A couple of months ago, my brother in law came to me with a question: he needed an affordable $200-300 Android smartphone that he could purchase from the UAE or Lebanon and that would do the basics right. My ready-made answer in the category in the past few years has been Samsung's A/C/J series. You get nice hardware, decent software with less bloat nowadays, excellent after-sale support no matter which mom-and-pop repair store you stop at, easy accessory purchase, and it's super fast to sell it on when the time comes to part with your phone. But that's only because Samsung's presence in Lebanon is huge, LG's midrange devices are too costly for the features, Moto and HTC essentially don't exist, Nokia/HMD hadn't begun selling phones again yet, and Huawei started breaking into the market about a year or so ago. Read More
The Moto X4 was released a few months ago, and there are two different versions of the phone (at least in the United States). The first is an Android One Edition with completely stock Android, and the second has Motorola's standard software changes. The former is now receiving an update to Android 8.0 Oreo, as many owners have confirmed. Read More
Xiaomi phones usually have great hardware, but less than impressive software. That's why we were excited to see and review the Mi A1, the company's first Android One device. Given the phone's branding, Oreo was expected to arrive sooner than it would to MIUI-running devices. Lo and behold, it has - at least in the form of a beta. Read More
An updated version of this guide is available here
It's that time of year again. Knowing our audience, chances are that you're looking for some sort of gadget to purchase for yourself or someone else. Whether the smartphone being replaced is too old, too bootloopy, or just doesn't have all the features you want, we've got you covered with our choices for the best smartphones you can buy.
The sheer number of smartphones on the market today makes narrowing the choices down difficult. So many factors - battery life, cameras, displays, software, water resistance, and more - come into play, but our goal is to find the best all-rounders out there. 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
Android One has been getting a fresh breath of life in the past months thanks to an expansion into new countries with the Xiaomi Mi A1 and Moto X4 Android One version. One other device we've been hearing about is the HTC U11 Life, codenamed HTC Ocean_Life. Last month we got a glimpse at what it would look like and now HTC leakster @LlabTooFer has posted the alleged specs of the phone. Read More
Project Fi, Google's pre-paid carrier, isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Now that the Nexus 5X and 6P are not sold (and suffering from hardware issues), the only phones available on Fi are the Pixel and Pixel XL. And unlike most pre-paid carriers, you can't use whatever device you want, as Fi uses specialized software to switch between networks. Customers have been asking Project Fi to begin selling cheaper devices once again, and the carrier has been listening. Read More
Android One is having somewhat of a resurgence right now. Xiaomi just released an Android One phone, and Motorola might be working on an A1 version of the Moto X4. Now it looks like HTC will be releasing one too, albeit with a massive bottom bezel. Read More
After a lot of leaking, the Moto X4 made its formal debut at IFA. But it looks like even a released phone can still be leaked if it has two small words printed on the back of it: Android One. That's right - the latest leak from pro leakster @evleaks depicts a Moto X4 with a small Android One tramp stamp on its back. Could this be the first Android One phone for the US? Read More
We haven't heard a lot from Android One lately, but it seems that the program is catching on in several countries like Japan and Turkey. You can add India to that list, as well as several dozens other countries thanks to the announcement of the new Xiaomi Mi A1.
Xiaomi had teased a new "flagship dual camera" on Twitter a few days ago, and just like the rumors predicted, this is the Mi A1, the latest Android One (A1, geddit?) phone. And I have to say, Xiaomi pulled all the stops there. It's an impressive device for an impressive little price. Read More