Items tagged with review

Gaming phones have really matured in recent years, with ASUS’ ROG, Lenovo’s Legion, Xiaomi’s Black Shark, and Nubia’s RedMagic all offering compelling performance-packed handsets for gamers. Oppo’s even rumored to be joining the party soon. Here in the US, RedMagic is the gaming phone value champ, and this year’s $599 RedMagic 6 is no exception. It basically updates last year’s $579 RedMagic 5G with a 165Hz display and a Snapdragon 888. That’s all well and good, but what got our attention recently is the $499 RedMagic 6R -- a super-affordable Snapdragon 888 handset with a 144Hz screen and capacitive shoulder buttons that looks and feels more like... Read more...
17-inch laptops are becoming somewhat of a rarity these days. Every manufacturer has a couple of models in their line-up, but they don't get a ton of attention because they're typically quite bulky and harder to tote around than sleeker, smaller machines. However, the system we'll be showing you today isn't just any run-of-the-mill 17" notebook. Dell's XPS 17 series has been cramming as much display real estate into as small of a frame as possible for a while now, and this year's model doesn't make any concessions in that regard. The newest XPS 17's footprint is just barely big enough to hold that panel.  That's not to say that the XPS 17 is all pizzazz and no performance, or places form... Read more...
In 2020, TCL ventured beyond its successful TV business by launching three TCL-branded phones in the US -- the $450 TCL 10 Pro and $250 10L (which we both reviewed), followed by the $400 TCL 10 5G UW. The company is no stranger to mobile, having previously sold budget handsets under the Alcatel brand. But last year’s TCL 10-series was aimed squarely at Moto’s US mid-range lineup, and was quite competitive. Then, at CES 2021, TCL announced the 20-series, which first landed in other regions, but is now available in the US with three phones -- the $500 TCL 20 Pro 5G, $250 20S, and $190 20SE. A lot has changed this past year. LG’s left the mobile space, and both Samsung and OnePlus... Read more...
Last summer we reviewed the eponymous OnePlus Nord, and came away impressed. It never made it to North America, but its successor -- the $300 OnePlus Nord N10 5G -- did, and while the price was on point, we found that it simply cut too many corners to really hit the sweet spot. Most importantly, it seemed to lack that signature combination of OnePlus design and performance magic and the company's special attention to detail. We were somewhat disappointed, but it still flew off the shelves. Enter the $240 OnePlus Nord N200 5G, an attractive looking Snapdragon 480-equipped 5G phone which brings OnePlus even closer to budget territory. We just spent a few days testing it, and while the lower price... Read more...
Most of you are likely familiar with ASUS’ extensive line of PCs and related components, including ASUS’ ROG gaming products. You’ve probably also seen our ASUS ROG Phone 5 benchmarks, which showcase this incredibly fast gaming phone. But let's not forget that ASUS has also been making innovative non-gaming handsets for years. In fact, the Zenfone series was first to introduce both the periscope camera and the flip camera to market. This year ASUS decided to launch two Android flagships, the €799 Zenfone 8 Flip, which continues the flip camera lineage, and the US bound €599 Zenfone 8, a tiny (5.9-inch display) but mighty (Snapdragon 888 SoC) phone with a more traditional... Read more...
Lenovo's venerable ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been one of the longest-running of the company's trusted business-class laptop series. Now in its 9th generation, Lenovo sought to re-energize the X1 Carbon not only with Intel 11th Gen Core Series processors (Tiger Lake), but with Intel Evo certification that brings with it a number of key refinements. The machine that we have on tap for review here today also includes an impressive new 16:10 format UHD+ (3840X2400) display. Though the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 retains its unmistakably classic and understated hybrid carbon fiber weave and magnesium alloy body, weighing in at a feather-light 2.49 pounds, we're now also treated to a single, unified hinge... Read more...
At CES 2020, ASUS unveiled the ROG Zephyrus G14, which as its name implies is a 14" gaming notebook. It was our first experience with Zen 2-based APUs from AMD, particularly the 35-Watt Ryzen 9 4900HS. That processor had eight cores with AMD's best CPU architecture at the time, and despite the thin design and tight thermal budget of the G14, the performance of both the Ryzen APU and the included GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q really knocked our socks off. The system was relatively light, possessed performance that far exceeded its weight class, and was quite eye-catching with its unique, perforated lid design. Fast-forward a year, and we're looking at the updated ROG Zephyrus G15, launched at this... Read more...
Last month, OnePlus launched its OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro flagships, which we recently reviewed. At the same time, it also announced the OnePlus 9R (a reworked Snapdragon 870-equipped OnePlus 8T for India and China) and the $159 OnePlus Watch. This didn’t come as much of a surprise considering rumors of a OnePlus smartwatch have been swirling for years. It even looks similar to the Watch RX that its partner company Oppo teased last year. Before we dive into reviewing the OnePlus Watch, we have to set clear expectations. This device doesn’t compete directly with the Apple Watch, Galaxy Watch, Fitbit, and Wear OS smartwatches. It’s in a category of wearables that look like watches... Read more...
Lenovo's flagship ThinkPad X1 lineup has historically been one of our favorite business-class laptop product lines. Lenovo made a quick transition recently, and upgraded this popular laptop series with Intel's 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors that roared onto the scene with a nice performance lift and useful platform updates late last year. Besides the platform upgrade though, Lenovo also pulled a proverbial rabbit out of its hat when it dropped Tiger Lake into the thin and light 1.99lb ThinkPad X1 Nano. The performance-per-pound ratio of this machine should prove impressive and make for a solid, highly portable combination for business professionals or casual mainstream laptop users alike. Though... Read more...
As time goes on, more laptops built around Intel's Evo platform are emerging, bringing with them a combination of specifications and features that meet or exceed specific baseline criteria for performance, battery life, connectivity, and a few other bits. These common threads weave through Intel's Tiger Lake silicon with Xe graphics, which are key cogs in the Evo machine. HP's latest refresh of its Spectre X360 13 for 2021 is one of those laptops, blending luxury styling with Intel's newest generation CPUs and graphics, and the result is an absolutely gorgeous convertible with plenty of zip. The gas mileage is decent on this convertible as well, which is something we'll talk about a little later.... Read more...
By now, you’ve read the leaks, rumors, buzz and hype. The OnePlus 9 series is finally here, and as always, there’s a lot to talk about. 2020 saw OnePlus launch three flagships, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in the spring, and the 8T (basically an updated OnePlus 8) in the fall. But OnePlus also went down-market with three more handsets last year -- the mid-range Nord and the affordable Nord N10 5G and N100. If that seems like a lot of devices, it is -- not to mention the TVs, earbuds, and watch. OnePlus is basically following Oppo’s playbook. And after years of obviously sharing tech, the two companies recently consolidated their hardware research teams under one name: OPlus. Yes,... Read more...
If you’re a regular HotHardware reader, or live outside the US, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Chinese giant Xiaomi. The company makes and sells a wide variety of consumer electronics from smartphones (branded Mi, RedMi, Poco, and CC), to electric scooters. It keeps prices low by subsidizing its products in several markets (like China and India) via online services -- much like Amazon does here in the US. Today, Xiaomi ranks number three in global smartphone market share. Its latest flagship, the $750 / €750 Mi 11, was the first handset to feature Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 when it shipped January 1st, beating Samsung’s $800 Galaxy S21 to the punch. With... Read more...
When Samsung first introduced its new Galaxy S21 5G line-up, the company took a similar good, better, best approach to its previous generation launch. Like the Galaxy S20, the new Galaxy S21 lineup consists of a base device, a mid-tier device and a top-end model, though all of them can be considered "flagship" phones among Samsung's large and varied handset product offerings. However, for the Galaxy S21 launch, it was clear that Samsung was more focused on value at all tiers this time around, with pricing starting at $799 and topping out $1199 for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, representing a $200 price cut across the board versus its previous generation Galaxy S20 family. What's even more exciting... Read more...
ADATA has been consistently expanding its line-up of XPG, or Xtreme Performance Gaming branded hardware, targeting PC enthusiasts and gamers. The XPG family now consists of everything from micoSDXC cards all the way on up to full gaming systems and notebooks. XPG's SSDs (Solid State Drives), however, are arguably the most extensive array of products in the company's portfolio. ADATA has a myriad of XPG SSDs available, at a wide variety of price points and performance levels. The two drives we’ll be showing you here today, the new ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 and XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite, are both bleeding-edge PCI Express 4.0 NVMe drives, packing some of Micron’s latest TLC NAND. The ADATA... Read more...
One positive trend in 2020 was that of affordable mid-range 5G-capable smartphones, with devices like the OnePlus Nord, Moto One 5G, Pixel 4a 5G, TCL 10 5G UW, and Realme 7 5G, all costing less than $500 and packing decent specs -- including reasonably quick SoCs, multiple rear cameras, and even high refresh-rate displays. Thankfully, 2021 is looking even more promising, and January isn’t even over yet. The OnePlus Nord N10 5G ($299, Snapdragon 690) recently landed in the US, and Moto just launched the Moto One 5G Ace ($399, Snapdragon 750G), a detuned and unlocked variant of last year’s AT&T and Verizon-exclusive Moto One 5G ($445, Snapdragon 765). So, how do the Moto One 5G... Read more...
Intel's Tiger Lake mobile platform came out of the gate swinging, with excellent performance and improved power efficiency. The early Core i7-1185G7 development platform we evaluated set several mobile processor records in our benchmarks, and retail notebooks were just as strong when they arrived. So far we've reviewed two such notebooks from ASUS and Dell, but both of those targeted the 2-in-1 segment and commanded a bit of premium as a result, due to their smaller sizes and expanded feature sets. For folks who don't mind (or rather, prefer) the traditional clamshell form factor, and would like to save a couple hundred bucks, MSI has a solution in its new Prestige 14 EVO laptop.  MSI's... Read more...
Samsung is expanding their line-up of SATA-based solid state drives, with a new series of products designed to balance performance and capacity. A few months back, the company launched the SSD 870 QVO series of drives, based on QLC, or quad-level cell, V-NAND. These new Samsung drives launching today – the Samsung SSD 870 EVO series – are similar in many regards, but EVO SSDs feature Samsung’s latest TLC (triple level cell) V-NAND, with the commensurate firmware to match. These new TLC-based drives also offer slightly higher performance than their QLC-based predecessors, with longer warranties and better endurance ratings as well. Take a look at the Samsung SSD 870 EVO series’... Read more...
First announced back in September, we've now gotten a chance to test drive the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Active3. Samsung's new Android slate manages to fill a rather specific niche for those that require the versatility of small tablet, but also need something that is rugged enough to be used outdoors and won’t be affected if it takes a quick dip. The Galaxy Tab Active3 meets these requirements while also boasting support for touch input with gloved hands, which is plus for some the market segments that Samsung is targeting with this tablet. We took a look at the Galaxy Tab Active Pro in June but the Tab Active3 is dialed-up even more robustly, perhaps. Samsung sees the Galaxy Tab Active3... Read more...
The Nokia 8 V 5G UW is a relatively expensive mid-range phone from a storied brand that’s been trying to make a comeback into the US market. Essentially, it is Verizon’s mmWave 5G version of the global Nokia 8.3 5G, a Snapdragon 765G-based handset that was announced back in March but shipped in September -- by which time it had to contend with some stiff competition. This is our quick-take review of this new option from Nokia in the US. At 171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm and 230g -- and with a large 6.81-inch screen -- the Nokia 8 V (for short) is a big and heavier phone. It feels substantial but looks pretty generic. Its build quality is high, but while the rear is shimmery glass, the mid-frame... Read more...
As time goes on, Intel's 10-nanometer Tiger Lake processors will pounce on more laptop designs, given that it has only been a handful of weeks since the chip maker launched its latest mobile CPUs (which replace Ice Lake). Lenovo was quick out of the gate, however, and the company sent us an interesting sub-$1,000 Tiger Lake configuration from its rather plentiful 2-in-1 lineup. Specifically, the Lenovo Yoga 7i that arrived on our doorstep, and it's a flexible 14-inch convertible which is also the first to land in our lab armed with an 11th Gen Core i5-1135G7 processor in tow. Our dalliances with Intel's Tiger Lake platform up to this point have been encounters with higher end SKUs, including... Read more...
Affordable 5G phones are all the rage right now, with devices like the Moto One 5G here in the US, and in markets like Europe and India with the OnePlus Nord. But while prices are dropping rapidly, corners are getting cut -- like we saw with the lack-luster €349/£329 OnePlus Nord N10 5G. Enter the €279/£279 ($370) Realme 7 5G, a MediaTek Dimensity 800U-powered 5G handset that punches way above its weight class, and gives its OnePlus Nord N10 5G cousin a run for the money. Here’s our quick take on this sleeper alternative Android value phone. Realme 7 5G Hardware And Design It’s impossible to review the Realme 7 5G without comparing it to the OnePlus Nord... Read more...
LG is a bit like that quiet loner in high school -- often misunderstood, but sometimes brilliant. Take the company’s 2020 smartphone lineup for example. At the top, it consists of the $700+ LG V60 ThinQ 5G, a competent affordable flagship, and the $600+ LG Velvet, a stylish premium mid-ranger. These are good phones by any measure, but they’re often outclassed by the competition, and don't have many stand-out features -- optional dual-screen case aside. Which brings us to the $1000 LG Wing, the first handset born from the company’s Explorer Project. The LG Wing's main display can swivel 90 degrees to reveal another (half) display, transforming from a normal phone... Read more...
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