Realme might be the newest and least well known of the BBK Electronics family that includes Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus, but it’s certainly no less ambitious. After starting out as an Oppo sub-brand it was given license to operate more independently in 2017, and since then Realme has sold so many devices that it’s now the fastest-growing smartphone maker in the world. Its foray into the European market only really began in earnest this year, but aggressive pricing looks to be to paying dividends as it goes after more established Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Honor/Huawei.
The X2 Pro is the company’s first proper flagship, and it quickly grabbed our attention when it was introduced to the European market in October due to the insane spec to price ratio. Read More
In spite of the fact that smartphones just don't make for great gaming platforms, there's no shortage of gaming-centric phones on the market. Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 Pro is the latest one to hit the market, going toe-to-toe with offerings from ASUS, Razer, and ZTE. The Black Shark 2 Pro certainly looks the part, and at $599 in the US, it offers some great specs for the money. That said, unless you champion the Android video game experience over all else, you're probably better off looking elsewhere. Read More
The Pixel 3a was Android Police's Smartphone of the Year, and for good reason. It marked Google's return to the budget phone arena, which it left after the Nexus 5X and 6P were retired in 2016. More importantly, the 3a is just a really good phone, with decent performance and one of the best cameras in the smartphone world.
In light of the Pixel 3a's recent update to Android 10, and the impending release of its sequel, we thought it was a good time to check in again on the 3a. In what will likely be a surprise to no one, Android 10 makes it better than ever. Read More
OnePlus came out of nowhere barely five years ago, offering a compellingly cheap flagship phone with... questionable marketing. OnePlus has grown up a lot over the years, and it's no longer reliant on unlocked phone purchases. Not only has OnePlus partnered with carriers over the past year, it has produced some of the first 5G phones in the US market. The new OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren has a mouthful of a name, but it's probably the first 5G phone that's even worth your consideration. Read More
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