Archives for Review

AT&T Asus PadPhone Review


Possibly the Best Phone/Tablet Deal Yet

I have to admit that I was pretty pumped to receive the demo copy of the Asus PadFone X from AT&T (props to Teresa Mask!)  I was able to spend close to a month with it and came away with mixed feelings except for one very clear realization: For all its limitations, this device is a crazy good buy for just $199 under a two year contract with AT&T.

As will all my reviews, I have to disclaim that my observations are not meant to be an exhaustive investigation of the device.  There are wonderful sites like Engadget that do super breakdowns of every imaginable device including this one.  On the other hand I want to approach it more from our listeners’ point of view.  What are the pro’s and con’s of the device and would I use it on a regular basis given the opportunity?


Before phablets (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G Pro 2,Nokia Lumia 1520) became hugely popular in Asia and then the US and Europe, the PadPhone proposed to be an excellent combination of phone and tablet.  Asus PadPhone X is the first of its kind to be …

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Nokia 635: The Doorway to the Smartphone World

Nokia 635

Foster Braun, 9/4/14

Foster Braun

Most of us Americans are so used to the array of smartphones with all the bells and whistles in every 7 Eleven, Best Buy or AT&T store that it’s hard to imagine a world without them. We ho-hum the latest version of the Yazoo phone because it only has 16 GB of internal storage, quad-core processor etc. Unfortunately for manufacturers that razzle dazzle end of the smartphone market is slowing down because in our country and most of the “First World, markets are saturated. However, there are literally billions of users around the world just waiting for the right device to move up from their feature phones. Enter the Lumia 635 offered in the US on AT&T.

This creates a strange dilemma for this reviewer. To wit: Do I compare apples to apples or mix up my fruit selection? On the face of it, for the majority of US smartphone users, this device would be a step down. It sports a mere 8 GB of internal storage (up to 128 GB more on a micro SD card), just 512 MB (that’s right campers MB) of RAM and no rear facing camera! What?! No selfies?! BUT for folks …

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IA Review of Samsung Galaxy 5S

Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 has been held up as the finest example of what Samsung has to offer in smartphones.  It’s big, fast, beautiful and functional.  However, I have to say that in this case I was surprised to find that not all that glitters is gold. Listen to this review for the full details.

I would also like to thank Teresa Mask and the folks at the  AT&T who have allowed me to use many of their devices for review during the past year.  I has been invaluable to be able to work with these smartphones, tablets and other devices like the portable hotspots to be able to evaluate them for our listeners.

Click Here to Listen to Foster’s Galaxy 5S Review

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Detailed Review of the Surface Pro 3


By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report |

Microsoft’s third shot in the tablet-that-can-turn-into-a-portable-PC category represents a huge improvement over its earlier attempts. I called the first Surface Pro, released in February 2013,“brilliant, quirky, and flawed,” and argued that it “has enough flaws that many potential buyers will either say no outright or play wait and see.”

Last fall’s Surface Pro 2, released in conjunction with Windows 8.1, was basically just a spec bump that added a Haswell processor (improving battery life) and gave the trademark Surface kickstand a second angle.

Surface Pro 3, on the other hand, is a complete redesign that maintains the original Surface Pro vision (and a few of its quirks), while tackling its biggest flaws head-on.

Like its predecessors, the Surface Pro 3 isn’t for everyone. It’s also hard to categorize. Lining it up next to a conventional laptop or a full-size tablet results in an odd set of comparisons and, inevitably, reviews that focus on the mismatches.

I attended last week’s launch event in New York City and came home with a sample of the Surface Pro 3, provided by Microsoft, which I’ve used extensively for the past 10 …

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Lumia 1520: A Phine Phablet


Foster Braun, May 31, 2014

Is bigger always better?  As the bard of Avon might have said, “Aye there’s the rub!” The fact of the matter is that it is hard to evaluate what may be one of the best Windows 8 Phones in the Microsoft lineup with out answering the perennial size question.  So, without pretending to be all “high-geek” in my analysis, here are my impressions of the impressive Lumia 1520.

Excellent Hardware

Just in terms of its hardware, the Lumia 1520 (Sold by AT&T in the US for $199) is the first Windows 8.1 Phone with a quad-core chipset (a 2.2GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to be exact) The Nokia Lumia 1520 also has the distinction of being one of the company’s first two supersize phones. This premium handset also features: a 6-inch 1080p HD display and a 2-megapixel front camera, 20 MP Pure View rear camera to name just a few outstanding specs. (Full Specs)  The device comes in 16 and 32 GB sizes but you should note that it has a Micro SD slot for expansion up to 32 GB.  (But who is counting with all the free cloud space being offered by various sites? All …

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The Nokia Lumia 2520 Arrives

Nokia released its first ever tablet to the world on Thurs. Nov. 22 and the response has been generally favorable with respect to the excellent engineering and design.  It remains a mystery what Microsoft will do with this excellent tablet running Windows RT 8.1 when its purchase of Nokia’s devices division is complete in 2014.  The following review is by one of the leading Microsoft commentators Mary Jo Foley who has used the Microsoft Surface RT with great success since it original release.

The Nokia Lumia 2520: My week with the ‘other’ Windows ARM tablet

Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet

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Review: Nokia Lumia 920

Lumia 920

After an interminable wait, the ice suddenly broke when I was invited to the grand opening of the Microsoft store in Troy June 2013. There I met a helpful person who works for a West Coast PR firm contracted to promote Microsoft events.  Through them I got to the right person in less than a week and had a Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 arrive in another week.

Heavy Enough to Cause Damage
My fire engine red Lumia 920 came out of the box swinging like a heavy weight.  It is one of the heftiest mobile phones you will ever carry but…it feels strangely lighter than its older sister, the Lumia 900.  This is perhaps because of the tapering of the edges on the phone which gives it a markedly more comfortable grip on the device. Unfortunately the bright minds that designed the Lumia 920 felt that the external surface had to be as slippery as possible!  In the first hour of having the device out of the box it squirted out of my hands no less than a half dozen times.  If you are going to make this your next smartphone, invest in a rubber protector that wraps …

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CNet Reviews Verizon's iPhone 4

Check out this complete review including video of the iPhone 4 that has just been release on Verizon.  You can almost hear AT&T holding its breath and crossing its fingers and toes.  Personally, I would just go for an unbroken phone call on my iPhone 3GS on AT&T.  Foster Braun

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