"They're a gimmick. They're a terrible idea. They're not going anywhere."

Naysayers have been doing their thing since the notion of a curved smartphone made the leap from a nutty concept to bona fide market fad, and they're not going to stop any time soon. Neither are LG and Samsung, for that matter, who squared off in late 2013 with -- what else? -- a pair of curved phones. Neither the G Flex nor the Galaxy Round were critical or commercial hits, but they made great stepping stones as both companies tried to convince the world that curved phones were the next big thing. Now LG's back for another shot at flexible-phone glory. The new G Flex2 is smaller, sleeker and a damn sight prettier than its predecessor, but still, we've got questions. Are curved screens any less of a gimmick now? Did LG have to compromise functionality for the sake of design? And more importantly, is this actually worth buying?

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BlackBerry Classic review: A love letter to fans and few others

Let's put Apple, Samsung and all their ilk aside for few moments: It really wasn't that long ago that a homegrown Canadian company called BlackBerry (well, RIM at the time) basically ruled the mobile world. The outfit's slow decline has been chronicled, opined upon for years, and yet, some of BlackBerry's most ardent fans still clamor for the days when QWERTY keyboards and teensy trackpads were uber-efficient status symbols instead of the relics they are now.

Enter the BlackBerry Classic. The name says it all, really: It's a paean to BlackBerry's halcyon days, and it's got a look plucked straight out of 2011, to boot. We took one for an extended spin to see how BlackBerry's throwback formula holds up today, and (very long story short) it's mostly the past mashed up with a touch of the modern. The bigger question, as usual, is whether or not it's worth your time. I suspect you already know the answer, but read on for my full impressions.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review: light in the hand, heavy on the wallet

Sony's consumer electronics division is in an ongoing state of flux. Having already given up on PCs and e-readers, the company recently pledged to make fewer TVs and smartphones in a bid to get its books back in the black. How Sony's strategizing will affect its output of tablets remains unclear, but no doubt a keen eye is being kept on the reception of its latest slate, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (don't let that mouthful of a moniker fool you -- Sony only classes the 8-inch tablet as "compact" to differentiate it from its two previous 10.1-inch devices). The company is renowned for the quality of its premium products, and like the two smartphones that make up the rest of the Z3 family, its newest tablet is a testament to that legacy. Cutting to the chase, it's an elegant and powerful device, but with prices starting at $445/£300, those credentials might not be enough to make you choose Sony over the competition.

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HTC Desire Eye review: in search of the ultimate selfie machine

2014 was the year that the word "selfie" finally -- and maybe unfortunately -- found its way into honest-to-goodness dictionaries. Is it really any surprise, then, that smartphone makers are finally starting to upgrade their front-facing cameras? With the Desire Eye, HTC took a step back and wondered why a phone's rear camera always had to be better than the one up front. Don't our lovely mugs deserve the same sort of technical attention and affection as, say, our lunches? HTC (along with others like Oppo) has decided that yes, yes they do. When you look at things that way, the Desire Eye and its twin 13-megapixel cameras seems to be just the perfect compromise for wannabe mobile photographers and the truly vain. But is it really?

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Sony SmartWatch 3 review: dull design, but great for runners

This here is the Sony SmartWatch 3. That might make it sound like it's the third iteration in a line of gadgets, but really, it's the first. That's because even though this is Sony's third smartwatch (fourth if you count the Sony Ericsson LiveView), it's actually Sony's first that comes with Android Wear. Both the original SmartWatch and the SmartWatch 2 ran Sony's own proprietary platform, which, while Android-friendly, didn't have nearly the same reach as Google's Android Wear. It's great that Sony has finally seen the light, but the SmartWatch 3 has arrived remarkably late to the party, letting rivals like Motorola, LG and Samsung gain ground. On the other hand, the SmartWatch 3 is currently the only Android Wear option with a built-in GPS radio, allowing for more precise workout tracking. Which, as it turns out, could be enough to help Sony stand apart from the pack.

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ASUS ZenWatch review: subtle and stylish, with a few shortcomings

The war for your wrist isn't going to wind down any time soon: We've already seen the industry's biggest players take a stab (in some cases, multiple ones) at perfecting their wearables. ASUS isn't quite as prominent as other names on that list, but that just makes its $200 ZenWatch all the more interesting The Taiwanese company -- probably best known for its quirky phone-tablet hybrids -- has put together an inaugural smartwatch that's dripping with style. In fact, it's the first smartwatch I've worn that's ever attracted random compliments from passersby (in two countries, no less), not to mention the first one that didn't make me feel like a complete nerd while wearing it. Alas, it takes more than just a sweet face to make a smartwatch worth owning.

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YotaPhone was inarguably one of the quirkiest smartphones released last year, with not one, but two displays. This curious marriage of LCD and E Ink was certainly a manufacturing achievement, but limited uses for the secondary screen meant it simply couldn't live up to its potential. Undeterred, Yota Devices announced earlier this year it was cooking up a sequel, and today it's ready to launch the new and improved YotaPhone 2. Its fresh design, high-end specs and bigger, higher-resolution displays are welcome upgrades, but most importantly, a thorough overhaul of the handset's software means you can now make full use of the low-power E Ink screen, which has also been granted touch functionality for this generation.

I've spent a fair amount of time with the device, and have to say that it's the most interesting smartphone I've ever used. Like its predecessor, the YotaPhone 2 is still very much a niche proposition with narrow mainstream appeal. That being said, Yota Devices has more or less achieved what it set out to do last year: Make a handset with an E Ink display that has several, legitimate use cases. Whether these will actually tempt you into picking one up is another matter, but the second screen is no longer an oddity; it's an asset.

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Samsung Gear S review: an ambitious and painfully flawed smartwatch

Samsung's wearables strategy seems to be: "Throw everything at a wall and see what sticks." In a little over 12 months, the electronics giant has launched six -- yes, six -- different smartwatches, each with its own unique personality. The latest is the Samsung Gear S, and its particular claim to fame might be the most ambitious yet: It's the first Gear watch that lets you make and receive calls from your wrist, no phone required. Yep, the Gear S actually has a 3G modem inside it, along with WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS radios. It's basically a watch that's also a phone. You can even respond to emails using a tiny onscreen keyboard. But, at $350 a pop, can it replace your phone? And more importantly, would you want it to?

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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.

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Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

Here's a question: How did Amazon know it was time to make a $99 tablet? Because of focus groups? Its ace marketing department? Close: user reviews. Let's not forget that Amazon is best known for its retail empire, so when lots of people start buying cheap tablets, the company catches on quickly. And when shoppers start giving them lousy user reviews, well, Amazon notices that too. After reading lots of write-ups from disgruntled customers about tablets with chintzy build quality, the company decided it could do better. The Fire HD 6, a 6-inch tablet priced at $99, is the company's cheapest and smallest slate yet, and it's designed to take on all those unreliable no-name devices that shoppers seem to hate so much. Suffice to say, it offers some great value for the price. Here's why.

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EE has evolved rapidly since it became a household name two years ago after switching on the UK's first 4G mobile network. Today, it's more than just a carrier, with a home broadband business and a selection of own-brand mobile devices, among other things. And now, EE's decided to turn its hand to home entertainment, having recently launched the EE TV set-top box. Free and available only to customers of EE's mobile and broadband services, it's essentially a Freeview DVR with a few tricks up its sleeve. Tying into EE's primary focus on mobile, one of the fancier features is the box's ability to stream live and recorded video to multiple smartphones and tablets simultaneously. But is a free DVR with a couple of advanced capabilities enough of an incentive to get you signed up for the required services (which is sort of the point)? Not really, no.

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There are generally two schools of thought on how to build a wrist-borne wearable. Either make a fancy pedometer that's supposed to stay out of the way, or go the smartwatch route and cram in as many features as possible. Then there's this weird no-man's-land occupied by devices like the Samsung Gear Fit and Garmin Vivosmart. Microsoft's $200 Band falls squarely in that latter category. It's not quite a smartwatch, but it's not purely a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Flex. The Band can pull in emails, text messages and other notifications from your phone. If you're using a Windows Phone, it can control Cortana and put the power of Microsoft's virtual assistant on your wrist.

But it is, to hear Microsoft tell it, a fitness device first. And to that end Microsoft has packed the Band full of sensors, ranging from heart rate, to GPS and the prerequisite accelerometer. And, most importantly, it's the first device to tie into the new Microsoft Health platform, which seeks to outgun offerings like Apple Health and Google Fit. But, as we all know, there are inherent dangers in trying to carve out a third path. The question ultimately is whether Microsoft has built something (both physically and figuratively) that combines all of the most compelling parts of the existing wearable scene. Or, if it's created a sort of Frankenstein's monster that suffers all of their weaknesses.

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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.

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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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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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