Pixel 2: Great Camera, Not So Great Phone

Now that I’ve had the Pixel 2 for a month, it’s time for a review, and honestly, I’m disappointed. When I first got the phone, I fell in love with the camera and the fantastic pictures it takes. Now, I realize that I may have had blinders on.Read More »

Camera Challenge: Pixel 2 vs iPhone 6S

Since the main reason I bought the Pixel 2 was for the camera, I decided to put photos side-by-side to show the difference in camera quality. These pictures were all taken with automatic settings, flash turned off, and the camera focused itself. Read More »

BREAKING: Lauren Kortbein has switched platforms…again

A long, long time ago, I was a BlackBerry addict. I had numerous devices, from OS 7 all the way up to BlackBerry 10. I was such an addict, that when I switched to iPhone, it became a “thing”. (You can read my reasons to switch here.) Someone actually wrote a blog about why my reasons to switch were invalid and how getting an iPhone made me an “iSheep”. I was hounded on social media for weeks about being a traitor to BlackBerry. So while I would prefer not to live through that experience again, I do have an announcement: I’ve switched platforms yet again. But I’m getting ahead of myself…Read More »

Instagram Photo Tips (Plus My Best Kept Secret!)

As someone who absolutely loves Instagram, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I’m not an expert at Instagram, but I don’t think anyone really is. Social media is constantly changing, as is the way people use and relate to social media. Some people love looking at pictures of carefully organized flat lays, while others only want to see pictures of mountains and wilderness. But whatever Instagram is to you, everyone can benefit from a few tips and tricks to make the best of their Insta-experience! So take one tip or take them all, and let me know what helped you most!Read More »

Blaze It (The Fitbit Way)

At this point, I’ve had almost every edition of Fitbit. Which is strange when you know me. Regardless, I was very curious about the new Fitbit. You know how much I loved the Moto 360 (and if you don’t, go find out now!) so I was looking forward to testing out the Fitbit Blaze. Turns out, it’s a fitness tracker first, smartwatch…later.

I started off with notifications on. I’m one to leave my phone in another room and be too lazy to grab it when I hear it go off, so notifications on another device are great. Unfortunately, the Blaze only shows about 4 things, and they’re all default apps. I very quickly turned off notifications, because while it showed messages, they wouldn’t go away until you cleared them, even if you’ve read and responded to them on your phone.

So the Blaze isn’t very good as a smartwatch, which isn’t surprising coming from a company that creates fitness trackers. But if I’m going to spend $200 on a fitness tracker, I really don’t want it to just count my steps and tell me my heart rate.

I’m going to be honest here…I stopped wearing the watch on a daily basis about two weeks after I got it. The size of the Blaze is far too big for daily wear, it doesn’t look very good and it was useless as a smartwatch with notifications turned off. I understand that these trackers are designed for people who exercise on a regular basis, or are actual athletes, but I just couldn’t get into this Fitbit. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t rose gold…

50 Things I Love

With all the negativity surrounding the world today, I think it’s very important to remember the good things we have in life. I’m very lucky to have the opportunities I’ve been given, and the support system to keep me sane. So here, in no particular order (except for #1 who is definitely my #1), is a list of 50 things that make me unbelievably happy.Read More »

How Smart Can a Watch Be?

As with most new technology, people typically don’t understand the need for something new and innovative. Before I got my first smartphone I didn’t understand why you would need to access the Internet wherever you were, at all times. Before I got an iPhone I didn’t understand the appeal of having every app in the world available to you. So when smartwatches first started getting popular, I didn’t understand why you would need your notifications on your wrist. I’ve even had this same smartwatch before! So why would this time be any different?

First off, the Moto 360 now connects to almost any iPhone or Android. This meant I could connect my personal phone to it, and wouldn’t need a second phone like I did the first time around. Second, this 360 is rose gold. I repeat, rose gold. (If you didn’t know how weirdly obsessed with rose gold I am, you clearly aren’t following me on Instagram, so shame on you.) So I decided to give the smartwatch another try. And holy cow, was I impressed. This time around, it surprised me how much I liked being able to look at my wrist instead of pulling my phone out of my pocket. The 360 had no issues at all connecting to my iPhone, and every notification showed up on the watch. I was able to swipe away notifications which also got rid of them on my phone’s Notification Center, and each notification had a particular look to it, which was a nice way to differentiate texts versus Instagram likes versus emails.

The downsides about the Moto 360 were the notifications and the battery life. I didn’t like that I wasn’t able to interact with notifications on the watch. I’m sure this is because it’s a Motorola watch connecting to an Apple phone, so I understand. Although, I would have liked to have been able to respond to texts, because having to pull out your phone defeats the purpose of a smartwatch. I was able to “answer” calls using the watch, but I still had to talk through my phone. Then comes the battery life. I was able to get one full day out of it, but never two full days. I did have the “always on” option turned on, which meant that although the screen went black, the clock face was always on, and I’m sure that drains battery quickly. This wasn’t a huge issue for me, because I took the watch off to sleep anyway, so I just put it on its little charging station and it was good to go for the next day.

I would definitely say I’m a smartwatch convert now. I like what it can do and am interested to see where they go from here. Especially if they keep making them in rose gold!

(Side note: extra points for you if you counted how many times I said “rose gold” in this post.)