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Reviews

34

Poco X3 Pro review, three months later: All the power you need (some MIUI quirks you don't)

Poco X3 Pro review, three months later: All the power you need (some MIUI quirks you don't)

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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2

TCL 20 Pro 5G review: Just another pretty face

TCL 20 Pro 5G review: Just another pretty face

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.

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74

Asus Zenfone 8 review, two months later: Still small, still mighty

Asus Zenfone 8 review, two months later: Still small, still mighty

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.

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30

This headphone stand is the most minimalist and elegant one I could find

This headphone stand is the most minimalist and elegant one I could find

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.

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131

OnePlus 9 Pro review: Updates are good... except when they're bad

OnePlus 9 Pro review: Updates are good... except when they're bad

OnePlus just can't catch a break these days — and it's pretty much the company's own fault. Right on the heels of a praiseworthy update commitment extension that had us excited to increase our review score, news drops that OnePlus has been throttling some of the most popular apps to better manage battery life and heat, and concerns regarding the recent not-quite-merger with Oppo and the blending of OxygenOS with Oppo's less-loved software have even some die-hard fans worried. In short, the days of a scrappy upstart are over, and a more mature OnePlus is stumbling even as it succeeds, with the OnePlus 9 Pro concisely embodying the struggle.

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22

Nokia 5.4 review, one month later: Price is a feature

Nokia 5.4 review, one month later: Price is a feature

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.

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6

Bowers & Wilkins PI7 review: Even great-sounding earbuds aren't worth this much

Bowers & Wilkins PI7 review: Even great-sounding earbuds aren't worth this much

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.

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56

OnePlus 9 long-term review: One step forward...

OnePlus 9 long-term review: One step forward...

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.

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41

Pixel Buds A-Series review, one month later: Drop beats, not bucks

Pixel Buds A-Series review, one month later: Drop beats, not bucks

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 company itself), 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.

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34

OnePlus Watch review, two months later: Time to let go (of the hope this will ever be a good watch)

OnePlus Watch review, two months later: Time to let go (of the hope this will ever be a good watch)

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.

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