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Phone Reviews

271

Our Galaxy S20 Ultra review, one month later: Disappointment rising

Samsung's 2020 Galaxy S family includes three devices again, but they've all moved a bit up-market from 2019. There's no "e" variant this year, and the base model S20 starts at $1,000. Samsung understandably favors the top-of-the-line model, the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra. This phone has all the bells and whistles including a Snapdragon 865, 5G (sub-6 and mmWave), and a revamped camera setup featuring a periscope zoom module. With all that hardware, the S20 Ultra has ballooned to 6.9-inches, and it weighs almost half a pound. By attempting to make no compromises, I worry Samsung has compromised the S20 Ultra itself.

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131

Galaxy Z Flip review: It's almost time to throw away your old, boring, non-folding phone

The progress we've made with folding phones in just the last year is stunning. We went from teasing the concept behind a glass box to several shipping products in just about no time, culminating almost precisely one year later in this: the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. It's a folding vision from the future, loaded with flaws and bent like a scythe in preparation of the Flat Phone Reaping. Even if you don't buy the Z Flip (and you shouldn't), your current phone's days are numbered.

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12

Realme X2 Pro review: Incredible value, but plenty of room for camera improvements

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.

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21

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro review: For the few who prioritize mobile gaming over all else

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.

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88

Pixel 3a, revisited: Android 10 makes this an even better budget phone

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.

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54

OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren review: Trading battery life for an extra G

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.

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35

Fairphone 3 review: A surprisingly great repairable phone with one fatal flaw

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.

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122

OnePlus 7T Pro review: The best OnePlus phone, but not the one you should buy

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.

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10

LG G8X ThinQ with Dual Screen review: A different way to fold, with trade-offs all its own

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.

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477

Pixel 4 and 4 XL review: Every Pixel has a silver lining (Update: Two weeks later)

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.

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