Podcast Episode 27 – May Rumor Roundup


The latest episode of the Silicon Theory podcast is here, and we talk all of the rumors from May so far surrounding devices from OEMs including: OnePlus, Motorola, and even Apple.  Check it out and be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform.  If you listen via iTunes, after you subscribe be sure to leave a 5 star review!  Thanks for listening!

Podcast direct links here – iTunesGoogle Play MusicSoundCloud


OEM Stock Watch 2017 – part 2


This is part 2 of our feature on OEM Stock Watch 2017.  If you haven’t already, make sure you go back and check out part 1 to get our feelings on how the other major OEMs are doing this year.  Once you’ve done that, click on through to read part 2!  Part 2 covers what my (Shawn) thoughts are on the rest of the OEMs; Sean P. will have his parts coming in a special part 3 (as soon as his RL work stuff calms down a bit)

Continue reading

OEM Stock Watch 2017 – part 1


As the year is reaching its midway point, we wanted to take a look at how we felt the major mobile device manufacturers were doing, and we thought it would be appropriate to treat them like we would any other big company…by rating their “stock” (according to both Sean P. and myself) We’ll give our thoughts on everyone from Apple to ZTE, and loads more in between. Because the list is so big, we will do it in two parts, with part 1 today and part 2 coming next week.  So without further ado, let’s give you a look into the crystal ball of these two day traders!

Continue reading

[Opinion] The best phone you’ve never heard of: the OnePlus 3T

I’ll start this article by saying there probably aren’t too many of you interested in buying a new smartphone right now.  And there are a bunch of new phones coming in the first half of 2017 – offerings are likely from LG, Samsung, and even HTC.  So for most people, playing the waiting game makes a lot of sense.
Having said that, if you are (or at the very least might be considering a purchase in the next 2/3 months) there’s a phone you probably haven’t heard of but should make your list.  If you listened to the Best of Tech 2016 Silicon Theory podcast (and you really should), you probably know where I’m going.  Let’s talk a little bit about the OnePlus 3T.

When released in November of last year, the OnePlus 3T had top of the line specs.  We’re talking a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM, and either 64/128GB of internal storage (but no SD card slot)  Its packing a 5″ 1080p display (1080×1920) and a 16MP rear camera and a very nice 3400mah battery that should have no issues getting you through a full day of use.  Check out the full rundown of specs over at GSMArena here.  And as we touched upon in the Best of Tech 2016 pod, this phone is a great value starting at a very reasonable $439 unlocked.  Now, it is a GSM only phone, which means it will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile (and their MVNO resellers) so sorry Verizon and Sprint folks – you can’t get your hands on this one.  
This phone works great, has a quality display, and solid battery life.  It was the Favorite phone of 2016 from Droid Life and the Verge hailed it as “the best smartphone value you can buy.”  No small praise indeed.  OnePlus is a smaller OEM, and they certainly aren’t going to sell as many phones as Samsung, Google, or Apple – but they are competing in the same market as the phones from these makers, and that’s a big deal for a small company.  Android Police had a balanced take on the 3T (which you can read here) but even they agree – many won’t bat an eye at the price point when compared to other phones on the market.   
the OnePlus 3T, Apple iPhone, and Google Pixel
The OnePlus 3T also features a really fast fingerprint scanner, Dash Charging (OnePlus’ version of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge or the Rapid Charging in USB Type-C devices), and a 16MP front facing camera too.  It doesn’t offer an SD card slot (as noted above) or any water resistance rating, but with a 128GB option and a solid case some might not mind so much.  A solid smartphone with 90% of the features and options of the big boys, but at just a little over 50% of the price.  I think its fair to say this OnePlus 3T is a really great mobile device, and many people with a GSM carrier should give it a long look.
All that’s why the OnePlus 3T is the best phone you’ve never heard of.  For more information, or to pick one up, head over to the OnePlus website and get after it.

[Preview] Initial thoughts on the OnePlus 3

Greetings fellow tech seekers!  As noted, Sean P. has a OnePlus 3 in house and is setting it up for a friend, so he thought he’d give some initial impressions now, with a review of the device soon to come.  For those looking at a new phone, and if you’re willing to take a chance on a startup phone OEM like OnePlus, this looks to be a solid deal for $399 off contract.  See Sean’s notes after the jump, along with some unboxing photos.  

Here are my initial thoughts on the OnePlus 3:

  • The build quality is very good. The metal build is a huge step up from the OnePlus 2. I would say it’s not quite as nice as the HTC Ten, but mostly on par with the Samsung twins and better than the G5.

  • It’s a good size and has a weighty, solid feel without being too heavy. It’s smaller than my Note5 and comfortable to use.

  • Performance is excellent. It’s very, very fast when moving around the UI. It definitely feels quicker than the Note5.

  • It got warm while I was loading all the apps on, but never hot. Performance never stuttered. XDA did an article on the sustained performance of the OnePlue 3 and it was way ahead of the S810 phones and even ahead of other S820 phones. My use would seem to back this up.

  • Oxygen OS is stock with added options. Not all of them are useful, but I do like being able to adjust what icons display, etc. It’s a very light skin overall.

  • The screen is fine. ANANDTECH panned it yesterday because it’s not color accurate and the default color temperature is very cold (whites look blueish). I used it for a solid 3 hours last night and it never bothered me. If I look closely I can tell it’s pentile matrix by looking at the edge of text, but in actual use I doubt most people would know the difference. Colors are super vibrant, but again, unless you’re editing photos I’m not sure that matters. I much prefer this screen to the one on the Nexus 6. I really don’t like warm whites (the Nexus 6 always looked super yellow to me), but cold whites (blueish) don’t bother my eyes apparently. The color temperature can be adjusted in the settings. The screen is not as nice as the Samsung AMOLED’s, and side by side it may not be as nice as HTC Ten or G5 (I don’t have units for comparison), but it’s certainly not a deal breaker as far as I’m concerned.

  • The battery life is great on Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t have a SIM yet, so I can’t comment too much. The Dash charging is insanely fast. The charger gets pretty warm during charging, but the phone doesn’t.

I haven’t messed with the camera yet. I’m going to do some side by side testing with my Note5 for the camera and display later.

[News] We have a OnePlus 3 on order!

As was mentioned in the latest episode of the podcast, we have a OnePlus 3 device on order for a friend of the pod, and will have it in house in the next week to do a quick testing and review on.  If you haven’t heard of OnePlus, then their business model of making a high end Android phone at a VERY reasonable price point might shock you.  There are some early reviews out in the wild already, and by and large, the press on this device is quite good.

Look for that to be coming soon!  Another device we discussed in the “Rumor Roundup” was the Moto Z, and Moto Z Force – as this will be a Verizon exclusive for quite a while, we won’t be doing a review on the device – but we do have some additional thoughts after the official announcement.  Look for those in the next few days as well.
Have a great weekend!

[Podcast] Silicon Theory Podcast, episode 4

Welcome to the rumor round up episode of the Silicon Theory Podcast.  We dig into the specifics of the rumors surrounding the Moto Z, OnePlus 3, Note 6/7, and the iPhone 7.  Some of the rumors have been bourne out on the new Moto Z devices; the announcement of which came on Thursday.  We’ll have a recap of those notes, but in the meantime, check out the pod and get our thoughts on some of the next wave of mobile devices.

If you enjoyed the pod (or any of the podcasts), please subscribe and feel free to leave us a review on your preferred platform.  Or if you have a topic you’d like to see covered in a future podcast, feel free to email us at silicontheory@gmail.com – thanks for listening!

[Rumors] What’s coming up next?

While we enter a bit of a doldrums phase, what with most of the early device launches over and Google I/O recently ending.   That doesn’t mean there is a shortage of phones coming on the horizon though…some of them are even shaping up to be pretty cool.

While we work up our 2016 Buyers Guide for the first half of the year, check out some of the latest rumors of what’s to come…

Moto Z (Moto X 2016)

It looks like Motorola via Lenovo will be coming out with some wild stuff.  Whether its good or bad remains to be seen, but first we had the info on the new Moto G devices, and now the latest talk is that the Moto X line will be replaced by the Moto Z.  AndroidPIT has some info and a few pics here. Whether or not this is going to be as solid a phone as the Moto X Pure Edition was in 2015 remains to be seen…but one thing is for sure – Lenovo is doing things with Motorola that no one saw coming.

OnePlus 3

For a startup who’s motto is “Never Settle,” OnePlus has made some unusual choices in their devices.  The OnePlus 1 was an intriguing device, and the OnePlus 2 went to a different place, removing NFC and wireless charging but sporting a USB-C connection port.  Android Authority did a great comparison of the 2 devices head to head here, a solid read on what OnePlus has done before.  While their device releases have mostly been a mixed bag of annoying and downright embarrassing, the OnePlus 3 rumors paint a picture of a solid device that can be a great value.  We are rapidly approaching their launch announcement, and some details can be found via TechRadar at this link.  While the design leaks have it looking like a HTC 10 clone, OnePlus does have a track record of putting out devices that sport some really nice features and a really good price point.

Samsung Note 6

If you’re a fan of the Note line from Samsung, as my partner Sean P is, you’ll probably be REALLY excited for the rumors about the upcoming Note 6.  Taking some of the best features of the terrific Galaxy S7 line, and making it bigger and badder can’t be terrible, right?  Things like a 4000mah battery, a whopping 6GB of RAM, and IP68 water resistance are just a start.  There are even rumors of as many as 4 versions of this guy floating around.  Check out some of the details from Forbes here.   Even more rumors can be found from Android Authority at this link.

So there you have it…some great rumors about some upcoming devices.  We’ll probably touch a bit more on these in an upcoming Silicon Theory Podcast, so keep an eye out for more news on that to come.