Once upon a time, not all that long ago, Motorola released an excellent flagship phone called the Moto X. Sure, it didn't have the best battery ever and the camera was pretty lousy, but it just oozed charm and didn't leave me wanting for much. Then, just months later, Motorola (with a perhaps little coaxing from Verizon) released a phone that addressed just about all of the X's shortcomings. That, in a nutshell, is the story of the Droid Turbo: Just think of it as the Moto X Plus. But is it really that much better than that other phone we fell for? And will Verizon Moto X owners rue the day they extended their contracts?

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We were well aware it was coming, but today Microsoft finally says goodbye to Nokia branding for its Windows Phones. The first handset to omit the Nokia name is the new Microsoft Lumia 535, an entry-level device with two standout features: A 5-inch display and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Microsoft says it's been designed as an alternative to the smaller Lumia 530, and will be targeted primarily at markets like Russia, India, China and other parts of Asia. It will also see a launch in Europe (including the UK) sometime in the future, but currently, we're told there are no plans to release the phone stateside.

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Just because you can do something, should you? Samsung thinks so. Its second experimentally screened phone taps into its hardware R&D and production clout to offer something not many other companies can make, let alone bring to the public outside of a fuzzy proof of concept. And so, following the Galaxy Round, here's the Galaxy Edge. If you take the basic shape and concept, it's the spitting image of the curved-screen Youm prototype spied at CES a little less than two years ago. Now, though, it's a for-real smartphone you can buy. I've been testing it out in Japan, where it launched instead of the Note 4, although both the Note 4 and the Note Edge will eventually be available in the US. Fortunately, despite the unusual, (addictively stroke-able) curved screen, it still packs all of the good things that made the Note 4 such a strong choice. But bragging rights aside, is there enough of an argument for a curved screen? Should you just get the Note 4 anyway?

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I remember when Microsoft first came out with Office for iPhone. It was actually kind of exciting. Here was this thing that for years had only existed in the form of rumors and leaked documents. And there it was, at last: the killer iPhone app, ready to download. Or so I thought. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I came away feeling underwhelmed. That first version of Office Mobile was a watered-down gimp of a program, with pitifully few editing tools and an occasionally confusing layout (imagine having no way of knowing what size font you were using). Compared to some apps, like Google Drive, it wasn't that bad, but it still wasn't as feature-rich as Apple's own iWork suite. Worst of all, the software has received few feature updates in the 17 months since it debuted. Is this what we waited so long for?

At last, however, Microsoft seems to have come to its senses. The company is getting rid of Office Mobile and replacing it with three standalone iPhone apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, just like on the iPad. In fact, because these apps share code with the iPad version, they arrive with the same robust feature set, along with a couple tricks designed specifically for the iPhone. In short, then, the new apps are everything the original Office for iPhone should have been.

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LG G Watch R review: good looks and improved battery are a step in the right direction

I think it's fair to say by now that smartwatches are no longer the "hot new thing." It's an established product category. The paint might still be a little wet on the whole idea, and some might argue there are areas that still need improving, but these clever timepieces are officially here to stay. That's thanks in no small part to Android Wear, Google's platform that brought some sanity/unity to the wild west of wrist-worn Android tech that came before. With the software side of things taken care of, hardware manufacturers can now focus on the gear.

So far, in terms of Android Wear devices, we've seen efforts from LG, Motorola, Samsung and today, well, LG... again! Barely four months after launching the LG G Watch, the Korean firm is back with another one: the G Watch R. Whereas the G Watch was a square, unpolished and, perhaps, unfinished affair, the G Watch R we're looking at today is a different beast altogether. It has a much more traditional design with a round display, leather strap and more. Was LG just eager to catch the first wave of Wear devices? Is the G Watch R the Wear device it should have released to begin with? More importantly, at $300 through AT&T (making it the priciest Wear device yet), do you want one?

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It's been nearly five years since Google released its very first Nexus device, and by now we all basically get what the Nexus name stands for. It's all about building devices to show off the bleeding-edge version of Android, to give us a better sense of Google's vision of our collective mobile future. That future isn't just phones, either: It's about screens of all sizes, and that's why Google and HTC teamed up to build the new Nexus 9. Now that ancestors like the Nexus 7 and 10 have been forcibly shuffled off this mortal coil, the 9 stands alone as the sole tablet in Google's Nexus hardware lineup. So, does it live up to the standard geeks expect from the Nexus name? And more importantly, is it actually worth the asking price?

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Lumia 830 review: bringing the Icon down to the mid-range

When Nokia released the Lumia Icon earlier this year, it took its polycarbonate design philosophy and went a bit metal -- aluminum, specifically. The result was a premium phone with a fancy body to match. But the Icon's exclusivity on Verizon limited its appeal, and its sibling, the Lumia 930, has yet to make it to US shores. Into that void comes the Lumia 830, from the freshly minted Microsoft Mobile.

With the Lumia 830, priced at $100 with a two-year contract on AT&T ($450 contract-free), Microsoft looks to bring the metal frame and PureView camera branding of high-end Lumias down to the mid-range smartphone level. Of course, there's always the risk of making the wrong sacrifices when trying to lower the price, so did Microsoft shave too many corners off of the 830's aluminum body? I've spent the past week with the global version of the phone as my daily driver to find out.

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                               Living with the G3: Can LG's newest flagship be as good as its predecessor?

You typically expect the latest smartphones to represent clear steps forward over their predecessors. However, I've been hearing a lot of people characterize the LG G3 as a baby step ahead of the G2, or even a step backward. That had me more than a little worried. Was I going to hate the follow-up to one of my favorite phones from 2013? There was only one way to find out, so I spent a few weeks with the G3 to see if those fears were overblown.

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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.

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After last month's iPhone event, I was disappointed -- I realized the iPhone 6 and its "Plus" sibling were still catching up to Android in a lot of ways. Regardless, the devoted iPhone fan in me still pre-ordered an iPhone 6 a few days later, in the wee hours of September 12th. The next morning, I awoke to the alarm on my iPhone 5s and went to silence it, only to discover a small spot of water damage had worsened overnight, rendering the phone unusable. With less than 24 hours before jetting off on a work trip, I had no choice but to force myself into using another phone sitting on my desk: the OnePlus One. Now, you might be thinking that this was unusually convenient. The truth is, I decided to get a second phone a couple of weeks earlier and wanted one of the unlocked Android variety. Might as well ensure it's a good phone too, so with an Engadget score of 90, the One made sense.

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Step aside, Gionee, as your record for the world's slimmest smartphone has just been beaten by a fellow Chinese manufacturer. Oppo's R5, the successor to the Asia-only R3, comes in at just 4.85mm thick, thus beating the 5.15mm-thick Elife S5.1 from Gionee. Despite the crazy thin metallic body, the R5 still packs a handful of goodies: a 5.2-inch full HD AMOLED screen, an octa-core (quad 2.1GHz and quad 1.5GHz), 64-bit Snapdragon 615 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 5MP/13MP cameras (both with f/2.0 aperture), LTE radio and a 2,000 mAh battery. All of this comes in at just 155g heavy. Of course, there's bound to be a trade-off: You only get 16GB of internal storage, no microSD expansion and, unlike the Elife S5.1, no 3.5mm headphone connector here -- you'll need to use the bundled micro-USB adapter or Bluetooth (there's an optional O-Music Bluetooth clip for your headphones and for triggering the camera).

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If you thought Oppo was done with making eccentric selfie phones, you're wrong; the Chinese company is back with a new model dubbed the N3 to replace the N1 from last September. The iconic swivel camera at the top is here to stay, but this time we have a 16-megapixel f/2.2 module with Schneider optics, and it's motorised! It's actually much cooler than it sounds: You can quickly flip the camera with a flick gesture on the screen or on the fingerprint sensor on the back -- more on that later. In addition to that, the N3 comes with a new O-Click Bluetooth remote that not only acts as a remote trigger, but it also lets you adjust the camera's angle using the extra buttons.

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Nokia Lumia 735 and yours truly

Last year's Lumia 720 was an awkward middle child. It was more powerful than its 620 cousin, but not so much so that you'd consider it over the 820 unless you just had to have the first budget Lumia with LTE. If you're going to pay a lot more, why not get a lot more? Flash forward to 2014, and the Lumia 735 follow-up (along with the dual-SIM 730) appears to have more of a reason for being -- namely, catering to a selfie-loving public. With a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, more powerful internals and a €219 ($279) price, the 735 promises great self-portraits without decimating your bank account. But is it necessarily your best choice for those "I was there" photos? And more importantly, is it worth buying over both other Windows Phones and the other devices in its price class? You're about to find out.

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It's a conflicting time for Apple. On one hand, it's a joyous occasion for the company because its latest iPhones, which come in larger screen sizes than the last, set new sales records worldwide; but on the other hand, its lineup of iPads just experienced its third straight quarterly decline. Coincidentally, this comes just a week after Apple announced its annual tablet refresh, which includes a thinner and more powerful version of the iPad Air along with a Touch ID-enabled mini with Retina display.

Just because it's down doesn't mean it's out. Giving up on a product category isn't really Apple's style, and last week, it offered up the Air 2 as exhibit A. The company made it clear that making a solid top-of-the-line tablet is on the top of its to-do list, so naturally the new 10-inch device got plenty of upgrades in nearly every aspect of its design. Curiously, it didn't give the mini lineup the same kind of treatment: The mini 3 got so little love this time around that the best news about it is the fact that last year's version is now $100 cheaper. Should the new iPads still get a place in the consumer's backpack? Read on to find out.

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Apple's latest desktop operating system, Yosemite, is available today as a free download for anyone with a reasonably new (or not-so-new) Mac. Here's the thing, though: Many of you are already using it. In an unusual twist, Apple not only gave us a sneak peek of the software, but also allowed a large section of the public to take it for a spin while it was still in development. Though the company has declined to say how many people signed up for the beta program (there were a million available spots), we're sure many of you are running it right now, and don't even need to read a full review.

That said, I wanted to finish what I started. Back when I posted my initial preview, I was able to discuss lots of things -- the iOS-inspired design, the new Safari browser -- but certain stuff wasn't ready for prime time. I'm talking about iCloud Drive, Apple's new cross-platform storage service, as well as "Continuity," a set of features that allow Macs to better integrate with iOS. Think: the ability to receive calls on your Mac, or to start reading an article on your iPad and finish it on your laptop. Now that the software is final -- and now that I've had a chance to test all the features -- I'm ready to weigh in. Suffice to say, it's clear that to make the most out of Yosemite, you need an iDevice to go with it. But even for Mac users who don't also own an iPhone (guilty!), this is still a solid upgrade. Read on to see what I mean.

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