Not many phones do get our attention. Because it is hard to get that perfect smartphone. but today we will help you choose your Dream Device.
1. Samsung S10 Plus
It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since Samsung released the first galaxy s smartphone. But here we are with the galaxy s10, and it’s easily the best galaxy s yet.
Design and Build
S10’s hardware is very nice. It’s exactly what you’d expect for a phone that costs this much. It’s an evolution of what Samsung started four years ago with the galaxy s6. It has aluminum sides with a polished finish, and front and rear glass. Now, on the s10 and the s10 plus, the glass curves into the frame, which makes it feel great in your hand and more comfortable to hold. Even though these are really big phones. Now, on that point, the s10 plus is not one handphone, not for me at least.
If I were to purchase it, I’d probably put a case, and maybe even one of those pop sockets on the back to make it easier to hold and use. If you do want something smaller, Samsung has a regular s10, and then the s10e. Now, as I said before, there’s a headphone jack down at the bottom, Samsung includes some pretty nice wired headphones that plug right into it. Plus, loud stereo speakers for when you’re not wearing headphones.
Like the last few galaxy s models, the s10 is water-resistant. It has fast wired and wireless charging, and you can expand the storage with a MicroSD card. Though I think most people will probably be pretty happy with the 128 gigs it comes within the base model.
Inside, the s10 is the first phone I’ve used with the snapdragon 855 processor, and performance is really fast. It’s smooth and responsive, and there’s no real lag anywhere. I don’t think it’s as blisteringly fast as a one plus phone, but I’ve got no real performance complaints here.
It also, don’t have any complaints about battery life. I don’t think the s10 plus is breaking any records, but it’s reliable enough that I just don’t have to worry about it. I’ve been able to get two days between charges with light usage. And have no real trouble making it a full day with heavy usage. But it is a big phone, with a big battery, so this is the kind of battery life that I kind of expect at this point.
The s10 plus’s display does not disappoint. It’s a 6.4-inch hdr10+ OLED screen, that gets super bright, and has rich, vibrant colors and great viewing angles. The screen stretches to the top and bottom of the phone, with just the tiniest of borders around it.
Now, Samsung seems to have toned down its super aggressive saturation this year. So the normal video mode, which is what I use this screen in, looks pleasing, and not eye-searing like it used to. But, that isn’t particularly new or exciting.
As you probably already noticed, the s10 doesn’t have a notch cut out for its front-facing camera. Instead, it has this weird hole punch shape off to the right side. On the s10 plus, that houses two cameras, the main camera, and the second one for depth effects and portrait mode.
Is this any better than a notch which would just be in the middle of the screen instead of off to the side? I don’t think so. I would rather have a notch since at least that has some symmetry. This hole punch design pushes the battery and network indicators off to the left. And it just looks weird when I’m looking at it all day long.
None of this is the end of the world, the s10’s display still looks nice. And it’s probably one of the best actual panels you can get on a phone.
The other thing that’s embedded in the screen is the new fingerprint scanner which has been moved from the back of the phone up to the front. The scanner’s ultrasonic, which is a little different from the optical ones we’ve seen on Oneplus and other phones. That’s supposed to make it a bit more reliable and harder to spoof. It can be hard to find, but it’s about half an inch up from the bottom. And if you’re using a lock screen it’ll show you where to place your finger.
But it’s not a big area, and if you’re not deliberate with your finger placement, it can be easy to miss. And this scanner is not as fast as traditional capacitive ones. And I often have to try a couple of times before it will unlock. I’d just rather have a face id system that requires less work to use, or at the very least, and an old school fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone.
Now, the s10 does have a face unlocking feature, but you should know that it’s just using the camera to look for your image. There’s no 3d mapping or advanced scanning. So it’s not as secure as the fingerprint scanner, or apple’s face id. I was able to unlock it with a video of my face played on another phone, so there you go.
Here’s the main takeaway you should know about the s10’s camera. It is perhaps the most versatile of any of the mainstream phones. That’s because the s10 has three cameras on the back, which give you different perspectives at the click of a button. There’s a standard camera, a telephoto camera, and then a brand new ultra-wide camera.
It’s like having a whole camera bag full of lenses built right into the back of your phone. And it lets you capture perspectives, especially that super-wide one. That you just can’t get with an iPhone or a pixel.
One weird thing to note about this, though the s10’s portrait mode uses the main camera instead of the telephoto. So your portrait shots are going to come out pretty wide, maybe wider than you expect. It’s kind of like how the iPhone XR works, as opposed to the xs.
Now, aside from the new lens, camera performance hasn’t changed much from last year’s s9 plus. The s10’s camera is still very good, with fast focusing, fast launching, and generally great performance in most lighting situations. But if you didn’t like the way the photos from the s9 looked, you probably aren’t going to be swayed by the s10.
For the front camera, the new 10-megapixel sensor with autofocus produces sharp images. And there’s even a software button to get a little bit wider of a view if you’re shooting a group selfie. Now, Samsung does do some pretty aggressive noise reduction and skin smoothing, especially in low light. But thankfully, the beauty modes are all turned off by default.
Then there’s the portrait mode on the s10 plus, it’s pretty decent. But it’s not perfect, just like any other portrait mode you can get on any other phone. And there’s a couple of new effects that you’ll probably use once, and then never touch again, kinda like apple’s portrait lighting stuff.
2. iPhone XR
Does the iPhone 10 r, give up anything compared to the 10s. What about its camera? also about its size? What about battery life? Is this the best iPhone to get right now? Let’s find out.
Why iPhone XR?
There are lots of iPhones and they are getting more expensive. Once Apple released the iiPhone10 suddenly $1000 phone became a thing. Other companies have followed suit. There’s some relief with the iiPhone10 owner. Phone’s cost as much as laptops now and that means you’re probably not gonna be buying one as frequently. Or if you do you’re gonna be thinking hard about which ones to get. That’s why if the iiPhone10 r is nice because it cost $750 to start that’s a lot less than the thousand dollars of the iiPhone10.
The 10 r has an LCD instead of an oOLEDnearly full screen. Except for the true depth faced id sensing camera on the front the same as the other 10 models. Yes, there’s a notch. There’s a bit more bezel on this phone but at 66.1-inch LCD still looks great. It’s also a bigger screen for movies and games compared to the iiPhone10s.
There are differences between the 10s OLEDand the 10 r LCD Black levels aren’t as black but colors still look great and in most everyday use cases you’ll probably never know the difference. Unless you’re directly comparing them side by side.
Build and Design
The phone’s a bit thicker and it’s got aluminum sides instead of steel along with the glass front and back. But so were the other iPhones before this big deal. The battery life is better and that’s great a few hours more says apple over the 10 s. In my use so far it seems like it holds a charge longer during the day.
The phone’s got the same processor as the iiPhone10s with a gig less ram but performance is just as fast. Remember 3d touch or maybe you don’t. Did you ever use it? Apple’s pressure-sensitive screen display tech is now gone on the 10r. It’s not there it’s okay you won’t miss it. I do like 3d touch for previewing links and peeking at info and some apps. But it’s really fine not to have it, excellent haptic vibrations still make it feel like I’m pressing on a bit sometimes. Even when I’m not and haptics matter more than pressure.
So what about the cameras I’m so good for the most part. The 10r is great and takes photos just like the iiPhone10’s. The front-facing camera is the same and does the same portrait mode effects, face id, and an emoji that the iPhone10 models can. Apple’s onboard camera sensor in isp is the same as the iiPhone10 s. So general photos and smart hdr worked the same helping grab extra detail, get faster focus, and avoiding a bright light blowout in high contrast areas. But there’s no second rear camera that’s where the 10r is different.
The rear camera just has one lens like google pixel 3. The iPhone10 r does have portrait mode on its rear camera. But it’s a very different thing than portrait mode on an iiPhone10 or a 10 s. First of all, it’s all handled via software but also even when you’re putting the portrait mode effect in. It’s all based in wide-angle whereas the iPhone10 and 10 s lean towards telephoto. That means that at the same distance and on those phones you’d be seeing the subject a lot closer. Here you’re seeing me pretty far away.
I do notice that when you take photos on iPhone 10 r. The portrait mode here seems to capture a little more detail in low-light. So on the iiPhone10 s max, you can see the portrait mode gets a lot closer to my face at a similar distance. And the look of it is different my face is shaped differently and there’s not as much room on the sides. Here portrait photos on the iPhone10 r that I took ended up seeming farther away. They still look sharp but not vastly different than what normal wide-angle photos already look like.
The bokeh effect is more subtle two faces can end up looking more detailed and less flat than portrait photos on the 10s. But also can be more distorted on the iPhone10’s portrait mode at the same distance zooms in a lot closer. But faces also seemed better proportioned and more beautifully composed still for a classic headshot.
3. iPhone XS
I’ve had the iPhone 10s for about seven months and today what I want to share with you is not a specs rehash but just not another review either. But a subjective experience of my personal experience with this phone over seven months. And kind of tell you where it stands now I was a little tough on it before seeing that the iPhone 10s is a boring phone. And that holds today but it’s not always a bad thing that this is a boring device. So let’s talk about it here where does the iPhone 10s stand in the world today.
Design and Build
So after seven months how is it design bent on the iPhone at 10s. Now I’ve talked about how premium the xs max feels and this one feels the same. I mean stainless steel smaller body but the thing with a notch is that you know I’m ready for this to just to go away. It’s been on two phones already phone still feels like a premium phone. I’m not too upset with the design but some phones are coming out. What are you know cheaper and some could say look better than the iPhone 10s, in terms of just overall appeal.
Now one thing that also you’ll notice is the iPhone 10 s has always looked the same as this device. So it’s like an identical device so that makes it hard to justify buying the 10s. Honestly, I’m ready to see apple do a little bit different of design on their next phone. And one last thing on that design the galaxy s 10 is a much lighter phone. And then this phone is a little bit bigger screen and just a lot lighter. So you don’t like a heavy phone for the size of this phone. It’s quite substantially heavy I mean 178 grams. Something like that it’s pretty heavy for this size of a device. So if you like light phones you want to stay away from the iPhone 10 s.
So when it comes to displaying I talked about it earlier how I’m kind of you to know over this notch. I want to see the notch gone, we already see maybe an all-screen iPhone. But I don’t know if we’re there just yet but the display itself still a really good looking panel here. Even at this point I mean it’s held up very well because of the OLED technology. Now it’s pretty bright as well and true tone is easy on the eyes. Quite honestly so I’m still happy with the display on the eye from 10’s. And over my seven months haven’t been disappointed at all. I mean displays on smartphones at least at this level have been great for a long time. And the quality itself of the panel has been fantastic.
Now one thing I’ve always liked about these newer iPhones is just how smooth the transitions are when you’re going in between them. Now, the 120-hertz sample rate is no joke like you’ll feel the difference between the smooth feel on here. So still like how smooth the iPhone 10s feel just like you know 10s max just like the iPhone 10 it just feels phenomenally smooth. So I gotta say display quality is still good.
so let’s talk about software and one of the main reasons I’m actually on the 10s right now. is my main phone I usually switch between the 10s Max and the 10s. when I’m on iPhone because sometimes the 10s max just gets too big. the iPhone 10s is comfortable size but when it comes to its software it’s the same as the iPhone 10s max. it’s iOS 12 now what I’m missing from you know Samsung phones right now when using iOS 12. and this iPhone 10s is the dark mode so there’s no dark mode here.
but it Should become what ios 13 but what I loved about the iOS 12 is that it’s super stable. and I think that’s what kind of makes these iPhones a little bit boring is that they’re so stable. that it’s like there’s nothing talked about it and they just work and they work well. so what you have to talk about when something just works.
iPhone 10s right now runs this thing flawlessly and that brings me out of the performance. I mean do we even need to talk about this? A12 bionic, four gigabytes of RAM. this thing I have never had this thing lag one time since I’ve had it. I mean this thing just does everything so fast you really can’t
even you can’t slow this thing down. it’s like it’s almost impossible to slow the iPhone 10s down. because the iPhone 10s is just so much more powerful than the rest.
software is taking advantage of it I mean it’s getting ridiculous Geekbench scores. we ran a benchmark you would just see ridiculous scores like over 10,000. and just anything you do like you can be going through your day super fast and the iPhone 10 s will easily keep up with you.
So seven months later with the iPhone 10 assist camera, dual 12 megapixels. oh it’s a great camera but with the introduction of triple cameras, I’m kind of missing out a lot. when using the 10s on having that ultra-wide-angle. now if you don’t take a lot of photos you’re not gonna care at all about this. but I’m someone who does so I’m ready to see the iPhone, the next iPhone with the triple camera setup which is going to be quite nice. but at the same time, the dual telephoto works well every time you take a photo with the 10s.
I found the results to be very pleasing very bright photos on this camera as well. and that’s mostly because of the smart HDR functionality. now I don’t like that I have to look through settings for the camera settings. so oftentimes I’ll just search it up at search bar in the setting because I get lost sometimes.
The smart HDR feature was new for the 10s series and it’s been fantastic giving you great high dynamic range. and the 4k 60 video on here is really hard to beat I just love the way the iPhone video look. if you’re doing professional work you are gonna need your audio source but the video itself just looks so good for the iPhone. like pretty much every time so if there was one phone I would take out in daylight for good video quality. I know I’m gonna get great video quality it’s the iPhone 10s.
so while the camera is still excellent not the best in the low-light but the good video just missing that
third Camera. I think it’s a little bit falling behind because of all these phones with multiple cameras on them.
4. OnePlus 7 Pro
So this is the one plus 7 pro and I’m finally getting around to this review. Because it’s been a crazy couple of months for us here at the studio. Now I’ve been using this device for the past 70 days and it is an interesting smartphone in 2019. Especially for the price and how it competes to the competition right now. Because a lot of the premium flagship phones are going on sale.
So let’s kick things off with the price it starts at 670 u.S. Dollars or 900 Canadian which is not cheap people. Oneplus was once known for selling amazing flagship killer phones for less than $400. It’s not the case anymore they’re slowly creeping into the premium phone category. But they still managed to undercut the big players in the market right now.
That statement would be a lot more appropriate a couple of months ago. When this phone was launched because right now. You can pick up flagship phones like the galaxy s 10 for around the same price as a 7 pro. And in some regions, you could end up getting a carry exclusive deal and end up picking up that phone for around $500.
So why would someone consider the 7 pro over the competition? Well, let me start with my favorite feature of this device. The 90-hertz fluid AMOLED display seriously I cannot emphasize how amazing this screen is. It’s so fluid and fast and when you pair it with amazing software. This is the phone to beat in 2019 in the display department.
Of course, scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, Gmail is just flawless and responsive. That being said I should mention that at 6.67 inches this is big and I mean a really big phone. If you’re used to phones like the iPhone 10, galaxy s9, pixel 3 or just smaller phones in general. The one plus 7 pro is noticeable, in fact, a lot bigger than those devices. Because at times I’ve had trouble reaching the top spots when I’m holding the phone in one hand. So I’d have to sort of glide the phone hoping that it won’t slip or fall and then hit those spots.
Build and Design
Visually this phone is just it’s way too big guys and it’s just not practical for people with smaller hands. The bigger display certainly comes in clutch for watching Netflix shows and movies. Since they take good advantage of the screen real estate that’s another positive thing that I can think of the screen. But the curved edges on the side they’re just aggressive compared to the galaxy s 10 which I still had issues with. In terms of palm detection, it’s about the same with the 7 pro and when watching videos it gets super distracting in well-lit environments.
Now some people did report ghosts touching issues on the 7 pro display. I certainly haven’t experienced any of that. But it looks like one plus did roll out a soft update addressing that so nice. The model that I have over here comes in this nebula blue finish and it looks gorgeous. The frosted texture is less slippery than the glass back on the s10. You’ll have to pay an extra $30 to get this color over the base model but get this you get two extra gigs of ram and double the storage. That’s a steal in my opinion plus if you want you can spec this out with 12 gigabytes of ram. That is if you want to brag about it.
So you get stereo speakers where the earpiece acts as the left channel and bottom facing the right channel. And they sound great there’s a noticeable difference compared to the mono speaker on the 6t. And guys I should mention that the speakers are loud but they don’t compromise on the audio fidelity. Because it sounds clear doesn’t distort whatsoever I haven’t missed a notification or an alarm bell so that’s awesome.
But I also want to quickly talk about call quality because it was excellent on 7 pro. The person on the other end didn’t have any issues hearing me and vice-versa.
Pop Up Camera
The other cool feature about the 7 pro is the pop-up camera. You see at first I was a bit skeptical about the mechanism and the durability of this implementation. Because I’m the type of person who’s not into selfies except when I’m on a video conference call it works when I needed to. And if I automatically you know drop the device when it’s in freefall the gyroscopes in the accelerometer. They retract the camera module.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is ridiculously fast. I’ve had zero issues with it so far I never even bothered setting up the face on locks. Solely because of how fast and reliable it is I simply placed my thumb and it unlocks right away. It doesn’t even take a second to think about it and if I were to compare this to the galaxy s 10. There’s just no competition.
Moving on to the software experience I don’t have much to say. Other than the fact that oxygen os is very efficient customizable and intuitive to use. Believe it or not, this is the first time that has not installed a custom launcher or an icon pack on this device. Because I like the way how it looks out of the box, of course, I had to throw in my touch to make it somewhat unique. But something else that I do want to bring up is that one plus has invested a lot of time into refining the Android experience. Because throughout my testing period I received three to four major software updates. That not only improved the camera performance which I’ll get to shortly but it also helped improved or fix a lot of the bugs with this device.
And that is just awesome I mean if there’s one company that I can think of aside from google. That values software it’s one plus.
Now, the battery life on the 7 pro is good but not 6t good. You see on a heavy use case scenario when I have Bluetooth, GPS and I’m constantly using my phone throughout the day. When I’m traveling I was able to push it to around you know 6 hours of screen on time. But on a lighter day, I could extend it to a day-and-a-half, with around seven hours of screen on time. But this all depends on your use case scenario I can certainly say it’s not as good as a 6t. And that’s obviously because of the 90-hertz quad HD display. It’s a lot of pixels to drive especially at that refresh rate.
5. Samsung S10e
So I just finished reviewing the galaxy as 10-plus Samsung’s biggest and best. While I do recommend those in the market for a new phone to go and check it out. Samsung’s s10e just might steal the show because. Even though the plus might have set the standard for top-tier flagships in 2019 as the phone to beat. The s10e might be the one to get and here’s why.
Now I want to start by mentioning that this phone starts at 750 dollars. And what you’re getting for that compared to other phones in this price range, is pretty great. You get that classic super solid Samsung hardware. And while its design isn’t as flashy as the 10 and the 10 plus. It’s still a nice looking phone and I think functionality is what this phone’s going for anyway. Now I’m personally a large phone lover and I prefer to use bigger phones as my main. But the s10e with its smaller, more compact footprint is easier to hang on to.
It’s lighter and more pocket-friendly it fits better in my hand. And there’s just this certain charm that smaller phones have after using big phones for so long. It’s kind of nice to use something like this usability is better for a couple of reasons. It’s easier to access the notification bar for one. And the power button while still kind of high up is also easier to access. It’s more of a natural landing spot based on how I hold my phone for both hands.
We’re looking at the same processor, the same GPU, the same main front and rear-facing cameras. And it’s got pretty much all the other stuff too like expandable storage, ip68 water resistance. Fast wireless charging 2.0 with power share, it’s got the headphone jack. And it also has stereo speakers and an hdr 10 plus display.
Now here we go with what exactly sets this phone apart. Obviously, with a smaller phone comes a smaller display. We’re looking at a 5.8-inch panel that isn’t an as high resolution as its bigger brother displays. But it’s still very sharp and bright and vibrant. Remember this is Samsung we’re talking about here so they’re not going to skimp on the screen.
You’ll also notice that it’s a flat panel I know a lot of people prefer this over curved edges. And I cannot blame them flat panels are more practical. There’s no edge distortion when watching videos and there are fewer accidental presses.
The s10e does not come with that ultrasonic fingerprint reader. But I do not find that to be a bad thing at all. And that’s mainly because the scanner this phone does have is nice. It’s mounted on the power button and it’s one of the most accurate and snappiest scanners that I’ve ever used.
Yeah, it’s that good with this being a physical scanner it also means that swiping down to access the notification shade is here. And that’s something we don’t get with the bigger models.
Next, we’re looking at three cameras in total as opposed to five. Again not a bad thing at all we’re just missing the telephoto lens on the back and the depth sensor on the front. The main cameras and pretty much everything else is the same including the picture quality. I’m really happy that they kept the ultra-wide-angle lens and I think most people will be happy to have that too. As it makes for a more versatile experience. But just like the more expensive models, you can record in 4k 60 frames per second. The front-facing camera can also record in 4k and you can record video that will take full advantage of hdr 10 plus.
So other than those few differences the camera experience is identical as for everyday use of speed and overall performance. Dang near mirrors of that of the larger as tens. And no I haven’t noticed a difference with its 6 gigabytes of ram as opposed to the 8 my s10 plus has. But with the same CPU and GPU, the s 10 delivers a powerful punch in the performance category.
Now, battery life is a little bit of a different story but that’s automatic given the size of the battery. And of course the phone itself it’s good and also no real complaints. The screen on time hovers around average territory so about 5 plus hours which is fine. But nothing to write home about like the pluses 6 to 7 hours. You can get through the day comfortably with moderate use but don’t expect it to be able to endure heavy power user usage all day. Before you need to plug it in, interestingly enough there isn’t much to dislike about this phone.
6. Google Pixel 3A and 3A XL
There are new Google phones! This is the Pixel 3a, and then there is a slightly bigger Pixel 3a XL. And, here’s what you need to know right at the top of this review. This is a solid phone that costs 400 bucks, and it has a great camera. That combination of those three things never happens.
For less than 500 bucks, and, lately, they don’t even have the compromises that you might expect. A lot of them are fast and nice looking and even have recent software. But, none of those cheap Android
phones have great cameras.
The Pixel 3a, though, it has a great camera. For the most part, I can’t tell the difference between photos shot with this phone and photos shot with a regular Pixel. which costs about 300 dollars more.
I’m not even going to tell you which of these photos is which because they’re so close to each other
that it doesn’t matter. They might as well be identical. And, you get the same camera features as a regular Pixel 3, including Night Sight for low light shots. and a new time-lapse feature that’s coming to all Pixel phones.
On top of all of that, it has good design, a nice OLED screen, reasonably load speakers. And a guarantee to get the most up to date versions of android first. And, hey, what, look at that! It’s honest to god, regular old headphone jack, right on the top.
The small one costs 399, and the one with the big screen, and also no notch, costs 479.
So, What’s the Catch?
There’s always a catch right, there has to be a catch. Well, yeah, there are a few. There are two big things, and then a dozen little things that you’re going to be giving up by not buying a phone that costs 750 dollars or more.
First, and probably most importantly, it’s not super fast, it’s kind of slow. Here, look at this, I just reset both of these phones, so they’re fresh. And were going to launch apps on both of these at the same time so that you can see that there is a delay.
Mostly when you open apps, you’re going to find that they take a second or two longer to open up than you’d want. That slow down is because the chip inside the pixel 3a is the Qualcomm snapdragon 670. Which isn’t as fast as the 845s and 855s you get on more expensive phones, like the Pixel 3 or the galaxy s10.
And, it’s not as fast as the processor on an iPhone XR. The weird thing though is, once I get into just using the phone, it didn’t feel slow. And it didn’t stop me from doing anything at all, even playing intense games. Like pubg on high graphic settings.
The camera doesn’t process photos as quickly as it could either because it doesn’t have a separate image processing chip. But, again, that didn’t change the quality of the pictures that I took.
The only build quality thing I have to complain about is that it’s not water-resistant and that one kind of hurts.
The other thing that makes an expensive phone premium is a killer screen. Something that not only goes edge to edge. But it is also tack-sharp and color accurate and maybe has some techno features. Like fast refresh rates or whatever. The pixel 3a does not go in for all of that, but it does have a nice OLED screen. It’s maybe not the highest resolution and the color temperature on the small one runs a little bit yellowish for my taste. But, then again, it’s better than the pixel 2xl from a couple of years ago.
It’s also a glass screen, not plastic, but it’s not technically corning gorilla glass, it’s something called dragon trail, but whatever. I think the screen is totally fine.
7. Moto G7 By Motorola
Everyone the moto g line has always been about bringing down the most important features to a low price. With the moto g7, the tradition continues amidst a ton of competition. There’s a phone offer enough for it to deserve your hard-earned cash or should you look elsewhere.
The moto g7 is comfortable on the hand and it’s even possible to use one-handed without too much trouble. All the buttons are in the right place and there aren’t any missing features, for example, there are only 64 gigabytes of onboard storage. But there is an expandable card slot. On the bottom of the phone, you’ll even find a USB c port and a headphone jack.
Turn the phone over and Motorola’s classic design language pretty much screams at you. You’ll find the classic circular camera bump with two cameras and an led flash inside it that resembles a little face. If that’s not enough motive for you there’s also a logo on the fingerprint reader speaking of which the reader is a decently fast one. And nicely placed so no disappointments here there’s also face unlock if you prefer. Although it won’t be as secure.
Like last year both the front and the back of the phone are made of gorilla glass 3. And the phone is splash-proof protection aside. I think it’s better to use a case with this phone even if you’re not prone to klutziness. First, the mirror-like finish in the back loves collecting slimy fingerprints
Second with a case on the phone nice flat and doesn’t wobble quite as much. Third, it’s much less slippery as a whole the phone has an elegant design but it plays it a bit too safe. Especially when you contrast it with all the gradient eye candy on competing for mid-rangers like the real me 3.
On the front, you’ll find a 6.2-inch IPS LCD panel with its hall 19 by 9 aspect ratio. And a rather deep water droplet notch it has a Full HD resolution and a good pixel density. So icons and text don’t look smudgy that said the phone doesn’t have the most accurate colors. And in any mode, you choose you’ll have slightly bluish white’s sunlight legibility is pretty average as far as LCDs go although. Surprisingly it has both a slightly higher maximum brightness than the moto g 7 plus and a better contrast ratio.
However, if you care more about the stereo speakers you’re gonna have to go with the plus as a regular g7 only has a single downward-facing loudspeaker. It’s a couple of decibels short of having x loudness and if sound quality is quite good. As long as the songs you listen to don’t have too many high frequencies that may go into the tinny territory.
Sound through the headphone jack was also pretty good although in terms of volume it was a bit below average. This may prevent it from driving higher impedance headphones to sufficient loudness still it’s on par first priced.
So it shouldn’t be held against it the 3000 milliamp-hour battery. Received a rather mediocre 66 hours of endurance on our battery life tests. Its screen on time isn’t that bad but it’s standby time made a serious dent in his overall score. The phone comes with a 15-watt fast charger that can get you from 0 to 47% in half an hour. And from 0 to fully charged in an hour and 34 minutes.
The moto g 7 comes with 4 gigs of ram and a snapdragon 632 chipset. It’s weaker than the one in the plus but not by a lot. In day-to-day tasks, you’ll find the 2 phones to be on par with one another or you might notice a difference isn’t the speed of the camera app or in games. With much heavier graphics although even if the chipset was much weaker.
You’re dealing with some incredibly clean and light software. The moto g 7 has practically stock android with 0 bloatware. Because of this the day to day experience almost feels like that of a pixel device. It’s pretty much all google software aside from the adobe audio app, the FM radio and the Motorola app that allows you to tweak some shortcuts and settings.
You even get a version of the pill navigation that is just slightly more Motorola. I honestly wish they’d just gone with gestures instead because once again you’re not saving screen real estate this way. And gestures as a whole are more intuitive.
There’s only one thing that’s more moto than google and sadly. It’s to be expected of the camera app. You can work around this if you download g cams apk file and install it. And you’ll be able to use nightlight and some of google’s other software magic. Even if you’re still limited by the hardware itself.
This brings me to the dual-camera setup there’s a 12-megapixel main shooter and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. In daylight, the moto g7 has sharp and detailed photos with some noise but not enough to be an issue. The dynamic range, however, is not amazing and this will often result in photos that seem overexposed. Colors have just the right amount of people being decently close to reality. And hdr mode saves the pretty bad dynamic range.
Although it won’t work miracles at night the poor dynamic range will further limit the capabilities of the moto g7. Even if there is a decent amount of detail, colors look pretty washed out. Despite having a depth sensor the portraits that the g7 takes are only okay. And sometimes it still fails with subject separation.
8. Oneplus 7
Guys, we covered the 1 plus 7 pro a while back and now it’s time for his little brother. The one plus 7 it comes at a bit lower price. But what else are you missing out? Let’s find out in our for review.
The one plus 7 looks quite familiar this design is almost identical to last year’s model the 6t. With a glass back and an aluminum frame, ours is in a shiny mirror gray. And the curved and tapered back looks quite elegant and smooth. It is quite a fingerprint magnet though and the camera bump does cause some wobble on a flat surface. So maybe a case would be a good idea back again to see alert slider we’re used to from one plus. Handy if you want to quickly mute your phone.
An improvement over last year is the inclusion of stereo speakers on the one plus 7. It’s a hybrid setup with the earpiece acting as a second speaker. Quality overall is pretty nice loudness is very good and the sound is rich. If you’re going to plug in headphones however you’ll need to use the USB c port as there’s no audio jack. And we’re sorry to say that there’s no dongle or headphones included in the box.
While the one plus 7 feels sturdy, it doesn’t have official water or dust resistance. There is a red rubber seal around the sim tray though. So there is some protection against light splashes. While we’re talking about the sim tray I should mention that storage isn’t expandable here. You’ll have to make do with 128 or 256 gigs built-in still, quite a lot though.
On the front, we have a tall 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution. The bezels are slim and there’s a small waterdrop notch up at the top which you do have the option to hide. You get those super deep AMOLED blacks and content looks great. Next brightness in manual mode is good the same as last year 6t at 443 nits. But now you get a boost up to 642 nits and automotive bright conditions. Color accuracy is also impressive depending on your color settings. There is something like an always-on display though not quite. It only lights up if you move or tap on the phone or receive a notification.
To wake up and unlock the one plus seven, there is an optical under-display fingerprint reader. It’s been improved over last year’s model and is incredibly reliable one of the fastest and most accurate that we’ve ever tried. One cool feature here is called quick launch, you can open shortcuts for apps or certain actions by holding down on the fingerprint area after the phone unlocks. There is the option to use facial recognition to unlock the phone too but since it only uses the selfie cam, it isn’t as secure as a fingerprint.
The user interface is one pluses oxygen os running over android 9 pie. It looks a lot like stock android and runs quite fast partly because it cuts down on a lot of those UI animations. You can navigate using on-screen keys, google’s pill setup or one plus own swipe gestures whichever you’re more comfortable with. And there is a gaming mode which can allocate more resources to your games for better performance as well as silence notifications while you’re playing games.
Games will run quite well too thanks to the top-of-the-line snapdragon 855 chipsets with either six or eight gigs of ram. The Adreno 640 GPU handles graphically intensive tasks with ease. Performance in benchmarks it’s in line with the other flagships running on the snapdragon 855. That is to say excellent.
The one plus 7 has a 3700 mah battery and though it isn’t the largest power pack out there these days. Its performance is impressive it posted an excellent endurance rating of 102 hours in our proprietary tests. The battery also charges up quite quickly using the 20-watt fast charger we were able to go from 0 to 55 percent in half an hour.
The one plus 7 has a dual-camera setup there’s a 48-megapixel main camera the quad more bay filter and oil and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Sadly unlike most of its competitors, there’s no telephoto or wide-angle cam here. Regular shots come out in 12 megapixels and the ones we took in good light look great. They have nice detail no noise, good contrast, vibrant colors, and wide dynamic range. About the same quality as on the one plus 7 pro. You do have the option in pro mode to switch to shooting in 48 megapixels. But there isn’t much point in doing so these take up way more space and you don’t get that much more detail.
Moving onto portrait mode these shots look good with natural skin tones and plenty of detail. The edge detection is quite accurate even with a more complex background the phone does pretty well. In lowlights regular photos taken with the main camera decent, resolved detail is in grades. But noises reasonable and dynamic range is nicely wide preserving a many light source as well instead of blowing them out. If you turn on the dedicated night mode the quality improves significantly, the exposure is more accurate. You get extra detail in the shadows and highlights and colors look punchier now.
Video and Front Camera
On to selfies the one plus 7 uses a 16-megapixel front shooter with fixed focus. The images it produces have good colors and a decent dynamic range. The one plus 7 supports 4k video recording from the main camera up to 60fps. Video quality is decent with accurate colors, good contrast, and little noise. Dynamic range is also good we’ve seen better detail from the competition though. Videos in both 4k and 1080p at 30fps have electronic stabilization which does a great job in smoothing out your footage at the expense of a small reduction in the field of view.
9. Redmi K20 Pro
Redmi k20 pro depending on who you are you’ve either heard a ton of hype around this for a while now. Or this is the first time you’re ever hearing about it. The k20 pro deserves the attention is getting. Because it legitimately tries to include everything you could expect out of a flagship but out of the lower price.
Design and Build
So aesthetically, first of all, it’s pretty unique looking with the colors sort of dancing down the sides. And then depending on how the light hits it this shimmery pattern changes. It’s pretty cool but it’s also still glass and still a fingerprint magnet. But this thing is already starting with a leg up you typically expect budget phones to have plastic and cheap materials. This one is legit metal and glass.
Its USB type-c, you got it a slight curve to the bag glass. You got it headphone jack, you got that a full-screen display from top to bottom, thin bezels. You got a pop-up selfie camera, you got a built-in led light, fingerprint reader underneath the glass. Then it got that too four 4000 mah power battery, you got that snapdragon 855. It’s all here pretty much the only hardware thing this guy is missing if you’re comparing it to flagships is water resistance and wireless charging.
The natural place to start is a display and it’s pretty nice, to be honest. It’s a 6.4-inch 1080p AMOLED, no notch, thin bezels and it’s pretty bright. It’s visible outdoors with fairly decent colors maybe a little big if anything. But we’re so used to seeing so many budget phones with either big chins and big bezels or smaller screens or notches. This one’s just clean and it’s flat so I’m reminded again of how much I liked this versus the displays that sort of spill over the sides. So I like this screen to me this is the best display in any mid-range phone.
Then underneath that display glass, there is a fingerprint reader which again that’s pretty impressive for a mid-ranger the fact that it’s there in the first place. But this reader itself it’s not that fast so you can kind of get used to it. It’s a little bit of a delay when you press it but it’s in this weird place where it’s slower than most other in glass fingerprint readers on great phones. But also slower than the capacitive ones are used to but at least it’s cooler.
To achieve the full-screen design, there is a pop-up selfie camera and this one has a light on it. I don’t know if that achieves anything other than looking kind of cool. But the mechanism is decently fast, it’s rated for 300,000 opens and closes. You can’t use it for RGB face unlock but I don’t recommend that. And it even has automatic freefall detection so if you’re taking a selfie and you drop the phone. And it has a freefall it closes the camera app and shuts it to avoid damage.
The only thing I don’t like about this selfie camera is the photos it takes which are straight garbage. Like this is possibly the worst selfie camera I can remember using since I started to review phones. There’s absolutely no dynamic range, colors are pretty terrible at a very soft detail. Yes, beauty mode is off like I just don’t know why it’s this bad. But you know what makes it even crazier how good the back cameras are.
This k20 pro again has yet another flagship looking spec, an array of triple cameras on the back. A 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto, and a 13-megapixel ultra are wide. So that main sensor is a sony it’s an imx 586. So it’s the same sensor that we’ve seen in a couple of other honor and Vivo phones that have performed pretty well. It’ll shoot 4k 60fps video with any of the camera lenses so yes you can shoot video with the ultra wide camera unlike the 1 plus 7 pro. It’ll even shoot 960 fps slow-motion now it’s not a high resolution at all but you know more of a gimmick but that’s still pretty cool.
For photos, I was, of course, expecting maybe some average photos some that maybe look better if they’re in great light. And I was very impressed obviously if you give it a ton of light you’re going to get the best out of the sensor. And this stayed true hdr was working pretty great but even the ultra wide camera was giving me some nice shots. Every production wasn’t too oversaturated or overdone. With the processing sometimes you see too much sharpening in these phones that wasn’t here. I was more impressed often than I thought I would be, it’s not the fastest camera in the world. But overall the image quality not bad.
Performance and OS
Like I said technically on paper it has all those things you’d expect from a flagship. Snapdragon 855, six or eight gigs of ram and up to 256 gigs of storage. So it’s running miui 10 on top of android pi and this is not my first choice but it’s growing on me. So aesthetically this is why it’s not my favorite but functionally it’s not lacking at all.
The app drawer with the search bar at the bottom is nice for each ability. It has a nice clean brightness slider that I’ve liked for a while it’s like always available. But the glassiness of it all and the icons just certain things are a little too much for me and that’s kind of their aesthetic. But the overall performance I’d say it was about B and this is something I expect it to be better. When you have these high-end specs but the animations weren’t smooth all the time. I got occasional hiccups with the keyboard and with opening stuff minor things. Stuff you don’t expect to see from a phone with a 1080p display and a high-end chip. So it’s still fast but not that smooth if that makes sense.
But that battery though that 4000 mah battery they put in this phone. It gives it a battery life that is right up to par with the other flagship sometimes better than the one plus 7. I’ve been using and not only does it have a really large battery and support fast charging but it also comes with a fast charger in the box. And it has sweet charging animation, so the battery life situation is pretty great on this phone.
10. Redmi K20/ Mi 9T
The redmi k20 is part of a brand new mid-range lineup by xiaomi and globally is called the mi 9t. Don’t get it confused with the mi 9 which came out just a few months ago. As a mid-range rather than a flagship what does this one bring to the table? Let’s find out in our review.
Design and Build
Like many premium phones these days the xiaomi mi 9t is made from glass with an aluminum frame. We like our carbon black model which has a striped pattern lurking beneath the surface. But the dazzling glacier blue is also quite striking the glass back is curved. And these tapered edges give the phone an elegant look. The accents on the camera and the power button are a nice touch too. The phone is big and slippery. Just like the regular mi 9 there is no waterproofing here be careful when you’re out by the pool this summer.
One of the main 9t is special features is this motorized pop-up selfie cam. Unlike other similar pop-up modules, we’ve seen this one is accented with eye-catching led strips. As if we needed more reasons to play around with it we’re always wary of movable parts as these may be easier to break. But xiaomi promises that the mechanism will survive at least 300,000 actuation. And if you drop the phone with a selfie cam out it’ll automatically retract to try and protect itself.
As a result of the hideaway selfie camera, the mi 9t has a notch-free edge to edge display. It’s a brilliant 6.4-inch AMOLED with a tall aspect ratio and a 1080p resolution. Content looks great on this screen with this deep AMOLED blacks and a sharp 403 PPI. It supports hdr content too and colors can be quite accurate based on your color settings. Like most androids, this one has support for an always-on display for your time and notifications. It has various themes you can choose from.
Beneath the screen is one of the fastest under-display fingerprint readers I’ve ever used. Unlocking is a breeze a lot more responsive than plenty of other phones we’ve seen lately. If you want face unlock is another option though it does require you to swipe on the screen. So it’s not as fast and this feature may not be available in all regions.
Audio and OS
Alongside all the cutting-edge features the mi 9t still brings a regular 3.5-millimeter jack and FM radio. Audio through headphones has very good loudness but we wish the stereo separation was better. The loudspeaker is on the bottom next to the USB-C port is scored a very good mark and a loudness test sound quality is also very good. Though there is some distortion in the higher registers at max volume.
The mi 9t runs the latest miui 10 over android 9 pie. It brings quite a few customizations over vanilla android. One of the biggest differences is that there’s no app drawer here all of your apps will be kept on the home screen. And the app switcher is organized vertically in two rows we feel lucky that the apps that came pre-installed didn’t have any ads or banners in them. Some regions will get these by default and you’ll have to turn them off manually. You can customize your home screen with different themes but they’re only available if you set your phone to a supported region like India.
For storage you can opt for 64 or 128 gigs built-in and sadly that’s it there is no way to expand it via MicroSD. At the heart of the xiaomi mi, 9t is the most powerful mid-range chipset from Qualcomm the snapdragon 730 along with 6 gigs of ram. In benchmarks had topped the charts against the competition and we didn’t encounter any overheating or throttling. The flagship snapdragon 855 will still beat it in graphics performance but you won’t have any problems playing the latest games here.
The mi 9t has 4000 mah battery is about 20% larger than the one inside the mi 9. And posted an excellent endurance rating of a 100 hour in our proprietary tests. It charges fast with this 18-watt charger we were able to go from 0 to 45 percent charge in half an hour.
On the back of the mi 9t, there’s a triple camera setup. We have a 48-megapixel main camera the quad bear filter, an 8-megapixel telephoto cam, and a 13-megapixel ultra wide cam. None of these have OIS. The main cameras images are 12 megapixels by default we were impressed by the quality. They have excellent detail, great contrast true to life colors, and a wide dynamic range. If you want you can also shoot in 48-megapixel resolution it isn’t worth the extra storage space to take up. There isn’t that much more detail. When using the telephoto camera zoomed images look great with plenty of detail somewhere a bit noisier than the photos from the main cam. But this is one of the better telephoto shooters out there.
Portraits are taken with a telephoto cam and taking the best shot requires plenty of light. If you get it right the portraits are quite nice and detailed with excellent subject separation and convincing d focusing.
Now onto the ultra-wide-angle camera quality is a bit lower than the other two. But the colors are still nice and noise levels are low. If you turn off the automatic distortion correction you get a sharper image at the expense of some curvature at the edges of the frame.