Living with Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge in an S6 world

I was torn this past winter. I knew the Galaxy S6 was imminent and that there'd likely be a model with a curved screen, but I was dying to see what it was like to live with its bigger precursor, the Galaxy Note Edge. Would I feel a twinge of regret when the shiny new Samsung handset arrived, even if the older phone still had some advantages? There was only one way to find out. I spent a few weeks with the Note Edge to see not just whether I would enjoy that uniquely shaped screen on its own terms, but whether it would still hold its own against the faster, curvier Galaxy S6 Edge.

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Apple Watch review: a status symbol for iOS devotees

​Mankind's fascination with watches capable of more than simply telling the time is nothing new. But recently, our collective interest in intelligent timepieces has spiked, and we have more and more powerful wrist-worn computers to choose from than ever -- whether made by startups with record-setting Kickstarter campaigns or the biggest names in consumer electronics. Of course, the biggest name of all, Apple, had yet to release one of its own. Well, the Watch has arrived, and its maker has loftier aspirations for it than the smartwatches preceding it. Apple's Watch isn't some utilitarian gadget -- it's jewelry, an object of lust, not only for what it can do, but also for how it looks.

I'm not a watch person. Haven't worn one regularly since high school (I'm 33 years old now), and have never been enamored with the likes of Rolex or Longines. But the Apple Watch is, of course, much more than a mere time teller, and the company expects to sell a lot of these things to people like me -- you don't build a $700 billion company selling niche products, after all. The question is: Why would someone like me want one?

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As awesome as Project Ara is, we've yet to hear a solid timeline nor pricing info for Google's ambitious modular smartphone. But we bring you good news: For those who lack patience and want to try the next best thing, you may want to consider the Nexpaq, a modular case for the iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S6 Edge and many more devices to come. Admittedly, we were a bit skeptical with this project's claim upon receiving the startup's pitch, but after meeting two of the co-founders in Hong Kong, we know they mean business.

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Earlier this year, almost every smartphone maker revealed a flagship model at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. But not LG. The South-Korea based company has been relatively quiet since its introduction of the G Flex2, which was back at CES 2015. Today, though, LG is ready to announce the G4 in an event that's taking place simultaneously across different parts of the globe. For our part, we're in New York City and we'll be bringing you the action as it happens, so stay tuned -- the keynote's set to begin at 11:00AM ET.

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Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they've taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they've moved from garage operations to vast campuses.

[Image: NBBJ]

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It's Apple Watch day. And whether you received one already, or are stuck waiting a few weeks for it, you'll want apps to make the most out of your new wearable when the time comes. Thankfully, we here at Engadget are always thinking about you, the reader, so we've put together a list of third-party apps that stand out from the 3,000-plus expected to be available at launch. But first, let's talk about some essentials. The Twitter and Instagram Apple Watch apps, for starters, will let you check out tweets and view photos right on your wrist, among other things. Sports fans, meanwhile, have access to apps like ESPN, MLB At Bat and NBA Game Time, which makes it easy to keep up with scores without having to pull out your iPhone.

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"China is the number one market with connected products."

That was how Intel's Senior Vice President Kirk Skaugen kicked off his keynote at IDF in Shenzhen, citing China's staggering 30 percent share of worldwide connected-device purchases in 2014. The country gobbled up 40 percent of the 46 million Intel-powered tablets shipped globally. Not bad, but 46 million is hardly anything compared to the 420.7 million smartphones shipped in China alone in the same year -- only a tiny percentage of which packed an Intel chip. Most others relied on Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung. Intel's smartphone market share is so small that it never dared to share the stats; it could be as low as 2.81 percent in the Android space, according to benchmark specialist AnTuTu.

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This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

After surveying almost 1,000 Wirecutter readers and testing close to 100 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases over a period of about 50 hours (so far), our current pick for the best all-around case is the NGP from Incipio. The NGP line has protected several generations of iPhones (and many other devices) and has a reputation for providing solid protection and a good fit at a great price. It's slim enough not to detract from the iPhone 6's svelte dimensions while still offering comprehensive protection for the handset's body, including its buttons. Openings along the bottom allow for compatibility with a wide range of accessories.

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Once again, the third time's the charm for Microsoft's Surface lineup -- for the most part. Last year's Surface Pro 3 was the software giant's most compelling implementation yet of its hybrid laptop/tablet concept. Now we have the Surface 3, the third entry in its cheaper Surface lineup. And while it may look similar to its predecessors, it's actually a completely different beast. It's a $499 Surface tablet that can actually run all of the Windows programs you're used to, not just Windows 8 apps. And to Windows RT, the stripped down version of Microsoft's OS that previously powered the non-Pro Surface tablets, all I have to say is: So long, goodbye. Don't let the door hit you on the way out! By giving up on Windows RT, Microsoft has finally managed to make a decent cheap Surface.

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There's a new generation of MIDI-connected interface tools to help your creative juices flow without being tethered to a computer or lugging around a full kit. The Jamstik smartguitar is a mobile instrument for the digital age, whether you're a seasoned guitar player or just looking to learn a few chords. It's a lightweight, 16-inch guitar interface that uses WiFi to connect to Macs, PCs and iOS 7+ devices. The Jamstik works with hundreds of apps including GarageBand and Ableton Live, letting you play guitar, synth, drums or anything else simply by plucking the strings. There's also a Kickstarter for the new Jamstik+, which adds Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a focus on musical education. What's more, for every 15 Jamstik+ devices that are backed, Zivix will give one to a non-profit educational organization, opening up the world of music to tomorrow's musicians. To help give you a taste, the company has given us two Jamstiks, along with a set of SOL Republic Deck Bluetooth speakers for a pair of lucky Engadget readers this week. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning.

Winners: congratulations to Jeremiah N. of Moscow, ID. and Jeremy M. of Southington, CT!

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Microsoft's found its stride with the Surface Pro 3, offering a portable yet powerful PC experience in a tablet form factor. Our readers even voted it the best overall gadget of 2014. Developers for the Windows platform, though, seem to be in short supply, leaving many popular apps out of reach (or out of date) for Microsoft fans. American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has come up with a solution to the problem with its AMIDuOS software. If you've converted from Android to Windows, you can use the software to access your existing apps without an additional purchase. You'll also have access the latest versions without waiting for them to hit Microsoft's ecosystem. AMIDuOS works with PCs and tablets running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 (32/64-bit) and offers instant switching -- you can even pin Android apps to the Start menu. To help one Engadget reader escape ecosystem isolation, the company has provided a 64GB Surface Pro 3 along with a lifetime license for AMIDuOS. Feeling lucky? Just head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

Winner: congratulations to Taylor J. of Leawood, KS!

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Samsung found itself in sort of a bind last year: Its flagship Galaxy S5 wasn't the blockbuster the company hoped it would be. That, coupled with the news that Samsung was going to focus on a smaller number of devices in 2015, signaled a pretty dramatic change for a brand that seemed like it was unstoppable. As if to silence the doubters, Samsung has not one, but two flagships on offer -- the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge -- and they're surrounded by questions. Can they restore Samsung to its former glory? Has the company figured out how to build a truly interesting smartphone again? It's too early to make a call on the former, but after a week of testing, the answer to the latter is a clear and definite "yes."

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Spring has sprung and while you may have been huddled by your PC's GPU all winter for some scant warmth, you can now continue your gaming sessions under the sun's rays. NVIDIA's GRID gaming service streams popular PC games right to its Shield devices, giving you some operational freedom beyond the desktop. GRID offers titles like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequal, Resident Evil 5 and Crysis 3, and the Shield Tablet, which packs a 192 Core Kepler GPU, a 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and an 8-inch 1080p display, is up for the task. It's not just for gaming, either; this top-performing Android slate can stream movies and handle everyday multitasking with the best of them. If you have a Shield Tablet, you can take advantage of the GRID streaming service for free until June 30th, 2015. If you don't, just head to the Rafflecopter widget below, where you can get up to three chances at winning one along with its much needed accessories. The company has provided us with five complete sets, each including a Shield Tablet, a Tablet Cover and the indispensable Shield Controller for a total of five lucky Engadget readers this week. Game on!

Winners: congratulations to Zabak B. of Wilson, NC; Charles P. of North Las Vegas, NV; Donnie R. of Dallas, GA; Rafael R. of San Antonio, TX and Nic B. of Fairborn, OH.

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Life with the Moto 360: has Motorola's smartwatch turned a corner?

When the Moto 360 first hit the scene, its reception was... mixed. That round display was eye-catching, but it couldn't make up for the smartwatch's all-too-short battery life and undercooked software. Times have changed, though. Motorola trotted out updates that addressed the 360's early problems, and the Lollipop upgrade gave Android Wear a new lease on life through custom watch faces and a few other useful tweaks. But does that mean it deserves a second chance, especially now that rivals like LG's G Watch R are vying for your wrist?

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The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population -- people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber -- they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.) So let's try using one. The best and newest feature phone available in Japan, no less. It's pitched as bringing the best smartphone features to the flip form factor. Is it better than a plain, old smartphone? Good lord, no.

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