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Google’s Nexus series offered a mid-tier option for those looking for fastlane access to the best of Google’s Android operating system. However, Google never made their own handsets. Instead they handed the reins to other manufacturers and focused on the software. Until now that is. The Google Pixel is the first completely Google phone and they have made bold claims about what to expect.
The phone is finally out and reviews are rolling in. Does the Pixel have what it takes to compete with the big names in Android flagship phones? Let’s see what others are saying!
Reviews on the overall design of the phone are divided. One group feels the phone is bland. The other feels that it’s a perfect take on the designs of the other flagship phones this year. However, no one had issues with quality or comfortable usage. The Guardian noted, “The Pixel feels great in the hand, with nicely curved edges and flat sides that make it easy to grip and hold on to.” Android Police sided with the critics, saying, “The Pixel is a phone that seems to say "You're just going to put a case on me anyway, why should I dress up for the occasion?"
Quickly selling out upon release, the iPhone 7 is the next release in Apple’s famous smartphone series. While they typically followed what they called a “tick-tock” release pattern, where major updates and features changed every two releases, the 7 marks a first in that while it should be a “tick” release, it appears to be a refinement of previous releases.
As it’s also the most expensive iPhone to date, do these refinements make it worth purchasing? Reviews are rolling out and we’ve dug into them all to bring you this summary!
Four of the biggest changes to the iPhone 7 come in the design. Reviews indicate that while some are controversial they’re all improvements.
The first is the lack of headphone port on the phone. Apple provides both a pair of Lighting port earbuds and a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter in the box to ensure you can still enjoy your iTunes collection. In a few months, they plan to introduce their AirPods for wireless connectivity.
As the big brother to Apple’s new iPhone 7, the 7 Plus takes the iPhone series into phablet territory. With the launch out of the way, reviews are rolling in.
But which one should you pick? Let’s see what reviewers are saying!
The iPhone 7 Plus shares many traits with it’s smaller sibling. However, the differences made a huge impression on most reviewers.
The biggest change is the dual rear camera setup. While the 7 Plus includes the same 12MP wide-angle lens as the 7, it also includes a second telephoto lens. This effectively allows you to enjoy 2x zoom without any of the quality loss or noise of digital zoom. Apple also plans to release updates to allow photo effects, such as bokeh, using both lenses at the same time. Many reviewers noted that this made the extra cost of the Plus worthwhile.
The Motorola G-Series has built a loyal following on its affordable pricing, bloat-free software and attention to design details. However, Motorola has changed hands from Google to Lenovo since the last release--leaving some wondering what will come of the phone line. With the new Motorola Moto G4, it seems the answer is finally here!
We’ve scoured the leading review sites to see what people are saying about the phone. Let’s take a look at what they’re saying!
Looking at the phone, you’re greeted with a plastic chassis typical of the budget- to mid-tier market. Reviewers all agree that the design is one of the best currently available for the price. The Inquirer chimed in on the look, saying, “Yes it's simple, but the smooth curves make it stylish too.”
Fans of Android phones have loved most of Samsung’s Galaxy-series flagships. However, with the minor issues of the S6 and a fresh wave of flagships debuting from the competition, Samsung needed to hit a homerun with the S7 to stay near the top of the pack.
While the phone might look like an S6 on the outside, Samsung has been hard at work tweaking and polishing their favorite flagship. Do the changes add up? We’ve scoured reviews from the biggest tech sites on the Internet to find out! Let’s dig in!
Huawei has slowly evolved from simple Chinese smartphone copycat to a company capable of churning out high quality products. In fact, Google used them to build the Nexus 6P. With the P9, Huawei hopes to finally become a household name.
Despite being cheaper than the Galaxy S7 and LG G5, the P9 doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s slim at only 0.27 inches. The all metal body gives it a nice heft, though it remains a manageable weight of 5.1 ounces. In terms of the design, reviewers were surprised with how comfortable it is. The straight sides seem sharp, but the chamfered edges and rounded corners made it easy to hold and the “tacky” texture thanks to the ceramic coating on the back gave them a good grip. While this design is not uncommon, The Verge states, “I look at the P9’s design, ask myself how it could be improved, and I find no easy answer.”
Samsung’s S series receives lots of love in the flagship arena. But their mid-tier A-series offers a similar experience at a lower price point. But when making a good mid-tier phone, it’s about cutting corners in the right places.
Does Samsung keep the Galaxy S magic without the price tag on their 2017 A5? Reviews are out and we’ve scoured them all so you don’t have to!
Let’s see what they’re saying!
LG is known for challenging design standards with their new releases. Sometimes that doesn’t work out well. With the G6, they’re offering a large 5.7-inch screen in a slim package.
Does their new screen ratio make the phablet experience more friendly? Reviews are rolling out and we’ve gathered what the biggest names are saying to bring you this summary!
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is the larger version of Samsung’s latest release. However, apart from size, it shares many similarities with it’s smaller sibling.
Key differences include:
Reviewers found that the display still looks sharp and vibrant even though the resolution is still the same. Engadget says, “For the people in search of buying advice, here's all you need to know about the S8 and S8 Plus's screens: They're awesome.”
Battery life for the S8 is stellar. Stuff TV notes, “It managed over 12 hours of streaming video playback, and easily lasted a full day of heavy use - including wireless music streaming to a pair of Bluetooth headphones, snapping photos and far too much time spent scrolling through Facebook.”
For what to expect on design, performance, cameras and other factors, check out our review summary for the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Not sure what to look for in a cell phone? Check out some of our in-depth guides, comparison tools, & resources!
While modern smart phones offer a ton of features, they’re not so great for battery life or durability. For emergency use, we recommend a standard prepaid phone. What they lack in features they make up for in battery life--some will hold a charge for weeks or months.
Be sure to check the top off terms. Most require you to add minutes to your plan at specified intervals to keep your phone active. Most prepaid carriers offer long-term options to avoid wasting minutes you’re not using.
Kids are prone to drops, spills and other accidents. Adding the cost of a new iPhone to your next trip to visit grandma isn’t exactly cheap. Fortunately, the budget Android market offers a long-list of affordable phones. Smaller phones will offer a lower price in most cases but might not work for those with developing motor skills. Larger phones, while more expensive, offer chunkier buttons and easier navigation for growing fingers and minds.
For young adults, a solid mid-tier smartphone option offers reliable performance without blowing your budget. Used phones are an excellent way to ensure you find an up-to-date phone without the high price tag of the latest flagship releases. Last generation’s iPhone or Galaxy offers everything a student needs at a price that will make parents happy too! If you’re not sure where to find a good used smart phone, our Phone Buyer’s Guide offers everything you need to know!
If you’re looking to replace traditional landline service, a standard phone is a great introduction to the world of mobile phones. They use a standard keypad and don’t require understanding advanced features for basic use.
If you’re looking to join the smartphone crowd, we recommend an iPhone. Not only are these devices dependable, they offer a simple user interface and support for Apple devices is some of the best around. Better still, most Apple phones feature a similar interface, so upgrading or replacing one Apple phone with another won’t mean relearning how to use the device.
In most cases, buying a phone at full price will offer the greatest flexibility in the future. However, this depends on why the carrier is offering a discount.
In the case of refurbished phones, you’re getting a discount for a returned--and possibly repaired--product. Don’t let the label scare you. As long as you’re buying from a reputable source, you’ll often find that refurbished phones come with similar warranties to new devices and cost much less. If you’re looking to save some money, this is an option to consider.
In the case of phone subsidies, you’re getting a discount in exchange for maintaining service with a specific carrier. If you know the carrier’s service and coverage fits your needs, this might be a good deal. However, a short time after the initial purchase, you’ll be locked into your contract. Getting out of a cell phone contract isn’t impossible, but it can be expensive.
While some apps offer versions for different phones, your phone’s operating system will limit your app choice. iOS apps will not run on Android or Windows 10 for example.
In the case of one-time purchase apps, you will likely need to repurchase the app if you switch phone operating systems.
Many subscription-based apps will allow you to download a version of the app for a variety of devices. However, if you intend to use a specific app, research the supported operating systems to avoid any future complications.
Yes and no. On a hardware level, you will need a dual-SIM phone to support multiple separate lines from your carrier. However, if you’re an area with CDMA network coverage, you won’t be able to take advantage of this feature.
If you don’t mind using a virtual number, there are a variety of apps to add second numbers to your phone using software. Many require additional payments and plans to function. Popular options include Skype, Sideline and Line2.
No. The features and specifications for mobile phones are determined by the manufacturer. This makes researching your phone prior to purchasing essential. If you’re not sure where to start, consider our Phone Buyer’s Guide. If you’re looking to get a little more performance out of your phone, our Guide to Saving on Mobile Data offers tips that might squeeze a little more performance out of your phone and 9 Great Uses for Your Old Smartphone or Tablet offers ways to repurpose a device that might be collecting dust.
This will depend on how you purchased your phone and your current contract obligations. If you have an unlocked GSM or CDMA phone, it should work on any other carrier using the same network type.
If your phone is currently locked to your carrier, you will need to request to unlock it before you can change providers. As long as you are no longer under contract, most carriers will unlock the phone at no cost.
Yes! In fact, we think this one of the most overlooked options for upgrading your phone or making some spare cash with your old devices. If you’re looking to sell, we have a comprehensive guide on Selling Your Used Phone for Maximum Profit.
Looking to buy? We have a section in our Phone Buyer’s Guide dedicated to what to look for in a used phone. Topics include ensuring that the phone is valid and functional, getting the best price and the best sites for finding used mobile phones.
Monthly and prepaid data tariffs add up fast. While it might seem like they’ve become a standard part of owning a mobile phone, there are still a few exceptions. If you pick up a standard phone, you’ll sacrifice some features, but most don’t require data plans. Feature phones will vary depending on the exact features that they add. Still, most carriers offer lower priced plans since the data used by feature phones is often much less than that of smartphone.
If you’re using a smartphone and you’re no longer on contract, you might be able to drop data service if you deactivate the phone and use it over Wi-Fi. Apps such as Line2 and Skype make it simple to maintain a phone number on the device without the need for traditional carrier service. However, this will mean that you no longer can make or recieve calls or text when outside of Wi-Fi range.
If you’re stuck keeping a data plan on your phone but looking for ways to reduce costs, we offer guides on finding how much data you need and saving data on your mobile phone.