer cars every few years?
If you want to buy a phone right now, and you're shopping based on quality rather than price, you have two choices in terms of size. You can get the iPhone, with its 3.5-inch screen, or you can choose from a handful of top-tier Android and Windows phones, all of which will have, at the bare minimum, a four-inch screen. Most of them will be bigger--4.3 inches is much more common right now, and an increasing number are even larger, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (4.65 in), HTC Titan (4.7 in), and the Samsung Galaxy Note (which, at 5.3 inches, is more lunchtray than phone).
The Nokia Lumia 900 is essentially a 4.3-inch version of the Lumia 800, a phone I absolutely loved in its 3.7-inch iteration (a Europe-only model). So reviewing the Lumia 900 presents an interesting question: with most other specs remaining constant, how does the experience of using a phone change when it grows to the size most phone manufacturers insist we really want?