A few new gadgets hit the shelves this week. Two of them are glossy and colorful, and one of them is black and came with tons of hype. You know which one we're talking about.
Is a device with a 6-inch display even a smartphone anymore? The Lumia 1520 is so comically large that doing ordinary smartphone things with it feels like you're making a joke. At its best, the 1520 is a funny party trick. At its worst, it's absurd. But if you want a Windows phone that's nearly the size of an honest-to-goodness tablet, with a really great screen, you can get one now. [$100 with two year AT&T contract]
On the plus side, this is the only Windows Tablet you can get with LTE, and the only Windows RT tablet you can get that's not a Surface 2. It's pretty and nice to hold, and generally works like a tablet should, but it doesn't bring all that much to the tablet to justify itself, outside of having LTE. [$400 with two year AT&T contract]
This thing does so much more than just video games. The voice commands and Kinect functionality is baked into the Xbox One so deeply it feels positively space-age. The first time you start zooming around the interface by voice just to see how much you can do is a revelation, and every time the Kinect logs you in by face is a joy. For now, the Xbox One is one impressive living room box machine—and it more than justifies its $500 dollar price with the inclusion of at least $100-worth of set-top boxitude. But early adopter caveats apply, and the wait for gotta-play games might seem even longer if you buy the system right now. [$500]