It has to be said that the Google Pixel 3a (and 3a XL, not shown here) is something of a work of material science magic. So much of this handset screams ‘premium Pixel’, yet it’s plastic and yet it costs less than £400 in the UK, roughly 60% the cost of last Autumn’s Pixel 3. So what’s missing, does it matter, and how will the Pixel 3a fare in the mainstream ‘normob’ market? Read on for my verdict!
Author Archives: Steve Litchfield
We’ve covered the specifications and other details about Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 (and Fold) range of handsets elsewhere on Android Beat. In gory detail and across multiple stories. But I wanted to share some hands-on impressions of the principal new Galaxy S10 hardware.
A popular feature every year, here’s our ‘Top 10’ phones from the Android world at Christmas 2018. Yes, CES and MWC are just around the corner in 2019, but for now here’s the best of the best in our (team opinion), presented in reverse order to err…. increase suspense! Factoring in functionality and value, there’s something for everything below…
Having reviewed the standard sized Pixel 3 already here on AndroidBeat, you’d think that a review of the XL version would involve a lot of copy and pasting – but that’s not entirely true. The XL involves several design and spec decisions that are well worth talking about. Why the delay in looking at the Pixel 3’s larger variant? Because the Pixel 3 XL has been decidedly buggy until a day or so ago, when the December 2018 update hit from Google. At last we can review this properly.
This is a futuristic smartphone with many highlights…and also a single significant disappointment. This is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and is arguably the highest specified phone the company has ever made. In theory it ticks every box, in the hand it feels like a million dollars, yet its biggest Unique Selling Point – its imaging – is, I argue, currently fundamentally flawed.
Conventional wisdom says that smartphones in 2018 are little more than glass slabs with similar features and, while the discerning enthusiast knows that this is not true (there are plenty of differentiators), the new OnePlus 6 is a great example of a ubiquitous ‘slab’ with little real character or star quality. Other than value, since it retains the OnePlus tradition of offering flagship chipsets at a relatively affordable price.
The months and years roll by and Huawei and Honor smartphones evolve… slowly. Each is – genuinely – better than the last, but the glossy mass of glass, the avalanche of Emotion UI and bundled software, the dual camera ideas, much also stays the same. Is there enough new for the Honor 10? Actually yes, mainly through the AI in the camera, though there are quirks, plus a surprisingly low price point.
It’s not often that an accessory is perfect. Yet this Mophie design gets as close as it possibly can, building inexorably to something of a huge caveat: its price. But hopefully this look through the tech and design will convince you that this is worth $100 or so, if you occasionally live on the ragged battery edge…
One complaint about general phone reviews has been that they focus(!) too much on the cameras – most of us only take a handful of photos per day, yet quite often a third of a phone review is talking about its camera. However, remember that you may only take a few photos and use your phone for a few minutes each day, but the shots it produces are memories and will stay with you for years to come, while the hours you spend in Twitter and Facebook are utterly ephemeral.