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Honor 200 Pro review: a portrait powerhouse
5:30 pm | June 12, 2024

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

Honor 200 Pro: Two-minute review

Honor’s 'number-series' phones have a reputation for delivering flagship-level specs at mid-range prices. We saw this in 2023 with the impressive Honor 90, and the Honor 70 before that. However, while the range has, in the past, included Pro variants in China, they’ve never made their way to Europe, until now.

The Honor 200 Pro is a different class of device to last year’s Honor 90. Rather than targeting the upper mid-range market, it’s aimed at the lower-tier of flagship devices. Think the Samsung Galaxy S24, rather than A55. At this level, you need top-notch cameras, blazing-fast performance and cutting-edge features to compete, and thankfully, the Honor 200 Pro delivers on all fronts.

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)

The most exciting feature is, surprisingly, a new set of portrait filters developed with the world-famous Studio Harcourt. Yes, they’re just filters, but the results speak for themselves. You can take some truly stunning portraits with this phone.

Elsewhere, the device is solid on across the board. The phone's Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset allows for smooth and snappy daily operations and a great gaming experience, the mammoth 5,200mAh battery keeps things ticking over for a long time, and its charging is among the fastest in its class, either wired or wirelessly.

The competition is fierce, though, and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 are sure to be more appealing to some buyers. In either case, you get more advanced AI features and a longer window of support, but you’ll miss out on the impressive battery life and portrait prowess of the Honor 200 Pro. Whether it’s right for you depends on your priorities.

Honor 200 Pro review: Price and availability

  • Costs £699.99 in the UK
  • Released May 2024 – China only, June, 2024 – internationally
  • No availability in US and Australia

The Honor 200 Pro launched alongside its non-Pro sibling, the Honor 200, in China on May 31, 2024. Then, less than a month later, both devices made their global debut in Paris on June 12. Both phones are now available to pre-order in Europe, but as usual, there’s no US or Australian launch on the cards.

The Honor 200 Pro costs £699.99 in the UK and comes in one storage configuration: 512GB with 12GB RAM. For context, the comparable Samsung Galaxy S24 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,399, so £699.99 is a reasonable price for the Honor 200 Pro.

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Specs

Honor 200 Pro review: Design

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Velvety-feeling matte glass back
  • Casa Milá-inspired camera surround
  • IP65 dust and water resistant

The Honor 200 Pro stands out from the crowd with its unique elongated circular camera surround. Apparently, this design is inspired by the shape of Barcelona’s Casa Milá, but it also looks a bit like an airplane window, or a turret from Portal.

I found the notch a little off-putting at first, but it has grown on me somewhat, and it definitely helps to differentiate this model from the sea of circular and square-shaped camera bumps. The silver bezel surrounding the camera glass looks super-premium, too.

Elsewhere, things are a little more traditional. The phone has curved edges on the front and rear that make it feel slim and comfortable in the hand, and there’s a high-gloss metal frame around the edges.

The rear is made from glass and it has a velvety-feeling matte texture, similar to recent Vivo flagships like the X100 Pro. It feels lovely and is completely immune to fingerprints, but it’s slippery, so you’ll need to be very careful if you use it without a case. Thankfully, a transparent TPU number is included in the box, so you can keep it protected easily.

The Honor 200 Pro is available in three colors: Moonlight White, Black and Ocean Cyan. I have the white version in for testing, which has a marble-like pattern across the rear, and it reminds me of a fancy kitchen countertop. The black version has a more understated uniform finish, for those that prefer a more professional look. Meanwhile, the cyan model is the loudest; it has a dual-texture rear with a sweeping S-shaped curve down the back. 

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Display

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • 6.78-inch quad-curved 120Hz OLED display
  • 3840Hz PWM dimming
  • 4000 nits peak brightness

The Honor 200 Pro has a bright, vivid display that’s curved on all sides, and an adaptive refresh rate that can dynamically shift between 60Hz and 120Hz, depending on what you’re viewing. It’s not quite as impressive as an LTPO panel, which can go all the way down to 1Hz, but it still means you can expect longer battery life without sacrificing smooth scrolling and high-refresh-rate gaming.

Usually, I prefer flat displays, but the Honor Magic 6 Pro won me over with its relatively tight curves – effectively delivering the best of both worlds. I was hoping for more of the same here, but that’s unfortunately not the case. The Honor 200 Pro has a more typical curved display.

Some people are sure to love it, and it definitely helps to make the device feel slim in the hand and pocket, but it’s more prone to accidental touches than I’d like. 

Elsewhere, I have zero complaints. The panel is sharp and high-resolution, the color rendition looks fantastic, and it’s more than bright enough to compete with the springtime sunshine. There are plenty of eye health features included here, too.

The display can deliver an astonishing PWM dimming rate of 3840Hz, besting some of the priciest flagships on the market. The Samsung S24 Ultra only supports 480Hz PWM dimming, for example. If you’re not familiar, this tech essentially ensures low flicker at all brightness levels, to reduce eye strain for those who are sensitive to such things.

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Cameras

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 50MP main (f/1.9)
  • 50MP 2.5x telephoto (f/2.4)
  • 12MP ultra-wide macro (f/2.2)

Honor describes the 200 Pro as “the portrait master”, so clearly it believes in the phone’s photographic capabilities. And indeed, this phone packs some serious hardware to support that claim.

Around the back, you’ll find a 50MP main camera with a 1/1.3-inch sensor and OIS, a 50MP 2.5x telephoto with OIS and a 12MP ultra-wide with macro focusing capabilities. On the front, there’s a pill-shaped cutout housing a 50MP wide-angle selfie camera.

As usual, the main camera delivers the most impressive results, especially in low light, where the larger sensor comes into play. The camera app gives you a 2x button for digitally cropping in with this camera, and there’s almost no loss of quality when the lighting is sufficient.

The 2.5x telephoto is very impressive, too. Personally, I would have liked a longer focal length, but this 70mm-ish equivalent is still very useful. You can get good results pushing it to about 5x or so before the image starts to break down, but if you go above 10x with the digital zoom, prepare for disappointment.

The ultra-wide is decent, but with a 16mm equivalent field of view, it’s not quite as wide as some of the competition. It does have autofocus, though, and it can focus extremely close for some unique macro shots. It’s lower resolution than the other sensors, but it still captures a good amount of detail. It’s not great in low light, but that’s usually the case with ultra-wides.

The selfie camera has an ample 50MP resolution and a wide FOV that makes it suitable for group shots. Of course, you can also digitally crop into a more typical focal length. It doesn't seem to have autofocus, which is a bit disappointing, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re standing in the sweet spot for the best results.

The most impressive thing about this camera isn’t the hardware, though, it's a new portrait mode developed in collaboration with legendary Parisian portrait studio Studio Harcourt. And yes, it is essentially just a couple of filters, but they’re really, really good ones.

Harcourt Classic aims to recreate the studio’s signature black and white headshots, and the results can be stunning. It’s most effective with portraits – that’s what the feature is designed for, after all – but I got great results with animals, too.

Harcourt Color is a similar effect, but in color, as the name suggests. It creates images with a lovely warm color palette. Both modes add an artificial bokeh effect, and they seem to accentuate lens flares from light sources, too. Honor’s edge detection is second to none, and I was really impressed with how well it managed to cut out wisps of hair and other difficult scenes.

Finally, there’s a Harcourt Vibrant, and I found this a little less impressive. It processes color similarly to the normal camera modes, and it loses some of that vintage allure that the other modes provide. Still, it might be useful to have if you prefer a poppy vibrant shot.

I was a little disappointed to learn that these effects only work on the main and telephoto rear cameras, so you can’t use them for snapping selfies. I’d love to see support for that added, but maybe this selfie camera didn’t quite get the Harcourt stamp of approval.

When it comes to video shooting, the Honor 200 Pro supports capture at up to 4K 60fps on the main and telephoto cameras, while the ultra-wide and selfie camera max out at 4K 30fps. The resulting videos have great stabilization, and as usual, Honor’s software has tons of features packed in, including full manual controls.

  • Cameras score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro camera samples

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Honor 200 Pro review: Performance

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset
  • 12GB RAM and 512GB storage

The Honor 200 Pro is powered by the new Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, which is supposed to bring some of the flagship Gen 3 experience to more affordable price points. In day-to-day use, I’d say it achieves that goal; the phone feels snappy and apps open quickly with no stuttering or hesitation.

In benchmarks, the difference becomes more apparent. The Honor 200 Pro finds itself lagging behind last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered phones in graphical performance, and occasionally beating them in computational workloads. So, it’s not quite top-of-the-line, but it’s still a more capable gaming machine than the Exynos-powered Galaxy S24 or Pixel 8, for example.

I had no issues playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves at maximum settings, so in the real world, the 8s Gen 3 provides more than enough horsepower for most people. The phone does heat up a bit when you give it such a demanding workload, but it always remained comfortable to hold. Honor’s new super-sized vapor chamber is clearly working as it should.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Software

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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Honor 200 Pro

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  • Magic OS 8.0, based on Android 14

The Honor 200 Pro runs Magic OS 8.0, a heavily customized skin that’s built on top of Android 14. This is the same software that we tested on the Honor Magic 6 Pro, and it’s a pretty significant departure from the stock Android experience.

Honor takes some inspiration from Apple for Magic OS. The notification shade and quick settings menu are separated, the app drawer is disabled by default, and there’s even a Dynamic Island-like feature that Honor calls Magic Capsule.

If you’re used to a more traditional Android experience, Magic OS will take some getting used to. On the flip side, if you’re coming from an iPhone, you might have an easier time. As an Android user, I found it jarring at first, but it has grown on me. I especially like the Magic Capsule, as it gives me quick access to my media controls and timers no matter which app I have running in the foreground. 

Another great feature is Honor’s Magic Portal. This allows you to drag text or images to the side of your display, and a selection of recommended apps will pop up. Then you can quickly share or search for your selection in the relevant app. I love being able to drag an address into Google Maps for speedy directions, and it’s a really fast way to reverse image search, too.

It’s not all perfect, though. There’s a little bit of bloatware to clean up when you first set up the phone (mostly just Honor’s own apps), and the Magic Capsule had a couple of hiccups during my use. Again, nothing horrific, but it wouldn’t let me tap the media controls at some points, and then it randomly started working again. I am using pre-release software, mind, so in all likelihood, these issues will be ironed out.

  • Software score: 3 / 5

Honor 200 Pro review: Battery

Honor 200 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Luke Baker)
  • 5,200mAh silicon-carbon battery
  • 100W wired charging
  • 66W wireless charging

The Honor 200 Pro uses the same cutting-edge battery tech as the Honor Magic 6 Pro to squeeze a 5,200mAh battery pack into a very svelte shell. This means it’ll easily get you through a day of very heavy use, a day and a half poses no issue, and you might even get two days out of a charge if you use it sparingly.

What’s more, the Honor 200 Pro charges up very quickly with the included 100W wall adapter. By my count, it took just 50 minutes to go from completely dead to fully charged. Half an hour on the charger will get you up to around 70%.

It also boasts the same lightning-fast 66W wireless charging speed as the pricier Magic 6 Pro. You’ll need Honor’s SuperCharge stand to get the full power output, but I happen to own one, and it’s impressively quick. It’s well worth the investment to be able just to slap your phone down and have it fully topped up in about an hour.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Honor 200 Pro?

Buy it if...

You want a more affordable version of the Magic 6 Pro
There are plenty of similarities between this phone and Honor’s flagship Magic 6 Pro. If you like the look of that device, but it doesn’t fit your budget, then this is a great alternative.

You love taking portrait shots
The Studio Harcourt-inspired portrait modes are some of the most impressive I’ve ever seen. If you take lots of portraits, you’re sure to love this phone.

You want a slim phone with great battery life
The Honor 200 Pro has a slim chassis and its curved edges make it feel even slimmer. Despite that, it packs one of the biggest batteries in its class and can go a long time in between charges.

Don't buy it if...

You’re an avid selfie snapper
While the rest of the cameras impressed, I found the selfie camera underwhelming. There’s no autofocus and you can’t use the awesome Harcourt filters, either.

You love stock Android
Honor’s MagicOS 8.0 is a big change from stock Android, and some users are sure to find it overwhelming.

Honor 200 Pro review: Also consider

The Honor 200 Pro delivers impressive specifications and features at a competitive price point, but the competition has plenty to offer, too.

Samsung Galaxy S24
Samsung’s most affordable flagship is a more compact option that doesn’t compromise on specs and quality. If you’re keen on generative AI features, it offers a lot more in that department.

How I tested the Honor 200 Pro

  • Review test period: Two weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: Geekbench 6, 3DMark, GFXBench, native Android stats, Honor 100W charger and wireless SuperCharge stand

I popped my SIM card into the Honor 200 Pro and lived with it as my main device for around two weeks before reaching any conclusions. I used it exactly as I would use any other phone, taking tons of pictures, gaming, messaging, working, streaming video and navigating with Google Maps.

I also compared the experience of playing graphically demanding games like Wuthering Waves, Genshin Impact and PUBG Mobile to my experiences with other Android flagships like the Honor Magic 6 Pro, Vivo X100 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. In addition, I ran several benchmarks on the handset including 3DMark, GFXbench and Geekbench.

Battery performance was assessed based on my real-world usage and charging times were measured using the included 100W wall adapter and cable. I also tested the wireless charging capabilities with Honor’s Wireless 100W SuperCharge stand. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024

Braun TriForce / PowerBlend 9 blender review
11:41 am | June 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Juicers & Blenders Small Appliances | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Braun TriForce Power Blender: two-minute review

This blender has slightly different names and product codes in different territories:

US: Braun TriForce Power Blender JB9040BK
UK: Braun PowerBlend 9 jug blender JB9040
AU: Braun PowerBlend 9 Jug blender JB9042

We tested the UK version. Be aware there may be minor differences between different countries' models.

The Braun TriForce Power Blender (known as the Braun PowerBlend 9 in the UK and Australia) brings all the benefits of the best blenders with a few extras, such as a hot Soup mode and Chop function, thrown in. It's a highly customizable appliance, offering 18 preset blending options – six presets with three texture settings for each – plus 10 manual speeds, a Pulse feature and Clean mode. It comes with 2-liter triangular Tritan jug, a fixed blade and tamper.

The TriForce Power Blender is the flagship model in Braun's countertop jug blender range. Its unique triangular, 2-liter jug sets it apart from other blenders I’ve used. Not just in terms of design, but also because this shape makes sure food rarely gets stuck to the sides. Everything is pulled towards the blades and blended quickly – up to four times faster than rival models, according to Braun. 

It offers a wide range of intuitive presets – Smoothie, Soup, Chop, Ice Crush, Frozen Dessert, and Spread – making it super easy to not only make a selection of drinks, dips, butters, desserts at the touch of a button, but to get your ideal consistency time and again. During my tests, it produced an almost perfect smoothie in seconds, despite some tiny flecks of kale; its Spread setting is brilliant for making hummus because it cycles through blending and pulsing; and its Ice Crush feature worked as expected. The ice wasn't as powdery as on other blenders I've tried, but it wasn't far off. 

Braun TriForce Power Blender on a kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, you can easily set or change the consistency of anything you make by cycling through the different textures – Smooth, Medium and Coarse – and the manual speeds are varied enough to bring an extra level of precision. The hot soup function is also a pleasant surprise. It turned cubes of vegetables and stock into warm, tasty, comforting soup in less than six minutes. Minimal hassle, minimal mess. 

Speaking of mess, the TriForce Power Blender's Clean mode works really well, which is a welcome feature considering you can't remove the blades to clean underneath them. You can also put the jug safely in the dishwasher. 

Despite its wide array of features, the TriForce is surprisingly compact, fitting neatly under my cabinets and light enough to move around and store easily. It measures 16.9 x 7.9 x 7.9" / ‎43 x 20 x 20 cm (H x W x D) and weighs 10.1lbs / 4.6kg. The anti-slip feet and tidy cord storage are thoughtful touches that make it practical and safe for everyday use. 

Ice cubes in the Braun TriForce Power Blender

(Image credit: Future)

This blender can get loud, especially at higher speeds, reaching as high as 105db. This is equivalent to having a car horn blasting in your kitchen, which can be uncomfortable at times. But since it blends so quickly, at least it’s a short-lived racket.

In sort, if you're looking for a high-performance blender that can do it all and a little more, and are happy to invest a bit more to get it, the Braun TriForce Power Blender is a great choice. It's a powerful, intuitive addition to your kitchen and while it's far from cheap, it is at least good value, specially if you can get it for one of the many discounts being offered regularly from third-party retailers. That's the short version – read on for my full Braun TriForce / PowerBlend review.

Braun TriForce Power Blender review: price & availability

  • List price: $249.95 / £199.99 / AU$299
  • Available in US, UK and Australia

There are three Braun countertop blenders – the $99.95 entry-level Braun PureMix Power Blender (JB7200), the standard $249.95 Braun TriForce Power Blender (JB9040BK) and the $299.95 TriForce Power Blender with Smoothie2Go accessory (JB9040BK). This accessory turns the jug blender into a personal blender for an extra $50. I reviewed the standard TriForce model. 

As 2-liter jug blenders go, the TriForce is one of the more expensive models on the market. Few countertop blenders exceed the $200 mark with the exception of those from high-end brands such as Vitamix and Smeg with the $649 Vitamix A3300 Ascent Series, or the $429.95 Smeg Professional Blender. The closest Braun rival, in terms of size and features is the Ninja HB150C/HB152 Foodi Heat-iQ Blender and this sells for $198. It's slightly smaller, but has more automated settings.  

In the US, you can buy the TriForce Power Blender from Braun directly, or via a number of third-party resellers including Walmart, Amazon and Target. At the time of writing, the TriForce Power Blender was being sold across these third-party sites for as much as $70 less than its RRP. In fact, only Braun was selling it for its full price. 

In the UK, and Australia, the appliance is known as the Braun PowerBlend 9 and you can buy it directly from Braun, as well as Amazon, Debenhams and AO in the UK. In Australia, you can buy it from Braun, Harvey Norman and Appliances Online. Again, few sites in the UK and Australia regularly sell the PowerBlend 9 for its RRP and some regularly sell it for ~£100/AU$150 less. 

The Braun TriForce Power Blender is a powerful appliance with a wide range of features that elevate it beyond a simple jug blender. From a hot soup function to a food processor-style chopping feature.  As a result, it has a price to match. There are cheaper blenders that perform well against the Braun, but there are also more expensive models that don't live up to its performance. So, while $249.95 seems a little high, it is decent value and you get some of the benefits of multiple appliances for the price of one. Plus, with a number of sites regularly dropping the price, you could get a really good deal. 

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

Braun TriForce Power Blender specifications

Braun TriForce Power Blender review: design & features

  • 1600w motor, 2 liter BPA-Free Tritan jug
  • 10 manual blending speeds + 6 presets, 3 textures, Pulse and Clean
  • Triangular jug with fixed blades

The first thing I noticed about the Braun TriForce Power Blender is its triangular, 2-liter jug. Most jug blenders have circular or boxy jugs yet Braun has deliberately designed its jug in a way that means food rarely gets stuck to the sides. This is because the sides bring the food closer to the blades, and thus it's constantly being pulled back towards the center due to the centrifugal force. Braun claims this guarantees "faster blended results in less time."  

The BPA-Free Tritan triangular jug then slides and locks into place on top of a rubber triangular base, while the jug's lid, complete with small, detachable cap, locks onto the base via two large clips on each side. 

Circular cap on the Braun TriForce Power Blender's lid

(Image credit: Future)

Below the jug is a touchscreen display and rotating dial. Along the display are each of the preset buttons – Smoothie, Soup, Chop, Ice Crush, Frozen Dessert, and Spread – and while I appreciate how self-explanatory they all are, I don't love the use of lowercase font throughout. It's a very minor, almost ridiculous complaint, but it makes the machine look less professional than its price would suggest.

Below these buttons are the Manual and Pulse buttons above the Clean button, on the right-hand side, and the Start/Stop button that doubles up as the control dial in the center. This dial can be used to set the manual speed, when Manual mode is selected, or used to switch between the blender's three iTexture settings: Smooth, Medium or Coarse.  

This mix of presets and textures takes the total possible number of automated settings to 18. This extends to 29 settings when you add in the 10 manual speeds and the Pulse function. This is a very impressive number and could feel overwhelming. However, by making every button and setting easy to use and identify, Braun has avoided over-complicating things. This intuitive design even encouraged me to experiment with different settings without fear of breaking it or something going drastically wrong. 

Controls on the Braun TriForce Power Blender

(Image credit: Future)

Despite its 2-liter jug and panel of impressive controls, the blender is surprisingly compact measuring 16.9 x 7.9 x 7.9" / ‎43 x 20 x 20cm (H x W x D). It should fit easily under most kitchen cupboards, even with the jug attached, and will sit neatly in a corner. 

It's a lightweight blender too. The base and jug together weigh 10.1lb / 4.6 kg and this makes it easy to move around your countertop, or if you want to store it in a drawer or cupboard. It then has anti-slip feet on the bottom of the base, and a 3ft / 1m cord. Such is its compact and portable nature, the blender was one of the few appliances I was able to leave out on my limited countertops when my kitchen was being remodeled.  

The use of black plastic and rubber follows suit with the majority of blenders on the market and while this means it will blend into most aesthetics, it's hardly groundbreaking. The only element that gives the TriForce Power Blender a touch of flair is the green light used to illuminate the Start-Stop button and speed dial. That's not to say it's ugly; rather if you want something with striking looks, this blender may not be for you.

It's also a shame that the blades aren't removable but, thanks to the built-in cleaning mode and the fact the jug is dishwasher-safe, this is another minor flaw that's easily remedied. 

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Braun TriForce Power Blender review: performance

  • Almost faultless results across various blending tests
  • Blends quickly and effectively
  • Presets perform better than manual settings

For my first test of the Braun TriForce Power Blender, I made a kale, blueberry and banana smoothie with almond milk. I add all of the ingredients to the jug, pressed the Smoothie button, selected the Smooth texture, and pushed the Start button. In as little as 20 seconds, the drink looked smooth and well blended but I let the Smoothie setting run to its default time of one minute before pouring the drink. 

The resulting drink was almost velvety in texture. I could see tiny flecks of kale and blueberry skin when I looked at the drink, but they were so small I couldn't taste them. If you choose the Medium texture, the total blending time is 44 seconds, and for Coarse it's 42 seconds. I was impressed by how quickly the blender achieved these results, and in my experience it lives up to the brand's claim that it creates food "60% finer and four times faster" than other models. 

Making a kale, blueberry and banana smoothie in the Braun TriForce Power Blender

(Image credit: Future)

Next, I made hummus. I usually have to use a manual setting when making hummus on most blenders I review because they rarely have an appropriate, dedicated setting. On the Braun TriForce Power Blender I used the Spread setting, which the instruction manual says is designed for hummus, pesto and nut butters, and the blender ran for 2 minutes and 20 seconds cycling through a pattern of blending and pulsing. 

The resulting hummus was the perfect consistency. It was smooth but thick, making it ideal for dipping vegetable sticks into, while also coating the inside of my mouth with flavor. What's more, I didn't once have to stop the blender to scrape the mixture from the edges, or press it down using the tamper. 

Hummus made in the Braun TriForce Power Blender

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, I used the blender to make crushed ice using the Ice Crush setting. This setting causes the blender to operate in short bursts for 25 seconds to crush the ice to a powder. It worked well, in terms of quickly and effectively blending the ice cubes, but the result was less powdery than other blenders I've used. It was closer to the consistency of a sorbet. There is a very subtle distinction between the two, but whereas other blenders have turned the cubes to light powder, the Braun's crushed ice was more wet so stuck together in clumps. You can easily use it to make frozen drinks but I felt the texture was slightly off.

In addition to the above tests, I also wanted to put the TriForce Power Blender's Soup function to the test. The brand claims you can turn room-temperature ingredients into hot soup in almost six minutes. I tested this by adding chunks of cooked butternut squash, garlic, onion, carrot and a liter of vegetable stock to the blender. I pressed the Soup button, pushed Start and the blender began by chopping the ingredients, before blending and slowly heating them for five minutes and 45 seconds. The result was a slightly coarse, warm soup that lacked some of the depth of soup made on a stove, but was still tasty and comforting. 

Ice cubes in the Braun TriForce Power Blender

(Image credit: Future)

The only real downside to all of these pros is how loud the TriForce blender can be. On Speed 1 in Manual mode, it's relatively quiet, averaging 63dB.  It was easy to have a conversation with my partner or children while the blender was running at this speed. 

However, during my Smoothie and hummus tests, this sound jumped up to an average of 97db. This is equivalent to the sound of a motorcycle engine and feels uncomfortable in such a confined space like my kitchen. On Manual Mode, Speed 9, the average reading was 91db, and it jumped to an average of 105db when crushing the ice cubes. This is equivalent to a phone playing at full volume and just below the sound of a car horn. Any sounds over 85dB for extended periods can cause hearing problems. 

Thankfully, because the blender works so quickly and efficiently, these sounds run for less time than they do on other models so at least you don't have to be subjected to them for longer than necessary. 

Overall, the TriForce blender's performance is a little hit and miss but largely positive. I was worried, given its wide range of features, that it would be a Jack of all trades, master of none but this is far from the case. I also appreciate the different ways I can customise my drinks and food and this makes up for any of the blender's shortcomings in my opinion and experience. Mainly because if I want a different texture, or the presets don't work as I want, I have a range of ways to correct it and tweak it until they do. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Should I buy the Braun TriForce Power Blender?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if...

How I tested the Braun TriForce Power Blender

  • I used it to blend drinks, food and ice
  • I checked the noise level at different speeds
  • I assessed how easy it was to clean

I used the Braun TriForce Power Blender in my own home for four weeks, making smoothies, sauces, hummus, soup and crushed ice. 

I assessed how simple it was to set the blender up, how easy and intuitive it is to navigate the different presets and textures, how well it performed different tasks, its noise levels and how easy it was to clean. 

I’ve been reviewing home and kitchen appliances for more than 15 years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on when assessing how well a product such as a blender performs. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

De’Longhi Eletta Explore review: delicious hot and cold brews from one bean-to-cup machine
6:21 pm | June 5, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Coffee Machines Computers Gadgets Home Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

De'Longhi Eletta Explore two-minute review

Throw your Starbucks loyalty card out of the window, because the De’Longhi Eletta Explore is here to completely shake up your coffee addiction, offering a gamut of both cold and hot drinks in one brilliant machine.

This is easily one of the best bean-to-cup coffee makers I’ve tested, pouring deliciously smooth and sweet espresso and cold brew coffee in record time with minimal maintenance. Of course, as with many bean-to-cup machines, it’s not going to be one for the fervent, ride-or-die coffee lovers; they're better off with one of the best espresso machines. It is, however, perfect for those of us who don’t need the ritual of coffee-making and just need the good stuff.

Relatively compact at 15.13 x 10.25 x 17.5" / 38.5 x 26 x 45cm (H x W x D), the De’Longhi Eletta Explore manages to pack in a lot of features and functionalities without eating up too much counter space — provided you’ve got fairly deep counters. It’s not a thing of beauty, but it’s not bad-looking, clad mostly in black and deeper grays, and it comes with a whole host of accessories; a travel mug, two milk carafes, an ice tray, a grounds scoop, a brush and a hot water nozzle. You name it, and it’s probably in the Eletta Explore box (provided it’s somewhat relevant to coffee-making, that is).

De’Longhi Eletta Explore on a kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future)

As ever, I was impressed by De’Longhi’s Bean Adapt and Latte Crema technology, which work in tandem to ensure drinks produced by the Eletta Explore are as close as possible to barista-made beverages. The Eletta Explore can also connect to De’Longhi’s Coffee Link App, meaning you can remotely control your machine and line up your orders from the sofa. But keep in mind that the machine runs its cleaning cycles before use, so you’ll have to get up to switch your mug for the container catching wastewater.

De’Longhi Eletta Explore review: price & availability

  • Price: $1,899.99 / £999.99 / AU$1,799.00
  • Available in US, UK and Australia

The price for the De’Longhi Eletta Explore varies wildly across the globe; in the UK, its list price is £999.99, though retailers seem to consistently sell it at least £100 cheaper at £899.99. In Australia, it’s priced around the same at AU$1,799, but in the US it’s horrifically more expensive at $1,899.99.

In the UK/AU, it’s definitely offering relatively good value for money; yes, it could still do with being cheaper, but there aren’t that many bean-to-cup machines as capable as the Eletta Explore, especially not when it comes to cold drinks. When it comes to the US, however, it’s inconceivable why it should be double the price.

The machine comes with all the accessories you should need: a travel mug, two milk carafes, an ice tray, a grounds scoop, a brush and a hot water nozzle. It also comes with a descaling kit and one water filter, which you’ll need to replace to keep the machine in good working order; these cost $9.95 / £11.99 / AU$19.95 and $19.95 / £15.99 / AU$29.95 respectively.

De’Longhi Eletta Explore specs

De’Longhi Eletta Explore review: design

  • Compact design
  • Touchscreen display
  • Hot and cold milk carafes

While the De’Longhi Eletta Explore takes up a decent chunk of kitchen counter space, it’s broadly speaking a compact and space-efficient machine provided you have deep enough counters and sufficient overhead. It measures 15.13 x 10.25 x 17.50" / 38.5 x 26 x 45cm, but you’ll also have to think about how you store its many accessories.

On top of the machine at the rear is the 10.6oz / 300g bean hopper and grounds hatch. These are not airtight, unlike the detachable bean hoppers included with the De’Longhi Rivelia I tested a few months ago, meaning you probably only ever want as much coffee in there as you intend to use in a given day to keep your beans and grounds fresh.

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Bean hopper and grinder adjustment on the De’Longhi Eletta Explore

(Image credit: Future)
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De’Longhi Eletta Explore with the water tank pulled out

(Image credit: Future)
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De’Longhi Eletta Explore's display showing its 'Mug to go' option

(Image credit: Future)

You can also change the grind size using a dial seated beneath the hopper lid — this is a slightly annoying design choice, especially if you like to fiddle with your settings and have lower cabinets. There are seven grind options for the conical burr grinder within the machine.

Moving towards the front of the machine, there’s a metal tray that is great for storing accessories or cups, and then at the very front are the controls. From left to right, there are touch controls for the machine’s different menus: ‘To-go mode’, cold beverages, hot beverages and your favorites menu. These controls surround the 3.5-inch (8.9cm) color touchscreen display in the middle of the console, which displays various instructions and status updates while your coffee brews.

De’Longhi Eletta Explore grinding beans for a flat white

(Image credit: Future)

Beneath the controls on the front of the screen are the spout, the accessory slot where you can click in the Hot and Cold LatteCrema Carafes or hot water nozzle, and the 60.9fl oz / 1.8L inbuilt water tank, which slides out of the machine. I love the design of this in principle; however, in practice, it can be really annoying. I found that the tank didn’t always quite align with its threads properly, meaning it would be slightly askew in the machine, especially if you fully remove the tank — so thankfully, De’Longhi has included an insert lid for the tank with a small hole for pouring in water. If, like me, you refill your coffee machine with filtered water from a jug, that’s no issue, but if you will be refilling from a faucet or otherwise affixed water source, you might find this process tedious.

At the base is the drip tray, which is just about fine for all cup sizes, barring some of the larger mugs I have in my collection. It gets better still when you lift the hatch here, which grants some extra height and allows you to fit full-size travel mugs — a really neat addition that’s perfect for early-morning commuters.

A hand holding the De’Longhi Eletta Explore's Cold LatteCrema Carafe

(Image credit: Future)

In addition to the machine itself, you get two LatteCrema milk carafes for hot and cold milk beverages. The reason these are split into two containers is that different nozzles are needed to foam milk with and without heat, which makes sense, but does create some frustrations in use. Plus, you can exclusively use semi-skimmed milk and plant-based milk with the Eletta Explore.

On top of each carafe is a dial that allows you to choose between min, mid and max froth, as well as the cleaning setting. These lids aren’t snugly fit to the carafes, so make sure you don’t make the same mistake I did in lifting them by the lid — unless you want to cry over spilt milk. The nozzles sit quite far forward on the carafe, meaning slimmer tall mugs can be a bit problematic, given the espresso spout is fairly far back.

  • Design score: 4 out of 5

De’Longhi Eletta Explore review: performance

  • Consistent and rich results
  • Impressive grinder
  • Easy to maintain

As with any bean-to-cup coffee machine, the quality of the beverages will never quite match those made by hand using a more sophisticated espresso machine, but I was nonetheless impressed by the De’Longhi Eletta Explore. Broadly speaking, its results were consistent and rich, although occasionally it spat out a very acidic espresso. This was usually only when I hit a not-so-sweet spot where I’d made a few coffees in close succession and the beans had been in the non-airtight hopper a little too long.

The rest of the time, the Eletta Explore made delicious, well-balanced espresso with a well-formed crema and plenty of body. Its cappuccinos had great microfoam with impressive staying power, and the lattes were delicious and creamy. All of the drinks came out at the perfect recommended drinking temperature, too.

De’Longhi Eletta Explore making an iced latte

(Image credit: Future)

Most impressive, however, was the cold coffee made by the Eletta Explore. From rich and creamy iced lattes to delicious cold cappuccinos with excellent foam — though it’s never quite as good as foam created by heating the milk. Even its cold brews that compress a slow brewing process into mere minutes came out deliciously, with only a hint of bitterness. The machine will tell you the perfect number of ice cubes to use from the supplied tray, which in my experience was the perfect amount every time.

The conical burr grinder inside the machine is fantastic, crushing beans to the perfect size for smooth and delicious coffee. I mostly kept the grind setting to five, but the Eletta Explore offers seven different settings from fine to coarse. It’s fairly loud (70dB) in use, but not the loudest I’ve tested.

Swapping between milk jugs is pretty annoying if, like me, you want to have different coffees throughout the day. It seems to be a workaround, as different nozzles are needed for different milk temperatures, but why couldn’t they just offer changeable nozzles?

De’Longhi Eletta Explore making a cup of espresso

(Image credit: Future)

I used the Coffee Link App and Bean Adapt technology with my Eletta Explore to ensure I was crafting the best possible coffee, inputting information about my coffee bean of choice to finesse the water temperature and intensity. The app and machine both boast a huge menu of espresso-based options, too, if you’re ever looking for inspiration.

Maintenance-wise, the machine is pretty easy to look after. It cleans itself automatically, but you’ll need to keep on top of the descaling and water filter to make sure it remains in good working order. The drip tray and grounds container are easy to remove, but the drip tray is a little fiddly to clean. The milk carafes are both dishwasher-safe, but relatively easy to clean by hand in the sink, too.

Should you buy the De’Longhi Eletta Explore?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

How I tested the De’Longhi Eletta Explore

I used the De'Longhi Eletta Explore as my main coffee machine for a month, testing its various settings and functions and drinking a lot of different coffees. I used both its cold and hot coffee technology to try almost every drink on its expansive menu - excluding those that are effectively just iterations on standard drinks.

In addition to coffee taste and quality tests, I also maintained the device per the manufacturer's instructions to see how easy it is to run over time. I also tested the De'Longhi coffee link app to see how easy it was to use and how successfully it can control the machine.

I've been testing home appliances for two years, in addition to my years of experience testing tech more generally, which informs my ratings and opinions on how well tech performs, how well it's designed and if it offers value for money. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024

Vasco Translator V4 review
5:06 pm |

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

When I crammed the Vasco Translator V4 into the small pouch on the side of my rucksack a few days before the start of my holiday, I have to admit that I was quite skeptical as to whether I would actually ever need to use the gadget. The latest product from electronic manufacturer Vasco, I believed that this portable translator, which supports 108 languages, would simply pale in comparison to the translation capabilities of my far pricier iPhone 15 Plus.

After two weeks testing the device in the heart of Tokyo, however, I can report that it is a formidable device that is in many ways far superior to simply relying on your phone, and perhaps even better than some of the best translation software.

The Vasco Translator V4 being used to translate a store display.

(Image credit: Dashiell Wood / Future)

Vasco Translator V4: Two-minute review

So, what makes this translation device better? First, there’s the matter of the Vasco Translator V4’s more convenient form factor. It’s remarkably slim, with a candy bar shape that's easy to slot into even a cramped pocket. It has a slightly rubberised plastic back, which is pleasantly grippy and successfully endured being roughly tossed into various bags and even occasionally dropped throughout my trip.

On the left hand side of the device, there's a simple volume rocker while the right hand side features a power button and two speech recognition buttons which are used for voice translation. Each button denotes the language of one speaker, allowing you to intuitively switch between translating either to or from your desired language as you converse. In addition to plenty of chats with native Japanese speakers, I was also able to test the device’s translation capabilities in a handful of other languages.

Although far from a conclusive appraisal of all 76 languages that are currently supported by the voice translation, I found that it was quite fast and very accurate - with a few bilingual friends even remarking that the results were noticeably superior to both Google Translate and Apple's Translate app. Sure, the odd bit of nuance was inevitably lost here and there, but everything was good enough to have me navigating everyday interactions in shops and restaurants with ease.

The top of the device contains an array of microphones used for this purpose and I found that they did a good job of distinguishing voices from loud background noise like construction work or passing trains. The microphones are flanked by two small LED indicators that alternate between two colors to denote the current speaker which is a great touch. The bottom of the device features a USB-C port used for charging or attaching a pair of USB-C headphones. While a dedicated headphones jack would definitely be better, the ability to use some form of headphones is still welcome.

It’s not just good for voice translation, though, as the Vasco Translator V4 also offers fast photo translation. The 8-megapixel camera can be quite blurry and slow to focus, which makes it harder to use in motion, but I was still consistently impressed with the results. The translation of museum displays, signs, advertisement brochures, and restaurant menus was quick and, as far as I can tell, right on the money. Although the 5-inch touch-screen is quite small, you have the nifty ability to zoom into your translated text or even isolate it against an easy-to-read plain white background.

A close up shot of the Vasco Translator V4/

(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, the device supports text translation, though the tiny on-screen keyboard definitely hampers its capabilities in this regard. It also has a language learning tool, but this largely just boils down to basic electronic flashcards. There is also a group chat function, which lets you communicate with colleagues, friends or even family - provided that you can successfully convince them to download and set up the Vasco MultiTalk app on their phones.

It's a solid feature set, but the biggest selling point of the Vasco Translator V4 is comfortably its lifetime global cell coverage. Not having to scramble for a local SIM card the second you land is a welcome relief and it's hard to overstate the value proposition here. While most other pocket translators cost less up front, they then rely on some form of expensive recurring subscription fee. The Vasco Translator V4, in contrast, will simply work almost anywhere in the world at no additional cost.

Depending on the features or settings that you use, you’re also looking at roughly four days battery life with frequent use or about a week on standby mode - keeping you more focused on enjoying your trip than where to find the nearest power outlet.

It’s not a cheap device by any means, and those on a budget will certainly be able to make do with a comparably priced phone, but it’s a great gadget for those willing to spend a little more for a much smoother experience aboard.

A translated conversation on the Vasco Translator V4.

(Image credit: Future)

Vasco Translator V4: Price and availability

  • Priced at $389 / £389
  • Available now in the US and UK
  • Not readily available in Australia

The Vasco Translator V4 is available now from the Vasco Electronics website or third-party retailers like Amazon in the US and UK. At £389 / $389, it is pretty expensive up front, even compared to other similar devices. However, when you factor in the lifetime global cell coverage, which works in nearly 200 countries, the high cost of entry becomes a lot more palatable.

Although our sample was provided in the rather plain black colorway, the device is also available in grey, blue, red, and white.

Vasco Translator V4: Specs

Should you buy the Vasco Translator V4?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Not keen on the Vasco Translator V4? These two cheaper alternatives should be on your radar.

How I tested the Vasco Translator V4

  • Used for a month
  • Tested abroad and at home
  • Tested with multiple languages

I used the Vasco Translator V4 for just over a month, which included a two week trip to Japan and some testing at home and in the office. Some of the languages I tested included Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Romanian, German, and Italian. During my time with the device, I endeavored to use every available feature in order to assess its performance and usefulness.

In order to test the efficacy of the translation, I compared my results to competing software like Google Translate and Apple's Translate app and considered the opinion of a handful of multi-lingual friends, colleagues, and family members.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: mid tier has never looked so high end
10:43 am | May 28, 2024

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

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G: Two-minute review

If you’re shopping for a mid-range phone in 2024, there’s a lot of box-ticking happening in this category. Thankfully, Samsung is a pretty sure-fire bet in this space and its latest release, the Galaxy A55, is another strong contender to become one of the best cheap phones you can get. Like its predecessor, it’s a mid-tier phone with a design that arguably looks and feels as good as its flagship counterpart.

It might not possess all the high-end components and cutting-edge features of the Galaxy S range, but straight out of the box, the Galaxy A55 looks and feels like a premium smartphone – all while costing less than half the handsets that sit atop our list of the best Samsung phones. And while it might be slightly sacrilegious, I think it's even more attractive than the Samsung Galaxy S24. 

The A55 has kept the elegantly smooth and clean design of its predecessor, including the shiny back glass that was a major improvement over the Samsung Galaxy A53. However, what sets the A55 apart from both the Galaxy A54 and other mid-tier phones, and what makes it feel like a premium device, is that it’s completely ditched plastic in favor of a new and strikingly classy metal build. 

Samsung Galaxy A55 on desk

(Image credit: TechRadar/ Max Delaney)

Upgrading the already impressive 6.4-inch display in the A54 to 6.6-inches, you could assume the size increase would make the A55 harder to hold than its predecessor. Don't immediately rule out the A55, however: while I admittedly have big hands and had no issue using the Galaxy A54, I found the A55’s aluminum frame even easier to grip. As a happy side effect, this ensures its bigger Super AMOLED display isn't tarnished by having to put your grubby fingerprints all over it to comfortably hold it.

That's about where the big talking points end. The Galaxy A55 won't leave you disappointed in the photography department, keeping the same 50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro camera trio that we loved in our Samsung Galaxy A54 review. The photos and videos are detailed, the app is snappy, the autofocus is quick and it does indeed perform well in low-light areas, even if it takes a bit of a learning curve to get the best results. The only real flaw I found was that the photos taken in bright sunshine tended to be overexposed, resulting in a hazy, unsaturated image. 

Despite retaining the same 5,000mAH battery as its predecessor, the Galaxy A55 easily saw me through more than seven hours of screen time during my testing – that’s regular use like social media, YouTube, some light gaming and sitting on the home screen while I stare into the abyss – and that’s thanks to its new Exynos 1480 chipset. It's unlikely to see you through the two-day battery life that Samsung boasts about, but it will last long enough for most users. While I loved the battery life, it's charging was slower than I'd have liked, and it didn't have the convenience of wireless charging to make up for it.

Samsung Galaxy A55 rear glass on natural background

(Image credit: Future/ Max Delaney)

This also isn't the phone for the more intense or passionate mobile gamer, but it can still handle relatively demanding titles (like 3D online shooters) with medium graphics settings. 

These few sacrifices, though, are what make the Galaxy A55 a great budget smartphone – a speedier chipset than before, a bigger display and a premium design at an affordable price tag that matches the launch price of the A54 in some markets.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Price and availability

  • Launch price from £439 / AU$699
  • Released March 20 in the UK and March 25 in Australia; unavailable in the US at the time of writing
  • Available in two storage options and four colorways

While it was released across the globe in March 2024, the Galaxy A55 is unavailable in the United States as Samsung places a larger focus on the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE and the even more budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy A35 5G in that market.

In other markets like the UK and Australia, the A55 is available in two storage options –  128GB and 256GB – both with only 8GB of RAM (there is a model with 12GB RAM that seems to be listed only for availability in India). However, the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G provides the rare feature of up to 1TB of additional storage via a microSD card.

In a change to what we see across a span of products, Aussies actually get quite the deal in comparison to their UK brethren, as £439 directly converts to over AU$800. So while we think the Australian price is very fair, UK customers aren't getting the same deal. It's not all bad, though, as the UK price is actually cheaper than the launch price of the Galaxy A54's two £449 and £499 models last year, and the 6GB RAM option is no more.

  • Value Score: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Specs

Samsung Galaxy A55 on desk

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

There's a few considerable changes from the Galaxy A54, including improved glass durability, a larger display and greater size generally. Here's a quick breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy A55's specs.

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Design

Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar/Max Delaney)
  • Aluminum build
  • IP67 rating means it can handle a splash
  • Fingerprint sensitive
  • Bigger and heavier than it predecessor

With no plastic in its build, Samsung has continued its lean towards sustainability by opting to use aluminum for the Galaxy A55’s chassis, giving it a premium-looking, exceptionally classy and functional metal build. When combined with its stylish back glass, it amounts to a supremely elegant design that brings the handset physically more in line with Samsung's Galaxy S series. 

It's not beauty over function, though, as the upgraded Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus – the toughest yet – adds even more durability to its front and back than what we saw in the A54, and the pretty aluminum build increases sturdiness while making it easier to grip. During my testing period, it's strong build and IP67 rating had no problems handling the trials of everyday life – in and out of bags, a few small drops onto a carpeted floor and some water-laden situations when listening to podcasts while in the shower – the A55 is almost as durable as it is beautiful.

Samsung Galaxy A55 showcasing fingerprint smudges on its rear glass

(Image credit: TechRadar/Max Delaney)

Unfortunately, that big sleek, glossy back glass isn’t without drawbacks, as I found out as soon as I picked up my Navy Galaxy A55, which was anything but ‘Awesome’ in this respect. It picks up smudges as easily as my niece picks up germs from preschool. Even leaving some room for the possibility that I have an above-average knack for smudges, the phone is extremely smudge sensitive. However, it's safe to assume fingerprint marks on the lilac, lemon and ice blue models will be less visible.

It's also probably worth mentioning that the A55 doesn't lie evenly on its back due to its floating camera design – and placing it face down just put the abundance of fingerprint smudges on display. This little niggle is not exclusive to the Galaxy A55, but I did find it bothersome.

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Samsung Galaxy A55's rear outdoors

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

While UK customers will have access to the full gamut of colorways, a design factor that the Galaxy A55 5G has retained from its predecessor, Australian customers only get two colors. Last year it was Awesome Violet and Awesome Graphite, and now in 2024 it's Awesome Lilac and Awesome Navy. Apparently Aussies only like near-black shades and variants of purple. The UK has a little more room for taste, with Awesome IceBlue and Awesome Lemon added into the fold.

  • Design Score: 4.5/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Display

Samsung Galaxy A55 display

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
  • Bigger display than the Galaxy A54 (6.6-inches)
  • 1000-nit peak brightness
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • Protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+

It would be unreasonable to expect immense display upgrades with such heavy improvements to the A55's design, but there are a few slight improvements from the A54 that make a definitive difference. Most notably being a slight increase in size, moving up to 6.6 inches from the A54's 6.4 inches. Otherwise, you'll get the same 1080 x 2340 resolution Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR 10 support and the same 19:5.9 aspect ratio. 

While Samsung makes a clear point of saying the A55 peaks at 1000 nits, and did not say that the A54 did, our time with both shows that the difference, if any at all, is negligible. In comparison to the Google Pixel 8a's 2000-nit maximum, let alone something like the OnePlus 12 that boasts an insane 4500 nits, the A55's output can't be considered much more than a pass mark.

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Galaxy A55 display reflecting the sky

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 display

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55 display playing PUBG Mobile

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

The Samsung Galaxy A55 5G has a wonderful display that makes swiping through socials, watching videos and playing games an absolute blast. Heck, I could almost taste LeBron James' wine while watching the Mind the Game podcast. With a passable peak brightness you'll be able to enjoy its beauty even in direct sunlight and its minimum brightness is more than comfortable laying in bed. The A55's display is vibrant, detailed and strong, so while there might be better displays on more expensive phones, I have very few complaints.

One thing I did like about the A55's display was the built-in fingerprint sensor. While it's not the snappiest I've experienced, it was accurate and faster than typing in a passcode or pattern. Even if it's a bit slow for your taste, the payoff of the A55's flawlessly clean design – with no fingerprint sensor or button below the screen or on the back glass – is well worth it. However, I was unimpressed with the A55's facial recognition, too often finding myself swiping to unlock before it was ready, despite my face being unobstructed. 

  • Display Score: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Software

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Samsung Galaxy A55 software

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 homepage, app library and control panel

Galaxy A55 homepage, app library and control panel (Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
  • Android 14 w/ One UI 6.1
  • Four years of OS updates
  • Knox Vault and Seamless Updates

If you were expecting the Galaxy A55’s software to mimic that of the Galaxy S24, you've set yourself up for disappointment. This is a mid-tier phone that costs a lot less than the S24, so expecting mass upgrades from the A54's output would be unfair. That said, the OS is far from bad, it's just a minimal update to that of the A54, running on the Android 14-based One UI 6.1.

Despite reported issues for older phones and rumored impact on charging speed from the One UI 6.1 update, the Galaxy A55 runs very smoothly, and will be familiar to those with some Samsung experience. While it doesn't have the Galaxy AI functionality of the S line, and only four major upcoming OS updates to the latter’s seven, One UI 6.1 is a perfectly fine operating system that works seamlessly within the A55.

One positive feature worth noting – a very happy introduction that comes years after Google launched a similar function with the first Google Pixel – is the introduction of a new era of update functionality for Samsung devices. 'Seamless Updates' adds the ability to download system updates in the background, and the A55 is the first Samsung phone to feature it as part of the brand's March 2024 security patch.

Shutting your phone down for 20 minutes while it updates is, or should be, a thing of the past, and this patch means only a speedy 3-minute restart is needed to complete updates. Along with seamless updates, the A55 also sees the addition of Knox Vault – a new addition passed down from the S24 – that secures important data like passwords and biometrics.

Now, while those two little features aren't much, when put together with the design and display developments we've already looked at, it makes for quite the enhancement. Combined with smooth performance and everything Samsung fans already enjoy about the Galaxy software – squircles and all – there's a lot to like about the software of the A55.  With guaranteed four years of software updates coming, you can rest easy knowing your phone will remain up to date, at least for a while.

  • Software score: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Cameras

Galaxy A55 camera trio

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
  • 50MP f/1.8 main camera w/ OIS
  • 12MP ultra-wide + 5MP macro camera
  • 32MP f/2.2 front-facing camera
  • Improved low-light photography

Photography is a crucial part of the modern handset, and a phone's camera can make or break it in the eyes of the user. In the best way possible, the Galaxy A55's camera does neither. 

Providing a rear trio of cameras that can take wonderful photos in various ways, and a front camera that you'll have no problem taking flattering selfies with, the camera is a huge upgrade… over the Samsung Galaxy A53's 64MP main camera. But, a lack of massive change from the A54 isn't what disappointed me about it.

Whether it's selfies, ultra-wide shots, high-detail pics or snaps of your morning coffee, the Galaxy A55 has an objectively good camera system that will be more than serviceable, even for the most photo-obsessed. My biggest problem was that it just didn't capture the reality of what I was looking at when I most expected it to – aka in bright sunlight. Whether it was photos of my sun-baking dog, the book I was reading or a cat-holding selfie out in the garden, the results were a toned-down, dull version of what my eyes were seeing due to overexposure. They were still clear, beautiful images, but a touch too hazy for my liking.

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Photos of my sun-loving doggo

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Some flicks of a morning coffee and some very handsome limes

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 excels at pet photos

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 Camera

(Image credit: TechRadar)
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Night photography

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55 camera

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55 camera

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55 camera

(Image credit: TechRadar/ Max Delaney)

Combine that issue with a macro camera that was near-impossible to hit the sweet spot with – as you can see by my best results below – and you have a camera that is little more than good. There is just too much high-quality competition, even within this price range, to give it any further praise.

Samsung does make up for that slightly, though, with an abundance of options to help you take the best photo possible, even before you get to the pool of editing tools waiting for one to be taken. Within the four main photo-type options in the camera app (Fun, Portrait, Photo and Video) are tools to help you smooth out the image, get the right framing, activate a timer, turn the flash on and enter the camera settings to ensure you're ready to click away.

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Samsung Galaxy A55 macro camera

macro camera results (Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 macro camera

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

While the modes within More, like macro, slow-mo and Pro, will undoubtedly be put to good use by some users, they remain mostly unused by me. However, the one mode hidden here that I do think is worth a special mention, is night mode. I wasn't blown away by the A55's ability to take photos in low-light areas at first. However, when I put it to the test in a pitch-black room its performance was truly impressive.

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Galaxy A55 night-mode photography

Testing the night mode on the Samsung Galaxy A55 (Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Galaxy A55 low-light photography

The before: the books are invisible in normal, standard photo mode (Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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Samsung Galaxy A55 low-light photography

The after. The same lighting but with night mode turned on (Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

While it might not be a breathtaking photo of the night sky, I think the night mode better portrays how well the Galaxy A55's camera performs in low light. As you can see from my sample images, it works pretty darn well. From freezing cherished moments at dimly-lit restaurants, taking selfies under the hazy ambiance of street lights and snapping pics of your puppy snoozing under the TV’s silver glow,  the A55's nighttime performance will be there for a really good shot.

  • Camera score: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Performance and Audio

Samsung Galaxy A55's rear glass shining in the midday sun

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
  • New Exynos 1480 Chipset
  • 8GB RAM (12GB in select locations) with no more 6GB model
  • Stereo speakers
  • Up to 256GB of storage with up to 1TB additional storage

With a new chipset, I had high hopes for a noticeable performance improvement over the Galaxy A54, but I was prepared for the more-than-likely event that it would be hardly noticeable. Thankfully, the Exynos 1480 chipset provided much more of the former than the latter. 

With scores of 1155 and 3468 in the two single-core and multi-core Geekbench tests, and solid results in the 3D Mark: Wildlife, Wildlife Extreme and Sling Shot Extreme stress tests of 3996, 939 and 6216, the Galaxy A55 won't be getting any awards on the test front. However, its results were consistent. For reference, the Google Pixel 7a and Samsung Galaxy S24 results can be seen below.

Despite what the numbers might say and how they compare, the A55 felt excellent during my time with it. From Spotify, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Netflix to the camera, the A55 ran each one of them perfectly, even when I switched haphazardly between them to try and force some lag – it didn't break a sweat.

Galaxy A55 rear glass reflecting the sky while resting on a red hat

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

One area the Galaxy A55 did slow down slightly was within high-performance apps like the Camera after considerable use. With a day’s worth of apps open and some considerable time spent within the camera app, load times started to get noticeable when switching between camera modes. Though it was little more than slight stutters, the lag did stand out compared to its otherwise smooth performance.

Perhaps due to its upgraded cooling system and adaptive refresh rate that better uses its battery, the A55 will be more than adequate for even a heavy casual mobile gamer. I had no problems earning 20 eliminations and a win in my first game of PUBG Mobile, even if it was against a bot, and was happy to see PUBG automatically set the graphics and framerate to their mid-range settings, with the A55 remaining smooth even when turned up to Ultra HD and the highest framerate. However, some rendering issues did start to occur at those high settings, but didn't impact gameplay. Whether it's PUBG Mobile, Apex Legends or hours of Candy Crush interspersed with regular phone use, the Galaxy A55 will handle it all, with battery to spare.

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PUBG Mobile on the Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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PUBG Mobile on Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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PUBG Mobile on Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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PUBG Mobile on the Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)
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PUBG Mobile on the Samsung Galaxy A55

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

As for audio, whether you like to listen to podcasts through the phone's stereo speakers or blast music through a pair of the best wireless headphones, the days of muffled speakers from the A-series handsets are gone. You'll find little problems in how the A55 handles its audio. 

The phone's earpiece and down-firing speakers combine to offer clear, balanced sound, providing easy listening when you don't feel like using headphones – and you won't unless you need to. While audiophiles might want to stick with their high-powered stereo units, the A55 does more than well enough for the average person, retaining some clarity even at high volume. And, in regards to connecting wireless devices via Bluetooth, I had absolutely no issues – even when pairing Apple AirPods 3, which don't always easily connect to Android devices.

  • Performance and Audio score: 4/5

Samsung Galaxy A55 review: Battery

  • 5000mAh battery
  • 25W wired charging
  • Advertised two-day battery life

Simultaneously great and disappointing might sound strange, but the Samsung Galaxy A55's fantastic battery life was slightly tarnished by its disappointing charge speed.

The surprisingly good battery life of the Galaxy A55, improving on the A54, more than offsets the slight disappointment I felt when my handset went from only 18% to 48% after 30 minutes of charging. That's far from terrible, and fully charging in around 90 minutes to reach 100% isn't the worst thing in the world, but it took longer than I had hoped. Unfortunately, Samsung's claims that the A55 has “super fast charging”, burying in the fine print that the fast-charging wall adapter is sold separately, sets the phone up for some disappointment.

Samsung Galaxy A55 on-screen battery and charging information

(Image credit: TechRadar / Max Delaney)

Retaining its predecessor's 5,000mAh battery, Samsung created high expectations once again, and fell short once again. While you won't get two days of use unless you leave your phone untouched and unopened, I was still impressed by the A55's battery life. Whether it was the seven hours of continuous Stranger Things – after which it still had more than 15% battery left – or hours of Candy Crush, plus everyday actions like social media, video calling, browsing and audio playing – the battery life of the A55 more than held up. I racked up around seven hours of screen time from a full charge, far more than my personal average of just over five, and there was still ample battery at the end of the day.

While the A54 charges slightly faster than the A55 in my experience, the Exynos 1480 chip the Galaxy A55 uses helps it to outlast its predecessor – if by a miniscule amount – leaving enough charge left that could be the difference between ordering an Uber and being left stranded. In short, the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G has more than enough battery life to get you through work, fun and be there when you need it. Just don't expect it to charge to 50% in 15 minutes before you head out.

  • Battery score: 4/5

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A55?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider...

If this review of the Samsung Galaxy A55 has left you wondering about other mid-tier alternatives, take a look at a few listed below. I’ve also compiled a specs comparison between them and the A55 for a clearer snapshot.

How I tested the Samsung Galaxy A55

  • Review period: Three weeks
  • Testing included: everyday use including web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used: 3D Mark: Original, 3D Mark:Extreme, 3D Mark: Slingshot Extreme (unlimited), Geekbench 6.2.2, Geekbench, native Android stats

Once I received the Samsung Galaxy A55, I put it to the test immediately by running it through some benchmarking tools. I then used it as my main phone through the first week and this included playing games, taking photos and watching content.

Across the final two weeks of my testing time, I put it under the stresses, both technical and physical, of everyday life. From scrolling sessions at home to podcasts on the bus to being pulled in and out of my bag and accidentally walking into the doorway of my bedroom. These activities allowed me to see how the battery holds up over the course of time with normal use, not just how it handles high-impact stress tests.

With a heavy coverage focus on phones here at TechRadar, I'm knowledgeable of the phone market, what it has to offer and how different phones aimed at different budgets fit into it – making me the perfect candidate to test a mid-tier phone like the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G. 

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed May 2024]

JBL Xtreme 4 review: an outdoorsy, bold-sounding Bluetooth speaker that even harnesses AI
12:00 pm | May 24, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Audio Computers Gadgets Hi-Fi Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

JBL Xtreme 4: Two-minute review

“Unleash powerful sound everywhere” is the tagline of JBL’s Xtreme 4 Bluetooth speaker, but does it live up to the hype? The short answer is, well… yes. The Xtreme 4 paints a dynamic aural picture in a bid to feature among the best Bluetooth speakers to have graced our testing process, with well-defined high frequencies, full-bodied mids and a pumping bass. It’s worth flagging, though, that its true power isn’t let loose straight out of the box, especially at low frequencies, although that’s nothing the JBL Portable app can’t solve through its customizable EQ settings. In addition, the Xtreme 4 can serve up a very good sonic experience at loud volumes without being hampered by distortion.

It doesn’t drastically depart from the JBL Xtreme 3, but the newest model in the product line brings some cool new features to set itself apart. These include AI Sound Boost, which predicts speaker movement and response to deliver “better and more powerful” sound, and Auracast Bluetooth technology. However, the Xtreme 4’s biggest upgrade is to its battery life, with a base playtime of 24 hours, extendable by a further six thanks to the addition of Playtime Boost. 

The Xtreme 4 also has the IP67 rating, proving it is both waterproof and dustproof. This makes it a solid, great-sounding and dependable pick as one of the best waterproof speakers if you're heading to a pool party or beach (you lucky thing, you). 

So far, you’re probably thinking that this can’t get too much better, but there’s a ‘but’. The main thing holding the Xtreme 4 back is its high price point, which stands at $379.95 / £329.99 / AU$499.95 (note that it is only available in the UK at the time of writing). There are a handful of similarly-sized alternative speakers which offer great audio quality and smart design at a more reasonable cost, meaning the Xtreme 4 isn’t likely to win any ‘Best Value’ prizes.

Despite its protection against the elements and practical design features, the Xtreme 4 isn’t the prettiest Bluetooth speaker either (at least in my view), with similarly-priced competitors (such as the Ultimate Ears Epicboom) pulling off a similar look and sound quality, but with a bit more class. That’s not to say that it’s abhorrent though, in fact, you may even be a fan of its rugged and outdoorsy look – something you can double down on with the Black Camo color option. 

If you’re a loyal JBL fan, the Xtreme 4 is well worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for a larger speaker that's a true all-rounder. However, if you already have the Xtreme 3, you’re open to buying from other brands or you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider better value competitors – or wait for a sale.

JBL Xtreme 4's passive bass radiator closeup, on pink background

(Image credit: Future)

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Price and release date

  • Released on March 14, 2024 (UK), date TBC for US and Australia
  • Price: $379.95 / £329.99 / AU$499.95

The JBL Xtreme 4 launched in March 2024 in the UK, so it's perhaps a little odd that launch date is yet to be revealed for the US and Australia.

Though it may not command the eye-watering prices you’d expect to see from a top-drawer brand (think Bang & Olufsen), the Xtreme 4 is still quite the investment. So, if you’re on a tighter budget, there may be better choices for you.

For ultimate portability you could opt for the slightly smaller but still brilliant JBL Charge 5, priced at $179.95 / £169.99 / AU$199.95, or for more of a party-ready speaker you could nab the eye-catching Tribit Stormbox Blast for $199.99 / £162 (about AU$300).

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Specs

JBL Xtreme 4's strap closeup, on pink background

The strap is fine, but a handle might be helpful (Image credit: Future)

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Features

  • Top notch battery life of up to 30 hours
  • AI-enabled sound refinement
  • Auracast Bluetooth technology

It will probably come as little surpriise to learn that the JBL Xtreme 4 isn’t a huge overhaul of the Xtreme 3. Neither of the speakers are too far apart in terms of weight or size, and both are IP67 rated, have a built-in power bank, as well as Bass Radiators. 

However, the Xtreme 4 brings some new features to the party to set itself apart, such as AI Sound Boost. This essentially utilizes an AI algorithm to predict speaker movement and response in real-time, helping the Xtreme 4 to deliver “better and more powerful” sound, and reduce distortion at loud volumes. No, it's not going to predict your music tastes or answer calls, but it will help the sonic chops. 

A second new addition is that of Auracast, a Bluetooth technology ensuring that there is no limit on the amount of JBL devices (which also have Auracast) that you can connect at once. This is a neat feature if you want to play music in multiple rooms at a party, using the newest standard. You can also rest assured that JBL speakers without Auracast, such as the Xtreme 3, will still be able to pair with the Xtreme 4, thanks to the PartyBoost feature on the JBL Portable app.

Without doubt the biggest (and best) difference between the Xtreme 4 and its predecessor is the far superior battery life. JBL says that the new model has a base battery life of 24 hours, nine hours longer than its older sibling, which is more than enough for most listeners. When I left the Xtreme 4 playing music at 30% volume for 2 hours, it only lost 5%, so there’s no need to doubt JBL’s claim. The speaker can also be fully recharged in just 3.5 hours.

If you need to squeeze a bit more out of the Xtreme 4, the JBL Portable app has a valuable feature called Playtime Boost. This can be activated to grant up to six hours of additional playtime, and ramps up the volume of the speaker to consume less battery. One downside to Playtime Boost, however, is that when active, EQ settings are disabled, meaning you’ll miss out on unleashing the potential of the Xtreme 4’s bass – more on this later. Overall, Playtime Boost makes for a strong addition though, and you won’t find too many Bluetooth speakers of the Xtreme 4’s quality with such long battery life.

On the topic of playtime, you can go one step further to keep the party going thanks to the Xtreme 4’s replaceable battery – yes, really. You can unscrew the base of the speaker to swap in a new, rechargeable battery with ease, though it should be noted that additional batteries must be purchased separately. Charging-wise, the Xtreme 4 opts for a minimalist approach with a single USB-C port only, as opposed to the Xtreme 3's inclusion of a USB-A output port as well. The Xtreme 4’s USB-C port can be used to charge the speaker itself or to give external devices some extra juice. 

If you’re satisfied with the Xtreme 3’s battery life, I’d argue that the other new additions don’t set the Xtreme 4 apart too much. It's also important to note that since the summer of 2023, it has been possible to buy upgraded versions of the JBL Charge 5 and Boombox 3 with Wi-Fi (and Atmos for the Boombox), while the Xtreme 4 really is 'just' a Bluetooth speaker. That said, when I compared the Xtreme 4 against the lower-cost Anker Soundcore Boom 2, I certainly felt that JBL’s speaker had more depth and verve sonically, particularly due to the presence of that AI Sound Boost.

  • Features score: 4.5/5

JBL Xtreme 4 closeup of the control panel on pink background

(Image credit: Future)

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Sound quality

  • Serves up well-rounded sonic experience 
  • Audio elements are distinct with highs sounding particularly sweet 
  • Bass disappointing out of the box, but booms with EQ adjustment

The initial feeling I got when firing up the JBL Xtreme 4 and throwing on Moloko’s I Want You, was one of disappointment – more specifically a disappointment with its deep bass output. For a portable Bluetooth speaker, which you’d expect to get its fair share of use during occasions with plenty of background noise, a powerful bass is fundamental for a great listening experience. For a model costing in excess of $370, and claiming to pump out “next level massive” sound, I expected a higher level of impact from the Xtreme 4 (not least due to its explosive name). 

Luckily, my disappointment was quickly quashed by the JBL Portable app’s EQ settings, which made a world of difference. When I switched to a custom setup, in which the lowest frequencies were considerably dialled up, the Xtreme 4 showed what it was made of – and its bouncing Bass Radiators were well and truly put to work. The pumping bass in I Want You now hit the depths that I’d been thirsting for, so you will want to steer clear of the default ‘JBL Signature’ EQ preset if you’re looking to get the best out of bass-heavy bangers.

Even when compared it to the Soundcore Boom 2 (which although cheaper, has an identity forged around its powerful low-end output), Black Eye by Allie X’s deep bass-laden opening sounded far more energetic and controlled on the Xtreme 4. The Xtreme 4 was very competent at bridging deep bass to the mid-range and maintaining clarity with more demanding audio profiles.

Aside from bass, the Xtreme 4 is very competent when delivering a strong audio performance across the frequencies, and boasts an improved response compared to its predecessor at 44 Hz – 20 kHz (53.5 Hz – 20 kHz for the Xtreme 3). Despite it not going beyond the realms of human hearing through the treble, I would argue that this speaker’s ability to produce crisp highs may be its strongest asset, with Rains again by Solji making for a particularly enjoyable listen straight out of the box. The Xtreme 4 beautifully delivered the track’s delicate vocals, and the sound of rain pouring throughout the song’s opening maintained a natural, soothing tone.

The Xtreme 4 delivers its sweet highs, punchy bass, and textured mid-tones dynamically and clearly, even at high volumes. When listening to Young Blood by The Naked and Famous, guitars in the upper bass range sounded distinct and layered; separated from bass riffs in a cohesive mix. JBL’s “next level” claim may still be a slight exaggeration – after all, the Xtreme 4 doesn’t do anything particularly game-changing – however, it certainly gives room for listeners to taste the distinct flavors of each audible component that might get lost in a hard-to-digest mix through lesser speakers. Sure, the chef may need a bit of guidance, but with the right adjustments, you can bet that a well-balanced plate of sound will arrive at your table.

  • Sound quality score: 4.5/5

JBL Xtreme 4 on pink background, with a closeup on the USB-C charging port

JBL Xtreme 4 will charge your device, so you won't have to take a break from the music  (Image credit: Future)

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Design

  • Not the most elegant, but well-suited to outdoor environments
  • IP67 rating makes it perfect for the beach
  • Convenient shoulder strap but no handle for carrying short distances

Is there such thing as love at first sight? I’m not sure, and I don’t think the JBL Xtreme 4 is going to help me find out. Look, it’s not doing anything strikingly different from the Xtreme 3 appearance-wise, but I’m not sure I can get behind the semi-cylindrical, outdoorsy vibe, especially in the Black Camo coloration (the Xtreme 4 is also available in Blue, the version I tested, or Black). Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if you’ve liked the aesthetic of JBL’s previous efforts, you’ll almost certainly be a fan of this. 

One thing I did like visually was the speaker’s passive external bass radiators (as seen in the predecessor and several JBL cylindrical models), which pulse with pounding impact when the volume is cranked up high, immersing you deeper into the listening experience. Another neat design choice is that the Xtreme 4 is made, in part, using recycled materials. For instance, the speaker’s grille incorporates ‘post-consumer’ recycled plastic and fabric.

Personal tastes aside, there’s no denying that the Xtreme 4 is designed with utility and longevity in mind. It has medium-large sized buttons, all of which play their part in facilitating a swift setup. The speaker is also pretty bulky, weighing in at 4.63 lbs / 2.1kg. Additionally, it has rubber strips at the base which provide a steady foundation. If that wasn’t enough, the Xtreme 4 is IP67 certified, meaning that it’s both waterproof and dustproof, standing it in good stead for use at a beach event, pool party, or similar outdoor gathering. When I placed the Xtreme 4 in a full sink, it conveniently floated on its side, and played music without any quality reduction after taking a minute-long dive underwater.

Another practical feature is the detachable strap included for taking the Xtreme 4 out and about, tote bag style. I was a fan of the strap’s shoulder padding, which made it comfortable to transport around. It’s also adjustable if you want to wear it across your body. However, I couldn’t help but wish there was more of a ‘handle’ option here for when I just wanted to move it a short distance, especially as the speaker is too large to hold in one hand without the strap attached.

Closeup of JBL Xtreme 4's replaceable battery pack

Believe it or not, JBL will let you replace the Xtreme 4's battery in a kind nod to sustainability (sold separately) (Image credit: Future)
  • Design score: 3.5/5

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Value

  • Delivers a great user experience with top features and sound quality
  • But speaker’s main sticking point is its steep price
  • Competitors can offer brilliant quality at a far lower cost

Sure, the JBL Xtreme 4 delivers controlled bass, clear mids, and delicate highs, it also boasts a long battery life and some cool new features, but there’s one sticking point: you guessed it, the price.

You certainly get an enjoyable listening experience out of the Xtreme 4, but there are a number of cheaper, yet still high-quality alternatives out there. The Tribit Stormbox Blast, for instance, offers textured sound with booming bass for just $199 / £162 (around AU$300), 30 hour battery life, and customizable EQ settings. 

Additionally, the JBL Xtreme 3, is just £199.99 / AU$399.95 (but typically seeming to be priced much higher in the US at $379.95) as well, despite the pair having a myriad of similarities. So, if you’re into the JBL brand, but don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new speaker, the Xtreme 3 could be a better option.

At the time of writing, it just feels as if the Xtreme 4, despite its qualities, isn’t exactly the best value option on the market.

  • Value score: 3/5

Should you buy the JBL Xtreme 4?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

JBL Xtreme 4 review: Also consider

JBL Xtreme 4 review: How I tested

  • I put the speaker through its paces over a two-week-long period
  • Mostly used in our music testing room in the TechRadar office
  • I listened to a wide variety of music genres during each listening session

Using TechRadar’s intense and methodical testing procedure, I spent hours listening to music on the JBL Xtreme 4, trying its various EQ settings and determining its ease of operation. 

I used Spotify on my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Tidal on the Fiio M11S hi-res music player, to stream tracks from our curated (and regularly updated) TechRadar reference playlist. This included songs with pumping deep bass, delicate vocals, and complex mixes, enabling me to test a speaker’s full range and dynamic nuance across the frequencies. I also used the Anker Soundcore Boom 2 as a point of comparison, when appropriate.

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed: May 2024
HMD Aura stealthily goes on sale in Australia as a cheaper alternative to the Pulse
8:15 pm | May 23, 2024

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

This is as big a surprise for us as it must be for HMD – the company’s latest phone is now on sale by Australian retailer JB Hi-Fi. It’s called the HMD Aura and it is similar to the HMD Pulse, except that it is cheaper than it. There is no information about it on HMD.com, though, at least not yet. The Aura has a 6.56” display and though it runs at only 60Hz, it has a higher resolution of 900 x 1,600px (vs. 720 x 1,612px on the Pulse). No fancy punch hole here, though, instead it uses a notch for the 5MP selfie camera. The rear camera is pretty basic too with a 13MP main module and a...

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: a Samsung Galaxy S24 for the rest of us
7:00 pm | May 19, 2024

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

Samsung Galaxy A35 two-minute review

The Samsung Galaxy A35 is a smartphone designed for people who want the finest tech from South Korea’s favorite phone company, but can’t stomach the hefty price tag often demanded by the best Samsung phones.

By ‘finest tech’ I of course refer to the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, Sammy’s recent line of flagship phones, which come with a cost that's north of my monthly rent. Thankfully, people who prefer their cheap phones can still enjoy some of the best Galaxy tech thanks to the A35.

If you’re new to the Galaxy A range, it’s Samsung’s step-down line compared to the flagship Galaxy S range (though not as far down as the M or J series, available in some countries). The ‘3’ in the title refers to the phone’s place in the sliding scale of premiumness – ‘0’ is super-cheap, and higher numbers get incrementally better – while the ‘5’ tells you that this is part of the fifth generation of Galaxy A mobiles (well, at least since Samsung started this numbering system).

These handsets all borrow specific bits of Samsung tech from the company's top-end mobiles, while otherwise presenting an affordable package with corners cut to keep the price low. And the Galaxy A35 is another great example of that strategy.

Samsung’s fantastic display tech is shining brightly on the Galaxy A35: the screen is big, bold, bright, vibrant, and other synonyms for ‘nice to look at’. If you consider your phone to be a glorified Netflix, Prime Video or Disney Plus-streaming device, then the Galaxy A35 will tick your box.

The Samsung Galaxy A35 leaning against a bench.

(Image credit: Future)

You’re getting all of Samsung’s popular OneUI software here, with its customization tools, programmable routines and the colorful, fun user interface. You’re also getting its bloatware, as it’s not just stuffed with Samsung and Google apps, but also some choice third-party ones, too.

The chipset is a surprising feature: on paper, it’s just a bog-standard, low-end Samsung chip, but it absolutely cracks through long gaming bouts or intensive tasks; mobile gamers won’t find anything to turn their nose up at here.

It’s not a perfect phone, though, even by Galaxy A standards. The cameras are a prime example, as they just don’t hold a candle to those on other models I’ve tested. Low-light snaps were vibrant enough, but odd scene optimization AI edits and questionable ultra-wide performance marred the results.

The trappings of low-end mobiles are here in some respects, too: charging is slow, the design is a bit utilitarian and the fingerprint sensor is just awful. Stick to facial unlocking or a PIN/password if you buy this device.

Still, there’s nothing on this phone that’s outright disappointing when you consider its price, and a fair few features are actually better than you’d expect. All told, then, you’re not going to be left feeling mugged off if you buy the Galaxy A35.

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: price and availability

  • Released in March 2024
  • On sale in the US, UK and Australia, among other regions
  •  $399.99 / £339.99 / AU$549.99, only one variant

The Samsung Galaxy A35 was announced in March 2024 and released shortly thereafter, as part of the company’s 2024 line of budget smartphones.

You can pick up the device for $399.99 / £339.99 / AU$549.99 in its sole 128GB configuration, though you can pick between a few color options if you want some amount of customization.

At that price, this is a worthy budget alternative to the $799 / £799 / AU$1,399 Samsung Galaxy S24, getting you a few specs and features pinched from the premium mobiles, but at a much lower price.

It’s not Samsung’s cheapest phone, with the Galaxy A0X, A1X and A2X lines all offering cheaper options, though almost all of those devices have specs weak enough to make them not worth considering (with the exception of the Samsung Galaxy A25).

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: specs

The Samsung Galaxy A35 has specs that run the gamut from low-end to top-end, which you can see below:

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: design

The Samsung Galaxy A35's USB-C port.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Standard-looking chocolate bar Android phone
  • Color options vary by region
  • Fingerprint scanner is unreliable

Samsung hasn’t exactly been changing things between its Galaxy A-series mobiles of late, and the Galaxy A35 is certainly no exception. It’s your standard chocolate bar smartphone with a fairly large body and a flat edge.

The handset weighs 209g, so it’s roughly average as mobiles go, and it measures 161.7 x 78 x 8.2mm, which is a little on the hefty side but not as big as Samsung’s ‘Ultra’ phones. It’s noticeably bigger than the S24, though.

The Galaxy A35 has a glass front and back, making it feel more premium in the hand than many other mid-range phones. It ships in a range of color options, too, but those options depend on region: US buyers can pick between navy and lilac, Australian customers can choose navy or pale blue, and UK buyers get all three of those options, as well as the fetching pale yellow that you see in the images accompanying this review. All these colors are relatively restrained given the vibrancy of some of Samsung’s previous Galaxy A color options.

Unlike some of its cheaper A-series siblings, the Galaxy A35 doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, its only port is the USB-C one on the bottom edge of the device.

Both the volume rocker and power button are on the right edge of the device, and you may find yourself stretching to reach them unless you have big mitts.

Samsung uses an under-display fingerprint sensor for the phone, but you’d be forgiven for not noticing — that is to say, it failed to find my finger more often than it succeeded, and I ended up having to type my password in far more often than on most other mobiles.

The phone is certified with an IP67 rating, which means it’s totally protected from small particles (sand, dust, flour and the like) and will also survive being submersed in liquid at a depth of up to 1 meter for a limited time – don’t take it swimming, then, but it should still work if you accidentally drop it in your beer.

  • Design score: 3 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: display

The Samsung Galaxy A35 leaning against a bench.

(Image credit: Future)
  • 6.6-inches with 1080 x 2340 resolution
  • Super AMOLED results in punchy visuals
  • 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling

If any part of the Samsung Galaxy A35 will make you forget that you’re using a budget mobile, it’s the display.

The phone boasts a big 6.6-inch display, which is bigger than most Galaxy A-series mobiles and also the Galaxy S24. It has a 1080 x 2340 resolution, which is the same as most mobiles on the market, and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. 

Anyone who’s used a Samsung phone will know that the company’s tech is strongest in the display department; this mobile uses a Super AMOLED panel with a fairly high max brightness of 1000 nits. The screen is bright and colors pop, enhancing that Netflix stream or gaming session.

Even your average scrolling experience is better on the Galaxy A35 thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate, which makes motion look smoother and is far from a given on phones in this price range (heck, even the iPhone 15 doesn't have a 120Hz refresh rate).

  • Display score: 4 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: software

The Samsung Galaxy A35's quick settings menu.

(Image credit: Future)
  • Android 14 with One UI 6.1 over the top
  • Customization and routines good, bloatware bad
  • Four years of OS updates, five of security

A major similarity between the Samsung Galaxy A35 and its Galaxy S24 brethren is in the software department: both come with Android 14 pre-installed, with Samsung’s One UI 6.1 slathered over the top.

Samsung has promised four years of software updates, taking you up to Android 18 (unless Google decides to get funky with numerical orders) and you get an extra year of security updates on top of that.

Visually speaking, One UI is one of the more distinctive Android forks, offering pebble-shaped icons, colorful menus and easy-to-parse icons in the quick settings menu. However, between the Samsung apps, Google apps and a fair few third-party apps, the Galaxy A35 is also chock-full of bloatware, which is something you’d think a massive company like Samsung would be above.

One UI brings plenty of customization options with widgets for your installed apps, a wide range of pre-installed wallpapers, the ability to pick a system-wide color palette, and more. The options here aren’t quite as extensive as on, say, Motorola or stock Android phones, but it’s something.

Like on iPhones, Samsung offers a handy ‘Modes and Routines’ feature so you can jump between, say, sleep, driving or workout modes at the tap of a button, which lets you completely change the way your phone works if you need different settings for a temporary amount of time. These options do require some set-up, though, so carve 15 minutes out of your schedule when you first buy the phone to set them up.

  • Software score: 3.5 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: cameras

The Samsung Galaxy A35's camera app.

(Image credit: Future)
  • 50MP main, 8MP ultra-wide and 5MP macro cameras
  • 13MP selfie camera on front
  • Range of extra photography and video modes

You’re looking at three rear cameras on the Samsung Galaxy A35. They create a package that’s par for the course for a mid-range phone at this budget, but won’t hold a candle to the Galaxy S24 range or even higher-priced Galaxy A mobiles.

The leader of the pack is a 50MP f/1.8 main camera, which is joined by a 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide snapper, with a 5MP f/2.4 macro rounding out the trio.

In well-lit conditions, the main camera takes bright and colorful pictures, which made pictures of close items like flowers or food look bold. That's likely due to Samsung’s scene optimization AI processing, which is a staple of Galaxy phones. This feature adds some pep and pizazz to your snaps; and by that I mean it ratchets up the contrast and saturation, and also drizzles in some sharpening and HDR. 

Seasoned photographers might find this tweakery unwanted, but seasoned photographers probably aren’t using this kind of phone. The optimization is most welcomed for snappy social media posts and selfies.

Why did I specify ‘close items’ before? Well, for wider shots, pixel binning seems to result in a noticeable lack of quality, which you can see in the picture of a tree in the camera samples section below.

The Samsung Galaxy A35 taking a selfie.

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy A35 also struggled in lower-lighting conditions, with details lost and contrast handled about as well as you’d expect. Sometimes scene optimization decided to cast an odd blue pall over snaps – a picture of some ducks below was taken in overcast conditions, yet looks like a cheap TV-movie day-for-night.

The camera will suit you better if you usually take pictures of close-up subjects (including people) in decently-lit environments, rather than wider landscapes at darker times of day.

The Achilles’ heel of the phone’s camera array is the ultra-wide snapper, because photos taken on it looked dull and lifeless compared to their counterparts. It’s as though the AI scene optimization forgot to step in!

Rounding out the trio is the macro camera, which is a lot more situational in use than its siblings; it’s used for those close-up photos that the main camera will struggle to keep in focus. It’s up to the task, but you probably won’t be using this camera too much if you can help it.

On the front of the phone is a 13MP f/2.2 selfie camera, and everything I said about the rear camera’s optimization is out here in force, with the added distinction that the subject of a selfie is generally going to be close to the camera, so no landscape-shot woes here. There’s nothing wrong with nice bright selfies though, and in Portrait mode the device was fab at blurring the background and balancing the elements of the picture to create a great-looking shot.

Video recording goes up to 4K at 30fps or FHD at 60fps, or goes very low with several slow-mo modes. Most of the modes here are par for the course for a modern-day smartphone, with night, time-lapse and Portrait modes present and correct. Samsung stalwart modes Food (which ramps the saturation up for a very limited focus area) and Fun (which adds AR effects on human subjects) are back here, too.

Samsung Galaxy A35 camera samples

Image 1 of 8

A selfie taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A selfie taken in 'standard' mode. (Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 8

A selfie taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A selfie taken in Portrait mode. (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 8

A bright flower taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A flower taken on the standard camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 8

A field with a church taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

An ultra-wide picture of a field. (Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 8

A field with a church taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A 1x zoom picture of a field with a church. (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 8

A field with a church taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A 2x zoom picture of a field with a church. (Image credit: Future)
Image 7 of 8

A well-lit tree taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

A well-lit willow tree with detail lost on the leaves and grass. (Image credit: Future)
Image 8 of 8

A picture of ducks taken on the Samsung Galaxy A35

An oddly-blue picture of ducks on the Galaxy A35. (Image credit: Future)
  • Camera score: 3 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35: 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 ‘brains’ of the Samsung Galaxy A35’s operation is Samsung’s own Exynos 1380 chipset, which Samsung previously used in the pricier Galaxy A54 from last year.

In a Geekbench 5 benchmark test, the Exynos 1380 returned an average multi-core score of 2,868; the warmer the phone was, the lower the result, with scores ranging from the low 2,900s when cool to the mid 2,700s when warm. I’ve seen phones with much more dramatic ranges than that, I just say this to contextualize the average score.

The high 2,000s is nothing to phone home about, but it’s more than enough for most everyday use cases, and the A35 performed admirably in real-world testing. It blitzed through many games of Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG Mobile without breaking a sweat (though it did warm up if I was pushing it), and it did so without significant lagging, bugging or any crashing. Mobile gamers on a budget won’t find anything to dislike here.

Similarly, the phone felt snappy and fast to navigate, which is something you hope for but can never guarantee with phones around this price.

There’s 6GB RAM and board and 128GB storage; if you want more space you’ll need to rely on cloud storage, as there’s no expandable memory.

With no 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ve got one less option for audio on the Galaxy A35. The stereo speakers are serviceable: I found them perfectly fine for CoD:M, but even cheap headphones are better for music. The Bluetooth is 5.3, which is a decent standard for reliable and power-economic connection. You can also use a USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor if you absolutely need wired music.

  • Performance score: 3.5 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: battery life

  • Chunky 5,000mAh battery
  • Phone lasts a day of use, sometimes more
  • 25W wired charging is slow

The Samsung Galaxy A35 leaning against a bench.

(Image credit: Future)

You’re looking at a 5,000mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy A35, which is the same battery you'll find in the vast majority of other budget and mid-range mobiles (and some high-end ones, too).

In testing, that saw the phone comfortably last for a full day of use, despite the big bright screen and 5G connectivity. It limped until lunchtime on a second day before charging really became necessary, so I’d recommend charging daily.

Charging is done using the USB-C port, and it’s 25W, which isn’t exactly fast. At that speed, you’ll have to be tethered to the wall for over two hours, which nudges into ‘overnight charging’ territory.

There’s no wireless charging, but that’s no surprise when it comes to a mid-range mobile like the A35.

  • Battery score: 3.5 / 5

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: value

The Samsung Galaxy A35's camera bump.

(Image credit: Future)

In many ways, the Samsung Galaxy A35 gives you exactly what you pay for, but you’re getting great value for money in a few distinct areas. I wasn’t kidding when I called this a budget Galaxy S24.

The display, software and performance all reach above the trappings of the A35’s low-mid-range price tier, giving you an experience that’s not quite ‘premium’, but is still more than you’d usually get for this price.

Plus, there’s no real department in which the Galaxy A35 falls below expectations: value all around.

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy A35?

Buy it if...

You watch lots of videos
The good-looking display on the Galaxy A35 makes it a dream for Netflix fans on a budget.

You're a gamer on a budget
The A35 is decently powerful for its price, but the big and attractive display ticks even more boxes.

You want One UI, without the price
You don't need to pay Galaxy S24 prices to use all of One UI's handy features, like routines and its customization options.

Don't buy it if...

You're a photography fan
The Galaxy A35's three cameras aren't going to impress amateur photographers much, especially with its overactive AI optimizations.

You need quick charging
You can buy budget phones with 120W charging, so the Samsung Galaxy A35's paltry 25W is slower than its rivals.

Your budget goes a little higher
Only a small fee will let you upgrade from the Galaxy A35 to the Galaxy A55, or another Samsung phone with improved features.

Samsung Galaxy A35 review: Also consider

If you're not certain on the Samsung Galaxy A35, here are some alternatives you might want to consider:

How I tested the Samsung Galaxy A35

The Samsung Galaxy A35's Samsung logo.

(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 6, Geekbench ML, GFXBench, native Android stats

I tested the yellow – sorry, 'Awesome Lemon' – version of the Samsung Galaxy A35 for two weeks for this review. Product photography was conducted right at the beginning of testing, hence why I've only got a few apps in-shot.

Testing was done by using the phone as my normal smartphone for the two-week duration: texting, photography, music streaming, Netflix, and so on. 

I have over five years' experience of reviewing tech gadgets for TechRadar, having previously been an editor for the phones team and currently freelancing for several verticals. I've used plenty of Samsung phones (and other gadgets by the company) including previous Galaxy A devices.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2024

Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender review
5:00 pm |

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Home Juicers & Blenders Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Nutribullet Pro+ blender: two-minute review

The Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 personal blender sits towards the upper end of this brands range, with a more powerful motor and an added pulse button compared to cheaper models. 

This looks a lot like a standard Nutribullet, and for the most part it's the same straightforward but effective design. Add the blade part to one of the two included cups, twist it on to the main body of the blender and it starts to blend immediately, cutting out after 60 seconds to prevent pressure from building up in the cup. The more powerful motor (1200W) makes light work of even tough smoothie ingredients, and delivers consistently smooth results. To-Go lids can be attached directly to the blending cup once you've taken off the blade part, enabling you to blend and go. 

Another point of difference here is the addition of a pulse button. This is good for things like salsas, and make it easy to tailor your blend to the perfect consistency you're looking for.

Pulse button on Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

(Image credit: Future)

Price-wise, it sits in the mid-range of the wider market, and I'd say it's worth it if you want that extra power and the versatility of the pulse function. If you don't want the pulse function and are happy with a lower-powered option, you might be just fine with a cheaper Nutribullet like the 900 (read TechRadar's Nutribullet Pro 900 review), and if you want a quieter model with a fancy touchscreen rather than the twist-to-blend approach, you'll need to spend a bit more on the Ultra model (read TechRadar's Nutribullet Ultra review). However, in terms of effectiveness and value for money, the Pro+ 1200 is easily one of the best blenders I've tested, especially for smoothies.

The names are very slightly different in different territories, so for avoidance of confusion, here's what you're looking for:

For my review, I tested the UK version. There may be very minor differences between the models in different territories. 

Nutribullet Pro+ blender review: price & availability

  • List price: $129.99 / £119.99 / AU$189.95
  • Launched: 2023
  • Available: worldwide

The Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 is available worldwide and is a mid-range blender. At ticket price, it's $129.99 in the US, £119.99 in the UK and AU$189.95 in Australia. 

Within the Nutribullet personal blender range, it's one of the pricier options, sitting between the 900 series and the top-of-the-range Ultra. If you're on a tighter budget, there's also the less powerful 600 Series. See how all the models compare in the specs comparison table

While the Pro+ 1200 isn't the cheapest, I think it's reasonably priced for a personal blender with a powerful motor. It's also worth keeping an eye out for deals around sales periods like Black Friday. 

  • Value for money score: 4 out of 5

Nutribullet Pro+ blender review: design

  • Powerful 1200W motor
  • Two cups with two To-Go lids and two Comfort Lip Rings
  • Twist-to-blend, with 60 second auto-shut off
  • Manual pulse mode that lasts up to a minute

The Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 sits neatly on the worktop and is held in place by four suction feet. The main machine, without cups attached, measures 5.4 x 5.4 x 15" / 13.6 x 13.6 x 37.5cm (W x D x H).

It has a black body with a silver trim, and while it's not quite as sleek as the Nutribullet Ultra or the eye-catching finish of the Pro 900, it's still compact and stylish on the countertop. 

Close up of blade for Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

(Image credit: Future)

It comes with a powerful 1200-watt motor which – like the Ultra – is designed to split through tough ingredients such as frozen berries and almonds. To start it, you simply need to twist on the cup and a 60 second blend will start. What makes it stand out from cheaper models in the Nutribullet blender range, is a dedicated illuminated Pulse button on the front of the motor base, which allows you to stop the auto-blend within 5 seconds of it starting and then manually pulse your ingredients yourself for up to a minute. 

To-Go lids on Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender cup

(Image credit: Future)

There are two blending cups provided – an 'Oversized' 32oz / 900ml cup and a 'Tall' 24oz / 680ml cup. There's no 'Short' 18oz / 511ml cup provided (this is the best option for a single smoothie serving) but one can be purchased separately from Nutribullet. The larger cup sizes give you plenty of flexibility when it comes to making smoothies or dips for a few people. 

Both provided cups come with To-Go lids and Comfort Lip Rings, which means you don't have to decant your smoothie to a different cup before taking it out with you. 

The cups can simply be twisted off after use and while they are dishwasher-safe, I found that washing the blade and cups with warm, soapy water straight after use kept them looking box fresh. Note that if those cups don't suit your needs, you can purchase other sizes separately from Nutribullet.

  • Design score: 4.5 out of 5

Nutribullet Pro 900 specs

Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender review: performance

  • Creates super-smooth smoothies, and pulse function useful for chunky blends
  • A little noisy in use – and louder than the Nutribullet Ultra
  • Ingredients can get stuck at top for thicker blends
  • Also decent at crushing ice

To give the Nutrbullet Pro+ 1200 a fair trial, I used it for a month in my kitchen to create smoothies and dips. I followed the recipe for a Creamy Coffee Smoothie, with banana, coffee, almond milk, Greek yoghurt, cinnamon and maple syrup, for example, which made a nice change from my hot morning coffee. I was also keen to find out how well it did at creating grainier dips such as hummus, as well as for a thick pancake mix.

With a 1200-watt motor base, the Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 has twice the power of the original Nutribullet 600. As soon as the cup is twisted on the blend cycle starts, and it will cut off automatically after a minute. I used the full minute for my Creamy Coffee Smoothie, and it created the smoothest of blends, and whipped the ingredients into up a delicious frothy texture. The 60-sec cutoff is so as not to cause a pressure build-up inside the cup, and it's important to wait until the motor cools before blending again.

Image 1 of 2

Making pancake batter in Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 2

Coffee smoothie made in Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

(Image credit: Future)

Like the Ultra, the blades in the Pro+ 1200 are designed to work on tough ingredients, so ice, nuts and chickpeas will all work well here – provided you have enough liquid in the cup to help the mixture blend that is. If you don't have enough liquid, the ingredients tend to get stuck at the top of the cup. I had this issue when making my pancake batter – on my first attempt, the flour got stuck to the sides. I added more almond milk and shook the cup a few times, and after that it combined more effectively, and very quickly, too. 

Ingredients for pancakes next to Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

(Image credit: Future)

My final test was to see if the Pro+1200 could handle crushing ice. It performed well in our ice test, blitzing through the majority of a cupful of ice so that it formed a powder like finish ideal for snow cones. After 30 seconds i gave the cup a shake and let it soldier on through the remaining ice cubes. 

Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blitzing ice

(Image credit: Future)

One feature the Pro+ 1200 has that cheaper Nutribullets don't is a Pulse button. I used this to help when making a textured hummus, and I also think this would work well for chunky salsas, guacamole or anything else where there are tough ingredients that need breaking down into small chunks. 

To use the Pulse button, you need to twist the cup on the base and press the Pulse button within five seconds. You can then manually press the Pulse button for up to a minute to adjust the texture to your exact preferences.

Overall, I really enjoyed using this blender and appreciate how powerful and flexible it is. It's quite loud in operation, however. The Nutribullet Ultra (which is designed to be quiet) measured 88.9 decibels on my Decibel Meter App, while the Nutribullet 1200 Pro+ came in at around 93.3 decibels. This isn't something that would put me off buying it, however, as my household is more than used to hearing me say ‘cover your ears for 60 seconds' whenever I want to prepare my morning smoothie.

  • Performance score: 4.5 out of 5

Should you buy the Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested the Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 blender

I trialled the Nutribullet Pro+ 1200 personal blender in my kitchen to see if it was capable of blitzing up standard blending recipes with ease. I used it to make humus to see how well the pulse feature could work here, and also make pancakes and a creamy coffee smoothie to see if all the ingredients combined effectively. To get a good idea of how loud it is in use, I measured noise levels using the Decibel Meter App on my smartphone. I also gave it a good wipe down and washed it to see how easy it was to clean. 

Read more about how we test

  • First reviewed May 2024
Australia announces it will turn off 3G networks
2:38 pm | May 15, 2024

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

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced today that it will completely shut down 3G networks. While TPG Telecom (also known as Vodafone) has already switched off its network, two other carriers are planning to do so in 3.5 months. In a brief statement on its website, the regulator stated that Telstra and Optus will be shutting down their 3G mobile networks in 2024. Telstra is scheduled to deactivate its network on August 31, with Optus following suit in the subsequent days. ACMA reminded users with 3G devices that their phones will no longer be able to...

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