Apple's iPhone 12 Mini will, I think, mark an end to small and good smartphones. That's not because it's bad, far from it; this is a great phone. But, it hasn't sold very well, and though they might argue otherwise, smartphone manufacturers are hardly altruistic. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple doesn't refresh this model next year. The iPhone 12 Mini may very well be the small phone swan song, and it really makes me wish a company in Android-land would make the mistake of copying it.
Premium Sony phones like the Xperia 5 II are hard to review. They're made for a very specific demographic — one so specific as to comprise roughly zero percent of the market. They're made for people who want both niche features like a physical shutter button and features that used to be common but now aren't, like headphone jacks, expandable storage, and displays without notches or hole-punches.
And that's fine! If you're a member of that subset of a subset of consumers, you'll probably like the Xperia 5 II very much. But the phone costs $950, which, after a barn burner of a year for very competent phones that cost $800, $700, $600, and less, is a bitter pill to swallow.
Over the past few years, wireless charging has become pretty ubiquitous; even some bargain-bin true wireless earbuds support it. Given that, it's entirely possible you have several wireless charging-compatible devices floating around your home right now. If you're looking to simplify your power management, a multi-device charging pad could help you do just that. The Artellia Monno, recently funded on Kickstarter, is a sleek and competent charging pad that can wirelessly top up three devices at a time. During its campaign, it was available for $79, but it's projected to cost $129 at retail — a pretty penny for a third-party charger.
Android tablets have a tough time competing at the high end; iPads more or less single-handedly dominate that space. But if you're looking to spend a couple hundred bucks on something to watch Netflix in bed, you're probably not shopping Apple. You're probably looking for something like Samsung's latest budget tablet, the Galaxy Tab A7: it's cheap, it's got a nice screen and speakers, and the battery lasts for days. There's not a lot to dislike here.
The Fitbit Versa 3 launched earlier this year alongside Fitbit's flagship tracker, the Sense. That device is packed with features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, what have you — but it can also do ECG scans, and even purportedly measure your stress levels. In his review, our own Ryan found that the usefulness of some of the Sense's features was questionable. He also said it's too expensive at $329.
The Versa 3 is extremely similar to the Sense, with a few key differences: it drops ECG and electrodermal activity (EDA) monitoring, trades stainless steel casing for aluminum, and slashes $100 off the price tag.
Two months after the original European launch, OnePlus has officially brought the N10 5G to the US at $300. But this new move downmarket with the Nord brand still doesn't live up to the smash-hit original. Bugs with the touchscreen, connectivity, and performance have been ironed out since our original review, but the phone still doesn't quite earn our recommendation given the lackluster update policy and competition — even with the benefits of 5G.
Yeelight's M2 smart light came out of nowhere at the end of last year, with a low price (for RGB smart lighting) and the convenience of Google's seamless setup. That means no third-party apps or services, no external hubs, and no long tedious process to get things working. In fact, this is almost the perfect Assistant-connected smart bulb. The only bummer is how dim it is in warm white lighting modes.
Millions of people transitioning to working from home this year has led to more than a few problems. Products like webcams and laptops have been in short supply, and home Wi-Fi networks are pushed to their breaking point with dozens of connected devices, Zoom calls, Netflix sessions, and email threads. In most cases, a mesh router is the best way to build a home network that deals with these new demands.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The Pixel 4a is a device that laughs in the faces of flagship smartphones everywhere, daring to offer an unrivaled camera experience, snappy performance, and regular Android updates for only a fraction of what the other guys charge. Despite its low price tag, you're still probably going to want to wrap this fella in a case. Here are our top five picks for the best Pixel 4a cases in a handful of categories.
Good true wireless earbuds are getting cheap in a hurry. You can still spend hundreds for fancy features like ANC if you want, but you don't have to break the bank to get decent sound. OnePlus's first true wireless earbuds, the succinctly named Buds, were a great value at $80. The OnePlus Buds Z take it a step further — for just 50 bucks, these earbuds might lack polish, but they deliver on fundamentals.