Google Pixel 4a Review: Great Camera, Killer Android Value

Google’s Pixel phones are well known for their superb cameras, timely updates, and unique features (Call Screen, Now Playing, etc...) But the company’s handset strategy -- and its lineup -- is difficult to decipher. It’s like Google is beating its own drum, blissfully (or purposefully) unaware of the market. On one side, you have the Pixel flagships, which are tough sells due to their relatively high prices, lackluster specs in light of competitive offerings, and other compromises (like middling battery life). For example, there was the Pixel 3 XL, with its massive notch...

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 20 And Note 20 Ultra With Precision S-Pen And UWB Support

Samsung just announced the brand-new Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, along with a host of additional wearable and tablet products, at its latest Galaxy Unpacked Event. The new Galaxy Note 20s bring with them an array of enhancements and improvements over previous generation offerings -- including even the current flagship Samsung Galaxy S20 -- like a faster processing platform, camera and video recording updates, Ultra Wide Band wireless support and deeper Microsoft app integration, among many other features. The new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra are both built around Qualcomm’s...

ASUS ROG Phone 3 Review: Fastest Android On The Planet

Since its inception, ASUS has gone the extra mile to bill the ROG Phone as a gaming-first smartphone, and not simply another high-end handset with a flagship processor and fast refresh rate. Now in its third iteration, the ROG Phone 3 takes what we liked about the previous two models and improves upon the brand's gaming-oriented features, to enhance the experience even further. And yes, it's also delightfully fast, armed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G SoC that ASUS claims gives the ROG Phone 3 a double-digit (10 percent) performance advantage over top-shelf phones rocking a regular...

OnePlus Nord Review: Excellent 5G Android Phone, Great Value

It’s hard to believe that OnePlus is already six years old. The company’s all grown up now. You can find the OnePlus 8 in T-Mobile and Verizon stores, and the OnePlus 8 Pro competes directly with the best flagships from Apple and Samsung. But this has come at a price -- literally. With the OnePlus 8 costing $699+ and the OnePlus 8 Pro $899+, OnePlus is no longer first and foremost a price leader -- especially in fiercely competitive markets like Europe and India. And now there's the OnePlus Nord. In an outstanding example of masterful marketing, the company has spent months building...

ASUS ROG Phone 3 Hands-On Preview: The Fastest Android On The Planet

If you're a mobile gaming enthusiast, you're likely going to be in your happy place this morning. ASUS has just announced the third coming of its ROG Phone, aptly named the ROG Phone 3. Hailing from the ASUS Republic Of Gamers line of products, everything about this new mobile beast is dialed in for serious gaming, from its 6.59-inch 144 Hz OLED display to Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865 Plus mobile platform that powers it for measurable gains in performance. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 Plus has both goosed-up CPU and Adreno 650 GPU clocks, in a specially-binned octal core SoC that scales up to 3.1GHz....

Sony Xperia 1 II Review: A Beautiful Phone With Caveats

Depending on your age and background, the Sony brand might be synonymous with Bravia TVs, Alpha cameras, PlayStation game consoles, or even Walkman audio players. And you’d be right in thinking that way, but did you know Sony also makes Xperia smartphones, and even sells them in the US? Well, it’s true. Sony's Android handsets also often include features found in the company’s TVs, cameras, game consoles, and audio players. They’re always quite premium, differentiated in a unique way, and always very "Sony".  However, for years now, Sony has struggled to stand out in...

Nubia RedMagic 5G Review: An Unruly Android Gaming Beast

For better or for worse, gaming phones are a thing. What started out as a trickle of pricey, specialized handsets from established gaming brands like Razer and Asus ROG has turned into a steady stream of affordable, tricked out smartphones from Chinese sub-brands like Xiaomi’s Black Shark and Nubia’s RedMagic. Which brings us to today’s review of the Snapdragon 865-equipped RedMagic 5G ($579) -- a 5G handset that undercuts the OnePlus 8 ($699) yet offers similar features and a blazing fast 144Hz AMOLED display. If you’re not familiar with Nubia, it started out as a...

AI Benchmarks For Mobile Devices And What You Should Know

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are hot topics in virtually all tech sectors at this moment in time. The technology is gaining traction in many industries, from massive social networks that are analyzing mountains of data, to the tiniest of IoT smart home and mobile devices. Even during our everyday workflow here at HotHardware, we currently utilize a few key AI-enabled applications to enhance our content. Further, if you’ve ever talked to a smartphone for speech-to-text messaging or for Google Assistant recommendations, AI has impacted your connected experiences as well. For...

TCL 10 Pro And 10L Review: Sleek, Budget-Friendly Androids

What do the Alcatel, BlackBerry, and Palm smartphone brands all have in common? They’re all owned by Chinese electronics giant TCL -- which also manufactures products under the RCA brand in the US. TCL is best known for its stratospheric rise in the TV business, where it regularly battles with LG for second place in terms of number of TVs shipped globally (Samsung being number one). It also designs and manufactures its own display panels, unlike many other TV brands, which is no small feat. Anyway, back to smartphones... Alcatel makes budget phones sold by various carriers and MVNOs -- mostly...

Oppo Find X2 Pro Review: Powerful, Super-Premium, Pricey

As a HotHardware reader, we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Oppo before. But if you live in the US and don't follow the latest developments in mobile technology, it’s possible you’re not (yet) familiar with the brand -- unless you’re a hard-core A/V geek and remember the company’s critically acclaimed range of upscaling DVD and Blu-Ray players from the mid-2000s. What you also may not know is that in 2019, Oppo was the top smartphone brand in China and was number 5 worldwide. And if that doesn’t get your attention, Oppo is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics,...

iPhone SE 2020 Review: Apple's Latest Value Play Impresses

Apple seems like a company divided these days. While the technology juggernaut's Mac lineup continually stagnates between long-overdue updates, Cupertino's iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch families march ahead to a yearly cadence of updated designs, new features, and enhanced performance. It's almost like Apple is really two different companies—one that produces the latest in personal electronics, and another that takes long naps as the PC market passes it by. At any rate, older iPhone designs also stick around, to serve additional market segments. Last September's iPhone 11 release merely relegated...

Moto Edge+ Review: Gorgeous But Living On The Edge (Of 5G)

Here’s a question for you: what’s Motorola’s most recent flagship phone? Take your time, we’ll wait... Perhaps the lovely Moto X from 2013 comes to mind, or the Moto X 2nd gen, or even the Moto X Pure/Style? Or maybe you’ll recall the Moto Z and Moto Mods? We’re here to tell you that, technically, Moto’s most recent flagship was the Z2 Force back in 2017. Yes, there was a Moto Z3, but it came with a Snapdragon 835 back when the 845 was still king. And while Moto eventually made an X4 and Z4, these were mid-range phones. So, needless to say, Moto’s...

OnePlus 8 Pro And OnePlus 8 Review: Disruptive 5G Flagships

The highly anticipated OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are on sale starting today, and lucky for prospective Android flagship shoppers, we have our full deep dive review on the pages ahead. OnePlus has made a name for itself over the years, especially with Android enthusiasts, for building high quality devices with thoughtful feature inclusions, while limiting costly unnecessary features and delivering exceptional value at almost unheard-of price points. Top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices with more RAM, more storage, and OnePlus' lean, mean Android-based Oxygen OS -- at price points hundreds...

LG G8X ThinQ Review: Dual OLED Screens, Affordable Android

The LG G8X ThinQ was announced a few months back and right from the get-go it was apparent that LG was heading in a somewhat different direction than many of its competitors – at least for the time being. Whereas large format, foldable devices are all the rage as of late, LG took a different approach with the G8X (and it's bigger-brother, the V60 ThinQ) by focusing on optional, dual-screen functionality. Rather than using a single, large folding screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, LG took a more practical approach with the LG G8X ThinQ by pairing it with what the company calls a Dual Screen...

LG V60 ThinQ 5G Review: Dual Display, Almost Flagship

It’s fair to say that when you think of flagship phones, LG may not be the first brand that comes to mind. Although the company's made some strong devices over the years, including some of Google's Nexus and Pixel-branded phones, the South Korean giant hasn't had the same kind of success in the mobile space as some of its larger competitors. The company's introduced some competent handsets over the years, but often seems to rely on the strength of its carrier relationships -- at least here in the US. As a result, LG’s phones often feel designed to please the operators more so than end...

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Review: Big, Bold, Tricked-Out

Samsung's Galaxy S line is the company's premier family of flagship Android phones. Over the years it has been underpinned by a recurring theme of bigger, faster, and prettier, with a ever-growing list of features. This year's Galaxy S20 family is no exception, starting out at a bold 6.2-inch format for the smallest Galaxy S20 5G device, 6.7-inches for the Galaxy S20+ 5G, and topping-out at the bodacious 6.9-inch Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. We have the Galaxy S20 Ultra on tap for review here and it's Samsung's full boat, no compromises offering in the Galaxy S20 line-up. As its name suggests, the Galaxy...

Samsung Galaxy S20 Family Unpacked: Beautifully Executed Premium Android Phones With Space Zoom Cameras

After months of speculation, leaks, and teases, Samsung is finally ready to get official with its next-generation family of flagship "Galaxy S" smartphones - and indeed they look pretty sweet. As predicted, the entire Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup is 5G-enabled from top to bottom, and consists of three new devices: the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra. When it comes to design, unlike last year's models, all three members of the family look similar from the front and the back -- although they obviously differ in size and you can tell the Ultra's camera is something special. In...

Motorola One Action Review: A Deal Of An Android One Phone

Motorola seemingly has a knack for knocking out excellent mid-range Android phones like the Moto G series and the Moto Mod-capable and 5G ready Moto Z3. With more and more entrants bringing good enough performance at affordable price points, however, it's getting harder for manufacturers to differentiate. Even the underlying platforms are mostly standardized these days, with SoCs coming from just a couple of big players like Qualcomm. What's a manufacturer to do to stand out in the crowd? That's what Motorola is striving for with its Motorola One family of devices, specifically today's entrant,...

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865: Next-Gen Android Phone Benchmark Preview

We are fresh back from the 2019 Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit, during which the company revealed a number of new products and technologies. In addition to the XR2 5G next-generation VR platform, new Always-Connected PC processors, and the Snapdragon 765, which will target mainstream, 5G-enabled smartphones next year, Qualcomm also announced its flagship Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform. Just like its previous-gen predecessor, the Snapdragon 855 (and 855+), the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 platform will be the foundation for an array of premium Android smartphones released throughout 2020 (and beyond)....

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Amps Performance, Cameras And AI For Flagship 5G Phones

Qualcomm yesterday announced its new Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765/765G Mobile Platforms, but the company was rather mum on specific details other than to say that both were 5G-enabled. Today, we're getting a full picture on what to expect when the first devices with these chips land next year, along with a clearer picture on the 5G modem situation with the respective platforms. Kicking things off is the Snapdragon 865, which is the flagship SoC replacement for the Snapdragon 855/855+. The Snapdragon 865 is paired with a separate Snapdragon X55 5G modem; which is an interesting development....

ASUS ROG Phone II Review: A Mobile Gaming And Battery Life Beast

The concept of a purpose-built gaming phone is still somewhat in its infancy, though we are starting to see generational upgrades, such as the ASUS ROG Phone II. As the name implies, this is the second generation of ASUS' gaming handset. Like the original ROG Phone released last year, the ROG Phone II combines bleeding edge hardware with gaming-centric software optimizations. ASUS sprinkles in some nifty features (like Air Triggers) and then surrounds it all with optional accessories to amp up the experience. What ASUS has essentially created is not just a gaming phone, but a smartphone gaming...

Google Pixel 4 XL Review: Streaks Of Brilliance, Pure Android

Without question, Google's Pixel 4 XL has been the most leaked smartphone of 2019 prior to its official launch. Heck, even Google teased the device and a key feature or two along the way, so it goes without saying, the hype was big for this fourth generation Pixel. Google tries to set the bar for Android ecosystem partners with respect to industrial design and new enabling technologies with its Pixel phones. And in fact, the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL bring with them a couple of firsts for made by Google devices, specifically a 90Hz display and wireless charging. The premise is that hopefully these...

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