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phone review

34

RedMagic 5S review: Great at games, but not much else

RedMagic 5S review: Great at games, but not much else

Gaming phones are a newer niche for Android devices, and Nubia is one of the companies running headlong into this fledgling field. This past May, we took a look at the Red Magic 5, and we did not come away impressed thanks to numerous bugs and compromises. Now that the Red Magic 5S is here, and we can say for certain that features like internal cooling and a high refresh rate come at a cost: the Red Magic 5S is good for gaming but not much else.

The Red Magic 5 isn't a complete wash—its gaming-centric features and performance help to even out the device's lack of polish.

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157

Galaxy Note20 Ultra long-term review: A (physically) massive success

Galaxy Note20 Ultra long-term review: A (physically) massive success

The Galaxy Note is an unusual smartphone for one reason, and one reason only in 2020: its stylus, the beloved S Pen. And while everything else about it feels incredibly familiar, it's impossible to deny that no other phone can scratch the very particular itch Samsung does with the Note. If you were a bit of cynic, you'd probably sum up the Note20 Ultra as "an S20 Ultra with a pen," and I'll level with you: you wouldn't really be wrong.

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352

Google Pixel 4a review, two weeks later: All the phone you need, none of what you don't

Google Pixel 4a review, two weeks later: All the phone you need, none of what you don't

The Pixel 3a debuted at Google I/O 2019, and it was closer to budget smartphone nirvana than any phone in the US that came before it. That was, until Apple responded with the iPhone SE. The Pixel 4a is Google's counterpunch, and while many would argue it's an apples to oranges (or Pixels) comparison, I think the Pixel 4a actually comes out on top of the iPhone SE in a lot of important ways.

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233

OnePlus Nord review: Back to flagship killing

OnePlus Nord review: Back to flagship killing

OnePlus got started with affordable so-called “flagship killers” like the OnePlus One and OnePlus 3. But over the years, its phones have become more expensive (as have most phones, to be fair). Its focus on getting more features and advanced hardware has increased too, though, culminating in the recent OnePlus 8 Pro — every bit a true "flagship," and with a price tag to match. Fans of the brand have thus yearned for a return to the alluring value proposition of old, and the company has finally obliged in the form of the OnePlus Nord.

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15

TCL 10L review: Stretching what you get for $250

TCL 10L review: Stretching what you get for $250

It's not often we get a new name in the Android ecosystem, but following its freshman Plex, TCL is putting its best foot forward with three new phones this year. So far as I'm concerned, it's the budget-oriented TCL 10L that's the star of the lineup. With flagship prices skyrocketing to well over a thousand dollars, this $250 phone better serves a bigger audience. But software is a question — in more ways than one.

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74

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: A surprise Pixel 4a challenger

Samsung Galaxy A51 review: A surprise Pixel 4a challenger

With the Galaxy S20 series starting a thousand dollars, many cash-strapped Samsung fans are probably considering more affordable upgrade options this year. And apparently, Samsung anticipated this (and if it didn't, it sure knows now), as it's making more of its low-end and mid-range lineup available in the US than ever before. Not only did it give last year's S10 series a price cut while continuing to keep it on sale alongside the S20, but it also debuted the Galaxy S10 Lite in America, adding yet more choices to its growing smartphone portfolio.

But Samsung has dug even deeper into bag o' phones, with the mid-range and mid-range-plus Galaxy A51 and A71.

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120

Galaxy Z Flip review, two months later: The right phone at the wrong time

Galaxy Z Flip review, two months later: The right phone at the wrong time

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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117

Red Magic 5G review: Proof that specs don't make magic

Red Magic 5G review: Proof that specs don't make magic

If you've never heard of a Red Magic smartphone, we're not surprised: the gaming-focused sub-brand of Nubia (itself a sub-brand of ZTE) doesn't have a lot of name recognition in America, or really anywhere. But this isn't the first time we've reviewed a Red Magic phone, and I've got something of a soft spot in my heart for last year's Red Magic 3S. As an everyday smartphone, it really wasn't fantastic, but its largely stock Android software and strong gaming performance at a seriously low price made it an attractive option as a dedicated gaming phone, for people who want such a thing (and I'm not sure how many such people there are).

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37

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

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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118

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

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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