Author: Stefan Etienne

LG V10 Review: When Bigger Isn’t Always Better

20151122_111104Reviewing the G4 meant that I would come to terms with LG’s less premium design in favor of a more complete Android experience. The aftermath of which resulted in a continuous war between the G4 and the Galaxy S6 — both are excellent devices and tied in many aspects, however LG gets away with expandable storage and a removeable battery.

This begs the question: what if LG made a G4 with better materials? Say, stainless steel and a textured polycarbonate? Well, that’s what the V10 is, and it includes a second screen for notifications, along with some new tricks overall.

But I’ll cut to the chase: it’s rather too big for most.

B&O BeoPlay H8 Headphones Review: The Quintessential On-Ears

20151120_114848I’ve reviewed dozens of headphones — usually of the expensive variety — and they all get certain aspects of what being a good pair of headphones are wrong.

Some are too big for daily commutes (but sound great), others look amazing but lack richness, then there are others that come close to being perfect but suffer from glitches — and then those that don’t but are too big. Also, the last pair of on-ears I reviewed left me unimpressed.

So, it would seem that I’m looking for commute-friendly, noise-cancelling pair of headphones, that also have Bluetooth capabilities and exude good design.

Thus, I thought it was worth my time to see what the Denmark-based audiophiles at Bang & Olufsen had to offer with the BeoPlay H8; headphones that fit those exact specific qualities I listed earlier.

Samsung Galaxy View Review: Unusual Concept, Some Good Merits

20151115_131350It isn’t unusual for Samsung to experiment with new concepts in the mobile device field. The very successful Note is a good example of this, and the Edge and Edge+ are both further examples of the big S’s desire to try new and different things on the public market. But this? This is an entirely different category than curved screens and big phones with smart styluses.

This is the Galaxy View, and it’s an 18.4-inch tablet with a carry handle, AT&T 4G LTE connectivity and a dedicated Direct TV hub for watching — you guessed it — real, live TV.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Review — To Have Fun With Technological Doom

iiiNow that it’s Treyarch’s first run at the three-year cycle between producing Call of Duty games, it was inevitable that Black Ops III should be produced and released. It’s been more than a week after release, and I’ve been playing it ever since then (thanks Step3 for that press code).

So, what do I have to report?

Let’s face it: recently Call of Duty games have not only been repetitive, but in many cases boring or lacked compelling gameplay mechanics. Has Treyarch brought back the franchise, and if so, how? Well, it turns out they have, and from my perspective, here’s are a few points that have been made to make a better CoD.

Audioengine HD6: The New Speakers My Desk Yearns For

unnamedBefore I started using a Razer Leviathan as my primary speaker setup for all computing and gaming needs, I made use of (and reviewed) the entire line of Audioengine speakers — the B2, A2+, A5+ and the odd-child, the P4W. I was tipped by my friends at AE that eventually, at some point, new powered speakers would arrive.

Today is finally that day, and I’m interested in what their performance might be. The Audioengine HD6 is a take on the modern speaker, while also becoming Audioengine’s new flagship speaker. It comes in cherry or red (hello, holidays) and will retail for $749 a pair.

Bluetooth aptX support, 3.5mm audio, RCA and digital optic inputs all are means of getting sound through these gorgeous bookshelf speakers, but it’s specs and audio quality that you’re paying such a premium for. Also: detachable grills, in case you want minimalism or expose the audiophile aesthetic.

Power output is at a solid 150W peak output (50W RMS, 75W peak per channel), through 5.5″ Kevlar woofers and 1″ silk dome tweeters,  24-bit input/DAC and an aluminum remote control.

They’re available starting today, through Audioengine and its retail partners. Hopefully I’ll be getting my hands on a pair, and will report back on their performance.

Via: Audioengine

TAG Heur’s $1,500 Android Wear Watch Is Connected

tagheuerIn fact, that is the name of the smart watch announced just today by TAG Heur: the Connected. A $1,500 smart accessory, a properitiy warranty exists where once you purchase the Connected, you become eligible to switch to mechanical piece in two years. Besides being built brilliantly, the Connected is of course, very exclusive: custom watch faces designed by TAG, along with two special versions purportedly designed in-part by Tom Brady and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Built of titanium, the connected is bigger than a Huawei watch or the current king of the Android Wear platform, the Moto 360 — at 46.2mm wide and 12.8mm thick — but the choice of materials should keep it fairly wearable and comfortable.

TAG went so far as to even ditch the Qualcomm processors used in nearly all Android Wear watches, and instead partner with Intel for a 1.6Ghz dual-core processor. Other specs worth noting include the 410mAh battery and the 360×360 (240 ppi) 1.5″ screen.

Via: TAG Heur

Apple’s iPad Pro Goes On Sale This Wednesday

ipad-proStarting at $999, the first-generation iPad Pro will make its world debut on Wednesday, November 11th which also happens to be Singles’ Day in China — the largest online shopping day in the world.

The 12.9-inch iOS tablet is the most powerful the teams at Cupertino has ever produced, and is also the most expensive, starting at $799 for a 32 GB Wi-Fi model, rising to $1,079 for an LTE-capable version with 128 GB of storage (the most you can get).

Meanwhile, the Apple Pencil (dedicated stylus, essentially) will retail for $99, while the Smart Keyboard, an adjustable keyboard accessory that will go for $169. The current group of launch countries total 50, with the United States, China, Canada and most of Europe taking part.

Via: Apple PR

The Pier of Fear ’15: Skrillex, Camera, Lights — Rave!

P1000202At nineteen, I haven’t been to many parties, much less a rave of Halloween proportions in New York City — I’ve been too busy entertaining the readers of LM.

This year, at Pier 92/94, RPM hosted the Pier of Fear, with Skrillex as the headline act. Dubstep and electronic music in general can be an acquired taste, but I was always a fan of the insane and brilliant way that Skrillex could control a crowd using technology: his music, remixes, lights, smoke and energy that he’d give to the crowds.

In short: I promptly left the pier at 2:30AM, which meant that including all other acts, I raved for about 5 hours — Halloween was fantastic.