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Reviews

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RED Hydrogen One review: The best 3D phone you shouldn't buy

For as long as there have been smartphones, there have also been weird smartphones. While mainstream models tend to keep things basic, giving you slightly faster and more feature-rich versions of devices that have come before, there are always those outliers that seem to remind us that there's room for variety in this industry yet: phones that fold, have sliding hardware, or take similar steps to set them apart from the rest of the pack.

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Razer Phone 2 review: Still fun, still niche

It's not easy to turn heads in the mobile industry in 2018. At best, we see new handsets come out to critical acclaim but also a sense of stifled boredom. Maybe it is the best of its kind yet, but so what? Apart from the fact that it ticks every box, what does it bring to the table that's new? Fortunately, for those of us seeking something different (if a bit quirky), Razer has decided to get into the mobile market. The gaming hardware company is now on its second generation smartphone, the Razer Phone 2, and it's staying true to its original vision: a handset for elite mobile gamers.

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TicPods Free review: Capable true wireless earbuds that won't break the bank

True wireless earbuds have seen a huge rise in popularity over the last couple of years as the products have reached a price point and level of quality that make them viable purchases for mainstream consumers. The IFA 2018 show floor was packed with new models from various brands, and I’ve already reviewed two products in the category in the last couple of months.

The Earin M–2 ($249) and Master & Dynamic MW07 ($299) were both premium products with hefty price tags, but now it’s time to try something a little easier on the wallet. AI company Mobvoi is best known for its TicWatch smartwatches, but it has previous experience with audio, too.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Sweet cameras, sour software

Despite being frozen out of the US market due to political opposition, Huawei still managed to surpass Apple this summer to become the world’s second largest phone maker behind Samsung. The Chinese manufacturer was the first to market with triple rear cameras in the P20 Pro this Spring, and many lauded its photos as the best produced by any smartphone.

Huawei’s latest flagship effort is the Mate 20 Pro, with a similar camera setup and innovations such as an in-display fingerprint sensor and 3D laser depth sensing for secure face unlock. It’s powered by the proprietary Kirin 980 chipset — the world’s first 7nm mobile SoC — and sports a 6.39” 2K+ OLED display.

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Google Home Hub review: A smarter smart display

Google started talking about Assistant-powered smart displays earlier this year, but it let Lenovo and JBL roll out the first products. Google unveiled its Assistant display alongside the new Pixel phones, and it's not just the same guts in a new shell. Google has added some unique features and also omitted one that all other devices have.

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Pixel Stand review: A cool but tragically overpriced wireless charger

You could be forgiven for thinking Google was new to wireless charging if you haven't been obsessively following its products for years. The Nexus 4, 5, and 6 all had wireless charging capabilities, and Google even released its own wireless charging pad in 2013. After ignoring wireless charging for several years, the feature is back on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Google is also selling a wireless charger again: the Pixel Stand.

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ASUS Chromebook 12 C223NA review: A step backwards

In my opinion, Asus makes the best Chromebooks on the market, second only to Google. Last year's Chromebook Flip C302 is still one of the best Chrome OS laptops you can buy, especially considering its competitive price point. The company's lower-end C101PA is also a fantastic 10-inch convertible. I think you can easily make the argument that without Asus, Chromebooks wouldn't have the mainstream appeal they enjoy today.

That being said, both the C101PA and C302 are nearly two years old and long-overdue for a replacement. Asus released a new Chromebook last month, but it wasn't a new premium laptop or an entry-level 2-in-1.

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Pixel 3 and 3 XL review: Come for the camera, stay for everything else

Android has become the most popular computing platform on the planet, but Google has had problems selling very many Android phones itself. It tried for years to make Nexus devices "a thing," but they never caught on outside the nerd demographic. With the debut of the Pixel program in 2016, the company took a different approach—it started building smartphones with consumers in mind. Google hasn't done everything perfectly, but it's gotten enough right that the first and second generation Pixels have been relatively easy to recommend. That brings us to the third-gen Pixels.

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Nimble portable/wireless chargers review: Eco-friendly designs, but high prices for such low specs

Mophie is well known for both the quality of its products and the hefty price tag attached to them, so we were interested when we heard that a handful of its employees had splintered off to start a new, eco-mindful power accessory company called Nimble. With consumer cost-cutting recyclable packaging and a focus on renewable materials, we were curious to see if Nimble could disrupt the battery and charger status quo — a highly competitive market. Unfortunately, Nimble's specs and prices just can't beat the competition. 

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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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