Published

on

Out of all our best smartphones lists, no category gets more attention than that of the budget smartphone category. We’re not surprised.

These lists have always contained the best bang-for-buck devices you could ask for below US$ 300. 2017 as a whole had a ton of memorable affordable handsets that we continue to recommend.

Watch the video here to see what we mean.

SEE ALSO: GadgetMatch’s Best Smartphones of 2017

News

Essential Phone is down to only $250, making it a steal of a deal

Cheaper than most midrange phones

Published

on

When we first reviewed the Essential Phone, it cost US$ 700. When we reviewed it again, it retailed for US$ 500. Now, it’s down to a mouthwatering US$ 250 on Amazon’s Prime Day sale!

That’s an unbelievable price for a phone that has flagship-grade specs from last year, along with impeccable build quality thanks to the combination of titanium and ceramic.

This phone receives great software support, too. It’s currently part of the Android P Beta program and it even gets monthly security patches before Google’s own Pixel phones at times.

When we reviewed it as a US$ 500 device, we already called it the best deal you can get at that price point. Bringing it down to US$ 250 is just cheating.

Andy Rubin, Essential’s founder, fully endorses the major discount:

Sure, the Essential Phone isn’t perfect — the cameras are sub-par and it lacks certain essentials — but you really can’t complain for such value. It’s safe to say it’s the best smartphone deal you can snatch today, if you can order fast enough through Amazon, that is.

With no follow-up in sight, it’s a safe bet to go for this without any immediate buyer’s remorse. If anything, you get a premium 2017 flagship for the price of a typical midrange phone.

Continue Reading

News

Samsung will launch three S10 variants, report says

Will have a feature that Apple doesn’t have yet

Published

on

If you’ve followed the tech industry closely, you would have noticed a troubling trend. Someone is always copying someone else. Features are almost always shared between brands. Hence, we have ubiquitous notches, dual cameras, and AI features.

As such, it comes as no surprise that Samsung might copy Apple’s lineup next year.

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that Samsung will adopt Apple’s three-model lineup from this year. (Despite Kuo’s infamy with Apple, he has recently opened his repertoire up to other brands.)

Previously, multiple rumors suggest that Apple’s 2018 lineup consists of three phones for different markets. This includes 5.8-inch, 6.1-inch, and 6.5-inch models. More succinctly, these three models will fit into traditional market classifications: affordable, regular, and premium.

Likewise, Samsung might launch the same structure next year. Already, rumors have speculated on the features that will grace the Galaxy S10 and S10+.

For example, the premium Galaxy S10+ will likely pack in five cameras, including a rear triple-camera system. This year’s premium iPhone offering may also feature Apple’s take on the triple-camera system introduced by Huawei.

Additionally, Kuo reports that Samsung will introduce a more accurate ultrasonic, under-screen fingerprint reader for next year. Amid rumors that Samsung is copying Apple, this is a new feature that has not graced Apple’s phones yet.

Regardless of the new features, the company has traditionally released two models anyway. Arguably, the more surprising part of Kuo’s report is the lower-end Galaxy model. Samsung has usually relegated their midrange and budget models to other lineups.

If Samsung does copy Apple’s three-models strategy, it adds another page to the “Samsung is copying Apple” saga. Regardless, Samsung will announce their new Galaxy lineup early next year at MWC 2019. Prior to that, the company will launch the highly awaited Galaxy Note 9 at this year’s Unpacked event happening in a few weeks’ time.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S9 is Samsung’s least popular phone since the Galaxy S3

Continue Reading

News

Xiaomi resumes Android 8.1 Oreo update rollout for the Mi A1

It gets updated before the Mi A2 announcement

Published

on

Just a week before its upcoming global event, Xiaomi finally resumes the rollout of the Android 8.1 Oreo update for its sole Android One phone — the Mi A1. The initial rollout was put on hold because of a nasty bug causing a wipe of SMS history.

The new update has that bug fixed along with performance improvements and the latest July security patch. The software comes over-the-air as a 467MB download if you haven’t installed the initial release which comes with the SMS bug. For those who need their phone fixed, the update comes in bigger at 1.15GB.

The update has the build number OPM1.171019.026.V9.6.4.0.ODHMIFE.

As always, the rollout is happening in stages. It might take a few days before the update reaches all Mi A1 handsets. Good to know Xiaomi is keeping up in the software department even though it’s a pretty slow progress for a phone under the Android One program.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi A1 Review: Worth every penny

Continue Reading

Trending