With the introduction of Plus models and decimals, HMD Global’s range of Nokia phones has taken on a somewhat bloated and hard to decipher form, far from the essential selection of handsets across various price points it started out as. With each new release, it gets harder for consumers to decide which budget phone in the burgeoning lineup is worth the money, which was no more apparent than when the Finnish company announced the Nokia 1 Plus, 3.2, and 4.2 at MWC back in February. The 4.2 appeared to be the most appealing of the bunch, and it went on sale in the US for $189 last month. Read More
In a long-expected move, OnePlus launched a more premium device earlier this month with a more premium price tag to boot. US consumers were presented the OnePlus 7 Pro as the only option for a brand-new OnePlus phone, but other markets have also been treated a with a cheaper alternative. The standard OnePlus 7 is something of an updated 6T — practically identical on the outside but with some significant enhancements on the inside — and at £499/€559, it also starts at the same price. Interestingly, the OnePlus 7 is even cheaper than the 6T in India where it starts at just 32,999 INR. Read More
The Pixel 3a, Google’s new entry-level smartphone starts at an attractive $399, and comes in only two configurations: regular and extra large. The 3a XL is the phone I’ve been using for over a week now, and it costs a bit more, at $479. But that seems eminently reasonable for the larger 6” screen and 3700mAh battery the extra $80 net you. Otherwise, there really aren’t any noteworthy differences: both phones have 64GB of storage, 4GB of RAM (yes, yes, I know), Snapdragon 670 processors, and identical cameras. And no doubt, many people’s first question with a cheaper version of any phone will be “what am I giving up?” To be sure, that’s important - and you can find the answers over here. Read More
I reviewed the Galaxy S10+, and I had a lot of positive things to say about it. Epic battery life, an outstanding display, and performance that blew away almost anything coming out of 2018 set a new bar for smartphones this year, and I still think all that's true. But it's a phone with drawbacks: a fairly terrible fingerprint scanner, a very high price, and a bunch of secondary cameras that really aren't all that great, making them feel like afterthoughts. The standard Galaxy S10 doesn't really do much to redeem those faults - it's a bit cheaper, sure, but you take such a substantial hit on battery life that it's hard to say it comes with no tradeoffs. Read More
Since Samsung unveiled the Infinity-O display, anticipation has been building for notchless phones with what's become known as the hole-punch camera cutout. The View20, from Huawei sub-brand Honor, was unveiled in Paris today for the European market after debuting in Hong Kong at the end of 2018. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it's certainly refreshing. The 4.5mm camera hole might not be quite as inconspicuous as Honor's marketing materials would have us believe, but it's got to be better than a notch, right?
The other major selling point of the View20 is that it's the first phone to ship with a 48MP camera sensor — the Sony IMX586 CMOS — with tiny 0.8 μm pixels. Read More
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is a jack of all trades. It makes a variety of connected gadgets, including TVs, toothbrushes, scooters, and even kettles. Yet, we know it mostly as a smartphone maker, and it’s now the fourth-largest in the world. It’s reached those lofty heights thanks to a simple promise: quality hardware at rock-bottom prices, and its flagship Mi 8 lineup is a prime example of that. Read More
When it was first released, Essential's entry into the phone market was a bit of a flop. Reviews for the PH-1 weren't profoundly negative, but the phone's almost $700 price was humorously high considering its features and problems at the time. A bit over a year later, many of its early issues have been fixed or improved, the phone is one of just a handful to be updated to Android 9 Pie, and it's dropped down as cheap as $250 for Amazon Prime Day — though it's closer to $330 now. Read More
We've been critical when it comes to Android Go-powered phones in the US, but Asus' new Zenfone Live L1 is set to change our mind. It's the first genuinely good experience I've had with the platform, and combined with a Snapdragon 425, 3,000mAh battery, and price-defying 5.5" 720p IPS display, I think it could be the best phone you can buy for $110. At least, it will be once Asus fixes a serious issue it has with randomly locking up, which the company promises with a future update. Read More
Affordable phones will always be a compromise, but Google hopes it can make entry-level devices a bit better with something new: Android Go. It's the same Android platform you know and presumably love, but optimized for sub-1GB RAM environments. That way low-end hardware can have its own low-end version of Android, rather than suffering an OEM debate between shoehorning in the latest version to perform terribly, or an older version which won't be secure or feature-filled.
Enter the Alcatel 1X. It's the second Android Go device to hit the US behind the ZTE Tempo Go—and the only one you can actually buy right now—at a mere $100. Read More