Engadget's Tech Week in Review

By Engadget | Bookending the week with a look at our top stories from the past 7 days.

New Steve Jobs doc examines the myth of the man who made Apple

Director Alex Gibney wraps up his latest documentary, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, with an apt encapsulation of the Apple co-founder's conflicting persona: "He had the focus of a monk, without the empathy." Jobs, who passed away in 2011 of pancreatic cancer, was the genius who transformed …

Steve Jobs

An early look at Nextbit's 'cloud first' Robin smartphone

Nextbit wanted to celebrate the launch of its debut smartphone today at a party in San Francisco, but it turned out to be a celebration of success as well. In just under 12 hours, the startup reached its $500,000 Kickstarter goal to fund the Robin, an Android phone that isn't only "cloud first," …

Cloud Computing

Mercedes' newest mini car is one you'd actually want to drive

If you live in a metropolitan area like San Francisco, New York or Chicago, you understand the appeal of a tiny car. It's easier to swoop through traffic and it can be parked nearly anywhere. Smart says the Fortwo is the tiniest of the tiny cars available in the United States. The latest version of …

Driving

Samsung finally has an elegant smartwatch in the Gear S2

Few companies have churned out as many different smartwatches as Samsung, so it's little surprise the company is showing off a new one — the Gear S2 — at IFA. What is a surprise, though, is how much more elegant, more polished the S2 feels compared to just about all of Samsung's previous attempts. …

Samsung

Sony's Xperia Z5 family includes the world's first 4K smartphone

To say that Sony's mobile division has had a tough time lately would be an understatement. As the company puts out half-hearted efforts like the Z3 and Z3+, sales have been dropping steadily. We're now at the point where Sony is losing more than $1 million per day just keeping the division going. …

Sony

ASUS' spiky router promises the 'world's fastest WiFi'

If you wanted an insane-looking router with an almost as-insane boast, then say hello to ASUS' new router. Touting it as the best for gaming, 4K streaming and smart home networking, the RT-AC5300 will apparently deliver speeds that are 67 percent faster than first-gen, tri-band routers. In …

Routers

Back to School Guide 2015: Picks for the deep-pocketed

It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of

Prices

Moto X Pure Edition review: the third time really is the charm

The Moto X line is a smartphone that's always been dancing around greatness. The first one was a lovely, underpowered experiment in smartphone customization and thoughtfulness. The second added some much-needed Moto Maker style and some more powerful silicon. Now Motorola's at it again with the …

Motorola

Moto X Play review: an unexciting phone with a huge battery

The Moto X Play occupies a strange space in the company's 2015 lineup. It's an affordable, mid-range handset that does a decent job of keeping pace with the flagships. But at £249 ($382 including the UK's 20 percent sales tax), it's not that much more affordable than the company's top-tier X Style, …

Batteries

Google OnHub review: Routers don't have to be so complicated

If you're like me, a cold feeling of dread grips your heart every time your internet goes out. "Is Comcast down," I ask myself, "or is my horrible router misbehaving yet again?" This usually follows 10 minutes of unplugging and then plugging things back in, waiting and hoping for your internet …

Routers

The many (surprisingly realistic) hacks of 'Mr. Robot'

Most infosec pros agree that few Hollywood films or TV shows have gotten hacking as "right" as USA's Mr. Robot. The show's creator, Sam Esmail, told Engadget, "The hacker side of it actually was a combination of my frustration with the way hacker culture and tech culture was represented in …

Robotics

Big toys for the big kid in all of us

Some of the toys we played with as children have grown up along with us and now they pack adult-sized fun. Memorable designs have bubbled up into lifestyle products with smarts, but most offer what we always loved them for: an action-packed thrill. Sure, we can drive real cars now, but that doesn't …

Toys

Former Apple CEO John Sculley launches a line of stylish smartphones

Like most consumer items, the lower the price point of a phone, the less exciting the design. Obi Worldphone co-founder (and former Apple CEO) John Sculley and Ammunition design founder Robert Brunner decided to challenge that by creating mid-level, inexpensive international smartphones that look …

John Sculley

Instagram no longer thinks it's hip to be square

Ask any photographer: good composition is essential to capturing a great image. Ask that same photographer the most frustrating thing about Instagram, and they'll probably say "aspect ratio." Since its launch, every image or video uploaded to the service has been restricted to a limited square …

Instagram

Dear Veronica: Geocache hunting and cord killing

This week, we're having fun with geocaching! Are you a fan of these urban treasure hunts? If you want to learn more about the geocache I mention in the video, head over here and happy hunting!

We also welcome Tom Merritt back on the show to talk about places where you can find amazing content after …

Geocaching

Hands-on with the £129 WileyFox Swift

Two years ago, Motorola pioneered a new smartphone category with the original Moto G: the almost flagship. It was a device that offered close to high-end performance and design with a price-tag usually reserved for less capable mid-tier handsets. It's now the company's bestselling smartphone and …

Motorola

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ review: beauty in curves -- with a cost

The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the closest thing we've got to a "Samsung greatest hits" phone. There's the sleek, curved glass from the S6 Edge coupled with the larger 5.7-inch screen from the Note lineup. Together, they make up one of Samsung's most memorable smartphones yet. But while the Galaxy S6 Edge+ …

Samsung

Back to School Guide 2015: Picks under $500

It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of

Guns N' Roses

The real horror of 'Until Dawn' is that Sony sent it to die

"Are we, like, in a movie right now?" It's an apt question one of the handsome teens starring in PlayStation 4's latest exclusive, Until Dawn, asked about an hour after I picked up the controller. Yes. No. Maybe. It's kind of hard to explain, and it appears Sony would rather not. At its core, Until

Sony

The Mega Yarn Yoshi Amiibo is coming to take over the world

If you thought that 8-bit Mario Amiibo from E3 was huge, you ain't seen nothing yet: Mega Yarn Yoshi is coming to take the "biggest Amiibo" crown. The beautiful toy you see above is an officially licensed, super-sized version of the popular Yarn Yoshi Amiibo. It's a fully-functional NFC figurine, …

Nintendo

Happy 20th birthday, Windows 95!

When Windows 95 launched on Thursday August 24th 1995 (the clue's in the name), Mortal Kombat was the surprise box office hit, TLC was top of the charts, and Microsoft was pushing its new operating system with a $250 million publicity campaign. Start buttons everywhere, buying the rights to The …

Microsoft Windows

How much should we trust tech companies?

Last week, the internet was awash with journalists' interpretations of Spotify's new privacy policy. Depending on whom you ask, the policy was eerie, creepy or just downright atrocious. While Spotify scrambled to reassure us that it wasn't really interested in snooping through your photos or …

Privacy

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review: the best big phone just got better

For a while there, companies like Palm and Microsoft insisted that the mark of a serious smartphone was the ability to write on it with a stylus. The industry seemingly changed its mind with the advent of capacitive touchscreens, and the stylus became something to scoff at, a holdover from …

Samsung

Hands-on with Fotokite Phi, a pet drone on a leash

Drone enthusiasts are flush with options these days, from a Parrot for a few hundred dollars to high-end quadcopters going for upward of $5,000. But the Fotokite Phi is unique because it offers a tether and controller that makes it feel very similar to flying a kite. I met Fotokite's founder, …

Drones

Video games are tackling mental health with mixed results

Mental illness occupies a strange place in video games. After centuries of misdiagnosis and misinterpretation, we've begun to comprehend the reasons behind disorders and their prevalence in modern society. Recent research shows that roughly one in five American adults suffers from some form of …

Mental Health

Four weeks with Jet (aka 'My month without Amazon')

I placed my very first order on Amazon.com for two very popular albums back on June 20th, 2000. I'd later go on to place about 230 orders, including everything from a mattress (no wait, make that two mattresses; don't ask) and soap -- lots and lots of soap. I loved Amazon so much that at one point …

Amazon

Citizen Mars: the story of five people and a one way trip to the Red Planet

You've heard about Mars One. We've spoken to its CEO and co-founder. And, plenty of ink's been spilled on the project due to the unanswered questions regarding its scientific, technological and financial feasibility. The concerns don't end there, either. Traveling to Mars is an incredibly lengthy …

Mars

Giphy Cam wants to be the Instagram of GIFs

Everybody loves a good animated GIF but they're just such a pain to create from a mobile device. Or rather, they were a pain to create on mobile devices now that Giphy's new mobile camera app is available. The Giphy Cam is a free iOS app that allows users to create and share animated gifs as easily …

GIF Animations

For $200, Samsung's latest Gear VR headset is a no-brainer

If you're the owner of a new Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, an extra $200 will get you Samsung's Gear VR Innovator Edition, one of the first virtual reality headsets available to the public. Like others following the Oculus Rift story, I assumed that all VR headsets still presented issues like …

Virtual Reality