Motorola's high-end phones have disappointed in the last few years, but its budget devices have offered the best value of any low-cost phones. We don't know how Moto's 2018 flagship story will shake out, but the new Moto G6 has arrived to (mostly) carry on the tradition of giving you a lot of phone for just a little money.
This phone makes several changes that I love, as well as a few that I don't. The Moto G6 has a slower processor than its predecessor, but the performance is still solid, and Moto's software impresses. You also get a Type-C port (finally) and a taller 18:9 screen, both features that were rare on budget phones not long ago. Read More
The U12+ is the latest high-end smartphone from HTC, and while the ‘+’ moniker may have you wondering where the “regular” version is - this is it: HTC is, for the time being, only launching a large premium phone in 2018. It packs the latest Snapdragon 845 processor from Qualcomm, a large 6.0” Quad HD LCD display, and four cameras. It also costs a whopping $800, and you can only buy it direct from HTC or Amazon in the US. Read More
It feels a little bit surreal to see the Nokia name become relevant again in the smartphone market. Two years ago, I had thought the beloved mobile brand that I grew up with was hopelessly lost, and yet here we are today, devouring every piece of news to come out of HMD Global. The Finnish company has been doing an excellent job of reviving the brand by sticking to a few core guidelines: good hardware, competitive prices, pure Android software, and fast updates. That bet has paid off so far and, with one full generation of devices under its belt, HMD kicked things up a notch with the announcements it made at MWC this year. Read More
A year ago, it felt like LG was at the forefront of the next big movement for phone design. After handset sales had been dominated by models with 16:9 screens for so long, the G6 introduced us to the brave new world of 18:9 displays. And in the time since, we've seen manufacturer after manufacturer update their own lineups with similar phones featuring ultra-wide screens.
So while the G6 had a pretty compelling hook, not only have a lot of other players embraced that new screen shape in the time since its launch, but they've also been iterating around towards the next big evolution in screen design — the notch. Read More
It’s no secret that HTC, as a smartphone company, is hard up. And while the relative success of its Vive VR unit has warded off active ‘death watch’ speculation to date, there’s little doubt that HTC’s days as a smartphone maker are winding down. The company’s release schedule has become haphazard: it announced a “U Ultra” smartphone in early 2017 seemingly out of nowhere - that ended up being a complete flop. Six months later it revealed the U11 to largely positive reviews, but little in the way of consumer response. The “light” version of that phone, the U11 Life, wasn’t even worth a second glance, and now it seems HTC won’t even release a proper mainstream premium phone in 2018 at all. Read More
The Nokia brand has been through an incredible transformation in recent years, under the guidance of HMD Global. Its products have received almost universal praise, so much so that we’re now at a point when I would honestly recommend a Nokia phone ahead of pretty much anything else in the budget-to-midrange space. Recent Nokia devices feel like they should be more expensive than they are, have a pleasing minimal design aesthetic, and — perhaps most importantly — they all run either Android Go or Android One, meaning they get fast updates and are devoid of bloatware.
With another $100 million of investment recently announced, it's hard not to look at the success HMD Global is having and wonder why more OEMs don’t go down the same route — the "pure, secure, and up-to-date" motto must really resonate with consumers trying to get the best possible deal for their money. Read More
OnePlus got everyone's attention with the OnePlus One because it was cheap and powerful. Each successive OnePlus phone is a little more spendy, but it also adopts whatever hot new features are popping up in more expensive phones. OnePlus has gotten on board with fingerprint sensors, dual cameras, 18:9 screens, and now the OnePlus 6 fully embraces the latest smartphone zeitgeist. This phone sports a glass chassis and a display notch. Inside, it still has the top-of-the-line hardware and a clean build of Android.
If you don't like notches, this phone won't convince you to like them. However, it's the best notch implementation Android has seen thus far. Read More
After numerous teases, leaks, and deleted Twitter polls, the OnePlus 6 is official. OnePlus has made a number of significant changes that its fans might not love, but the OnePlus 6 is very 2018. This device sports a screen notch, which is all the rage among smartphone OEMs. There's also an all-glass chassis, which OnePlus has resisted for years. This is still a OnePlus phone, so it comes with killer specs and a pretty reasonable price tag. Read More
Huawei has been on an upward trajectory for years, but 2018 has been somewhat less successful than Huawei would have liked. After being effectively shut out of the US smartphone market, it launched the Mate 10 Pro as an unlocked device. Now, it's time for Huawei's second flagship launch of the year, and this one probably isn't coming to the US even in an unlocked capacity. The new Huawei P20 Pro has a lot in common with the Mate 10 Pro, but there are several notable upgrades—or downgrades, depending on your perspective. Read More
Some six months after launching its late-2017 flagship, the very capable Mate 10 Pro, Huawei took to the stage in Paris at the end of March to show off the new P20 series. The spotlight was, of course, on the P20 Pro with its unusual third camera, but the little sibling was not to be left out. Though it lacks the tertiary sensor that's present in its larger brother, the "regular" P20 sports most of the same features. Read More