Author Archives: Steve Litchfield

About Steve Litchfield

Steve Litchfield has been a freelance writer, blogger and videographer, specialising in PDAs, smartphones and mobile imaging for the last 20 years. For Android Beat, he handles mainly device reviews, in conjunction with his hands-on video assessments for The Phones Show. Steve is married, with one daughter, and lives in the UK. As far away from the rat race as possible!

Google Pixel 3a to 3a XL: Differences, Hands-on Review

Google Pixel 3a to 3a XL: Differences, Hands-on Review

Last week, I reviewed the new Google Pixel 3a, concluding that it was a huge deal in terms of getting guaranteed updates and Google’s vision for Android (plus that excellent camera) to the true mainstream, at a price half or a third that of other top smartphones, many of which will be left high and dry in terms of support after a year or so. So here we have the Pixel 3a XL, the sister device and – obviously – larger. So what’s different and is there any more significance to the XL?

Google Pixel 3a Review: Peace of Mind and a Superb Camera for the Mainstream

Google Pixel 3a Review: Peace of Mind and a Superb Camera for the Mainstream

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!

Galaxy Unpacked 2019: Verdict and Hands-on with the Galaxy S10

Galaxy Unpacked 2019: Verdict and Hands-on with the Galaxy S10

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.

The Best Android Phones of 2018

The Best Android Phones of 2018

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…

Google Pixel 3 XL Review: The Always-Beta Android Flagship

Google Pixel 3 XL Review: The Always-Beta Android Flagship

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.

Google Pixel 3 Review: a Pure Android Experience and Super Camera, but what a price!

Google Pixel 3 Review: a Pure Android Experience and Super Camera, but what a price!

The new Google Pixel 3 is, in theory, a well-balanced phone that provides just about everything the discerning Android user needs, in a surprisingly small form factor. And it gets extra kudos for this, in today’s phablet-dominated world. However, despite the use of pure Android, Google-style, a great camera system, and blazing performance, it’s not easy to fall in love with. The blame for this? At least one unambitious component choice and a marketing-driven price that’s patently crazy.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Sleek and Futuristic, but with Compromised Imaging

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Sleek and Futuristic, but with Compromised Imaging

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.

OnePlus 6 Review: Fast, Future Proof and Cheap

OnePlus 6 Review: Fast, Future Proof and Cheap

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.

Honor 10 Review: Much More Than ‘The Poor Man’s iPhone X’

Honor 10 Review: Much More Than ‘The Poor Man’s iPhone X’

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.

Review: Mophie Juice Pack for Samsung Galaxy S9+

Review: Mophie Juice Pack for Samsung Galaxy S9+

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…