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.
This story was originally published and last updated .
TCL has spent most of the modern smartphone era making phones under brand names like Alcatel and BlackBerry, but it recently stepped out of the shadows to brand phones as plain old "TCL." It's released a few mid-range devices over the past year, but the TCL 20 Pro 5G is the most ambitious piece of hardware yet. It has a high-quality OLED screen, a quartet of cameras, and a very attractive design. However, TCL is also asking more for this phone, and the $500 price tag puts it up against capable phones from Samsung, Motorola, and others.
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 ⋮Zenfone 8.
Since landing in Paris, I've been on a quest to put together the perfect work station. After all, if I left my pharmacy in Lebanon and was going to commit to this blogging thing for a while, I needed my setup to be as comfortable and as practical as it could be. I started with the desk itself (but that's a story for another day), a new blue iMac to complement my Pixelbook, and went all the way down the price meter to smaller and cheaper accessories. I've already talked to you about my new USB-C desk lamp and now it's time we addressed my minimalist Ugreen headphone stand.
For as much fun as it can be to go hands-on with an over-the-top, preposterously expensive, gimmick-driven flagship phone, I've long held a special affinity for those that manage to do more with less — the affordable handsets. And while I still carry a torch for old Nexus models or the early days of OnePlus, today's budget market looks very different. Players like Samsung (and until recently, LG) make sure they have their bases covered with both premium and affordable models alike, while others like HMD's Nokia line have been catering more or less specifically to this segment.
The true wireless earbud market is on fire at the moment, at just about every budget level. But according to the reviewers (including our own), Sony's the king of the ultra-premium hill. A smaller audiophile brand, Bowers & Wilkins, is aiming to usurp the throne with its very first set of TWEs, the PI7.
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 any more. 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.
This month, Google is releasing its third pair of wireless Pixel Buds. They've been a pretty poorly kept secret. After all the leaks (some from the companyitself), you might already know what to expect here: 2020's Pixel Buds with some features removed and a new, lower price tag.
And these new earbuds are exactly that. Like the Pixel a phones that inspired their name, the Pixel Buds A-Series take what works about Google's flagship earbuds, strip out some higher-end features, and cost way less. If I were buying a pair of Google's earbuds today, it'd be these — and it's not just because they're $80 cheaper than last year's.
If you want a smartwatch to pair with your Android phone, you've got a lot of options. There are Wear OS watches from a billion different manufacturers, plus Fitbits, Samsung's Galaxy Watch devices, and plenty more niche picks. This month, OnePlus tossed its hat in the ring with the creatively named OnePlus Watch. For $159, it offers quality hardware and great battery life — but crappy custom software makes using it a miserable experience.