Brad Molen

  • IRL: Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge isn't great for lefties

    I've been using my phone upside-down for the last two weeks. I didn't lose a bet, nor am I carrying out some weird social experiment. I'm doing it because I hold my phones left-handed, and that's the only way I can comfortably use the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. With a screen that wraps around the right side of the phone, the Edge is the only smartphone I've used where being a righty or lefty has had a direct impact on my purchase decision; to a lefty, it's uncomfortable and inconvenient to use, and you're better off sticking with its close relative, the Galaxy Note 4. Here's why.

  • HTC RE Camera review: a fun personal shooter with room to grow

    My father's camcorder was a common sight on childhood vacations. Trips to Mount Rainier, the Oregon Coast, Disneyland, skiing, weddings -- you name it, there's video evidence of my siblings and I enjoying time together. I'm lucky to have grown up in an era where this technology was available, but today these memories can be captured more easily and with less sophisticated (read: less expensive) equipment. We have quick and easy access to cameras at a moment's notice, thanks to smartphones and tablets, and now another form factor is starting to gain momentum: personal cameras. With the exception of the GoPro, this genre is now seeing an influx of small, hand-held devices that are small enough to put in your pocket or bag and can still take decent photos and videos. HTC is one of the companies rushing to get into this space with the RE camera (pronounced "Ree"), an awkwardly named gadget that's shaped like a tube, packs a 16-megapixel camera and 1080p HD video capture and features cross-platform support so Android and iOS users alike can take advantage of it. Can this tiny camera take the place of my father's camcorder? What else is it good for? And is it worth paying $200 even if you already have a smartphone camera? Keep Reading to find out.

  • Dropbox Carousel comes to iPad and web today, Android tablets soon

    Ever since the first cloud storage services hit the web, they've been a prime destination for thousands upon thousands of uploaded photos. Unfortunately, many of those services don't have polished user interfaces that allow for easy viewing and sharing -- unless you're just a big fan of file manager-esque folders and list views. In April, Dropbox debuted Carousel, an app that seeks to solve that problem by grouping your images together by date and letting you scroll through endless years of photos and sharing your favorites with friends and family. The service was only offered on iPhones and Android smartphones until today, when Dropbox announced that it's now available for iPads and the web, with support for Android tablets coming in the coming weeks.

  • Samsung's streaming video service comes to US Galaxy phones today

    Over eight months after releasing Milk, its own take on streaming music, Samsung's unleashing an online video service in the US called Milk Video. Just as its music service seemed to take on competitors like Spotify and Rdio, its movie counterpart is similar to options such as YouTube and Vimeo, with a few differences here and there. Much of the free app's content comes from partnerships like Funny or Die, Vevo, The Onion and CollegeHumor, and the list of videos is curated by Samsung and placed into category-specific feeds, such as tech, comedy and music; you can also set up your own personal feed that's comprised of stuff you and your friends like. There's also a social aspect, in which you can follow brands, users and groups and see which videos they repost, and you'll be able to share your favorites on Twitter or Facebook.

  • With Movie Creator, Microsoft wants to help produce better highlight reel videos

    HTC's done it. So has Sony. It's available on iOS. Even BlackBerry's got one. Apps that let you take your favorite clips and images and merge them together into a fun highlight reel aren't uncommon these days, but that's not stopping Microsoft from coming out with one of its own -- and one that it feels is even better than the competition. Called Movie Creator, the premise is exactly the same as what everyone else has, but Microsoft promises its version will come with more customization, an easier user experience, less time required to create a video and no price tag. It'll be available as a free beta starting today for all WP8.1 Lumia devices, the Lumia 2520 and Surface tablets, which means that Microsoft will even offer the feature on lower-end devices like the Lumia 530.

  • Nexus 6 review: Google shows it can make a big-screen phone

    Which is easier to juggle on your daily commute: a small smartphone and tablet together, or a 6-inch phone that merges features from both? Consumers once leaned toward the former, but many have lately changed their minds. The so-called phablet has come a long way since Samsung came out with the first Galaxy Note in 2011, and now it's not uncommon to see several of them as you walk down the street. Nearly every manufacturer has at least one or two such devices in their lineup, so it's about time Google stepped in with some outsized hardware of its own. The company just launched the Nexus 6, a 6-inch phone made in collaboration Motorola that comes with a winning feature list and is just as glorious as the Moto X it shares a likeness with. Aside from being a strong handset in its own right, it's meant to be a blueprint to inspire Google's partners as they work on their own devices. It's not as affordable as Nexus phones from the past two years, but at $649 it's still less than most premium-grade flagships of similar size. With that in mind, let's find out if the Nexus 6 serves as an encouragement... or a disappointment.

  • Saygus announces a new high-end Android smartphone after five year hiatus

    Saygus has been long forgotten over the course of time, only to be remembered by the most hardcore phone enthusiasts. The Utah-based phone maker enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight at CES 2010 with its VPhone, a high-end (at the time) Android QWERTY device capable of doing two-way video calls over molasses-slow networks. The phone disappeared after becoming certified on Verizon's open development initiative in August 2011. Surprisingly, the company's not only alive and kicking, it's working on a brand new high-end phone called the V-Squared (V2?). The smartphone will come with a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon processor (the chipset is unknown, but we'd guess 801), 64GB onboard storage and expandable memory that will "best any competitor," 60GHz Wireless HD for low-latency wireless HD streaming, Qi wireless charging, 3D audio, a high-end camera with OIS, root access and a new type of biometric scanner on the right side of the device. It also says that it has a 3,500mAh battery, but a mysterious new tech is supposed to extend its life by 50 percent. We've obtained images of the V-Squared, which show an interesting angular design on the top and bottom, as well as a hardware camera shutter button.

  • Five questions for the creator of Google's modular smartphone

    It's been just over a year since Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) division announced Project Ara, a full-scale effort to produce the world's very first modular smartphone. The team has been working hard and fast to get a unit on the market before the end of its two-year mission, and it's progressing quite nicely: We recently saw a functional "Spiral 1" prototype running on Android, and the next version -- "Spiral 2" -- should be getting into developers' hands later this year. Paul Eremenko, who heads up the Ara team, will be onstage at Engadget Expand with me for a live demonstration and fireside chat. We'll catch up on how things are progressing, how Ara has evolved since its inception, the most interesting use cases for a modular smartphone he's seen so far and also discuss the next Developer Conference, scheduled for January 14th, 2015, in Mountain View, California. In anticipation of his appearance at Expand, I reached out to Eremenko for a quick Q&A about Ara.

  • I typed my entire BlackBerry Passport review on the phone's tiny keyboard

    Apparently I'm a masochist. That's an odd way to begin a review. But to give BlackBerry's latest handset, the Passport, as thorough a review as possible, I decided to type the entire thing from the phone itself. My twisted idea came from a realization that this (mostly) square oddity is the first phone with a physical keyboard that I've used since the Motorola Droid 4 in 2012 or the BlackBerry Q10 in 2013. It's not even a normal keyboard by modern smartphone standards -- it's a flattened, hybrid setup with both physical and virtual elements and a curiously placed space bar. Needless to say, it's an odd device, one that truly deserves the ultimate test: Can I use it to crank out several thousand words of text? Of course, there's more to the Passport than just its odd shape and the company's desire to resurrect a now-antiquated smartphone feature. I'm going to dive into what sets this phone apart from the hundreds of others already on the market -- that is, if my thumbs hold up through the experience.

  • YouTube CEO confirms music subscription service is coming soon

    There have been plenty of rumors about YouTube starting up a music subscription service, including a confirmation from the Google-owned group in June that it was coming later in the summer (which has obviously come and gone). Tonight we heard another confirmation, this time straight from the mouth of CEO Susan Wojcicki. In an interview at Code/Mobile, the executive said that her team was indeed "working on it" and that this is a near-term goal. While she didn't get into specifics on the program, which may or may not be called Music Key (according to rumors, that is), she stated that one of the obstacles is figuring out "how to give people options" -- likely a way of saying that YouTube is still working out the pricing tiers and what features would be available for each individual plan. And given that the service will supposedly include concert footage and other videos, it may be a bit more complex than what competitors like Spotify offer. It's not clear when exactly we'll see this service ready for the public, but this is at least a solid indication that it didn't just completely vanish, never to be enjoyed by our eyes and ears. [Image credit: Getty Images]

  • The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer

    The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer; it was designed to inspire Google's Android partners to create one instead. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise: It was announced one day before the iPad Air 2 and mini 3, comes with a powerful 64-bit NVIDIA chip and will be competitively priced with Apple's tablets. But Alberto Villarreal, head of the Nexus 9's industrial design, insists that this wasn't the purpose. "We wanted to accelerate the premium market for Android tablets," Villarreal said. "[The Nexus 9] has a lot of attributes and definitely will bring the quality for other companies to do better."