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ASUS ZenFone Zoom Review: 3x Optical Zoom On A Phone That Would Still Be Good Without It

It wasn’t long ago that ASUS, while beloved by many on the desktop computing scene, was hardly a player when it came to smartphones. Some early Android tablet adopters will remember their Transformer books, but the ZenFone line is relatively new and has been the most serious attempt by ASUS to break into phones. It would be easy to overstate the popularity of the ZenFone, especially in western markets, but there’s no doubt that lovers of Android now have ASUS on their radar.

We at Android Police have looked at several ZenFones and the latest entry is the ZenFone Zoom, which is a characteristic mixture of uniqueness, ambition, value, and zaniness that we have seen before.

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Blu Vivo 5 Quick Review: $400 Worth Of Phone For $199

Back at CES, Blu announced two phones: the Vivo XL and Vivo 5. While we've already taken a look at the former, the latter is the one we've really been waiting for. I've had it in-hand for about a week now, and there's honestly a lot to talk about with this handset. From the specs to the design, this definitely offers more than a $200 handset should, though there are definitely some quirks with the software.

But I'm getting ahead of myself now. Let's start at the beginning. And when we get to the end — stop.

Specs

Display 5.5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 3
Processor 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek 6753 64-bit with Mali T720 GPU
RAM 3GB
Camera 13MP rear shooter, 5MP front
Storage 32GB, microSD card slot
Wireless 3G: 850/1700/1900/2100; 4G LTE: 2/4/7; Dual SIM
Ports USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone
Battery 3,150mAh
OS Android 5.1
Dimensions 151.9 x 74.6 x 6.9 mm
Price $199
Colors Gold, Silver
Buy Amazon; Best Buy

The Good

Great performance for the money It's hard to argue with what this phone is capable of for just $200.
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Blu Vivo XL Quick Review: Breaking The Boundaries Of What A $99 Phone Should Be

AT CES earlier this month, Blu announced two new phones: the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Today, we're taking a closer look at the lower-end of the two, the Vivo XL, which is the first one to hit the market. This one isn't a dramatic difference from some of the other more recent stuff we've seen from Blu — like the Life One X, for example — but it does continue the company tradition of offering a lot of phone for the money.

Under the hood, it's actually a lot like the aforementioned Life One X, though it does have a slightly larger, lower-resolution display.

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Honor 5X Review: The Sum Of $199 Of Parts, For Better Or Worse

The Huawei Honor 5X is a paradox for Android enthusiasts right out of the box. It costs just $199. But it runs Android 5.1. It has a surprisingly decent camera. But it doesn't support band 12 LTE on T-Mobile. The 1080p IPS display is very bright and may well be class-leading at this price point. But the Honor 5X doesn't have NFC. Its fingerprint reader pretty much lets it stand alone in the market for sub-$200 devices. But so does Huawei's software layer, and not in a good way. It has a microSD card slot. But it's only available with 16GB of storage, and no Marshmallow means no adoptable SD cards.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review: Living Life In (Sort Of) 4K

Sony rushes from one flagship phone to the next, making only iterative changes most of the time. With the Z5 generation, there are three different variants of the phone—a standard Z5, the Z5 Compact, and our focus today, the Z5 Premium. What makes it premium? Well, it's the first phone with a 4K display. Does that really do you any good, though? Let's find out.

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Blu Life One X (2015) Quick Review: The Perfect Balance Between Price And Performance

 

Back in January of 2014, Blu released what I then called my "favorite Blu phone to date"—the Life One X. At the time, it was a solid budget phone, but affordable smartphones have come so far since then. The last year or so has been great for the budget phone scene, and we've watched devices get more and more powerful while prices kept dropping.

Today, Blu announced the new version of the Life One X, and guess what? It's probably the best budget device I've ever used. One might even say it's probably "my favorite Blu phone to date," save for maybe the new Pure XL.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Review: A Sony Z3 Owner's Take On Sony's Latest Handset

Writing an unbiased review is a lot easier said than done. Every reviewer, myself included, has their own preferences, opinions, and experiences that will in some way affect his or her attitudes and conclusions. So rather than pretend that I am an unbiased reviewer, I will begin by telling you a little about the phones I have owned for the last few years. My hope is that this information will lend you greater insight into my thoughts and feelings regarding the Sony Z5.

I like Sony phones. I've owned every generation of the Sony Z series that T-Mobile has sold in the US, including the Z, Z1, and Z3.

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ASUS ZenFone Selfie And ZenFone 2 Laser International Edition Review: Great Values As Long As You Can Handle ZenUI

ASUS has been getting more invested into the smartphone market, both in the US—where we recently talked about the ZenFone 2 Laser and ZenFone 2—and in their closer-to-home markets in the Eastern Hemisphere. This review will focus on two models that will not make it to the US, but should be of interest to those in Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. The main focus will be on the ZenFone Selfie, which is much like the familiar ZenFone 2 and ZenFone 2 Laser but with a high-quality front-facing camera sensor. I will also discuss the ZE550KL model of the ZenFone 2 Laser, which is available in some non-US markets.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Review: The Only Small Phone That Matters

I remember not that long ago thinking that a 4.7-inch phone screen was pretty large. How could they get bigger than that and still be usable? Surely this is the end of the road... and here we are a few years later and the Xperia Z5 Compact is considered diminutive at 4.6-inches. When I say this phone is small (and it is) I mean it's small compared to every other Android flagship.

Consumers have voted with their dollars and told OEMs they want big phones, leaving the Xperia Compact series as your last bastion of tiny flagship phones. When a device basically owns a niche, it doesn't have to be amazing, it just needs to be.

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LG V10 Review: LG Got Me Falling In Love

I need to be real with you guys here: I've never liked any device that forced me to use whatever garbage skin the manufacturer was putting on them at the time. In other words, I've always been an "Android Purist," if you will — it was stock Android and nothing else for me, and it's really been like that since I became an Android user. Now, I've had no trouble being objective when it comes to reviewing devices with skins; just because I don't like it doesn't make it "bad."

While I wouldn't go as far as to say that the V10 is a game-changing phone in general, it has definitely been a game-changer for me.

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