Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 Review: Third Time's The Charm?

Samsung has been refining its innovative foldable phone line-up for a couple of years now. While the first iteration of the company's Galaxy Z Fold may not have been terribly robust out in the wild, last year's follow up was by most accounts a solid device. This year, the newest Galaxy Z Fold3 5G seems to have it all: a malleable 7.6" screen, more durable construction, Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 5G Mobile Platform, and enough memory and storage to keep the Galaxy Z Fold3 viable for a long time to come.  There are many questions we wanted to answer with this device. What's it like...

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 Review: The Folding Flagship Refined

Two years ago, Samsung ushered the era of folding phones with the daring (but ultimately flawed) Galaxy Fold. In 2020, the company followed suit with three much improved foldables -- the stylish Galaxy Z Flip, Z Flip 5G, and the powerful Galaxy Z Fold2. With most of the kinks worked out (pun intended), these excellent handsets were finally worth recommending, though cost and durability were still obstacles for many. But things are different today. Samsung’s new water-resistant $1800 GalaxyZ Fold3 and $1000 Galaxy Z Flip3 are more affordable and life-proof than ever. While the Fold series...

Google Pixel 5a 5G Review: A Well-Executed Battery Life King

After weeks of leaks and rumors, and a mere ten months since the original's launch, Google just revised its mid-range Pixel 4a 5G and lowered the price by $50. Behold the slightly larger and heavier Pixel 5a ($449), which bumps the display size from 6.2 to 6.34 inches, increases the battery capacity from 3,885 to 4680mAh, swaps the plastic body for a metal shell, and adds water resistance. The Pixel 4a 5G was arguably Google's best phone of 2020, striking the perfect balance between cost and specs. We're big fans, so there's nothing wrong with an update and price drop. In all, the Pixel 5a inherits...

Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders Review: Qualcomm & ASUS Set The Bar

Although a number of leaks hinted at is existence, it wasn’t until early last month that ASUS and Qualcomm made the Smartphone For Snapdragon Insiders official. According to Qualcomm’s website, its Snapdragon Insiders program is already 1.5M+ members strong. The program, which is meant to directly engage with Snapdragon enthusiasts, consists of regular email newsletters and exclusive invitations to contests, influencer events and AMAs with product experts. The Smartphone For Snapdragon insiders is a device developed with these users in mind. Built by ASUS in collaboration with Qualcomm,...

Updated [Video] Hands-On Samsung’s Gorgeous, Powerful Galaxy Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3 And Galaxy Watch 4

Although all of Samsung's announcements for its latest Galaxy Unpacked event were leaked weeks ago, the company officially revealed the new products today. On the smartphone side, we have the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. For smartwatches, there's the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. And some new buds were introduced as well -- the Galaxy Buds 2 with active noise canceling. Luckily, we were able to get some hands-on time with all four of the new products this week in New York City. Update, 8/11/21 - 2:22 PM ET - Check out our live hands-on guided video tour of Samsung's Galaxy...

Nubia Red Magic 6R Review: Affordable, Powerful Gaming Phone

Gaming phones have really matured in recent years, with ASUS’ ROG, Lenovo’s Legion, Xiaomi’s Black Shark, and Nubia’s RedMagic all offering compelling performance-packed handsets for gamers. Oppo’s even rumored to be joining the party soon. Here in the US, RedMagic is the gaming phone value champ, and this year’s $599 RedMagic 6 is no exception. It basically updates last year’s $579 RedMagic 5G with a 165Hz display and a Snapdragon 888. That’s all well and good, but what got our attention recently is the $499 RedMagic 6R -- a super-affordable Snapdragon...

TCL 20 Pro 5G Review: Premium Features, Midrange Pricing

In 2020, TCL ventured beyond its successful TV business by launching three TCL-branded phones in the US -- the $450 TCL 10 Pro and $250 10L (which we both reviewed), followed by the $400 TCL 10 5G UW. The company is no stranger to mobile, having previously sold budget handsets under the Alcatel brand. But last year’s TCL 10-series was aimed squarely at Moto’s US mid-range lineup, and was quite competitive. Then, at CES 2021, TCL announced the 20-series, which first landed in other regions, but is now available in the US with three phones -- the $500 TCL 20 Pro 5G, $250 20S, and $190...

OnePlus Nord N200 5G Review: A Budget 5G Phone That Delivers

Last summer we reviewed the eponymous OnePlus Nord, and came away impressed. It never made it to North America, but its successor -- the $300 OnePlus Nord N10 5G -- did, and while the price was on point, we found that it simply cut too many corners to really hit the sweet spot. Most importantly, it seemed to lack that signature combination of OnePlus design and performance magic and the company's special attention to detail. We were somewhat disappointed, but it still flew off the shelves. Enter the $240 OnePlus Nord N200 5G, an attractive looking Snapdragon 480-equipped 5G phone which brings OnePlus...

ASUS Zenfone 8 Review: The Tiny But Mighty Android

Most of you are likely familiar with ASUS’ extensive line of PCs and related components, including ASUS’ ROG gaming products. You’ve probably also seen our ASUS ROG Phone 5 benchmarks, which showcase this incredibly fast gaming phone. But let's not forget that ASUS has also been making innovative non-gaming handsets for years. In fact, the Zenfone series was first to introduce both the periscope camera and the flip camera to market. This year ASUS decided to launch two Android flagships, the €799 Zenfone 8 Flip, which continues the flip camera lineage, and the US bound €599...

OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro Review: Great 5G Flagships With A Catch

By now, you’ve read the leaks, rumors, buzz and hype. The OnePlus 9 series is finally here, and as always, there’s a lot to talk about. 2020 saw OnePlus launch three flagships, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in the spring, and the 8T (basically an updated OnePlus 8) in the fall. But OnePlus also went down-market with three more handsets last year -- the mid-range Nord and the affordable Nord N10 5G and N100. If that seems like a lot of devices, it is -- not to mention the TVs, earbuds, and watch. OnePlus is basically following Oppo’s playbook. And after years of obviously sharing tech,...

Xiaomi Mi 11 Review: A Loaded, Value-Priced Android Flagship

If you’re a regular HotHardware reader, or live outside the US, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Chinese giant Xiaomi. The company makes and sells a wide variety of consumer electronics from smartphones (branded Mi, RedMi, Poco, and CC), to electric scooters. It keeps prices low by subsidizing its products in several markets (like China and India) via online services -- much like Amazon does here in the US. Today, Xiaomi ranks number three in global smartphone market share. Its latest flagship, the $750 / €750 Mi 11, was the first handset to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon...

ASUS ROG Phone 5 Benchmarks: The Mightiest Android Yet

The ASUS ROG Phone family has always been synonymous with squeezing the most performance out the Android smartphone platform and more specifically Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processing platforms. If you've been keeping tabs on the ROG phone line-up, you're probably aware that ASUS recently unveiled its 5th gen ROG Phone 5, and it's based on Qualcomm's powerful new Snapdragon 888 mobile SoC. With big gains claimed in both standard compute and graphics workloads, versus Qualcomm's previous gen Snapdragon 865, the ASUS ROG Phone 5 provides for an interesting vehicle to look at what should prove...

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Review: Packed With Features And Value

When Samsung first introduced its new Galaxy S21 5G line-up, the company took a similar good, better, best approach to its previous generation launch. Like the Galaxy S20, the new Galaxy S21 lineup consists of a base device, a mid-tier device and a top-end model, though all of them can be considered "flagship" phones among Samsung's large and varied handset product offerings. However, for the Galaxy S21 launch, it was clear that Samsung was more focused on value at all tiers this time around, with pricing starting at $799 and topping out $1199 for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, representing a $200...

Moto One 5G Ace Review: Solid 5G Phone, Battery Life Champ

One positive trend in 2020 was that of affordable mid-range 5G-capable smartphones, with devices like the OnePlus Nord, Moto One 5G, Pixel 4a 5G, TCL 10 5G UW, and Realme 7 5G, all costing less than $500 and packing decent specs -- including reasonably quick SoCs, multiple rear cameras, and even high refresh-rate displays. Thankfully, 2021 is looking even more promising, and January isn’t even over yet. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G ($299, Snapdragon 690) recently landed in the US, and Moto just launched the Moto One 5G Ace ($399, Snapdragon 750G), a detuned and unlocked variant of last year’s...

OnePlus Nord N10 5G US-Edition: A Solid Value With Limitations

OnePlus officially launched North American versions of its Nord N10 5G ($299) and Nord N100 ($179) today. The N10 5G is effectively the same affordable 5G phone we reviewed back in November, and the N100 is a low-priced budget 4G handset. We just spent a few days testing the US-bound N10 5G and wanted to give you an update. So what’s changed versus the European variant? Does the aggressive US pricing help better differentiate it in some way? Let’s find out... OnePlus Nord N10 5G Hardware, Design, and Display From a design and materials perspective, the Nord N10 5G for North America...

Nokia 8 V 5G UW Review: Too Little, Too Late

The Nokia 8 V 5G UW is a relatively expensive mid-range phone from a storied brand that’s been trying to make a comeback into the US market. Essentially, it is Verizon’s mmWave 5G version of the global Nokia 8.3 5G, a Snapdragon 765G-based handset that was announced back in March but shipped in September -- by which time it had to contend with some stiff competition. This is our quick-take review of this new option from Nokia in the US. At 171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm and 230g -- and with a large 6.81-inch screen -- the Nokia 8 V (for short) is a big and heavier phone. It feels substantial but...

Realme 7 5G Review: A Great 5G Phone That’s Also Affordable

Affordable 5G phones are all the rage right now, with devices like the Moto One 5G here in the US, and in markets like Europe and India with the OnePlus Nord. But while prices are dropping rapidly, corners are getting cut -- like we saw with the lack-luster €349/£329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Enter the €279/£279 ($370) Realme 7 5G, a MediaTek Dimensity 800U-powered 5G handset that punches way above its weight class, and gives its OnePlus Nord N10 5G cousin a run for the money. Here’s our quick take on this sleeper alternative Android value phone. Realme 7 5G Hardware...

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Performance Preview: Big Gains For Next-Gen Android Flagships

Just over two weeks ago, Qualcomm introduced us to the latest member of its extensive mobile platform SoC family: the Snapdragon 888. This high-end Snapdragon Mobile Platform is the successor to the Snapdragon 865/865+, and will be featured in next year's top tier flagship Android smartphones from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, LG, and countless others. At the time of its announcement, Qualcomm gave us some high level specs on the Snapdragon 888, including the fact that it has a single prime core based on the new Arm Cortex-X1 microarchitecture clocked at 2.84GHz, three performance cores cocked...

Galaxy S20 FE 5G Review: Samsung Brings Big Android Value

The increasing cost of flagship smartphones over the last couple of years has put them out of reach for many consumers. We all knew it was coming in late 2018 when Apple priced the iPhone X at a cool $999. It wasn't long afterward that Android handset makers capitalized on the new normal of flagship phone pricing as well, but not everybody wants to toe the line with four-figure purchases for a smartphone that will be quickly outclassed and potentially obsolete after a couple of years, especially should they stop receiving updates. In 2019, Samsung's upper-mainstream device was the $750 Galaxy S10e....

LG Wing Review: A Solid 5G Phone With A Wild Twist

LG is a bit like that quiet loner in high school -- often misunderstood, but sometimes brilliant. Take the company’s 2020 smartphone lineup for example. At the top, it consists of the $700+ LG V60 ThinQ 5G, a competent affordable flagship, and the $600+ LG Velvet, a stylish premium mid-ranger. These are good phones by any measure, but they’re often outclassed by the competition, and don't have many stand-out features -- optional dual-screen case aside. Which brings us to the $1000 LG Wing, the first handset born from the company’s Explorer Project. The LG Wing's...

Qualcomm Claims Big Snapdragon 888 Performance And Feature Gains For Next-Gen 5G Flagships

Qualcomm officially announced its Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform yesterday, which will be featured in a wide array of next year's flagship Android devices. Unfortunately, Qualcomm didn't provide many details on its new SoC at the time, other than to say that it would feature the next-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem-RF system. Today, however, Qualcomm is ready to spill the beans on the underlying architecture of the Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform and how it will advance next-generation devices. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's kick things off with the Kryo 680 CPU and Adreno...

OnePlus Nord N10 5G Review: A Solid Phone If You'll Settle

It’s been a busy, transformative year for OnePlus. After releasing the $699 OnePlus 8 and $899 OnePlus 8 Pro flagship back in April, it launched the €399 OnePlus Nord mid-range device in July, and the $749 OnePlus 8T in October. We were very impressed with the Nord, but it wasn’t destined for our shores. OnePlus promised to remedy this by introducing a variant of the Nord for the US market, which brings us to today’s phone. Behold the €349 ($415) OnePlus Nord N10 5G. It’s a completely different 5G handset from the original Nord that swaps the Snapdragon 765G for...

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