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52

iPhone 12 Mini review: Android needs good tiny phones like this one

iPhone 12 Mini review: Android needs good tiny phones like this one

Apple single-handedly defines directions and trends in the smartphone market, so it's especially curious to see the company release a Mini version of the latest iPhone 12. Compact flagship phones have petered out in the world of Android now that even Sony seems to have given up on them, but this year's move could forecast a shift back to small, good phones if the iPhone 12 Mini sells well enough. After using the phone for the last two weeks, I'm utterly sure that it will, and even Android users might be interested now that iOS has picked up a few familiar features.

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32

OnePlus Nord N10 5G review: A disappointment at any price

OnePlus Nord N10 5G review: A disappointment at any price

OnePlus is moving downmarket with its new Nord brand, following up on the smash-hit original with the new N10 5G. Unfortunately, this latest model doesn't live up to the original's name. While US pricing isn't official yet, there's no reason to buy one in Europe, and that would be true even if it weren't for all the launch bugs.

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11

Nokia 8 V 5G UW review: Strong clearance bin energy

Nokia 8 V 5G UW review: Strong clearance bin energy

HMD Global has been one of the leaders in budget Android phones for a while now, using the Nokia brand to sell a wide variety of devices. The Nokia 9 PureView was the company's first shot a flagship phone, but it had a few issues and was only available unlocked. HMD has now returned with a new high-end option: the Nokia 8 V 5G UW.

The Nokia 8 V 5G UW is the latest smartphone that aims to bring millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G, which delivers gigabit speeds in the right situations), to the masses. It also represents HMD Global's first shot at creating a high-end device for a major US network.

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8

TCL 10 5G UW review: Verizon's cheapest 5G phone actually doesn't suck

TCL 10 5G UW review: Verizon's cheapest 5G phone actually doesn't suck

It wasn't long ago that we were lamenting the "5G tax" in high-end devices. As recently as this summer, many phones were launching at astronomical prices, solely because they were able to pull marginally faster mobile data speeds in certain markets (in theory, at least). Today, 5G is still dubiously useful to most consumers, but a series of competent, competitively-priced 5G phones like the Samsung Galaxy A71, Galaxy S20 FE, Pixel 4a 5G, and, to an extent, even the Pixel 5 have changed our thinking about what 5G access has to cost.

The new Verizon-exclusive TCL 10 5G UW pushes the affordable 5G envelope even further.

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21

LG Wing review: The fever-dream of a phone that 2020 deserves

LG Wing review: The fever-dream of a phone that 2020 deserves

Phones have gotten boring in the last few years, but things are getting weird again, and thank goodness. I have been doing this long enough to remember the last time phones got weird—I've reviewed phones with spring-loaded keyboards, tablet docks, curved bodies, and all manner of multi-screen configurations. After settling on the flat glass slab form factor, OEMs are finally starting to take more risks. No phone better exemplifies this trend than the LG Wing. While LG has been pushing dual-screen accessories for a while, the Wing is the first modern LG phone that integrates a second screen in the handset.

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108

Pixel 4a 5G review: Buy this instead of the Pixel 5

Pixel 4a 5G review: Buy this instead of the Pixel 5

Google's Pixel 5 is here, but it didn't exactly blow our minds. Released alongside it is another phone that's more worthy of your consideration: The Pixel 4a 5G. Ignore the name, it's basically a Pixel 5 but $200 cheaper. You give up on a few benefits like an IP rating, 90Hz display, and metal build, but you get a bigger screen and a headphone jack, all with the same camera and internals.

Frankly, we don't see a reason for most folks to buy the Pixel 5 over this.

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88

Microsoft Surface Duo review, one month later: Enthusiastically an enthusiast's phone

Microsoft Surface Duo review, one month later: Enthusiastically an enthusiast's phone

Over the past few years, smartphones have stopped evolving at a rapid pace and settled into iterative, yawn-inducing update cycles. Just like how a desktop PC from eight years ago can still handle basic productivity tasks in 2020, a flagship smartphone from two or three years ago isn't radically different from what you can buy today, and there’s only so much room for innovation in the flat glass slab form factor. This has sent some manufacturers to go back to the drawing board in search of something more radical and exciting. Samsung has released several foldable phones, LG is developing a dual-screen device, and now Microsoft has the Surface Duo.

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304

The Pixel 5 is not enough — and way too much

The Pixel 5 is not enough — and way too much

I've been using the Pixel 5 for the better part of a week now, and it's the first Google phone in years I'm getting a very particular feeling about. It takes great photos, I think the physical design is muted in a very charmingly Google way, and the software is exactly the unfettered Android experience I've come to know and love. But I'm just not sure how long I'm going to keep using it now that this review has gone up.

The Pixel 5 is by its nature an exercise in compromise. A slower chipset, the lack of face unlock, a missing telephoto camera lens, and cost cuts on components like haptics make it a bizarre case of this year's phone being worse in very material ways than last year's.

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19

Poco X3 NFC review: A masterclass in value

Poco X3 NFC review: A masterclass in value

Xiaomi’s been busy this year. In addition to launching a plethora of Xiaomi and Redmi-branded phones, the company’s turned Poco into its own sub-brand, starting with the Poco X2 in February, followed by the Poco F2 Pro in May, Poco M2 Pro in July, plus the Poco X3 NFC and Poco M2 in September. What started off as a single, $300 handset with flagship specs in 2018 — the Poco F1 (or Pocophone F1) — is now an entire product line.

Granted, Xiaomi’s mostly re-branding Redmi devices here, with Poco handsets getting a few hardware and software tweaks like unique memory and storage configurations, and a bespoke launcher.

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53

OnePlus 8T review: Not the value king anymore

OnePlus 8T review: Not the value king anymore

OnePlus is the definition of "disruptor" in the smartphone space — or it used to be. Early devices like the OnePlus One and OnePlus 3 blew minds without burning wallets. Over the years, that value proposition has dwindled as competitors rise to the occasion, bringing us to 2020. OnePlus has a whole "Pro" line of higher-end models now, soon to be augmented by mid-range and budget phones. Among this growing selection, the "base" OnePlus is being lost, and while the 8T is a good phone, it just can't compete on value.

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