Hands-On With The Apple iPhone 5C

We've finally managed to get a hold of Apple's new plastic-fantastic iPhone 5C in blue, one of the five available color options the iPhone 5C comes in. As expected, it's as pretty up close as it is displayed on Apple's website. The iPhone 5C is Apple's more affordable iPhone 5 successor, essentially an iPhone 5 with a redesigned exterior shell. Instead of an expensive and more premium machined aluminum unibody, the iPhone 5C features a machined polycarbonate unibody casing reinforced with stainless steel interior chassis that gives the iPhone 5C its ultra-durable and rock solid construction.

While sporting a radically different exterior design, offered for the first time in vibrant colors, the iPhone 5C's internal hardware are that of the iPhone 5 with the exception of slightly better battery life as well as a much improved 1.3-megapixel 720p HD front-facing FaceTime camera with a backside illuminated sensor - also found on the new iPhone 5S. It means that the iPhone 5C's A6 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4-inch Retina Display and 8-megapixel back-facing camera with a five-glass element f/2.4 lens make the 5C perform and feel just like the iPhone 5 in terms of performance. Snappy, fast and silky smooth operation goes without saying. At $100 less than the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, Apple's iPhone 5C is no slouch and a force to be reckoned with. What might deter you from picking one up is the fact that it's still a plastic device, perceived by virtually everyone to be less superior to an all-metal device. Drop on by after the break for our full unboxing and iPhone 5C hands-on gallery plus a lot more first impression details.

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Hands-On With The iPod Touch 5

We've had the chance to play around with the new redesigned iPod Touch 5 for nearly a week now, and our impressions of Apple's most fun gadget thus far are thoroughly positive with very little negatives. Our impressions start off on the negative side, but quickly turn into sweet goodness below:

Apple decided to scrap the affordable 16GB storage capacity in favor of 32GB as an entry-level starting point which brings up the initial price of the iPod Touch 5 up to $299. Not cool. The iPod Touch 5 is only available in 32GB and 64GB capacities for $299 and $399. And while we like the new camera design, the metal lens protrudes making the iPod unbalanced on a flat surface.

This might be considered nitpicking, but the included EarPods don't have a simple remote to control music and volume. $300 and Apple couldn't toss in a proper set of EarPods with a device that focuses on music and multimedia? Nonetheless, we tested the EarPods and found them to be better than your average pair of earphones bundled with competing devices. Lastly, Apple neglected to include an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen brightness because of how thin the device is. It is ridiculously thin will give it that. Not a deal breaker though.

Apple's new and beautifully groundbreaking redesigned iPod Touch 5 is full of awesomeness. We never thought past generations of the iPod Touch could compete against the iPhone for various reasons, but that has now completely changed. The 2012 iPod Touch is noticeably snappier and responsive this time around. Loading photos, apps and general web browsing is up to par with the speedy iPhone 5. iO6 runs silky smooth on this thing and that goes without saying.

includes a large 4-inch display and a usable 5-megapixel back facing camera with LED flash plucked right from the iPhone 4 and upgraded with a sapphire crystal lens, 5-element optics and better low-light performance. Another much needed improvement was done to the front facing camera which now shoots 720p HD video and 1.2-megapixel photos for FaceTiming and self portraits. That alone is an enticing feature that could replace your old point-n-shoot camera from a few years ago.

  • Price: $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB
  • Dimensions: 4.86 × 2.31 × 0.24-inches
  • Weight: 3.10 ounces
  • Connections: Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Display: 4-inch Retina IPS display (1136×640), 326 ppi
  • Cameras: Autofocus 5-megapixel iSight f/2.4 five-element lens, LED flash, 1080p video recording; front FaceTime HD, 1.2-megapixel
  • Battery: 40 hours of audio, 8 hours of video
  • Processor: A5, dual-core
  • Memory: 512 MB
  • Internal Storage: 32GB and 64GB
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth: 4.0
  • What else?: Includes EarPods with no remote, color matching touch loop - available in 6 colors (slate with black display, gray, pink, yellow, blue and red with white display

This is without a doubt the best iPod Touch model ever made, and we think it should also win the award for best portable multimedia and gaming device. The 4-inch display is dead gorgeous. It's in fact the same amazing, entirely reachable with your thumb IPS Retina display with the resolution of 1136x640 the iPhone 5 has making it a much respected opponent when faced against the iPhone. No matter what angle you view it from, the iPod Touch 5's display looks super sharp, very bright and contrasty to the point where you won't want to take your eyes off of it. The new taller display is perfect for watching movies now, and as soon as app developers updates their apps to take advantage of the extra screen real estate, gaming on this will be amazing. There's more iPod Touch 5 awesomeness after the cut!

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Hands-On With The Black iPhone 5

Today in tech, was wholly dedicated to the release of the iPhone 5. That insanely thin, slim and mesmerizing beauty of metal and glass they call the iPhone five. The best iPhone Apple has ever made. If you must know, it feels even better to hold and use than the iPhone 4/S, and it's simply better in every way you look at it. As you can tell, the black iPhone 5 is undeniably sleek and stealthy like a Lockheed SR-71 from every angle you look at it compared to the white and silver toned iPhone 5. Initially, we feared that the black finish would wear off very easily, however, so far it seems to hold up very well with normal use. With that said, the white and silver iPhone 5 will show less wear and scratches over time.

Once you get one of these in your hands, the absolute best feature about the iPhone 5 isn't the boost in processing and graphics power, camera, faster wireless speeds or Lightning port. What really matters is the impressive 7.6mm thickness and wonderfully bright, crisp and accurately saturated 4-inch Retina display that's entirely within your thumb's reach compared to some of the ridiculously large screened smartphones out there. What's also noticeable is how lightweight the iPhone 5 feels and how naturally it seems to fit in your hand. The new taller form factor doesn't feel as awkward is it may seem, and it only benefits from having such a slim and extremely solid, tightly packed cement brick-like construction unmatched by any other smartphone that we know of.

Although we're a bit late to the party, we thought it would only be pretty cool of us to share with you our brand spanking new black iPhone 5 in the best possible way we can. It's the 32GB, AT&T model if you really must know. Click thru the gallery down below! And don't forget to snatch up a few Retina wallpapers if you want to customize your iPhone 5, or better yet protect your investment with a case using our ultimate iPhone 5 case guide.

MacBook Pro With Retina Display Hands-On

Apple's new MacBook Pro with Retina display isn't just the best looking MacBook of all time, it's the best portable performing Mac money can buy. With the power of Apple's very own snappy SSD storage, a magnificent 2880x1800 screen resolution and powerful processing power all packed into a slim unibody enclosure, your $2,200 are just about worth it all. All things aside, we think the Retina display is really the cream of the crop and should be the first decision factor you should be thinking about if you're looking to grab yourself a Retina MacBook Pro.

It should be a no brainer for industry professionals, photographers and graphic designers. The new behemoth resolution opens up quite a lot of incompatibility on the web, however. Sites, apps and photos that aren't Retina-ready will look drastically worse than you've ever seen them before. It'll take time until developers learn how to best support such high display resolution. In the meantime, the MacBook Pro's Retina display is unbelievably sharp, clear and full of rich vivid contrast that looks incredible from any angle. Text looks beautiful regardless, and Apple's own apps including OS X Lion and Mountain Lion fully support the Retina resolution. Most if not all third party apps don't, at least as of today.

We noticed so much more detail in just about everything compared to using ordinary, albeit high screen resolutions. It's pretty amazing, and something you just need to experience first hand. If you're viewing our hands-on photos with a non-Retina display, you have no idea how much sharp detail you're not seeing. Subtle textures are much more pronounced by the Retina resolution.

Our hands-on gallery is down below! Scroll thru, click an image to see it full size.

Nir Schneider


Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions

Amazon's new fiery hot $200 Kindle Fire tablet is finally here with us. We're going to give it the unboxing treatment it deserves so be sure to check out the gallery down below. Amazon has a very strong ecosystem that is shown when using the Kindle Fire. Music and videos are streamed from Amazon's cloud service and apps can be purchased and downloaded from Amazon's very own Appstore. Although the Kindle Fire sole heart is an Android operating system, the Kindle Fire is heavily skinned and customized per Amazon's taste creating a more unique user experience that differs from other Android tablets on the market. Though after using the Kindle Fire, it seemed to be a bit sluggish and not quite up to par with other tablets in terms of speed and responsiveness.

The Kindle Fire boasts a 7-inch IPS touchscreen display with 16-million colors at 1024x600 resolution, WiFi, dual-core processor and 8GB of internal storage plus 5GB of free Amazon Cloud storage. The 7-inch form factor feels absolutely great to hold with one hand and feels like you could take it with you everywhere you go without sweating a single drop. It also makes it more comfortable to type on the on-screen keyboard that has a spacious key layout. The back is coated with a black soft-touch rubbery texture found on Amazon's Kindle e-readers and it adds a good level of grippyness to the device, but also easily shows oily fingerprints. The screen is crystal clear, bright and reading text on it is very pleasant. I'm amazed Amazon managed to keep the price so affordable yet built a very solid tablet with a great screen. Aside from a power/sleep button at the bottom, the Kindle Fire doesn't have any other buttons or switches. There are two large speakers at the top which aren't as loud as the iPad 2's speaker, 3.5mm headphone port and a micro-USB port for charging at the bottom.  

Browsing the web feels a bit slow even though Amazon's praised Silk browser that is said to handle most of the rendering of pages via the cloud doesn't come close to the fast loading speeds of the much pricier iPad 2 over a WiFi network. Granted you should not compare the two against each other as these are both completely different tablet categories. On the other hand, streaming videos and movies is amazing. Each load in the blink of an eye and start playing instantly with respectable picture quality. This is where Amazon's own services show a very strong presence in the Kindle Fire that not even the iPad competes with iTunes for instantly streaming content. Also, Amazon Prime members get access to Amazon Instant Prime library of over 10,000 movies and TV shows and can stream all of that for free.

Amazon's Appstore isn't what we would call a thriving ecosystem and it isn't filled with quality apps and the vast selection you would find in Apple's App Store or even in the Android Market. Don't worry, you'll be able to get your Angry Birds fix with the Kindle Fire as well as many other apps tailored to run on the Kindle Fire. 

The Kindle Fire comes to your doorstep inside Amazon's famous frustration-free, eco-friendly packaging with only the bare essentials included inside that is a wall power adapter. There's a slew of sleeves and cases already out for the Kindle Fire, we recommend Amazon's own Zip Sleeve for a quick protection solution, although it is overpriced. We'll have a review on it very soon. The Kindle Fire might not be the snappiest tablet around, but as a budget tablet, the Kindle Fire is worth its price without any doubt. It'll make for a nice present this holiday season for someone who uses Amazon more than anything. And that's just our first impressions with the Kindle Fire after only a day!

Nir Schneider


White Nexus S Found In The Wild

This is the real deal, a white Nexus S sporting an AT&T 3G bands and it's fully unlocked and officially real. Engadget managed to get some quality time with the white Nexus S from Google and Samsung and it looks like it's running Android 2.3.3, a.k.a Gingerbread. Aside from the AT&T bands, the white Nexus S has a textured back that makes gripping much better as well as a fingerprint-less experience. Head on over to Engadget for more pics and a bonus hands-on video.

Nir Schneider


Sony's Newly Branded Sony Store Grand Opening

Sony has announced a newly branded store that will open its doors to the masses starting tomorrow called the Sony Store. The new Sony Store is located just a few walking steps from the Apple Store at the Westfield Century City shopping mall , the first Sony Store in Los Angeles, CA. The new Sony Store has a new and completely different experience from current Sony Style stores along with many current Sony products available for hands-on experience. And what will your visit to the new Sony Store be without a plethora of 3D featured products to test out. Sony plans to roll out a few more of these redesigned Sony Stores in other cities and states. Check out the video above for an early guided tour of the brand new Sony Store. Oh and if you're planning a trip to the new Sony Store, you might want to get there early if you want to score some awesome prizes.

Nir Schneider