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Reviews

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With the Moto G7, Lenovo finally killed the G-series magic

Motorola started the trend of cheap phones that aren't junk with the original Moto G back in 2013. That was the first time you could buy a phone for a couple hundred bucks that would get you through a day without making you want to hurl it through the nearest window. The success of that phone led other OEMs to target lower prices, and the battle rages to this day. However, Motorola has moved the Moto G a bit more up-market. Each successive generation has been a little more expensive, but some premium smartphone features are still missing.

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KaiOS may succeed where Android Go Edition has failed

Competition is always good for any market, but when it comes to smartphone platforms, there have only been two viable choices for the better part of a decade — Android and iOS. Microsoft poured billions into Windows Phone and Nokia, only to capture a small fraction of the market for a few years. Tizen, Sailfish, webOS, Symbian, Ubuntu Touch, and Firefox OS also failed to take a decent chunk of users away from Google and Apple.

There's another mobile operating system on the rise, but this one is special for a few reasons. First, it's not necessarily trying to unseat iOS and Android — it's designed to run on feature phones.

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The Acer Chromebook 514 is perfectly fine, but doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor

The original Chromebook 14 from Acer came out in 2016 and was a decent device for the price (around $300) — as such, it was popular with critics and consumers alike. So we were naturally excited when we heard Acer was going to bring out a successor. I first got my hands on the Chromebook 514 in Berlin at IFA in the summer of 2018, but it was rather a disappointment. The build quality of the pre-production unit Acer had on display at the show left much to be desired, leading me to an initial opinion that it was too flimsy to even command a $350 price tag.

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Nuki Smart Lock 2.0 is the best solution for European-style locks

I have tested dozens of smart home products in my time here on Android Police, yet few of them have been as reliable and as effortless to use as Nuki. This smart lock that I reviewed back in December of 2017 has stayed on our door, offering us quick access to our house without any keys. So when the company told me it had a second generation available, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to try it out.

Nuki 2.0 doesn't change a lot, but improves a few features. The lock is still made for Euro Style/Profile Double Cylinders. It is now also compatible with knob and oval cylinders, uses Bluetooth 5.0 for better range, works with Apple HomeKit, has a Zigbee radio (though it's not active yet), and more conveniently, comes with a little sensor that detects when the door is physically open or closed.

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The Sony Xperia 10 is really long and really boring

After a period of what seemed like smartphone stagnation, we're finally seeing some weird devices again. With edge-to-edge screens, hole-punch cameras, and displays that fold in half being high-end oddities, Sony saw fit to shake up the budget formula, too, and plopped ultra-tall 21:9 displays in its Xperia 10 and 10 Plus. And while I applaud its efforts, being long doesn't save the Xperia 10 line from being terminally boring.

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The Nokia 9 PureView is a good phone ruined by serious problems

The HMD-backed resurgence of Nokia in the smartphone market has been a real treat to watch. After years of watching Microsoft bungle its Nokia acquisition, the Nokia name is again emblazoned on excellent smartphone products. However, most Nokia phones have been toward the budget end of the spectrum. They've been good for the money, but the Nokia 9 PureView is a true flagship with high-end specs, a wild five-camera setup, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. All that, and it's a few hundred dollars less than competing phones.

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Galaxy S10e review: The best Android phone for the money - and for most people

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.

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My home never smelled nicer, but Moodo is still a luxury smart fragrance diffuser

Just like sound and light, your environment's scent is essential in making you feel relaxed, happy, or excited. That's why there are entire industries built around making your home smell nice. Sprays, candles, gels, battery-powered air fresheners, aromatherapy scent diffusers, you name it, there are thousands of choices for it. But smart, or to be more pedantic, connected fragrance diffusers are a new market altogether. Until recently, the options were limited — Aera, Marie by Elica — but other brands are coming into the picture now. Moodo is one of them. It promises to let you "DJ" the aroma, mixing various fragrances in any way and proportion you want.

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TP-Link's Smart Outdoor Plug is perfect for porches, not for yards

The smart home market is filled to the brim with half-functional products. By comparison, TP-Link's smart home devices check off nearly every box. They're usually inexpensive (and frequently go on sale), they work with both Google Assistant and Alexa, and the mobile app is well designed with plenty of options. I've bought several of their smart plugs, and I recently tried out the company's power strip.

TP-Link announced several new smart home devices at CES, including the 'Wi-Fi Outdoor Plug,' which is exactly what it sounds like. It's a smart plug with two outlets, designed for use outdoors. Even though it functionally works, it's not quite as versatile as I had hoped.

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The Galaxy S10+ review: So good that my Pixel 3 XL is going in a drawer

The Galaxy S10+ has the largest display, biggest battery, and the most base storage and RAM Samsung has ever fitted to a mainline Galaxy S handset. Its screen is the best and brightest of any phone on the planet, its processor the most advanced in any Android device, it has five cameras, and, oh: it’s really expensive.

Samsung wants a thousand of your hard-earned dollars for the privilege of owning its biggest, baddest Galaxy S phone to date. Knowing full well you’ll be able to get it for less than that in three months, this may seem a dubious proposition. But honestly?

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