Tag Archive | "review"

Whoop Strap 3.0 review: Plenty of problems, so much potential


Whoop Strap 3.0
By Whoop
$ 30/month purchasing options
Positives

Accurate sleep tracking
Sleep Coach is extremely useful
Interesting and detailed recovery data
Tons of potential with the Whoop platform

Negatives

Inaccurate heart rate data
High cost over time
Hardware could be improved
Confusing app interface

Bottom Line

The Whoop platform introduces a ton of fascinating ideas that could benefit the greater fitness product space over time. However, you’ll need to put up with the Whoop Strap 3.0’s inaccurate heart rate sensor and high cost over time to take advantage of Whoop’s more interesting features.

Read the full review

Reviews – Android Authority

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TCL 10 5G UW review: Bringing affordable 5G to Verizon customers


10 5G UW
By TCL
$ 399.99 purchasing options
Positives

Affordable price point
5G access
Long battery life
Premium, interesting design

Negatives

Poor camera performance
Lots of preinstalled bloatware
Weak speaker

Bottom Line

TCL’s aim is to bring 5G to the masses with its 10 5G UW. The phone is the most affordable 5G device in Verizon Wireless’ lineup and delivers on some key features, including an appealing design, solid software, and excellent battery life. Even without 5G, the TCL 10 5G UW would be a solid choice for those on a budget. 5G as an extra is just icing on the cupcake.

Read the full review

Reviews – Android Authority

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Google Pixel 5 initial review: The best premium Pixel


The Google Pixel has been a premium product since its inception in 2016. Google wanted the series to rival the iPhone. That is, to have such a tight integration between software and hardware that the experience wasn’t just usable, it was delightful. Until now, however, the company has demanded a premium price to make this happen, but the fact is, Google just doesn’t yet have the die-hard fan base that Apple does. Because of this, Google has had a hard time moving units over the years.

This year, the Mountain View company is taking a different approach. Google is a software company first, and while it still wants the Pixel 5 to be its flagship smartphone for the year, it’s cut some corners to bring the price down to a more affordable level. While last year’s Pixel 4 started at $ 800, the Pixel 5 costs just $ 700.

Was the move worth it? Find out in our Google Pixel 5 review.

About this Google Pixel 5 review: So far, I’ve used the Google Pixel 5 over a period of four days. The phone was running Android 11 on the October 2020 security patch. Because we don’t believe four days is enough time to conduct a full Google Pixel 5 review, we’re offering you our initial review, with an update in the form of a full Google Pixel 5 review coming a bit later.

Google Pixel 5 Google’s first 5G smartphone
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

Design and display: Refining the basics

Google Pixel 5 display 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • 144.7 x 70.4 x 8.0mm, 151g
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Chrome power button
  • Aluminum and bio-resin design
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • 6-inch AMOLED (2,340 x 1,080)
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Minimal bezels
  • Hole-punch selfie cutout
  • 90Hz adaptive refresh rate

When you look at the Google Pixel 5, it is immediately recognizable as a Google phone. It follows the same general design ethos as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G and also snags various design elements from last year’s Pixel 4 series. The rounded design and squircle-shaped camera module have become staples for the Pixel series for two years running. The Chrome “G” logo near the bottom of the phone’s back side should help if you were still having trouble determining the phone’s origin.

This year, Google has brought back the rear-mounted fingerprint reader, which is a nice case of foresight on Google’s part considering the ongoing pandemic. The bottom of the phone houses a USB-C port and speakers. The right side sports the volume rocker and a chrome power button. These buttons take a bit of force to press and are fairly clicky, but I noticed they don’t feel quite as clicky as the Pixel 4a’s.

The body of the Google Pixel 5 is made of aluminum, with a special “bio-resin” composite (that’s sciencey jargon for plastic) poured on top. This gives it just a little bit more of a gritty feeling than the Pixel 4a, but the speckled look makes me wish it was even more coarse, like that of the sandstone OnePlus One. While the aluminum and bio-resin combo doesn’t feel quite as premium as the glass Pixel 4, it should certainly be more resistant to breaks and cracks, on the rear at least.

The Pixel 5 also sports IP68 water and dust resistance. This is a spec we expect to see in most flagship devices. It’s a relief to not have to worry about using your phone out in the rain. Combined with the aluminum and plastic design, the Pixel 5 should be quite sturdy overall. I’m a fan.

The display of the Pixel 5 is an FHD+ adaptive AMOLED that can achieve a refresh rate of 90Hz. Adaptive means it can dynamically switch between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on what the phone is doing, and it feels great. I’ve been a bit spoiled by the extremely fast 120Hz and 144Hz displays of other flagship devices, but the 90Hz display on the Pixel 5 didn’t bother me one bit.

Google Pixel 5 notch hole macro 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The quality of the Pixel 5’s display is nothing short of fantastic. The colors look incredible and everything seems to pop right off the screen. The display of the Pixel 4a was one of the best we’ve tested this year, and there’s no doubt the display of the Pixel 5 touts similar quality. It’s just great.

This year’s Pixels have fantastic displays, and the Pixel 5’s is especially great.

There is a punch-hole in the top left side of the Pixel 5’s display. It houses the front-facing camera. I’m personally a huge fan of punch-hole selfie shooters because they’re about the same size as a notification icon, so they don’t feel like they’re in the way. My roommate hates the design, but this is a highly personal design opinion.

Overall, the Google Pixel 5 doesn’t feel quite as premium as the Pixel 4 before it, but it nails all the design choices that bring a good experience to a phone. While Google undoubtedly went more simplistic this year, I don’t think it needs to be fancy in its designs. Pixels are portals to the quintessential Google experience, and that’s all they really need to be.

Performance and battery: Less is more

Google Pixel 5 in hand 1 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • X55 5G mobile platform
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage
  • No microSD card expansion
  • 4,080mAh battery
  • 18W wired charging
  • Wireless and reverse wireless charging

Possibly one of the most controversial decisions Google made this year was not using the current flagship processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 865. Instead, it opted for the tuned-down Snapdragon 765G, which keeps several core features like 5G but cuts down on throughput to the camera as well as core processing speeds.

Many people may be upset that you can’t get a Pixel that competes with other flagships on a raw performance basis this year, but I’d wager that Pixels don’t need to be the fastest phones on the market. The whole point of the Pixel experience is a move towards ambient computing. That is, using your phone less and getting the information you need with your voice. Plus, the Pixel UI is so well-tuned to Pixel hardware, you probably won’t notice any slowdowns unless you’re playing the most demanding games the Play Store has to offer.

In everyday use, the Pixel 5 performed adequately. I didn’t notice any performance issues or slowdowns, and the phone jumped between apps with ease. There were no apps kicked from RAM due to the healthy 8GB of memory, while the 90Hz display made everything feel fluid. That being said, I don’t game on my phone very often, and there are sure to be plenty of dedicated gaming Pixel 5 reviews if you look around.

In benchmarks, the Google Pixel 5 performed well enough, but it certainly wasn’t the highest score for a Snapdragon 765G device. The Google Pixel 5 notched a score of 2,633 in Geekbench 4 single-core and 5,994 in multi-core. In comparison, the OnePlus Nord scored 2,853 and 7,896 in Geekbench 4 single- and multi-core tests, respectively.

One spec that the Snapdragon 765G does hold on to compared to the 865 is 5G connectivity. The Pixel 5 uses the slower Qualcomm X52 modem vs the X55 you’ll find in the flagship variant, but if you’re getting mid-band 5G in your area you could still see a nice boost in speeds. I was hanging with a friend on a rooftop recently and noticed I was pulling 150Mbps down on Google Fi 5G. If you’re on Verizon, the Pixel 5 supports mmWave 5G as well, which can pull down even more insane speeds.

5G probably isn’t a game-changer for most people, but it can pull some impressive speeds if you have coverage.

The Pixel 5 sports 128GB of storage, which should be adequate for most people. It is a bit funny that even the $ 350 Pixel 4a sports the same capacity, but that’s more of a positive for the Pixel 4a then a negative for the Pixel 5. Expandable storage would have been a good way to set the Pixel 5 further apart from the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G, but Google’s aggressive storage offloading via apps like Google Photos should make this a healthy capacity for most.

Another pretty massive change this year is the move to a much bigger battery on the Pixel 5. The phone sports a 4,080mAh cell. While that’s not quite as massive as some competing phones, it’s easily the biggest cell ever in a Pixel phone. For comparison, the Pixel 4 sported a 2,800mAh battery and used a more power-hungry processor in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Considering the Pixel 4’s abysmal battery was the weakest point about the phone, the bigger cell is a welcome change.

In daily use, the battery life on the Pixel 5 was quite good. On an average day, the phone lasted nearly eight hours of screen-on time, equating to taking the device off the charger at 8:30 AM and seeing it die around 11 PM the next day. On a heavier day where I shot plenty of 4K video, used almost exclusively mobile data, and didn’t have service for a good portion of the day, the phone pulled closer to six hours of screen-on time. I took it off the charger at 7:30 AM that day and it had 10% left when I went to bed at 12:30 AM. Not bad.

The Pixel 5 ships with an 18W fast charger. While that’s an acceptable charging speed, it’s starting to feel quite slow compared to its competition. This was fast around the era of the original Pixel, but since then, even mid-ranged devices can hit 30W of charging, with other devices like the Oppo Find X2 Pro or OnePlus 8T hitting 65W from a cable. I feel like I say this every single time I review a Pixel, but I’d really like to see faster wired charging speeds from Google.

Google Pixel 5 on windowsill

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

That being said, Google has managed to pack wireless and reverse wireless charging into the Pixel 5. Considering this phone’s chassis is mostly made of aluminum, this is one of the first metal phones to rock wireless charging. To do this, Google cut out a hole in the aluminum chassis for the wireless charging coil, then coated the body in the bio-resin plastic we talked about earlier. Smart stuff.

Wireless charging is a spec that isn’t strictly necessary, but I’m extremely happy to see it on Google’s flagship Pixel. It’s one of those extra little bits that make the Pixel 5 worth choosing over the Pixel 4a or Pixel 4a 5G. Considering I have multiple wireless chargers hanging out around my apartment, it’s easy to keep the phone topped up at all times.

Camera: Wider with better video, otherwise more of the same

Google Pixel 5 taking a photo 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Main: 12MP
  • Wide: 16MP
  • Selfie: 8MP

Up until the Pixel 3, Google touted its impressive photo quality from a single camera using computational photography. But by the time the Pixel 4 launched, there was enough pressure from the rest of the industry to add another sensor. Weirdly, the Pixel 4 used a 2x telephoto sensor in addition to its main lens, which was a controversial choice considering it was touting the capabilities of its super-res zoom tech at the same time.

Go in-depth: Behind the scenes: Google’s Pixel cameras aren’t trying to be cameras at all

This year, Google is adapting to the blowback of the Pixel 4. It instead opted to add a wide-angle camera to the Pixel 5. This gives you three effective zoom ranges if you count the 2x super-res zoom from the main sensor. I’m personally happy to have a 0.6x wide-angle camera represented.

The main camera on the Pixel 5 is the same 12MP sensor we’ve seen effectively since the beginning of the Pixel line, and by and large, it looks wildly similar to images from the Google Pixel 4. The biggest difference I’ve noticed between the two phones is a shift towards warmer images, which will likely look a bit more pleasing to many people.

As stated earlier, the wide camera is 0.6x zoom, which gives you a decent amount of range but isn’t quite as wide as some other flagships on the market. The color profile does seem fairly similar to that of the main camera, but there’s a strange shift in view when you switch from standard to wide mode.

While the quality of the Pixel cameras has been considered incredible for many years, the unwillingness to adapt to change is starting to make Google’s cameras look a bit long in the tooth. Pixels have always had a pretty high amount of contrast and sharpness, which looked good when there wasn’t a ton of information from the sensor. However, now that camera sensors on other smartphones are getting larger, Google’s processing feels like a bit more of a crutch.

The comparison I can make here is that of programming for individual use cases versus creating an algorithm that will cover all cases. While the Pixel 5 can make people look quite good when it recognizes faces using semantic segmentation, busier scenes involving people will often process people like the rest of the scene. And while portrait mode can be good at cutting things out with a depth map (though it still struggles with hair), a larger sensor with real depth of field would work perfectly every time.

Look, Pixel 5 images look good in general, but scenes with a lot of detail in them can look busy and overly contrasted. It’s fairly easy to see when a camera has a small sensor. Even with the Pixel’s fantastic processing, you can still tell. While I don’t think most people are going to dislike images from the Pixel 5, it’s a bit frustrating to not see a fundamental size change after so much time. Like I say every year, hopefully, next year.

The sample images in this review have been compressed to optimize load times for the website. If you want to view all the images taken for this review in full resolution, you can do so here.

Almost everyone will like photos from the Pixel 5, but a bigger sensor would have maintained its reputation as the king of smartphone cameras.

That being said, this wouldn’t be a new Google flagship without some fun computational imaging features. And while none of the new features will blow the lid off your head as they have in previous Pixels, they’re still pretty cool.

The first new camera feature is called portrait light. This emulates a floating light source that you can shift around the scene and vary in intensity to add or reduce contrast to a subject’s face or clothes. It works quite well. You can use it on any photo, as long as there is a person detected in the image. You can even use it on old images, or images that haven’t actually been taken with the Pixel. Pretty slick. This feature will be coming to Google Photos down the line, but it’s on Google Pixel 4a 5G and Google Pixel 5 first.

The second feature is actually a nod to video, which is nice to see on a Pixel phone. This feature is called Cinematic Pan and uses slow-motion video and software cropping to produce some incredibly smooth pans. In use, this looks quite good, and it’s nice to see Google caring more about video features. There’s also a new stabilization mode menu, which will let you select between Standard, Locked, Active, and Cinematic Pan depending on what kind of movement you’re doing.

Portrait mode can now work in low light in conjunction with Night Sight. This will allow your subjects to stand out from the background even in low light, something only cameras with bigger sensors can usually do well. This feature is cool, and especially welcome considering the small sensor. Even against the huge Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sensor, the Pixel 5 can still hold its own.

On the selfie side, we’re seeing what we’ve seen from previous Pixels. This is the same 8MP shooter you’re used to. It takes nice images overall, especially with the help of semantic segmentation. You can use portrait mode and Night Sight in selfie mode too, which offer 1.2x and 1.4x crops respectively. Selfie video has a time-lapse mode, which offers playback in 1x, 5x, 10x, 30x, and 120x speeds. This should be beneficial for people who want to vlog with their phones.

Speaking of video, Google has allowed for some pretty nice features here. Those include 4K 60fps recording, slow motion, a time-lapse mode, and four different stabilization modes. You’ve got Standard mode for light movement, Locked mode for far away still shots as if the phone was on a tripod, Active mode for heavy movement or running, and the Cinematic Pan I mentioned earlier.

Here’s a sample of 4k 30fps video footage in standard stabilization mode. Overall, I think the footage looks quite grainy, with a lot of noise in the shadows. I’m glad Google is adding all these new video features, but it would be a lot better if the sensor was bigger so the phone could capture more light.

Google’s camera app is quite good, though. Most features are very easy to find and the phone doesn’t feel like it’s got too many features you’ll never use. There are primary function tabs on the bottom with some extra features around the shutter, and deeper settings in the pull-down menu. I’m a fan.

The addition of a wide-angle camera was a good move, but I can’t stress how much I would love to see Google use a bigger sensor on the next Pixel. Processing on that small 12MP sensor will still be perfectly fine for most people, but when you compare it to other flagships shipping lately, the quality difference starts to show.

Software: Brilliantly simple

Google Pixel 5 Android norification tray 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Android 11
  • Pixel Launcher

The Google Pixel 5 ships with Android 11, running Pixel UI on top. This is widely considered one of the best skins on Android due to its tight integration with things like the Google Assistant. Google also, you know, makes Android, so you’d hope its take on the operating system would be good.

Android 11 added features that we previously lamented for not being in Pixel devices. It’s refreshing to finally have things like native screen recording. The new conversation notifications, on the other hand, are a handy way of grouping your important notifications from the non-important ones. Having your smart home controls a power button hold away is super convenient too. This is a legitimately great version of Android, and you can read more about its best features here.

Several software features are exclusive to Pixel devices. Call Screening, Now Playing, and Google Recorder are just a few, and it’s undoubtedly true that you’ll get one of the most intelligent Android experiences on a Google Pixel phone. Almost all of Pixel’s unique features are things you’ll actually use and not gimmicks too. That’s not something that can be said of every smartphone.

Another important part of the Pixel software experience is that Google guarantees software updates and support for at least three years. That means the Google Pixel 5 will definitely receive Android 14, and will likely end up with Android 15 as well. Very few Android smartphones guarantee this much software support. This makes the Pixel devices some of your best options if you want to continuously upgrade to the latest version of Android. Moreover, owning a Pixel means you also have access to Android betas, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Google Pixel 5 specs

  Google Pixel 5
Display 6-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
432ppi
90Hz refresh rate
19.5:9 aspect ratio
>1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
2x Cortex-A76
6x Cortex-A55
Titan M Security Module
GPU Adreno 620
RAM 8GB
LPDDR4x
Storage 128GB
No microSD slot
Cameras Rear
Main: 12.2MP, f/1.7 aperture, 1.4µm pixels, optical + electronic image stabilization
Secondary: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 1 micron pixel, ultra-wide (107-degree FoV)
4K at 60fps/30fps

Front
8MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 1.12µm pixels, fixed focus, 83-degree FoV

Headphone jack No
Battery 4,080mAh
18W charging
12W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
IP rating IP68
Sensors Proximity / ambient light sensor
Accelerometer
Gyrometer
Magnetometer
Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor
Barometer
Spectral and flicker sensor
Software Android 11
Dimensions and weight 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm
151g
Colors Just Black, Sorta Sage

Google Pixel 5 review: Value and competition

Google Pixel 5 Google logo macro

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • Google Pixel 5: $ 699

At $ 699, the Pixel 5 easily undercuts a lot of other flagships on the market, but if you’re looking at devices from a raw specs perspective, it could seem a bit lackluster. That being said, Pixel phones offer a lot more value than raw performance from their tight integration with Google apps and services to their fast, guaranteed updates. Pixel devices are also genuinely a pleasure to use, and I think there’s a lot of value in that alone.

Google Pixel 5 Google’s first 5G smartphone
The Google Pixel 5 may not be the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it’s a pretty compelling mid-range option. Google is going back to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features like face recognition and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

If you’re looking for power, something like the OnePlus 8T comes in at just $ 50 more at $ 749, but sports 65W wired charging, a 120Hz display, and far more cameras… for better or worse. It also flexes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. Unfortunately, it drops wireless charging. Check out our full review here for more info.

Another option around this price range is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, which also has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, multiple cameras, and a 120Hz display. If you’re a fan of Samsung devices, this is one of the most affordable options with this much power. Check out our full review here to learn more.

If you’re a fan of iOS, Apple just announced the iPhone 12 Mini, which also matches the Pixel 5’s price of $ 699. The iPhone 12 Mini has a much faster processor in the form of the new Apple A14 Bionic, but it loses out on refresh rate and the quality of its personal digital assistant. While we haven’t been able to do a full review on this device yet, we’ll share our thoughts soon.

If you’re someone who needs more power for things like gaming or better video, you might want to look at more specialized options like the Asus ROG Phone 3, the Sony Xperia 1 II, or Sony Xperia 5 II. That being said, those phones start closer to $ 1,000 or more, so they’re not really in the same ballpark.

Personally, I think $ 649 would have been a better price for the Pixel 5. The price difference between the Google Pixel 4a and Google Pixel 4a 5G is $ 150. Google slapping an extra $ 200 on the price tag for an aluminum frame, wireless charging, IP68 water and dust resistance, 2GB more RAM, and a 90Hz display seems a bit excessive. Considering the Pixel 4a 5G is effectively a perfectly balanced mix of the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5, a similar $ 150 price difference would have seemed more appropriate.

Google Pixel 5 review: Should you buy it?

Google Pixel 5 in hand 3

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Google Pixel 5. It has a genuinely wonderful display, fantastic battery life, and all the small things I love like wireless charging and IP68 water resistance. Additionally, the extremely tight integration with Google’s apps and services, unique features through Google Assistant, and guaranteed updates for three years add a lot more value than a spec sheet can tell.

If you are willing to spend $ 700 and you’re sure you want an Android phone, I can definitely recommend the Google Pixel 5. It may not have the fastest processor, the quickest charging, the highest refresh rate display, or the biggest camera sensors, but the Google Pixel 5 does the basics better than almost any other smartphone on the market. The Google Pixel 5 is genuinely a pleasure to use.

That’s been our initial Google Pixel 5 review. We’ll update it in the following days with more insight and impressions about Google’s new premium phone. Stay tuned!


Android Authority

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Huawei FreeBuds 3i review: Great features on a budget


Huawei may struggle with apps, but its hardware remains incredibly attractive. The company’s latest true-wireless earbuds, the Huawei FreeBuds 3i, combine an accessible price tag with good sound quality and features you’ll typically find on higher-end competitors like the AirPods Pro.

Are these affordable true wireless earbuds a good pick? Find out in our Huawei FreeBuds 3i review.

About this review: The FreeBuds 3i review unit was provided to Android Authority by the manufacturer. I used the earbuds for around two weeks, connected to my Mate 20 Pro and my Asus ROG laptop.

Huawei FreeBuds 3i: Tech and specs

  • Connection: Bluetooth 5
  • Bluetooth codecs: AAC, SBC
  • Active noise-cancelling: up to 32db
  • Microphones: 3
  • Driver: 10mm dynamic
  • Controls: Double tap, long tap
  • Battery capacity: 37mAh/earbud. 410mAh charging case
  • Battery life: Up to 3.5h of playback. Up to 14.5h with charging case
  • Charging: USB-C, wired only
  • Charging time: earbuds – about 1h; total – about 115 minutes
  • Water resistance: IPX4 (splashes only)
  • Weight: 5.5g/earbud, case 51g
  • Ear tips: 4 pairs – L, M, S, XS
  • Functions: Awareness mode, Pop open to connect (EMUI 10 only), Wear detection (EMUI 10 only), virtual assistant, touch controls

What are the Huawei FreeBuds 3i like?

huawei freebuds 3i in charging case

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan/ Android Authority

As their name suggests, the FreeBuds 3i (£99/€99) are the follow-up to the more sophisticated FreeBuds 3 (£149/€189 at launch), which came out late last year.

Despite being much cheaper, the difference between the FreeBuds 3i and the FreeBuds 3 isn’t massive. In fact, if you want an in-ear design and superior noise isolation, the cheaper FreeBuds 3i come on top. On the flip side, the FreeBuds 3 have longer battery life and better sound quality in optimal conditions.

Despite being much cheaper, the difference between the FreeBuds 3i and the FreeBuds 3 isn’t massive.

The FreeBuds 3i feature active noise-cancelling (ANC) and silicone tips that go into your ear canals, dampening external noise and improving the perceived sound quality. Like the FreeBuds 3, they draw inspiration from Apple’s AirPods series, both in appearance and in feature set. The FreeBuds 3i even come with Awareness mode, which works just like Apple’s Transparency mode.

You can use the FreeBuds 3i with any Bluetooth-enabled device, but you’ll get the best experience with Huawei devices running EMUI 10 or later, which offer quicker connection and wearing detection.

How do you control the FreeBuds 3i?

The FreeBuds 3i support two simple gestures – double-tap and tap-and-hold. Using the companion app, Huawei AI Life, you can assign the double-tap gesture to playback controls, while tap-and-hold cycles through ANC modes.

Huawei AI Life is compatible with just about any Android device, but it’s not available for iOS. You could still use the FreeBuds 3i with an iPhone, but you won’t be able to customize the gestures or get software updates, unless you can get hold of an Android device.

Also read: The best headphones under $ 100 of 2020

When used together with a Huawei phone running EMUI 10 or later, the FreeBuds 3i connect seamlessly by simply popping open the case, and they also detect wearing to automatically pause and resume playback.

You can assign different commands for double-tapping the left and right earbud, which gives you a little more flexibility. You can choose between play/pause, next song, previous song, and wake voice assistant.

Do the Huawei FreeBuds 3i sound good?

huawei freebuds 3i in ear

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan/ Android Authority

I really liked how the FreeBuds 3 sound, and the good news is the FreeBuds 3i are not far behind in terms of sound quality. I am not by any means an audiophile, but I found the FreeBuds 3i enjoyable in most situations.

The biggest issue I noticed was with the lower part of the frequency spectrum. Bass and lower frequencies in general sound less clear compared to the FreeBuds 3. It’s not awful, but it’s noticeable. Clarity aside, low frequencies also tended to  drown out parts of the mid-range. I ran into this issue with many tracks from Billie Eilish that feature heavy bass and hushed vocals. This phenomenon, when loud sounds make it hard to perceive relatively quiet ones, is called auditory masking and is common with consumer headsets. While the result is rarely unpleasant, if you care a lot about accurate reproduction, you may find the FreeBuds 3i disappointing.

I found the FreeBuds 3i enjoyable in most situations.

The FreeBuds 3i sound quality is otherwise good, especially considering their price tag. Vocals tend to be clear, so long as they aren’t accompanied by a cacophony of drum kicks; I heard no annoying hisses or crackles, and the earbuds get quite loud.

It helps that the FreeBuds 3i feature silicon tips that plug into your ears (there are four sizes included in the package). These provide the isolation that’s sorely missing from the open-fit FreeBuds 3, as well as the AirPods and other earbuds of similar design. Thanks to this, the FreeBuds 3i sound louder than the FreeBuds 3, despite having a smaller driver: 10mm vs 14.2mm. To get a better idea of what this means, consider I could comfortably use the FreeBuds 3i at 30% volume on my laptop, where I had to crank up the volume closer to 50% on the FreeBuds 3 for the same perceived effect.

Is the active noise-cancelling good on the FreeBuds 3i?

huawei freebuds 3i out of charging case with huawei mate 20 pro 8

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan/ Android Authority

The FreeBuds 3i haven’t blown my mind with their noise-cancelling, but they’re definitely better in this regard than the FreeBuds 3’s ANC, which was barely noticeable.

The ear tips keep a lot of the ambient noise out, which makes it much easier for the ANC function to make an audible difference.

Like with all ANC headphones, you’ll get the best results with low, monotone noises like the humming of an airplane cabin or car engines. Meanwhile, high frequencies come through, and ANC will struggle to adapt to variable noises like the chatter of a café.

Read more: The best noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds

If you need to work – or just relax – in a noisy environment, you’ll definitely want to keep the FreeBuds 3i in ANC mode. Even with music off, you’ll hear the difference. And when you do listen to music, you won’t need to crank up the volume as high, which is good for your auditory health.

Do the FreeBuds 3i have Transparency mode?

The FreeBuds 3i let you toggle in a special mode that helps outside sounds go through, making them easier to hear even when listening to music. It works a lot like the AirPods Pro’s Transparency mode, it’s just called different: Awareness mode.

There’s a noticeable difference between Awareness mode and simply turning ANC off. I could hear my wife talk to me easier, even without pausing music or turning the volume down. Awareness might also come in handy when walking or jogging on busy roads or whenever you need to pay attention to your environment.

Note that Awareness mode needs to be enabled from the Huawei AI Life app. If it’s not enabled, the earbuds will simply toggle ANC on and off.

How is the connectivity?

huawei freebuds 3i earbuds side by side

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan/ Android Authority

The FreeBuds 3i work over Bluetooth 5 and support the SBC and AAC codecs. SBC is the most basic Bluetooth codec around, sacrificing audio quality for lower data transfers. Meanwhile, AAC is a more advanced codec that enables better audio quality, but it’s only really suitable for use on Apple devices. Android devices tend to perform inconsistently with this codec. Bluetooth multipoint isn’t supported, so you won’t be able to connect the FreeBuds 3i to, say, your phone and laptop at the same time.

In my use, the FreeBuds 3i connected quickly and reliably to my Mate 20 Pro smartphone. I didn’t run into any issues worth mentioning. It was a different story with my laptop, where the two earbuds often went “out of sync.” One earbud would lag very slightly compared to the other, creating a noticeable echo effect. This would happen for several minutes until the earbuds would resync on their own. I also encountered short interruptions from time to time when connected to the laptop.

Is the FreeBuds 3i battery life good?

The FreeBuds 3i won’t win any prizes for battery life. In my experience, they shut down after about three hours of use (with ANC on). That’s about an hour less than the FreeBuds 3, and quite a bit less compared to other true wireless earbuds.

The good news is you’ll be able to use the case to charge them up four times over, which should push total battery life at over 12 hours.

For reference, Huawei claims up to 3.5 hours for the earbuds and 14.5 hours of playback with the case included.

huawei freebuds 3i out of charging case with huawei mate 20 pro 4

Credit: Bogdan Petrovan/ Android Authority

What I like about the FreeBuds 3i

  • The comfort and ease of use. I liked that the FreeBuds 3i connect quickly and reliably and once you have them in your ears they don’t feel heavy or uncomfortable.
  • The sound isolation and ANC. Thanks to these two features, I could tune out the outside world in a way that just wasn’t possible with the FreeBuds 3.
  • The gestures. They worked reliably.

What I don’t like about the FreeBuds 3i

  • The relatively short battery life With ANC on, I needed to pop the earbuds back into the case in three hours or less. Not ideal for those who use them at work or on long trips.
  • The connection issues on Windows laptop. The slight desync kinda ruined the experience of using them with my laptop. I am not sure if this issue is common or specific to my setup.
  • The ill-defined bass. Bass-heavy track parts lacked definition.

FreeBuds 3i review: Should you buy them?

Huawei FreeBuds 3i Good active noise-cancelling on a budget
We can recommend the Huawei FreeBuds 3i to those looking for an affordable pair of true-wireless headphones that features active noise-cancelling. The recommendation is easier if you currently use a recent Huawei device like the P series or the Mate series.

I can recommend the Huawei FreeBuds 3i to those looking for an affordable pair of true-wireless headphones that features active noise-cancelling. The recommendation is easier if you currently use a recent Huawei device like the P series or the Mate series.

For their price, the FreeBuds 3i’s sound quality is solid. The active noise-cancelling with Awareness mode is nice to have in this price range.

You should probably pass on the FreeBuds 3i if you want the best sound. The audio hardware is less performant compared to the more expensive FreeBuds 3, and they also miss out on better codecs like aptX.

For around the same price as the FreeBuds 3i, you can get alternatives including the first-gen Samsung Galaxy Buds, the Edifier TWS1, and the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2. Some of these options offer wireless charging, better codecs, and superior water resistance. However, most don’t offer ANC. For that, you’ll have to stretch your budget a bit more for the Panasonic RZ-S500W noise-cancelling earbuds.

That’s it for our Huawei FreeBuds 3i review. Time to weigh in: do these earbuds look like a good deal?

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Honor 30 Pro Plus review: Forget the Huawei P40, buy this instead (if you can)


You have to hand it to Huawei. While geopolitical wrangling continues to plague its fortunes, the Chinese giant has pressed ahead and continued to launch new phones with barely a break in its stride.

That implacable attitude has also carried over to its sub-brand, Honor. The latest phone(s) to emerge from the youth-orientated company is the Honor 30 series.

In this review, we’ll be casting our critical eye over the Honor 30 Pro Plus — an impressively spec’d phone that sees Honor’s portfolio edging closer than ever to Huawei’s own premium offerings.

Can it overcome all the challenges in front of it and emerge as a legitimate sub-flagship-level player?

Find out in Android Authority‘s Honor 30 Pro Plus review.

About this review: I used the Honor 30 Pro Plus on the O2 network in the UK as my main phone for a week. The device was running Magic 3.1.0 based on Android 10 with the build number 3.1.0.160. The Honor 30 Pro Plus review unit was provided to Android Authority by Honor.

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Honor 30 Pro Plus review: The big picture

honor 30 pro plus review display

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The Honor 30 Pro Plus is the top model in the latest N series evolution. 2019’s Honor 20 line expanded to two phones, but this time around we’ve got the vanilla Honor 30, the Honor 30 Pro, and the all-new Honor 30 Pro Plus. If that naming scheme sounds familiar, it’s because it perfectly mirrors the Huawei P40 trio — the first of many comparisons that can be drawn between the two series.

While Honor has continued to release phones in spite of the Huawei-US trade ban, it’s done so on a much narrower scope than its parent company. Affordable devices like the Honor 9X Pro have enjoyed a broader release across Europe and in the UK, but the brand’s de facto flagship, the Honor View 30 series, never officially made it out of China or Russia.

Read more: The best Android phones you can buy

That’s the same deal with the Honor 30 family, which makes it a little tricky to accurately price the Honor 30 Pro Plus. It retails at 4,999 yuan and 54,990 rubles in China and Russia, respectively, which puts the phone at around $ 800 mark, or ~€700 in Europe.

There’s some tough competition in that price range from the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Realme. Can the Honor 30 Pro Plus compete?

Honor 30 Pro Plus specs

  Honor 30 Pro Plus Honor 30 Pro Honor 30
Display 6.57-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 (19.5:9)
90Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
6.57-inch OLED
2,340 x 1,080 (19.5:9)
In-display fingerprint sensor
6.53-inch OLED
2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
In-display fingerprint sensor
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G HiSilicon Kirin 985 5G
Mali-G77
RAM 8GB/12GB 8GB 6GB/8GB
Storage 256GB
Expandable (Nano Memory)
128GB/256GB
Expandable (Nano Memory)
128GB/256GB
Expandable (Nano Memory)
Cameras Rear:
50MP (RYYB), f/1.9, OIS
8MP telephoto, f/3.4, OIS, 5x optical zoom
16MP ultra-wide, f/2.2

Front:
32MP, f/2.0
8MP ultrawide, f/2.2

Rear:
40MP (RYYB), f/1.8, OIS
8MP telephoto, f/3.4, OIS, 5x optical zoom
16MP ultra-wide, f/2.2

Front:
32MP, f/2.0
8MP ultrawide, f/2.2

Rear:
40MP (RYYB), f/1.8
8MP telephoto, f/3.4, OIS, 5x optical zoom
8MP ultra-wide, f/2.4
2MP depth sensor

Front:
32MP, f/2.0

Battery 4,000mAh
40W fast charging
27W fast wireless charging
5W reverse wireless charging
4,000mAh
40W fast charging
5W reverse wireless charging
4,000mAh
40W fast charging
5W reverse wireless charging
IP Rating IP54 IP54 No
Headphone jack No No No
Software Magic UI 3
Android 10
Magic UI 3
Android 10
Magic UI 3
Android 10
Dimensions and weight 160.3 x 73.6 x 8.4mm
190g
160.3 x 73.6 x 8.4mm
186g
160.3 x 74.2 x 8.1mm
185g

Honor 30 Pro Plus vs Honor 30 Pro vs Honor 30: What’s the difference?

Before we get to the Pro Plus, let’s quickly run through the differences between the three Honor 30 phones.

As you can see from the specs table in the section above, the Honor 30 Pro Plus and Honor 30 Pro are fundamentally the same. You do get some enticing extras with the Plus variant like the 90Hz refresh rate display, 27W wireless charging, and more storage as standard.

honor 30 pro plus review hero

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The standard Honor 30 is the outlier with its less powerful processor, flat display (vs the waterfall design), and lack of an IP54 rating.

All three phones differ in the camera department. Each uses Huawei’s patented RYYB color setup for the main camera, but the Pro Plus bumps the megapixels from 40MP to 50MP. The standard model drops the ultra-wide lens to 8MP instead of 16MP, but does gain a 2MP macro camera.

All of the phones are also 5G ready (non-standalone/standalone), but do not support mmWave.

What’s the Honor 30 Pro Plus like to use?

In many ways, the Honor 30 Pro Plus is a cheaper facsimile of the Huawei P40 Pro. That includes the overall design language, which is a near-perfect mirror of Huawei’s flagship.

honor 30 pro plus review logo

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

I say near-perfect because of the branding. I don’t mind a little bit of flair or subtle logos on the rear of a phone, but the enormous, all caps Honor name plastered on the back of the Honor 30 Pro Plus is an obscenity.

If you can look past that massive eyesore, the phone’s frosted glass gives off a soft blue/purple glow that is really pleasant on the eye and, ironically considering the unforgivable logo situation, far less gaudy than many recent China imports.

I should note that this branding monstrosity is only a problem with the Titanium Silver model and not the Midnight Black colorway, which also has a bling-tastic gold accent around the camera bump.

The enormous logo on the back of the Honor 30 Pro Plus is obscene.

One significant change from the Honor 20 series is the move to an in-display fingerprint sensor instead of a side-mounted reader. However, my success rate for unlocking the phone first time was much lower. Software-based face unlock is also available as an alternative.

What is a welcome upgrade is the display… mostly. The Full HD+ AMOLED panel pops with color, gets plenty bright, and like all Huawei/Honor phones, can be tweaked to the nth degree in Settings. It’s also a 90Hz panel which made zipping around the phone’s UI fluid and responsive.

The waterfall display, however, is an acquired taste — a taste I and many others don’t share. The way it flows into the delicate rear curve isn’t as severe as, say, the Mate 30 Pro, and I didn’t encounter any ghost touch issues, but it’s still impractical. There was also a slight yellow color shift towards the very edge.

I’m also not all that keen on the extra-wide punch-hole, though fans of wide-angle selfies may be happier to take the hit in screen real estate for that second front-facing shooter.

What’s the performance and battery life like?

The Honor 30 Pro Plus packs the same Kirin 990 SoC found in every Huawei flagship since the Mate 30 series debuted. Accompanied by 8GB of RAM, it should be no surprise that Honor’s affordable flagship rarely ever falters in the performance stakes.

Read more: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Kirin 990 vs Exynos 990: How do they compare?

Those times it does fall behind other top-end chipsets are during gaming. The Mali GPU still lags behind the competition for playing intensive 3D games, but it’s a negligible hit.

The HiSilicon chipset is also known for its power efficiency. Paired with a 4,000mAh cell (and support for 40W fast charging), you’d expect at least all-day battery life and the Honor 30 Pro Plus doesn’t disappoint. I was averaging around seven hours of screen on time and could easily get through a day and a half without a recharge. That’s with the 90Hz refresh rate on all the time. Impressive.

Does the Honor 30 Pro Plus have Google apps and services?

honor 30 pro plus review petal search app stores

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

No, the Honor 30 Pro Plus does not offer native support for Google apps and services.

Like every other new Honor and Huawei phone — that isn’t a revised version of an older model — the entire Honor 30 series is based on an AOSP build of Android and does not officially support the Google Play Store, Google apps, or Google Play Services. That doesn’t mean you can’t get all three working with some tinkering, but you’ll have to plod through workarounds and endure varying levels of hassle to do so.

Instead, Huawei has its own app store called App Gallery and its own core services (HMS). Check out our App Gallery deep dive here for more on what to expect, but the bottom line is that a vast majority of apps you likely use every day are not available via Huawei’s storefront.

honor 30 pro plus review petal search netflix

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

While that might sound annoying (and it is), Huawei has clearly been working hard to improve the app situation despite the heavy restrictions forced upon it. Phone Clone is a handy app that lets you copy over almost every app from another Android device, while the Petal Search app (pictured above) will scour trusted APK sites to find apps from third-party sources. Both are available on the App Gallery.

Unfortunately, for all of Huawei’s commendable work, some apps obtained outside of the App Gallery either won’t work or will suffer from reduced functionality due to the lacking Google services. As an example, Netflix will only play in sub-HD quality and Uber can’t function at all due to the missing location API.

How are the cameras?

honor 30 pro plus review camera 3

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The Honor 30 Pro Plus has a triple camera setup that pairs a RYYB primary shooter with an ultra-wide camera and a periscope telephoto lens with OIS that supports 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and up to 50x digital zoom.

The main camera is identical to the one found on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus — a massive 1/1.28-inch sensor that uses Huawei’s unique RYYB color filter configuration. That’s some serious pedigree and the results are almost uniformly spectacular. Photos offer excellent levels of detail, impressive color accuracy, wide dynamic range, and solid exposure.

Low-light performance is also fantastic. There’s a night mode in the camera app, but the regular shooting mode actually does a better job at limiting noise — just check out the comparison below.

Honor 30 Pro Plus — Standard Honor 30 Pro Plus — Night Mode Honor 30 Pro Plus — Standard

Honor 30 Pro Plus — Night Mode

The telephoto periscope camera is a slight downgrade from the P40 Pro, but still punches above its weight at the phone’s price point. This is especially true for any shots at 5x optical zoom where slight oversharpening issues are only really noticeable when cropping in. 10x hybrid zoom images are still decent enough, though anything beyond that turns into mush.

The ultra-wide camera has a few stumbles with color accuracy and the field-of-view isn’t quite as wide as some premium alternatives, but it still delivers crisp, dynamic images.

The Honor 30 Pro Plus has two front-facing cameras. Once you’ve turned the aggressive beauty mode off the standard and wide-angle selfie cameras both produce some great shots, though you lose some detail using the latter.

Video capture is solid, with support for up to 4K 60fps and impressive stabilization. Slo-mo capture at up to a ridiculous 1920fps is also good fun, though this is only available at 720p.

For full resolution sample photos from the Honor 30 Pro Plus camera check out the Drive folder here.

Related: Camera shootout: OnePlus 8 Pro vs Galaxy S20 Plus vs Huawei P40 Pro

What else is good about the Honor 30 Pro Plus?

honor 30 pro plus review rear

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

Wireless charging — The Honor 30 Pro Plus supports Huawei’s 27W fast wireless charging tech and even has 5W reverse wireless charging.

IR blaster — An increasingly rare feature on modern smartphones, but always a welcome one for those that are prone to losing remote controls.

IP rating — A first for an Honor phone, the Honor 30 Pro Plus has been officially rated for protection against splashes of water.

Future-proofed — The Honor 30 Pro Plus supports 5G (Cat6) and Wi-Fi 6. Neither are particularly widespread right now, but it’s always good to know your phone won’t be obsolete with a year.

Dual speakers — The Honor 30 Pro Plus has a bottom-firing speaker but offers stereo audio via a secondary speaker in the earpiece. The sound is surprisingly rich even at high volumes.

What’s not so good about the Honor 30 Pro Plus?

Expensive expandable storage — While it’s great to have the option of expandable storage, Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory cards are near double the price of a regular MicroSD card.

Magic UI — Honor’s take on Huawei’s EMUI platform suffers from the same information overload issues as its sister skin. Too many redundant stock apps, the odd bit of bloatware, and menus overflowing with options, many of which you’ll never use.

Honor 30 Pro Plus review: Should you buy it?

honor 30 pro plus review name

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The more appropriate question is can you actually buy it, and the answer is: it’s complicated. An Honor spokesperson confirmed the brand currently has no plans to bring the Honor 30 Pro Plus, or any of the Honor 30 series for that matter, to markets outside of China and Russia.

While you can import the phone from online retailers like Giztop, that’ll get you the Chinese model which is — as was the case with the model I reviewed — overloaded with regional bloatware and a handful features that don’t have English language options.

The Honor 30 Pro Plus is Honor’s best phone to date, but ultimately it’s as tricky to recommend as it is to actually buy.

That’s a shame, because for all the things going against the Honor 30 Pro Plus, it’s the kind of niche appeal phone that would be perfect for the right kind of buyer. It feels churlish to call the Honor 30 Pro Plus a “cheap P40 Pro,” but for all intents and purposes that’s what it is — a mildly downgraded, far more affordable version of the ultimate camera phone.

In fact, the Honor 30 Pro Plus actually represents a much better deal than the €799 vanilla P40, which has an inferior camera setup, reduced charging options, and is missing a high refresh rate display.

Even putting the oddly restrictive availability situation to one side, the Honor 30 Pro Plus suffers from another glaring problem. No, not that hideous, ginormous logo on the back — I’m talking, of course, about the lack of Google services. No number of helpful workarounds can remedy the fact that Honor’s phone is at an immediate handicap against other recent non-Huawei/Honor devices.

honor 30 pro plus review hero 2

Credit: Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

There’s also the question of pricing. The upcoming Google Pixel 4a may challenge the Honor P30 Pro Plus for point-and-shoot photography, but it’d be a struggle to find any phone at the €600-€700 price point that can go toe-to-toe with Honor’s latest as a complete camera package.

If photography isn’t at the top of your wishlist, however, there are no shortage of similarly priced and in some cases even cheaper phones from rival Chinese brands that offer a better all-round package.

Related: The best budget phones you can currently buy

The obvious candidates are the OnePlus 8 (€699/£599), Realme X50 Pro (€599/£569), and Poco F2 Pro (€499/£549), which all outpace the Honor 30 Pro Plus on performance thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 SoC. They also all have Google services.

The Honor 30 Pro Plus is Honor’s best phone to date, but ultimately it’s a phone that’s as tricky to recommend as it is to actually buy.

Honor 30 Pro Plus
The Honor 30 Pro Plus is the Huawei sub-brand’s best phone to date and a better all-round package than the vanilla Huawei P40.


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Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 review: Long name, great value


Sequels don’t always live up to the original, but Anker must have missed the memo. The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 exceeds any and all expectations we had for a cheap pair of true wireless earbuds. The build quality and Qi-enabled charging case feel premium and the microphone is particularly impressive. Stick around for the strengths and weaknesses of this solid budget-friendly pair of earbuds.

This Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 review comes from the audio experts at our sister site SoundGuys. Check out their in-depth take on the Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds.

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Who is the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 for?

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds woman wearing

Taking the HearID test creates a custom sound profile that accounts for your hearing abilities and deficiencies.

  • Hands-free callers will love this setup, as the microphone is one of the best we’ve tried at the price point.
  • Commuters can tune out their trip easily, as these earbuds block out a decent amount of sound without the extra cost associated with noise-cancelling.
  • Athletes may want to check these out, as they’re IPX5 certified to resist jets of water from any direction.

What’s the build quality like on the Liberty Air 2?

A picture of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds with one earbud in the charging case and another outside of it next to a multitool card.

The weight and feel of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 feel like you’re using a much more premium pair of buds.

For the price, these earbuds are extremely well built. Everything is made of plastic, but the buds have a premium weight and feel.

The soft-touch matte finish on the case makes the Liberty Air 2 feel like it’s punching above its weight. It’s easy to open the case with just one finger, and the earbuds fit snuggly in place with magnets. Be careful of drops though, the magnetic lid can open and the earbuds can pop out as the magnets aren’t too heavy-duty.

See also: The best true wireless earbuds

The stemmed design is familiar, but the second time around is the charm. Gone is the fingerprint-magnet gloss finish in favor of matte. The stems are easy to grip, and the SoundCore logo serves as a touch-capacitive panel on each earbud.

The housing for each earbud has a sensor that detects when the earbud is inserted. Your music will stop when the earbuds are in the case, though it doesn’t auto-resume when you pop the earbuds in your ears. The angled nozzles are easy to grab, and listening for hours is pretty comfortable.

Get the SoundCore app

SoundCore’s app offers a number of useful features, such as firmware updates and a basic hearing test. The test does more than just tell you that you can hear — SoundCore actually tailors the sound to your abilities via SoundCore HearID. You can toggle this profile and retest yourself at any time.

The app is also essential if you’re looking to remap controls and adjust settings. Custom functions aren’t applied when listening in mono mode; instead, the controls revert to the default for the in-use earbud. Unfortunately, volume controls are one of the settings that fall victim to this situation. This means you won’t be able to adjust the sound with just one earbud in.

Bluetooth 5.0 makes a difference

The Liberty Air 2 earbuds make the jump to Bluetooth 5.0, which is an improvement in both connection strength and battery life. As long as you stay within the 10-meter range, you should be able to enjoy the crisp sound. Bluetooth multipoint isn’t an option, but the earbuds support aptX and AAC to make up for it. This means Android and iOS smartphones can stream high-quality audio to the buds. You won’t notice much delay between the audio and video, which is a huge plus if you’re bingeing Space Force.

Some users have reported challenges with the initial pairing process. This is apparently a common problem, because Anker covers most of the issues in the user’s manual. One of the main causes of the issues is that some devices do not support Qualcomm True Wireless Primary-Secondary dual pairing names. Even if you see a “Connection Unsuccessful” notice you should still be ok. The primary earbud will still relay with the partner, though both are not connected individually.

What’s battery life like?

A picture of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds charging case on top of a journal

The sleek black charging case for the Anker Liberty Air 2 features three LED lights to show battery status.

If you’re looking for a pair of comfortable true wireless earbuds that can last all day long, you’ve got a winner. We managed seven hours and five minutes of battery life on a single charge, which is a big improvement over the originals.

The Qi-enabled charging case supports fast charging. A meager 10 minutes of charging gave us an additional two hours of juice to keep the music on. We also found that the case provided three charging cycles before it had to be recharged, which takes just two hours with the included USB-C cable. 

How do the Liberty Air 2 sound?

A chart depicting the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds' frequency response.

Low frequencies are heavily amplified by default, but this can be adjusted in the SoundCore app via custom EQ or by choosing from the company’s 20-plus presets.

The frequency response might not be up to snuff for true audiophiles, but it does the trick in a pinch. It’s aimed at hitting equal loudness as a pair of $ 99 earbuds, though the bass reproduction is heavy-handed. If you’re thinking you can do without the extra bass, you can always pop into the SoundCore app to choose a different preset.

The midrange frequencies are accurate, but the bass notes can be too loud and lead to a phenomenon called auditory masking. That means that the bass can overwhelm the midrange sounds and make it sound like they’re missing. We promise that they’re not actually missing, you just might have to adjust your preset to find them.

We mentioned that these are a solid pick for commuters, especially those who want to tune out the clatter of daily life. The Liberty Air 2 aren’t equipped with true noise-cancelling, but not many earbuds at this price point are. They aren’t one size fits all, but Anker SoundCore includes five different pairs of ear tips to help you get the right fit.

The microphones are great for phone calls

One of the biggest scene-stealers is microphone quality — four microphones work together to capture your voice and eliminate background noise simultaneously. The system is impressive, and it outperforms a few of the pricier competitors. Give our sample a listen right here:

Background noise reduction is much improved, although not completely eliminated. You might notice some wind noise, but it should be tempered enough that you can confidently take calls outdoors. If your goal is call quality, these are the buds to get if you can’t shell out the cash for Apple AirPods or Google Pixel Buds.

See also: The best AirPods alternatives

How does the Liberty Air 2 stack up to the competition?

We’ve established that the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 knocks out the cheap competition, but let’s see what happens when we put it against the heavy-hitters.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds

A picture of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy Buds for comparison.

The reduced price of the Samsung Galaxy Buds bring them into direct competition with the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2.

The original Samsung Galaxy Buds are inching closer to the $ 100 threshold, and Samsung keeps adding new perks. Samsung recently added direct Spotify access — a feature previously limited to the Galaxy Buds Plus.

SoundCore’s Liberty Air 2 top the Galaxy Buds with an IPX5 rating compared to Samsung’s IPX2. They isolate sound better as well, and both options offer touch controls. Samsung’s controls are almost too sensitive, but Anker’s don’t always feel sensitive enough.

If you have a Samsung phone, you’re probably better off with the Galaxy Buds thanks to Wireless PowerShare. Other Android users and even iPhone users might prefer the Liberty Air 2 for the aptX and AAC support.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 vs JLab JBuds Air Executive

Both pairs have stemmed designs, but the JLab JBuds Air Executive feel far less premium. The synthetic leather on the charging case feels fancy, but that’s about it. JLab’s charging case also sacrifices the wireless charging that you get with the Liberty Air 2.

JLab’s JBuds support AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, but the Liberty Air 2 tops it by adding aptX to the mix. The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 also gets the edge for battery life and microphone quality.

Should you buy the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2?

An aerial view of the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds charging case open.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds.

Yes, the SoundCore Liberty Air 2 are impressive budget-friendly true wireless earbuds, and they run laps around the originals. Whether you’re a commuter, athlete, or you spend your days on the phone, you’ll be happy with the durability and microphone quality. We really can’t say enough about the microphones, but you’ll have to see for yourself. As long as you can take the time to get the sound right with fit and EQ tweaking, these might be your new favorite pair of earbuds.

Next: Best true wireless earbuds under $ 100

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority


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Samsung Galaxy S20 review: What more could you want?


The regular Samsung Galaxy S20 may not grab the same headlines as its Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy S20 Plus relatives, but it’s still equipped with much of the same advanced mobile technology. Priced at a slightly more reasonable $ 999 than the $ 1,399 S20 Ultra, the Galaxy S20 is likely to be most consumer’s entry point to this year’s flagship series.

This makes the Galaxy S20 an even more important handset for Samsung than in previous years. It has to prove that the cheapest S20 isn’t an afterthought and can still provide a flagship experience — especially when even more affordable mid-tier 5G smartphones are chomping at Samsung’s heels.

Samsung Galaxy S20 review notes: I reviewed the European Samsung Galaxy S20 (SM-G980F) on the 4G Giffgaff network in the U.K. over the course of a week. On March 23, Samsung issued an update to version G980FXXU1ATCH, which improved the camera and general performance. All of the images in this review were taken post update. Android Authority purchased the Samsung Galaxy S20 unit used for this review.

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What’s in the box?

Samsung Galaxy S20 box contents

The Samsung Galaxy S20 comes with the predictable assortment of accessories. The handset ships with a 25W charging plug, UBS-C to USB-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, and a pair of AKG USB-C earbuds.

Sadly, there’s isn’t a screen protector or case included. That’s definitely something you’ll want to source yourself if you’re accident prone, given the phone’s glass back.

Shaking up a classic design

  • 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm
  • 163g
  • IP68 water & dust protection

I’ve been quite critical of Samsung’s design change. The iconic waterfall display is now flattened and the camera housing has morphed into a rectangular blob. The S20’s looks aren’t going to please everyone, but I can’t say all my complaints apply to the more compact form factor of the standard Samsung Galaxy S20.

As far as the essentials go, the smaller Galaxy S20 is ideal. Featuring a classic combination of glass and metal trim, it’s light but sturdy, and actually grips much better without the curved waterfall display. The slippery nature of the glass back isn’t a problem when it’s easy to wrap your hand around the whole device. Single-handed use is effortless. The volume rocker and power buttons are located exactly where you want them to be.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Side 1

Aesthetically, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is a decent looker. The rectangular camera module houses only three lenses, so it’s slimmer than the S20 Plus and Ultra models. Shaving off a few millimeters may be a small change, but it makes the handset look more slick than its bulky siblings.

I’m not entirely sold on Samsung’s choice of colors for this generation, although the Cloud Blue version I have is a vast improvement on the Cosmic Gray. The coating reflects a shimmery rainbow of colors in the right light, which helps brighten up the handset a bit.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Selfie Camera

The Galaxy S20 provides the perks of a big screen while still being sleek and lightweight.

The Galaxy S20 boasts an Infinity-O display panel. A single punch hole reveals the selfie camera. The big black dot doesn’t exactly gel with the whites and grays of Samsung’s UI, but you’ll eventually stop noticing it. Overall, I think I prefer it to a notch. Just about.

The camera offers rudimentary face unlock security; you won’t find any fancy infrared face scanning tech here. For the best security, you’ll probably want to use the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner embedded in the screen. From a users point of view it works just like a regular fingerprint scanner, you just need to press on the right spot on the screen. However, it’s powered by ultrasonic sound waves that bounce of your fingerprints rather than a capacitive touch sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S20 USB C port 1

Samsung’s entire S20 range abandoned the 3.5mm headphone jack, including this smaller model. However, with consumers increasingly embracing Bluetooth audio, and a pair of USB-C AKG buds in the box, this isn’t quite the inconvenience it was a couple of years ago.

On the plus side, Samsung removed the Bixby button from the Galaxy S20 series. Instead, just hold down the power button to activate Bixby Voice. If you’re not a fan of Bixby, you can switch this long-press option to bring up the shutdown menu instead.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Hero 1

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S20 just feels right, both in usability and aesthetics. The phone’s impressive screen-to-body ratio means I didn’t feel like I lost any screen real estate moving down from a bigger handset. The standard S20 certainly isn’t a compact smartphone, but it’s much more user-friendly than the gargantuan 6.9-inch Ultra version.

The best mobile display to date

  • 6.2-inch Quad HD+ (3,200 x 1,400), 20:9 aspect ratio
  • Samsung Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6

Every year Samsung produces a top tier display for its flagships and the Galaxy S20 is no different. The 6.2-inch panel features an optional 120Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling and frame rates in supported games.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Display 2

The 120Hz mode looks silky smooth flicking through menus and walls of text, though it’s definitely more of a quality of life improvement than an essential upgrade. The option to switch to Quad HD+ from the Full HD+ default resolution is a minimal difference visually, and it does suck down more juice. As such, I stuck with the Full HD+ 60Hz default setting for the majority of my time with the phone. I’d rather have the slightly longer battery life.

The simply sublime quality of the display is the real story here. The panel is punchy and crisp, providing excellent colors for a wide range of content. HDR10+ support is a nice bonus, too, and one that has a noticeable impact on quality when viewing supported content. Samsung’s latest display technology does not disappoint.

Top-tier performance

  • Octa-core Samsung Exynos 990 / Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • microSD card slot

As you’d expect from a modern flagship smartphone, performance is excellent even when multitasking in and out of several apps at once. I have the Exynos model, which is a tad slower than the Snapdragon variant, but I certainly don’t have any complaints about day-to-day use.

Our benchmark results place the handset comfortably ahead of last year’s flagship phones, for both general app and gaming performance. Particularly, the Exynos 990’s Mongoose M5 monstrous single core score stands out. The Galaxy S20 handles everything you can throw at it, though if you’re after the best performing phone we’ve tested so far, it’s a fraction behind the Snapdragon 865 Galaxy S20 Ultra.

I did notice that our Exynos model became a little warm when put under strain, such as when downloading numerous apps in the background or when taking lots of pictures in quick succession. Heat certainly wasn’t an issue for everyday tasks.

All-day battery life

  • 4,000mAh
  • 25W fast charging with USB PD 3.0
  • 15W wireless charging (9W reverse)

Without 5G technology on board chugging down power, our 4G-only Samsung Galaxy S20 pushed through a full day of heavy use with capacity to spare. I couldn’t wear the phone down with two and a half hours of Spotify, an hour of YouTube, two and a half hours of web browsing, messaging, and a decent camera session thrown in. Talk about impressive.

I calculated just over 6 hours of screen on time with the phone. Your mileage will vary depending on gaming habits, screen brightness, and the number of background apps you have running. Fresh installs always tend to run a bit longer after all. The phone’s standby time is also pretty good, losing less than 5% overnight.

Even if you somehow manage to run the phone’s battery down to zero, the 25W wired charging solution has you back on your feet in no time. It’s not the fastest charging brick out there, but the Galaxy S20 still manages a 41% charge in 20 minutes, 56% in 30 minutes, and a full charge in 71 minutes.

It’s virtually impossible to wear the battery down in a single day.

Overall I’m impressed with the Galaxy S20’s battery life. Be warned: the 5G model won’t perform quite this well.

A complete camera package

  • Main: 12MP f/1.76, 26mm
  • Tele: 3x optical 64MP f/1.72
  • Wide: 12MP f/2.2, 13mm

The Samsung Galaxy S20 features a simplified camera arrangement compared to its larger siblings. However, you still get a highly versatile package, comprising high resolution, wide angle, and telephoto cameras.

The main camera has a healthy sized 1/1.76-inch sensor that handles a wide range of shooting environments well. The ultra-wide angle camera has the same resolution, with a 13mm focal length and Super Steady video feature. The more interesting option is the telephoto camera, which offers a whopping 64MP resolution and 3x optical zoom. The camera only shoots at 12MP by default, but you can switch to 64MP for some extra crop factor. You might expect the 64MP sensor to bin to 16MP, which is surely the case, but Samsung’s compresses to a consistent 12MP output from all three cameras.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Rear Triple Camera 1

It was a little bit tricky to take a wide variety of shots while self isolating, but we gave it a go. The images below have been resized for bandwidth. You can view the originals here.

To start, daylight shots are as good as you would expect. Exposure and detail come out nicely virtually every time. The auto HDR feature is particularly impressive, avoiding over and under exposure in nearly all scenarios, although you do get the odd blurry image. My only criticism is that the color saturation is often dialed up too high, meaning results don’t always look perfectly realistic.

That said, the telephoto and wide-angle cameras aren’t as clean as the main camera. They’re more heavily processed and don’t deliver as much detail when cropping in. There’s also some distortion noticeable around the edges of the wide-angle lens, particularly chromatic aberration and purple fringing, though it’s not as bad as some other phones.

The Galaxy S20 features 3x optical zoom, which extends all the way up to a 30x Space Zoom (aka digital zoom). It’s passable up to about 10x, albeit with some loss of detail, and that’s more zoom than you’ll ever really need. The 20x and 30x options are basically useless.

The phone also includes some fun shooting options, such as Live Focus for bokeh and other effects. However, the Galaxy S20’s edge detection leaves a lot to be desired. You can easily spot foreground smudges and failed edges in the images below. This is where the time of flight sensor on the S20 Plus and Ultra would be nice to have.

The Single Take setting is rather more useful. Simply activate and point at your ongoing scene and Samsung’s software pulls out a range of shots and videos for you to prune through. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss any action.

The Galaxy S20 offers a camera for every scenario.

Low light performance is where we separate the wheat from the chaff. The Galaxy S20 is quite passable here, but does have its issues. Images aren’t the cleanest in very low light and you won’t find much detail in the pictures. Exposure and colors are pretty good, at least as far as the main camera goes. Sadly, the telephoto and wide-angle camera don’t perform anywhere near as well in low light and the results often come out underexposed.

Focusing in low light is a bigger problem for the handset. You’ll have to fight your way through a few blurry pictures before landing an in-focus shot. It’s an issue we’ve noted across all the Galaxy S20 models — and it still hasn’t been fixed with the latest update.

Night Mode On Night Mode Off Night Mode On

Night Mode Off

Night Mode On Night Mode Off Night Mode On

Night Mode Off

Night mode helps out in the darkest environments and can even make the wide angle camera take passable shots. Samsung’s technology seems every bit as competent as competing solutions in terms of improving exposure. However, the results tend to look a little too heavily processed, with over-sharpening artifacts quite noticeable around high contrast edges.

Finally, the selfie camera is better than most. It captures a fair amount of detail and handles exposure very well. The wide-angle option when two or more people are detected is a nice touch too. Again, though, the front camera doesn’t nail colors particularly well. My skin tone constantly came out far too pink in outdoor lighting and there’s a slight color tint towards the bottom of the photo.

On the whole, Samsung’s latest camera setup is competent but has some shortcomings. The consistent color over-saturation is far too heavy for my tastes, though it might suit those who want bold images without with the hassle of editing. The wide-angle and telephoto cameras look great at full frame, but rely heavily on sharpening to try to clean up the images.

The hit and miss nature of the bokeh portrait and low-light pictures hasn’t helped win me over either. While certainly versatile and capable of taking excellent snaps, there are more consistent camera packages out there. The most serious camera enthusiasts may want to check out the trusty Google Pixel 4 or the Huawei P40 series instead.

Samsung One UI is getting there

Samsung Galaxy S20 Apps 1

If you’re familiar with Samsung then you’ll know what to expect when it comes to One UI. Staple features like Edge Panels, Bixby, and quick access to your Smart Things devices are all present. The heavily customized look and overall style hasn’t changed since last year either.

The latest One UI 2.1 version improves Samsung’s recent formula. There’s a system-wide dark theme; Samsung Daily news aggregate marks an upgrade over Bixby Home; and there’s Samsung’s Good Lock app if you fancy more control over customization. Menus and animations are slick, and notifications aren’t overly intrusive. Day to day, One UI is a pleasure to use.

Samsung packs a lot into One UI, arguably too much.

However, navigating menus to tweak your desired setting is still arduous. Figuring out how to disable Bixby, for example, requires navigating to the “advanced features” menu. Your best bet is to stick with the search function rather than try to guess where everything is.

For someone who isn’t a Samsung regular and not invested in the company’s larger ecosystem, the sheer range of features and options feels overwhelming. I know I won’t ever use the vast majority, and it leaves One UI feeling more bloated than some other Android skins.

Samsung Galaxy S20 review: Specs

  Samsung Galaxy S20
Display 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED
3,200 x 1,440
20:9 ratio
120Hz refresh rate at 1080p
60Hz refresh rate at 1440p
HDR10+ certified
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 or Samsung Exynos 990
RAM 12GB
Storage 128GB
MicroSD Yes, up to 1TB
Battery 4,000mAh
Fast wired and wireless charging
Cameras Rear:
– Wide-angle: 12MP, 1/1.76″, ƒ/1.8, 1.8µm
– Telephoto: 64MP, ƒ/2.0, .8µm
– Ultra-wide: 12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm

3x hybrid optical/digital zoom, Super Resolution Zoom up to 30x

Front:
– 10MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22µm, AF

Connectivity 4G LTE support
5G (sub-6GHz, DSS, TDD/FDD, SA and NSA, no mmWave)
Operating System One UI 2.0
Android 10
Water resistance IP68
Security Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, face unlock
Color Cosmic Grey, Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink
Dimensions and weight 69.1×151.7×7.9mm
163g

Value for money

It’s hard to talk about value for money at the $ 1,000 price point. You’d rightly expect all the latest bells and whistles for that kind of money. The Samsung Galaxy S20 covers all the flagship essentials, but doesn’t pack in the company’s best camera tech such as a time-of-flight or 108MP sensor. With other models in the range pushing $ 1,400, however, we need to keep some perspective.

With 5G and some new tech on board, you can probably justify the $ 100 price increase from last year’s Galaxy S10. However, the 4G-only model (only available in some countries) is a much more competitive prospect.

Samsung Galaxy S20 The latest and greatest from Samsung
The Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Ultra are super-premium 5G smartphones from the South Korean company. No matter what you’re looking for, the Galaxy S20 line likely has something to suit your needs.

The 4G Samsung Galaxy S20 we tested costs £799/€899 (~$ 918), a full £100/€100 cheaper than the 5G model. Compared to the more expensive entries in the S20 series, the 4G S20 model retains most of the best features at some welcome savings. You get a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you’re not planning to upgrade to 5G for a couple of years.

Apple has a more affordable flagship entry point with last year’s $ 699 iPhone 11. Although, to be fair, the $ 999 iPhone 11 Pro is the Galaxy S20’s true competition. Compared to other 5G Android flagships, the Galaxy S20 is more expensive than the LG V60 and last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. If you’re not yet ready to make the jump to 5G, the Google Pixel 4 is regularly discounted for even bigger savings. 2019 handsets are still great for 4G networks , so it’s well worth considering your actual needs before taking the plunge on more expensive 5G flagship models.

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy S20?

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is every bit a flagship phone as the Plus and Ultra models, and one of the best phones available right now. $ 999 is a lot of money for any smartphone, but the Galaxy S20 justifies that price pretty well. It’s jam packed with the latest tech and is only missing a few minor features found in its more expensive counterparts.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Rear Camera 2

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is one of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

Unless you really need a humongous display and more zoom from your camera, it’s quite hard to justify spending hundreds more dollars on the broader Galaxy S20 range. The Galaxy S20 Plus justifies its $ 1,199 price tag, but I think the Galaxy S20 is the better deal for $ 200 or $ 300 less.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 doesn’t have the absolute best camera, but it packs in everything else. Whether you’re a power user or social media butterfly, this phone won’t leave you wanting for anything. If you’re on board with this year’s redesign, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is one of the best smartphones you can buy right now.

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BLU R1 HD review


Florida-based BLU enjoys a popular presence in the affordable Android smartphone market, with a slew of entry-level and mid-range devices on offer, that are great options for those on a budget. What is great about BLU’s latest smartphone, the R1 HD, is that if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can avail special discounts and offers that help make this already affordable smartphone even cheaper.

More BLU reviews:

Affordability without compromising on quality is what BLU promises, but does the company manage to deliver? We find out, in this in-depth BLU R1 HD review!

Buy now from Amazon

Design

BLU-R1-HD-review-22

We are now seeing an impressive trend where affordable smartphones feature high quality builds, and that is certainly also the case with the BLU R1 HD. The device features a metal frame and a polycarbonate backing, that feels great in the hand. The matte finish of the back cover offers a lot of grip that supersedes the slipperiness of the metal sides, and the slight curve along the sides of the back allow for the phone to sit nicely in the palm of your hand.

BLU-R1-HD-review-3

Taking a look around the device, the volume rocker is on the right side, with the power button right below it. The buttons come with the same metal finish, and offer a good amount of tactile feedback. The back cover is removable, giving you access to the two microSIM card slots and the dedicated microSD card slot. However, while the back cover is removable, the battery is not. Finally, the headphone jack and the microUSB port are at the top and bottom respectively.

BLU-R1-HD-review-21

We are definitely seeing more and more affordable smartphones that go above and beyond what their price points would suggest as far as design and build quality are concerned, which is absolutely fantastic, but when you consider how affordable this phone actually is, the BLU R1 HD certainly impresses.

Display

BLU-R1-HD-review-11

The BLU R1 HD comes with a 5-inch IPS LCD display of 1280 x 720 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 294 ppi, and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 panel helps keeps the display protected, which is always a nice touch.

BLU-R1-HD-review-13

The resolution may disappoint some, but there is only so much you can expect from a device priced at $ 100. The quality of the display is actually quite good, with content appearing sharp overall, along with good viewing angles and decent color reproduction. You don’t get the punch that you would with the AMOLED screens out there, but this display will certainly get the job done.

Performance

BLU-R1-HD-review-10

Under the hood, the R1 HD comes with a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor, clocked at 1.3 GHz, and backed by the Mali-T720 GPU and 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM depending on which version of the device you pick. This review unit comes with 2 GB of RAM, and the overall performance of the phone has been quite good.

There have been no serious issues with day to day performance, and opening, closing, and switching between apps has been fairly smooth. The device also handles gaming quite well, even though it understandably struggles a touch with more graphic-intensive games. Of course, the R1 HD isn’t a performance powerhouse, which is reflected in the benchmark scores, but it isn’t expected to be. For those looking for a decent performer on a budget though, the BLU R1 HD is certainly up to the task.

Hardware

BLU-R1-HD-review-12

8 GB or 16 GB are the internal storage options available, which also dictates how much RAM you get with the device. With rather low storage options, especially if you pick the 8 GB iteration, users will certainly appreciate the availability of a dedicated microSD card slot, allowing for expandable storage up to an additional 64 GB.

BLU-R1-HD-review-17

The device comes with two microSIM card slots, but that is a very market dependent feature, and something that may not be all that useful in the US. This phone is also unlocked, allowing you to pick the GSM network carrier of your choice, and you do get 4G LTE connectivity, with bands 2, 4, 7, and 17, with support for band 12 expected to arrive with a future OTA update.

BLU-R1-HD-review-16

The R1 HD comes with a single speaker unit on the back, which isn’t a great placement, making it easy to cover up when holding the phone in both the landscape and portrait orientation. The sound quality is pretty good however, with no distortion at the highest volume levels, and good highs and lows. The positioning could have certainly been better, but overall, this isn’t a disappointing speaker by any means.

The device comes with a non-removable 2,500 mAh battery, which may seem small, but does offer good battery life. With average usage, the phone comfortably allows for a full day of use, and even with heavy usage, that involved streaming video over LTE and keeping the screen brightness at maximum, the phone managed to last for 8 hours. There are no quick charging capabilities here, and takes around two hours to get back to a full charge, which isn’t too bad.

Camera

BLU-R1-HD-review-20

The R1 HD comes with an 8 MP rear camera, with a f/2.0 aperture and a 4P lens, along with a 5 MP front-facing unit with a wide angle lens. As is the case with any budget-friendly smartphone camera, these cameras can be hit and miss. The front-facing camera faces issues with overexposure and some noise, and while the wide angle lens allows for you to capture more of the scene, detail is lacking. There is a front-facing flash however, which is useful for any selfie lovers out there.

The story is the same with the rear facing camera as well. You do get good looking shots in daylight and well-light conditions, but the camera does tend to overexpose shots, and noise will start to creep in as the lighting deteriorates. The camera app has a few built-in shooting modes available, including Panorama, but video recording capabilities are limited to Full HD at 30 fps. As is the case with the picture quality, videos tend to look a little grainy as well. Overall, the cameras of the R1 HD will do in a pinch, but are certainly not something to write home about.

Software

BLU-R1-HD-review-8

On the software side of things, the R1 HD is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, which is great to see, given that some other, more expensive, BLU smartphones released earlier this year were launched with Android 5.1 Lollipop. BLU has also done a good job with keeping the software very close to stock, and there aren’t really a whole lot of extras packed in.

BLU-R1-HD-review-7

 

As mentioned, there is an Amazon Prime exclusive version of the device available, with Prime members able to avail discounts and offers when picking up the phone, and later on as well. There is a catch however, with this version coming with lockscreen ads in tow. Essentially every time you press the power button, you will be greeted with a new ad, which you can swipe away to get to your homescreen, and you will even see an ad tacked on at the end of your notifications in the notification shade.

The presence of these ads can be a deal breaker for some, but some users may even appreciate the offers available and the products being displayed. Of course, a standard version, without these ads, is available as well.

Specifications

Display 5-inch IPS LCD display
1280 x 720 resolution, 294 ppi
Processor 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor
Mali-T720 GPU
RAM 1/2 GB
Storage 8/16 GB
expandable via microSD card up to 64 GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS
FM Radio
microUSB 2.0
Battery 2,500 mAh
Camera 8 MP rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash
5 MP front-facing camera, wide angle, LED flash
Software Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Dimensions 143 x 70.7 x 8.5 mm
142 grams

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

The BLU R1 HD is currently priced at $ 100 for the 8 GB and 1 GB RAM version, with the 16 GB and 2 GB RAM iteration requiring just an additional $ 10, so the latter is definitely the way to go if you do decide to pick up this phone. Amazon Prime subscribers can available a $ 50 discount, but you will have to deal with the non removable lockscreen ads in this case.

BLU-R1-HD-review-2

So, there you have it for this in-depth look at the BLU R1 HD! This phone gets a lot right, with a solid design and build quality, decent performance, a clean software package, and an unbeatable price point. The camera experience is a bit of a let down, and the ads, if you go for the Prime version, can get annoying, but at this price, these are understandable compromises to make. If you are looking for a good option on a budget, the BLU R1 HD should definitely be considered.

Buy now from Amazon

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Jaybird Freedom Review!


This article originally appeared on our sister site SoundGuys.com. For the full review & ratings, check out their Jaybird Freedom Review!

After being announced at CES, the Jaybird Freedom wireless headphones are finally here. They have a new design, a new way of charging, and Jaybird even released a new app to go along with them. But are they everything we hoped for?

What’s inside?

Jaybird Freedom[1]

In the box you’ll get a soft carrying pouch, instruction manual, the headphones, 3 sets of wings tips (L, M, S), and 6 pairs of ear tips as well in either silicone or comply memory coming in small, medium, and large. Then you’ll get a short charging cable, 2 wire clips for cable management (super important), and a small clip to secure it to your shirt. Not so important. Finally you’ll get the charging cradle that you’ll need to recharge the headphones.

Build & Design

Jaybird Freedom[3]

Right off the bat you’ll notice that these look pretty different from the originals. The earbuds are way slimmer now and have a rounded off design that looks really sleek. If you’re not familiar with the X2s, the earbuds used to house the battery which made them big and bulky. And since the earbuds are slim now, the battery had to go somewhere. Which means that the control module is now big, bulky, and not too pretty.

When I first saw the new Freedoms I thought ,”Man, that’s bulky”, and now that I have them I can confirm: it’s big. So big that if you don’t use the wire clips, the extra slack in the cable will definitely force them to fall out of your ear while running. These also don’t have a micro-USB input on the headphones themselves. Instead Jaybird opted for a charging cradle that you need to connect to the headphones in order to plug them in. They also can clip to the control module while you’re wearing them for a boost in battery life.

Jaybird Freedom[2]

When you attach the cradle it gets even bulkier, but I still think that it is a good idea. After going for a run I just came back to the car, snapped on the charging cradle, and let them charge back up. Overall, the biggest issue that I had with the Freedoms was the fit. I had a really hard time getting these to stay in my ear and I actually had to rewrite this entire review because when I finally found the right combination of tips and cord length to get them to fit decently, it changed the experience.

Still, no combination helped during running. The bulky control module easily gets pulled out of my ear due to its weight and only the wire clips were able to help after a lot of adjusting. If I need to use two clips for the wire and a third to keep it clipped to my shirt just to go on a quick run, maybe the design needs a little rethinking. On the bright side these do feel pretty tough and don’t seem like they’d snap under stress.

Connection

Jaybird Freedom[6]

One aspect of the headphones that were never an issue during testing was Bluetooth strength. Regardless of where my phone was during my runs I experienced no skipping at all. Even around my house the connection was easily reliable up to 30 feet. Fresh out of the box I wasn’t too impressed with sound quality, but the new Jaybird MySound app is pretty handy. Not only does it keep you up-to-date with how much battery is left, but it also lets you fine tune the EQ settings to your liking.

You can also browse through presets and preview how they sound, including ones made by athletes. The presets then get synced to the Freedoms themselves and not to the source device. So if you switch between devices as often as I do, at least you can count on your music to sound the same. Unlike wired headphones, Bluetooth headphone controls aren’t switched or disable depending on your operating system. So whether you use Android or iOS the playback controls work the same. You can pause and play music, skip between tracks.

Battery Life

Jaybird Freedom[4]

The battery life on the Freedoms are really only about 3 to 4 hours, but you could technically use them with the charging to cradle to get up to 8 hours. However, in my usage that was really unrealistic unless I was sitting at a desk. As I alluded to before, I preferred to use the cradle as a portable battery to charge the Freedoms up while I’m not using them instead of a charging case that needs to be attached at all times.

Sound Quality

Jaybird Freedom[5]

When it comes to sound quality, one thing that I noticed that really made a difference was the volume. These get really loud which is great for fitness, but not so much for sound quality. For testing I created a flat EQ profile in the app just so I can see how the headphones sound without any enhancements.

Lows

Even with a flat EQ profile the Freedoms still have a good emphasis on bass, which is expected considering they’re intended for fitness. That said, they weren’t overdone and even though they’re stronger than I prefer, they were contained to the low end.

Mids

Mids really seemed to take a hit this time around. Vocals and instruments don’t have a huge amount of detail and almost sounds like they have a sheen over them. Especially in songs like “Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz where it starts off acoustic and brings in more instruments halfway throuhg.

Highs

Again, these get loud. And purely because of that the highs tend to be somewhat piercing unless you dramatically lower the volume. There’s a bell synth in “Ember” by WhoMadeWho that is almost painful at some points.

Conclusion

Overall, the Jaybird Freedom do look way sleeker than the X2s, but they also don’t fit as well. The bigger ‘buds of the X2s wedged themselves in your ears and even though it was bulky and looked weird, they fit great. With the Freedoms you have to rely completely on the little accessories like the cable clips and wing tips. It’s not impossible to find a great fit (and maybe it’s just me) but it’s definitely way harder than something like the UA Headphones Wireless which just stay in your ears no matter what you do.

The sound quality is okay even with the help of the app, but lets be honest — you’re not getting these for the audiophile quality. You’re getting them for fitness. But unless you can get them to fit perfectly they’re not too great in that aspect either. After getting the right fit I really like the Freedom Wireless, but I think I’m just going to wait for the X3s and hope that they’re easier to use.

Buy from Jaybird

This article originally appeared on our sister site SoundGuys.com. For the full review & ratings, check out their Jaybird Freedom Review!

Android Authority

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Vivo X6Plus review


The chances are that you haven’t heard of Vivo, it is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that makes quite a large range of smartphones, but until now it has focused on the main Asian markets. However, like so many Chinese OEMs, the company is looking to gain more recognition in the west. As part of its push westwards, Vivo recently released two high-end smartphones: the Vivo X6 and Vivo X6Plus. Ash has done a fantastic unboxing/first look/travelogue for the X6 and now it is my turn to take a look at the X6Plus.

Design

Vivo-X6Plus-21

Like the Vivo X6, when you take a quick look at the Vivo X6Plus and you will probably think it looks much like another well-known phone, one which bears a fruity motif. That said, the device does look good, it seems well-made and thanks to the metal frame it has a premium feel to it. The buttons are responsive yet firm, however it is worth mentioning that the capacitive keys on the front aren’t back lit.

The device is quite big, due to its 5.7 inch display, however if you are used to handling large screen phones then it won’t feel out of place. For some context the Vivo X6Plus is narrower than the Huawei Mate 8 (which has a 6 inch display) and narrower than the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (AKA Note 4 Edge), however it is wider than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Going around the phone, the volume rocker and power button are on the right, while the dual-SIM tray is on the left. At the top is the 3.5mm headphone jack and on the bottom is the micro-USB port and single speaker. On the back is the rear facing camera along with its flash LED, plus the finger print reader. It is the two bands that run across the back, near the top and bottom, that give the Vivo X6Plus a certain iPhone-esque look.

Display

Vivo-X6Plus-04

Face the Vivo X6 and you will be looking right into a 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel. Sure, it’s lacking that QHD resolution, but I must say this display is very good. It looks beautiful and has great viewing angles. I really have nothing to complain about here.

moto x vs nexus 4 aa display colorsSee also: AMOLED vs LCD – What is the difference?129

Hardware and performance

Vivo-X6Plus-02

As well as the crisp Full HD AMOLED display the Vivo X6Plus also boasts 4GB of RAM, a finger print reader and quick charging. The only slight let down is the choice of processor. The X6Plus uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615. The 615 is an octa-core processor with 8 Cortex-A53 cores, with four cores clocked at 1.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.7GHz. Accompanying the CPU is the Adreno 405 GPU.

In terms of every day use these specs are adequate and most users won’t find themselves wishing for more CPU power, and because of the 4GB of RAM even some power users will find the X6Plus more than sufficient. However if you play a lot of 3D games, use CPU intensive apps or visit a lot of complex websites then the Snapdragon 615 will be under powered for you.

The use of a Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC is also reflected in the benchmarks. The Vivo X6Plus scored 780 on Geekbench’s single-core test and 3143 for the multi-core test. For some context, those scores are lower than the octa-core Cortex-A53 Kirin 935 found in the Huawei Mate S, lower than the octa-core Cortex-A53 MediaTek Helio X10 found in the Redmi Note 2 and lower than the quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 801. If you want to see more benchmark scores for some of 2015’s leading processors then check out my SoC showdown: Snapdragon 810 vs Exynos 7420 vs MediaTek Helio X10 vs Kirin 935.

Vivo-X6Plus-benchmarks

I ran my custom written Terrain 4 benchmark and the Vivo X6Plus scored 8.96 frames per second and managed to display a total of 2225 frames during the test run. By comparison the Vivo X6 (with its octa-core Cortex-A53 MediaTek MT6752 and ARM Mali-T760 GPU) managed 10.07 fps and 2355 total frames. A faster, next generation phone like the Huawei Mate 8 manages 20.72 fps and 3348 total frames at the same Full HD resolution.

The fingerprint reader on the X6Plus is first class. It is fast, accurate and is certainly comparable with the lightning fast and reliable fingerprint scanner on the Huawei Mate 8. Like the Mate 8, you can wake and unlock your phone just by putting your finger on the reader.

The X6Plus has a 3000 mAh battery which delivers a great battery experience. Although it has a 5.7 inch 1080p display, the processor is quite conservative in its power usage, the result is that you will get all-day battery life, easily. Unfortunately Funtouch OS doesn’t include a battery usage page of any kind. So instead I did some battery tests. First I ran Goat Simulator to test the battery life while playing 3D games. According to my calculations you will be able to play 3D games for over 4.5 hours on the Vivo X6Plus. That is quite an impressive number as some phones fail to give you a lesser screen-on time without doing any 3D (i.e. GPU) work. Turning to simpler tasks like watching YouTube over Wi-Fi or web browsing, I found that you will get at least 15 hours of both from this device. What that translates to is in fact a two day battery life (of course depending on your usage). So a big thumbs up for Vivo for the battery life of the X6Plus.

Vivo-X6Plus-dual-engine-charging-16x9

 

When it comes to the fast charging the Vivo X6Plus supports what Vivo calls “dual-engine quick charging.” The charger is rated at 5V/2A and 9V/2A. That means at 9V it can charge the phone at 18 watts. To fully charge the 3000 mAh battery takes two hours, which isn’t that quick, however to get to 50% only takes 23 minutes, which is quite impressive. If you want to charge the battery to 80% then that takes 55 minutes. To go from 80% to 100% takes over an hour. If you are interested to find out why smartphones charge quickly to 50% or 80%, but can take over half of the charge cycle to add the last 20% then I recommend that you read my test: Qualcomm Quick Charge vs Oppo VOOC vs MediaTek PumpExpress+ vs Motorola TurboPower vs the others.

Software

Vivo-X6Plus-FuntouchOS

On the software side, we have Vivo’s Funtouch OS, which although it is based on Android 5.0.2, is really heavily skinned. As with many of the Android variants from Chinese manufacturers, there is no app drawer which means you are left to organize everything into folders on the home screens. Unfortunately Google’s services like Google Play, YouTube and Gmail don’t come pre-installed. I was able to install Amazon’s Appstore without any problem and that got me access to a lot of apps. I then discovered that you can actually install Google Play from the Vivo App Store. That gave me access to a bunch more app and services, however I often came across errors about apps not being compatible with the current device, sadly even Chrome wouldn’t install because Google Play says it isn’t compatible.

Vivo-X6Plus-FuntouchOS2

When you get over the non-standard Android  look-and-feel, learn to speak Chinese for the apps that don’t work in English, and ignore the iOS aesthetic, then you will find that Vivo did manage to add in some cool functionality. You can save screen shots with voice recordings; use smart motion actions (gestures) like draw ‘M’ for music or cover the phone with your hand to mute it when it is ringing; or shrink the screen or keyboard for one handed use. There are also quite a few options for the dual-SIM functions including setting a different ringtone to each SIM and setting which SIM is the default.

Camera

Vivo-X6Plus-camera-app

The camera app that comes with the Vivo X6Plus is excellent. As well as offering a range of automatic modes including Night mode and Child portrait mode, there is also a comprehensive manual mode (which Vivo calls Professional mode). You can change the white balance, ISO, and shutter speed, but most importantly you can do manual focusing. The camera is quite quick and there is a burst mode which allows you to take consecutive pictures. According to my crude timing you can take about 10 shots a second. The only limitation is that it stops after 20 shots, so that it can save the images.

As for the camera itself, I am undecided. The 13MP resolution is good, the noise levels aren’t bad for a mobile phone and the touch to set the exposure functionality works well. However I found that the colors in the photos are lacking in vibrancy. I say I am undecided in that I am prepared to give the camera the benefit of the doubt because it has been very cloudy and dull here while I have been taking my test shots and it could be the lack of clear sunlight that has dulled the images, however maybe I am just being too kind.

Anyway, here are some samples photos so that you can judge for yourself:

Polaroid cameraSee also: 15 best camera apps for Android89

Just as I was preparing to publish this review, the sun came out, so I went out and took a few more sample photos. Here is an additional gallery of sample shots:

Specifications

DIsplay 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 1080p
Full HD resolution
Processor 1.6 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615
Adreno 405 GPU
RAM 4 GB
Storage 64 GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB 2.0
SIM cards Dual-SIM: 1 x micro SIM, 1 x nano SIM
Networks 2G GSM 900 / 1800
3G HSDPA: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, TD-SCDMA 1880 / 2010
4G LTE: 1(2100), 3(1800), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)
Cameras 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera
Battery 3000 mAh
Software Funtouch OS, based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Dimensions 158.4 x 80 x 6.9 mm, 171 g

Gallery

Wrapping up

The Vivo X6Plus is certainly an interesting device. The large 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display is very cool, but the overall skew towards mimicking Apple is a big negative and leaves me with a desire for some originality. Having said that if you are able to look past the design aspects then features like the 4GB of RAM and the fingerprint reader are solid positives for this device, the only thing I would want to change on the hardware side is the processor, something better than the Snapdragon 615 would seem appropriate for this device. As for the software, well, for Asia it is probably perfect, however those in the West will likely struggle with it.

The Vivo X6Plus will initially be available in Asia for a price that should be around $ 550, however that pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Android Authority

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