Google’s latest ‘flagship’ is unusual, to say the least. You see, it’s not a traditional flagship in terms of specifications or price, yet it’s clearly what Google considers its top smartphone for 2020. It could be argued that 2019’s Pixel 4 and 4 XL are superior – they’re certainly more powerful and (in the XL’s case) larger, plus they did have a proper telephoto camera. You could also argue that this year’s Pixel 4a 5G is better value, but I’d like to review the ‘5’ on its own merits – as it’s a super-compact slice of high tech with only one Achilles heel (for my personal needs).
Android Phone Reviews
It’s been a few years since OnePlus really annoyed me (given their ‘Never Settle’ slogan) when they lampooned Apple’s dropping of my beloved 3.5mm audio jack and then their parent company, effectively OPPO at the time, handed them a design to rebadge that… didn’t include the jack. And so they ‘settled’, with some embarrassment. But we’ve forgiven them now and I approached this, the OnePlus 8 Pro, with fresh eyes and enthusiasm, to judge it on its own merits. And was very glad I did – it may not have Apple or Samsung’s brand recognition, but it undercuts the flagships from these brands while often out-performing them. Read our comprehensive OnePlus 8 Pro review after the break.
The Pixel 4 XL (and, by extension, the slightly smaller Pixel 4) is a stunning piece of technology and a worthy flagship. It really is. And yet, even six weeks on, I can’t possibly recommend anyone buy it… yet. While its camera system is stunning, while its stereo speakers are jaw droppingly good, while its face recognition system is fast and effective, at least for unlocking the phone, real world activity is still massively impacted by third party banking and password apps not supporting the new biometric APIs (think Face ID) system. Again… yet. It’ll all come together in time and, as usual Google will need an update or two of their own (a ‘feature drop’ is happening as I write this), so I’ll leave a lengthier verdict for some time in early 2020.
Xiaomi is the largest smartphone vendor in India. Its success can be attributed to the popularity of its budget Redmi and Redmi Note series. While the company has launched its flagship Mi Mix and Mi series handsets in India, they failed to do well. This time around, Xiaomi is bringing a new flagship-grade smartphone under its Redmi branding: the Redmi K20 Pro.
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?
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!
Huawei is in the news for either all the wrong reasons — stealing tech secrets of U.S. companies, helping create backdoors in its products to aid the Chinese government spying activities — or for its impressive smartphones. After the Mate 20 Pro from last year, Huawei is back with an equally impressive Huawei P30 Pro which takes on Samsung’s equally excellent Galaxy S10 series.
Huawei has managed to outdone Samsung in terms of the hardware and camera department with the P30 Pro but does that make it a better phone than the Galaxy S10. Find out in our review.
Xiaomi has been absolutely dominating the Indian smartphone market with its Redmi devices, especially with the Redmi Note series. With every new Redmi Note release, the company manages to set the bar a level higher in the budget mid-range smartphone segment in India. For 2019, the company is out with the Redmi Note 7 Pro that challenges not just the mid-range smartphones but also premium flagship devices.
Xiaomi is absolutely dominating the budget and mid-range segment in India. The company’s smartphone lineup might be as crowded as Samsung but despite that, there’s no denying the fact that it makes some quality smartphones (and even accessories!).