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Google Pixel 8a review: more future for less money
6:22 pm | May 17, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Google Pixel Phones Phones | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Google Pixel 8a: Two-minute review

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing

Pixel 6a, Pixel 7a, and Pixel 8a (left to right) (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Pixel 8a is the best budget option for Android enthusiasts, and especially Google fans. It makes a case for itself against the pricier Pixel 8, and if you've been dying to try all of Google's coolest new Android and Gemini AI features, the Pixel 8a is the cheapest entry into this virtual world. You can find slightly better specs in a phone this cheap, but you can't find Google's innovative software and seven years of promised software updates.

I've been using the Pixel 8a with Gemini Advanced, Google’s premium AI and large language model, and it works just as well as my Pixel 8 Pro. I get the same cool AI wallpapers feature that I love. I even have Gemini baked into the Gmail app on this phone, so Google's AI can compose an email right in the proper text box. 

For the Pixel 8a’s price, there are Android phones to consider from Motorola and OnePlus, but Apple and Samsung don't make anything worth buying in the $500 / £500 / AU$800 range. The iPhone SE is cheaper, but I'd avoid that old phone since it's fairly out of date (home button?!).

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in purple with books behind

For only $100 more you can have the Galaxy S23 FE with DeX (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Samsung's Galaxy S23 FE is a bit more expensive, and it has tons of business and professional features, if you're going to be mixing work and personal life on your phone. It's also a bit overcomplicated, and it won't get the latest AI features like the Pixel 8a (probably) will. 

If history is any guide, the Pixel 8a will eventually get some compelling deals and this great price will drop even lower, but for $499 / £499 / AU$849, I think the Pixel 8a is worth what Google is charging. The Pixel 8 is only a little more expensive, which makes sense because it's only a little more great; it has better cameras, and marginally better battery life and charging, but that's it. 

The Pixel 8a performed well across the board in our tests, matching and occasionally beating the Pixel 8 on our metrics for processor speed, graphics performance, even display quality. If the Pixel 8a uses a cheaper display than the Pixel 8, I certainly couldn't tell.

Google Pixel 8 review back angled case

It's much harder to recommend the Pixel 8 these days (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

That's great news because the Pixel 8a also gets the same seven years of Android updates that Google promised for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, and all of these phones use the latest Tensor G3 chipset. The Pro model has more RAM, but the two cheaper Pixel 8 phones are identical in RAM and storage.

If you're considering the Pixel 8, you might just save money and buy the Pixel 8a, unless you need a better camera (or you really prefer the Pixel 8 colors). But that's the only reason to spend more on the Pixel 8. You'll probably be just as happy with the Pixel 8a, and even happier when you have money leftover to spend on cases and accessories.

Google Pixel 8a review: Price and availability

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing cameras

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • $499 / £499 / AU$849 for 8GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • Available in sweet Bay blue and Aloe green (also black and white-ish)

The Pixel 8a costs $499 / £499 / AU$849, which is a relief for our American readers but now Australia knows how we felt last year. In the US, that’s the same as the Pixel 7a cost a year ago, but £50 more in the UK and $100 more in Australia. Google raised the price for the Pixel 7a in the US, but kept things stable for Americans this year, and that's great because the Pixel 8a feels like a better value than ever before. 

Google is offering seven years of Android OS updates for the Pixel 8a. Let's be honest, you probably won't have this phone in seven years, but somebody might, and they'll get the latest software. Whether you pass this down to a kid or trade it for your next phone, the Pixel 8a should last longer than before, and that's a huge vote of confidence from Google.

Android phones don't hold their value as well as Apple iPhones, and while longevity isn't the biggest reason, having longer support could help Android’s reputation, which could improve value in the long run.

Google Pixel 8a in front of Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a

You can barely see the two-tone greens on the Pixel 6a (left) (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Pixel 7a and the Pixel 6a were continually offered at a discount, usually at Amazon first, and it's likely that you'll find the Pixel 8a available cheaper, eventually. 

Don't wait, the Pixel 8a is worth buying now. In the past I recommended waiting for a sale, but this feels like a phone that performs above its price range, so there's no reason to wait if you want one now. 

For the same price, you can get a OnePlus 12R. While there is much to recommend that phone, I think most people should stick with the Pixel 8a. The OnePlus 12R is faster, with a bigger, better display. It has a huge battery, and it charges much faster than almost any other smartphone you can buy, let alone the Pixel 8a.

The OnePlus 12R isn't water resistant, though, so it's less durable, and that makes a huge difference to me. It also doesn't get the same seven years of Android OS updates, and OnePlus isn't even trying to make AI features that compete with Google. In terms of software, OnePlus does a nice job, but Google still rules the Android roost.

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Google Pixel 8a review: Specs

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing lock screen always-on display

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The Pixel 8a has the same Google Tensor G3 chipset as the two more expensive Pixel 8 phones. It comes with 8GB of RAM, just like the Pixel 8. In processor and graphics benchmarks, performance was effectively identical between the Pixel 8a and the Pixel 8.

The Pixel 8a also has a bright display like the Pixel 8, and in our tests both phones reached above 1,450 nits at 100% brightness. 

Where the Pixel 8 pulls ahead and earns its premium, aside from the improved cameras, are in the smaller details. The Pixel 8 uses Gorilla Glass Victus, which is stronger than the Gorilla Glass 3 on the Pixel 8a. The Pixel 8 has Wi-Fi 7, though that's only useful if you also have a new Wi-Fi 7 router.

Google Pixel 8a review: Design

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing USB-C port and speakers

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • It’s a Pixel, and every Pixel looks the same
  • Plastic back holds its own against glass

If you wanted a cuter, more curvaceous version of the Pixel 8, the Pixel 8a delivers. Sure, it looks like every other Pixel phone since the Pixel 6, but that's brand identity. I actually like the camera bar, I prefer its symmetry to the camera bump on most other phones. 

The Pixel 8a has nicely rounded corners, and some flashy color options, including the brighter-than-expected Aloe green of my review sample, a nice step into the light from the more subdued Mint green Pixel 8.

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green from side showing SIM card slot

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The back is plastic, not glass, but the matte finish and great colors make it look much more premium than the ugly plastic phones of yore. Glossy plastic is out; the Pixel 8a is in. 

Otherwise… it's a Pixel, and you know what that looks like by now. It looks like every other Pixel. I miss the two-tone options of the Pixel 6 phones (check out the green and yellow-green Pixel 6a in my photos), but it's still a pretty phone that’ll stand out just enough from the herd of Galaxy and iPhones.

  • Design score: 5 / 5

Google Pixel 8a review: Display

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing bright AI wallpaper

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • Bright display matches the Pixel 8
  • You can find bigger (and brighter) on competing phones

Google's new so-called ‘Actua’ displays were a key selling point for the Pixel 8 family, so I'm pleased to report the Pixel 8a earns its spot in the lineup with a bright, colorful display that doesn't skimp on specs. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and the same 2,000-nit peak brightness potential as the Pixel 8.

The bezel is a bit thick, but you won't notice unless you hold it up next to another phone. The smaller size of the Pixel 8a, with its 6.1-inch OLED display, is one of my favorite aspects of its design; it's a nice, compact phone. 

In fact, the phone was so easy to hold and use that I decided to use the Pixel 8a to write the first draft of this review on my flights back from Google I/O 2024. I wrote a few thousand words on the Pixel 8a display, and it was comfortable thanks to the smaller size. 

I had some trouble seeing the display in the bright California sunshine in Mountain View, which made some photography hard, but this was only a problem on the clearest day with the sun overhead. Indoors, the display seemed exceptionally bright, so perhaps it just needed a better reflective coating.

Google Pixel 8a in front of OnePlus 12R both showing TechRadar home page

OnePlus 12R (6.7-inch) behind the Pixel 8a (6.1-inch) (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The OnePlus 12R does have a larger, 6.7-inch display, and OnePlus claims it can hit an eye-piercing (no, seriously) 4,500 nits of brightness, but we haven’t seen it achieve this in our tests. Still, for the same price you can get a larger display, but the compact size is part of the Pixel 8a appeal.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Google Pixel 8a review: Software

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing Quick Settings Menu buttons

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • All of Google’s cool AI features are here, for now
  • Google’s Android is clean and easy to use

Google makes the best Android phone software, much better than Samsung’s OneUI. While OnePlus and Motorola stay close to Google’s designs, you can't beat the House of Android for simplicity and ease of use.

Maybe it's getting too easy? Android used to have many more customization options to organize your home screens and your app list. Most of these are gone now. You can't even put apps into folders in Google's app menu.

On the other hand, Google does the best job with things like notifications. If I get a notification I don't want, I just hold my finger on the message and I get a robust settings tool that lets me turn off all notices from an app, or just certain categories of interruptions. I get to pick what each app notifies me about, and I don't have to dig to find the options. They just appear with a press.

Google Pixel 8a showing AI wallpaper creation tool

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The new AI tools keep getting better. I make a new AI wallpaper every few days. Even better, I now let Google's AI answer most of my impersonal phone calls, and I can see what my caller says in a live transcript as the AI handles them. 

The Gemini AI features are good, and it isn't a perfect Google Assistant replacement, but Gemini can use Google Assistant as one of its tools, to make up the difference. 

The AI features are constantly growing. Gemini can now help compose email messages in the Gmail app, and I'd expect it will soon offer help in the mobile Docs, Sheets, and maybe Slides apps. 

Unfortunately, the Gemini app stopped working for me suddenly a few days before this review published. I have reached out to Google to make sure that this is an isolated issue, and I will update if I get a response.

The Pixel 8a also carries forward the best of Google's AI image editing in Google Photos. You get the classic Magic Eraser and the newer Magic Editor AI features as well.

Google Pixel 8a showing Gmail app with Gemini AI prompt

Google Gemini will offer suggestions in apps like Gmail (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

The reason it can handle all these features is because the processing is done by Google in the cloud. You’ll eventually be able to load the Gemini Nano language model onto the phone to handle some generative writing locally, but it will be hidden as a developer option. I suspect that's more because of the audience and target market for this bargain phone, and not because of any performance deficit. 

Will Google really support the Pixel 8a for seven years? I had concerns, so I spoke to Google before this phone arrived at my door. Google’s Pixel reps assure me they have a roadmap for Tensor G3 phones that will last 7 years. In 2031, the Pixel 8a will retire with Android 21 on board, because Google has a plan. Android yellowcake, perhaps.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Google Pixel 8a review: Cameras

Google Pixel 8a showing camera app focused on living room

All the photo modes from the Pixel 8 Pro are here (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • Photos look very similar to shots from the Pixel 8 Pro
  • A bit grainy close up, and blurry at night

Google’s Pixel A-series phones are usually an easy pick for the best bargain camera phone because they are unfussy and produce great images that are perfect for sharing online. By that, I mean they don’t look great if you zoom in too close, but for viewing on smaller screens, the Pixel 8a makes photos that look surprisingly good. 

How good? To test the Pixel 8a camera, I compared photos against the Pixel 8 Pro, Google’s best camera phone and one of my favorites. The photos were remarkably similar. If I didn’t zoom in on a shot, I often couldn’t tell which photo was taken by the Pixel 8a and which by the Pixel 8 Pro. Google’s color and light balancing are nearly identical on both phones. Only in the darkest conditions was the Pixel 8 Pro advantage clear. 

To compare with the Google Pixel 8 Pro, here is a sample that shows more detail from the Pro camera, but both images look good. The color and lighting is very similar across both devices. 

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Google Pixel 8a camera sample photo of a tile mosaic with leaves

Google Pixel 8a photo (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera sample photo of a tile mosaic with leaves

Google Pixel 8 Pro photo (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

This low-light photo shows the clearest distinction between the Pixel 8 Pro and the Pixel 8a. The Pixel 8 Pro is clearly better in dark conditions, but when I looked at the photos on my phone screen, this was the only photo I found easy to determine which phone took the shot. 

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Google Pixel 8a camera sample showing a Diner sign Open 24 hours

Google Pixel 8a photo (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera sample showing a Diner sign Open 24 hours

Google Pixel 8 Pro photo (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

That’s a pretty remarkable feat, and good for Pixel 8a buyers because these phones both take great photos. You’ll see the difference in fine details, though. The Pixel 8 Pro has a 50MP sensor, after all. 

The Pixel 8a uses a 64MP sensor but it only outputs 16MP images. It combines four pixels into one in a process called 'pixel binning,' and there’s no way to get full-resolution, 64MP shots from the Camera app. Even RAW image files (why on a bargain A-series phone?) only have a 16MP resolution. 

The Pixel 8a offers all the same shooting modes as the Pixel 8 Pro, including Night Sight for nighttime shots around town, and long exposure, for cool shots of moving traffic and running water. 

It also has all of the same AI editing tricks in the Google Photos app. You get Magic Eraser, to remove unwanted people, and Magic Editor, to turn them into giants or move them to one side. There’s Best Shot, which replaces faces in a group photo when somebody has their eyes closed. It even has the amazing Audio Eraser for videos, to remove background noise and distractions. 

What’s especially cool, if you’re new to Pixel phones, is that you can edit photos and videos that you didn’t shoot with your Pixel phone. Anything in Google Photos is fair game. Upload all of your old iPhone photos to Google, go buy a Pixel 8a, then use Unblur to make them all as sharp as new. 

  • Camera score: 3 / 5

Google Pixel 8 Pro camera samples

Here are samples taken around New York City and at the Google I/O 2024 conference in Mountain View. 

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

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Google Pixel 8a camera image samples

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

Google Pixel 8a review: Performance

Google Pixel 8a showing Android 14 screen with Android figurines beside

(Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • Google’s Tensor G3 isn’t winning any contests
  • Seven years of Android support means Google trusts the chipset

Admittedly, the Pixel 8a and all of the Tensor G3 generation of Pixel phones are not top performing phones. Any phone with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 or newer Snapdragon, and any recent iPhone will outperform the Pixel 8 in benchmark tests. What does that mean in the real world? Not much. 

Unless you're playing the most-demanding games or using advanced photo or video editing tools, the Pixel 8a will be enough to keep up. It ran all of my games, including Call of Duty and Marvel Snap, with no trouble. It just didn't run games as smoothly as the Galaxy S24 can run them.

There was some delay with many of the AI features, but that's because the Pixel 8a needs to talk to Google before it gives you an answer. Even AI Wallpapers rely on Google's cloud for help, and there is a back and forth delay. My phone does not have access to Gemini Nano yet, so I'm curious to see if that speeds up any generative writing. 

I had some trouble using Bluetooth on the Pixel 8a. The phone kept finding and refinding my Pixel Buds Pro. I had to reconnect them three times in a week. It had trouble holding the connection with my car stereo, and twice it lost my Ray Ban Meta smart glasses. In a week or so of testing, I had only a small handful of issues, but it was annoying. 

  • Performance score: 3 / 5

Google Pixel 8a review: Battery

Google Pixel 8a in aloe green showing USB-C charging port

The USB-C charging port is 'faster' than before (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)
  • The Pixel 8a’s biggest weakness
  • Also the Pixel 7a’s weakness, and the Pixel 6a’s weakness

Battery life is the Pixel 8a’s biggest letdown, which isn't a surprise considering the Pixel 7a and Pixel 6a suffered the same shortcoming. A compromise must be made to bring the price down, and Google apparently compromises on battery life. 

In my real-world testing, the Pixel 8a never lasted a full day of use. I used the phone at home, for work, and traveling by plane to Google I/O. It usually needed a top-up on the battery after dinner, if I was going to keep using it. 

Future Labs is still testing the Pixel 8a, but early rundown tests put battery life at just over 11 hours of use. To compare, the OnePlus 12R, our pick for best battery life, topped 19 hours of life on the same test, and it charges much faster. The phones cost the same, too. 

The Pixel 8 also charges a bit faster than the Pixel 8a, whether wired and wireless, and the Pixel 8 can charge other devices wirelessly, which the 8a can't do.

  • Battery score: 3 / 5

Should you buy the Google Pixel 8a?

Google Pixel 8a in front of Pixel 7a in white and Pixel 6a in two-tone green and yellowish green

Pixel 6a, Pixel 7a, and Pixel 8a (left to right) (Image credit: Philip Berne / Future)

Buy it if...

You were considering the Pixel 8
The Pixel 8a gives you just about everything you get with the Pixel 8, for less. The cameras aren't as good, but if the 8a gets a good discount, it's game over for the Pixel 8.

You want to try Google’s AI stuff
The Pixel 8a is the cheapest entry into Google's new AI world, with generative AI writing tools and image editing on board. And it will keep getting better, we hope. 

You care about durability and longevity
You can find better specs at this price (hello, OnePlus 12R), but the Pixel 8a is more durable than the competition, with 7 years of Android updates – unheard of at this price. 

Don't buy it if...

You want a big, fast flagship killer
For the same price, the OnePlus 12R gives you better performance, a bigger screen, and the best battery life. Just don't get it wet.

You need amazing cameras
The Pixel 8a took solid photos that were satisfying to share. It doesn't have long zoom or the fine details of the Pixel 8 Pro, however. 

You're really going to keep a phone for 7 years
Even if Google updates this phone with a new Android every year, in seven years this phone will be astronomically underpowered. Go for a faster device if you want to finish that marathon.

Google Pixel 8a review: Also consider

Google Pixel 8
The Pixel 8 has better cameras than the Pixel 8a, and you can see the difference. There aren't many other advantages that matter, but the cameras may justify the extra cost for some folks.

OnePlus 12R
You want power and performance over software smarts. OnePlus isn't offering AI features or seven years of updates, but the OnePlus 12R gives you much faster performance and incredible battery life for the same price. It looks snazzy, too.

How I tested the Google Pixel 8a

I received the Pixel 8a from Google a few days before Google I/O 2024, so I used this phone as my only work phone for the conference, as well as the days before and after. 

I used the Pixel 8a to take product photos and news photos for our I/O live blog, to keep connected on Slack and Gmail, and to stay entertained on my flights.

I connected the Pixel 8a to a number of peripherals, including the Pixel Watch 2, Pixel Buds Pro, and Ray Ban Meta smart glasses.

I also wrote all of the copy for this review in Google Docs using the Pixel 8a and its on-screen keyboard. I don't usually bother with a stunt like that, but I had seven hours of flying ahead of me and I wanted to write on the plane, and the Pixel 8a is a great size for using in a crowded space like a middle seat.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review
2:52 pm | May 13, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Moto Edge 40 Neo two-minute review

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo straddles the line between the type of fantastic cheap phone that Moto is known for, and a more esteemed breed of mid-range mobile. And while it manages to be a respectable jack of all trades, it’s a master of none.

The handset is ostensibly a more affordable spin on the Motorola Edge 40, released in the early months of 2023, but with some compromises and corners cut in order to save you a bit of money. The three main distinctions are that the chipset is weaker, it has no wireless charging and the body is made from less premium materials.

Offering a ‘budget’ version of a flagship is standard practice in mobile-making, but the Neo offers very few weaker areas than its more premium compadre – in fact, it’s actually a more powerful phone in a few areas, with a bigger battery and more RAM. If you gave me the phones and didn’t tell me which was which, I wouldn’t be able to identify which of them cost over £100 more.

Many of the Edge 40’s impressive features are here in force. The charging is very quick for a Moto phone, with 68W powering getting your phone full in 30 minutes or less. Moto’s spin on stock Android continues to offer loads of customization options and handy shortcuts. The phone has a good-looking display, a range of attractive Pantone-designed color options and more storage than you’ll find in many other mobiles of this price.

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

Unfortunately, though the Moto Edge 40 Neo is an attractive alternative to its premium sibling, it doesn’t quite justify its higher price compared to members of the Moto G range of affordable Android handsets. We tested the Neo alongside the Moto G84 which costs less and is more impressive for what it offers, with similar specs, improved gaming capabilities and many features in common with the Neo.

One issue with the Edge 40 Neo is the curved-edge display. This is a feature that used to be commonplace in premium phones, and even some mid-rangers that were positioning themselves as neo-premiums. A display like this lets the phone sit more comfortably in the hand, and lends it a more refined feel, though it’s very easy to accidentally touch the edge and trigger some unintended function. That was the case with the Neo, and it made gaming an absolute pain.

Motorola’s continued Achilles’ Heel returns too in the form of the Edge 40 Neo’s cameras. The 50MP main and 13MP ultra-wide combo looks fine on paper, but the pictures are unremarkable and a little dull. This handset isn’t for the impassioned mobile photographer.

Overall the feature set here is solid, especially considering the low cost of the handset, but a few stumbling blocks stand in the way. Issues with the curved-edge display mean that gaming is more of a pain than it’s worth, making the powerful specs and good-looking screen redundant for gamers. And people who like the software and display will find contemporary Moto G handsets equal in function yet cheaper in price.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: price and availability

  • Released in September 2023
  • Costs £299.99 (roughly $375, AU$575) 
  • Not for sale in US or Australia

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

The newest member of Motorola’s Edge family was announced in mid-September, alongside the Moto G84 and Moto G53. It went on sale shortly afterward in the UK – we don’t have any information on releases elsewhere, but judging by precedent, it could show up in the US down the line under a different name. 

The phone costs just £299 (roughly $375, AU$575) which is surprisingly cheap for an Edge phone, given that some of the brand’s budget Moto G handsets have sold for more. 

For comparison, the main Edge 40 costs £529 (roughly $690 / AU$1,015) while the Edge 30 Neo went for £349 (about $400, AU$500), so this is one of the cheapest Edge mobiles Moto has released. 

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: specs

Is the Moto Edge 40 Neo a budget phone, or a mid-ranger? Let's look at its specs...

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: design

  • Four Pantone-designed color options
  • Curved-edge display makes phone feel premium
  • USB-C port but no 3.5mm headphone jack

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

The Moto Edge 40 Neo looks surprisingly premium given its price tag. Between the curved-edge display, vibrant color options and svelte body, this could be confused from a distance for a Samsung or Xiaomi blower.

The Neo is one of several recent Moto phones that have had their color options designed by Pantone, and so three of the four you can pick between look distinct and unique. It’s the Caneel Bay model that you can see in pictures but there’s also Peach Fuzz, Soothing Sea (light green) and Black Beauty. This latter is the only one that looks rather basic — it’s just black.

Moto has also continued to use a design feature that used to be commonplace in premium mobiles, but is now sadly rare: the curved-edge display. This rounded screen makes the phone sit nice and comfortably in the hand, and it’s another element of the mobile that seems pinched from a much pricier model. While the angle isn’t as dramatic as the ‘Waterfall’ display used on the original Edge series, that just means it’s less slippery.

Unfortunately, some of the negative traits of premium mobiles are here too; there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, for example, despite Moto continuing to feature this in most of its handsets. The only port, then, is the USB-C adaptor.

On the right edge of the phone is the volume rocker and power button, both in fairly easy-to-reach positions. The handset is lightweight at just 170g and measures 159.6 x 72 x 7.9mm.

It’s a well-protected handset with an IP68 rating. That means it’s nice and snug from dust particles and submersion in water.

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: display

  • Large 6.5-inch screen
  • Resolution of FHD+ (1080 x 2400)
  • High max brightness and snappy refresh rate

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

The phone’s screen is 6.55 inches across — fairly standard for a smartphone in this day and age. As mentioned in the design section it’s a curved-edge display, which makes it look a little larger, though this feature has a big drawback (head to the ‘Performance and audio’ section to learn more).

There’s nothing surprising in the resolution department: FHD+, or 2400 x 1080 pixels as the vast majority of smartphones are. This is all you really need, though, as popular games and streaming services output at this resolution or lower.

The phone has a nice snappy refresh rate of 144Hz, so motion looks lovely and smooth, and a fairly high max brightness of 1,300 nits too. As budget phone displays go this ticks all the boxes and puts a second tick in a few of them too, so you won’t be disappointed by it.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: software

  • Uses Google's stock Android
  • Only two confirmed years of updates
  • Lots of navigation and customization features

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo comes running Android 13, the newest form of Google’s operating system as of its release. Moto tends to be reticent on future update plans though, so its promise for only two years of updates seems a little shallow compared to the longer update spans many other Android phones get. However, not everyone cares about getting the newest version of Android for years to come, and your phone will still work for many more years whether or not you get these updates.

The Neo uses near-stock Android, which means it’s as Google designed it, with no visual or functional overlay like many other Android brands use. Stock Android is generally regarded as having a pretty clean-looking interface with easy navigation.

Motorola has been slowly pulling stock Android in its own direction, though, by bringing more and more of its own features to the phones. These are all welcome additions. A long-running one is Moto Actions, little gestures you can do for shortcuts, including a double-karate-chop action to turn on a torch, or two rotating shakes to turn on the camera. They can take some getting used to, but they’re fantastic time-saving tools once you’ve got the knack.

In Moto’s recent phones it’s also been offering an expansive suite of customization options, more so than most rival mobiles. You can change font, color scheme, app icon shape, display edge light, and a lot more; if you love tinkering settings to your heart’s content, the Edge 40 Neo is going to let you do just that.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: cameras

  • 50MP main and 8MP ultra-wide cameras
  • Some extra features like Spot Color
  • 32MP front-facing camera for selfies

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

You don't buy a Moto phone expecting Samsung- or iPhone-level photography chops, and there's no change in the Moto Edge 40 Neo. 

The phone has two rear cameras, headed up by a 50MP f/1.8 snapper, which is joined by a 13MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide. A fairly standard duo, all things considered.

The main camera is fit for purpose, but it won't wow. I took snaps that would be perfectly suitable for dropping onto Instagram or WhatsApp, but nothing that was fantastic enough that I was enthused to hunt down amazing scenes when I wasn't trying to test the cameras.

My main issue is that the snaps look a little grainy, even when well-lit, as you can see in the below cookies picture, which was taken with help from a professional photography light. The phone's processing sometimes added an odd color tint too, which you can see in both the pineapple and houseplant snaps.

Switch over to the ultra-wide camera, and you're getting pictures that are fairly low-res, and also a little duller than those taken on the main camera.

Selfies are... fine, that's the most descriptive word for these pictures. Portrait mode bokeh was fairly light-touch but sometimes gentle is better. Quality was lost in darker areas.

Moto has added a few extra camera modes beyond the standards, the main of which is a Samsung-esque Spot Color that lets you pick one color from the frame and remove all the others. It's a fun extra mode that not many phones offer, even though it wasn't always flawless in execution (it confused skin tone and wood colors on several occasions). It works both for photography and for videography.

You can record video in 1080p at 60fps or 4K at 30fps, and can drop the frame rate down to 240fps in slow-mo mode.

  • Camera score: 3 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo camera samples

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A tray of biscuits taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

Some home-made jammy dodgers taken on the Moto's main camera. (Image credit: Future)
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A house plant taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

A houseplant taken on 1x camera mode, with an odd green tint (Image credit: Future)
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A selfie taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

A selfie taken in standard mode. (Image credit: Future)
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A selfie taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

A selfie taken in portrait mode (Image credit: Future)
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A pineapple taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

A picture of a pineapple taken on the main camera. (Image credit: Future)
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Another Moto phone taken on the Moto Edge 40 Neo

A picture of the Moto G84, another Pantone-colored Moto phone. Head over to that review to see a snap of the Neo taken on it. (Image credit: Future)

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: performance and audio

  • Powerful Dimensity 7030 chipset plus 12GB RAM
  • Curved-edge display brings gaming problems
  • Bluetooth 5.4, tinny speakers and no headphone jack

On paper, the Moto is a budget gaming champ. It has the mid-range yet relatively powerful Dimensity 7030 chipset running under the hood, paired with an impressive 12GB RAM.

Those lend themselves to power, and a Geekbench 6 multi-core score of 2,513 shows that this certainly is a powerful phone compared to same-price contemporaries.

Unfortunately, the phone’s curvy screen makes gaming a frustrating experience. When I played Call of Duty: Mobile, I’d repeatedly accidentally tap the top edge of the display, bringing up the mini-map if it was on one edge or looking wildly around if it were the other. This same experience occurred on other titles too, depending on the buttons that their UI house right at the top.

There’s evidently little accidental-touch recognition here, despite this being a feature that Moto Edge phones have previously boasted. It’s a curious omission or flaw but it means the handset just isn’t great for gaming fans.

It’s a shame too, because the specs are fantastic for a phone of this price. A 144Hz display and 12GB RAM feels wasted in a phone like this.

As stated, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on the Moto Edge 40 Neo, so for music you’ll have to rely on connecting to the phone with Bluetooth 5.4 or using the stereo speakers. If you’re going for the latter, be warned that they’re a little tinny, especially if you crank up the volume louder. Fine for bangs and explosions for games, not so much for enjoying your favorite symphony on Spotify.

  • Performance score: 3 / 5

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: battery life

  • Chunky 5,000mAh battery
  • Phone easily works into second day
  • Lovely fast 68W charging for half-hour power

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)

As with the vast majority of its phones, Moto has put a 5,000mAh battery in the Edge 40 Neo, which is the largest-capacity power back you’ll find in the vast majority of smartphones.

In testing, the phone had no issues in lasting a full day of use, and often lasted until mid-way through a second day before it needed to be plugged in. Frugal phone users might even see the mobile last a whole second day.

So what’s that charging like? Well, Moto fans might do a double take here, but it’s 68W; given that Motorola generally sticks to slow charging for its phones, that’s a surprisingly snappy speed that we’re happy to see.

You can power the phone to full from empty in just over half an hour; Motorola’s selling the phone on its ability to charge to 50% in under 15 minutes, which our testing concurred with. Just don’t expect wireless charging, on the Neo or any phone at this price!

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Motorola Edge 40 Neo?

Buy it if...

You like funky phones
Coming in four Pantone-designed color options, the Edge 40 Neo is one for you if you're bored of the typical 'black or blue' options you get for most Android phones.

You're a curved-edge display fan
Curved-edge displays have their fans and their detractors, and if you're in the latter camp you have few options. The Edge 40 Neo is a definite consideration for you.

You like customizing your software
Colorful phone options, colorful phone interface: Moto's phones are rife with ways to customize the look of your handset's interface.

Don't buy it if...

You're a mobile gamer
The curved-edge display's accidental touch issues nearly had me pulling my hair out when I was testing the Neo on online games. This is not one for mobile gamers!

You’re a phone photographer
Motorola's phones rarely have anything in the way of photography chops, and that's definitely the case here too. Fit for purpose, but won't wow.

You care about software updates
If you care about how long your smartphone will see new features for, you might find the Edge a little limited compared to some other brands' phones.

Motorola Edge 40 Neo review: also consider

Considering other mobiles beyond the Moto Edge 40 Neo? Here are some others you could look into:

Moto Edge 40
You're getting a more powerful chipset here as well as a slightly smaller phone made with more premium materials, but it costs more and is pretty much the same (or weaker) in all other departments.

Poco X5
For the same price as the Edge 40 Neo, gaming fans can get this powerful Android phone with a big, bold display. Don't expect as many features as on Moto's phones but its gaming chops far exceed the Neo's.

How I tested the Motorola Edge 40 Neo

The Motorola Edge 40 Neo

(Image credit: Future)
  • Review test period = 2 week
  • Testing included = Everyday usage, including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used = Geekbench 5, Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats

I tested the Motorola Edge 40 Neo alongside the G84 and G53, which were announced and released alongside it. I used the Caneel Bay color variant of this mobile, and I've never been to Caneel Bay itself so I can't attest to the color's accuracy.

Since the Edge 40 Neo was not the first of the three phones I tested, it enjoyed an extended testing period, as for two weeks I set it up to let the battery settle, and for the occasional gaming or photography session. The 'true' testing time was two weeks, and I used the mobile as my own handset for this time.

I've been testing smartphones for TechRadar for almost five years now. In fact, after joining the team in early 2019, my first-ever review was a Motorola handset. I left TechRadar in late 2022 but continue to contribute freelance reviews of mobiles as well as speakers, running gadgets, headphones and more. That is to say, I have a long track record of testing devices like the Motorola Edge 40 Neo.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed December 2023

Rabbit R1 AI companion: An adorable but half-baked idea that you can ignore
7:00 pm | May 6, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: , | Comments: Off

While I hesitate to call the Rabbit R1 AI companion device useless, I would not describe it as useful. This is a cute, orange gadget that has spent much of its brief time in my pocket. I have little to reason to pull it out. And why would I? It does nothing better than my iPhone 15 Pro Max and the dozens of apps I have on it. It's not even a better AI device than a smartphone with Gemini, Copilot, or ChatGPT. 

Even the design, which gets points for solid construction and cute, retro looks, fails to inspire. The touch-screen, physical scroll wheel navigation is one of the worst system interaction strategies I've ever encountered. RabbitOS's incredibly linear navigation only exacerbates the problem. I can't remember the last mobile piece of consumer electronics that didn't know to return to a home screen if you weren't using it. I'd argue the developers took the "rabbit hole" metaphor a little too seriously and designed an operating system that is nothing but rabbit holes and the only way you get out of them is by carefully backing up.

Rabbit R1 was supposed to be different. it was supposed to be special. It's not a smartphone and was never intended to be one or even compete with one. Instead, Rabbit tossed traditional smartphone and app tropes out the window and developed something new: a way of connecting your intentions to action without the need for apps. A new AI or Large Action Model (LAM), would connect spoken requests to app logins and then handle all the interactions and execution for you.

Specs

What's in the box: Rabbit R1
Weight: 115g
Dimensions: 3in. x 3in. x 0.5in.
Battery: 1000mAh
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB
Display: 2.88in. TFT
Connectivity: WiFi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5, SIM card-support
Location: GPS
Camera: 8MP
CPU: MediaTek MT 6765

In practice, this means that you're logging into your Uber, Door Dash, Spotify, and Midjourney accounts through the Rabbit Hole desktop interface and then using the Rabbit R1 hardware, its push-to-talk system, and on-board AI to request rides, food, music, and generative images.

Would it shock you to hear that most of that didn't work for me? It's not all Rabbit's fault. Spotify won't accept third-party music requests unless you have a paid account. Doordash couldn't complete the sign-in. Midjourney works but the image generation is happening in Discord and not inside the Rabbit.

LAM turns out to be unimpressive and somewhat jerry-rigged. The built-in large language model that works with Rabbit Vision is somewhat better but why would I buy another $199 piece of hardware to duplicate something I can do with a cheap phone, much less the best phone currently available? I wouldn't, and neither should you.

Rabbit R1: Pricing & availability

The Rabbit announced the Rabbit R1 AI companion at CES 2024 in January. It shipped in April, lists for $199 (about £160/AU$290), and is currently available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. The first run is done and new orders are shipping in June 2024.

  • Price score: 3.5 / 5

Rabbit R1: Design & features

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Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)
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Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)
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Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)
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Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)

You have to give Rabbit and design firm Teenage Engineering credit: the Rabbit R1 looks nothing like a traditional smartphone and that difference helps broadcast its intentions, which are ultimately nothing like your phone's.

Rabbit R1 is a 3x3in by a half-inch thick orange paint-covered and fairly sturdy slab. It has a tiny 2.88-inch color touch screen, an enclosed, rotatable 8MP camera, and below that a large, slick scroll wheel. If you look on the side adjacent to that wheel, you'll see a small gray push-to-talk (to the device) button that goes right through it. On the opposite side is a USB-C charge port (the device does not ship with a cable or charge adapter).  Below that is a SIM slot that you can open with a fingernail, a nice change from all the phones that require a special pin.

There's a pair of microphones along one edge and on the back is a large speaker grill (one inch by about 0.5 in).

Rabbit r1

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Inside is 4GB of RAM, which doesn't sound like much but considering how little Rabbit R1 does on board it's probably enough. There's a surprising 128GB of storage that will mostly go unused. The MediaTek MT 6765 is a middling CPU but it's unclear how much of an impact since the Rabbit R1 is usually talking to the cloud. AI image generation through Midjourney, for example, is not performed in-device. Instead, it sends prompts to the cloud where Midjourney on Discord handles them, generates images, and then sends them back to the Rabbit R1 to be displayed on the tiny, albeit sharp, screen.

Considering how important that cloud connection is to Rabbit R1's operation you'd think it would do a better job of maintaining it, but often when I picked up the Rabbit R1, it would say "establishing connection" while I waited. If I had it connected to my smartphone, the connection would often drop out. You can, by the way, buy and install a SIM card to deliver a constant, dedicated connection to your mobile network. Still, without the ability to make calls or even send and receive texts, what's the point of that?

  • Design & features score: 3/5

Rabbit R1: Performance & Battery Life

Setup is mostly pain-free, though to use Rabbit R1, I had to get it on a network, which required typing in a WiFi password into a really tiny virtual touch screen. The Rabbit R1 wouldn't work, though, until I plugged it in and accepted the first of what would become a series of regular updates. 

There isn't much about Rabbit R1's operation that I'd call familiar. If you pick it up, you'll notice the screen is dark until you press the talk button. The default screen is a graphical rabbit (Rabbit's logo) with battery life and time. There's nothing else on the display. Touching or tapping the screen does nothing. It's important that you get used to talking to Rabbit R1, as it's the only way to access its limited feature set. At least Rabbit R1's microphones are powerful enough to pick up my requests even when I whisper them.

Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)

Rabbit R1 doesn't do much of anything on its own. There's the cloud-based large-language model (LLM) that does a decent job of answering questions about the weather, history, and other general-interest topics. It's also quite good at reading labels. I noticed that when I pointed it at a rocket model, it accurately identified it and then walked me through the bullet list of details on the box. The built-in camera is not for taking pretty pictures (what do you expect from an 8MP sensor?) and is instead used with Rabbit Vision.

The camera is usually hidden but when I double-click the Talk button, the camera swivels to face out from the back of the Rabbit R1 – you use the scroll wheel to flip the camera from front to back and vice versa. I can hold the button down to ask Rabbit R1 to, for instance, describe what it's seeing. After a few seconds, it usually responds accurately and in surprising detail.

Rabbit R1 Review Rabbit hole

(Image credit: Future)

It did well identifying a banana, a camera, and me as a late middle-aged man. But when I asked it to to help me plan a meal based on what it could see in my refrigerator, it only described what it saw in the fridge and told me there were many options. However, it did not describe a single dish and when I followed up and asked it to suggest a meal based on what's in my fridge, it said it could not order food.

Rabbit R1 Review

(Image credit: Future)

I don't speak any other languages, so I tested Rabbit R1's real-time translation abilities by letting it listen to some Japanese language videos on YouTube. I told it to translate Japanese to English and, when I held the talk button to let it listen and then released it, the Rabbit R1 quickly displayed on screen and repeated the conversation in English. That was pretty impressive, though, the lack of on-screen guidance on how to make this work was frustrating. Most people not comfortable with technology might just give up.

I can relive all these interactions with Vision through the online "Rabbit Hole," which keeps the text and images from each interaction in calendar order. There's no search function but each entry includes a trashcan icon so you can delete it.

Rabbit R1 doesn't include communication, email, messaging, social media, games, or anything that might prompt me to engage with it more regularly. It's just an AI wrapped inside a device.

Rabbit r1

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

There are some settings and controls for things like volume control. To access them you have to press the Talk button and then, I kid you not, shake Rabbit R1. To navigate the menu, you'll need to use the large orange scroll wheel. This wheel is one of Rabbit's worst decisions. I found it slippery and hard to turn. I hate it.

Navigating the Settings menu required a series of turns and presses. You navigate down to a menu item and then reverse those steps to get back home. It's almost as if the designers never used a smartphone. If I weren't testing the Rabbit R1, I might've pitched it out a window.

Rabbit R1 Review

Rabbit R1 gets points for cute graphics. This is what I saw when I recharged the handset. (Image credit: Future)

Initial battery life on the Rabbit R1 was not good and I watched as it lost a quarter of it's battery life in the space of an hour. Subsequent updates seemed to help that a bit but I still think battery life drains far too fast (even when you're not using it). The average smartphone is more efficient and lasts far longer.

  • Performance and Battery Life Score: 2.5/5

Rabbit R1: Final verdict

If all it took to achieve success in consumer electronics is to deliver an adorable design at a relatively affordable price, Rabbit R1 might be a success. But that's not the real world.

Rabbit R1 doesn't do enough to replace your smartphone or even operate as a decent companion. It's limited, and poorly thought out and much of the magic it promises happens – slowly – in the cloud and then is delivered back to this underpowered orange product.

If Rabbit hopes to lead the AI gadget charge, it better go back to the drawing board for Rabbit R2.

Should you buy it?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if...

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: bold, bright and beautiful
2:31 pm | May 1, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Honor Phones Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Two-minute review

Honor was once a brand whose name adorned the shelves of the budget mobile aisle, but with the launch of the Honor Magic 5 Pro in 2023, the former Huawei subsidiary proved itself capable of competing with the likes of Apple and Samsung in the premium hardware department. 

Honor has since rocked the boat with a truly unique foldable phone (see the Honor Magic V2), while maintaining a strong presence in the mid-range category (see the Honor 90), but it’s clear that the Chinese company has its sights set firmly on the luxury electronics market.

The Honor Magic 6 Pro is the latest feature-packed flagship to emerge from Honor’s R&D labs, and it marks another leap forward for this fast-growing mobile manufacturer. In essence, the Magic 6 Pro is the Magic 5 Pro with an even more adventurous rear design, a slightly better camera system and all-new AI smarts, which seems to be the usual upgrade recipe for today’s best phones.

That camera upgrade comes by way of an almighty 180MP periscope telephoto lens, which sits alongside a 50MP wide lens and a 50MP ultra-wide lens in Honor’s ‘Star Wheel’ camera notch. The internal hardware is powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset.

Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

The Magic 6 Pro’s battery is a large 5,600mAh cell, which is necessary due to the increased processing power required by those aforementioned AI features. That said, the Magic 6 Pro still boasts endurance to match or exceed the latest handsets from Apple, Samsung and Google – it charges faster than all of them, too.

The Magic 6 Pro’s battery is 10% larger than that of its predecessor – 5,600mAh versus 5,100mAh – but the increased processing power required by those aforementioned AI features means that you won’t see much, if any, improvements in overall battery life. That said, the Magic 6 Pro still boasts endurance to match or exceed the latest handsets from Apple, Samsung and Google – it charges faster than all of them, too.

Honor’s Magic OS software still doesn’t hold a candle to Apple’s iOS software or Samsung’s One UI interface, and despite the seamless integration of Magic Portal and the future-facing potential of Magic Capsule (more on both of these features later), you don’t get any generative photo editing features with the Magic 6 Pro.

Its price isn’t exactly attractive, either – at £1,099.99, it's £150 more expensive than the Magic 5 Pro. However, accounting for the phone’s singular storage configuration (512GB with 12GB RAM), the Magic 6 Pro costs the same as the equivalent Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus model (£1,099), and it’s actually slightly cheaper than the iPhone 15 Plus (£1,199) and Google Pixel 8 Pro (£1,179) models with the same storage capacity. As with most Honor phones, the Magic 6 Pro isn’t available to buy in the US.

All told, then, the Honor Magic 6 Pro is indisputably one of the best Android phones of 2024, and the best Honor phone that the brand has released thus far. But if you’re already well-accustomed to the simplicity of rival operating systems, you should think carefully about forking out the £1,099.99 needed to buy one.

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Price and availability

  • Costs £1,099.99 / €1299.90
  • Available in the UK and Europe, but not the US or Australia

Honor’s latest flagship was announced in China on February 25, 2024, and went on sale in the UK and Europe on March 8, 2024. In the latter two regions, the Magic 6 Pro is available in a single storage configuration – 512GB with 12GB RAM – for £1,099.99 / €1299.90.

For reference, the Honor Magic 5 Pro launched for £949.99 / €1,199 in 2023, so Honor has hiked the price of its successor by a not-insubstantial £150 in the UK, and €100 in Europe. However, as mentioned above, that £949.99 price puts the Magic 6 Pro on a par with the equivalent storage variant of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus – in the UK, at least – and also makes the phone slightly cheaper than equivalent variants of the iPhone 15 Plus (£1,199) and Google Pixel 8 Pro (£1,179). 

At the time of writing, the Magic 6 Pro is not available to purchase in the US or Australia. 

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Specs

Here's a look at the Honor Magic 6 Pro's key specs:

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Design

Honor Magic 6 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Luxury watch-inspired camera module
  • IP68 water and dust resistance

The Magic 6 Pro measures 162.5 x 75.8 x 8.9mm and has a 6.8-inch display, so this isn’t a handset for those who prefer smaller phones. But despite its enormous screen – which is actually a touch bigger than the iPhone 15 Pro Max – Honor’s latest flagship isn’t especially heavy. In fact, at 221g, it’s a whole 11g lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (232g), which also has a 6.8-inch display.

From a design standpoint, the phone innovates upon the Magic 5 Pro, which introduced Honor’s ‘Star Wheel’ camera module. The design of the Magic 6 Pro’s Star Wheel is a nod to “cushion-shaped watches, jade congs, and baroque diamonds,” according to Honor, and given that the former were popularized by luxury watchmaker Panerai in the 1940s, it’s easy to see why the company has embraced this unique ‘squircle’ shape on the Magic 6 Pro

What’s more, this year’s Star Wheel module is more practical. I liked the look of the Magic 5 Pro’s rear camera module but didn’t love the way it felt in the hand (I found that my index finger rubbed against its edge). Due to its wider shape, the Magic 6 Pro’s Star Wheel is more comfortable to the touch, and even more eye-catching than its predecessor, so kudos to Honor’s design team for this small-but-important change.

There’s no titanium in sight on the Magic 6 Pro, but since this is a cheaper phone than the 512GB variants of the iPhone 15 Pro Max (£1,399) and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (£1,349) – two phones that do boast titanium designs – I think Honor was right to make the compromise. You still get IP68 water and dust resistance with the Magic 6 Pro, which brings Honor’s latest flagship in line with those competitors.

In the UK and Europe, the Magic 6 Pro is available in Black or Epi Green. The black features “velvet matte glass”, while the green features “ripple classic leather”, and both design touches make the Magic 6 Pro feel undeniably premium. The ripples on the Epi Green variant are pleasantly grippy, so I recommend that option.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Display

Honor Magic 6 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 6.8-inch OLED display
  • Eye-friendly screen technology 
  • 5,000-nit peak HDR brightness

The Magic 6 Pro has a 6.8-inch OLED display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. That’s the standard for the best Android phones these days (take note, Apple), but the screen on Honor’s latest flagship stands out from the crowd for two reasons. 

First is how it sits on the phone itself. The Magic 6 Pro’s 6.8-inch display is curved – or rather, its edges ‘spill over’ the side of the device. Most of today’s best phones use flat-edged displays, and while I have no particular preference for one approach or the other, Honor’s decision to go with a curved display on the Magic 6 Pro will inevitably appeal to some, and deter others. It's unique, at least.

The second distinguishing feature of the Magic 6 Pro’s display is the technology behind it. As with the Magic 5 Pro (and indeed the Magic V2 and Honor 90), the Magic 6 Pro boasts Honor’s proprietary Circadian Night Display technology, which filters blue light to improve the quality of your sleep. This particular phone is also aided by an impressive 4,320Hz PWM dimming cycle rate that works to minimize strain on the eyes, so if you’re someone who regularly scrolls through social media in the small hours (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days?), the Magic 6 Pro will at least try to reduce the physical impact of that behavior.

The Magic 6 Pro boasts an almighty peak HDR brightness of 5,000 nits (in very specialized situations) though you’re likely to experience around 1,600 nits in day-to-day use (which is more than respectable). 

On the durability front, the phone’s display is protected by Honor’s NanoCrystal Shield, which is supposedly 10 times stronger than regular glass. Naturally, I wasn’t able to put that claim to the test, but I can say that my Magic 6 Pro review unit regularly emerged from my key-filled pocket unscathed.

  • Display score: 5 / 5

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Cameras

Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 50MP wide lens (f/1.4-2.0)
  • 50MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.0)
  • 180MP periscope telephoto lens (f/2.6)

As with most premium Android phones, the Honor Magic 6 Pro goes big on mobile photography, but this particular device has a few distinguishing tricks up its sleeve.

For starters, the Magic 6 Pro’s 50MP wide lens uses an adjustable aperture (f/1.4-2.0), a feature we haven’t seen on a smartphone for years. When taking shots in normal lightning conditions, the phone uses a standard f/2.0 aperture, but it’ll automatically switch to the wider f/1.4 aperture when shooting in low-light environments. Neat! 

Also unique is the Magic 6 Pro’s astounding 180MP periscope telephoto lens (f/2.6), which is the largest sensor on a zoom lens I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. This supersized lens is only capable of 2.5x optical zoom, mind – which is a downgrade from the 3.5x-capable Magic 5 Pro – but the phone can still achieve 5x lossless zoom by cropping shots from the 180MP lens.

An unchanged 50MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.0) rounds out the Magic 6 Pro’s rear camera array, and you get an impressively large 50MP front-facing camera, too.

Let’s start with the performance of the telephoto lens, which is the headline feature of the Magic 6 Pro. On a sunny day in London, shots taken with this lens were rich in detail and exceptionally vivid. At 1x, 2.5x and 5x magnification, colors were realistic and the subject(s) kept in focus, though I’d advise against zooming any further than 10x, where things take a turn for the Dali-esque (the Magic 6 Pro will technically let you zoom digitally up to 100x, but don’t bother). 

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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The performance of the variable wide lens was similarly consistent. Shots taken with this lens were crisp, and the depth of field impressive, with shadows appearing particularly life-like. 

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

My main gripe with Honor’s assistive camera software continues to be its overcompensation of certain colors – specifically lighter shades of green and blue. As with the Magic V2, the Magic 6 Pro occasionally over-eggs the appearance of the sky or the trees, while at night, artificial blue light presents a particular challenge.

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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
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Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

This isn’t a deal-breaker, by any means, but the Magic 6 Pro doesn’t balance colors perfectly every time. I suspect this has something to do with the way the phone uses AI to identify certain environmental features and adjust the composition of the shot accordingly (see the image in below).

Honor Magic 6 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

I found the Magic 6 Pro’s portrait mode performance to be better than most, while the phone’s 50MP front-facing camera is also solid, if nothing groundbreaking. On the video front, you can record video in 4K at up to 60 frames per second with any of the three rear camera lenses, while the 4K-compatible selfie camera tops out at 30 fps.

All this adds up to an indisputably strong camera phone that ranks alongside best camera phones for versatility, but not necessarily consistency. There’s also no AI-powered photo editing, the likes of which you will find on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro. 

  • Cameras score: 4 / 5

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Performance and software

Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset
  • 12GB RAM and 512GB storage
  • Neat Magic Capsule and Magic Portal features

Under the hood, the Magic 6 Pro is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset – that’s the same chipset you’ll find inside the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, OnePlus 12 and Xiaomi 14.

Working in tandem with the Magic 6 Pro’s 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, Qualcomm’s latest chipset delivers consistently brilliant performance, regardless of the task. Web browsing, messaging, mobile gaming and high-quality video streaming are child’s play for this phone, and while we’ve come to expect as much from devices in this price range – you’d be hard-pressed to find a flagship phone in 2024 that isn’t lightning fast – you needn’t worry about the Magic 6 Pro’s heavy lifting ability.

The phone sets itself apart, for better or worse, through its software. The Magic 6 Pro runs Honor’s Magic OS 8 skin atop Android 14, which differs from the stock version of Android in several interesting – if not always successful – ways.

The first distinguishing feature is Magic Capsule, which is an unashamed copy of Apple’s Dynamic Island in both functionality and appearance. 

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the similarity – both Magic Capsule and the Dynamic Island are useful tools for quickly controlling music, timers, notifications and incoming calls – but it’s hard to give kudos to Honor for adding this feature given the obvious lack of originality. 

One interesting – and undeniably unique – feature of Magic Capsule is its ability to let you control parts of the Magic 6 Pro’s UI using nothing but your eyes. Or rather, this feature would be interesting if it was actually available to use. At the time of writing, Honor’s eye-tracking tech – which is currently compatible with Magic Capsule apps like Timer, Alarm and Call – is limited to the Chinese market, though the company has assured TechRadar that the feature will be added to international versions of the device in the near future. 

The headline feature of the Magic 6 Pro’s AI offering is Magic Portal, which forms a key part of what Honor describes as the “world’s first intent-based UI.” What does that mean, exactly? Well, instead of acting upon request, Magic OS 8 uses Magic Portal to render services according to user intentions. 

In essence, it’s a shortcut feature that lets you switch between apps and services with a single swipe. For instance, if you’re sent some location information by a friend and want to get to that location in a hurry, Magic Portal will let you drag those details – in one fell swoop – from the messages app across into a compatible ride-hailing or navigation app, saving you clicks in the process.

Honor Magic 6 Pro review

Magic Portal in action on the Honor Magic 6 Pro (Image credit: Future)

In my experience, Magic Portal delivered accurate results and worked pretty seamlessly. I particularly like the way text lifts off the page without creating another white box behind it. I also liked the strong haptic feedback when tapping images, and the way the page 'tilts' in order to share the screen with other apps. 

One big miss with the Magic 6 Pro is its lack of generative AI tools. I’m no particular fan of artificially recomposing images, but given that the latest flagships from Samsung and Google boast a veritable smorgasbord of AI-powered editing features, it’s an omission that I suspect will become more noticeable as the quality and quantity of AI features becomes the standard by which new flagship phones are measured. 

On the longevity front, Honor is committing to four years of Android updates and five years of security updates for the Magic 6 Pro. That’s less than the seven-year commitments made by Samsung and Google, but equal to OnePlus’ commitment to the OnePlus 12.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5
  • Software score: 3 / 5

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Battery

Honor Magic 6 Pro review

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 4,900mAh battery is a slight upgrade
  • 45W wired charging, 15W wireless charging 

The Magic 6 Pro boasts a rival-beating 5,600mAh silicon-carbon battery, which should give you around a day and a half of charge when using the phone casually. For reference, we managed to squeeze two days of charge out of the iPhone 15 Plus, but if we’re talking about the most expensive flagships exclusively, the Magic 6 Pro is the best of the current bunch in the endurance department.

Honor’s latest flagship supports up to 80W wired and 66W wireless charging, but annoyingly, you won’t get any type of charger in the box. The brand claims that a full charge takes 40 minutes, and that turned out to be pretty accurate in a test I conducted using the 100W charger that is provided with the Porsche Design version of this phone (I guess that’s what an extra £1,000 buys you these days).

After 15 minutes from a completely dead state, my Magic 6 Pro device had reached 36% charge, and 70% after 30 minutes. A full charge took 46 minutes, which is faster than every iPhone 15 model and every Samsung Galaxy S24 model we’ve tested, but a tad slower than the Xiaomi 14 and OnePlus 12R. However, if you’re using a lower-wattage charger with the Magic 6 Pro, charging speeds will be slower.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Honor Magic 6 Pro?

Buy it if...

You want a best-in-class display
This phone's 6.8-inch curved OLED screen is big, bright and kind to your eyes. You won't find a better display anywhere elsewhere in 2024.

You're a fan of big phones
If you're after a big-screened Android phone that won't weigh down your pocket, the Magic 6 Pro s is as portable as 6.8-inch phones come.

You need long-lasting battery life
The Magic 6 Pro's supersized 5,600mAh silicon-carbon battery offers around a day and a half of charge, which is supremely impressive given the amount of power at your disposal. 

Don't buy it if...

You're already embedded into a simpler OS
Honor's Magic OS is better than ever, but it's still not at the level of iOS or cleaner versions of Android. Think twice if you're not ready to jump into something new.

You want generative AI editing tools
If you're someone who's excited by the prospect of recomposing images after taking them, you may be dissapointed by the Magic 6 Pro's lack of generative AI editing tools.

Honor Magic 6 Pro review: Also consider

As you'll have read by now, the Honor Magic 6 Pro is a well-designed, highly capable and thoroughly unique device, but there are, of course, alternative phones to consider.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
If you're keen to stick with Android and have a little extra cash to spend, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is indisputably the best Android phone money can buy right now.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus
If you're not fussed about AI features and prefer Apple's more accessible iOS software, the iPhone 15 Plus is a great option. It's almost the same size as the Magic 6 Pro, just as powerful and offers even better battery life. The screen isn't anywhere near as good, mind.

How I tested the Honor Magic 6 Pro

  • Review test period: four weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats, Honor 100W charger

I received – and subsequently lived for four weeks with – a review-ready version of the Honor Magic 6 Pro at MWC in March 2024, using it for productivity purposes during my working day and for social media browsing and gaming in the evenings.

I compared the experience of playing power-hungry games like EA Sports FC 24 and Asphalt 9: Legends on the Magic 6 Pro to the experience of playing the same games on the iPhone 15 Pro, which helped me to quantify just how well the device’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset stacks up against Apple's A17 Pro. I also used the phone to stream color-rich documentaries via YouTube, and also logged into Twitter and Instagram to assess the social media browsing experience.

I used Geekbench 6 for CPU testing and Geekbench ML for machine learning and AI benchmarking, while battery life was assessed based on real-world usage. I measured charge time in 15-minute intervals using 100W Honor SuperCharge charger.

Read more about how we test

First tested April 2024

Oppo Reno 10 review: cheap with a catch
2:48 pm | April 26, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Oppo Reno 10 two-minute review

If there’s one phone brand with whom you never know what you’re getting, it’s Oppo, but with its latest mid-range mobile it’s managed to make a phone that’ll (mostly) wow you, especially if you’re looking for a great device without spending too much.

The Oppo Reno 10 is the latest of Oppo’s mid-tier mobiles to launch globally, after the Oppo Reno 8 in 2022 – the brand tends to alternate between global releases and China-only ones. And for the first time in many generations, this is a Reno phone that’s really worth checking out.

At its core, the Oppo Reno 10 is a premium phone with a price tag that’s a lot lower than one would expect. It's easily one of the best cheap phones on the market, embarrassing rival handsets from the likes of Samsung, Apple and Google by just how far ahead it is. It feels better in the hand, performs faster, offers a better display, lasts longer and looks more appealing, though it does have two major weaknesses that keep it away from a higher score.

The design is a large draw of this phone. Oppo has brought the curved-edge display design back to low-cost phones, yet has managed to avoid many of the issues common to this feature, like accidental side presses.

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

The Reno 10 may not have a top-end chipset but it works wonderfully for gaming, and streaming videos is just as much of a treat thanks to its top-spec screen. Its battery lasts a long time, and it charges quickly. What’s not to like?

Well, some things aren’t to like; one of them is the camera. Oppo has aped top-end mobiles by introducing a telephoto camera for zoom photography – this is such a rarity that I wish I could be singing from the rooftops about the Reno 10’s camera prowess, but it joins an utterly underwhelming camera line-up. Photos taken on the Reno 10 are dull, grainy and lifeless. 

In its software, Oppo decided to copy not premium phones, but the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. ColorOS is absolutely littered with pre-installed bloatware apps – I counted 30 on my phone when I first booted it up! At its core, the software is great, with easy navigation and handy customization features, but it’s hard to sail through without getting yourself caught on all its trash.

If you scarcely use your phone camera, and don’t mind spending a good chunk of your phone set-up time wearing out your thumbs by deleting countless random games and shopping apps, then the Oppo Reno 10 will be an absolutely fantastic pick for you. Even those two major pitfalls are easy enough to forgive when you consider the phone’s competitive low price.

But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Oppo Reno 10 review: price and availability

  • Released in August 2023
  • Costs £399 / AU$749 (around $500)
  • On sale in UK and Australia, not US

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

The Oppo Reno 10 was unveiled in August 2023, and like many of the brand’s phones, it’s available in the UK and Australia but not the US.

You can pick up the phone in its sole configuration for £399 / AU$749 (around $500), which is a small but welcome discount from the Oppo Reno 8’s £419 / AU$999 – that was the last Reno mobile that launched globally, as Oppo generally reserves odd-numbered entries for Chinese markets.

At that price, the Reno sits at the cheaper end of the vaguely defined ‘mid-range’ mobile market. In the UK it undercuts some big-name rivals like the Google Pixel 7a (starts at $499 / £449 / AU$749) or the most recent iPhone SE (starts at $429 / £419 / AU$719), though as you can see its Australian price is on par with its peers. 

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 review: specs

A budget phone with premium specs, here's how the Oppo Reno 10 looks on paper:

Oppo Reno 10 review: design

  • Curved-edge display adds premium feel
  • A touch on the big side
  • Camera bump protrudes quite far

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

Oppo is one of a small number of mobile phone companies offering curved-edge smartphones at low prices – that’s right, the Reno 10 has a display that tapers at the edge. This makes it more comfortable to hold in your hand than many other rival devices, and gives it a premium sheen – plus, in the Reno, it’s not so curvy that you’re at risk of accidentally pressing the sides. Not once in my testing period did I incur the ‘accidental side press’ that can plague so many curved-edge mobiles.

If anything, your issue here is going to be hand strain, because the Reno 10 is a pretty big device. It measures 162.4 x 74.2 x 8mm, and weighs 185g, so while it’s relatively thin and lightweight for a phone of its size, people with smaller hands may struggle to use its extensive display size.

Talking of big, the Reno 10’s rear camera bump is pretty huge. It’s a large lozenge-shaped protrusion that houses all three of the lenses and a flash, and it sticks out a fair way from the phone too. You won’t be putting this mobile down flat on a surface, unless it’s in a case.

Glass houses the back and front of the phone, making this mobile feel pretty premium compared to most same-price rivals. But it’ll be a little more fragile than a plastic device, so a case is advised. In the UK, it only comes in a pretty plain gray color too, imaginatively titled Silvery Gray, so a case will give it some life too – more vibrant alternatives are available in some countries though.

The volume rocker and power button are both housed on the right edge of the mobile – I could reach both at a stretch, though to unlock the phone you need to use the in-screen fingerprint scanner that felt too low-down on the display to use naturally. 

The Oppo has a USB-C port on its button edge for charging and data transfer but no 3.5mm headphone jack in sight. You’ll have to use an adaptor if you want to use wired headphones or speakers.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 review: display

  • Chunky 6.7-inch screen
  • FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate
  • Max brightness could be a little higher

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

The Oppo Reno 10’s size is partly because of its large display: at 6.7 inches diagonally, this is a big display, and you won’t find bigger on phones at this price.

It’s a good-looking screen, with a FHD+ resolution (1080 x 2412 pixels) making your games or videos look clear, and the 120Hz refresh rate makes motion appear smooth. 

The HDR10+ certification is just a cherry on top – whether you’re binging a TV show, playing a game, checking out pictures you took or just scrolling through social media, this big and bold display is one of the best you’ll find on a phone at this price point.

If I have a gripe, it’s that the maximum brightness is a little low. At 950 nits, it’s fine for if you’re inside or out and about on an overcast day, but even in this latter circumstance I had to turn the brightness to max to see the screen easily. On a sunny day, you may find it a little hard to see.

  • Display score: 3.5 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 review: software

  • Horrendous bloatware issue
  • Quick to navigate and handily laid out
  • Lots of customization options

Three screenshots showing the user interface of the Oppo Reno 10 as soon as it was set up for the first time.

Three screenshots showing the user interface of the Oppo Reno 10 as soon as it was set up for the first time. Note how some of those icons are actually folders, hiding even more pre-installed apps. (Image credit: Future / Oppo)

The Oppo Reno 10 comes with the newest Android 13 software pre-loaded, with Oppo’s own ColorOS plastered over the top. This Android fork has a similar layout to stock Android, but with a distinctive design to give the software a more playful and energetic tone. Oh, and it has a few choice changes over the base Google-designed software.

I’m talking about bloatware – the Reno has loads. For those that don’t know, bloatware refers to pre-installed apps on the phone beyond the basics that you need for functionality (like a camera app, photo library, Play Store etc). Some companies choose to pack their phones with their own apps, or third-party licensed ones, and in this phone Oppo seems intent on taking that to the logical extreme.

When I first booted up the phone, it was already jam-packed with random games, shopping apps, entertainment platforms, and more – I counted over 30. Some of these are ones I’d choose to install, and it was useful not having to manually download Netflix, but the time I saved in having the streaming service pre-installed was more than made up for in all the unknown apps I had to delete.

Once you’ve worn out your thumbs deleting ‘June’s Journey’ and ‘Portal Parkour’, ColorOS is actually a pretty great operating system. Its buttons, both on the swipe-down quick settings and notifications panels, as well as on the home page, are bold and easy to understand at a scan. Navigation is easy thanks to a handily-accessible app drawer plus well-placed search options. And there’s lots of customization with bespoke widgets, plenty of built-in wallpaper options and ‘style’ options that let you change the always-on display, font, icon and fingerprint animations.

Thanks to the 120Hz display and powerful internals, navigating the phone’s software is a breeze. ColorOS is great to use for people who find stock Android a bit plain – it’s just a shame about the bloatware.

  • Software score: 2.5 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 review: cameras

  • 64MP main, 32MP zoom and 8MP ultra-wide cameras
  • Pictures are unimpressive: lack color, detail, are blown out
  • 32MP snapper on front which suffers from same traits

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

The Oppo Reno 10 makes a staggering leap in the area of budget camera phones: it’s the first low-cost mobile in roughly five years that comes with a telephoto lens, for optical zoom photography (usually when you zoom in on a phone camera it just zooms digitally, via cropping, which quickly loses detail).

This is a 32MP f/2.0 snapper with a lens for 2x optical zoom, and it joins the main 64MP f/1.7 and 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide cameras to round out the trio. It’s understandable to get excited about this lens tripartite – it’s the same combo that premium mobiles from Samsung and Apple use – but it sadly doesn’t save the Oppo from camera mundanity.

There’s nothing offensively bad with photos taken on the Reno 10, but they’re noticeably lacking. The colors look washed out, darker areas lack detail, and images could look surprisingly grainy – this is all with HDR turned on. You also have to hold the phone still for longer to capture a picture than you’d think, as my camera reel was full of blurry misfires.

Talking of misfires, there’s Night mode, which somehow makes night-time pictures look a lot worse. You’ll see two pictures taken at night below; the first is using the normal camera without tweaking settings. As you can see the water is sharp, the light reflecting in it is distinct and fades out, and the contrast between the darker and brighter areas brings your attention to the center. Then there’s the night mode image which turns it into an oil pastel painting. 

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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

The River Thames at night captured on the Oppo Reno 10's standard photo mode. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

The River Thames at night captured on the Oppo Reno 10's Night photo mode. (Image credit: Future)

To give Oppo props for anything, it’s that there’s parity between lenses: you can zoom in to 2x and all the same issues from the main camera are present. Still, it’s nice to have this option for versatile photography. That’s not so true for the ultrawide lens which, with its 8MP sensor, loses too much information to be worth using.

The front of the phone wields a 32MP f/2.4 wide camera, and photos on this bore better fruit than on its rear siblings, but only slightly. Snaps are sharp and, in Portrait mode the digital bokeh is accurate to the body. However, brighter backgrounds in selfies were often blown out, and again colors weren’t rich enough. You’ll see two selfies in the camera gallery below – the shirt I’m wearing is meant to be forest green.

The Oppo Reno 10 records video at 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps, and it also packs all the standard phone camera options: slow-mo (1080p/480fps or 720p/960fps), panoramic photography, time lapse and Pro mode. It also has an Extra HD mode so you can take pictures at 64MP instead of its default pixel-binned option.

  • Camera score: 2.5 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 camera samples

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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

A standard picture taken on the Oppo Reno 10, kicking off the camera samples with an acceptable one. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

Here's another 1x picture, taken to contrast the next two. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

An ultra-wide shot of the same scene. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

A 2x zoom shot of the same scene. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

A close-up image. The phone focuses quickly on close-up subjects. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

A selfie. Note the shirt color, as mentioned earlier, and also the subject's positioning. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

A Portrait selfie. Notice how some of the fringe has been blurred, though overall it's not catastrophic. (Image credit: Future)
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Oppo Reno 10 camera sample

No, the sun's not setting in the background - this snap was taken at midday, and it misses all the vibrancy of the actual scene. (Image credit: Future)

Oppo Reno 10 review: performance and audio

  • Handy Dimensity 7050 chipset plus 8GB RAM
  • Handles games and other tasks well
  • Bluetooth 5.3, adequate speakers but no headphone jack

The Oppo Reno 10 performs just about as well as you could hope a low-cost smartphone to – unless you spend more time playing mobile games than you do outdoors, you’ll find this phone absolutely fit for purpose.

The phone packs a mid-range Dimensity 7050 chipset, paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. You can boost the RAM by an extra 8GB by using a RAM boost feature that temporarily converts your storage into extra mobile power, which will give you some extra oomph until you fill up your phone’s data.

In the Geekbench 6 benchmark test, the phone returned a middling multi-core score of 2,360, but in actual use, it worked perfectly well. In popular games like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile, the device performed admirably, never overheating, lagging or stuttering. If you’re a mobile gamer, you won’t feel let down here.

Oppo has a games mode that lets you boost processing power, monitor your phone’s vital signs and block notifications, but even without enabling this, the device felt great to play games on.

As previously stated there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead for audio, you can use the handset’s Bluetooth 5.3 connection for phones or speakers, or rely on its in-built speakers. These latter are nothing to write home about but they’re fit for purpose for games, calls, voice notes or other tasks like that.

  • Performance score: 3.5 / 5

Oppo Reno 10 review: battery life

  • Big 5,000mAh battery
  • Up to two days of use
  • 67W charging is lovely and fast

Oppo Reno 10

(Image credit: Future)

Like the vast majority of budget phones, the Oppo Reno 10 packs a 5,000mAh battery, which is about as big as you’ll get on a mainstream phone.

This is more than enough power to last the device through the day under normal use, and even heavy game-playing sessions won’t jeopardise its lasting power (well, to an extent). If you’re frugal, you’ll be able to see the phone through two days of use before a charge is required, but most people won’t last that long.

Thankfully, powering up the phone is swift, thanks to one of the fastest charging speeds you’ll see in a budget phone. That’s 67W, and your phone will power from empty to full in just over half an hour with it. An additional promise Oppo is throwing your way is that the phone should keep its battery capacity high for longer, which is often an issue with fast-charging phones; according to the company, the capacity will still be above 80% of its maximum after 1,600 charges and discharges, or about four years of use.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Oppo Reno 10?

Buy it if...

You wish you weren't on a budget
We all have a certain limit we'd spend on a phone, but if you wish yours was a lot higher, the Reno will let you pretend that it is.

You like streaming games and movies
Between its good-looking screen, powerful chipset, plentiful storage and big battery, the Reno 10 is great for streaming TV, movies, games and music.

You like easy software
ColorOS has a smart layout, easily-understood buttons and handy navigation tricks... once you've got rid of all the bloatware.

Don't buy it if...

You're a mobile photography fan
We've gone into lots of detail as to the Oppo Reno 10's camera issues. While the telephoto lens may be a big draw, it's not worth it!

You're not adept with user interface tweaks
Due to its bloatware, we'd only recommend the Reno 10 to people who are comfortable enough with phone software to quickly delete a huge number of apps.

You have smaller hands
Due to its size, you might have trouble operating the Oppo Reno 10 if you have smaller hands, as it'll be a stretch to reach the volume rocker or upper half of the display.

Oppo Reno 10 review: also consider

Considering other mobiles beyond the Oppo Reno 10? Here are some others you could look into, that all cost the same as, or a tiny amount more than, the Reno.

Google Pixel 7a
Google's pint-sized Pixel 7a has the clean stock Android software and a focus on camera chops, so it's basically the opposite of the Reno 10. In the UK it's a bit pricier though.

Samsung Galaxy A54
Samsung has made a handy low-cost jack-of-all-trades device with the Galaxy A54. It falls a little short in the performance department but makes up for it with fun color options.

How I tested the Oppo Reno 10

  • Review test period = 2 week
  • Testing included = Everyday usage, including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used = Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats

The testing period for the Oppo Reno 10 was roughly two weeks, which doesn't time before the fortnight for setting up the device and getting it through a few battery cycles, and time spent using the phone while writing the review.

To test the phone, I used it as a normal owner would: I took it on walks to test the camera, watched TV shows using it, played games at home on it. I also put it through some limited benchmark and timing tests, though kept these to a minimum as they don't usually reflect actual use.

I've been writing about phones at TechRadar for over five years now, after joining in early 2019, and have used Oppo's Reno phones since the first-gen Reno 10x Zoom up until the present day, including the last Reno phone to release in the UK, the Reno 8. I've also used phones from every other mainstream company, which helps with comparisons and with understanding all the phones out there right now.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed January 2023

Moto G34 review
2:58 pm | April 25, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Moto G34 two-minute review

Motorola has decided to continue its long-held siege on our list of the best cheap phones with its new Moto G34 — this was designed to be one of the most affordable 5G phones out there, and it’s a pleasantly surprising success.

One of the first 2024 entries into Motorola’s low-cost line of Moto G handsets, you quickly come to know what to expect from these handsets. They won’t hurt your bank account but generally deliver unimpressive specs, a poor camera performance and lackluster displays. Given that the G34 is being marketed on its low price, you’d expect it to tick all these boxes, but it manages to punch above its weight in a few departments.

A question I asked myself when I begun testing the phone was: “given that budget mobiles have weak specs to keep the price low, is 5G even useful on a handset of this price?” The answer I came up with is “in some use cases yes”.

The camera is a good example, because it’s actually okay for a super-cheap phone like this. Admittedly ‘okay’ isn’t a glowing recommendation, but it’s one of the kindest words I’ve ever used to describe a Moto phone camera. And with 5G, you can easily post snaps on social media, save them to a cloud or download an editing app to tweak them.

The Moto G34's Your Space menu

(Image credit: Future)

One small camera feature does damage the experience though: every time you take a snap, the phone spends ages processing it before it’s added to the camera gallery. This means you can’t see the finished product for while, which can be annoying if you want to know whether you’ve got the shot or need to try again.

The chip is, again, ‘okay’, but that’s great for a budget phone – the G34 wasn’t as sluggish, slow or prone to stuttering as many other handsets you could buy for the same price. You’re not going to be demolishing opponents in Call of Duty: Mobile any time soon but it’ll hold its own. I could download games on my bus ride into work thanks to the connection speeds as long as they were low-intensity gentle ones.

Plus the phone boasts nice, clean Android 14 with all of its personalization features, a chunky battery and up to 1TB of expandable storage, which is all appreciated.

It’s not all amazing, though. The Moto G34 has a relatively low-res display, with its LCD tech leaving colors looking a little washed out. If you’re buying a 5G phone to stream Netflix from out and about, you’d do better to just buy a same-price 4G phone with a better screen, or splash out a little more.

Plus, it’s really slow to charge, which admittedly is impossible to tie into the handset’s 5G features so let’s just list it as a standalone ‘con’ for the phone. 

So you’re getting what you pay for with the Moto G34 and a little bit more – not a lot more, but enough that the price tag is easy to palate.

Moto G34: price and availability

  • Released in January 2024
  • On sale in the UK, possibly AU in future, unlikely in US
  • Costs £149.99 (roughly $190, AU$290)

The Moto G34 camera app

(Image credit: Future)

The Moto G34 was unveiled to the world in December 2023, but it went on sale in the UK a month later in the new year.

The handset costs £149.99 for its sole 4GB RAM and 128GB model, though you can choose between black, green and blue versions. In some regions there are variants of the mobile with more RAM or various amounts of storage, but that’s not the case in the UK. 

No US or Australian availability has been announced for the handset but the cost converts to around $190 or AU$290 – Moto typically sells different mobiles Stateside so the G34 likely won’t go on sale in America, but given precedent, it could reach the Australian shores.

That price puts the Moto G34 almost without equal in the realms of 5G phones, as most cost at least 25% more (well, until sales come). Instead, the handset is bumping elbows with some 4G competitors from Samsung, Xiaomi and even Motorola itself, with brands offering you slightly better features for the same price if you don’t need 5G.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Moto G34 review: specs

The Moto G34 has specs that match its budget: low-end. Here's the skinny:

Moto G34 review: design

  • Average-sized Android that's not too heavy
  • Camera bump doesn't stick out much
  • USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack

The Moto G34 flat in a hand.

(Image credit: Future)

Like many phones from Motorola, the Moto G34 has a pretty utilitarian design: it’s another chocolate-bar phone.

The G34 measure 162.7 x 74.6 x 8mm and weighs 179g so it’s pretty lightweight as far as Android phones go, and not too big either. 

On the bottom edge is a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack — remember those?! — and the right edge holds an easily-reachable power button and a slightly-less-reachable volume rocker. As this phone is roughly averaged-sized, it should be usable one-handed for all but the smallest hands.

Like many budget phones, the G34 has a flat edge, but unlike many other mobiles that use this feature (including some Moto offenders) it’s not too angular — this wasn’t an uncomfortable phone to hold. While that’s not exactly a compliment, it’s definitely not an insult either.

On the back of the phone is a slight protrusion that houses the two camera lenses. This doesn’t stick out too far, so you can put the handset face-up on a table without turning it into a seesaw.

As mentioned, there are three color options for the phone, and we used the blue one. The green option uses faux leather which presumably gives it a much more premium feel, though I didn’t test this one so I can’t say for sure.

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Moto G34 review: display

  • A 6.5-inch display, big but not huge
  • Fairly low-res 720 x 1600 resolution
  • LCD leads to colors looking washed-out

The Moto G34 laying face up on a wooden surface

(Image credit: Future)

You probably shouldn’t be picking the Moto G34 as your chosen phone if it’s to stream high-quality movies over the web, because the Moto might struggle to show you that ‘quality’ part.

The phone has a 6.5-inch display, so it’s fairly big and will show you lots of WhatsApp messages, big Instagram posts or lots of your video game. However it only has a HD resolution of 720 x 1600, so videos don’t look as crisp as they do on most other mobiles.

Moto has also opted to put an LCD screen on the phone, despite other low-cost mobiles using OLED which has better contrast, colors and brightness. At least the 120Hz refresh rate makes motion look nice and smooth.

  • Display score: 2 / 5

Moto G34 review: software

  • Stock Android 14, but only one software update
  • Lots of customization options
  • Moto's Quick Actions make navigation easy

The Moto G34 app drawer

(Image credit: Future)

Not only is the Moto G34 one of the cheapest 5G phones, but it’s one of the most affordable ways you can get yourself a handset with stock Google-designed Android.

The Moto comes on Android 14, the newest version of the popular operating system. Moto has only promised one update though, with three years of security updates, which software aficionados might find lacking.

Stock Android is a nice clean operating system, mostly free from bloatware and with an easy-to-access swipe-up app drawer so that your home screen remains nice and clear until you customize it.

Android 14 in particular is great for customization options to help you design your interface, though some usual Moto additions are missing. You can change the font, color scheme, app icon shape and more though, so there’s still a lot you can do.

Moto does bring its stalwart quick actions, which let you bring up certain apps just with gestures: you can do a double karate chop to turn on the torch or a twist to open the camera app, for example. Once you get the knack of these, they become really convenient navigation options.

An addition which is relatively new to Moto phones is the Moto Unplugged app which lets you temporarily pare back your handset when you want to go distraction-free for a while. It was pretty handy for when I wanted to focus on writing this review — until I realized that I needed to use the phone for the review, that is!

  • Software score: 3.5 / 5

Moto G34 review: cameras

  • 50MP main and 2MP macro cameras
  • 16MP selfie camera for self portraits
  • Slow photo processing provides photography pain

The Moto G34's camera bump

(Image credit: Future)

As you can see from the images, the Moto G34 boasts two rear cameras, though only one is worth talking about. They’re a 50MP f/1.8 main and a 2MP f/2.4 macro snapper. They’re joined by a 16MP f/2.4 selfie camera on the front.

If your expectations for the camera prowess of a budget phone like this are very low, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the G34. That’s not to say it’s good, but it’s fine, and at this price that’s all you can ask for.

In decent lighting conditions, snaps have sufficient detail, though they can look a little washed-out in terms of color. In low-lighting conditions – I don’t mean night-time, and the cookie picture below shows that even household lighting doesn’t cut it – snaps lose a lot of detail and often seem a bit muddy. Plus, the phone didn’t handle contrast well, with darker areas during daylight shooting losing loads of detail.

That may sound overwhelmingly negative, but pictures taken on the Moto G34 did retain more quality, light and color that snaps taken on other similarly priced phones I’ve tested in the past, so I wasn’t disappointed by its performance.

Using digital zoom, you can close the distance up to 8x, but images get very grainy past 2x so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Selfies are a small cut above, and I found that the front camera would cope better if my face wasn’t beautifully lit up. Portrait mode was surprisingly good at working out what it shouldn’t and shouldn’t blur too, and even messy bed hair couldn’t fool it.

Macro mode is… well, pretty dreadful, actually – I found it impossible to take a close-up shot with sufficient lighting and detail to exceed the capabilities of the main camera. Most of the time, my macro shots were blurry out-of-focus messes. Avoid!

The usual crowd of extra modes are here: photographers can use portrait mode, Pro mode, spot color (which turns a photo monochrome except for one color), dual capture, night mode and ‘Photo Booth’ which takes four pictures a few seconds apart, like you’re in an old-school photo booth. Videographers can enjoy some of the same including dual capture and spot color as well as a slow-motion mode. 

One annoying aspect of the G34 is that, when you take a photo, the device will spend a while processing it. This sometimes took over a minute and I couldn’t find a way to turn the processing off — this all just meant you can’t see the proper image for a while after taking it. Ironically, the processing barely made a difference to image quality, so this isn’t as big of an issue as it otherwise would be.

Moto G34 camera samples

Image 1 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

A creme egg cookie batch photographed on the Moto G34's main camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

An overcast park scene shot on the Moto G34's main camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

A latte in a well-lit coffee shop on the Moto G34's main camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

A catbug model photographed in a lightroom on the Moto G34. (Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

A selfie captured in fairly well-lit conditions on the Moto G34's front camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 6

Moto G34 camera samples

A Portrait Mode selfie captured in fairly well-lit conditions on the Moto G34's front camera. (Image credit: Future)
  • Camera score: 2.5 / 5

Moto G34: performance and audio

  • Snapdragon 695 is fit for purpose
  • 128GB storage can be expanded up to 1TB, plus 4GB RAM
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio

The Moto G34 has a surprising chipset for its price: the Snapdragon 695 it uses often shows up in pricier (though still low-end) mobiles, and Motorola could have got away with sticking a weaker processor in its mobile.

This is paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, though both are expandable. You can increase your storage by 1TB thanks to the microSD card slot, and use RAM expansion to temporarily turn unused storage space into extra power.

The Moto G34's personalize menu

(Image credit: Future)

Using the Geekbench 6 benchmark test, the Moto returned a multi-core score of 2,035. That’s roughly around the score of 5-year-old flagships like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 (2,092) and Huawei Mate 20 (2,134). For recent handsets, some budget mobiles from the last few years have similar scores including OnePlus’ Nord N20 (1,962) and Nord CE 2 Lite (1,952), both of which also have the Snapdragon 695 chipset.

When it comes to gaming, I was pleasantly surprised by how the Moto could hold its own through intensive games of Call of Duty: Mobile and other titles. There were startlingly few stutters or lags during online play; if it weren’t for the display and speaker quality, I could just have well been playing on a mid-ranged gaming phone.

Audio fans will love to see the Moto G34 boasting a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can use wired headphones, microphones and more using the port. It also has Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless headphones if you prefer.

The G34 also has stereo speakers for audio; they’re nothing to write home about and don’t compare with those on pricier mobiles, but are fine for if you misplaced your headphones. 

  • Performance score: 3 / 5

Moto G34 review: battery life

  • Big 5,000mAh battery
  • Phone easily lasts a day of use, and almost two
  • Slow to charge at 18W

The Moto G34's USB-C port and headphone jack.

(Image credit: Future)

It wouldn’t be a Moto phone if it didn’t have a battery the size of a small baby, would it? The G34 boasts a 5,000mAh battery, just like the vast majority of other mobiles from the company, which is a big power pack for a phone.

A battery like this would keep even a juice-hungry mobile powered for a long time, but between its HD screen and mid-tier chipset, the Moto G34 really makes the most of this battery. It easily lasts a day on a full charge and, in our testing, often came close to hitting two days of stopping power on a single charge.

It’s good that you don’t have to power up the phone frequently, though, because it’s not fast to charge. At 18W powering, it takes a glacial hour or more to power from empty to full, which will certainly have you sitting by the charger and twiddling your fingers.

As with almost any phone at this price, there’s no wireless charging or reverse wireless powering in sight. 

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Moto G34?

Buy it if...

You want low-cost 5G
If you just need to connect to 5G networks by any means, then the Moto G34 is one of your cheapest options for doing so.

You need lots of storage space
It's not everyday that we see a budget phone that can reach up to 1TB expandable storage, so if you want a portable hard drive that can make calls, it's a good option.

You're a super-low-budget gamer
If you really can't afford a mid-ranged gaming phone, the Moto G34 is actually decent for playing mobile games, at least compared to its same-priced rivals.

Don't buy it if...

You stream movies and TV shows
With its 720p LCD display, the Moto G34 isn't exactly an entertainment fan's powerhouse. If you want to stream on the go, pick a device with a 1080p screen.

You need quick charging
Moto phones' big batteries makes charging less important, but if you're a fan of snappy powering, you really won't enjoy the G34.

You want several years of updates
With only one guaranteed software update, the G34 won't get new Android features for years to come. At least you're getting three years' security updates.

Moto G34 review: Also consider

If you want to make sure you're getting bang for your buck, here are three other smartphones you might want to consider instead of the Moto G34:

Moto G54
Only a small sum more upgrades your G34 to a G53 with a higher-res display, better speakers and more in-built storage. It's the same in most other ways, except is somehow even slower to charge, and comes on Android 13 instead of 14.

Samsung Galaxy A15
Samsung's ultra-low-price 5G Galaxy phone has a fantastic display, as well as decent cameras and pretty fast charging for the price. Just make sure you buy the 5G variant and not the 4G one.

How I tested the Moto G34

The Moto G34's rear, as it's held in a hand.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Review test period = 3 week
  • Testing included = Everyday usage, including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used = Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats

As you can tell, I tested the blue version of the Moto G34, in its sole 4GB and 128GB variant. I did not use the expandable storage in testing.

To write this review, I used the Moto G34 for roughly three weeks, not including the time I left the phone running prior to testing to normalize its battery. This testing involved lots of photography, a fair amount of gaming and a little bit of streaming movies and music too. 

Please note that the product photography was undertaken prior to the testing period, hence why it looks like the phone has barely been used; it hadn't! 

I've been reviewing smartphones for TechRadar for over five years now, starting with another budget Moto phone back in 2019. I've used countless handsets from the company and all its major competitors, as well as some of the other gadgets Moto has tried out (anyone remember the Moto 360?).

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Xiaomi 14 review: Bigger on the inside
7:15 pm | April 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones Xiaomi Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi 14: Two-minute review

The Xiaomi 14 is unquestionably in the running to be one of this year's top compact flagships, even if it is a little larger than the iPhone 15 and Samsung Galaxy S24. The phone boasts Qualcomm's best and brightest Snapdrgon 8 Gen 3 chip, a camera system that's been developed in collaboration with Leica, and a sizable battery with impressively fast 90W charging.

Xiaomi was actually first to market with an 8 Gen 3-powered phone, with the Xiaomi 14 series first debuting in China back in October 2023. As of February 2024, the company confirmed that both the Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Ultra would be going global (the Xiaomi 14 Pro isn't getting an international release, but that's not as much of a loss as you might think), with the phones touching down in late February and mid-March, respectively.

There's more than a passing resemblance between this phone and the Xiaomi 13 – both phones have a prominent square main camera bump, and they have near-identical dimensions, with the new phone's fractional weight increase a result of the larger rear camera system and bigger battery. Xiaomi's fit and finish is up there, but the mirror-polish straight-sided design is decidedly more iPhone 14, than iPhone 15, which won't be to everyone's taste.

The 6.36-inch display has received a gamut of nice upgrades – there's a resolution bump between generations, while the move to an LTPO panel facilitates a true 1Hz to 120Hz variable refresh rate for greater power efficiency. It's a significantly brighter panel too, also trumping the figures promised by Apple and Samsung's latest.

This marks the fifth generation of flagship phones (if you include the company's mid-year 'S' refreshes) on which Xiaomi has collaborated with optical specialists Leica. For the most part, the user experience offered up by the camera remains much the same as last year's – including the ability to shoot in Leica Vivid or Classic color profiles, but the underlying hardware has been upgraded significantly, with a larger 50MP main sensor sporting a wider aperture, and backed up by two additional 50MP sensors (an ultra-wide and a 3.2x telephoto), which collectively deliver better light, detail, dynamic range, and color reproduction than previously.

Xiaomi 14 review back angled upside down

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Even without flicking the 'high performance mode' toggle on, the Xiaomi 14 benchmarks among the top tier of the current Android pile, which translates to excellent real-world performance, whether multi-tasking or gaming. For all the raw grunt and software optimization the 14 clearly serves up though, the refreshed HyperOS user experience still falls foul of the same convolutions found in the previous MIUI; quirks that newcomers to the brand, and even some veteran Xiaomi users, would likely scratch their heads at when trying to perform certain actions or find particular features.

With this being 2024, there are also a raft of AI features that debut on the Xiaomi 14 series – from AI-generated portraits to semantic search in the gallery app – however, at the time of writing these features remain in beta, with access to them requiring approval from the Xiaomi Community admins, meaning most users won't be able to enjoy these new features and enhancements out of the box until later in the year.

Battery life is a highlight: for all that the Xiaomi 14 delivers, the increased capacity year-on-year also means the phone offer impressive longevity, surpassing the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S24 in terms of screen-on time, and leaving mainstream rivals in the dust when it comes to a full recharge, which takes a matter of minutes, rather than hours.

It's true that Xiaomi's new flagship starts at a higher asking price than both Apple's and Samsung's comparable models, the iPhone 15 and the Galaxy S24, but it also comes with twice the storage, meaning in like-for-like comparisons (using UK pricing for the 256GB model in each case), it's actually the best-value compact flagship of the bunch. One caveat is that despite having been given an 'international' launch, the Xiaomi 14 – like all of the company's phones – remains unavailable in the US and Australia, with third-party retailers or import being the only real way to get ahold of Xiaomi handsets in those countries.

Xiaomi 14 review: Price and availability

  • Priced from £849 / €999
  • Released October 2023 – China only, February 25, 2024 – internationally
  • Limited to no availability in US and Australia

Every time Qualcomm announces a new flagship mobile chipset, I'm always curious to see which phone maker will be first to market with a phone toting said cutting-edge silicon. In the case of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, it was Xiaomi, with the Xiaomi 14 and 14 Pro first debuting in China back in October 2023. However – as with previous generations of Xiaomi flagship – international audiences would have to wait.

It wasn't until a dedicated event in Barcelona in February 2024, ahead of MWC 2024 that we'd have a clear picture of the 14 series' international rollout. This event also served as a release announcement, with the phone being made available on February 25 across various markets, including the UK and Europe.

The Xiaomi 14 Pro didn't make it beyond China, but the gap between the 14 and 14 Pro in terms of specs and features is far smaller than it was with the previous 13 series, making the Pro's absence from the international stage far less of an issue this generation, especially with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra also available.

Despite throwing around words like 'international' and 'global' at the phone's February announcement though, Xiaomi's presence in the US and Australia only extends to smart home and lifestyle products, with its smartphones remaining distinctly absent. This means that, outside of importing or purchasing from fringe third-party retailers, you won't readily be able to pick up the Xiaomi 14 locally, and that's before taking into account whether it supports the carrier bands for local networks.

As for pricing, while a starting price in the UK of £849 places it well above the baseline price of key rivals like the iPhone 15 ($799 / £799 / AU$1,499) and Samsung Galaxy S24 ($799 / £799 / AU$1,399), those phones both come with just half the amount of storage (128GB).

In like-for-like comparisons against the £849 (equivalent to $1,070 / AU$1,640) 256GB base Xiaomi 14, both Apple's and Samsung's 256GB rivals actually cost more, at £899 and £859 respectively.

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Specs

Xiaomi 14 review: Design

Xiaomi 14 review buttons

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Color choice affects finish
  • Squared, polished aluminum alloy frame
  • IP68-certified against dust and water

Fans of the Xiaomi 13 will appreciate what the company has done with the design of its successor – or rather what it hasn't done. The overall look of the two phones is much the same, although the 14 sports a hardier build, with tougher Gorilla Glass Victus and IP68-certified dust and water resistance, but elsewhere the dimensions to weight have remained consistent (a larger main camera system and battery have added a couple of grams).

Versus those aforementioned mainstream rivals, Xiaomi's latest is a little thicker and heavier by comparison, but is still small and comfortable enough to be considered a 'compact' flagship, and while the iPhone 15 series has embraced more rounded sides this generation, the Xiaomi 14 retains the iPhone 14 Pro line's straight-sided, mirror-polished aluminum surround, for better or worse, depending on your taste (I like the look but hate the fingerprints).

Image 1 of 3

Xiaomi 14 review Cloud de Paris design closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Clous de Paris guilloché detailing around the Xiaomi 14's camera

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Xiaomi 14 review Jade Green closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

A close-up on the Xiaomi 14's Jade Green glass back

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Xiaomi 14 review back straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Jade Green variant featured in this review is the most head-turning colorway on the international stage, with the white model featuring a tasteful silver frame and the black option serving up textured – instead of polished – color-matched rear glass, which better repels fingerprints at the expense of a little grip. The only color that appeared in China but is missing from the global gamut of colorways is 'Snow Mountain Pink.'

Despite its similarities to the last model, Xiaomi has added interest around that new larger rear camera, with what it's dubbed a Clous de Paris (that's a hobnail pattern to you and me) to add a little interest. While it's not the only phone maker that has turned to classic analogue watch styling for design inspiration, this particular adornment is one I wouldn't every expect to find on a phone, and it serves as an aesthetic through-line with the recently-release Xiaomi Watch S3, too.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Display

Xiaomi 14 review front straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.36-inch Xiaomi 'CrystalRes' C8 LTPO AMOLED
  • 1Hz to 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • High-brightness mode: 1,400 nits (3,000 nits peak)

The flat 6.36-inch 'CrystalRes' C8 AMOLED fronting the Xiaomi 14 is a new panel of company's own design (manufactured by TCL), offering across-the-board upgrades over the same-sized screen on the Xiaomi 13, while also keeping it competitive against 2024 competitors.

First and foremost, it's sharper than the display on its predecessor, pushing past Full HD+ to a 1200 x 2670 resolution at the same size, upping pixel density from 414ppi to 460ppi, and making it as pin-sharp as the iPhone 15's Super Retina XDR OLED panel. It's also brighter – a lot brighter – with a peak of 3,000 nits (the Xiaomi 13 peaked at 1,900 nits) supports the Dolby Vision and HDR10+ standards. There's also a quoted full-panel high-brightness mode of 1,400 nits (up from the 13's 1,200 nits), which in real-world use ensures the screen is still comfortably visible against a bright sky. I just wish every phone adopted the reduced reflectivity of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra's display.

Regardless, the hits don't stop, with the move to an LTPO panel greatly improving power efficiency, as the refresh rate can now scale far more dynamically, depending on what you're doing on your phone. For context, the Xiaomi 13 could only switch between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, so its successor's ability to rove anywhere between 1Hz and 120Hz is a welcome upgrade.

Xiaomi 14 review home screen closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The screen serves up pleasing visuals across photos, video streaming, and gaming, and Xiaomi includes a wealth of controls for tinkering with the display experience. By default the phone is set to 'Original Color Pro', but there are additional color profile presets like 'Vivid' and 'Saturated' alongside the ability to force the display to operate in the DCI-P3 gamut or sRGB, and that's before you touch the independent sliders covering things like RGB values, hue, saturation, contrast, and gamma.

There are arguably too many display control on offer as, alongside the above, you can also tweak color temperature, toggle adaptive color temperature adjustment, which adjusts the color temperature relative to ambient lighting, toggle DC dimming for more comfortable low-light viewing, choose between multiple reading modes, add texture and color temperature controls to a grayscale viewing experience, and even have AI step in to upscale videos, enhance photos in your gallery, add HDR viewing to SDR content, and add frames to certain video content for smooth playback.

  • Display score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Software

Xiaomi 14 review Quick Settings

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • First phone to debut HyperOS out of the box
  • Runs on top of Android 14
  • 4 years of OS + 5 years of security updates

MIUI is out and HyperOS is in, with the Xiaomi 14 series being the first of the company's phones to debut this revitalized user experience out of the box. If you watched the phone's launch, you'd be forgiven for assuming that HyperOS is something totally new, but in real-world use you'll be hard-pressed to spot any major differences with MIUI at a glance.

Xiaomi says that HyperOS follows a new 'Alive' design philosophy, boasting real-time rendering on certain graphical elements, alongside a color palette "based on natural hues" and while it's unquestionably more consistently fluid and responsive, the general look and feel still feels decidedly MIUI.

Nevertheless, that performance uptick across load times and animations might have something to do with the fact that despite its similarities to MIUI, Xiaomi has rebuilt HyperOS almost entirely. Not only does it take up almost a third less space on-device than its predecessor, it has new underpinnings to enable greater cross-platform interconnectivity with the company's wider product ecosystem, from its wearables and tablets, to its newfound push into automotive – even its debut car, the Xiaomi SU7, comes running its own build of HyperOS.

Back to the Xiaomi 14 though, and as before the user experience is feature-packed and serves up a decidedly different form than a lot of other smartphones out there. By default, there's no apps drawer, notifications and quick settings live behind swipe-down gestures from the top left and right corners of the screen, respectively (very iOS), swiping down on your home screen summons a device-wide search, while swiping up reveals Content Center, featuring links to news and YouTube video. There's a lot going on.

Xiaomi 14 review Security app

The Security app on the Xiaomi 14 does a lot more than just keep your device secure. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Provided that you're willing to put in some time to learn, HyperOS serves up a lot of flexibility and practically endless personalization too, although it's easy to get lost in disparate controls and settings screens. There's also a degree of bloat out of the box, with various third-party apps – like Booking.com – which can be uninstalled but ideally wouldn't be there to begin with. As for first-party apps, plenty of those could be considered bloat too, with multiple ways to perform seemingly the same action. The App Vault, Cleaner, Game Center and Security apps, for example, all help boost memory performance. Why do users need four different ways to access this feature, Xiaomi?

There are, of course, welcome additions too, like Game Turbo, which handles notification suppression, as well as relevant device controls (over things like brightness), when gaming and even includes a voice changer. Meanwhile HyperOS' Gallery app offers Google Photos integration native, which is a rare and handy bonus.

Xiaomi 14 review Sidebar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Of course, this wouldn't be a 2024 flagship phone without some AI functionality thrown in, and Xiaomi has promised everything from generative fill when expanding the canvas of images to AI portraits, AI-generative subtitles, semantic search in the Gallery app, and more. Notice I said Xiaomi has 'promised' this suite of AI features, as at launch they remain in beta, meaning you have to sign up to be given access to unfinished iteration of what is one of the Xiaomi 14's headline upgrades.

There's good news, though – I did sign up for the beta once I'd mostly done testing the phone, and the AI features I tried worked as advertised and seemed stable (although wait times on processing for the AI Portrait feature surpassed an hour). So far Xiaomi has, unlike Samsung, made no mention of charging for the use of any AI functionality, although that's a policy that likely won't last forever.

To round things out, HyperOS on the Xiaomi 14 runs atop Android 14, with the company promising four years of update support and five years of security update support. That's behind market leaders like Apple, Google and Samsung, but should prove more than ample for the average smartphone user in 2024, ensuring that the Xiaomi 14 will continue to gain new features and remain secure for the duration of your time with it.

  • Software score: 3.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Cameras

Xiaomi 14 review camera closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 50MP f/1.6 Xiaomi Light Fusion 900 main sensor with OIS
  • 50MP f/2.2 ISOCELL JN1 ultra-wide with 112-degree FoV
  • 50MP (32MP effective) f/2.0 ISOCELL JN1 3.2x telephoto with OIS
  • 32MP f/2.0 front camera with 89.6-degree FoV

While the camera system on the Xiaomi 14 isn't without its flaws, it looks to have the edge over compact rivals like the latest iPhone and Galaxy, with an across-the-board sensor upgrade compared to the Xiaomi 13, and ongoing input from optical specialists Leica.

You'll find an impressive-looking trio of 50MP sensors on the back, fronted by the new custom Xiaomi 'Light Fusion 900' (a tuned OmniVision OVX9000 sensor, with input from both Xiaomi and Leica), along with ISOCELL JN1 sensors for the ultra-wide and telephoto, collectively offering a focal range from 14mm to 75mm (although the telephoto's effective resolution is actually cited at 32MP and appears to kick in at 2.5x, which would suggest a shorter max optical range than Xiaomi claims).

AI Portrait... one of the most ambitious and unsettling AI features I've encountered on a phone to date

Leica's involvement, meanwhile, extends to branded 'Summilux' lenses, the 'Leica Vibrant' and 'Leica Authentic' color profiles the phone can shoot in, and the 'master lens system' of digital focal presets built into portrait mode.

Beyond that, the camera UI seems simple enough at first blush, but like the rest of HyperOS is absolutely jam-packed with features. The breadth of features on offer will be welcomed by those happy to spend the time required to learn of the nuances of the user experience, but will likely prove overwhelming for those who just want to tweak basic settings.

Stills shooting is primarily managed via Photo mode, or Pro mode if you want more control, while for video recording, Video and Movie mode are both on hand. More experimental modes include Short Film, which serves as a template complete with filters in which to capture footage; Director Mode, which lets you connect multiple cameras and even monitors wirelessly to orchestrate a multi-cam recording; plus Long Exposure, Supermoon, and more.

Xiaomi 14 camera samples

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 0.6x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 1x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1x zoom (main sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 2x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

2x zoom (main sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 3.2x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

3.2x zoom (telephoto sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 60x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

60x zoom (i.e. maximum lossy zoom range)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 0.6x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 1x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1x zoom (main sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 2x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

2x zoom (main sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 3.2x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

3.2x zoom (telephoto sensor)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample 60x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

60x zoom (i.e. maximum lossy zoom range)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample iPhone 15 Galaxy S24 comparison zoom range city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Zoom range comparison: Apple iPhone 15 (top), Xiaomi 14 (center), Samsung Galaxy S24 (bottom)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample selfie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Front camera

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample iPhone 15 Galaxy S24 selfie comparison Sub10Xiaomi 14 camera sample iPhone 15 Galaxy S24 selfie comparison

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Front camera comparison: Apple iPhone 15 (left), Xiaomi 14 (center), Samsung Galaxy S24 (right)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie AI Expansion

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

AI Expanded by 150%

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Cheddar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 14 camera sample dessert 1 artificial lighting

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Artificial lighting

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample dessert 2 artificial lighting

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Artificial lighting

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light blue neon

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light orange neon

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light group selfie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Front camera

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Low light

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Night Mode street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Night mode

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Pixel 8 Pro low light comparison

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Low light comparison: Xiaomi 14 (left), Google Pixel 8 Pro (right)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Pixel 8 Pro Night Mode comparison

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Night Mode comparison: Xiaomi 14 (left), Google Pixel 8 Pro (right)

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light building

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

In side-by-side tests with the usual suspects (the iPhone 15 and the Samsung Galaxy S24), Xiaomi's distinct photographic look shone through. Leica Vivid (which all the Xiaomi 14 camera samples featured in this review were captured in) served up consistently brighter and and more vibrant results than rivals, with good detail captured across its entire (optical) focal range.

There's a pleasing consistency in terms of color, contrast and detail between shots captured with the ultra-wide and that new primary sensor, while telephoto shots adopt a bolder look, with stronger contrast that still equates to pleasing images, although with an unpredictability that the 14's competitors don't suffer from.

In more challenging scenarios, while the 14's macro capture offers good center-frame detail, chromatic aberrations, or color fringing, around the edge of subjects isn't always welcome, while low-light environments did result in exposure hunting from time to time. On the flip side, taking Night Mode shots results in great final images, with this phone only really falling short of category leaders like the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

The phone's stabilization is shown off to great effect in video footage (beyond the impressive capture controls mentioned earlier), while selfies also shine against similar photos from competitors, provided that you're comfortable with Xiaomi's heavier-handed beauty settings as standard – skin tones are accurately represented, but smoothing and blemish-removal algorithms are also clearly enabled by default. Interestingly, you'd assume that the 32MP front-facing sensor would pixel-bin down to 8MP final images, but the Xiaomi 14 unapologetically captures front-facing shots at the sensor's native resolution, and does so with aplomb.

AI camera features

Xiaomi 14 AI Expansion screenshots

Using AI Expansion on the Xiaomi 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There are also all of the aforementioned (beta) AI imaging abilities that debut on the Xiaomi 14 (practically all of which are accessed from the native Gallery app after capture). AI Expansion lets you punch out of a shot by up to 200% and have the phone's on-device AI processing try to generate new background content that's consistent with the original image. Each generative fill takes around 15 seconds to complete (with tests at 150%) and the results are hit-and-miss – but the fact that they hit as often as they do is what's surprising.

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Original image...

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Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie AI Expansion

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

...enlarged by 150% using AI Expand on the Xiaomi 14

Then there's AI Portrait, which is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious – and unsettling – AI features I've encountered on a phone. Once you snap around 30 selfies (or at least shots of the same subject with their face visible) and submit them to the AI Portrait creation wizard, it'll use off-device processing to construct an AI-generated simulacrum that – with the help of a written prompt – can be placed into all manner of scenes.

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Xiaomi 14 AI Portrait generation screenshots setup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The processing time to create my (beta) AI Portrait avatar took over an hour...

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Xiaomi 14 AI Portrait generation screenshots results

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

...but, once done, individual results with the completed avatar took only minutes to generate.

The developmental nature of the AI features coming (as at the time of review, they're still in beta, remember) to the Xiaomi 14 was made clear when the creation time for my AI avatar was cited at over an hour, but once I had it, prompts took around a minute to generate results, once again with varying degrees of success. The feature automatically served up prompts like 'beach resort' and 'northern islands' of its own accord but did a respectable job coming up with convincing images based on my prompt of 'in a kayak' too, as you can see above.

As for how useful this feature is, it's easy to imagine novel scenarios in which your AI Portrait could feature – hilariously implausible holiday snaps on Instagram, for example – but as with any AI-generated imagery, there remain unanswered and ungoverned ethical quandaries surrounding a technology that is evidently already in peoples' hands and will continue to improve in time.

With regards to Xiaomi's specific AI policies, the phone details which devices use solely on-device processing and which rely on the cloud, while the company's AI white paper goes into greater detail around training data-sets and the like. That said, unlike Samsung's Galaxy AI image tools, there's no obvious watermarking to help people discern which images have and haven't been created or altered by Xiaomi's AI, which is something the company should address in a future update, and on future products with AI-enhanced features.

  • Camera score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Performance

Xiaomi 14 review gaming Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact on the Xiaomi 14 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC
  • 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM on all models
  • Impressive thermal performance for a compact phone

Although the Xiaomi 14 has the distinction of being first to market with Qualcomm's latest and greatest flagship mobile silicon in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, its staggered release meant that by the time it made it to international audiences, rivals with that same cutting-edge chipset were already on store shelves. Even so, this remains one of the most capable phones currently on the market.

HyperOS – like MIUI before it – is pretty hands-on with performance management, with overarching power profiles that limit just how much apps and services can ask of the CPU/GPU/NPU; but even without switching 'performance mode' on, in artificial benchmarks the Xiaomi 14 holds its own against many of the other best Android phones right now – including the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra – while other flagships like the Pixel 8 Pro score far weaker across compute and graphical tests.

Real-world use shows that, between the processor and the optimizations HyperOS brings over MIUI, the Xiaomi 14 has more than enough clout to handle demanding everyday use, with the AI features being among the few instances where you'll still find yourself staring at a loading bar for a moment or two.

Xiaomi 14 review Game Turbo

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Gaming is a dream on the Xiaomi 14 too, as not only does the phone offer a great visual experience by being on the larger side (within the compact flagship space), but the engineering team has done solid work with the thermal management in spite of the phone's relatively small proportions. Even with Genshin Impact's graphical settings at 'overclocked' (namely by forcing 60fps gameplay) the Xiaomi 14 never got more than a little warm, even after 30 minutes of continuous playtime.

There are also the added benefits of Game Turbo, which can prioritize networking latency, touch response input and, of course, boost performance at the expense of power consumption.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Battery

Xiaomi 14 review USB-C

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Larger 4,610mAh battery than predecessor
  • Up to 90W wired and 50W wireless charging
  • 8.5 hours of screen-on time per charge (using Balanced power profile)

Charging speeds and battery capacity have both received a generous generational upgrade, with the standard Xiaomi 14 now matching the Xiaomi 14 Ultra's impressive 90W fast wired charging and up to 50W wireless charging. This means a pleasingly-rapid full recharge is possible in just 40 minutes, while my tests found the phone consistently passed the 50%-charge mark after just 15 minutes. That's in stark contrast to the likes of the iPhone 15, whose 20W wired charging means a full recharge takes over two hours (based on our tests).

The phone doesn't give you its quickest speeds right out the box (although it's still quick to charge); as well as the (included) 90W 'HyperCharge' power adapter, you also have to enable the 'boost charging speed' toggle in the phone's settings menu. This ensures that maximum 90W speeds are made available, with the phone charging on a logarithmic curve – i.e., the lower your Xiaomi's 14's battery percentage is to start with, the faster it'll charge, slowing as it approaches 100%. This ensures that fast charging is most effective when you realize your battery is low and you only have limited time to charge it, while still protecting battery health over the lifetime of the phone.

As for longevity, the Xiaomi 14 puts in a superb effort – especially for a compact smartphone, doling out 8.5 hours of screen-on time in testing. That equates to up to two day's use; particularly if you're willing to toy with the aforementioned power profiles: Performance, Balanced, Battery Saver and Ultra Battery Saver – which limits apps access and background processes to maximize battery life. This is among the best longevity for its size right now, only falling short of the ever-enduring iPhone 15 (which in our tests mustered over 11 hours of screen-on time), however, the Xiaomi is probably the best compact flagship, when you collectively consider battery life and charging performance.

  • Battery score: 5 / 5

Should you buy the Xiaomi 14?

Buy it if...

You want a compact powerhouse
The Xiaomi 14 outpaces the big-name compact phones currently on the market in terms of both value and hardware prowess, so long as you're okay with the slightly shorter update support roadmap, compared to Apple and Samsung's rivals.

You like trying new things
The Xiaomi 14's hardware and software offer near-endless degrees of customization and functionality. HyperOS takes a very different approach to most Android-based smartphone user experiences, but if you put in the time it demands it's an incredibly rich offering.

Battery life and fast charging are high priorities
The Xiaomi 14 probably strikes the best balance of battery longevity and fast charging on the market right now, especially for a phone of its size.

Don't buy it if...

You want the stylish smartphone
Sure, aesthetics are subjective, and while the Xiaomi 14 isn't bad looking, it's squared design feels dated and unexciting. That's not to say it isn't well built and durable, however.

You like a clean easy-to-use OS experience
HyperOS might be far better optimized than MIUI ever was, but many of its predecessor's worst traits persist. The Xiaomi 14 has features upon features, and layers upon layers of menus, and while the breadth of functionality makes it a powerful and versatile phone, not everyone will want to spend time learning its seemingly convoluted way of doing things.

You want AI functionality, right now!
At launch Xiaomi promised a wealth of AI features destined for the Xiaomi 14 series, and while you can get your hands on some of them with a little tinkering, they're still in beta at the time of writing, and not easily accessible if you don't know how to unlock them.

Xiaomi 14 review: Also consider

The Xiaomi 14 has some clear strengths, but also some clearly-defined shortcomings. If you've got this far and think something else might be more your thing, why not consider one of these alternatives.

Apple iPhone 15
The iPhone 15 doesn't exactly need an introduction, but if you like elements of Xiaomi's HyperOS or just want a slimmer, smaller but equally-capable compact flagship, this might be your next phone.

Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung and Google are arguably the biggest phone makers shouting about AI features right now, and the standard S24 condenses the company's suite of Galaxy AI functions into its most compact flagship form. A slim design, decent cameras and a killer display don't go amiss either.

How I tested the Xiaomi 14

Xiaomi 14 review back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Review test period: six weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats, Xiaomi 90W charger

Xiaomi was able to provide me with a sample of the Xiaomi 14 just ahead of its international launch, giving me plenty of time to get to grips with the hardware, software, generational upgrades and so on. With the abundance of time available, I've throughly tested the phone while using it as my daily driver over a course of weeks, taking it to social events for camera testing, using it for navigation in my car, gaming around the house and other general smartphone use, from smart home control to social media and web browsing.

It took longer to gain access to some features – namely its promised AI functionality – which I was only able to do once I signed in with my Xiaomi account to the brand's forums and registered for beta access, which then had to be approved, but after that I felt like I was fully able to experience what the Xiaomi 14 promised.

Benchmarking apps is never the be-all-and-end-all, but the results do at least provide an empirical indication of performance that some find useful as a comparison tool. As the user has control over the power state the phone operates in, these benchmarks were carried out in both Balanced and Performance modes, although numerous scores out-paced rivals with the need for Performance mode.

Having reviewed smartphones for well over a decade, including numerous Xiaomi phones, as well as devices from the company's key competition, I felt more than comfortable reviewing this latest Xiaomi flagship, in order to balance its strengths and weaknesses against the market in which it competes.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Xiaomi 14 deals

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: a unique taste of flagship values
7:08 pm | April 17, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones Xiaomi Phones | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi 13T Pro: Two-minute review

Given that Xiaomi's T-series phones are normally considered 'mid-range' devices, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Xiaomi 13T Pro's capabilities would be limited, its hardware poor, and its experience lacking, however, this is frankly no longer the case. The 13T Pro will, for many, provide the flagship experience you'd expect from devices sometimes twice the price, but will not only set you back significantly less, it will also, surprisingly, surpass them in many areas of day-to-day use.

Straight away, the visuals of the Xiaomi 13T Pro bear a striking resemblance to more premium competition; featuring a glass or vegan leather rear panel – both of which are more appetizing to look at than most – even if you disregard the enormity of the camera bump also present on the device.

Xiaomi chose to tailor the 13T Pro towards efficiency and performance improvements, and these couldn't have worked much better. The MediaTek Dimensity 9200 Plus ensures the Xiaomi 13T Pro sets the benchmark for what supposedly mid-range phones can achieve when pushed. Providing not only impressively smooth performance during gaming but also minimal battery drain; the performance of the 13T Pro is one of the most notable among phones in this price bracket.

This performance tailoring hasn't left the 13T Pro slacking in other areas, however, as Xiaomi's partnership with Leica proves. The Xiaomi 13T Pro boasts an impressive and authentic camera, featuring great detail and customizability to ensure a reliable experience in day-to-day usage. This does, however, mask some issues surrounding the night and selfie capabilities, which seem to have been somewhat left behind.

Rounding off its performance tailoring nicely is the 13T Pro's almost expected battery superiority; with a 5,000mAh battery, 120W wired fast charging, and numerous battery performance-based improvements over predecessors. Despite these initial wins for the 13T Pro though, it is let down by a surprising lack of wireless charging, even if the immense speeds of its wired charging do a good enough job of making up for this.

If you're able to take the Xiaomi 13T Pro's quirks as exactly that, and instead focus on the impressive performance across the majority of the device, it's easy enough to learn to love this phone and appreciate what can be possible in the mid-range market.

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Price and availability

  • Unavailable in the US
  • 256GB variant unavailable in the UK 
  • Price impressively undercuts competitors

One of the biggest limitations of the Xiaomi 13T Pro – and the Xiaomi brand as a whole – is the availability of the device. Unfortunately, Xiaomi – alongside most other Chinese brands – is not sold in the US (when it comes to the company's smartphones at least). Alongside this, Xiaomi phones are not sold via any mainstream seller in Australia either (despite numerous attempts), limiting international availability to other countries across APAC, LATAM and EMEA, including the UK. That said, even there the cheaper 256GB + 12GB RAM model remains out of reach.

If you're not in a primary region for the 13T Pro but still curious about pricing, the 512GB model would cost approximately $880 / AU$1,350, based on the UK model's £699 asking price.

Value score: 3.5 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Specifications

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Design

Xiaomi 13T Pro rear panel vegan leather alpine blue

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • Comfortable, if slightly long in the hand
  • Limited color choices, with one standout
  • Large rear camera bump

Standing out from the mid-range crowd comes in no better form than some of the design choices of the Xiaomi 13T Pro. The device opts for a 20:9 aspect ratio, with semi-rounded edges and a curved rear panel, giving the Xiaomi 13T Pro a comfortable, if slightly long, feel in the hand. With the phone using a 6.67-inch display at this ratio, you may find it occasionally problematic to use the phone one-handed if you need to reach the topmost areas of the display, and it may not be as easily pocketed as some other devices. Most noticeably, however, the curved rear panel does a superb job of making the phone look, and feel, thinner than it is, making the phone appear a much closer comparison visually to its more premium rivals.

Xiaomi 13T Pro side profile

(Image credit: Future // Rob)

Coming in three colors, the Xiaomi 13T Pro doesn't offer extensive variety in this department, however, both the black and the green glass paneled options are pleasant to look at and, in the case of the green, a nice switch from traditional colors. The standout option amongst the three available colors, however, is Alpine blue. Coming exclusively in Xiaomi's BioComfort vegan leather, the Alpine Blue variant is a fresh, and fabulous, take on how to make a premium device. The vegan leather not only looks superb on the device, but also provides added comfort over its glass counterparts, as well as significantly reduces the risk of those pesky finger marks, stains, and scratches that are almost inevitable with glass-backed phones.

As with most well-equipped phones in the current market, one of the biggest design talking points of the Xiaomi 13T Pro is the rear camera bump.  The device comes with a triple camera setup made by Leica, and on this occasion, with big camera possibilities comes an even bigger camera bump. Although it's well-designed, and definitely not too big an eyesore, the camera bump does pose the phone some issues if you choose to use it without a case, as given its position on the left-hand side of the rear of the phone, as well as its protrusion from the rest of the device, the phone can become rather wobbly on flat surfaces, although this is fixed if you choose to use the free clear case you receive with the device.

Design score: 4 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Display

Xiaomi 13T Pro lock screen

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • 6.67-inch AMOLED panel
  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate
  • HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support

The display on the Xiaomi 13T Pro is one of its most impressive attributes. The phone uses a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel at up to a 144Hz (with refresh rate intervals at 30, 60, 90, 120 and 144Hz), and supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ standards to create one of the most pleasant and visually appealing displays on a smartphone at this price. The display is capable of reaching a peak brightness of 2,600nits and offers rich color reproduction, meaning it doesn't struggle when it comes to creating superb visuals. That high nit count meant I never struggled with using the device in a full gamut of conditions; the screen even has a sunlight mode to help in especially bright environments. However, in day-to-day use, the visibility and viewing angles available on the phone proved sensational.

The 13T Pro's adaptive refresh rate is enabled by default, but you can also customize this in the settings to lock the screen at 60Hz if this is what you prefer, although I can't imagine many people will want to. When it comes to the capabilities of the adaptive refresh rate, the display copes impressively well with some of the more arduous mobile games currently available.

In testing, we enjoyed high refresh rates and crisp, detailed, and vibrant graphics; making it difficult to not applaud how enjoyable gaming on the Pro is, even without some of the device's additional gaming-oriented options activated. When using the Xiaomi 13T Pro across social media, browsing, and general usage, the phone sits comfortably at between 1Hz and 120Hz, to optimize power consumption, while still providing an impressively smooth experience.

The phone comes with three preloaded color profiles that dictate how visuals appear on-screen: Vivid, Saturated and Original. If you prefer to tinker with more precision though – whether that be for color accuracy or simply personal preference – you can also adjust a number of more advanced settings within the phone's deeper display control menu.

Display score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Software

Xiaomi 13T Pro home screen

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • Upgradeable to Xiaomi's latest HyperOS atop Android 14
  • Small but appreciated generational user experience improvements
  • Four major Android updates promised from launch

Despite releasing on the company's MIUI 14 atop Android 13, at the time of review, Xiaomi had already upgraded the 13T Pro to its new and improved HyperOS user experience; creating responsive, minimalist environment atop the latest Android 14. Small tweaks across areas such as the main font, app icons and user menus give the Xiaomi 13T Pro a pleasing aesthetic, and improvements in performance over the previous MIUI 14 make sure that you aren't left with intractions that aren't as smooth as the redesign itself.

Personalization is improved but still somewhat fenced-in on the Xiaomi 13T Pro, with improved lock screen options that near-enough mirror the experience on the likes of the iPhone 15. Once past the lock screen, practically all of the visual and interaction tweaks you're likely make will pass through the preinstalled Themes app, which offers an array of different elements to make your device your own; even if the personalization process itself isn't necessarily the best.

One key downside of previous iterations of Xiaomi's user experience has bloatware and the inability to remove many of Xiaomi's own preloaded apps, but with the Xiaomi 13T Pro we see a small but appreciated change to this trend. There are now only eight first-party apps that you are unable to uninstall, which is frankly nothing compared to what we've been inundated with on prior generations.

Like many devices in its weight class, the Xiaomi 13T Pro was promised four major Android updates over the course of its lifespan, which while behind market leaders, should more than long enough based on the average user's upgrade frequency. Add to that improved OS performance and battery management and the Xiaomi 13T Pro is more than likely to last you while remaining a more than capable smartphone at the end of its life.

Software score: 4 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Cameras

Xiaomi 13T Pro camera bump

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • Camera system tuned in partnership with Leica
  • Triple rear camera and 20MP selfie snapper
  • Vast array of more advanced shooting modes

Xiaomi's partnership with Leica on the Xiaomi 13T Pro has resulted in a top-notch camera experience. The 13T Pro runs a triple rear sensor setup, featuring a 50MP main camera, 50MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, whilst the display plays host to a 20MP selfie camera; all in all, a very solid start. The rear cameras can shoot in one of two visual styles, these being 'Leica Authentic' and 'Leica Vibrant,' both of which offer pleasing results under different conditions. Vibrant, as you'd expect, serves up more vivid, contrasting color in scenes, whilst Authentic leverages a more reserved, muted, true-to-life palette, just as we've seen from previous Leica-partnered phones.

Finding a balance between advanced photography controls and satisfying the everyday user is a challenging task, but one which the Xiaomi 13T Pro tackles with aplomb. Yes, there are a large number of menus and options, some of which might never see the light of day under standard usage, but equally, the features you need most are laid out simply and efficiently for quick access in a variety of scenarios. Thanks to both the Pro's large screen and some clever UI placement options, selecting relevant shooting settings is simple enough, even when using the Xiaomi 13T Pro's 'Pro Mode,' which opens up even greater control over conventional photography variables like ISO, exposure and white balance.

Camera samples

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Xiaomi 13T camera sample of a church at dusk

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
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Xiaomi 13T Pro image sample night  shot of bridge

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
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Xiaomi 13T Pro camera sample of petrol station night shot

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
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Xiaomi 13T Pro camera sample close up shot of tree

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
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Xiaomi 13T Pro camera sample

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)

The results we saw from the main camera system were impressive, finding a pleasant and effective blend of detail and color accuracy; especially for a device at this price point. The 13T Pro has three optical zoom levels – 0.6x, 1x, and 2x – and was impressive at retaining details and color science consistency throughout. I was positively surprised by the 13T Pro's video shooting from the rear camera, with an impressive level of image stabilization, however, it struggled when trying to zoom during filming, with some notable stuttering and clear color changes when moving from optical to digital zoom ranges; an understandable stumbling block for a phone not necessarily striving to push photographic boundaries. 10-bit LOG video capture is a novel inclusion too, that adds greater post-capture versatility to footage for those looking for an affordable but capable phone for videography.

Other shortcomings noticed during testing included an unnatural level of lighting correction when shooting in dimly lit scenarios, leading to color inaccuracies and limited detail. Detail issues also persisted when using the selfie camera, though this is one area which hasn't received much in the way of generational attention; understandable, if annoying. Overall, however, an the 13T Pro serves up an impressive array of photographic capabilities and provides results that any casual mobile photographer or videographer would no doubt be happy with.

Cameras score: 3.5 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Performance

Xiaomi 13T Pro with Mortal Kombat gameplay

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • MediaTek Dimensity 9200 Plus chipset
  • Up to 1TB UFS 4.0 storage
  • Up to 16GB LPDDR5X RAM

For many, an Android device not running an ever-reliable Qualcomm Snapdragon chip might be a reason to worry, but the Dimensity 9200 Plus SoC powering the Xiaomi 13T Pro does nothing short of an impressive job at letting this phone go toe to toe with even some flagship competition. The intention of the 13T Pro's Plus-branded chip was to improve efficiency and performance over the standard 9200, with a focus on improved gaming performance and battery efficiency in day-to-day use, both of which the Xiaomi 13T Pro appears to excel at with reasonable ease.

While gaming, the phone was not only able to comfortably hold a consistent and high frame rate across the likes of Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact, and Grid Autosport, but it was also able to retain an impressive amount of battery during longer gaming stints both thanks to the hardware – such as the improved Immortalis-G715 GPU – and the integrated performance optimizing software.

During testing, I did note some warmth across the device for the duration of my gaming stint, but nothing that was too uncomfortable or unexpected for the fidelity of games being played, and at no point did thermal throttling impact on competitive performance to any discernible degree.

The Xiaomi 13T Pro also stands as one of the first Xiaomi devices to dip its toe into the waters of AI. With its upgrade to HyperOS adding support for such functionality as an AI eraser tool and background editor – to help add to the already impressive camera capabilities mentioned earlier. What's more, that's only the start, with Xiaomi delivering even more AI enhancement on the Xiaomi 14 series. That said, to what extent of these will reach back to the 13T Pro remains unknown for now.

Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Battery

Xiaomi 13T Pro charging port

(Image credit: Future // Rob Dunne)
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 120W wired charging
  • No wireless charging

One of the most impressive areas of the Xiaomi 13T Pro – on paper at least – is its battery and charging capabilities. The phone boasts a large 5,000mAh battery, with rapid 120W wired charging – when using the power adapter provided. Xiaomi's Surge Battery Management system is also onboard to help improve battery safety and elongate the lifespan of the device over prolonged use too.

Whilst I was unable to replicate Xiaomi's charging estimate of only 19 minutes to 100% when using 120W wired charging (paired with 'boost mode') during testing, the phone was still impressively quick to charge to 100% and was comfortably able to give me over 12 hours of active screen time before beginning to creep closer to needing a charge.

Somewhat strangely, the Xiaomi 13T Pro – whilst powerful in its wired charging solutions – lacks any form of wireless charging; which presumably is a side-effect of the T-series more affordable standing in Xiaomi's extensive smartphone portfolio. Even so, the impressive wired charging speeds possible meant the inability to rest the phone on a wireless charging pad rarely felt like an issue.

Battery score: 3.5 / 5

Should you buy the Xiaomi 13T Pro?

Buy it if...

Don't buy if...

Xiaomi 13T Pro review: Also consider

How I tested the Xiaomi 13T Pro

  • Review period: one month
  • Testing included: everyday use, such as web browsing, photography, gaming, calling and messaging, music playback, as well as some benchmarking tests. 
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native device stats, Xiaomi 120W charger

True testing of the Xiaomi 13T Pro took place over the course of about a month, with the writing of the review occurring over an extended period afterwards. The Xiaomi 13T Pro reviewed here was a 512GB storage, 12GB RAM, Alpine Blue (with Xiaomi's BioComfort vegan leather) model. The Xiaomi 13T Pro was put through a variety of tests, not limited to daily usage, gaming, photography, streaming of music and video, and, as ever, benchmarking.

Having worked with phones for years – originally on shop floors and later by writing about them on TechRadar (including buying advice surrounding phones in this category) – I felt comfortable reviewing the 13T Pro, safe in the knowledge I had the expertise and context to do it justice.

Xiaomi 13T Pro deals

First reviewed April 2024

Vivo X100 Pro review
7:52 pm | March 27, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Vivo X100 Pro two-minute review

Chinese smartphone company Vivo has made its latest attempt to make a name for itself outside China with its new premium phone, which takes on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max as a top-price top-spec juggernaut.

The Vivo X100 Pro is the brand’s most recent top-end Android phone, following the Vivo X80 Pro from 2022 – the company has a bit of a scattergun approach when it comes to releasing its Chinese phones in the rest of the world.

The X80 Pro was a great phone hindered by a horribly high price tag; while the Vivo X100 Pro is also an eye-wateringly pricey smartphone, it does a much better job at justifying this cost than its predecessor. It’s still unlikely to tempt you from Samsung or Apple’s latest powerhouses, but you won’t feel disappointed by it either.

The most startling upgrade the Vivo X100 Pro has, not just over its predecessor but over the vast majority of other Chinese mobiles on the market, is in the software department. Not only is it a bloatware-free breath of fresh air, but it’s good-looking, with lots of customization and navigation tools that are easy to use and improve your phone experience.

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

Vivo’s also greatly improved its cameras on the X100 Pro. It boasts three 50MP snappers on the back: a main, ultra-wide and telephoto combo. Pictures are bright and bold, but the camera app also offers an eye-watering number of extra features, tools and functions.

Want to zoom between 0.6x and 100x? Add different color profiles to your photo? Take a picture of the stars and have the phone use augmented reality to work out what constellations you’re actually looking at? The camera app can offer all of those.

This is also as powerful a phone as you’d hope for its price. The chipset is ready to blaze through your choice- game, photo editing app or AR simulation. The screen looks great, with a high resolution and refresh rate. You’re getting oodles of RAM, a huge amount of storage and a really long battery life.

An extra feature lets you use the Vivo as a portable power bank for other gadgets, with reverse wireless charging, which proved very handy when headphones or tablets were running out of power.

The X100 Pro isn’t the perfect phone for everybody: it’s huge, so people with small hands might struggle, with a giant camera bump that means it doesn’t sit flat on surfaces, and sadly no 3.5mm headphone jack. But its biggest issue is still the price, which is hard to swallow no matter how many top-end features you’re getting.

Vivo X100 Pro review: price and availability

  • Unveiled in January 2024
  • On sale in Europe, Asia; not the UK, US or Australia yet
  • Costs €1,199 (around $1,300 / £1,020 / AU$1,990 )

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

The Vivo X100 Pro was unveiled in late January 2024, and saw a slow roll-out across Europe and India over the following months. Based on precedent, we don’t expect a US release for the phone, as Vivo generally doesn't sell its tech on that side of the pond.

At the time of writing, no UK price has been confirmed, but in Europe it costs €1,199, which converts to roughly $1,300 / £1,020 / AU$1,990 for the 16GB RAM and 512GB storage model. This is a premium phone for people who want top specs.

Some other variants are on sale in China, but Vivo seems to be pushing the 16GB/512GB model as the primary model in Europe.

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro review: specs

The Vivo X100 Pro is a top-end phone, and its specs prove it:

Vivo X100 Pro review: design

  • Very large, with a giant camera bump
  • USB-C port but no 3.5mm headphone jack
  • In-box case is very sturdy

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

There’s no two ways about it: the Vivo X100 Pro is a big phone, and you’ll feel its heft in your hand. Measuring 164 x 75 x 8.9mm and weighing 221g, this thing will fill up your pocket and require a large mitts to be able to hold it in one hand.

The phone has slightly curved display display edges, which it makes it feel a little more comfortable to hold but doesn’t taper so dramatically that you’re at risk of accidentally pressing it. Not once during testing did I encounter the dreaded accidental-curved-edge-button-press.

Dominating the back of the mobile its its large camera bump; a protruding circle housing the three lenses and the flash module. This sticks out enough that you’ve no hope of putting the phone flag on a table.

Normally, for a phone like the Vivo X100 Pro, I’d recommend a case: not only will it make the large phone a bit grippier, but with a glass front and back, the device isn’t too protected from drops and bumps otherwise. However, the box contains a fairly solid rubber one, that’s more durable (and nicer-looking) than most cheap in-box silicon ones. The phone also has IP68 protection, keeping it safe from accidental drops in bathtubs or fine particles.

On the right edge of the device – a slight stretch up, unless you’ve got big hands – is the power button and volume rocker. I resigned myself to relying on my non-phone-holding hand to change volume.

There’s a USB-C port for charging on the bottom edge of the phone but, as is the case in most top-end devices, no 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll have to rely on Bluetooth or a USB-C adaptor for listening to music.

The Vivo X100 Pro is available in three colors: Startrail Blue, Sunset Orange and Asteroid Black, and as you can tell from the images, we used the latter. The exact availability might depend on your region, though.

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro review: display

  • Giant 6.78-inch display, which curves at edges
  • High-res 1260 x 2800 makes screen look crisp
  • Really high max brightness

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

The Vivo X100 Pro’s screen clocks in at a large 6.78 inches diagonally, an oft-used display size that's commonly seen on big phones. This large size is why the phone is such a strain on the hand!

The resolution of the screen is 1260 x 2800, so you’re getting more pixels than on your standard 1080p phone, which is useful for certain games and streaming services that support higher resolutions. The refresh rate is 120Hz, so motion looks smoother whether you’re in a game or just swiping between menus.

A real stand out of the Vivo’s screen is its brightness – with a maximum output of 3,000 nits, it can get blindingly bright if you need it to. Bear in mind that many mobiles peak at below 1,000 nits, and most don’t go above 2,000 – so this is a lovely and bright display.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro review: software

  • Android 14 with Funtouch 14 over the top
  • No pre-installed bloatware
  • Plenty of customization and navigation options

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

When you boot up the VIvo X100 Pro, it runs Android 14 with Vivo’s Funtouch 14 laid over the top. 

Android 14 is, at the time of writing, Google’s most recent build of its mobile operating system, but Vivo has promised that the X100 Pro will see three years of updates. Some people may consider that on the low side, with other Android brands promising five or more years, but for the majority of people who don’t fastidiously follow tech news, three years will be adequate.

More so than most Android forks, Funtouch looks very similar to stock Android. Icons and wallpapers are bright and bold, apps appear on the main home page as small circles, and Google’s own apps form the backbone of the pre-installed list.

Talking of pre-installed apps, purchases of Chinese smartphones will know the problems they usually have with bloatware. Vivo bucks this trend with the X100 Pro – it didn’t have a single bloatware app, and in that regard it beats out even Google’s Pixel phones. Apple and Samsung need to take note with their app-infested software.

Funtouch has some customization: you can modify the always-on display, animations for things like fingerprint recognition, charging and home screen transitions, lighting effects for when the display is off but you’re listening to music, and ways to change app and UI design. There’s a lot of tweaking you can do if you’re so inclined.

Plus, lots of other useful features show up: there’s a smart sidebar for quick navigation, shortcuts that let you summon the camera app or turn off the camera by holding or double-tapping the volume down button, schedulable power on/off and other tasks and lots of digital wellbeing tools too. Funtouch is really feature-flush and I’d recommend you make your way through all the menus when you first boot up the phone.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro review: cameras

  • 50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide and 50MP telephoto cameras
  • 32MP selfie camera on front
  • Loads of modes and options for photos and video

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

You could call the Vivo X100 Pro a triple threat, as it boasts three 50MP cameras across the rear array for photography. A main camera with optical image stabilization and laser autofocus is joined by a periscope zoom snapper with 4.3x optical zoom, and also an ultra-wide snapper with a 119-degree lens.

While camera performance was one of our problem areas in the X80 Pro, that’s fixed in the X100 Pro. This is a capable smartphone for photography, and while it doesn’t quite compare with the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, it comes close.

Pictures taken on the main camera are sharp, rich in color and pick up details in low-light conditions well. Vivo’s AI clearly does a good job at optimizing scenes based on setting, even when pictures are taken in dingy locations.

Move over to the other cameras, pictures taken on the ultra-wide are noticeably lighter, but also a little more washed-out. This was only an issue when comparing pictures taken of the same scene between cameras, and sometimes it made for better pictures.

The 4.3x zoom camera was a treat to play around with, letting you close the distance with far-away subjects or add some natural depth to nearer objects, animals and plants. If you’re happy to use digital zoom (or cropping) you can get all the way to 100x, which is grainy but fun to try out. Up to 10x digital zoom, pictures were usable, but I'd advise against going any further.

Something that hit me when testing out the camera app, was the sheer number of extra features available. You can change between three color profiles, try different modes like Night, Portrait and Snapshot, add a tilt-shift effect, correct perspectives, turn on not one but two different astrophotography modes, turn on a macro effect, and then go to down in the Gallery app editing it all.

Frankly, it’s a little overwhelming to begin with, but if you take time to go through all the menus you’ll find some really cool features. I particularly like the Astro mode, which uses AR to identify stars in your picture.

Shooting videos, you can record in 8K at 30 frames per second or 4K at 60fps, with slow-mo letting you drop down to 240fps at 1080p.

For selfies, you’re looking at a 32MP snapper. Pictures look a little dim compared to ones taken on the main camera, but Portrait mode uses AI to add some vibrancy as well as a realistic-looking bokeh blur.

Vivo X100 Pro camera samples

Image 1 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A standard picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

An ultra-wide picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A standard picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A 4.3x zoom picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A 100x zoom picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A 1x zoom picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
Image 7 of 7

A camera sample taken on the Vivo X100 Pro

A 1x zoom picture taken on the Vivo X100 Pro. (Image credit: Future)
  • Camera score: 3.5 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro: performance and audio

  • Dimensity 9300 is blazing fast
  • 512GB storage and 16GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 5.4 but no 3.5mm headphone jack

A quick look at the Vivo X100 Pro’s specs list – or a brief gaming stint – tells you that this is a powerful phone. 

The handset packs the same Dimensity 9300 chipset, which we’ve also seen in the Oppo Find X7, and it’s a champ for gaming. That's paired with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage: plenty of space and lots of power. There’s no expandable storage but with how much comes on board, that's not the end of the world.

In some regions, the VIvo X100 Pro has variants with either 12GB or 16GB RAM and 256GB, 512GB or a 1TB of storage, depending on which model you opt for or is available to you. In Europe, these aren't on sale.

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

In a Geekbench 6 benchmarking test, the phone hit a multi-core score of 7,292 – that blazes past the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in Geekbench’s official rankings (which is maxed at 5,244, with the Galaxy S24 Ultra not listed at the time of writing). This is all to say, it’s a very powerful phone.

I spent ages playing Call of Duty: Mobile and tested several other games like Northgard, PUBG Mobile and Ronin. Not a single game displayed any cases of lagging, with high frame rates and top graphic options available all around.

For those who don’t game much, this huge amount of power also benefits things like video and photo editing and simply having many apps open at once to jump between.

In terms of audio, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack as mentioned before. You can use the Bluetooth 5.4 standard to connect, which is nice and reliable, or play music out loud. The dual speakers are fine for playing games or voice messages but if you want great audio for streaming music or movies, I’d recommend buying the best wireless headphones.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Vivo X100 Pro review: battery life

  • Giant 5,400mAh battery
  • Charges wired at 100W, wireless at 50W
  • Reverse wired charging is a useful extra feature

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)

The Vivo X100 Pro has a 5,400mAh battery, which is one of the biggest power packs we’ve seen on a smartphone, with 5,000mAh the biggest generally used.

It’s needed too; between the large 120Hz display, 5G connectivity, and powerful chipset, the Vivo burns through power. Thankfully, because of the large chipset, the handset can comfortably get through a day of use without needing a recharge.

When you do need to power up the phone, it’s a quick affair: wired charging is a steamy 100W, which will see your phone go from empty to full in under half an hour if you have a compatible cable. Wireless charging is 50W, which is again incredibly fast for this mode of transmission.

There’s also reverse wired charging, so you can plug in another device to the Vivo and use it as a power bank – I found this handy for headphones when on the go, as it's more reliable (and much faster) than reverse wireless charging. You just need to have a cable that’s USB-C to whatever your second gadget requires.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Vivo X100 Pro?

Buy it if...

You like taking photos
With its rear camera triple threat and wide range of extra features, the Vivo X100 Pro is great for both serious photographers and those who just want to play around.

You're a mobile gamer
With its blazing-fast chipset, plentiful RAM and beautiful display, the Vivo X100 Pro is one of the best phones for gamers.

Your gadgets run out of power frequently
Thanks to its reverse wired powering feature, the Vivo is great as a replacement portable power bank, as long as you bring a cable too.

Don't buy it if...

Size matters
With its giant body, the Vivo X100 Pro barely fits in pockets or hands. Don't buy it if you want a svelte mobile.

You're on a budget
The Vivo X100 Pro isn't a cheap phone by any means, in fact it's one of the priciest on the market. Only buy it if you're happy paying top dollar.

You like wired audio
As with most top-end smartphones, the Vivo X100 Pro doesn't boast a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you need to rely on a fiddly adaptor or wireless chargers.

Vivo X100 Pro review: Also consider

If you're shopping around at the top end of the smartphone market, you have a few options for rivals to the Vivo X100 Pro:

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung's latest top-end mobile is spec'd to the extreme, with a price that matches, and a stylus thrown in too. The Vivo wins in the spec department in some ways, but our preference tips towards Samsung for sure.

iPhone 15 Pro Max
If you want an iOS rival to Vivo's mobile, you're looking at the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Top specs almost everywhere across the board, though again Vivo pips ahead in some ways.

How I tested the Vivo X100 Pro

The Vivo X100 Pro on a colored background.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Review test period = 3 week
  • Testing included = Everyday usage, including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used = Geekbench 5, Geekbench 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats

I tested the Vivo X100 Pro with 512GB storage and 16GB RAM, which seems to be the only model in my region. It was the black version of the device.

My test period for the Vivo X100 Pro was over three weeks, and that doesn't even count testing that was being done during the writing process, which would push the full figure to roughly a month. Testing included videography, using various apps and functions, gaming, streaming movies and music and photography. For the latter, I ended up using the Vivo to take review units for other products I reviewed for TechRadar.

I was a writer and editor for TechRadar's phone team for several years so I've got plenty of experience testing mobiles like this, particularly looking at Chinese mobiles – I've used devices from almost every major brand, including Vivo. I still review phones for TechRadar, as well as products in other categories.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Motorola Razr 2023 review – a flipping cool phone that you can afford
12:00 pm | March 24, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phones | Tags: | Comments: Off

Motorola Razr 2023: One-minute review

The Motorola Razr knocked my socks off when I first saw it last year, and it’s remained one of my top three phone designs of the past year (the other two being OnePlus phones). I love the color options, I dig the feel of the ‘vegan leather’ finish, and I show off the amazing clamshell design. If you haven’t seen this phone go from a truly huge smartphone to a tiny, pocketable communicator, you need to get your hands on one for a look. 

Compared to the Motorola Razr Plus, I missed the larger display but the smaller screen on the cover of the Motorola Razr was still sharp and very usable. You can get a preview of your selfies and videos on this phone, just like on the more expensive clamshell foldables, which means you can use the main camera as your selfie cam. 

Unfortunately, the camera is the perennial compromise with foldable phones, and none moreso than on this Razr. The Razr Plus had disappointing cameras, but the Moto Razr cameras just feel a bit cheap compared to other options in this price range. For $500, you can get a Google Pixel 7 or a OnePlus 12R, and both of those have much, much better cameras than this phone. 

What those phones, and any other phone in this price lacks is the cool factor of the Razr. You can snap it shut to hang up on a phone call. Heck, you can hang up on TikTok or Snapchat the same way. It’s a very satisfying way to put your phone away and focus what’s in front of you, and that is part of what makes the Razr so cool. 

The Motorola Razr dares you to put away your phone. You can take photos without the distraction of a big screen. You can check messages with a quick glance. You can snap it shut and show off the look instead of looking at the show. That’s cool. Being hundreds cheaper than other clamshell phones? Maybe the coolest part of all.

Motorola Razr 2023 review: price & availability

  • Launched at a higher price and immediately went on sale
  • Cheaper than every other new clamshell
  • Don’t buy it when it’s not on sale

The Motorola Razr had a staggered launch across the globe, in the shadow of the more exciting Motorola Razr Plus. This phone snuck into US stores at a price close to $700 at launch, after sitting on shelves in the UK for months prior. It quickly went on sale, dropping $100 then another $100, settling at its current price point.

Except Motorola hasn’t changed the price, it’s just kept the phone on sale for months. Not one sale, either, but different sales that tend to run concurrently. As I write this there is a “Spring Break” sale offering $200 off. I’m sure there will soon be an “April Showers” sale offering $200 off, followed by a Mother’s Day $200 sale. Don’t worry about that sale expiration date, but don’t buy this phone if it’s not on sale. 

Outside of the US, this phone ships with 256GB of storage, but Americans only get 128GB. We all get 8GB of RAM on this phone, though a 12GB variant may be available in other regions. 

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Motorola Razr 2023 review: specs

The Motorola Razr 40 isn’t a very powerful phone, but it can handle any apps, web pages, and games you throw its way. It lacks the high-end camera specs you’ll find on other bargain phones like the OnePlus 12R, and even the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra has slightly better cameras. That said, you still get a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, a respectable engine that is capable enough, as well as 8GB of RAM and just enough storage, 256GB if you live outside the US (sorry Americans, only 128GB for us). 

It’s hard to compare specs directly, because the Motorola Razr 40 bends in half. The OnePlus 12R may have better cameras, but the Motorola Razr weighs 20g less, and it folds up to a pocketable shape that is half the length of the OnePlus phone. If size and style are meaningful, that’s worth a lot more than a little spec bump. 

Motorola Razr Plus review: design

Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
  • Loses the chin but it’s for the best
  • External display is much more useful than anticipated
  • Very thin whether open or closed

At a glance, the Motorola Razr Plus seems to borrow heavily from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip design while ditching some signature Razr design elements, notably the chin. Motorola wouldn’t come right out and say it ditched the chin because it was downright ugly, but let’s face it – it was ugly. 

When folded, the two halves of the phone smack together like pursed lips, with a gentle curve around the edges that still manages to cleave together in a sealed crease. Perhaps it's the Viva Magenta hue of my review unit that adds to this impression. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, by comparison, seems boxy and square. The Razr Plus shows no visible gap when closed, unlike every competing flip phone so far.

Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

When you open the Razr Plus, the crease disappears more completely than on any flip phone I’ve used. It’s there, and you can feel it, but it's so unnoticeable that my dad, upon seeing the phone unfold, exclaimed “Wow, the crease just disappears!” Folding phones are new to him, but he was enamored enough by the Razr Plus to look ruefully at the Galaxy S23 he'd just purchased.

Those rounded edges also come together very nicely when the phone is unfolded, creating a seamless curved edge that makes the flexible glass seem even more impossible. The fingerprint scanner is embedded in the power button, which doesn’t stick out as much as the volume rockers, which are the only protruding buttons.

When you close the Razr Plus, the external display lights up and wraps around the dual camera lenses and the small flashlight. Rather than looking odd or compromised, it makes the phone look ultramodern. It doesn’t say “we’ve cut up our display,” it says “our display doesn’t stop for camera lenses.”

Motorola Razr Plus 2023 external display

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

It was absolutely the right choice (apologies to the rumored Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 cover display camera corner cutout), and Motorola has even designed games that have you drop marbles into the holes created by the lenses, embracing the design. I’ll talk more about what this screen can do later, but suffice to say, for now, that it's very big for a second screen on a flip phone, and it makes a huge difference.

As mentioned, my review unit is in the Viva Magenta finish, which also uses a so-called 'vegan leather' material. It may be plastic, but it feels great. Also, the phone never slipped off a surface, even in my car when I left it sitting on my center console while in stop-and-go traffic.

Motorola should seriously consider launching more (read: all) color options in this vegan leather finish. It feels more durable than glass, it weighs a few grams less, and it looks great. I’m tired of glass. As long as Moto is shaking up the phone world, let’s shake off the glass back as well.

  • Design score: 5 / 5

Motorola Razr Plus review: display

  • Bigger and brighter than competing flip phones
  • External display is a real game changer
  • Cover screen is bigger than the original iPhone's screen

If the Motorola Razr Plus didn’t have the great external display it would still be a standout for its big folding internal screen, which is great news if you’re holding out for the Motorola Razr 2023, which will have the exact same internal screen (though the slower chipset will run it at ‘only’ 144Hz). 

Motorola’s display has the same ‘FHD+’ resolution as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, at 2640 x 1080 pixels. It unfurls to a majestic 6.9 inches, which really is a marvel of modern technology when you think about it. When the first tablets were launched, that compact models had a 7-inch display, and now that same display size – and a higher-quality display too – is available on a thin smartphone that folds up to fit in your pocket.

Motorola Razr Plus apps

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

For comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro gives you around 2.5 inches less screen area, even though it weighs more. No matter what phone you’re used to using, when you open up the Motorola Razr Plus you’re going to be amazed by just how much screen you can fold up and stow in your pocket. 

Here’s another mind-blowing iPhone comparison. The original iPhone had a 3.5-inch display (with a 480 x 320 resolution), with just over 5.6 inches of screen area. On the Moto Razr Plus you get almost 6.5 square inches of screen space on the external 3.6-inch square display, and it runs at a stunning 1056 x 1066 resolution, which means it has the same sharpness (pixel density) as the internal screen. 

Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

In other words, this is the first flip phone that isn’t paying lip service to the cover screen. This isn’t a screen that’s just for checking the weather or simple notifications, and neither is it there to just show cute animations. This is the real deal. You can run full apps on this display, as I’ll explain in the Software section below. Apps aren’t always drawn properly, but you can run almost anything, unlike on previous external displays, which could run almost nothing. 

I wish both displays were much brighter, but that’s because I was using them a lot for taking outdoor photos, and from unusual angles, making them harder to see. The internal screen can go just a bit brighter than the one on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4, but the external screen needs a real boost. Neither display comes close to the brightness you’ll get from an iPhone 14 Pro.

  • Display score: 5 / 5

Motorola Razr Plus review: cameras

  • The weakest link in the Razr Plus' chain
  • Image processing is terrible
  • Better for selfies than most competitors

Ugh… why Motorola? Why does everything have to fall apart when it comes to the cameras? I have reviewed and previewed quite a few Motorola phones in the past year, and none of them have impressed me with their photography capabilities. The Motorola Razr Plus sadly continues Moto’s problematic tradition of phones that take bad photos. 

How bad? Pretty bad. I relied on this phone for my kid’s 8th grade graduation, and it was a big mistake. I won’t make that mistake again for the High School finale (the one that matters). Zoomed photos look blurry and oversharpened, and even basic portrait shots need help.

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

I've blurred the kids that aren't mine, but mine is still too blurry (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

A low-light night selfie that should look much better (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

Where is the Chrysler building?! Blown out by terrible exposure (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

This is an unacceptable shot, no matter the zoom (Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

All around, this phone has all the hallmarks of a low-quality camera. In photos of flowers, the camera blew out red tones until the details were mostly gone. Taking photos in the woods, stems and leaves in the background were either unnaturally blurry or digitally oversharpened, with deep black lines dividing objects.

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The one saving grace is that this low-quality main camera is still better quality than most selfie cameras, and the Motorola Razr Plus is made for using the main lens as your selfie shooter. You can easily use the external display as your viewfinder, and there are a couple tricks that let take a shot even if you aren’t holding the Razr. You can smile or wave your hand, with both options selectable as shortcuts in the camera settings. 

Can I forgive bad photos if the process of taking photos is so much better? They say the best camera is the one you have with you, and more often than not that's going to be one of the best camera phones. I always carry a smartphone, but I found myself taking more photos with the Razr Plus – more selfies, and more unusual shots taking advantage of the angled flex of the display.

I also took more group shots, because people love seeing themselves in the external display viewfinder. It was one of the most delightful things about this phone when I was showing it off to friends. Foldable 6.9-inch display? Not impressed. Want to see yourself while I take your picture? OMG, YES!!!

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023 camera samples

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

I want better cameras, though. Even Samsung skimps on the cameras in its Galaxy Z Flip 4, but I was especially disappointed here. The main camera uses a wide aperture lens, wider than any flip phone competitor and most other smartphones. It should be great at low-light photos, and it should produce a smoothly blurred backgrounds with attractive bokeh. 

If it actually makes a difference, I couldn’t see it. I put the Motorola Razr Plus up against my iPhone 14 Pro, and there wasn’t a single photo from the main camera that was better, unless I was comparing it to one from the selfie camera on the iPhone. 

I can forgive most of the Razr Plus’ faults, but the poor camera performance is hard to swallow. I enjoyed taking more selfies and delighting friends with the external display camera tricks, but I need at least a partly competent zoom lens for school functions and the occasional bird sighting. The Motorola Razr Plus 2023 is great for selfies, but otherwise getting great shots will be a matter of luck, not technical advantage.

  • Camera score: 3 / 5

Motorola Razr Plus review: software

  • Useful clocks and widgets for the external screen
  • Most apps will run on both displays 
  • Useful Motorola gestures and shortcuts

I can tell you the exact moment that I realized the Motorola Razr Plus was something entirely new. I was out hiking with my dog, expecting to use the Razr for photos and fitness tracking. I downloaded my maps to AllTrails as I always do, and as I hiked I checked my maps and recorded my progress. 

Normally I obsessively check my phone maps to make sure I’m on track, finding the best and easiest routes to keep the dog and kiddo interested. Every time, I feel like I’m interrupting my hike with my technology – but not with the Razr Plus. Using the external display, I could simply glance at my AllTrails map without opening the phone. Everything worked, including the high-definition map, the progress tracking, and all of the other apps I had running at the same time.

It wasn’t like having a phone on my hike; it was like having a pocket-sized map device. And while I’ve never had a pocket-sized map device, this was much nicer and more convenient than a big smartphone. In this context it becomes a whole new device, and a whole new experience.

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)
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Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

When I go to the grocery store, I’m not lighting up my smartphone every time I need to check my list; I can just keep my list on the external display. Now I have a pocket-sized shopping list device too. A smartphone is big and obnoxious and distracting; this is quick and unobtrusive. I check the box on my Google Keep Notes shopping list, then flip to Spotify or Apple Music (yes, on Android). It all works great on the external display, and I don't need to open my phone. 

For almost every app on the phone, you can set how it behaves when you close the display. An app can do nothing, or it can appear automatically on the external screen. You can also have apps 'tap to transition' giving you agency over whether they become available on the cover screen on an ad-hoc basis with a single button press. Every app can be set with its own behavior. 

Not every app works perfectly. I tried to play Marvel Snap, a game that's designed for portrait mode. It ran just fine on the square external display, but the text was too small (though legible), and the layout was weird. It worked, it just wasn’t optimal. 

More apps work well and look good than not, though. I had no trouble scrolling my feeds in Slack, Facebook, Instagram, and other social apps. I could read web pages in Chrome, or browse Yelp with the display shut. There’s a keyboard if you really need to type, but that's obviously easier with the screen open.

Motorola Razr Plus 2023

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

Other than on the external screen, Motorola's software hews very close to Google’s own designs for Android, as you’ll find on the Pixel 7 Pro, for instance. There aren’t many new tweaks or improvements for this new Razr, but that’s fine. I’d like to see some aspects of the experience improved, but it’s already mature, and doesn’t overload you with features or pop-up windows. 

I like Motorola’s gestures and use them frequently. On Moto phones you can twist your hand back and forth to open the camera, and on the Razr Plus this works even when the display is closed. You can make a couple of quick karate-chop motions to turn the flashlight on and off. These gestures work well, and I used them often once I'd committed them to memory. 

The Motorola Razr Plus comes with Android 13 preloaded, and we expect three major OS updates for this phone, which should take it to Android 16. Google is launching its own folding phone this month, the Google Pixel Fold, so it’s an interesting time for folding phones, and hopefully Google’s own improvements will trickle down to other Android foldables.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Motorola Razr Plus review: performance

  • Fast performance for games and running both displays
  • Improved performance over last year
  • Same chipset as the Razr 2022 and Galaxy Z Flip 4

If all you care about are benchmark scores, the Motorola Razr Plus won’t be the phone to pick. Thankfully, real-world performance tells a different story than I expected from the specs, and even though this phone uses the same platform as last year (or perhaps because it does), it performs better than the previous Razr, and better than I expected. 

Inside, the Razr Plus is nearly identical to the Motorola Razr 2022. They both use the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, and 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and in the year since the Razr 2022 was launched, Moto has clearly done some work to optimize its software. We complained in our Razr 2022 review that it stuttered while playing games or switching to the external display, but I had no performance complaints at all during my review period with the Razr Plus. It ran smoothly no matter what I was doing, whether playing new games like the highly-detailed Marvel Snap or shooting video with the flex mode video camera. 

Motorola Razr Plus camera app

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

The Razr Plus was impressively responsive. When I used the camera, I set the phone to snap when it detected a smile, and it responded almost instantaneously whenever anyone so much as smirked. When I clapped the phone shut, the external display lit up with no delay, and apps switched smoothly from one screen to the other without hesitation. 

It’s likely that the Motorola Razr base model will see more of a sacrifice performance-wise, as it relies on a mid-level Snapdragon 7 chipset. The Razr Plus uses a flagship platform, and the fact that there’s been a Snapdragon update since it was launched doesn’t diminish its performance. It’s a very fast chipset, and Motorola has clearly learned how to make the best use of it.

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Motorola Razr Plus review: battery

  • Slightly larger battery than Galaxy Z Flip 4
  • Battery life could be better
  • Using two displays drains the battery faster, go figure

Motorola has done the best it could in fitting a large battery inside the thin folding shell of the Razr Plus. It's even managed to fit a larger battery into the folding frame than you’ll find in the iPhone 14 Pro, though Apple manages power slightly better. I couldn’t quite make it through a full day on a full charge with the Motorola Razr Plus, though that's probably because the phone was just so much fun to use. 

Having a dynamic and useful external display meant that I used the phone a lot more than I would a flip phone that's dark and motionless when it’s shut. Even when I wasn’t checking my hiking trails or keeping up with Slack chats, I just liked having the clock and screen saver active. It looks cute, and I don’t mind charging my phone a little more often as a trade-off for a bit of cuteness.

Motorola Razr Plus apps

(Image credit: Future / Philip Berne)

That said, the Razr Plus would benefit from faster charging. The 30W charging capability is fine, though Moto doesn’t give you a charger in the box (they sent one with my review unit). You can charge the phone wirelessly if you have a lot of spare time, as the Razr Plus charges at a trickling 5W, a fraction of the 15W wireless you’ll find as standard on the best smartphones. 

If you need extra power, you might want to wait until the base model Motorola Razr shows up. It will have a slightly larger battery inside, a benefit of foregoing the cool external display in favor of a smaller display strip. Having used the Razr Plus for a while, though, I’d rather have the external screen and charge more often. 

If I'd wanted the Moto Razr Plus to last longer I could have turned off the screensaver clocks and engaged power management, but I didn’t do that, I let it drain. I was having too much fun.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Motorola Razr Plus?

Buy it if...

You’ve been waiting for phones to get cool again
If you’ve been telling yourself “I’ll buy a new phone when there’s a reason to buy something new,” you now have that reason.

You want a small phone but need a big screen
The Motorola Razr Plus is the thinnest flip phone when folded shut, and has the biggest display when open. It's bigger on the inside than the others, and you don’t need to be a Time Lord to appreciate the magic.

You aren’t addicted to your iPhone
Seriously, what’s stopping you from buying a cool phone? Are you really addicted to blue bubbles and the Dynamic Island? Try something cooler, I promise you’ll like it.

Don't buy it if...

You need a great camera phone
The Motorola Razr Plus has forgivable flaws, but the cameras aren’t among them. They're pretty lousy for regular photos, although selfies benefit from using the main lens.

You’re going to get it wet
The Moto Razr Plus is more dust resistant than other flip phones, but less water resistant than the Galaxy Z family devices, which can take a dunk.  

You want to totally unplug and hang up
Unlike other flip phones, the Razr Plus doesn’t go to sleep when you hang up. It’s often even more fun when it’s closed, but wait for the base model Razr if you appreciate the joy of tuning out. 

Motorola Razr Plus review: also consider

Note that this chart is going to change when Samsung launches the Galaxy Z Flip 5, and I’d also expect the Z Flip 4 to stay on the market for a while at a lower price.

If you're looking for other flip phones to consider alongside the Motorola Razr Plus, here are a few of options.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
There’s no reason to buy the Galaxy Z Flip 4 over the Motorola Razr Plus right now, but if the price drops after the Flip 5 shows up, this could be a compelling bargain alternative.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

Motorola Razr 2023
Motorola hasn’t announced pricing or a release date for the base model Razr yet, but if the Razr Plus is too much phone for you, you’ll be able to get a less expensive version that gives you peace and quiet instead of a big external display.

Read all the Motorola Razr 2023 news

How I tested the Motorola Razr Plus

  • I've had the Motorola Razr Plus for two full weeks of testing
  • This was the only phone I used for the review period
  • I use benchmarking software, developer tools, and internal data collection

I used the Motorola Razr Plus as my primary phone for both business and personal use for a few weeks while writing this review. I used the Razr Plus in every way I imagined a typical user would want to use it. I took photos, played games, and used it for all of my social networking and communication needs. I used productivity apps and tools, mindfulness and health apps, and fitness apps on the phone. 

I also used the Razr Plus with wearable devices, including the Pixel Buds Pro earbuds and my Pixel Watch. I used it with an Xbox gaming controller, my Honda and Kia cars, and numerous Bluetooth accessories.

We benchmark all the phones we test using standard benchmarking software, and we also perform internal testing on the phone’s performance and battery life. I used GFX Benchmark, PhoneTester Pro, and Geekbench, among other testing apps. I also access the developer options on Android phones for direct feedback on performance from the device itself. 

During my review time with the Motorola Razr Plus I loaded all of the apps I normally use with my smartphone. I used it for maps and navigation, music and video playback, as well as for calls and messaging. I took lots of photos and videos, played games, and used the phone to take photos at special occasions, including my kid’s middle school graduation. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2023

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