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Xiaomi Mi A1 second take: For $215, it offers the best value of any Android smartphone right now

A couple of months ago, my brother in law came to me with a question: he needed an affordable $200-300 Android smartphone that he could purchase from the UAE or Lebanon and that would do the basics right. My ready-made answer in the category in the past few years has been Samsung's A/C/J series. You get nice hardware, decent software with less bloat nowadays, excellent after-sale support no matter which mom-and-pop repair store you stop at, easy accessory purchase, and it's super fast to sell it on when the time comes to part with your phone. But that's only because Samsung's presence in Lebanon is huge, LG's midrange devices are too costly for the features, Moto and HTC essentially don't exist, Nokia/HMD hadn't begun selling phones again yet, and Huawei started breaking into the market about a year or so ago.

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Honor View10 first impressions: An affordable flagship with AI-smarts that could be ready to take on OnePlus

Huawei’s cheaper sub-brand Honor held an event in London early December to announce the launch of not one but two new smartphones. Jordan has already reviewed the first of those, the Honor 7X, which impressed him as a contender to the Moto G5S Plus in the budget category. But Honor actually spent more time at the show talking about the View 10, its latest flagship device.

The View10 sports Huawei’s Kirin 970 chip, with a built-in neural processing unit that the company says can be used to learn your habits and improve your overall experience. Features of the moment such as face unlocking, an 18:9 screen, and dual cameras potentially make the View10 a compelling option in the affordable flagship category, where it slightly undercuts the OnePlus 5T at £449 in the UK (around $600).

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[Hands-on] OnePlus announces limited edition Sandstone White OnePlus 5T

OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T in November, just a few months after the OnePlus 5. While the price was slightly higher, the 5T added a few notable features like an 18:9 display and rear-facing fingerprint reader. Since then, OnePlus has dropped the limited edition Star Wars 5T in India, and now a similar device is coming to the rest of us. The new Sandstone White OnePlus 5T doesn't have Star Wars branding, but it seems otherwise identical right down to the bright red alert slider.

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Switching to the iPhone, part three: Everything I hate about the iPhone X

I look at my phone. It vibrates. It asks for my password.

This is the single most annoying experience I have on a regular basis with the iPhone X. Face ID is at once pretty good and absolutely infuriating. The iPhone X is, as a result, the most frustrating smartphone I have used in recent memory. The iPhone X is also pretty great, but when it rubs me the wrong way, it really rubs me the wrong way.

Switching to the iPhone hasn't been without annoyances and sacrifices. In fact, it's come with quite a few, if I'm going to be honest with you about it.

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Honor 7X review: A contender for budget king


Honor is back here at the end of 2017 with another budget phone that, for all intents and purposes, is a better bang for your buck than its predecessor, the 6X. The specs have seen a slight boost, but the biggest change is the addition of Huawei's FullView display. Yes, that's right: a budget phone with an 18:9 screen, something thus far uncommon.

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Android to iPhone, part two: What I've liked about switching to the iPhone X

I can already tell I’ll have a hard time going back to Android’s software navigation keys.

One of the most pleasantly surprising features of the iPhone X - and something that’s going to read like it’s straight out of Phil Schiller’s marketing playbook - comes in the form of what Apple removed from the phone: the home button. By forcing the issue of gesture navigation instead of going half-in with soft keys, Apple’s made a convert of me. I like gesture nav.

It’s also kind of broken. There’s no universal gesture to go back (some apps let you swipe from the left - sometimes), and the quick switcher button at the top left of the phone requires some serious thumb acrobatics to reach.

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ASUS Zenfone V review: A very cheap Verizon exclusive that gets the job done

Asus has been busy in 2017, but amongst the madness that is the Zenfone 4 family, the company took some time to partner with Verizon to launch another device exclusive to Big Red. This is the Zenfone V, a phone that bears some resemblance to one of Samsung's older phones, but it packs 2016 flagship specs into a small, manageable frame all for just $240 ($10/month).

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I’ve never used an iPhone, part one: Switching to the iPhone X and first thoughts

On a fall day over eight years ago, I walked into an AT&T store in Davis, my college town, to see the iPhone 3GS. I held it, stared at it, looked at the price card, then back at the phone, and then down at the price card again. Reality began to set in.

I was locked into a contract with my Sony-Ericsson feature phone for another six months. I asked about early upgrade pricing - $200 on top of the $199 AT&T already charged for the phone - but I was a student, and my meager checking account balance could barely withstand the regular on-contract price and accompanying increase in the monthly service fee.

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OnePlus 5T review: Bigger screen, bigger price, but still a good deal

The motives of many smartphone makers are somewhat opaque to outside observers, but OnePlus is as transparent as they come. OnePlus iterates its hardware relentlessly to stay on the cutting edge, and it responds to the community in a way most OEMs don't. If the smartphone market is trending someplace, you can bet OnePlus is going to follow, and it'll manage to do it all a little cheaper than the other guys.

That brings us to the latest phone from OnePlus, the predictably named OnePlus 5T. This phone is dropping just a few months after the OnePlus 5, so it's not surprising much of that phone's hardware has been recycled.

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Nokia 8 review: Nokia looks and Nexus feel make for a very enjoyable experience

Confused nostalgia. It's hard to find another way to describe my feeling right now as I sit down to write this Nokia 8 review. For those who don't know my history, my career covering mobile devices started with a personal blog in 2006 and a Nokia 3250 XpressMusic. For several years, I was Dotsisx (.sisx), a nickname that evokes how much I was involved with the Symbian OS. I reviewed phones, I covered events, I spent hours daily looking for the best apps and games. Even when the first iPhone launched and Android started making waves, I was a Symbian user through and through.

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