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LG V40 review: The best LG's ever built still isn't quite enough

The LG V40 is almost certainly the best smartphone the company has ever released. It has the best cameras, the best display, the best performance, and the most refined design of any LG phone I've ever used. And in 2018, that just isn't enough to more than an also-ran in the high-end smartphone space. At $950 unlocked, the V40 seeks to play in the smartphone big leagues with the Galaxy Note9 and iPhone XS. The sad truth is that for all this phone does right, it does just enough wrong (or simply, not as well) to knock itself out of contention.

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Superbook review: Turning the dream of a laptop-phone into a nightmare

Many of us hope for the eternal dream of convergence, that the day may come when a phone can serve double duty as a laptop via a bit of cheap, dumb hardware. Motorola had its mediocre Lapdock, and Canonical tried and failed to crowdfund the Ubuntu Edge. More recently, Samsung's DeX dock has built a small fanbase for its desktop-like experience. But in 2016, the Superbook hit Kickstarter, promising to turn smartphones into laptops for only $99. Over two years later, the Superbook technically delivers on the abstract concept, but it's an unpleasant and rough experience.

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Essential Phone re-review: Good software isn't good enough for most of us

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.

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VAVA Dash Cam 2K review: Good value, but not the best

The dashcam market is pretty saturated these days, with products ranging in price from $9 (yes, $9) all the way up to $600 or so. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to even get started with your search without being blasted with options. In the ~$100 price range, we've already checked out Anker's Roav C1 Pro and C2 Pro, which we found to be solid offerings.

This time around, we're checking out a dashcam from one of Anker's direct competitors: RAVPower (which owns VAVA). VAVA's Dash Cam 2K can record higher-resolution video than most at this price point, but sacrifices some features to keep costs competitive.

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BEAM review: Strap a funny GIF on your jacket for $85

A lot of the stuff we review here at Android Police has genuine utility behind it. Things like phones, Chromebooks, and wearables can enhance your life and your productivity. The BEAM will do none of those things, but it will let you stick a funny meme on your chest for $85, and I call that a win.

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Tribit X-Boom review: An incredible-sounding Bluetooth speaker for the money

I'll be honest - when we were first contacted about checking the new Tribit X-Boom out, I wasn't expecting much from it. I had never heard of the company, and the design looked a little cartoonish. On top of all that, the $69.99 price tag was much lower than competing models from companies like UE and JBL. But after using it, I've learned that the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" is quite appropriate here.

Don't get me wrong; the X-Boom isn't perfect. I still think that the design is a bit odd, and it's pretty barren in terms of features.

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Alcatel 7 review: A decent budget phone with one major drawback

There aren't very many good budget phones in the United States. There are a few standouts, like the Nokia 6.1 and Moto G6, but most pale in comparison to budget devices sold in Asia and parts of Europe.

Alcatel, a sub-brand of TCL, is somewhat well known in the United States thanks to the hordes of inexpensive phones it sells through prepaid carriers (like MetroPCS and Cricket). The company's phones usually aren't anything special, but the recently-announced Alcatel 7 piqued my interest.

The Alcatel 7 has a 6-inch 2160x1080 2.5D display, a 4,000mAh battery, and USB Type-C. At a retail price of $179.99, it seems like good value on paper, even though it's a MetroPCS exclusive.

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ASUS Zenfone Live L1 review: The best phone you can get for $110, but you shouldn't buy one (yet)

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.

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Google Titan Security Key review: A $50 hardware 2FA bundle with outdated connectors

Those of us that care about our online security probably use some form of two-factor authentication to secure our most important accounts, but even the strongest password and the longest authentication code are still subject to something as simple as a phishing attack, which is why so many have switched to hardware security keys. Google helped to create the Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) hardware authentication standard, and now it's releasing its own product to consumers: the $50 Titan Security Key.

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Lenovo Smart Display review: The best new kitchen appliance since the dishwasher

So-called smart speakers became the darling of every big tech company in the last three years, with Amazon, Google, and Apple all trying to push their digital assistants as a complementary and indispensable part of their locked-in ecosystems. Incremental advancement continues, and the Assistant-powered responses to Amazon's trailblazing, screen-equipped Echo Show have started to land, the first one being this: Lenovo's Smart Display. And far from just being an interesting first try, Google's Assistant on a screen has already become an indispensable part of my home, especially in the kitchen. 

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