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...

Apple iPhone 12 Teardown Reveals Big Changes To Enable 5G, And Average Repairability

Smartphones have never been all that easy to repair, but that hasn't stopped owners from fixing (or attempting to fix) broken screens, dead charging ports, speakers that don't make sound, and a host of other issues. There's nothing quite like the feeling of using a heat gun to melt some adhesive underneath a screen and then using a suction cup to pick up the front of a thousand-dollar smartphone to replace a broken part. Thankfully, we have guides on the internet, and very few are more helpful than the ones from the folks at iFixIt. They're at it again, too, as they've published a teardown guide...

3DMark WildLife Benchmark Shows iPhones Thrashing Androids But Apple Throttles Hard

Yesterday, we brought you news of the new 3DMark WildLife graphics benchmark, which is the latest cross-platform test from the folks at UL Benchmarks. UL explains that WildLife is primarily tasked with measuring GPU performance across platforms, and two distinct tests are available.  The standard WildLife test is designed to give feedback on how a game performs over a short period of time. With mobile games, people typically play in brief spurts when they find some free time; be it on the bus, on the subway, or a quick battle royale session on your lunch break, but not always. The...

Google Pixel 5 Review: Refined And Feature-Rich With Caveats

Google’s phone strategy has always been a bit of a mystery. While it successfully entered the mid-range market with last year’s Pixel 3a and -- more recently -- the $349 Pixel 4a and $499 Pixel 4a 5G, it’s been struggling to find its place at the high-end. Pixel flagships have always been interesting options in the market, especially for those who want a stock Android experience. However, they're sometimes overpriced, with high-end configurations in some ways (processors) but also lacking in some areas (RAM and storage options). So, Google appears to be taking a gamble and trying...

Google Pixel 4a 5G Review: Big Screen, Great Camera And Value

Don’t let the Pixel 4a 5G’s name fool you into thinking this device is the same as the Pixel 4a that was released back in August, with the sole addition of 5G support. Although the branding may be somewhat quizzical, the Pixel 4a 5G is a completely new device, with a larger form factor (it’s actually bigger than the Pixel 5), newer processing platform, additional rear camera, and a few other bells and whistles. The new Pixel 4a 5G does look nearly identical to the “older” Pixel 4a, but that is by design. Google has embraced an overall aesthetic with its Pixel devices...

OnePlus 8T Review: A Great 5G Phone In Search Of A Discount

Back in April, OnePlus wowed us with the $899 OnePus 8 Pro -- its first bonafide flagship. We were less enamored with the $699 OnePlus 8, which -- while still being a great phone -- cut a few too many corners (no telephoto, no wireless charging), and cost too much for an affordable flagship. Then in July, the €399 OnePlus Nord rekindled our excitement by redefining the premium mid-range handset. It just wasn’t destined for the US -- yet. Which brings us to today’s $749 OnePlus 8T, the direct successor to the OnePlus 8. It comes with more base RAM/storage (12/256GB), a flatter 120Hz...

Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro Review: Rugged With Push To Talk

Samsung's line of Galaxy handsets hardly need an introduction. By now, even casual smartphone shoppers are familiar with the Galaxy brand, which spans top-of-the-line flagships like the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy S20, to much more affordable options like the Galaxy A and Galaxy 5G. And of course there is the innovative Galaxy Z Fold 2. But one Galaxy handset you may not have heard of before is the Galaxy XCover Pro. So, what exactly is it? The Galaxy XCover Pro is a bit of a different beast in the Galaxy family, designed specifically for working environments and job sites, including healthcare settings,...

Moto One 5G Review: Killer Battery Life, Lackluster Cameras

Moto is on a tear with new releases lately. So far in 2020, the company has launched 21 handsets globally, and nine in the US alone -- namely the G Stylus, G Power, Edge+, Edge, G Fast, E (2020), One Fusion+, One 5G, and Razr 5G. And that’s without counting phones rebranded for T-Mobile, including the $400 REVVL 5G -- a detuned version of the subject of today’s review, the $445 Moto One 5G. This let’s-see-what-sticks strategy is confusing, to say the least. While the Razr 5G, Edge+ and Edge fit into well defined categories, these other handsets (especially the sub-$270 E- and...

LG Velvet Review: Stylish 5G Phone Lacks Excitement, Brings Value

It’s been a rough few years for LG. The company has experienced steadily diminishing phone sales and market share as of late. Yet not too long ago, it was hot on the heels of fellow Korean giant Samsung. Over the last decade, LG even brought us many features and innovations we take for granted today, like the first QuadHD screen (LG G3 - 2014), the first ultrawide camera (LG G5 - 2016), and the first 18:9 aspect ratio display (LG G6 - 2017). The G6, and the LG V30 that followed later that year, established LG’s fresh (at the time) new aluminum and glass sandwich design, which is still...

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Review: Samsung's Most Powerful Phone Yet

Samsung announced its latest flagship, large-format smartphones -- the brand-new Galaxy Note 20 5G and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G -- at this month's Galaxy Unpacked Event, along with a host of additional wearable and tablet products. As is typically the case when Samsung updates its premiere line of devices, the new Galaxy Note 20 family offers an array of enhancements and improvements over the previous generation. For example, these new Galaxy Notes are built around a more powerful processing platform, they have numerous camera and video updates, offer support for new Ultra Wide Band wireless technology,...

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...

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