"It's interesting." That's what I heard most often when I would show someone ZTE's bizarre dual-screen phone.
And, inevitably, "Who's it for?"
I never came up with a good answer. The Axon M is unlike any other smartphone on the market. Some people have made a point of likening it to the long-deceased Kyocera Echo, and while it is similar to that phone, the concept has evolved a fair bit. The Axon M is more mature, more considered, and more thoughtful - ZTE clearly spent time thinking about how a dual-screen phone would work, and how to minimize some of (though definitely not all) the pain points it would present. Read More
OnePlus is no longer satisfied to launch just one flagship phone each year. Just like last cycle, we're faced with a new OP smartphone that's not entirely new. OnePlus has just unveiled the OnePlus 5T, and it's very much the phone you expected to see. That's not just because of the leaks—we all sort of know what to expect from OnePlus now. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Even with the small price hike, this still seems like a strong competitor. Read More
Huawei isn't a widely known name in the US market, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese company from becoming the second largest smartphone maker on the planet. As its fortunes have risen, so has the quality of the hardware. Last year's Mate 9 was a reliable phone, and Huawei's revamped Nougat version of Android eliminated many of the pain points from its past devices.
Now, we've got the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro on the horizon. The Mate 10 Pro, which is the phone we'll be talking about today, is the more expensive of the two. Despite being called "Pro," it lacks some of the features power users have come to expect like a microSD card, headphone jack, and 1440p display. Read More
For years, LG's smartphones have always seemed to trail Samsung's in some crucial ways. Being direct rivals hailing from the same country, this must rub LG the wrong way. Samsung's OLED displays have always bested LG's IPS LCDs. Its cameras have generally been well ahead in terms of quality and features. Samsung was waterproofing its phones before LG was. Samsung Pay beat LG Pay. Samsung's Gear smartwatches have received far more critical acclaim than LG's Android Wear ones.
And when LG has been able to get features to market before Samsung - curved displays and wireless charging, for example - Samsung has become known for them, while LG gets little credit. Read More
The HTC U11 Life is one of two new smartphones announced by HTC today. I've been using it for over a week already, though, getting to know HTC's latest attempt to penetrate the ever-elusive premium midrange segment. At $349, the Life is positioned to do battle against the likes of the Moto X4 and, I guess, the 64GB Moto G5S Plus. That's really kind of it.
You see, here in America there are very few premium midrange phones on the market because, quite frankly, they don't sell. The reason they don't sell is simple: monthly installment plans make more expensive, better smartphones affordable for most people. Read More
Asus just announced its Zenfone 4 family of devices a couple of months ago, creating a convoluted and confusing portfolio. To kick things off, we have the Zenfone 4 Max on the lower end of the group. For $199, you get budget-level specs, except for the massive 5,000mAh battery. Besides it just being large and providing a lot of life, the Zenfone 4 Max's battery can also charge other devices. Cool, right? Read More
Motorola had hit a rough patch when Google came calling back in 2011. It took some time to clear out the queue of sub-standard devices, but the first true Google-backed Motorola effort came in 2013 with the launch of the Moto X. This device broke new ground with clever software features like Moto Display (called Active Display at the time) and a customizable design. Motorola made a few more Moto X phones, all of which were excellent devices. Lenovo didn't keep the Moto X going when it took over from Google, preferring to sell devices like the modular Moto Z.
Here we are, two years after the last Moto X launched, and there's another phone that calls itself "Moto X." This is the Moto X4, a device that comes with the added distinction of being the first Android One phone in the US. Read More
We were all a little concerned to see the Nexus program come to an end, but Google assuaged our fears with the 2016 Pixel phones. They weren't the prettiest devices on the market, but the Pixels showed what was possible when Google got serious about making a phone. These devices had terrific cameras and consistently fast performance—even to this day the Pixel and Pixel XL are robust experiences. They were not perfect, though.
The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are a chance for Google to address some shortcomings from last year while keeping the things that worked. Google has done that for the most part. Read More
Xiaomi phones always have the same problem. While the company's devices have generally great specifications and design for the price, the software experience is usually not very good. If you've read one of our Xiaomi device reviews, or used one of the company's phones yourself, you probably know what I'm talking about.
All of Xiaomi's phones and tablets ship with MIUI, a heavily modified version of Android that has countless problems. Some of these include Bluetooth connectivity bugs, terrible notification handling, and over-the-top power management that can outright break notifications for many apps. Jordan went in depth about MIUI's issues here, if you're interested in details. Read More
It's been a few years since the Motorola that we knew and loved was replaced by what I like to call Lenovorola. Gone are the quick updates, Moto Maker, and a lot of other things that made Motorola great; instead, we now have a ton of different models, super slow (or potentially nonexistent) updates, and strange-looking camera bumps. Read More