Essential Phone Unboxing & Review

I really want to like the Essential Phone, but there are too many bugs right now to recommend. The biggest culprit out of the box is the camera app. But the good news is that I am confident that Essential can fix it with software updates. A lot of potential here. It is a stunning looking phone for sure with its titanium and ceramic design with virtually no bezels. Let me know what you think.

Essential Phone:

NETWORK Technology
LAUNCH Announced 2017, May
Status Available. Released 2017, August
BODY Dimensions 141.5 x 71.1 x 7.8 mm (5.57 x 2.80 x 0.31 in)
Weight 185 g (6.53 oz)
Build Titanium frame
DISPLAY Type LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.71 inches (~84.9% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1312 x 2560 pixels (~504 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes, up to 10 fingers
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5
PLATFORM OS Android 7.1 (Nougat), planned upgrade to Android 8.0 (Oreo)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU Octa-core (4×2.45 GHz Kryo & 4×1.9 GHz Kryo)
GPU Adreno 540
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 128 GB, 4 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary Dual 13 MP, f/1.9, phase detection & laser autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps
Secondary 8 MP, f/2.2, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jack No
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, EDR, LE
Radio No
USB Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser HTML5
Java No
– Snap-on accessories (optional)
– Fast battery charging
– XviD/MP4/H.265 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/Flac player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 3040 mAh battery
MISC Colors Stellar Gray, Ocean Depths, Black Moon, Pure White
Price About 750 USD

Gear and Products I use everyday and products that I think are great:

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Asus Transformer Pro T304UA: $800+ Less than Surface Pro

Bottom line, this is a very good value when you compare it to a similarly configured Surface Pro (2017).  In fact, it is more than $800 cheaper when you factor in the the price of the pen and the keyboard, both of which are separate accessories for the Surface Pro.  The Pen and Keyboard are included in the price with the Transformer Pro.  Highlights are nice display, pen support, good audio, and solid build and nice looks.  Lowlights are subpar battery life (6:14) and a flaky fingerprint sensor.  But despite those shortcomings, this still is a good value.


Asus Transformer Pro T304UA:


Gear and Products I use everyday and products that I think are great:



Screen Size 12.6 inches
Max Screen Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels
Processor 2.7 GHz None
Hard Drive Flash Memory Solid State
Graphics Coprocessor integrated_graphics
Card Description Integrated
Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 1
Average Battery Life (in hours) 8 hours
Other Technical Details
Brand Name ASUSF
Item model number T304UA-DS71T
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Item Weight 1.9 pounds
Product Dimensions 8.2 x 11.7 x 3.5 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 8.2 x 11.7 x 3.5 inches
Color Black
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 4
Flash Memory Size 256.0
Optical Drive Type None
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)


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HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 Unboxing & Review

So far , this may be my favorite convertible for 2017. It checks all the boxes, with very few weaknesses. The only thing I can ding HP on is the brightness of the display, which is not bad, just I prefer a brighter panel. Other than that, you can’t go wrong with the HP Elitebook x360. What do you think? Let me know.

I found it here for $1149: HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2: (U.S.)
HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2 (Canada):
HP Elitebook x360 1030 G2 (U.K.):


HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 (EliteBook x360 Series)
Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5 GHz
Graphics adapterIntel HD Graphics 620, WHQL
Memory8192 MB
, DDR4-2133 SDRAM, dual-channel
Display13.3 inch 16:9, 1920×1080 pixel 166 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen, native pen support, CMN1374, IPS, touchscreen, glossy: yes
MainboardIntel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
StorageSandisk SD8TN8U-256G-1006, 256 GB
, M.2 SSD, 210 GB free
Weight1.308 kg ( = 46.14 oz / 2.88 pounds), Power Supply: 393 g ( = 13.86 oz / 0.87 pounds)

Check out my review of the HP Spectre x360 (13-in): and the HP Spectre x360 (15-in 4K model):

HP Spectre x360:

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Huawei MateBook E and Mate Pen: Unboxing & First Look


So far, I am really liking this 2-in-1 offering from Huawei, an improvement over last year’s offering.  The biggest improvement is in the keyboard case which is now included in the price.  With a starting price of $799, I think this has the potential to be a nice Surface Pro alternative.  Full testing is underway and the full review will be posted soon.  Stay tuned…

Huawei MateBook E:
Huawei MatePen:
Huawei MateDock 1.0 (original):
Huawei MateBook (Las Gen):


Device type:
Windows (10)
10.98 x 7.64 x 0.27 inches (278.8 x 194.1 x 6.9 mm)
22.58 oz (640 g)
the average is 16.9 oz (482 g)
Main body: Aluminum
Fingerprint (touch)
Gold, Gray
Physical size:
12.0 inches
2160 x 1440 pixels
Pixel density:
216 ppi
Screen-to-body ratio:
79.23 %
Peak brightness:
400 cd/m2 (nit)
Ambient light sensor
Front-facing camera:
5 megapixels
System chip:
[+]Intel Core i5 7Y54
[+]Dual-core, 1200 MHz, 64-bit, 14 nm
Graphics processor:
Intel HD Graphics 615
System memory:
Built-in storage:
512 GB
4430 mAh
Not user replaceable
Video playback:
9.00 hours
Music player:
Filter by:
Album, Artist, Genre, Playlists, Year
Stereo speakers
Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Hall (for flip covers)
4.1, EDR
802.11 a, b, g, n, ac
USB Type-C (reversible)
USB Host, USB charging

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (2017) Review: The 15-in Convertible Laptop with S Pen

The S Pen on this laptop is probably the best digital stylus out there.  It has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and you can store the pen in the device, not something you see much of lately.   Good performance and a sharp 15-in FHD display make this a winner.  I like the fact that the 15-in version also has an AMD Radeon 540 GPU with 2GB of video memory.  Average battery life and mediocre speakers hold this back from being a AMDtech Editor’s Choice.


Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (15-in): (United States)
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (15-in) (Canada)

Samsung Note book 9 Pro (13-in): (United States)
Samsung Note book 9 Pro (13-in): (Canada)

Staedtler Noris Digital Samsung Pencil: (United States)
Staedtler Noris Digital Samsung Pencil: (Canada)


Screen Size 15 inches
Processor Core i7 7500U
Hard Drive 256 GB flash_memory_solid_state
Chipset Brand intel

AMD Radeon 540 with 2G video memory
Card Description dedicated
Other Technical Details
Brand Name Samsung
Item model number NP940X5M-X01US
Operating System Windows 10
Item Weight 3.8 pounds
Product Dimensions 13.7 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 13.67 x 9.41 x 0.67 inches
Processor Brand Intel

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New Razer Blade Stealth (2017): Unboxing & Review


This is the 13.3-in version of the Razer Blade Stealth and it really is an improvement over its predecessor.  Razer gives us a bigger display (QHD+ 3200 x 1800 IGZO), smaller bezels (50%), better battery life and increased performance.  But all this comes a higher price point ($1,399 (ouch!)) which is $400 more than the starting price from last generation.  Are all these improvements enough to justify the price increase? Check out the video to find out.


Razer Blade Stealth:

Razer Core:…

Razer Power Bank:…


Screen Size 13.3 inches
Max Screen Resolution 3200 x 1800 pixels
Processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7
Hard Drive 256 GB Flash Memory Solid State
Card Description Dedicated
Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
Other Technical Details
Brand Name Razer
Item model number RZ09-01963E32-R3U1
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Item Weight 2.4 pounds
Product Dimensions 8.1 x 12.7 x 0.5 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 8.12 x 12.65 x 0.52 inches
Color Black
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 2
Flash Memory Size 512.0
Optical Drive Type None
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)

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HP Spectre x2 (2017) Review: The Surface Pro Killer?


I really like this 2-in-1, so much so, that its earned the AMDtech Editor’s Choice Award for the 2-in-1 category for 2017 so far.  The only negative is its average battery life.  Otherwise, this is a premium device with an excellent keyboard and pen included in the price.  Nice touch.  Improved speakers (Bang & Olufsen) and very fast SSD read and write speeds make this a nice alternative to the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Let me know what you think.

HP Spectre x2 (2017) at Bestbuy:

HP Spectre x2 (2017) at Amazon:


Screen Size 12.3 inches
Max Screen Resolution 3000 x 2000
Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM 8/16 GB
Hard Drive 256/512 GB SSD
Other Technical Details
Brand Name HP Spectre x2
Hardware Platform PC
Operating System Windows 10 Pro Ink
Item Weight 1.7 pounds
Processor Brand 7th Gen Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7560U
Processor Count 2
Computer Memory Type SODIMM
Hard Drive Interface Solid State

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Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Black Global Edition: Unboxing & First Look


I have been really impressed by the Xiaomi MI Max 2.  I especially like the matte black exterior, much better than the white version.  At less than $300 this is a great value and if you want a smartphone with a giant screen  (6.44-in) then this may be your ticket.  Improved stereo speakers, better build quality, and great display (FHD) make this a nice upgrade over the Mi Max.

Let me know what you think and what do you want to see in the full review which which is coming soon.


Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Black):

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (White):


Model Xiaomi Mi MAX 2
Network 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz CDMA BC0
3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz TD-SCDMA B34/39 CDMA EVDO BC0
4G: FDD-LTE B1/3/5/7/8 TDD-LTE B38/39/40/41
[===Not Sure Your Network ?===] / [==Will My Phone Work ?==]
SIM Card Dual SIM Card or one SIM Card + TF Card (Nano SIM, Micro SIM)
Style Bar
Color Black
Shell Material Metal
Key Features – 6.44″ large immersive display
– 5300mAh big battery, 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM
– Quick Charge 3.0 + Parallel charging, 68% charge in one hour
– Sony IMX386 1.25-micron camera, same primary rear as Mi 6
– Snapdragon 625 with 14nm FinFET technology
– Rear fingerprint sensor and IR blaster

CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.0Ghz Octa Core
GPU Adreno 506 650MHz
Card Extend Support external Micro SD/TF card up to 128GB

Display Size 6.44-Inch
Type FHD Capacitive Touch screen, Sunlight display, Night display, 72% NTSC color gamut,
Resolution 1920*1080 Pixel, 342PPI
Multi-Touch Yes

Support Format
Audio File Format PCM, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, MP3, AMR – NB and WB, FLAC, APE, DSD, WAV
Video File Format MP4, M4V, MKV, XVID, ASF, WAV, AAC, MP3, AMR, FLAC, APE, DSD
Image File Format JPEG/BMP/GIF/PNG
E-book Format TXT
Earphone Port 3.5mm

Data Transfer & Connectivity
Data transfer USB/Bluetooth
Mobile internet WAP/WiFi

Resolution Front Camera: 5.0MP
85° wide angle lens, ƒ/2.0 aperture
Back camera: 12.0MP
1.25μm, f/2.2 aperture
Two-tone flash
Supports PDAF
Video recordings:
4K/1080p/720p video recording, 30fps
720p Slow Motion video recording, 120fps
Language Multi-language(Please refer to the screenshots)
Message SMS/MMS/E-Mail
Input Handwrite,The virtual keypad
GPS Yes, Supports GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
WIFI Supports Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G), 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, MU-MIMO, WiFi display, Wifi Direct,
Bluetooth Yes, V4.2 Bluetooth HID
Gyro sensor Yes
Light Sensor Yes
Accelerometer sensor Yes
Distance Sensor Yes
Hall Sensor Yes
IR blaster Yes
Fingerprint Yes
Charger US type
Quick Charge Quick Charge 3.0, 9V/2A
Battery Capacity 5300mAh (tpy) / 5200mAh (min) (Built-in)
Charge interface Type-C
Dimensions 174.1*88.7*7.6mm
Weight About 211g
Other Features WiFi, Bluetooth, Browser, MP3, MP4, MMS, Alarm, Calendar, Calculator, etc

Package Included 1 x Xiaomi Mi Max 2 smartphone
1 x USB Type-C Cable
1 x Charger
1 x Eject pin

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Unboxing & First Look: 15-in Convertible Laptop with S Pen

Really interesting 15 inch convertible laptop.  I like the design and at 3.79 lbs its one of the lightest 15-in devices out there.  The S Pen is excellent and I like the fact that you can store it in the device, not something that is common nowadays.  And at 4098 levels of pressure sensitivity it feels like you are putting pen to paper, so to speak.  Still doing some testing, but battery life is going to be 6 to 6.5 hours, it looks like.  Of course,  I will report my findings in the full review coming soon.  In the meantime check out my unboxing and first look.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (15-in):

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro (13-in):

Samsung Staedtler Noris Digital Samsung Pencil:


Operating System: Genuine Windows 10 Home

Processor: 7th Gen(Newest) Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (2.7GHz/3.5GHz, 4MB Smart Cache)


Display: 13.3″ Full HD Touch Screen (1920×1080) with 360 degree rotating display/ 15 in Full HD Touch Screen

Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 620

AMD Radeon 540 (with 2GB Video RAM) (15-in only)

Storage: 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD

Optical Drive: None

Wireless: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265(8265D2W)

Keyboard: Backlit Keyboard (80 Key)

Webcam: 720p HD webcam and microphone

Ports: 1 x USB-C™ [up to 5Gbps*, 4K display out with optional adapter, Charging], 2x USB 3.0 Ports, 1x HDMI, 1x MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader

Audio: Built in Stereo Speakers x2

Media: Bluetooth v4.1

Weight: 2.79lbs (13.3 in Model) and 3.79 lbs (15-in Model).

Warranty: One Year Samsung Warranty

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Chuwi LapBook 12.3 Review: $300 Laptop with Surface Pro Display

Another great offering from Chuwi.  After using the Chuwi LapBook 12.3 for about three weeks I can safely say that this is one of the best Apollo Lake laptops to come out of China.  A gorgeous Surface Pro Display (Non-Touch) , all metal build, decent speakers and an open M.2 SATA 3 SSD slot make this a winner.  Average battery life and slow eMMc write speeds are the only negatives.

Chuwi LapBook 12.3:

Transcend M.2 SATA 3 SSD:


Brand: CHUWI
Model: LapBook 12.3
Type: Notebook
OS: Windows 10
CPU Brand: Intel
CPU Series: Intel Celeron
CPU: Intel Celeron N3450
Core: 1.1GHz,Quad Core
Caching: 2MB L2
Graphics Type: Integrated Graphics
Graphics Chipset: Intel HD Graphics 500
Graphics Card Frequency: 200MHz – 700MHz
Process Technology: 14nm
Power Consumption: 4W
Threading: 4
RAM Type: DDR3
RAM Slot Quantity: Three
Hard Disk Memory: 64GB EMMC
Hard Disk Interface Type: M.2
WIFI: 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless internet
Bluetooth: 4.0
WLAN Card: Yes
Screen size: 12.3 inch
Display Ratio: 16:9
Screen resolution: 2736 x 1824
Screen type: IPS
Camera type: Single camera
Front camera: 0.3MP
USB Host: Yes 1 x USB 3.0+1 x USB2.0
Mini HDMI slot: Yes
DC Jack: Yes
3.5mm Headphone Jack: Yes
Battery Type: 7.6V / 8000mAh, Li-ion polymer battery
Standby time: 7-8 hours
AC adapter: 100-240V 12V 2A
Material of back cover: All Metal
Skype: Supported
Youtube: Supported
Speaker: Built-in Dual Channel Speaker
MIC: Supported
Media Formats
Picture format: BMP,GIF,JPEG,JPG,PNG
Music format: MP3
MS Office format: Excel,PPT,Word
Languages: Windows OS is built-in Chinese and English, and other languages need to be downloaded by WiFi
Package Contents
Charger: 1
English Manual : 1
Notebook: 1
Product size: 29.30 x 20.00 x 1.50 cm / 11.54 x 7.87 x 0.59 inches
Package size: 34.00 x 25.50 x 7.50 cm / 13.39 x 10.04 x 2.95 inches
Product weight: 1.0430 kg
Package weight: 2.6580 kg

This is the unboxing and review of the Huawei MateBook X by AMDtech

Huawei MateBook X:


Screen Size 13 inches
Max Screen Resolution 2160×1440 pixels
Processor 2.5 GHz None
Hard Drive Flash Memory Solid State
Graphics Coprocessor Intel HD Graphics 620
Chipset Brand Intel
Card Description Integrated
Other Technical Details
Brand Name Huawei
Item model number Watt-W09B
Item Weight 2.3 pounds
Product Dimensions 11.3 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
Item Dimensions L x W x H 11.26 x 0.49 x 8.31 inches
Color Space Grey
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Count 2
Flash Memory Size 8.0
Optical Drive Type None
Batteries 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required. (included)

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