When you think of cell phones and history, one of the first companies that come to mind has to be Motorola. The name is an institution in the industry from the original flip phones in the 90s, to the dominance of the Razr, to the early days of Android with the Moto Droid lineup. The bat-winged logo has become iconic to people outside of the tech enthusiast bubble, mostly on the back of the success of the Razr. But in recent years, the company has experienced turmoil with multiple changes of ownership.

From selling to Google for a quick cup…


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There has always been something about an underdog to me. The scrappy contender who challenges the leaders of the market. This tendency has shaped the stores that I shop at, the sports teams that I root for, and the types of tech that I buy. When it comes to smartphones, I have always been enamored with companies that aren’t the de facto buying decision of most people.

This is why I was a huge supporter of Windows Phone when it was first coming into the market. It is also the same reason why I was a fierce HTC fan for…


Image Credit: T-Mobile

The newest OnePlus phones are here. An annual release that gets some fanfare but not quite as much as a Galaxy Unpacked or an iPhone reveal event. Despite that, a new OnePlus being announced is always an important release in the smartphone calendar. As it has done for the last couple of years, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer is continuing with a two phone strategy with the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

And as has become the norm for the company in recent years, the focus has been camera performance. The reason that they have been doing this is the company’s…


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Ever since 2002, the realities of racism in the United States is something that is always on my mind. As an Arab-American in a post-9/11 world, the idea of a racist America has been a reality that I have grown to expect. As an adult, I have witnessed commentary towards Arab-Americans like myself, the Latinx community, and African Americans that indicates a level of toxicity and exclusionary culture that is sickening to me as the son of an immigrant. …


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I turned 34 years old this week. And whenever I have a birthday that is coming up, I often think about my past self and how much I have changed as a human being over the years. I often look at old social media posts or pictures from when I was in my early 20’s and think to myself “what were you thinking”? You see, I have grown and developed mentally in so many ways since then that what I used to be doesn’t even seem remotely close to what I have become. …


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What is old is often new again. Over the years, we have seen the tried and true method of trends being brought back and vintage items being brand new again. An example of this that comes to mind immediately is the vinyl record player. What was once considered old technology after the proliferation of the cassette tape and compact disc, has suddenly been rejuvenated as a high-quality listening experience device. Game consoles like the Super Nintendo and PlayStation have been resurrected as novelty reminders of games that we used to play in the infancy of console video games. This trend…


On International Women’s Day it is important to remember how far we are from true equality in tech

Image Credit: NACE

Today is International Women’s Day. A day that has been in existence for over 100 years with the goal of celebrating the achievements of women in all fields across the world. Much has changed in the world for women over the last century, more rights and equality have been achieved, but there is still more that needs to be done to achieve true equality. As someone who has worked in and is very interested in tech, today makes me think about this industry in the context of a lack of gender equality. …


Samsung’s Z Flip and LG’s Velvet are making phones attractive and appealing, will the rest of the industry follow?

Image Credit: Samsung

One thing that has always fascinated me in my years following smartphones and consumer technology has been the growing importance of the fashion aesthetic in our gadgets. It is something that I think about whenever I go to a cell phone shop and see the huge variety of cell phone cases ranging from classic leather options to extravagantly shaped devices to make a generic rectangle more interesting. Seeing all of these fashionable accessories in the wild has made me wonder about the devices that they are covering and protecting and why they continue to be mostly boring in terms of…


CODEX

Image Credit: Samsung

A strange place to be is in the middle. When I was in high school I found myself in this sort of situation. I was a good student but not at the top of the class. I struggled with a few classes, but never enough to be noticed and asked to reach out for help like those at the bottom of the class. As a result, I sort of slipped in between the cracks of my graduating class. In short, I was good but not notable but far from the worst. …


The smartphone market is due for a shakeup, and Google should be the one to deliver it

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Quite often in professional sports, we will look back at a player from years ago and wonder how they would have fared in the modern game. In basketball, many wonder if Wilt Chamberlain played in today’s NBA how well he would fare and if he would be as dominant as he was in the 1960s. In the NFL, the success of athletic dual-threat Quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen makes many contemplate what a player like Randall Cunningham or Michael Vick would have been in current times. This thought exercise happens across all topics of interest, but I have…

Omar Zahran

Freelance technology and lifestyle writer. Lover of all things with a screen. Newsletter: ozoneletter.substack.com

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