Android Police

Editorials

207

The Pixel 4a is the perfect upgrade from an older Pixel flagship

The Pixel 4a is the perfect upgrade from an older Pixel flagship

Google's phones typically last a good long while, at least software-wise. And we've seen that in practice, as many Android Police readers browse the site with Pixel 2 and even original Pixel smartphones today. But if you have one of these older phones, you may be getting to the point where an upgrade is finally on the table, and if you are still holding onto an old Pixel (or even Nexus) phone, the Pixel 4a is probably the best phone to come around in years to get you to pull the trigger. And at $350, it's not going to break the bank.

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63

The Note20 Ultra feels like the end of the smartphone's gilded age

The Note20 Ultra feels like the end of the smartphone's gilded age

The Galaxy Note20 Ultra is big, probably very fast, and has Samsung's most advanced stylus tech ever. Add in the obligatory 5G tax, and everyone knew this was going to be a very, very expensive smartphone: it is wholly unsurprising.

In fact, I am a bit surprised that it doesn't cost more. The $1400 Galaxy S20 Ultra is in no significant way more capable than the new Note. It actually has a less technologically advanced display (with an older version of Gorilla Glass), lacks the Note20 Ultra's laser autofocus, comes with a slightly slower chipset, and has an inferior iteration of Samsung's "Space Zoom" camera.

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19

Google took one great idea from the iPhone SE this year: Launch quietly

Google took one great idea from the iPhone SE this year: Launch quietly

A whole lot is going on right now, and not just when it comes to phones. Life is much more complicated in 2020, and it can be hard sometimes to narrow your focus on the hot new gadgets, even when it's your job. Phone announcements are always exciting — and, for me, a little bit stressful — but yesterday's almost low-key launch of the Pixel 4a was unpretentious, a little bit familiar, and down-right refreshing.

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65

Five changes we would make to the OnePlus Nord

Five changes we would make to the OnePlus Nord

After months of rumors, speculation, and a slow drip of information from OnePlus, the Nord budget phone was finally released earlier this month. It's an impressive package for £379/€399, complete with a 5G-capable Snapdragon processor, a 90Hz screen, and 30W fast charging. However, it's not a perfect device — no phone is, after all.

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16

OnePlus Nord vs OnePlus 8 — Which represents the best value?

OnePlus Nord vs OnePlus 8 — Which represents the best value?

Smartphones have become more expensive across the board in recent years, and OnePlus hasn’t been immune to this upward trend. The company has also gradually added many of the features fans and critics have been calling for, such as IP ratings and wireless charging. So while the OnePlus 8 Pro is more expensive than anything that came before it, it also represents the best phone OnePlus has ever produced. The cheaper OnePlus 8 is a bit harder to judge since it misses out on a few key features, and the introduction of the Nord puts in an even more awkward position.

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92

The OnePlus Nord deserves a release in the United States

The OnePlus Nord deserves a release in the United States

OnePlus started its history in the smartphone industry by offering a good phone, the OnePlus One, at a great price. Fast forward to today, and the company's brand and reputation are strong enough that OnePlus can sell phones at flagship prices without anyone batting an eye — Samsung's Galaxy S20+ has repeatedly been on sale for only $50 more than the $899 OnePlus 8 Pro.

For the first time in years, OnePlus has produced a mid-range Android phone at an incredibly competitive price. The OnePlus Nord has a decent Snapdragon processor, 128GB of storage, 8GB RAM, and a 90Hz screen all for just £379 (€399—and remember, that includes tax, unlike advertised US prices).

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87

The OnePlus Nord might save Europe from the iPhone SE

The OnePlus Nord might save Europe from the iPhone SE

With the iPhone SE making many Android users switch platforms, it was just a question of time until we'd see a response from Android manufacturers. In Europe, that might just be the OnePlus Nord. The €400 phone undercuts the €480 iPhone by €80, and its modern, sleek exterior stands in stark contrast to Apple's tried-and-true iPhone 6 look. It might just become the reset button for the Android midrange market.

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186

Google's 2020 smartphone strategy looks like a mess

Google's 2020 smartphone strategy looks like a mess

It sure looks like the Google Pixel smartphone lineup is about to get weird. Based on what we know so far, it looks like there will be a Pixel 4a, a Pixel 4a 5G, and a Pixel 5. A defunct Pixel 4a XL is out of the picture, and there was never even a leak suggesting the existence of a Pixel 5 XL to begin with. This has rightly left many bewildered: just what is Google trying to accomplish here? While I won't claim to have all the answers, I do think there's a lens worth interpreting this through, and that lens is Google's Silicon Valley rival, Apple.

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15

Google Stadia needs more social media features

Google Stadia needs more social media features

Welcome to Stadia Feature Request Friday, a new series by Android Police where we dive into the features that are currently missing from Google's cloud gaming service (and why they should be included). In this debut article, we're going to talk social and community, and how a native social media network could promote a better playing experience for subscribers.

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21

Google's response to Android apps getting delayed or killed in the background leaves a lot to be desired

Google's response to Android apps getting delayed or killed in the background leaves a lot to be desired

Google's Android AMA is underway, and the team's engineers have already answered the most hotly-anticipated question: How will Google fix the problem of inconsistent background limits across different manufacturers and devices? It's a long-standing problem where overly aggressive power management tweaks break functionality in plenty of apps, resulting in a headache for developers and frustration for users. According to the AMA, Google does plan on making a few changes to help fix things, but the company isn't doing all that it could.

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