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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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).
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.
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.
The OnePlus 7T sounds like my perfect phone on paper, packing a nice high-end chipset, a bright 1,000 nit 90Hz screen, and the latest Android 10 software. While flagships are pushing the market into fatigue at over a thousand dollars, this phone champions affordability at "just" $600. In fact, I loved almost everything about the OnePlus 7T, though folks like me who are picky when it comes to screens may be disappointed.
The Galaxy Note10+ is the biggest Galaxy Note Samsung's released yet (which tends to be the case every year), but I'll get straight to the point: it's quite possibly the one with the fewest differences from its smaller Galaxy S siblings, as well. Even size doesn't seem to be much of a differentiator anymore, as the six-month-old Galaxy S10+ is a scant few millimeters shorter and narrower than the mighty Note10+. This is where I've ended up after using the phone for a couple of weeks, and I just can't shake that comparison.
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.
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.
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?”