Smartphones

7 smartphones from 2017 still worth buying today

They’re much cheaper now, too!

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As much as we love promoting the latest and greatest from the smartphone world, we’re still committed to recommending the best bangs for one’s buck. Now that we’re more or less done covering 2018’s top flagship phones, let’s take a look back at which smartphones from 2017 are still worth buying today.

Here, we take discounted pricing, legacy features, and relevance in today’s market into consideration. There are lots of great products from last year to be found, but these seven are the ones that we would still wholeheartedly recommend up until now.


Essential Phone

This has to be the king of 2017 smartphones that are still relevant today. Not only does its build, performance, and software updates hold up to this day, you can find the Essential Phone at extremely discounted prices. Even better: There’s no successor in sight, so you know you’re getting nothing but the best support from Essential’s sole product.

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Not a fan of the notched, Touch ID-less iPhone revolution? We feel like the iPhone 8 Plus with its untainted display and front-mounted fingerprint scanner is for those who want a more traditional experience. Apple still sells it, and at discounted prices. Get one while you can, because it’s looking like Apple has no plans of going back to this design.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Since the Galaxy Note 9 turned out to be such an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Note 8 became an even better deal a year after its initial release. Its hardware is top-notch, from the simpler S Pen to the gorgeous display, and it can be found at a price much lower than the Note 9’s.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Like the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S8 pair doesn’t have such a lucrative successor, making these two models popular among bargain shoppers. You’d have to deal with only a single camera on the back, but every other major feature, including the sleek body, is already available.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Google disappointed a lot of fans this year by releasing the Pixel 3 XL with an overly deep notch. If that’s not your thing, and you can live without some of the minor upgrades of the successor, the Pixel 2 XL can do almost everything just as well without a hideous black cutout.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

As great as the Mate 20 Pro is, Huawei’s effort on the Mate 10 Pro stands the test of time. Its Leica-infused cameras are fantastic even by today’s standards, and the phone does get faster through time. It’s also a little less daunting compared to this year’s model.

Razer Phone

Because the Razer Phone 2 is practically an OG Razer Phone with slightly better components and cameras, choosing the 2017 model seems like a no-brainer if you’re looking to save a few bucks while still wanting a smartphone geared towards mobile gaming.

News

Huawei’s foldable phone is delayed to make sure it won’t be like Samsung’s

Learning from the failures of others

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Huawei Mate X | GadgetMatch

Huawei is still in hot waters because of the US trade ban, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t moving forward for the company. Back in February, the Chinese tech giant announced its foldable phone: the Mate X. The folding smartphone is initially scheduled to become available before the end of June; however, Huawei has a new release date.

The latest news about Huawei’s foldable phone comes from CNBC. According to a Huawei spokesperson, the company will launch the Mate X in September which is three months later than the initial plan.


The reason for the delay stems from Samsung‘s Galaxy Fold fiasco. The spokesperson said that Huawei is doing extra hardware tests and compatibility trials with carriers around the world. The company is also working with developers to make sure their apps will take advantage of the foldable phone’s form factor.

Huawei Mate X | GadgetMatch

It’s not surprising that Huawei is being cautious about releasing the Mate X half-baked after Samsung failed to pioneer the foldable phone market with multiple issues, especially regarding the display.

As you know, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold screen started to malfunction and break when tested by reviewers. Samsung eventually canceled the pre-orders for the phone and promised to fix things first.

When everything is set, Huawei will roll out the Mate X globally, focusing on markets where 5G is and will be available soon. The foldable 5G phone is set to go on sale for EUR 2,299 or roughly US$ 2,580, although there’s no update if Huawei will adjust the pricing after the delay.

SEE ALSO: Huawei’s foldable phone is delayed to make sure it won’t end up like Samsung’s

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Features

6 best smartphones of 2019 (so far)

H1 2019 Edition

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We’re about to hit the half-way mark of 2019, and with most major smartphone launches out of the way, it’s time to pick the best models so far.

After numerous new products around the globe, it’s impossible to cover everything and provide a top-to-bottom ranking. With this in mind, these are the top smartphones we actually tested and believe are front-runners till the end of the year.


In no particular order, here they are:

Xiaomi Mi 9

Whenever a new Mi flagship comes out, people’s heads turn. The Mi 9 is this year’s first “flagship killer,” owning the specs and attractive price tag that made the more premium brands rethink their marketing strategies. Despite being one of the earliest to release this year, its price-to-performance ratio is still one to beat.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

Even though the Galaxy S10+ borrows several key features from the past generation, it does so with grace. By combining the best of the best, we have a flagship smartphone that’s more refined inside and out compared to the other entries on this list. It may not be groundbreaking, but Samsung nailed what we want in a high-end device.

Huawei P30 Pro

Controversies and trade ban aside, the P30 Pro set the highest bar for smartphone photography this year. Its zooming capabilities are unreal, and when combined with the advanced image processing and incredible battery life, this is practically a standalone camera replacement. Let’s just hope the second half of the year is nicer to Huawei.

OPPO Reno 10x Zoom

OPPO made it clear that they’re serious about the premium segment when it unveiled the Find X last year. The Reno follows up on that ambition with an impressive set of rear cameras and one of the most unusual selfie shooters we’ve ever seen. It owns some of the best internal hardware, as well, making this a lot more well-rounded than you’d expect.

Google Pixel 3a

Months of leaks and rumors eventually blossomed into the lower-end sibling of the much-loved Pixel 3. Google’s Pixel 3a makes a few compromises here and there, yet retains the features we truly want, such as the unmatched single rear camera and always up-to-date software — all in a package that costs only US$ 399.

OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus may have veered away from its affordable pricing strategy, but the OnePlus 7 Pro justifies the price hike with possibly the best smartphone screen in the market, along with a gorgeous design and unrivaled specifications. This gadget most definitely does not settle.

Honorable Mention: Redmi K20 Pro

We’re currently in the process of reviewing this device, but from what we can tell so far, this is indeed a winner. As the spiritual successor to last year’s smash hit, the Pocophone F1, the Redmi K20 Pro looks to become 2019’s one true flagship killer. It’s got everything, from the sharp looks and top-shelf specs, to the high-tech cameras and lovely price.

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News

Some Huawei phones are showing unwanted ads on lock screens

A way for Huawei to earn money?

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Huawei P30 Lite | GadgetMatch

While Huawei continues to find ways to fight off the trade ban implemented by the US, a number of Huawei phone owners are expressing their dismay over sudden ads on their lock screens. Huawei doesn’t need more negative publicity right now, but the company decided to push unwanted ads without users’ permission.

Initially reported by Android Police, users in several countries have noticed an ad for Booking.com on the lock screen of their Huawei phones. Surprisingly, some of the devices affected include the flagship models like the Huawei P30 Pro, P20, P20 Lite, P20 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and Honor 10. Other models are also presumably affected. [Editor’s note: I noticed this on my Mate 20 X, as well.]


Huawei users now have a Reddit thread to talk about this fiasco, and Twitter reports are coming in. Here some of the tweets showing the reported lock screen images:

It seems like the ads are appearing for device owners who are using the preinstalled landscape background wallpapers. The ads are showing up in certain countries in Europe and South Africa for now.

Huawei phones have a “Magazine unlock” feature that shows a series of curated wallpapers based on the user’s preference. This can be turned off and that should get rid of the advertising. Needless to say, this could be Huawei’s move to earn extra ad cash.

SEE ALSO: Huawei on getting to top spot: ‘This process may take longer’

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