Oppo Find 7 review: a solid phone that faces stiff competition
The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The G3. Every notable player in the overcrowded smartphone space has a flagship, one heroic device that the company pins its hopes on… for a year or so, anyway. For Oppo, a Chinese phone maker whose profile has swelled thanks to a surprisingly solid phone lineup, that flagship is the Find 7: an unassuming slab that looks painfully pedestrian compared to the last time the company went all out. Maybe that’s a bit harsh. The Find 7 pairs top-notch performance with one of the highest-resolution screens you’ll find on a mobile today — hardly a formula to sneeze at. But is it worth the $599 asking price? Is Oppo really a mobile force to be reckoned with?
LG Heart Rate Monitor Earphone review: good fitness gadget, poor earphones
Heart rate monitors are no longer the exclusive domain of fitness gadgets. The last 12 months have seen sensors make their way into smartphones and wearables, replacing for many of us the need for a standalone pulse monitor. The problem is a lot of these options have been unable to deliver accurate heart rate mesurements, partly because those sensors have to maintain contact with your skin; if they slip, then the readout skips. Maybe LG has the answer, then: Put heart rate monitoring technology into a pair of Bluetooth headphones. If you’re like me and are constantly wired for sound during workouts, what could possibly be better?
How to make your dumb home smarter without spending a fortune
But you don’t need a ton of proprietary gear to pimp your crib with 21st-century tech. Your smartphone and tablet already serve to consolidate your digital life, and they can do the same with your lights, power outlets, air conditioning and nanny cam — even your door locks and Crock-Pot can be app-controlled, if you so please.
Microsoft pits Siri against Cortana in new Windows Phone 8.1 ad
Microsoft is focusing on Apple’s Siri digital assistant in one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 commercials. It’s another return to the Mac vs. PC war, as Microsoft chooses to mock Siri in an effort to showcase Cortana for the first time. The new commercial sees an iPhone 5S pitted against a low-end Lumia 635, with Cortana handling people- and location-based reminders, along with traffic alerts for meetings. Siri is unable to complete similar tasks.
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You can now unlock your Motorola phone with a ‘digital tattoo
Hate unlocking your Android smartphone so much that even Face Unlock or Skip feels like too much of a hassle? Motorola just came to your rescue. The company has partnered with VivaLnk to launch the previously teased Digital Tattoo, an NFC-based skin tag that unlocks your phone (currently limited to the Moto X) with a quick tap. The tattoo can stay on your body for up to five days, and it should survive abuses like showers and sweat-laden runs. It’s a clever approach that might be appealing if you’re fed up with PIN codes and patterns, although the back-of-a-napkin math suggests that you’re paying a lot just to save a couple of seconds when checking your email.
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It’s a long time coming. “I think the wrist is interesting,” Tim Cook said at the D Conference in 2011. “I’m wearing [a Nike Fuelband] on my wrist. It’s somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here, you first have to convince people it’s so incredible that they want to wear it.”
7 things the iWatch needs to do if Apple wants to win
Forget your smartphone, you can now take selfies with drones
Squishing yourself into a cameraphone frame with your bestie is so early 2014. Why rely on your outstretched arm when you can include a sweeping vista and aerial approach to your selfie? Camera drones are gaining popularity for educational and business uses such as beefing up real estate listings with high-flying photos. But if you trust your remote drone-steering skills enough not to take your own head off, they can also offer flexibility and artistic options for creative selfies. A group of NYU students recently set up a “dronie booth” at the ITP Spring Show, and Vimeo has launched a channel dedicated to dronies.