The creators behind the Fairphone tout a special mission that contrasts sharply with the rest of the industry: They want to create repairable, long-lasting devices sourced from the fairest possible resources. Of course, this means compromises you won't see in other modern phones. The advantage of the removable back and the replaceable parts makes the Fairphone 3 bigger, less efficient, and more "old-fashioned" than other phones. Plus, some performance sacrifices had to be made to keep the price reasonable. Read More
When I shared my first impressions of the OnePlus 7T Pro a few weeks back, the sum of my observations was that nothing much had changed since the last generation. Having spent more time with the phone, that's even more apparent, and so are its various imperfections. While all the things that made the 7 Pro great are still present, OnePlus has done little to improve its flagship offering, and some of the omissions are even more glaring six months down the line.
To readers in the US, this will come as something of a relief since only the more affordable OnePlus 7T is available to buy in the region. Read More
Every smartphone manufacturer wants to get in on the ground floor of the latest trends, and in 2019 the name of the game is “folding.” After teasing flexible technology at trade shows for years, we're finally seeing the arrival of big-screen phones that bend down the middle for easy storage. But other companies are turning to more old-school tech to accomplish a similar feat, like LG and its dual-screen hardware. After getting started with the V50, LG's back with its follow-up: the G8X with Dual Screen case. Read More
Google has been selling smartphones for more than a decade at this point, but it's only on the fourth generation of Pixel phones. The Pixel era is when Google got serious about building a cohesive product that married hardware and software rather than just a vehicle for the latest stock version of Android. With the Pixel 4, it's clear that Google has learned a lot from the last three generations of Pixels, but I worry it hasn't learned all the right lessons. Read More
By now you’re probably familiar with the Huawei ban. Back in May, as part of the US government’s pointless trade war with China, Huawei was put on an “entity list” preventing American companies from doing business with the Chinese giant. As a result, Huawei lost access to Intel and Qualcomm’s chips, Microsoft and Google’s software — like Windows and Google Mobile Services (GMS) — and much more US tech.
Huawei mostly makes phones using its own Kirin processors, so losing access to Qualcomm’s hardware isn’t a huge issue. The company can also continue using Android since it’s open source. But losing access to GMS means new Huawei phones cannot run Google’s apps or services, or third party apps that use Google’s APIs — a deal breaker in many markets, including Europe, where Huawei handsets are extremely popular. Read More
The OnePlus 7T sounds like my perfect phone on paper, packing a nice high-end chipset, a bright 1,000 nit 90Hz screen, and the latest Android 10 software. While flagships are pushing the market into fatigue at over a thousand dollars, this phone champions affordability at "just" $600. In fact, I loved almost everything about the OnePlus 7T, though folks like me who are picky when it comes to screens may be disappointed. Read More
We've already taken a look at KaiOS, the operating system for flip phones that Google has invested millions of dollars into. It's designed to bring improvements from the smartphone era, such as personal device tracking and VoLTE, back to the world (and price point) of feature phones. The platform is already a smash hit in countries like India, but until now, the only KaiOS phones to appear in the United States are running older OS versions with the app store and other features missing. Read More
As much as I like to credit to HMD Global for giving Motorola some desperately-needed competition here in America, some of the company's latest phones have been... problematic. The Nokia 4.2 suffers from performance issues, the 9 PureView had a buggy camera and fingerprint sensor, and last year's Nokia 7.1 has a handful of hardware and software problems.
The newest device in Nokia's lineup is the 7.2, a mid-range device priced at $350 in the United States and €299 in Europe. It has a similar design to last year's 7.1 (gotta love the notch-and-chin combo) with the same price, but the hardware has received a minor refresh, and there's an all-new camera setup. Read More
Asus has been on a roll with its Android devices lately. The Zenfone 6 made headlines earlier this year for bringing flagship specifications to a sub-$500 price point, giving OnePlus a run for its money. Last year's ROG Phone, sold under the company's 'Republic of Gamers' brand, was also a pretty great device. Nearly a year later, Asus has followed it up with a sequel. Read More
Between my podcast and my various writing gigs, I play with a lot of new phones — about one per week, actually. Most of these are the usual sort of high-end stuff (both premium and affordable), some are specialized, niche products, and a few are mid-range devices. Obviously, my dance card is pretty full, so I rarely get the chance to dip my toes in the pool of oddball Chinese phones. I recently partnered with an online store for my blog and they offered to send me a sub-$300 handset of my choice. I settled on the uleFone Armor 6E, an affordable, ruggedized phone with decent specs — at least on paper. Read More