Gear Diary
Gear Diary

Tech, Autos & Gear in Laymans Terms Since 2006

2014 Nissan Altima/Images courtesy Nissan

2014 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL One of Its Best

Two years ago I drove the then all-new, fifth-generation Nissan Altima and despite only spending an afternoon in the vehicle I knew it was a hit for the automaker. Fast-forward a couple of summers, and after spending an entire week behind the wheel of a 2014 Nissan Altima SL I am further convinced this may be one of Nissan’s best.

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Braven Mira is Round, Loud, and Ready to Hang Out with Your Music

I love that my Sony Xperia Z2 is completely waterproof; I even threw it into my mother’s pool the other day to prove it to my niece and nephew! And if your phone is waterproof, shouldn’t your speaker be, too? The Braven Mira is round, gets quite loud and, perhaps most interestingly, it has an IPX5 water-resistant rating.

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Gear Diary reviews the Noreve Sony Xperia Z Ultra Leather Case in Violet Patine.35-001

Noreve Sony Xperia Z Ultra Tradition D Leather Case Review

I never thought that I’d enjoy using much less carrying a phablet with a 6.4″ screen, but the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has really grown on me. Up until last week I was carrying it caseless, but that’s changed since receiving the Noreve Sony Xperia Z Ultra Tradition D Leather Case; it is lovely, protective, and a pleasure to use.

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2015 Lincoln Navigator Gets Upgrades…and Knobs

Lincoln Motor Company is in the midst of a product revival, a task not helped by rumors of its demise not too long ago. In fact, new product has been rolling off the assembly lines of Ford’s luxury division over the past couple of years in the form of the MKZ/MKZ Hybrid and MKC models, and amidst this they have …

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DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Service Review on PlayStation 4

DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket service celebrates 20 years with a new service called “Fantasy Zone” that compliments the well established “Red Zone” service for subscribers and non-subscribers. In the 10-year old “Red Zone” viewers get live, commercial-free coverage that automatically switches to another game when a team is in scoring position or an important event is happening.

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Elio Motors Dreams and Fun Facts About Our Next Rides

A Facebook post by Judie last night sparked renewed interest in the cars we pre-ordered from Elio Motors last January. Our upcoming vehicles get an amazing 84 MPG, top speeds of 100 MPH, and cost just $6800. In fact, since Judie and I each went all-in and put down a non-refundable $1000 deposit, our Elios will be just $6300!

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Images Courtesy Cadillac

2017 Cadillac Drives Technology and Itself

A lot of intelligent and connected vehicle news coming out of Detroit this week, as automakers take part in the Intelligent Transport System World Congress. General Motors CEO Mary Barra led things off with her keynote address boasting new technologies arriving on an all-new 2017 Cadillac model that will include advanced driver assist dubbed “Super Cruise” and new vehicle-to-vehicle technologies.

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A Single TYLT SYNCABLE-DUO Charge-and-Sync Cable Is All You Need

If you use an Android device all of your mobile gadgetry likely uses the same microUSB sync/charge cable. If, on the other hand, you use an iOS device you need to both a Lightning connector cable for that device and a microUSB cable for everything else. The new TYLT SYNCABLE-DUO Charge-and-Sync Cable will let you carry a single cable.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Global Debut Is a ‘View to a Kill’

Introduced as a true global effort, Mazda debuted its next-generation MX-5 Miata in a live-streaming reveal last night that featured 80s rock band Duran Duran headlining the multi-city event, opening with ‘View to a Kill.’ The fourth-generation Miata is wider, lower and much more dramatically styled (think smaller scale F-Type Jaguar here) and will feature Mazda’s Skyactiv powertrain technology.

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Hummer’s To Take Marketshare From Tablets

Back in 2010 during an Apple press conference Steve Jobs famously said that “no one’s going to buy” a phone so big you can’t get your hand around it. At the time Jobs was referencing the  early trend of bigger phones – namely the Samsung Galaxy Note. Looks likes jobs might have been wrong if a recent IDC forecast comes true.

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Gear Diary Microsoft Nokia Lumia 830

Which New Nokia Would You Rather? The Lumia 830 or the Lumia 735?

This morning at IFA, Microsoft unveiled their new flagship model, the Lumia 830. Running Windows Phone 8.1, with the Lumia Denim update, the 830 has built-in Qi wireless charging, a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, a 10 megapixel PureView camera, and a really sleek aluminum body with a colored polycarbonate peel-off back. Best of all? User removable battery and expandable memory.

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Shut Off Facebook Autoplay To Save Mobile Data

In late 2013, Facebook began testing auto-play of videos in your news feeds. At first, this only impacted videos which you uploaded. Gradually, the feature has rolled out everywhere.  Now users have found that auto-playing video from their news feeds could be consuming expensive mobile data. Here’s a quick tip on how to turn off auto-play and save data.   …

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Kwikset Kevo Is the Door Lock for the 21st Century and Beyond

A few years ago I set out to turn my mid 1970s home into an “after-market smart home.” At that time, I turned to a specific company. Since then I’ve taken a more individual approach that focuses on specific “best-in-class” products that work well, but are not part of an overall integrated system; the Kwikset Kevo is one such product.

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Build a Wall, er, Cover Art for Arrested Development Season 4 on DVD!

Are you an artist looking for “a nu start”? Skip the Skyping with your Phoenix advisor and head to ArrestedFanArt.com, where you can enter your design for the 4th season DVDS of “Arrested Development“. There’s a $1,000 prize plus your design on the DVD cover. But you only have until 9/16; sadly, you can’t wait for Cinqo de Quatro for this contest.

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A Waterproof Smartphone Is No Gimmick

When I got my Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone I didn’t think much about the fact that it is a waterproof phone that can be submerged without the need for a special sealed case. But after Carly’s son dumped, and ruined, her wife Sarah’s iPhone 5C into the water twice I realized a waterproof smartphone is no small thing.

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Madden NFL 15 Review (Standard Edition) on PlayStation 4

Publisher Electronic Arts Inc. and developer EA Tiburon continue the grand tradition of this obsession called football (U.S. version) with another successful and comprehensive remediation of the NFL experience in Madden NFL 15. This 26th installment of the venerable sports simulation series succeeds especially with comprehensive game mode enhancements, noticeable defensive improvements, and improved graphics using the Ignite engine.

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MOTA SmartRing May Be the Most Discreet Wearable Yet

We’ve seen all the different smartwatches that tell their wearers when calls and emails come though, but most of them are bulky and pretty obvious. If you want smart, discreet notifications without giving up your favorite vintage wristwatch, then the MOTA SmartRing may work for you. Once paired, it notifies wearers of incoming calls, texts, calendar notifications, and emails.

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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan is the GTI of Cute Utes

The compact crossover utility segment is crowded, almost to the point where so many competitors get overlooked due to shopper fatigue. When Volkswagen of America launched its entry into the cute ute segment a few years ago they sought to bring a little fun – some of that Fahrvergnügen if you will – in the form of the Tiguan.

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Rock Your Ride With the Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker

The sub $100 Bluetooth speaker market has grown in a seemingly exponential way in the past few years, arriving at the point where a speaker needs to have something special if it is going to distinguish itself. The Divoom Voombox Ongo Bluetooth Speaker actually has that “something special”, and it makes this $69.99 speaker worth a second look.

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Kogan Agora 4G by BenQ Review: Budget with Benefits

Many would cringe at the idea of spending near $1,000 outright on a smartphone. That’s where quality budget devices step in, offering most of the benefits, without the price tag. The Kogan Agora 4G by BenQ looks to take a slice of the pie, with specifications that on the surface, offer plenty of performance and features for a bargain price.

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The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Will be Music to Your Ears

I reviewed the Harman Kardon Esquire Bluetooth speaker a few weeks ago and was completely blown away by its build quality, feature set and, of course sound. It is a Bluetooth speaker that looks and feels more like jewelry than anything else. Now the company has announced a new speaker – the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini Bluetooth wireless speaker.

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EyeFly 3D Nanoglass: Will It Protect the iPhone In 3D?

It is always smart to utilize a screen protector to keep your iPhone screen safe and sound. What if you were able to protect the precious screen while also achieving 3D media viewing? This is actually possible with the EyeFly 3D Nanoglass screen protector. For just $29.95, the screen protector and free apps promise to bring the iPhone to life. 

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Winners of the Bluelounge Eco-Friendly Backpack and More!

We had some great giveaways running over the past week and a half, and they have each now come to a close. There are four different winners this time out. One gets the Bluelounge Eco-Friendly Backpack and the Bluelounge miniUSB Kii. The others win fun prizes, too. Each has a week to claim their prize by emailing us at contests@geardiary.com.

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Is ‘Windows CE Syndrome’ Hurting Tablet Adoption?

Somewhere between Apple’s and Samsung’s last quarterly earnings reports, Dan’s review of the Galaxy S5, Dan & Judie’s Sony Xperia X2s, the Ultra, discussions with friends about a variety of tablets we’ve all used, along with the statement by the Best Buy CEO that ‘tablet sales are crashing’ something occurred to me – we’ve been here before — with Windows CE.

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