As I mentioned in my post about my favorite smartphones, the Moto Z Play released in 2016 is one of my favorite budget phones. The Moto Z Play hit all of the right notes in price, design, battery life, and functionality. I was excited to try it’s successor, the Moto Z2 Play, which was released last year. The Z2 Play was not received well by many reviewers, as the Snapdragon 626 processor and smaller battery was seen as a sidegrade from its predecessor.
After a few days with the Z2 Play, I was ready to call it my new favorite budget phone. Until Verizon rained on my parade.
I have never been considered myself a Pixel / Nexus “purist”. There are a number of Android fans out there who believe that Google’s more slimmed down version of Android is the best because it doesn’t have all of the bloat that Samsung’s or LG’s versions do. I prefer not calling it “stock” android, because I know that Google adds quite a bit, but it does feel generally cleaner.
The Pixel 2 XL was released last Fall, and received with a lot of criticism. I can confidently say that if you want a more “pure” Android experience, no other phones will compare to the Pixel 2 XL.
I have been a fan of the Surface line of products since the first Surface RT tablet was released in 2012. Microsoft predicated the Surface line on being versatile, and combining the usability of a tablet with the functionality of a laptop. Microsoft followed up the Surface form factor with the Surface Book, which took the 2-in-1 approach from the opposite direction – notebook first, then optional tablet. The third form factor in the Surface family was the Surface Studio. Microsoft didn’t make nearly as many waves with this product, because it was a niche product – very few individuals were asking for an all-in-one that could fold down nearly flat onto their desktop for a drawing easel.
Most recently, Microsoft has extended the Surface family to the Surface Laptop – the first true clamshell laptop that Microsoft has ever produced.
The Surface Laptop stands in a confusing place. It is both one of the best laptops ever made, and one of the worst Surfaces ever made.
When the original Pixel was announced last year, I was not impressed. Google had been selling phones for years under the Nexus program, even though technically the phones were manufactured by other companies. Nexuses were always praised for having strong software, but not always applauded for their hardware. Last year, Google’s Pixels were phones they designed from the ground up, and the first phones to be “Made by Google.” There were still similarities to the earlier Nexuses: the Pixel had great software, but did not have the most modern design.
When I was in middle school, my older brother got his first MacBook. My mom spent a fortune on it, but my brother insisted that his college required Macs because Windows computers got viruses and were therefore security risks. Turns out he was lying, go figure. At the time, I happened to be buying my first laptop, a Dell Inspiron 15 that ended up falling apart at the hinges.
For years to follow, I encountered friends, family, and peers that insisted that MacBooks were the only computers that they would ever consider, and that I was somehow ignorant to think otherwise. I stayed away from Macs until this year, and now that I have finally used a MacBook as my daily laptop,
I Get It…
When Apple announced the iPhone X, I was probably more excited than most Android users. As a tech fan, I like innovation. And whether or not you believe the iPhone X is an innovator for all smartphones, I think most people can agree it is an innovator of iPhones. After 4 straight generations of the same old boring design, Apple took a big step into the next generation of phones. Unfortunately, they are treading on the toes of a lot of their former fans with some controversial choices.
I was hoping that this would be the iPhone to get me to switch to Android. I really was. Unfortunately, while iPhones have caught up to their Android counterparts in design, the iPhone X is still far behind in many aspects. Continue reading “iPhone X Review: So Close”