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Reviews

14

You probably didn't even know you wanted a gaming phone, but this one is worth a second look

You probably didn't even know you wanted a gaming phone, but this one is worth a second look

RedMagic isn't a big name in the US, but it's been busy carving out a niche for budget gaming phones. Gaming phones almost always come with compromises, and a budget option even more so. Still, for $600, the RedMagic 6 is killer on paper with a Snapdragon 888, 12GB of RAM, and a 165Hz display, but prodigious specs aren't always enough when poor support is on the table. Still, some mobile gamers might make that trade-off for super-smooth gameplay when the RedMagic 6 launches later this month.

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41

Asus Zenfone 8 review: It's small and has it all

Asus Zenfone 8 review: It's small and has it all

Asus has built a steady presence in the mobile industry with help from its recent ROG Phone series. But it's been chasing a general audience (mostly in Asia) for much longer with its Zenfone lineup, attempting to please everyone and usually failing. Now, after a couple of devices with cameras that can flip from back to front, the Taiwanese brand is going small against a tide of big phones with the upcoming Zenfone 8.

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18

Hands-on: New budgeting app is a drop-in replacement for Simple, and I love it

Hands-on: New budgeting app is a drop-in replacement for Simple, and I love it

On the day of Simple’s scheduled migration to BBVA, a new and Simple-inspired budgeting app has emerged: DAS Budget. A Simple user himself, developer Anthony Alves first reacted to the news of the bank's shutdown much like I did: By trying out nearly every alternative bank he could. After being similarly disappointed, he decided to shift his focus, trying new budgeting tools instead of banks, but the overly complicated options left him (and all of us) unhappy. What he really wanted was Simple's user interface yanked out and plugged into any bank. So, that's exactly what he built, and I love it.

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6

JBL Charge 5 review: Perfect pool party partner

JBL Charge 5 review: Perfect pool party partner

JBL launched a bunch of products at CES this year, but few looked to be as promising as the Charge 5. Part rugged Bluetooth speaker, part power bank, the newest entry in the Charge series has much to offer, but it’s a lot more spendy than your average Bluetooth speaker. While long-time JBL fans may be disappointed the new PartyBoost pairing feature has such narrow compatibility, everyone else will be too impressed by the class-leading audio and killer battery life to care.

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5

Amazon Echo Frames review: About as useful as an Echo Dot taped to your forehead

Amazon Echo Frames review: About as useful as an Echo Dot taped to your forehead

Amazon's Alexa has been put into basically every product imaginable from smoke detectors to toilets. The goal, apparently, is to get Alexa into as many places as possible, so putting Alexa in glasses seemed like the next logical step. Amazon Echo Frames bring Alexa even closer and make it easier to access by putting it right on your face. While the Amazon Echo Frames are cool, they lack the audio quality I'd expect from $250 earbuds, and easy access to Alexa doesn't make up for that.

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46

OnePlus 9 review, one month later: I recommend this phone... barely

OnePlus 9 review, one month later: I recommend this phone... barely

There was a time not that long ago that OnePlus phones were a guaranteed excellent value. That's no longer the case as the company has increasingly focused on flagship devices and carrier partnerships, pushing the cost of some devices over $1,000. Still, that doesn't mean OnePlus is incapable of delivering a good value anymore. The new OnePlus 9 is only $729, which is more than two Benjamins less than the OnePlus 9 Pro. It's even cheaper than the OnePlus 8T it replaces, which is a welcome reversal of trends.

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118

OnePlus 9 Pro review, one month later: I want to recommend this phone, but I can't

OnePlus 9 Pro review, one month later: I want to recommend this phone, but I can't

OnePlus had changed from the scrappy upstart that launched a hard-to-get phone at a crazy price. In some ways (okay, a lot of ways) it's matured as a company. But, although it's doing better than it ever has before in a pure business sense, OnePlus also seems to be stumbling, losing track of precisely what made it great, even as it celebrates its triumphs. As I see it, nothing better defines the current state of OnePlus, a victim of its own success, than the OnePlus 9 Pro.

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9

Roborock S7 review: Closer to set-it-and-forget-it than ever before

Roborock S7 review: Closer to set-it-and-forget-it than ever before

Robot vacuums have been exploding in popularity over the last few years, and there are plenty of inexpensive units that get the job done. For some, a better vacuum that saves more time is worth a premium price, and Roborock is happy to offer very expensive vacuums like the new Roborock S7 to those folks. The Roborock S7 has all the bells and whistles you could ever want in a robot vacuum, like mopping, zone cleaning, and smart assistant integration. It nails the basics, has plenty of smarts, and rolls right over the competition with its innovative sonic mop… but it costs $650.

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27

Poco X3 Pro review: With great power comes...an affordable price tag

Poco X3 Pro review: With great power comes...an affordable price tag

The Poco F1 was one of Xiaomi's most popular phones, and it continued to sell well long after its announcement, and people have been begging for a true successor — that's how hard it was to beat the value it offered. But that was a 2018 phone, and the increasing cost of components, rising costs associated with supply chain bottlenecks, and the forcing of 5G modems in high-end chips had made it difficult for Poco to do an encore... until now.

The Poco X3 Pro may not follow the same naming scheme, but it’s the true successor to the F1 that we’ve all been waiting for.

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9

Review: The Realme 8 5G shows us the real cost of 5G

Review: The Realme 8 5G shows us the real cost of 5G

We’ve all seen examples of insane 5G download speeds, and maybe that makes you want 5G in your next phone, but the reality on the ground is different. As it currently stands, 5G is far from ubiquitous — it doesn't even exist in markets like India — and the compromises and costs associated with it are substantial. It's still fair to want 5G from a flagship phone if you plan to use it for a few years, but the equation changes when we talk about the budget segment where the compromises caused by 5G are more noticeable. The Realme 8 5G is the perfect example of that.

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