Archive for category Xiaomi

Xiaomi announces Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi this week announced its latest phone, the Mi 10, and its sibling Mi 10 Pro. The two devices share a number of features in common but differ in a few key areas.

The two handsets both sport 6.67-inch FHD+ OLED displays with 90Hz refresh rate and run Android 10 with Xiaomi’s MIUI on top. The duo also have Snapdragon 865 processors paired with up to 12GB RAM.

Both phones have quad-camera configurations on the back, but they aren’t the same sensors across the board. While each has a primary 108-megapixel main camera, the other three are completely different.

Xiaomi Mi 10

The Mi 10 has a secondary 13-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a pair of 2-megapixel shooters. The Mi 10 Pro, for its part, has a 12-megapixel portrait sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera, and a 20-megapixel ultra-wide lens.

Other specifications shared between the two include wireless charging, support for the Wi-Fi 6 standard, and UFS 3.0 storage. Additionally, each has dual-band 5G support, too.

The Mi 10 offers users up to 256GB internal storage, however the Mi 10 Pro allows for twice that, or up to 512GB. And while the Mi 10 provides 30W fast charging, the Mi 10 Pro comes in at 50W speeds.

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

In a related note, the Mi 10 packs a 4,500mAh battery with the Mi 10 Pro squeezing in a 4,780mAh power source.

Availability

Xiaomi is bringing the Mi 10 to China first with a price of 3,999 yuan ($570 USD) for the standard model. It is available in Titanium Silver Black, Ice Blue, and Peach Gold. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro arrives on February 18 in blue or white and is priced 4,999 yuan ($715 USD) and up.

As to when a global variant will be sold, it’s hard to say. Mobile World Congress was initially scheduled for later this month, but with its cancellation, it remains uncertain.

Tags: , , , ,

These $30 truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds crush Apple’s Airpods

Let’s not beat around the bush: Apple makes the most popular truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds on the market today. Yes, it seems like half the people I know are walking around with Airpods in their ears. It’s part of the reason we made our guide on pairing the Airpods with Android devices. Just because Apple makes them doesn’t mean you can only use them with Apple products.

Read more: Yes, you can use AirPods with an Android phone; here’s how

But, just because Apple makes them doesn’t mean they’re the best around. Sure, they’re fantastic (I own a pair myself) but there are other options. One of those options is the Xiaomi Air Dots. The recently released truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds are only about $30 USD (though prices are high to import them) and absolutely crush the Airpods in terms of value.

The Air Dots are really well made. Both the case and the earbuds themselves have a soft-touch plastic that feels pretty interesting. I like it but it’s a stark contrast to the hard white plastic of the Airpods.

This soft-touch cover is also a little translucent. When you’re charging the Air Dots in their case, you can actually see the charging LED through the case. It’s a really cool feature and makes them stand out from other wireless earbuds on the market. I’ve had a few people ask me about this feature so you know it’s catching people’s attention.

The case features magnets much like the Airpods case. It snaps shut and the Air Dots drop into place with a satisfying plop due to the magnets in the case. I will say that I don’t have as much confidence in the Air Dots case staying closed as I do with the Airpods, but it hasn’t been an issue yet. I’ve thrown them in my bag a few times and they’ve stayed tucked tightly in their case each time.

In terms of battery life, we’re looking at a rating of four hours of playback with another three charges in the case. In reality, I have found that I get anywhere between three and four hours of playback depending on volume level. You’re not going to reach that five-hour mark, but they won’t die on you in the middle of your workout either.

I do wish these recharged a little faster. It takes between 45 minutes and an hour to recharge both the buds. This isn’t terrible, but with several options on the market that feature quick charging, it feels slow in practice. Also, we’re still dealing with a micro USB connector here. I know that these are extremely cheap but I’m left wondering just how much more it would’ve cost to include USB type-C. Almost everything uses USB type-C now and it’s an annoyance to find a micro USB cable for these.

Luckily, Xioami has included a micro USB cable in the box. It’s a short cable but it gets the job done. Also in the box are some more ear tips in differing sizes and what I’m assuming is an instruction booklet.

I’m assuming that because it’s in Chinese. And that’s one of the biggest drawbacks here. The instructions are in Chinese. The voice prompts are in Chinese. Everything about this is a Chinese product since it’s not officially being sold here in the states. I had no idea how to pair these aside from just heading into my Bluetooth settings and pairing the right earbud. Luckily that worked.

Once I got them paired, I noticed how good they sound. You don’t get the same bass and low-end you get with Airpods, but the Air Dots are also $100 cheaper depending on where you buy them from.

In addition to my own testing, I also had my partner check them out. They don’t care about sound quality as much as I do and just care about having something decent to listen to while at the gym. We both came away with the same feelings, “they’re fine.”

You’re not going to be blown away by how these sound, but you shouldn’t expect to be for the price. I think they’re within striking distance of the Airpods personally and my partner still prefers the Airpods, but not by much.

Voice calls are another story. While everything sounded okay on our end, those on the other end of the line said we sounded muffled and hard to understand. In my testing, you can have basic conversations, but you definitely don’t want to use these for any kind of important call or teleconferencing.

There are no wings or special fittings here, but they do stay in place pretty well. Some other reviewers have mentioned that they fall out of their ears despite trying different tip sizes, but I haven’t had any issues.

I do like that both of the earbuds have touch-sensitive controls. You can do things like launch Google Assistant and play/pause your music with a quick tap or two. These also have no buttons so turning them on or off is as simple as laying your finger on the buds for a few seconds. Once they’re on, they pair incredibly fast. It’s a great experience.

Like most tech under $50, there are trade-offs here. But, the minor negatives are outweighed heavily by the positives. They sound almost as good as Airpods at less than half the cost. They have decent battery life and really nice build quality.

I’d like to see some updates in the next gen like USB type-C or, if we’re feeling really bold, wireless charging. But, I’m willing to live with those shortcomings to keep almost an extra $100 in my pocket.

If you’d like to pick up a pair of Xiaomi Air Dots, head over to GearVita where you can get some right now. As a special gift to our readers, GearVita wanted to pass along a special coupon code. Enter AGMAirdots at checkout to save $15!

Check out these other great truly wireless earbuds:

Tags: , , , ,

Samsung partners with Google, OnePlus 6T specs leak, and more news you need to know

Welcome to In Brief, the AndroidGuys tech briefing. Today is Friday, October 26th, and we’re taking a look at all the tech news you need to know. In this post, we want you to learn about the news the way you want to learn. We’ve embedded a podcast version of all this news below. If you don’t want to listen, you can read just like you normally would.

In today’s edition, the entire OnePlus 6T spec sheet has leaked, along with new reports surrounding the Samsung Galaxy X and Samsung Galaxy S10.

We’d love feedback on this post, so please let us know what you think in the comments. If we can improve in some way, we’d love to know!

OnePlus 6T spec sheet leaked

Ahead of next week’s reveal, the entire spec sheet for the OnePlus 6T has been leaked. In addition to the spec sheet leaking, it seems that we are getting our first looks at some official press images.

The spec sheet reveals much that we already knew, including the 6.4-inch display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080. There is a waterdrop notch at the top which was expected and will provide much more screen real-estate.

On the camera front, there will be a 20MP selfie sensor with an aperture of f/1.7. There will be a dual-camera system on the rear with a 16MP and 20MP lens. Finally, the 6T is set to include a 3,700mAh battery, which is a slight increase over the OnePlus 6.

We’ll learn everything for sure on October 29th, when OnePlus is set to hold an event.

Samsung Galaxy S10 features supposedly rumored

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+A new report gives us a better idea of what to expect from the Galaxy S10 lineup next year. The device is said to feature “curved OLED panels”, along with fingerprint scanners embedded in the display.

The devices are said to sport three rear-mounted cameras, and a single selfie camera. However, this camera could be oddly placed, as the report claims it is “visible and tucked under the screen.”

It looks like Samsung is getting ready to eliminate bezels altogether, provided that it can get the kinks worked out. Finally, Samsung is rumored to be working with Verizon to bring a 5G version of the S10 to the market.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 features coming to the 2S

When Xiaomi released the new Mi Mix 3, the company included many new software features. Many of these were focused on improving the camera experience, mainly with the image processing.

Xiaomi has now confirmed that the Mi Mix 2S and Mi 8 would both be receiving a software update with improvements in-tow. The reason this is possible is due to the fact that the Mix 2S and Mix 3 both use the same Sony camera sensor.

Unfortunately, there is no mention of when the update will be coming to Mi Mix 2S or Mi 8 owners.

Samsung working with Google on foldable smartphone

Alleged foldable display smartphone concept from Samsung.

It’s no secret that Samsung is working on a foldable smartphone. The Galaxy X has been rumored for a few years, and Samsung recently confirmed its existence.

However, it seems that Samsung has enlisted Google’s help on the software side. Samsung is seemingly struggling with getting Android to work properly with a foldable display.

The report also states that the device will be almost as heavy as the Galaxy Note 9. But as for the hinge, the device has been tested “through 200,000 cycles” to see how durable it will be.

Unfortunately, there is no mention as to when the Galaxy X will enter its production phase.

Android Oreo comes to the Moto Z2 Play

After being launched last year, the Verizon Moto Z2 Play has been stuck on Android Nougat. This is even after the official release of Android Pie.

Owners of the device are starting to get in on some of the fun. Verizon has finally pushed the Android 8.0 Oreo update to owners of the Z2 Play.

This is rather disappointing to see, since Android Pie is out and already starting to make its rounds. Nonetheless, at least updates are still coming to the year-old device and it hasn’t been forgotten.

Visit our sponsor!

We’d like to thank Blue Microphones for sponsoring the AndroidGuys Audio experience! Click here to check out the Blue Yeticaster, the best option for podcasts! Enter promo code Androidguys (US only!) for 20% off of your order.

Subscribe!

Get more of the AndroidGuys Audio Experience

Google Play Music | Simplecast | iTunes | Stitcher | Pocket Casts

For questions, concerns, or general feedback about the podcast feel free to contact us at podcast [at] androidguys.com.

Tags: , , , , ,

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is official with four cameras, slider design, and barely there bezels

Xiaomi officially launched their Mi Mix 3 today incorporating a magnetic sliding 6.4-inch display. Making use of the slider design maximizes screen real estate providing a true 93.4 percent screen to body ratio without including an unsightly notch.

Without a cut out in the display to house the front-facing cameras you’re left with a near bezel-free screen. The cameras have to go somewhere though, and this is where the slider comes into play. In order to take a selfie, you’ll be forced to slide up the back portion of the phone to reveal the 24MP + 2MP front-facing cameras.

Xiaomi has attempted to make the slider more fun and added a little customization. Users will have the option to change the sound effect when sliding as well as the ability to assign a shortcut to the action.

Specs

As far as specs you’re looking at a pretty similar line up to most other 2018 flagships. Unfortunately, with all the Mi Mix 3 is packing, they saw fit to exclude the microSD card slot and 3.5mm headphone jack.

  • Display: 6.4-inch 2340 x 1080 19.5:9 AMOLED
  • Processor: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 6GB, 8GB, 10GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB; no microSD expansion
  • Rear Cameras: 12MP f/1.8 + 12MP f/2.4 telephoto
  • Front Cameras: 24MP + 2MP
  • Battery: 3200mAh
  • OS: Android 9 Pie MIUI 10

The dual camera setup on the back has garnered a score of 103 from DxOMark currently positioning it as the 5th best mobile camera. Xiaomi took time to show off how the Mi Mix’s new Night Mode will improve night time photos.

It does so by taking multiple exposures and combining them to reduce noise. This to the similar technology used by Huawei providing and they used side by side examples against the P20 on stage.



The Mi Mix will also include the trendy AI scene recognition that many other flagships are touting, along with a 960fps super slow motion mode.

Availability

Pre-orders for the Mi Mix 3 begin today starting at 3,299 yuan ($475) for the 6GB+128GB model, 3,599 yuan ($518) for the 8GB/128GB variant, and 3,999 yuan ($576) for the 8GB/256GB model. The Mi Mix 3 comes in three colors including Jade Green, Onyx Black, and Sapphire Blue. All models will include a 10W charger and will be available November 1.

Outside of the traditional models, there will also be a special Forbidden City edition launching at the end of November with 10GB of RAM for 4,999 yuan ($720). Xiaomi also said to expect a 5G variant in Q1 of 2019.

Tags: ,

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 could come with 10GB of RAM, new Spotify app, and more news you need to know

Welcome to In Brief, the AndroidGuys tech briefing. Today is Wednesday, October 17th, and we’re taking a look at all the tech news you need to know. In this post, we want you to learn about the news the way you want to learn. We’ve embedded a podcast version of all this news below. If you don’t want to listen, you can read just like you normally would.

In today’s edition, Spotify launches a new Wear OS app, the Mi Mix 3 could come with 10GB of RAM, and big news out of Essential.

We’d love feedback on this post, so please let us know what you think in the comments. If we can improve in some way, we’d love to know!

Brand new Spotify app coming to Wear OS

Despite its struggles over the last few years, Google is still seemingly committed to Wear OS. Not only is Google still on the horse, but various other services are also dedicated to providing a great wearable experience.

The latest company to show its commitment to Wear OS is Spotify. The music-streaming giant has announced a brand new standalone app for Wear OS.

The app will launch later this week, and will make it possible to browse through your favorite content from your wrist. Additionally, Spotify has partnered with Fossil Group to have the new app pre-installed on all Fossil Gen 4 and Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatches.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 will have 10GB of RAM

If you thought that we were done seeing new smartphones in 2018, then you would be wrong. Next up on the list will seemingly be the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, which is set to be revealed on October 25th.

The company has started sending out press invitations for the official unveiling. The invite itself doesn’t share too much information, other than the fact that the Mi Mix 3 will be compatible with 5G.

Additionally, there is some information which suggests that there will be a variant launched with 10GB of RAM. This likely won’t be the entry-level version, but that much RAM in a smartphone is absolutely insane.

You can now pre-order the Pocophone F1 in the US from B&H

The Xiaomi Pocophone F1 was introduced back in September and has been one of the most exciting phones of the year. Until now, you had to rely on different websites to have the device imported from China.

READ MORE: Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Review

It seems that is all about to change as B&H Photo has the handset listed as available for pre-order. However, there are some issues for those that are interested in the Pocophone.

Namely, the carrier support is severely lacking, as there are no major LTE bands included with the device. If you can get past that, or just want a great handset with incredible specs, you can pre-order one for yourself today for just $369.99.

Essential lays off a-third of its staff

After reports surfaced that Essential was working on an “AI-centric” smartphone, those reports now be put to bed. In a statement to Bloomberg, the company confirmed that it has now laid off one-third of its staff.

Those laid off were primarily located in the hardware and sales divisions. In the statement, Essential claimed that they are still working on a new “truly game-changing consumer product”.

Considering that Essential only had a staff of 120 workers, this is a substantial blow. We are hoping to see the company rebound, but it may end up being too little too late.

RED Hydrogen One Specs are leaked ahead of launch

In July of 2017, the RED Hydrogen One was announced, with a unique focus on camera performance. Since then, the company has experienced a few issues, which has caused some delays.

It seems that we are finally nearing the launch as the spec sheet for the device has been leaked. The sheet reveals the Hydrogen One will sport dual 12.3MP rear-mounted sensors along with dual 8.3MP front-facing cameras.

We will also see a rather unique design with front-firing speakers, a huge 4500mAh battery, and more. The only information not shared was the processor, which is believed to be the Snapdragon 835 chipset.

Visit our sponsor!

We’d like to thank Blue Microphones for sponsoring the AndroidGuys Audio experience! Click here to check out the Blue Yeticaster, the best option for podcasts! Enter promo code Androidguys (US only!) for 20% off of your order.

Subscribe!

Get more of the AndroidGuys Audio Experience

Google Play Music | Simplecast | iTunes | Stitcher | Pocket Casts

For questions, concerns, or general feedback about the podcast feel free to contact us at podcast [at] androidguys.com.

Tags: , , , , ,

Essential Phone 2 could be real, Xiaomi releases Mi Box S, and more news you need to know

Welcome to In Brief, the AndroidGuys tech briefing. Today is Wednesday, October 10th, and we’re taking a look at all the tech news you need to know. In this post, we want you to learn about the news the way you want to learn. We’ve embedded a podcast version of all this news below. If you don’t want to listen, you can read just like you normally would.

In today’s edition, we learn more about a possible successor to the Essential Phone along with getting a new Android TV box from Xiaomi. We also learn a bit more about some upcoming Samsung devices.

We’d love feedback on this post, so please let us know what you think in the comments. If we can improve in some way, we’d love to know!

Essential Phone 2 could be solely focused on AI

Essential Phone PH-1

A few months ago, a report surfaced which claimed that Andy Rubin’s Essential company was accepting offers. The company also seemingly canceled its current phone projects, leaving PH-1 fans wondering where to go next.

If a new report from Bloomberg is to be believed, all of that has changed. The report suggests that the Essential Phone 2 is, indeed, in the works and could make its appearance at CES 2019 in January.

As for what we should expect, there’s not much to go off of. Instead, the report claims that the Essential Phone 2 will have a “small screen, which is primarily controlled by voice commands”. Then, the built-in A.I. would attempt to mimic the behaviors of the user when notifications arrive.

Xiaomi Mi Box S now available for pre-order for $59

Lost in the Pixel 3 news, Xiaomi unveiled a new piece of hardware with the Mi Box S. This an updated version of the Mi Box and is powered by Android TV.

The software is based on Android Oreo, while offering a brand-new navigation interface. The Mi Box S also provides 4K HDR playback, and can be controlled with the simplistic remote which sports a dedicated Google Assistant button.

Pre-orders for the Mi Box S are now live, but you can only pick one up from Walmart. The price comes in at $59.99, and this new Android TV will become available in “early November”.

Samsung Galaxy A9 Star leak reveals four rear cameras

Now that LG has released a handset with three rear-mounted cameras, Samsung is already looking to up the ante. The Galaxy A9 Star, has leaked courtesy of Evan Blass.

The leaked image reveals that the A9 Star will sport a total of four rear camera sensors. As for what these sensors are capable of, there is a main 24MP sensor, a 10MP telephoto lens, a 5MP depth camera, and an 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view.

Rumored specs for the device include the Snapdragon 660 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. All of this will be packaged beneath a 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a FULL HD+ resolution.

Samsung could finally remove the headphone jack with the Note 10

While it seems that just about every manufacturer is removing the headphone jack, Samsung and LG have remained steadfast. Both companies have been bucking this trend that has been taking place the past few years.

It seems that Samsung is considering joining the parade with the release of either the Galaxy Note 10 or S11. The report claims that Samsung is considering to make the changes and leave customers to use a headphone dongle.

We expect that the Galaxy S10’s design has already been solidified, and it seems that the headphone jack is safe for that release. However, the report does not provide a reason other than Samsung’s desire to save space within the device.

Visit our sponsor!

We’d like to thank Blue Microphones for sponsoring the AndroidGuys Audio experience! Click here to check out the Blue Yeticaster, the best option for podcasts! Enter promo code Androidguys (US only!) for 20% off of your order.

Subscribe!

Get more of the AndroidGuys Audio Experience

Google Play Music | Simplecast | iTunes | Stitcher | Pocket Casts

For questions, concerns, or general feedback about the podcast feel free to contact us at podcast [at] androidguys.com.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sub-$500 smartphone showdown: Pocophone F1 vs ASUS Zenfone 5Z

Companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus started a new movement a few years back. As they begun releasing products packing high-end features and much cheaper price tags than the competition’s, a new product category was born: the affordable flagship.

And over the years more and more Android phone makers have joined in the efforts to offer well-specced, but still wallet-friendly handsets for customers who don’t want to spend $800+ on a phone.

Well among the most recent entries into this niche we find two offerings. One from ASUS and another one from a new Xiaomi sub-brand called Poco. Actually, the former has taken the idea of an affordable flagship to a whole new level, as we will see below.

So in this article, we take a look at how Poco’s first offering the Pocophone F1 compares against the ASUS Zenfone 5Z, which just went on sale in the US this summer.

Design and display

If you want a gorgeous-looking phone, well from the start we can tell you the Pocophone F1 is not what you’re looking for. The handset is quite generic in terms of design, featuring a rather drab polycarbonate back that pales in comparison to products such as the OnePlus 6.

Actually, the F1 also looks unimpressive when pitted against ASUS Zenfone 5Z, which is mostly made of glass, with a metal frame sandwiched in between. That being said, the latest Zenfone looks every bit as modern and stylish as every other flagship that launched this year.

Moreover, it’s glass back has a nice look with a fine circular pattern that springs from the fingerprint scanner on the back and creates spinning wheel patterns when the light hits the back. The F1 also has a fingerprint scanner on the rear.

In line with most phones in 2018, both the Pocophone F1 and ASUS Zenfone 5Z sport notches on the front. But there’s a noticeable difference here. The F1’s large notch seems a bit out of place, due to the still consistent top and lower bezels.

In contrast, ASUS’ approach is a lot more elegant. The bottom “chin” for example is quite thin, to the point that is barely noticeable.

When it comes to displays, the Pocophone F1 packs a 5.99-inch IPS LCD one with FHD+ resolution. The ASUS device, on the other hand, takes advantage of a larger 6.2-inch IPS LCD display with the same FHD+ res.

Performance

While the ASUS Zenfone 5Z looks and feels more premium, performance-wise you won’t notice any major discrepancies between the two handsets.

That’s because both devices are powered by the latest Snapdragon 845. The Pocophone F1 has three configurations:

  • 6GB of RAM + 64GB of storage
  • 8GB of RAM + 128GB of storage
  • 8GB of RAM + 256GB of storage

The ASUS Zenfone 5Z also comes in three options, but as you already guessed it, availability varies by region:

  • 4GB of RAM + 64GB of storage
  • 6GB of RAM + 128GB of storage
  • 8GB of RAM + 256GB of storage

Indeed, the two phones should be on-par when it comes to speed and smoothness. We should also mention that Xiaomi has added a liquid cooling system inside the Pocophone F1 to help the CPU do its job without overheating.

The battery inside Xiaomi’s offering is also pretty great. It’s a 4,000 mAh unit that has support for Quick Charge 3. The device ships with a 9V/2A charger in the box. There’s no wireless charging, but that’s to be understood, given that this is a super affordable flagship.

As for the ASUS phone, it relies on a smaller 3,300 mAh unit with fast battery charging 9V/2A. There’s a lack of wireless charging in here too. On top of that, none of the two devices features any kind of water resistance.

Yet, they both preserve the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Cameras

Xiaomi and ASUS are ticking all the boxes here by incorporating a dual-lens main camera into their products. The Pocophone bundles a 12MP+5MP duo, while the Zenfone features 12MP+8MP sensors on the back.

As we found in our review of the Pocophone F1, the device can shoot pretty nice images. The portrait mode too is quite good, with excellent edge detection. However, the phone does have a tendency to falter in trickier light conditions, as it overexposes and messes up white balance.

When it comes to selfies, the F1 packs a 20MP shooter with an IR sensor that helps with face unlock. In the case of the Zenfone, the front-facing camera is an 8MP affair. The phone also has a face unlock feature that works very well when there’s enough light.

Software

The Pocophone F1 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo with Xiaomi’s MIUI 9.6 UI on top. There’s also a Poco Launcher over MIUI. The idea behind the Poco Launcher is to make everything look like stock Android, so if you’re a fan of that you’ll enjoy the software experience on board this phone.

What’s more, Xiaomi has pledged to deliver the Android Pie update for the device, by the end of this year. And so did ASUS in regards to its Zenfone 5Z. Although the Taiwanese company didn’t provide a timeframe.

The phone currently runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with ASUS’ ZenUI 5.0, which you will find looks quite attractive. Although, the software feels like it does need more polishing to truly shine. The presence of some pre-installed apps of dubious usefulness (like Selfie Master) is also pretty annoying.

Price

The Pocophone crushes the competition when it comes to price. The device is priced so very affordable, but there’s a big caveat.

Despite its amazing value, the F1 does not support the LTE bands that US carriers use to power their LTE networks. The phone does support most GSM bands for 3G networks, but it does not offer the same courtesy when it comes to true LTE bands. Which is a real shame. Knowing these limitations, if you still want to buy it, the F1 is available on Amazon for $399.

But the Pocophone F1 is really a perfect buy if you live outside the US.

What about the ASUS Zenfone 5Z? Well, this model you can purchase in the States. The device is available on Amazon for $499. It’s sold as unlocked and comes with a warranty. Note that the product is compatible with GSM carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T.

Tags: , , ,

Hot Take: Pocophone F1 review, Slack buys Astro, and Galaxy P30 leaks (Episode 28)

Join us as we sit down and discuss some of the hot tech topics out there today. Kicking us off was giving a sneak peek at Donovan’s Pocophone F1 review, what’s going on email apps, and a surprising upcoming Samsung device.

What we talked about today

More news

Visit our sponsor!

We’d like to thank Blue Microphones for sponsoring the AndroidGuys Audio experience! Click here to check out the Blue Yeticaster, the best option for podcasts! Enter promo code Androidguys (US only!) for 20% off of your order.

Subscribe!

Get more of the AndroidGuys Audio Experience

Google Play Music | Simplecast | iTunes | Stitcher | Pocket Casts

For questions, concerns, or general feedback about the podcast feel free to contact us at podcast [at] androidguys.com.

Tags: , , , ,

The best budget Android smartphones you can buy right now (September 2018)

You need a new device but (rightly) think spending north of $800 is insanity, right? Well, you’re not alone. An entire segment of budget flagship devices has sprung up and they’re surprisingly good! Today we’re taking a look at the best phones you can purchase if you have between $300 and $500 to spend.

Without further ado, here’s our list.

OnePlus 6

Okay, right out of the gate, we’re going to cheat a little bit– but stay with us! The OnePlus 6 starts off at $529 and offers excellent specs, build quality, and a second-to-none software experience.

The OnePlus 6 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The octa-core chip is clocked at 2.8 GHz and is fast as hell. Backing up the SoC is either 6 or 8 GB of RAM and 64, 128, or 256 GB of storage. While there’s no expandable storage here, OnePlus offers a ton of storage standard and it’s only about $50 to purchase a model with higher capacity.

Read more: OnePlus 6 review: The best value smartphone of 2018

On the back of the phone, we find a dual 16 + 20 MP camera setup. Both of the sensors have a f/1.7 aperture, while the main sensor has both EIS and OIS for extra stability. The front-facing camera is a 16 MP f/2.0 sensor that promises excellent selfies.

One of the biggest changes for OnePlus is going to a glass back. Previous iterations normally had metal backs, but this year we’re seeing a gorgeous black or white glass that gives the OP6 an even more premium look.

Unfortunately, we still don’t have wireless charging, but OnePlus does include its excellent DASH charging that promises a day’s worth of battery in just an hour of charging.

OnePlus 6 purchase links: OnePlus | Amazon

Xiaomi Mi 8

Xiaomi has a reputation for making the best phone possible then charging the least amount it can. The Mi 8 follows that trend.

With true flagship specs, the Xioami Mi 8 represents a fantastic value for just under $500. The phone has a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and anywhere between 64 and 256 GB of storage depending on which model you pick up. Unfortunately, there’s no expandable storage in the Mi 8 this year.

No expandable storage is one of only a handful of compromises Xiaomi had to make to keep the price down. We’d have like to see an IP rating, wireless charging, dual speakers, and a headphone jack. None of these features are dealbreakers, but other phones at this price do have them.

Those missing features aside, there’s plenty to love about the Mi 8. It features face unlock akin to Apple’s FaceID, extremely good build quality, and dual 12 MP + 12 MP cameras that do a fantastic job. Battery life is another standout feature with users getting close to two days of usage. And when that battery finally does run dry, you can recharge quickly because the Mi 8 supports Quick Charge 4, the latest quick charging standard.

Xiaomi Mi 8 purchase links: Gearbest | DealXtreme | Geekbuying | Trading Shenzhen | Ali Express

Nokia 7 Plus

Nokia is back in a big way and the Nokia 7 Plus is one of the best choices for people on a budget. While it’s specs won’t blow you away, its performance surely will.

The Nokia 7 Plus comes standard with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage. Those are solid specs for a phone at this price. We really like the inclusion of the Snapdragon 660 processor here. It’s not as powerful as the flagship Snapdragon 845 processor, but can still chew through tasks and isn’t as power hungry.

There are also a ton of little features to love here. We get a microSD card slot that supports up to 256 GB of additional storage. This is fantastic if you live in an area without the best service because you can save all of your movies, music, and pictures directly onto your memory card and avoid trying to stream.

But, we have to admit that one of the best things about the Nokia 7 Plus is software. Nokia has committed to using stock Android on its devices and that’s a decision we support. It’s clean, it’s fast, and updates come quickly. We love Google’s software vision (we are the AndroidGuys, aren’t we?) so if we can pick up a device with stock, we’re going to.

Nokia 7 Plus purchase links: Amazon

Huawei Honor 10

If you want a phone that thinks too, the Honor 10 might be your best bet. Honor built in a ton of AI features into the Honor 10 and included a processor with a Neural Processing Unit. It almost sounds like SciFi, doesn’t it?

Well, it isn’t. It’s science fact because the Honor 10 includes the Kirin 970 that has a dedicated processing unit just for AI. This helps the phone identify scenes in the camera to give you better pictures and a whole host of other options within the software. While some people think AI a buzzword (and perhaps rightly so), Honor is trying to prove them wrong.

Read more: Honor 10 review: a compelling option in the affordable flagship niche

The device includes a notch and very, very small bezels. It isn’t much larger than the (extremely nice) display and is very easy to handle. We found it to be a great one-handed device in a world of ever-expanding phone sizes.

Huawei Honor 10 purchase links: Amazon

Honor View10/V10

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor released one of the best phones of the year in the Honor View10 (also called the Honor V10 in some markets). The $499 device combines high-end specs, simple yet elegant design, and a great camera to offer great value to customers.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Honor View10 is the display. The display itself won’t blow anyone away, but Honor somehow managed to get a 6-inch 18:9 display on the device and keep the front-facing fingerprint scanner too. The button sits just below the screen and can also go back and open the multitasking menu via swipes and taps. We’ve seen this tech in phones from Motorola, but never on a phone with this aspect ratio.

Read more: Honor View10 Review: The budget flagship king?

Just because you’re spending a little bit less on a device doesn’t mean you should miss out on the best processor available. Honor included the Hisilicon Kirin 970 chip, Huawei’s in-house flagship processor, in the Honor View10. The chip also includes a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that helps the phone process AI-related tasks. Not bad for $500.

Not only do you get a great processor, but the rest of the specs are impressive too. There’s 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage standard. A 3750 mAh battery keeps the show running all day, and a dual 16 MP + 20 MP camera provides great pictures even in low light.

So, what’s the biggest problem with the Honor View10? Availability. Right now it’s hard to get the phone in the United States. The only official outlet we can find is Amazon. If you are out of luck there, you can try importing it from a site like GearBest or AliExpress or take your chances with eBay.

Honor View 10 purchase links: AmazoneBay | GearBest | AliExpress

Essential Phone

The Essential Phone has had an interesting journey. The phone was teased in early 2017 by Android co-founder Andy Rubin. It wouldn’t ship for another five months, but the hype around it built to a fever pitch. And then…. disappointment.

While the Essential Phone is a fantastic phone, missed deadlines, broken promises, and leaking customer data killed the shine on the device. But, that’s all in the past. What matters now is the device you can purchase today for as low as $250 during Prime Day. The phone now normally sits anywhere between $300 and $350 on Amazon.

Read more: Essential should open source its accessories platform

When picking the best looking phones on the market, the Essential Phone should be near the top of your list. The almost all screen design looks absolutely gorgeous. Sure, the notch isn’t for everyone and we’d prefer AMOLED over LCD, but the phone looks great and feels fantastic in the hand.

The Essential Phone runs stock Android and received frequent updates. It’s one of the first major devices to get an Android 8.0 beta while flagships from Samsung, LG, and others are stuck on Nougat. Not only that, but the Essential Phone received a day one update to Android 9 Pie. How’s that for quick software updates?

Essential Phone purchase links: Essential | Sprint | Amazon | Best Buy

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The best cheap Android phones you can buy right now (September 2018)

Not everyone has hundreds of dollars to spend on a phone. But, that doesn’t mean you’re willing to spend your hard earned money on a piece of crap, right? Well in today’s market, you can find a great device no matter how much money you have to spend. Here’s our list of the best cheap Android (under $300) devices you can get right now.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1

Starting this list anywhere but with the Pocophone F1 would be crazy. This phone is the true rockstar of this price range because it offers flagship specs and a crazy low price.

Pocophone is a sub-brand of Xiaomi designed to compete with other budget flagship makers (OnePlus) in India. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get the phone here in the states! It might be a little bit more, but it’s certainly worth it.

The Pocophone F1 rivals other flagships that cost upwards of 3x its price. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and 64, 128 or 256 GB of storage. And if that’s not enough storage, it also supports microSD cards up to 256 GB, too. Those specs are enough to match it up with phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and OnePlus 6 while costing between $200 and $700 less. Crazy.

Another feature that makes the Pocophone F1 an attractive option is the inclusion of dual SIM slots. While most people end up buying a second device to use overseas, the Pocophone F1 will let you drop a local SIM into your second card slot and save you even more money.

You can expect to pay a little more if you’re importing it to the US, but we are pretty sure its worth it.

Xiaomi Pocophone F1 purchase links: GearVita | Giztop | Banggood | Geek Buying | CooliCool

Motorola Moto G6

Motorola is back with another installment in its fabulous G lineup and we’re in love. While it doesn’t quite have the specs of the Pocophone F1, it does have more than adequate specs for the price.

Inside the device, we find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage standard. The plentiful RAM stands out to us as most flagships have the same amount of RAM but cost far, far more that the $250 Moto G6. We also love the 64 GB of internal storage that can easily be expanded via micro SD card.

Motorola decided to class its G lineup a bit and use some more premium materials. Both the front and the back of the G6 are coated in Gorilla Glass. The back looks and feels outstanding and reminds us of phones that cost far, far more.

But, one of the big draws of picking up a Motorola device has always been its adherence to stock Android. The Moto G6 is no different. It comes with a clean build of Android Oreo with a few smart additions thrown in by Motorola.

This phone is fast, clean, and fun to use and you can pick one up by clicking one of the links below.

Motorola Moto G6 purchase links: Amazon | Motorola | Verizon Wireless | Best Buy

Huawei Mate SE

Huawei might have suffered some setbacks recently with the Mate 10 Pro, but it hasn’t stopped the China-based company from selling its phones in the US. One of the most compelling devices it offers is the $230 Mate SE.

The Mate SE features some high-end features like a 1080p 18:9 display, a dual rear camera setup, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage.

The display is a 5.93-inch 1080p panel that reaches from edge to edge. You’ll have to get out your microscope to find the bezels here (okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a bit) and it makes the phone feel all that more premium. When you combine the power-efficient 1080p display with the generous 3,340 mAh battery, you’re in for some amazing battery life too!

Read more: Huawei Mate SE review

The standard loadout for most flagship phones in 2017 and early 2018 has been 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. That’s pretty generous and leads to some happy customers. But, Huawei went one step further and included these specs on the budget Mate SE. Not only do you get a ton of RAM and storage, but there’s a micro SD card slot to boot so you can add even more storage.

All-in-all, the Huawei Mate SE is one of, if not the best, cheap phone on the market today.

Huawei Mate SE purchase links: Amazon | B&H Photo | Walmart

Xiaomi Mi A1

Xiaomi isn’t the biggest name in the United States, but that’s only because it has been focusing on foreign markets. What you may not know is that its one of the worlds largest Android phone manufactures. And that’s for a great reason. The company is able to produce fantastic phones and charge less than its competitors.

Case in point: The Xiaomi Mi A1. There are two variants of the device, Xiaomi’s version with its own Android skin and the Android One version. We’re going to focus on the Android One version today as it has stock Android and you can actually purchase it in the US, unlike Xiaomi’s other version.

Read more: Which Android One smartphone is better? Moto X4 vs Xiaomi Mi A1

The Mi A1 has 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage (expandable via microSD card) and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. Those aren’t the best specs you’re going to find at the $300 price point, but they’re pretty competitive. Out of the box, the Mi A1 came with Android 7.1.2 Nougat but has already been upgraded to Android 8.0 Oreo and will hopefully see an upgrade to Android 9 Pie. Google handles all of the software updates for the Mi A1 so you know they’ll be quick and very reliable.

Xiaomi Mi A1 purchase linksAmazon

Huawei Honor 7X

Here’s Huawei’s second entry onto our list, the Honor 7X. Honor is a sister brand to Huawei, but they both produce really solid phones. So far its devices have only been sold unlocked here in the states. With an estimated 80 to 90 percent of devices sold through carrier stores, its been hard for the company to gain a foothold, but with great devices like the Honor 7X, that may be changing soon.

Huawei has picked up some momentum this year by releasing amazing devices like the flagship Mate 10 Pro which gained a spot on our Best Flagships list, and the Honor 7X which is firmly entrenched in the Best Cheap Device list. The device features an 18:9 1080p display, a 16 MP dual camera and a massive 3,340 mAh battery.

The Honor 7X also features the HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor. Huawei makes its own processors and the Kirin 659 is its excellent mid-range processor. It should be able to power through most any task while sipping power instead of gulping. Paired with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card), you have a winner on your hands.

Huawei Honor 7X purchase links: Amazon | GeekBuying

Tags: , , , , , , , ,