Gadget news
Motorola Edge 50 Pro goes global, launches in Europe, South America and Asia
4:01 pm | April 16, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , | Comments: Off

The Motorola Edge 50 Pro was first announced in India at the start of the month, but it was only the first of several Edge 50 devices to come. Today we welcomed the Edge 50 Ultra and the Edge 50 Fusion. Nevertheless, it’s important to highlight that today is also the start of wider availability for the Pro. The Edge 50 Pro is launching in select European markets at a price of €700 (here it is in Germany), making it more affordable than the Ultra (which has a €1,000 asking price). Check your local Motorola site as well as major retailers. The Ultra has more processing power...

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

Apple Music Classical expands to six markets in Asia, including Japan and China
10:32 am | January 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Apple Music Classical is now available in six markets in Asia - Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The announcement urges users to “pre-order”, meaning the actual availability of the service will happen at a later stage. Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan: pre-order Apple Music Classical now on the @AppStore.— Apple Music Classical (@AppleClassical) January 9, 2024 The service is available for free to all Apple Music subscribers but works with a standalone app. It has over 5 million classical tracks in Hi-Res...

Apple raises iCloud+ pricing in the UK, parts of Europe, Asia and the Americas
5:30 pm | June 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

If you are a iCloud subscriber (but don’t use Apple One), you may want to check the subscription fees for your region – Apple quietly raised them in multiple countries. Taking the UK as an example, the 50GB tier was £0.79 a month previously, but the updated pricing shows it at £0.99. The 200GB and 2TB tier got pricier as well. It’s not just the UK, plenty of other countries are seeing price hikes as well. The euro pricing remains the same, however, the same goes for the US, Canada, Australia and India. Here is a quick look at some of the changes to Apple’s price plan for iCloud+. You...

Honor Magic 5 Pro review – a versatile flagship with a potentially world-beating camera
9:00 am | March 1, 2023

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

Honor Magic 5 Pro: Two-minute preview

In an interview with TechRadar at MWC 2023, Honor CEO George Zhao made no bones about the capabilities of his company’s latest flagship, the Honor Magic 5 Pro (stylized as the Honor Magic5 Pro). “If you compare [this phone] to other flagship devices, it’s better than them. No one can compete with us,” he proclaimed.

It remains to be seen whether that statement rings true, but in my short time spent with the Honor Magic 5 Pro – a successor to the excellent Honor Magic 4 Pro – the phone has proven a unique and feature-packed device with few obvious drawbacks.

The Honor Magic 5 Pro’s display is big and bright. The cameras are some of the most impressive I’ve seen. Its large battery looks, on paper, to ensure that you’ll get at least 12 hours of heavy use from the phone before needing to charge it. That said, the Magic 5 Pro’s unusual (read: impractical) design won’t work for everyone. 

Honor Magic 5 Pro rear design

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)

Before you read on, it’s worth noting that Honor placed a fair few caveats on my hands-on testing of the Honor Magic 5 Pro – specifically around what was and wasn’t ready for review. I haven’t been able to sample all of the phone’s camera features, or much of its software, but Honor has said these elements will be available for full testing ahead of the phone’s release later this year. 

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Price and availability

  • Available in Europe, Mexico and most of Asia
  • Costs €1199 (UK pricing unconfirmed)

The Honor Magic 5 Pro was unveiled at MWC 2023 alongside Honor’s newest foldable phone, the Honor Magic Vs, which is already available in China (head over to our hands-on Honor Magic Vs review for our first impressions of that device).

Honor hasn’t yet shared specific release date details for the Honor Magic 5 Pro, though we do know it’ll be available from Q2 2023 – so anytime from April. Its predecessor, the Magic 4 Pro, hit shelves on May 13, so Honor may opt for a similar release date with the Magic 5 Pro. 

Honor Magic 5 Pro press image

(Image credit: Honor )

The phone will be available in Europe, Mexico and most of Asia, but Honor has only shared European pricing so far. Its single memory/storage configuration – 512 GB with 12GB RAM – will retail for €1199 (which translates to around $1270 / £1050 / AU$1900). 

As expected, the Magic 5 Pro won’t be available to buy in the US – at least to begin with. Huawei sold Honor in 2020 to avoid seeing its then-sub-brand fall victim to US import restrictions, but Honor hasn’t yet released a phone to the US market. Magic 5 Pro availability in Australia seems unlikely, too.  

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Specs

Check out the phone’s full specs below:

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Design

Honor Magic 5 Pro rear camera array

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Eye-catching triple-lens design
  • … but it’s not particularly practical

Measuring 76.7 x 162.9 x 8.77 mm and weighing 219g, the Honor Magic 5 Pro sticks with much of what made its predecessor great on the design front, with one big exception: its rear camera array. 

In place of the Magic 4 Pro’s quad-lens ‘Eye of Muse’ setup is a triple-lens ‘Star Wheel’ that protrudes from the phone’s rear, which sits on what Honor is calling the ‘Gaudi Curve’.

Personally, I think the design looks cool – it certainly makes the Honor Magic 5 Pro stand out among even the best phones available in 2023 – but from a practical standpoint, it’s not the most comfortable innovation. 

Holding the phone in one hand, I’ve found that my index finger rubs against the edge of this hefty camera bump, and sometimes even the bottom two lenses. This isn’t an issue when using the Magic 5 Pro with two hands (because I don’t need to move my finger so high up in order to support the phone’s weight), but I can imagine that folks with even bigger hands than mine will end up leaving fingerprints all over the rear lenses. 

The Magic 5 Pro comes in two colors – Meadow Green and Black – with a matte back panel option also available for the former, which should help to keep those inevitable fingerprints away from the phone’s rear body, at least. The Magic 5 Pro also boasts IP68 water and dust resistance.

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Display

Honor Magic 5 Pro display

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Smooth and colorful 6.81-inch OLED display
  • Sleep-friendly dimming rate

The Honor Magic 5 Pro uses the same 6.81-inch LTPO OLED display as the Magic 4 Pro, which is by no means a bad thing. You’re getting a crisp 1312 x 2848 resolution and a fast refresh rate of up to 120Hz here, which keeps things feeling suitably smooth and looking gorgeous. 

The Honor Magic 5 Pro leapfrogs its predecessor on the brightness front, offering 1800 nits at full HDR whack – that’s a touch above the equivalent figure boasted by the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and just shy of the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s peak brightness. At its brightest, the Honor Magic 5 Pro is actually quite blinding, so it’s hard to imagine you’ll be left wanting for luminance. 

The Honor Magic 5 Pro also has an impressive 2160Hz PWM dimming cycle rate. PWM dimming refers to the technology used for controlling brightness levels and dimming LED lights, with the Magic 5 Pro’s superior cycle rate creating a more natural transition between light and dark screens. 

Honor is claiming that this feature will actually help with your sleep, too. The Magic 5 Pro’s display is certified circadian-friendly, which essentially means it's not too taxing on the eyes. By mimicking the dynamic dimming of natural light, the phone supposedly reduces eye strain by 18% (compared to other premium smartphones), in turn giving you 30 minutes more shut-eye.

Obviously, I haven’t been able to test this claim for myself yet – and it’s something that’ll need to be backed up by science and sleep experts once the phone is released. Still, if indeed the Honor Magic 5 Pro does end up being beautiful to look at and sleep-friendly, I’m inclined to suggest that it could be one of the most impressive mobile displays I’ve ever come across. Benchmarking company DXOMARK seems to agree, too, having ranked the Honor Magic 5 Pro’s screen as the best display currently available. 

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Cameras

Honor Magic 5 Pro cameras

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Three 50MP rear lenses
  • Exceptional zoom capabilities 
  • An exciting suite of photography features

Honor has made a big song and dance about the Honor Magic 5 Pro’s camera setup – and for good reason. Housed in that aforementioned rear bulge is a 50MP f/1.6 wide lens, a 50MP f/2.0 ultra wide lens, and a 50MP f/3.0 periscope telephoto lens with 3.5x optical zoom. 

The Magic 5 Pro’s main sensor is 35% larger than that of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultra, which means – on paper, at least – it can reckon with the challenges of light more effectively that both devices, and the phone’s use of computational photography (i.e. its ability to capture images using different lenses simultaneously) delivers zoom clarity that’s comparable to its premium rivals. 

We weren’t able to test every camera mode on our Magic 5 Pro sample, as some of the software is still being ironed out ahead of the phone’s release, but the AI-assisted Falcon capture feature – which lets you take photos of fast-moving objects without blur, even at night – looks mightily impressive in sample footage we’ve seen.

See more

As mentioned, the Magic 5 Pro’s zoom capabilities are nothing short of remarkable. Standing on the top floor of our hotel in Barcelona, I was able to capture images (see above) of pedestrians at street level whom I could barely make out with my own eyes, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Magic 5 Pro’s zoom credentials hold up at night during my full review. 

In light of all these camera features, it’s no surprise to see that DXOMARK has placed the Honor Magic 5 Pro at the top of its camera rankings in 2023, and I’m excited to put the phone through its photography paces later this year when the market-ready model arrives.

The Magic 5 Pro also gets a 12MP front-facing camera, which falls into the ‘not bad, not groundbreaking’ category.

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Performance and audio

A model of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in a perspex disc in-hand at the Snapdragon Summit 2022 in Hawaii

The Honor Magic 5 Pro is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset
  • 512GB storage with 12GB RAM

Under the hood, the Honor Magic 5 Pro is powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is the processor we’re seeing inside many of the best Android phones in 2023. 

The phone’s 12GB RAM is an improvement over its predecessor’s 8GB, and the Magic 5 Pro’s 512GB storage capacity is double that of the Magic 4 Pro, ensuring it can tackle whatever power-hungry creative or professional task thrown its way. 

Honor says the Magic 5 Pro’s Snapdragon chipset isn’t up for review at this stage, and I haven’t been permitted to critique the phone’s gaming performance, either – so I’ll have to wait until I can really push these elements to the limit. So far, though, the Magic 5 Pro has felt as speedy as you’d expect from a four-figure Android flagship. 

The Magic 5 Pro also boasts IMAX-enhanced audio, though again, this isn’t something I’ve been able to test just yet (owing to a restriction on which apps I can download). 

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Software

Honor Magic 5 Pro software

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • Runs MagicOS 7.1 (based on Android 13)
  • Unique privacy features

The Honor Magic 5 Pro runs MagicOS 7.1, which is based on Android 13. 

The phone’s interface will be familiar to existing Android fans, but Honor also offers a range of smart device-specific features – such as MagicRing for multi-device collaboration and Magic Text for intelligent text recognition – with the Magic 5 Pro. 

You’ll get stellar security credentials from the Magic 5 Pro, too, with the phone boasting  industry-first ‘Sound Energy Spatial Control Technology’, which supposedly generates opposite sound waves to prevent sound leakage for your private phone calls.

The phone’s software wasn’t available to test in full during my hands-on time with the device, so I’ll save further comments for the main review. 

Hands-on Honor Magic 5 Pro review: Battery life

Honor Magic 5 Pro side profile

(Image credit: Future / Axel Metz)
  • 5100mAh battery
  • 66W wired charging, 50W wireless charging

The Honor Magic 5 Pro packs a giant 5100mAh battery that supposedly yields over 12 hours of battery life with heavy usage (for comparison, that's more than the S23 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max can manage). 

You’ll get 66W wired and 50W wireless charging with the phone, which is a little less than the 100W wired charging offered by the Magic 4 Pro. 

Naturally, I haven’t been able to test the Magic 5 Pro’s battery life for this hands-on review, but the specs are promising. 

First tested February 2023

Samsung Galaxy S22 review: a small-form wonder
7:17 pm | March 30, 2022

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

Two-minute review

It's hard to write a Samsung Galaxy S22 review without making reference to its big brother, the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Now there's a phone with a radical new idea. Okay, it's an idea borrowed from the Galaxy Note line, but still, the Ultra stands apart from the S22 and S22 Plus. In fact, it makes the Galaxy S22 feel a bit less-than.

Similarly, we need to mention that the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has now been unveiled - including the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the Galaxy S22 feels slightly dated compared to them.

But these are also more expensive phones, so we’d be comparing apples to oranges to an extent. So let’s focus on what makes the Samsung Galaxy S22 such a fun, attractive, and palm-friendly device.

Put simply, the S22 has enough of everything. It pushes no boundaries in terms of photography, screen size, and battery life, yet it still compares favorably to Apple's $799 / £849 / AU$1,339 iPhone 14.  

Samsung's flagship phone provides more megapixels and sensors for photos, and gives you 3x optical zoom. To get something similar on the iPhone, you'll have to jump up to the pricier Pro models.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the kind of phone you get if your tastes are upscale but your budget is a bit downrange. Its 6.1-inch screen can feel cramped if you’re coming from virtually any similarly-priced Android phone from OnePlus and Xiaomi. However, placed side-by size with an iPhone 14, the dimensions are similar – and the resemblance is uncanny. 

It's a handset that will quickly become a trusted companion. The cameras should satisfy most average mobile photography users, and the image quality is excellent. The adaptive screen-refresh technology does a nice job of keeping everything from fast scrolls to action games looking smooth, and you’ll have no trouble shooting and editing 4K, 30fps video. The Galaxy S22 can also shoot 8K, but the screen stuttered while shooting it so we’re not ready to say this is an 8K-winner.

Like the rest of the S22 line, the Galaxy S22 is running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the US, or Samsung’s own Exynos chip in the UK and elsewhere,) and both are backed by 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. The mobile CPU is snappy and capable, but that storage limit without the ability to add a microSD card is frustrating.

Overall, if you like Samsung and Android together, this is an affordable and familiar (we see you, Galaxy S21) way to get in at the top of the Galaxy line, making it one of the best Samsung phones and even one of the best Android phones. For those who want a 5G Samsung Galaxy but want to pay hundreds less, they should look at the Galaxy A Series, including the attractive Galaxy A53.

If you're looking for the perfect Samsung Galaxy S22 audio partner, you may want to check out our Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 price and availability

Samsung Galaxy S22 specs

Weight: 167g
Dimensions: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
Display size: 6.q-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
Storage: 128/256GB
Rear camera: 50MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10MP
Pre-installed software: Android 12
Battery: 3,700mAh
Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless 

The Samsung Galaxy S22 went on sale on February 25, 2022, in the US, March 3, 2022, in Australia, and March 11, 2022, in the UK. 

You can pick up the Galaxy S22 with 128GB storage for $799 / £769 / AU$1,249, or with 256GB for $849 / £819 / AU$1,349. That pricing has not changed since the Galaxy S21 line.

Note however that while those are the standard prices, you can now often find the Galaxy S22 for less than that, and now that the Samsung Galaxy S23 series has arrived the price is likely to keep on dropping.

Samsung Galaxy S22 design

  • Not a huge redesign over its predecessor
  • Comes in a few attractive color designs
  • Has a strong glass rear

Samsung Galaxy S22 back angle

The Gorilla Glass back of the Samsung Galaxy S22 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung evidently opted not to stray far from the Galaxy S21 design from the previous year, but there are two differences - one is noticeable, the other not so much.

The Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch display, making it 0.1 inches smaller than its predecessor, but it’s not something you’ll notice. What is noticeable is the new Gorilla Glass Victus Plus back – the rear was plastic last year. This change gives the phone a much more premium feel, and the Galaxy S22 now feels every bit as solid, and looks as elegant, as the iPhone 13.

This is a phone that’s small enough to slip into your pocket or bag and forget about. In today's world of oversized phones (like the larger Galaxy S22 Ultra), the S22's 70.6 x 146 x 7.6mm, 168g chassis feels puny. Apple's iPhone 13 mini,  which Apple is discontinuing, previously held the ‘small flagship’ crown, though.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 bottom edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 side edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 edge

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Where Apple now favors a smooth flat metal band around its phones, the Galaxy S22's aluminum frame offers a small, albeit pleasing curve, which some may find slightly more comfortable to hold for long periods than the iPhone 14. The phone is IP68 rated, which makes it water and dust-resistant. In practice, a drop in the sink is no big deal.

We’re glad Samsung left the contour-cut camera module untouched. It's attractive and efficient. The brushed glass back looks and feels great, and does a nice job of highlighting our test unit's Forest Green color – it also doesn’t show fingerprints. Other color options include Phantom Black, Phantom White, Pink Gold, and Bora Purple.

There are just two buttons – power and the volume rocker – along one edge of the phone. On the top edge is a tiny hole for a microphone. The bottom houses one speaker (the other half of the decently-loud stereo speaker system is hidden along the top edge of the display), the SIM slot, another microphone hole, and the USB-C charging port (note that the S22 doesn’t support the 45W charger that Samsung sells for the Galaxy S22 Plus).

Samsung Galaxy S22 display

  • 6.1-inch screen, smaller than on the S21
  • Has a 2340 x 1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate
  • Bright and attractive display

The edge-to-edge Dynamic AMOLED display has a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels, which is good, though it is lower than the iPhone 14's Super Retina XDR 2532 x 1170 display. Samsung makes up for that deficit by having a smaller black bezel around the screen, and no intrusive notch.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Display

Samsung Galaxy S22's AMOLED screen (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

To accommodate the 10MP front-facing camera, Samsung has cut a small circle in the display. It's not distracting, and didn’t break our immersion through long games of PUBG Mobile.

The screen is as bright and attractive as any we’ve seen. The adaptive refresh rate (10Hz to 120Hz) makes every movement in scrolling, videos, and games look smooth. High refresh rates can burn through charge quickly, so you can lock the refresh rate at 60Hz if you want to extend battery life, or at 120Hz if this isn’t a concern for you. 

The screen also promises to boost touch sampling (the speed at which it will recognize and respond to touch) for Game Mode. We had no responsiveness issues, but we also haven't noticed any gaming sluggishness in other flagship phones we've tested this year.

Underneath the display is the ultrasonic fingerprint reader. This lets you register your finger (or fingers) of choice and is an effective biometric security tool. The phone also supports face recognition, though there's also a warning that it's less secure on this device than fingerprint unlocking is.

Samsung Galaxy S22 cameras

  • 50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto camera
  • 10MP selfie camera
  • A range of Samsung camera modes

Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera Array

Samsung Galaxy S22 Camera Array (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While the Samsung Galaxy S22 looks a lot like the S21, right down to the contour-cut camera array, Samsung has mixed things up a bit.  There are still three lenses, but some of the sensors backing them are different.

The 12MP ultrawide f/2.2 camera is virtually unchanged, but it's now grouped with a new 50MP f/1.8 main camera and a 10MP f/2.3 telephoto. That last camera has far fewer pixels than the S21’s 64MP sensor but keeps the zoom at 3x (the S21 listed the zoom as hybrid; this is optical zoom). You can enjoy digital zoom up to 30x, which is fun, but not as good or exciting as the S22 Ultra's 100x Space Zoom. Still, it's nice to get 3x optical on a sub-$800 phone.

On the front is the 10MP selfie camera, which appears unchanged from the Galaxy S21.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 Portrait mode 3

(Image credit: Future)

You can adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take a portait mode photo.

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Samsung Galaxy S22 portrait mode 1

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 portrait mode 2

(Image credit: Future)

Photography across a range of styles (wide, ultrawide, portrait, night mode) and the available lenses are good. Samsung's over-bright colors are still in evidence; they have a tendency to make, for instance, the sky too blue, and the results almost never match what you see with the naked eye. Looking back at the photos, you can't help but be pleased, but if you want absolute color fidelity, you might look elsewhere.

Portrait mode photography, which lets you adjust the bokeh effect before or after you take the shot, is a strong point. The software does an excellent job of separating subjects – human, or otherwise – from their background for professional-looking results.

The 10MP, 3x optical zoom does a good job, though its capabilities break down when it comes to 10x and 30x. We’re not sure there are enough pixels to support this level of digital (even AI-backed) interpolation.

The camera app includes a rather deep set of shooting modes and controls, many of them hidden under ‘More’ (typical of an Android phone). There's Pro mode, for instance, which gives you control over shutter speed, ISO (film speed in old-school camera-speak), focus point, and white balance.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 doesn't include a Cinematic mode, as Apple does in the iPhone 13, but you can adjust the depth of focus while shooting video if you use the Pro Video mode setting. With that on, you can tap on any subject and the camera will refocus on them. It's a shame Samsung hides such a useful feature in this way.

Camera samples

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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 tree photo

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 zoom

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 wide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 ultrawide

(Image credit: Future)
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Samsung Galaxy S22 reflection photo

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22 performance and specs

  • Uses Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in the US and Asia
  • Uses Exynos 2200 everywhere else
  • Powerful, with a fair amount of storage

Samsung has equipped all members of its S22 line with one of its latest mobile chipsets. In the US, that’s the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while outside the US and Asia the Galaxy S22 runs on Samsung’s own Exynos 2200. Both processors are paired with 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB storage.

When we benchmarked the Galaxy S22 against the S22 Ultra, we found the Geekbench scores to be essentially equal. Both phones’ scores are still generally lower than Apple's A16 Bionic’s, though.

None of this is to say the Galaxy S22 feels slow. It has more than enough power for casual mobile tasks (web browsing, app work) and extra juice for videos, games, 4K video shooting, and editing. The 8K video shoot was a stuttering disaster, but otherwise, we were pleased.

We wish Samsung didn't skimp on storage (256GB max without the option of a microSD upgrade is simply not enough) and leave out WiFi 6E (it has WiFi 6), but these are relatively minor quibbles.

Samsung Galaxy S22 software

  • Android 12 with Samsung's One UI over the top
  • Lots of pre-installed Samsung apps
  • Has 5G connectivity

Samsung Galaxy S22 front hole punch

Samsung Galaxy S22 front hole punch for 10MP selfie camera. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The entire Samsung Galaxy S22 phone family runs on Samsung's One UI 4.1, laid over Android 12.

We like One UI because it mostly doesn't get in the way of a clean Android 12 experience. Yes, it still has its own web browser, which you can happily ignore (along with Samsung's Calendar and Contacts apps), and Bixby (which is tied to the power button for no good reason), but the Gallery app for photos and videos is passable (Google Photos, which is also present, is better).

This is also a 5G phone, which means you can enjoy blazing-fast mobile connectivity where you can get a decent signal. Indoors, however, that's often impossible. Even in the suburbs of most big cities, 5G coverage is spotty. But we did have fun streaming HD Netflix on the train ride home until we moved out of 5G range and back into LTE.

Samsung Galaxy S22 battery life

  • 3,700mAh battery - 300mAh smaller than before
  • USB-C cable, but no wall plug, included
  • Charges at 25W - also supports wireless

It's not clear why Samsung shrunk the Galaxy S22's battery down by 300mAh, from a capacity of 4,000mAh on the S21 to 3,700mAh here, but it doesn't appear to have much of an impact. We got roughly 12 hours of battery life with varied and almost constant use. Your mileage may vary.

The phone doesn’t ship with a charging adapter – just the USB-C cable – but you can use any compatible 25W adapter or charge wirelessly via a Qi adapter. 

Should I buy the Samsung Galaxy S22?

Samsung Galaxy S22 on box

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If this Samsung Galaxy S22 review has you wondering what else is out there, here are some other similar mobiles that might also tempt you.

iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 is a capable smartphone with a seriously snappy CPU, lovely screen, and good cameras. It pales in comparison to the iPhone 14 Pro, but then you’re also saving $200 / £250 / AU$350. If you’re not looking for a big screen on a budget (for that, see the new iPhone 14 Plus), this solid, if unspectacular iPhone – with a couple of really cool next-gen features that you may never use – might be for you.

Read our iPhone 14 review

OnePlus 10T review
The OnePlus 10T is a worthy mid-range Android phone. Its good-looking screen, powerful chipset and fast charging make it a tempting buy for certain users. It’s not perfect – corners have clearly been cut in the camera, battery life and design departments to keep the price lower than it needs to be – but some users will find the lower price and different features make this a solid buy over the premium 10 Pro.

Read our OnePlus 10T review

  • First reviewed March 2022