Sony used to be one of the most successful mobile companies in the world, but it never really got into a groove as modern smartphones took over the market. Sony has been on a slow downward slide for the last decade thanks to a string of mediocre, overpriced devices and failing relations with carriers. There have been some bright spots along the way, though, and Sony has been focusing on the hardware more in recent years. Last year's Xperia XZ3 was an encouraging improvement, and the new Xperia 1 is better still. However, it's just not good enough. Read More
I’ll just come right out and say it: gaming phones are a gimmick. You can get 99% of the same gaming experience using a flagship without sacrificing other core functionality like camera performance. And don’t get me wrong—shoulder buttons, blinking lights, and other gaming-specific features are certainly nice to have, but hardcore gaming on phones isn’t a big enough market (at least yet). In reality, too few mobile games are designed to take full advantage of extra controls or 90Hz displays.
Before you reach for your pitchforks, though, there’s one area where gaming phones have been leading the pack lately, and that’s value—at least on paper. Read More
The LG Stylo series has been a staple offering at prepaid carrier stores for years. The stylus-equipped Stylo 4 received fairly positive reviews when it was released last year, and now LG has followed it up with a sequel.
The Stylo 5 impressed me with its good design and amazing battery life, but it has the same faults as many of LG's other recent phones — including a clunky software experience and no guarantee of future Android updates. Still, there's a lot to like for around $200. Read More
The ~$300 active noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphone market is heating up. Bose was arguably the pioneer of the segment, but many other audio companies have since thrown their hats into the ring. One of the latest entrants is Audio-Technica, a company with plenty of reputation to uphold.
Having spent several weeks with the ATH-ANC900BT, I've found that it's deserving of the Audio-Technica logos on it in terms of sound quality, but it falls short in other arenas. It reminds me a lot of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II in many ways, both good and bad. Ultimately, I don't think it's worth the $299 asking price given all of the issues. Read More
Anker's recent PowerPort Atom PD 1 set a new standard when it came to wall chargers here at Android Police, so we were excited to take a look at the more powerful PowerPort Atom PD 2. Like its smaller sibling, this bigger version harnesses the magic of gallium nitride to pack more power into a smaller footprint, while also doubling both the number of Type-C outputs (2) and the maximum wattage (60W). Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to the smaller model's performance. Read More
True wireless Bluetooth earbuds were introduced in 2014 by the likes of the Bragi Dash and later popularized by the Apple Airpods. Since then, we've seen incremental developments like fitness tracking on the Jabra Elite Active 65T and wireless charging on the Samsung Galaxy Buds, but the form factor has essentially remained the same — a pair of earbuds stored inside a charging case that goes in your pocket. Aipower, a sub-brand of Aukey, is looking to shake things up with the Aipower Wearbuds (that recently went live on Kickstarter) by combining true wireless earbuds with a wrist-based fitness tracker. Read More
Charging isn't just something you have to do at home, that's why they make portable chargers/battery packs and super-small wall warts. But sometimes, you can't be sure where you'll get your power — not just in terms of which coffee shop or hotel you'll plug in at, but which country. If you travel a lot for work, you're used to the added complexity that travel adapters impose, but with a compact design thanks to gallium nitride, one 30W USB-C port, and three USB-A ports, Zendure's Passport Go might save some space in your rollaboard. It's a decent value at $39 right now, but it's set to get more expensive later. Read More
With the introduction of Plus models and decimals, HMD Global’s range of Nokia phones has taken on a somewhat bloated and hard to decipher form, far from the essential selection of handsets across various price points it started out as. With each new release, it gets harder for consumers to decide which budget phone in the burgeoning lineup is worth the money, which was no more apparent than when the Finnish company announced the Nokia 1 Plus, 3.2, and 4.2 at MWC back in February. The 4.2 appeared to be the most appealing of the bunch, and it went on sale in the US for $189 last month. Read More
Amazon has mastered the art of selling cheap Android tablets. The company shipped roughly 11.9 million tablets in 2018, passed only by Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. The combination of decent performance, Alexa integration, and low prices have made the success of the Fire lineup difficult to copy.
Walmart is already competing with Amazon on several fronts, so it only makes sense that the company would try to make tablets too. The Walmart "Onn" comes in two sizes, 8 inches and 10 inches, intended to compete with the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10, respectively. I bought the $65 8-inch model for review, and while it won't break any speed records, it undercuts the Fire HD 8 and has a better software experience to boot. Read More
There are a plethora of different home automation platforms like SmartThings, HomeKit, Wink, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and many more. Some of them play together nicely, but once you're mixing and matching, you're going to end up with a bunch of apps and hubs to control all of your devices, and some features just won't work with the provided software. Koushik Dutta (or Koush), the developer of beloved tools like ClockworkMod, has run into these limitations. To overcome his issues, he simply created a smart home hub himself that allows users and developers to script their own actions to interconnect their devices, similar to Tasker. Read More