Xiaomi offers a compelling flagship lineup with the Mi 11 and the Mi 11 Ultra, though its bread and butter remains the budget market. But the company can still capitalize on the excellent Mi 11 brand name to make its latest budget offerings more appealing, and that's exactly what it's doing with the Mi 11 Lite 4G, the most affordable member of the family at roughly $300.
5G isn't a reason by itself to buy a phone in 2021, no matter what carrier marketing might tell you. But as we're all now falling down the crest of that transition, it does mean a phone might last longer, and that's key to understanding the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. Right now, you can buy a faster and ostensibly better 5G mid-range phone for about the same price, and it's called the Nord N10 5G. But Samsung's better software commitment helps ensure you won't just be replacing it again in a year or two. It's a trade-off, and only you can say if it's worth it.
The Xiaomi Mi 11X (aka the Redmi K40 or the Poco F3) is one of the first phones to use the 870, and the competitive price ensures you won’t have to empty your bank account to get blazing fast performance. However, there’s more to a phone than that, and with a couple of notable competitors like the iQOO 7 and the Realme X7 Pro in the vicinity, is the phone worth picking over?
There's no doubt that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is a beast — as a gaming phone, it packs all of the latest and greatest hardware, and that makes it a really chunky boy. Asus has a laser focus on gaming-centric features that will delight its core demographic, but the ROG 5 isn’t a complete nightmare to use outside of gaming either. The ROG Phone 5 offers stable everyday use with the added benefit of killer specs that can be tweaked and adjusted like a gaming PC. This is indeed a phone for gamers, but that means it lacks some popular features, and the software has some rough edges.
What happens when a company that made its name with incredible values tries to build a phone with every feature imaginable? You get the impressive but imperfect Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. This is Xiaomi's second ultra-branded phone but the first one that takes ultra to heart. From specs to design to camera hardware, everything about this phone is truly ultra... except the battery life.
Xiaomi's phones have long been known for their exceptional value proposition. You can always find the latest specs and features in a Xiaomi flagship phone, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg. It's something you don't often see these days when $1,000 has become the standard price for high-end hardware. That's not how Xiaomi rolls, though. With the Mi 11, Xiaomi has one of the best flagship phones on the market, offering killer specs and a great value, unless you happen to be in the US.
Samsung's A-series phones have become a known quantity: they're good, moderately priced devices, targeted at folks who might not care what processor their phone has or even know what RAM is. But as the delta between mid-range and flagship shrinks, less-expensive options like the Galaxy A52 are getting better and better — you don't have to give up nearly as much to save some money as you used to. The A52 is so solid, in fact, that I wouldn't mind using it full time — if it weren't for a couple sore spots, anyway.
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. Today I want to look at one of the better-equipped of these still-very-affordable offerings, the mid-range Nokia 5.4.
RedMagic isn't a big name in the US, but it's been busy carving out a niche for budget gaming phones. Gaming phones almost always come with compromises, and a budget option even more so. Still, for $600, the RedMagic 6 is killer on paper with a Snapdragon 888, 12GB of RAM, and a 165Hz display, but prodigious specs aren't always enough when poor support is on the table. Still, some mobile gamers might make that trade-off for super-smooth gameplay when the RedMagic 6 launches later this month.
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 upcoming Zenfone 8.