Items tagged with smartphone

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 something different this year. It’s targeting the popular $600 to $750 price range and joining... Read more...
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 that’s distinctly similar across all its devices from the last couple of generations. Depending... Read more...
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 screen, a better 5MP macro, a larger 4500mAh battery, and faster 65W charging. But is all this... Read more...
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, manufacturing facilities, retail shops, and so forth. That's to say, the Galaxy XCover Pro... Read more...
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 G-series) overlap in terms of specs and pricing, and often lack must-have features like NFC. Combine... Read more...
When it comes to smartphone plans, many of us have simply become resigned to the fact that prices in general have been on an upward swing (with the exception of T-Mobile in some cases). The arrival of 5G is sending monthly bills even higher, which means that many customers are likely looking for relief. AT&T CEO John Stankey has an idea on how customers could potentially lower their bills, and it might be a controversial one for some. The executive is suggesting that AT&T could adopt a strategy in which a portion of a customer’s monthly bill would be subsidized with advertising.  “I believe there’s a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would... Read more...
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 evident in the company’s latest flagship, the V60 ThinQ 5G. Unfortunately, this look -- not... Read more...
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, and they have deeper Microsoft app integration, among several other new features. Both of the... Read more...
New renderings have leaked a smartphone that is expected to bring a lower price point to the new Samsung Galaxy S20 line. The new smartphone is called the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, FE reportedly stands for "Fan Edition." Along with the renders also come some details of the smartphone. One thing that's clear from looking at the renderings is that the device looks very much like the regular Galaxy S20. The FE features a hole punch front camera and three camera sensors on the rear. Samsung uses a screen measuring between 6.4 and 6.5-inches that has slight curves on the left and right edges with a 120Hz refresh. The rear of the device is expected to be made from a matte finished plastic with the... Read more...
New Canalys data for the smartphone market looking at Q2 of 2020 has been published. Overall during the quarter, smartphone vendors shipped 31.9 million devices in the US. Compared to Q1 2020, the number is an 11% gain, but a 5% decline compared to Q2 of 2019. The increase in quarter-to-quarter shipments comes thanks to the resumption of Chinese factory operations towards the end of March and stores reopening in May and June after closures due to global coronavirus lockdowns. Apple and Samsung shipped seven out of every ten smartphones sold during the quarter, with Apple establishing a new domestic record by shipping 15 million iPhones. The iPhone SE helped Apple gobble up 47% of the quarterly... Read more...
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 and sparse 4GB of RAM, and there’s the Pixel 4 and 4 XL with their top-heavy bezel, missing ultrawide... Read more...
We posted our coverage of the various announcements to come from Samsung’s most recent Galaxy Unpacked event as they unfolded on Wednesday. You should check out our coverage of the brand-new Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, along with the new Galaxy Tab S7 and other accessories if you happened to miss it earlier -- we're not going to rehash any of the technical details again here. Originally, we were scheduled to get our hands on some of the devices in time for Unpacked, but Tropical Storm Isaias had other plans for us and prevented a trip into Manhattan to meet with Samsung. Fortunately, the shipping gods were on our side and our Note 20 Ultra arrived only a few short hours after the... Read more...
Wireless charging has become commonplace in the smartphone world after first entering the public conscious around the middle of the last decade. The premise is relatively simple: you have a charging pad (or dock) that will recharge your smartphone without the need of plugging your device into a USB-C or Lightning port. You just sit it down to charge, and then walk away.  Besides the ease of use, other added benefits are that you don't have to worry about connector breaking off your charging cable, wear and tear on your smartphone's charging port, or debris insider the port affecting charging performance. However, a new report alleges that wireless charging is doing much more harm in the... Read more...
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 most powerful Snapdragon 865+ 5G mobile platform, which should make them killer performers. At its... Read more...
OnePlus fans in the United States were bummed when the slick mid-range OnePlus Nord launched (read the HotHardware review here), but didn't come Stateside. A new report has surfaced that claims Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, has said that a Nord-branded device will be coming to the United States this year. The caveat is Pei said the device wouldn't necessarily be the same smartphone that launched outside the States. Any Nord-branded device that comes to the United States would likely be a mid-range smartphone, but there is no indication of specifications or exact timing. Smartphone makers from around the world are looking to jump into the mid-range market with devices that feature hardware... Read more...
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 up hype for a quality sub-$500 5G smartphone that lives up to its “Never Settle” catchphrase.... Read more...
Lenovo is a name associated with laptop and desktop computers, but it's expanding its offerings with a new Android-powered smartphone aimed squarely at mobile gamers. The phone is called the Legion Phone Duel and features six customized layout themes to choose from with distinctive design details, colors, and icons. One of those modes is the home mode that allows users to cast or play their games on a connected external TV or computer monitor using a wireless keyboard and mouse, or other wired accessories via a dock. The smartphone features a virtual joystick and dual ultrasonic trigger buttons embedded along with dual vibration engines to provide feedback for more immersion in the game. The... Read more...
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 the rapidly commodifying smartphone market -- not so much for lack of being different, but more for... Read more...
What better way to usher in the hot, summer season than to give away a bunch of hot, new smartphones to upgrade your mobile gear? We have teamed up with our friends at TCL who have graciously offered up 5 (five units) of their top-end TCL 10 Pro Android smartphones (our full review), packing multiple cameras – including a 64MP main shooter -- 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, all wrapped up in a slim, sleek attractive design. The TCL 10 Pro’s main features and specifications are broken down in the table below... TCL 10 Pro Specifications & Features Processing Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 Display 6.47" FHD+ AMOLED, 2340x1080 resolution, 60Hz, HDR 10 Memory... Read more...
A new Samsung smartphone has turned up that appears to be an updated version of the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A51. The phone has been spotted in Geekbench testing results and carries the model number SM-A516V and is expected to be called the Galaxy A51s 5G UW (as a Verizon exclusive). The same device has been spotted at the Wi-Fi Alliance and the NFC Forum. We particularly like it when smartphones turn up on Geekbench because we also find out what sort of hardware is under the hood. In the case of the SM-516V, the benchmark shows that the device uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset and has 6 GB of RAM. On the single-core test, the phone scored 624, and on the multi-core test, it scored 1924.... Read more...
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 sub-brand of Chinese giant ZTE, but became an independent business in 2015. Since then, it’s been... Read more...
Android users need to be wary of a new issue that could soft brick their smartphone by merely setting an image as the default wallpaper. A soft brick is when the smartphone is prevented from being able to be used in a certain way but is repairable by deleting the offending file or resetting the device. The image that is causing the soft brick issue on Android devices, particularly Samsung models, is seen at the top of the story. Ice Universe is typically leaking details on unrelated Android smartphones via Twitter, but recently tweeted the image along with the warning that if anyone sends the image to an Android user, don't set it as your wallpaper. In a later Tweet, Ice Universe noted that when... Read more...
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