In spite of the fact that smartphones just don't make for great gaming platforms, there's no shortage of gaming-centric phones on the market. Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 Pro is the latest one to hit the market, going toe-to-toe with offerings from ASUS, Razer, and ZTE. The Black Shark 2 Pro certainly looks the part, and at $599 in the US, it offers some great specs for the money. That said, unless you champion the Android video game experience over all else, you're probably better off looking elsewhere. Read More
If you haven't already bought a smart display and you aren't skipping out over privacy concerns, you really should pick one up. They're a lot more than just a "digital photo frame," providing all the same utility as a smart speaker, plus piles of extra interaction from a touchscreen. But you might want to be careful about which smart display you buy. Lenovo's newest Smart Display 7 might have an attractive design, but it's got piles of little problems that might make the identically-priced (and often discounted) Nest Hub a better choice. Sadly, it doesn't quite live up to the high standards set by Lenovo's previous models, either. Read More
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. Read More
Times have changed since the era of the $349 Nexus 5 and $499 Nexus 6P; instead, practically every flagship smartphone nowadays, Google's included, costs at least $800. The $800 Pixel 4 and the $900 Pixel 4 XL feel pretty great in the hand caseless, but if you don't want to risk damaging your shiny new gadget, a case is a must. A screen protector would be good to have, too.
This roundup will feature a wide variety of cases (and some screen protectors). Each review will contain the pros and cons, a few paragraphs on the experience, and a verdict. We will continually update the list as more cases come in. Read More
Last year, Moment revisited its Tele 60mm lens to redesign it with modern smartphones in mind. The outcome was a new Tele 58mm that delivers a sharper image and eliminates the vignetting that was so common with the wider lenses of most new smartphones. Moment is back at it again this year, but this time it's the Superfish lens going under the microscope. There's now a new Fisheye 14mm with similarly big improvements over the original, and we got to spend a little time to test out what the new glass can do. Read More
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. Read More
Power accessories are important because they can be dangerous, but they really just fall into three broad camps: legitimately unsafe, odd, and fine. The best you can hope for is for an adapter to meet its specs as defined without doing anything wrong, hazardous, or suffering any incompatibility issues — in other words, the best chargers are just "fine." In that fine tradition, the $40, gallium nitrite-powered, Type-C, 60W, Anker PowerPort Atom III perfectly meets our expectations. Read More
The original Home Mini was a home run, delivering Google's then-new Assistant experience with both a tiny package and price. That legacy leaves the Nest Mini with big (small?) shoes to fill, and this little Nest-branded smart speaker delivers, raising the bar when it comes to the entry-level Assistant experience. But, there's no reason to replace a house full of Home Minis just yet. Read More
The default hardware kit for most podcasters and live streamers consists of two widely known products: A Logitech webcam and a Blue Yeti microphone. The Yeti has become one of the most popular all-around mics on the market because it delivers high quality, versatility, and a distinctive look without breaking the bank. Blue is now launching a new member in the lineup called the Yeti X, taking everything from the original, but adding great lighting and powerful audio processing capabilities that will appeal to podcasters and a rapidly growing market of game streamers. Read More
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. Read More