It's been a strange year for smartphone design. The notch has infiltrated pretty much every major OEM at every price point, yet everyone seems to hate it (or at least those most vocal on the internet). Manufacturers keep plowing on, however, with even Samsung jumping on the camera cutout bandwagon ahead of the Galaxy S10 launch. If you're patiently waiting for the display cutout fad to end, it's good to know some Chinese smartphone makers have already come up with alternative solutions for bezel-free phones. Read More
Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is a jack of all trades. It makes a variety of connected gadgets, including TVs, toothbrushes, scooters, and even kettles. Yet, we know it mostly as a smartphone maker, and it’s now the fourth-largest in the world. It’s reached those lofty heights thanks to a simple promise: quality hardware at rock-bottom prices, and its flagship Mi 8 lineup is a prime example of that. Read More
Smartphones have achieved the ridiculous level of market penetration they have thanks in no small part to their universal utility: While in the not-too-distant past you might have carried around a separate MP3 player, game console, PDA, flashlight, and any number of other accessories in addition to your cell phone, having all this functionality baked into one device is what helps make the general-purpose smartphone so appealing. But lately we've been seeing the emergence of more specialized phones, and easily the most visible segment there has been hardware targeted at gamers. Today we're looking at just how successful one of those efforts has been, as we review the ASUS ROG Phone. Read More
OnePlus is something of a Cinderella story in the smartphone world. It seemed to appear out of nowhere, releasing a phone with numbers that matched the best the likes of Samsung and HTC had to offer - and did it at half the price. The OnePlus One went viral in a way few products do, and the rest is history (well, as much as four years can be “history”). OnePlus just keeps improving on that formula, most recently with the excellent OnePlus 6T, which I’ve had a chance to use for the last few weeks. And it really is a great phone - we even gave it our ‘Phone of the Year’ award. Read More
Huawei's Mate 20 Pro might take the company's ultimate flagship title this generation, but the slightly lower-end Mate 20 is still a phone worth considering with its own strengths. It swaps a 1440p OLED display for a 1080p IPS panel, drops camera resolutions, and loses both the in-display fingerprint sensor and laser-based facial recognition. Still, for 20% less you get plenty of phone, arguably a more attractive design, and one of the best cameras in the world of Android.
Unfortunately for most of our readers, it isn't coming to the US. Read More
Unlike most phones we review, the Palm Phone does not claim to be the equal of another device. It doesn't even necessarily claim to be good. The Verizon-exclusive Palm Phone is billed as a companion to the phone you actually like using. A phone that's minimalist and limited by design can't be "good" in the traditional sense, but can it be bad in a way that you still might want one? Sadly, no.
The TCL-made Palm Phone is fascinating because of how odd it is. So many phones these days are predictable and boring, but this one is at least interesting. Read More
Just a few short years ago, Nokia was seldom mentioned on Android Police... or much of anywhere, really. Microsoft gobbled up Nokia's renowned smartphone division and still couldn't make Windows Phone work. The remainder of Nokia partnered with HMD to revive the brand in 2016, and some of the phones to come out of this partnership are fantastic, helped by Nokia/HMD's commitment to Android One. Read More
At an event held in the depths of the historic brutalist Barbican Centre in London yesterday, Xiaomi formally announced its entry into the UK market. Numerous devices were introduced on stage, including various smart home products, but the Mi 8 series and Mi Band 3 were the main attractions. Everything here had already been unveiled in China and some of it is already selling in other regions, too.
The Mi 8 Explorer Edition caught our eye previously, largely due to its semi-transparent rear cover with insides made to look like internal components. It's essentially a Mi 8 Pro, and that's the name it's been given in the UK, with no other color options available. Read More
Good specs in a (relatively) cheap package has been OnePlus' schtick since the original OnePlus One, and with few flops it's stuck to that formula, bringing us to the OnePlus 6T. Deep down inside, it's basically just a tweaked OnePlus 6, dropping the headphone jack for an in-display fingerprint reader, bigger battery, smaller notch, and a handful of software improvements.
In a landscape where Google's latest phones start at $800, I think the $549 6T is a legitimate Pixel 3 alternative, delivering fantastic performance and much-improved photos with fewer subjective problems. You'll still envy the Pixel 3's camera and Call Screen, though. Read More
In the smartphone world, Xiaomi is the epitome of value for money. Now ranked fourth worldwide, it sells nearly one of every ten smartphones. But when companies start operating at such a large scale, the start-up mentality takes a backseat to more important considerations, and innovation can be stifled.
Oppo circumvented it with the "independent" OnePlus, Huawei spun off Honor for Western markets, and Xiaomi is taking an approach somewhere in the middle. Its Poco sub-brand is still under its umbrella and benefits from its resources, but has the advantage of an easily pronounceable name, some creative freedom, and room to fail without hurting Xiaomi's reputation. Read More