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

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

Xiaomi 14: Two-minute review

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

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review back angled upside down

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review: Price and availability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Value score: 5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Specs

Xiaomi 14 review: Design

Xiaomi 14 review buttons

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

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

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

Image 1 of 3

Xiaomi 14 review Cloud de Paris design closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 2 of 3

Xiaomi 14 review Jade Green closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 3 of 3

Xiaomi 14 review back straight

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Display

Xiaomi 14 review front straight

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review home screen closeup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

  • Display score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Software

Xiaomi 14 review Quick Settings

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

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review Security app

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review Sidebar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

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

  • Software score: 3.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Cameras

Xiaomi 14 review camera closeup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 camera samples

Image 1 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 0.6x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide sensor)

Image 2 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 1x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1x zoom (main sensor)

Image 3 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 2x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

2x zoom (main sensor)

Image 4 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 3.2x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

3.2x zoom (telephoto sensor)

Image 5 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 60x Barcelona cathedral

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 6 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 0.6x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide sensor)

Image 7 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 1x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

1x zoom (main sensor)

Image 8 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 2x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

2x zoom (main sensor)

Image 9 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 3.2x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

3.2x zoom (telephoto sensor)

Image 10 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample 60x city

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 11 of 26

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

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 12 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample selfie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Front camera

Image 13 of 26

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

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 14 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
Image 15 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie AI Expansion

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

AI Expanded by 150%

Image 16 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Cheddar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
Image 17 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample dessert 1 artificial lighting

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Artificial lighting

Image 18 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample dessert 2 artificial lighting

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Artificial lighting

Image 19 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light blue neon

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
Image 20 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light orange neon

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
Image 21 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light group selfie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Front camera

Image 22 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Low light

Image 23 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Night Mode street

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Night mode

Image 24 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Pixel 8 Pro low light comparison

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 25 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Pixel 8 Pro Night Mode comparison

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 26 of 26

Xiaomi 14 camera sample low light building

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

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

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

AI camera features

Xiaomi 14 AI Expansion screenshots

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

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

Image 1 of 2

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Original image...

Image 2 of 2

Xiaomi 14 camera sample Brie AI Expansion

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

Image 1 of 2

Xiaomi 14 AI Portrait generation screenshots setup

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

Image 2 of 2

Xiaomi 14 AI Portrait generation screenshots results

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

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

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

  • Camera score: 4.5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Performance

Xiaomi 14 review gaming Genshin Impact

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

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review Game Turbo

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

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

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

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Xiaomi 14 review: Battery

Xiaomi 14 review USB-C

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

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

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

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

  • Battery score: 5 / 5

Should you buy the Xiaomi 14?

Buy it if...

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

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

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

Don't buy it if...

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

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

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

Xiaomi 14 review: Also consider

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

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

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

How I tested the Xiaomi 14

Xiaomi 14 review back angled

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2024

Xiaomi 14 deals

Nike Ultrafly review: The carbon-plated off-road cruiser
2:05 pm | April 18, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

One minute review

If you’re the kind of runner who prefers to head out to the trails for hours as opposed to tackling the same stretch of pavement, the Nike Ultrafly is made for you.

The Ultrafly is designed to handle up to ultra distances including racing, grabbing elements from Nike’s best running shoes like its ZoomX foam and a carbon plate, which on paper makes it sound like a Vaporfly for the trails.

I’ve used a bunch of Nike’s trail shoes including the long distance, off-road focused Nike Wildhorse 8 and the ZoomX-packing Nike Zegama Trail. While I’ve enjoyed my time in the new Ultrafly, it’s not quite the shoe I thought it would be: it's not zippy and quick like the Vaporfly is on roads, but it is a workhorse. 

Nike Ultrafly: Specifications

Nike Ultrafly: Price and availability

  • Priced at $250 in the US
  • £229.95 in the UK
  • AU$330 in Australia

The Nike Ultrafly launched in July 2023 in limited quantities before going on wider release in August, priced at £229.95 / $250 / AU$ 330. 

That put it around the same price as Nike’s Vaporfly road running shoe and also makes it pricier than standout trail shoes like the Hoka Speedgoat 5 and the Nike Wildhorse 8, another Nike trail shoe designed for long distance running.

  • Value score: 3.5/5

Nike Ultrafly: Design

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Vaporweave upper
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Nike ZoomX foam

While the Ultrafly is built for the trails, it definitely has the look of one of Nike’s road shoes. There’s just the two colourway options, both with a mostly white upper that thankfully hasn’t become caked in mud as the trails I’ve tested them on have been mostly the dry and hard kind.

Dealing with the key specs, it’s got a 8.5mm drop: that’s 38.5mm at the heel and 30mm at the forefoot, so it’s a chunky shoe. For comparison, the ultra-focused Nike Wildhorse 8 has an 8mm drop coming in at 35.5mm at the heel and 27.5mm at the forefoot.

Nike uses an upper made from Vaporweave, which is built from a mixture of plastics and is similar to the upper material used on its road running shoes like the Zoom Fly and the first generation Vaporfly. While the upper looks pretty low volume, there’s a nice bit of stretch to it and it’s nice and roomy up front, making it ideal for going long where feet can swell and you need that extra space.

While the Ultrafly opens up at the toes, it narrows at the midfoot and at the heel to offer a good lockdown with not overly generous padding at the heel collar to offer some comfort further back. The laces are the standard kind that sit on top of a skinny tongue that offers some padding on top to make sure you don’t feel those laces if they’re tightly tied.

For the midsole, Nike is using the ZoomX foam it uses on its successful Vaporfly, Alphafly and Invincible road shoes. That midsole is wrapped in fabric to protect the foam and is designed to make it feel more stable than Nike’s road shoes. Nike also places a Carbon Flyplate between that ZoomX and fabric-wrapped midsole to help deliver smoother transitions.

In an interesting move from Nike, it included a Vibram Megagrip outsole to deliver off-road grip. Nike typically uses its own outsole technology, which I’ve had mixed experiences with. The decision to go with Vibram on the Ultrafly seems like a wise move as it’s the same outsole technology featured on other standout trail shoes including the Hoka Speedgoat 5.

Weight-wise, the Ultrafly weighed in at 282g in my UK size 8, which is lighter than something like the Nike Wildhorse 8, which weighed in at almost 320g in a UK size 8. While not super-light, it definitely didn’t feel heavy during runs and was comfortable enough to walk around in as well.

  •  Design score: 4/5

Nike Ultrafly: Performance

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Smooth, stable and consistent ride
  • ZoomX isn’t bouncy like Nike road shoes
  • Outsole works well on moderate trails and roads

If you’re hoping that the Ultrafly is going to give you that feeling of running in one of Nike’s carbon racing shoes, then that’s simply not the case here. This isn’t an aggressive, speed shoe that delivers an extremely bouncy feeling. It’s different, but in a good way.

I haven’t run an ultra in it, instead focusing on getting as much time on my feet as my current state of running fitness permits, maxing out a couple of hours on a mixture of trail surfaces. I’ve also been mixing in some road time and taking in some lighter, more challenging trail terrain. The first thing you notice about the Ultrafly is that it doesn’t feel built like Nike’s other trail shoes. That’s largely down to the roominess of that toe box.

The ZoomX foam typically delivers a very bouncy ride, just like it does in the Vaporfly and Invincible, but things are slightly more tempered here. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t deliver the same lively ride. What it does instead is provide comfort and that’s really what you need over longer distances. 

As a package, it’s smooth and stable. It’s certainly not one that feels equipped for all-out speed and is better suited to cruising and moving at slightly more up-tempo speeds. It’s not super light or nimble, but it’s not overly heavy either to make it a taxing shoe to have on your feet as you roll through the miles.

It’s great to see that Nike has opted to plant on a Vibram outsole, which features on some of the best trail shoes in the business and feels like a step up in general on Nike’s trail shoe outsoles. The 3.5mm lugs aren’t exceptionally deep, which makes handling some road time in them absolutely fine, and in general, the grip was good across a mixture of terrain including mud, rockier surfaces, and tackling some hills. I do feel like on more technical trails and likely muddier ones, you’re going to want something a little more aggressive in the outsole department though.

In terms of protection on the trails, there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount going on here and plays into the idea that this is one best suited to lighter and more moderate routes as opposed to the more technical kind. Yes, the upper looks great and uses material that’s designed to prevent rips, but Nike does go pretty light on the protective features here.

Overall though, it’s a shoe that I’ve enjoyed spending time in. It does feel like a bit of a cruiser of a shoe that’s comfortable enough to wear outside of runs, and prioritizes offering a consistent feel from a not-too-heavy design that makes it ideal for long distance runs. It feels like a good start for the Ultrafly line with room to tweak things and for it to evolve to be a truly standout trail shoe to justify picking it up over other trail shoes that cost less.

  • Performance score: 4/5 

Nike Ultrafly: Scorecard

Nike Ultrafly: Should I buy?

Nike Ultrafly

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review: Good GPS tracking on the cheap
7:54 pm | April 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Xiaomi Smart Band 8: One-minute review

It’s not often you get a device like the Xiaomi Smart Band 8. It’s a very affordable fitness tracker at just $90 / £60 / AU$95, but it’s also remarkably competent thanks to great battery life and an array of sensors that some much more expensive alternatives are missing.

Not only is it one of the most complete budget fitness trackers we’ve tested, but it even defeats the Huawei Band 7 (a tracker I loved) by offering built-in GPS location tracking, too. That could make it a big worry for the likes of even the best Fitbit, and competition can only be a good thing.

I wore it on one wrist with my Apple Watch Ultra on the other (a considerably more expensive option) and was very impressed by just how accurate the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is. Xiaomi says it uses “next-generation data algorithms” for things like heart rate and oxygen saturation accuracy, and from my usage its findings were in lockstep with Apple’s own.

In fact, my only real gripe is that of the setup process. Your mileage may end up varying, but it felt like it got me off on the wrong foot with the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro, although thankfully the excellent features and design fixed that nice and quickly.

There are some other omissions, too, like payments, music downloads, and third-party apps, but given the price, those are all things you’d perhaps expect.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 worn on the wrist

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Specifications

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Price and release date

  • Available now 
  • Priced at $99.99 in the US
  • £60 in the UK
  • AU$95 in Australia

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro originally debuted in China last August, but it’s taken some time to go international. 

Thankfully, it’s available from most retailers now, and at a discounted price of $99 in the US, £60 in the UK, and AU$95 via outlets such as Amazon. 

We’ve seen it as low as £50 or $80 in recent weeks, and it’s a steal for that price, which makes it considerably cheaper than its nearest competitors like the Fitbit Inspire 3.

  • Value score: 5/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Design

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 strap

(Image credit: Future)
  • Available in black or white with swappable straps 
  • 1.74-inch AMOLED display 
  • Lightweight and slim

I find it difficult to get excited about fitness trackers these days because, for the most part, they all look mostly the same. That’s not to damn the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro with faint praise, but more acknowledge that just by looking at it, there’s no way you’d expect it to cost as little as it does.

It has a slick, rectangular chassis, and our white unit has a shining chrome shell. It does collect some fingerprints but not as many as you may expect, and houses a 1.74-inch AMOLED display that’s small enough to sit comfortably on your wrist while also being large enough to convey plenty of information at a glance.

It’s a good balance, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s packing a 336 x 480 px resolution that’s easy to read, and it weighs just 22.5g without the strap (still heavier than the Huawei Band 7, admittedly).

There are no buttons, physical or otherwise, on the sides, so you’ll be doing everything with the touchscreen, while the straps detach easily through a subtle mechanism and click into place in a satisfying way. Our review unit comes with an off-white option, but there’s no second strap in the box; it’s a one-size-fits-all kind of deal, and as someone who usually uses larger straps, I can say it works nicely.

On the back you’ll find a charging port, and while there’s no power brick included in the box, it’s worth noting that the USB-A cable that is here isn’t the longest. Some users will prefer USB-C, as USB-A is starting to look a little dated. Still, for under $100, it's just a charging cable. You get what you get. 

  • Design score: 4.5/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 laying on a flat surface

(Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Performance

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 worn on the wrist

(Image credit: Future)
  • Strictly a fitness tracker 
  • Plenty of functions 
  • Smart use of widgets 

The folks at Xiaomi have built much of the user interface here with the larger display in mind, which means you can swipe between screens that pack multiple widgets into each, making use of every available pixel. It took a little bit of habit-busting to get into the swing of swiping ‘backward’ rather than Apple's ‘up’ to return to a prior menu, but once I did, I was enjoying its functionality with ease.

You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access a sort of “All Apps” list, but that’s about the only time the UI feels a little tricky as you try to prod the right option.

As always (because many still conflate the two), it’s worth remembering this is a fitness tracker and not a smartwatch. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro won’t pay for your shopping, download music for offline playback, or download third-party apps. It's essentially a single-purpose device, and for that purpose – fitness tracking – it’s great.

I used it to head out for a brisk walk, indoors for a treadmill run, and at the gym. As mentioned in the intro, in all these scenarios, all of its metrics tied up nicely with that of my Apple Watch,  which costs around nine times the price of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro in the US.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 music playback screen

(Image credit: Future)

Step counting is accurate, and heart rate data was consistent while awake and asleep. While some have reported inaccuracies with VO2 data, mine synced up with the Apple Watch Ultra nicely. 

My favorite thing, though, is the GNSS support for GPS. It’s only a single-frequency connection, so it may struggle in big cities or when surrounded by large buildings, but it works really nicely for a casual run. If you’re a hardcore runner you’ll likely want something with more accuracy or a stronger connection, but then again, if you’re a hardcore runner you probably already own a much more expensive running watch.

When it comes to sleep tracking, things are mainly centered around the stages of sleep you’ll get. That’s fine at a basic level, but outside of that, you’re not going to get as much information as you’d perhaps get with a more fully-featured smartwatch such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, or a sleep tracker like the Oura Ring Generation 3.

Battery life is great, though, with Xiaomi suggesting you can hit 14 days on a single charge. That is, admittedly, with some functionality toned down (like always-on display and some health notifications), but it’s still impressive in a device at this price point.

Without those concessions, you can still reasonably expect around four-and-a-half days, which is still pretty great – and can easily go past five with light use, a.k.a. fewer workouts.

  • Performance score: 4/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Features

  • iOS and Android compatible 
  • Don’t expect a lot of analysis on companion app

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app devices page

(Image credit: Future)

I’ll be honest, I feel like the Xiaomi Mi Fitness app and I got off on the wrong foot. Pairing the device with my iPhone was pretty painful; it wouldn’t scan the QR code on the screen, so I had to add it manually via the Bluetooth settings, then that didn’t work on two separate attempts, and then just as I prepared to give up, it sprung to life.

Not a great first impression, sure, and to add to that many of the basic functions of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro were switched off – including things like sleep tracking.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app sleep settings

(Image credit: Future)

Once I switched those on, though, everything was pretty smooth. The Health tab is essentially a dashboard with all of your data for calories, steps, and exercise, as well as sleep and heart rate data, while the Workout tab actually incorporates Apple Maps so you can feasibly use it without needing to switch to Strava to log your routes. 

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app running map

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also a nice marketplace of watch faces you can download with ease and set on your device.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app band displays

(Image credit: Future)

In fact, the only thing missing is anything close to a deeper analysis of the data collected, which you may expect would be missing at this price. 

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 companion app vitality score settings

(Image credit: Future)

The closest thing is the Vitality Score, which is a little like Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score. This takes into account the activity you’ve done in the last seven days and calculates a score for how ready you are for exercise. It’s a nice idea, but as far as I can tell it’s not pulling extra data like sleep history. 

  • Features score: 4/5

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Scorecard

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

Suunto Race review: An affordable fitness watch with some compromises
8:20 pm | March 19, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Fitness Trackers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Suunto Race review: One minute review

Finnish outdoors brand Suunto is arguably best known for its hardy navigational devices and diving watches, often lagging behind the competition when it comes to genuinely excellent fitness smartwatches.

The fact of the matter is, the market is almost at saturation point. Garmin seemingly brings out a new watch every few months, covering every conceivable exercise niche you can think of, while rivals such as Polar and Coros with its Pace 3 and Apex Pro models, have brought some serious touchscreen-enabled contenders in recent months.

Traditional smartwatch makers like Apple and Samsung, now have models that also crossover into the outdoors/fitness space with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, offering excellent workout tracking, navigation and all of the handy smartphone control, notifications and features you will actually use every day. In fact, the Apple Watch just keeps improving as a fitness partner with every watchOS update.

Suunto Race watch running mode

(Image credit: Future)

In the interest of brevity, the Suunto Race Titanium (the premium version I tested) is the best watch it has made to date, with a crystal clear AMOLED screen, premium styling, and a whole host of fitness-tracking features that can genuinely rival those offered by Garmin et al.

However, it’s far from perfect. There are a number of areas that could easily be improved, including the achingly slow raise-to-wake, the sometimes glitchy OS, and the fact that offline mapping takes a painfully long time to download and upload to the map.

In essence, Garmin still rules the roost if you want the absolute cutting-edge of workout, recovery and training analytics, but Suunto is definitely getting close. Pair that with solid GPS tracking, an impressive battery life and an easy-to-navigate accompanying smartphone app, and you have an enticing offering at this price.

Suunto Race worn on wrist with clock face

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: specifications

Suunto Race: Price and availability

Suunto Race watch face close up

(Image credit: Future)
  • $449 in the US
  • £398 in the UK
  • AUS$720 in Australia

The Suunto Race is offered at two price points. The most affordable stainless steel version costs $449 / £398 / AUS$720, while the more expensive titanium-clad model comes in at $549 / £479 / AUS$879. 

There is no difference between the hardware that powers these watches: it’s all about the finish and how opulent you want your watch to feel. In my opinion, the titanium model elevates the overall build quality, thanks to its contrasting Charcoal finish. The bezel on the stainless steel model is all black, which instantly makes it feel a bit cheaper. 

Both models can be purchased directly from the Suunto website. At this price point, it's a pretty favorable comparison with its closest competitors, such as the much more expensive Garmin Forerunner 965. Great value.

Value score: 5/5

Suunto Race watch close up

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: Design and screen

Suunto Race watch screen

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent build quality, especially on the titanium model
  • Only one size
  • Apple-style digital crown

Some horologists often scoff at the basic design of today’s fitness smartwatches, as they tend to involve a large circular display that’s clad in some kind of metal or plastic to keep everything safe. But it's a winning, practical design, and the Suunto Race isn't reinventing the wheel. 

The Suunto Race Titanium comprises a considerable 49mm bezel that houses 1.43-inches of AMOLED touchscreen, running a 466 x 466 resolution. It’s not one for skinny wrists and sits rather proudly even on thicker arms. The fact Suunto doesn’t offer any other sizes is a bit of an oversight: not everyone's going to want a beast of a watch like this.

The build quality is good and the watch feels solid, with the titanium finish adding a nice pop of contrast colour that makes it stand out. There are a limited number of pre-loaded digital watch faces available that range from replicas of analogue timepieces to fully digital displays with adjustable splashes of colour.

Suunto race watch silicone strap

(Image credit: Future)

Overall, they look good, but there’s not the breadth you’ll find via Garmin’s ConnectIQ app (although a lot of those are rubbish), nor are they as exciting or as interactive as what you find on an Apple Watch Series 9 or the latest Google Pixel Watch. However, that's expected of training tools rather than smartwatches.

There are some neat etched-in vents on the titanium bezel that add a bit of texture, while the included silicone strap is ventilated for added breathability and features a small popper mechanism that makes it easy to fit. It’s a great do-it-all choice that works for most activities.

Finally, robustness is built-in via a glass fiber-reinforced polyamide casing and sapphire crystal glass protecting the delicate display beneath. During testing, it held up well, shrugging off scratches and dings with ease. The whole thing is ergonomic and easy to use during training sessions too. Interaction with the Suunto Race is either via prodding and swiping the screen, or through the chronograph style, three-pusher layout of buttons on the right-hand side. 

The middle of those is a ‘digital crown’ that can be used to quickly cycle through menus or zoom in and out of maps. Think of it as a kind of Apple Watch Ultra lite set-up, while long-pressing either the top or bottom buttons accesses various shortcuts to menus.

Design score: 4/5

Suunto Race: Features

Suunto Race watch three side buttons

(Image credit: Future)
  • Accurate GPS
  • HRV and recovery info
  • No NFC payments

In general, there’s a lot to like about the feature set on offer here. You can control the music playing on your phone with the watch, and receive notifications when you are getting a call. You can do more with Android devices than you can with Apple, such as send predefined replies to incoming messages from the watch.

It has a full suite of sensors, now ubiquitous on fitness devices, which ranges from wrist-based heart rate sensing to an altimeter and gyroscope so it knows exactly when you are moving.

Suunto Race watch sports mode

(Image credit: Future)

There’s sleep tracking, accurate GPS thanks to compatibility with five satellite systems, and the obvious stuff, such as step tracking, all carefully built-into the relatively diminutive device on your wrist.

As soon as you throw software into the mix, you start to delve into things like Heart Rate Variability, sleep cycle detection and stress and recovery status delivered directly to the AMOLED watch face. Arguably where the cheaper Garmin Forerunner 265 and Garmin Venu 3 stand tall is with lifestyle offerings like Garmin Pay, which allows you to sync bank cards with the watch and pay from the wrist. Garmin also offers guided workouts, complete with animated exercise guides on some models.

Also where features are concerned, other watches like the Polar Vantage V3 come packing a seriously advanced set of biosensing equipment that offer an exceptionally accurate heart rate from the wrist. Right now, Suunto isn’t quite there. 

Features score: 3.5/5

Suunto Race: Performance

Suunto Race watch and mobile app

(Image credit: Future)

Initial set-up of the watch is breezy. It’s just a case of downloading the accompanying smartphone app, punching in a few personal details and then getting on with it.

However, if you want to navigate from the wrist, you first have to download offline maps onto your phone, and then onto the watch. This process is extremely slow and boring in comparison to something like the Garmin Epix Pro, yet vital if you want to see any kind of map show up when out running, cycling, or walking. Thankfully, they look great once installed and they’re super easy to scroll around.

On the subject of exercise, there are over 95 profiles covering the full gamut of sports and workouts, with each setting up the AMOLED screen to show the most important stats for each. Of course, you can dive into settings and swap this all around so you can see what’s most important to you.

As for the specific profiles, this definitely feels like a watch predominantly geared towards running, cycling and swimming, but don't they all? The depth of data for each of these activities is impressive, with it able to automatically detect segments in a triathlon and even detect different swim strokes and log stats for each.

Similarly, where running is concerned, you get wrist-based running power, while cyclists can add Bluetooth power meters (and HRM chest straps) quickly and easily. However, you can only add one of each type of sensor, which will be annoying for ardent indoor cyclists or triathletes, who might want both HRM and power meter options.

Within the app, you can create structured workouts or link in existing services, such as Strava, Adidas Running or Training Peaks if these are your preferred methods to train.

Suunto Race watch running mode

(Image credit: Future)

Again, it feels like Garmin offers more in its ecosystem, with a number of training plans available to get you running a 5K or even a marathon, complete with guidance on training laid, rest and recovery.

Granted, Race does feature Suunto Coach, which goes into detail on things like Chronic Training Load (its metric for your overall fitness), as well as a look at the training stress balance. This uses heart rate variability (HRV) and sleep quality as factors on your overall readiness to train.

As with so many smart fitness watches, it takes time for this information to build and the Suunto Race only gets better the more you wear it. But also like a lot of its rivals, they tend to bias cardio and endurance activities, rather than strength training.

During testing, I found that strength work in the gym played havoc with the wrist-based heart rate monitoring, which was already proving not particularly accurate on a couple of test runs and cycles. With an Apple Watch Ultra 2 strapped to the other wrist and linked to a chest HRM, I found the Suunto slow to react and often a few bpm out at most points.

Similarly, the entire operating system feels slow and clunky, regularly baffled by too many quick inputs. There’s a definite lag when flicking between menu screens and dithering when raising the watch to wake. You can turn this off, but then battery life is impacted.

Thankfully, battery life is absolutely massive, with an enormous 26 days in time mode, a whopping 12 days with 24/7 tracking and smart notifications. Absolute minimum you will get is 40 hours with GPS running full tilt, but that’s a massive single workout.

In reality, we managed to eke around a week from the battery when wearing it constantly (including to bed), training three or four times per week for around an hour and occasionally using it to navigate on a weekend walk.

Performance score: 3/5

Suunto Race: Scorecard

Suunto Race watch triathlon mode

(Image credit: Future)

Suunto Race: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Suunto Race: Also consider

Motorola Moto G84 review
9:29 pm | March 11, 2024

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

Moto G84 two-minute review

Another day, another Moto G phone…

…and as usual, the Moto G84 is a surprisingly adept and reliable Android handset from one of the world’s most dedicated phone manufacturers, with Motorola continuing its forcible takeover of our round-up of the best cheap phones.

The latest entry in Motorola’s ever-growing G-line of low-cost mobiles, the G84 brings a few clear and concise arguments as to why it should be your next purchase, as well as a few wardrobes that it hopes you won’t be checking for skeletons.

First up, the Moto G84 is the company’s latest collaboration between Motorola and paint company Pantone, with one of its three colors designed by color experts. This is the Viva Magenta one that you can see pictured above, adorned in the shade that Pantone decided was its Color Of The Year 2023.

It's a distinctive shade (which may put some people off), and we’re big enough fans to add the vibrant and striking look to the ‘Pros’ list above. But for some reason, Moto decided to release two other color options, silver and black, which look pretty boring by comparison.

We go from one of the phone’s touted selling points to something Motorola is barely mentioning: the G84 is a powerhouse for gaming. While I’ve been disappointed by other mobiles brandishing the same Snapdragon 695 chipset used here, the Moto chews through gaming and other intensive tasks. If you’re a gamer on a budget, this is definitely a solid pick.

The Moto G84's home screen next to some festive cookies

(Image credit: Future)

It’s at this point in the review (less than a minute into the ‘two-minute review’, so pretty early on) that I should mention the Moto G73. This mobile, released in early 2023 and still ranged by most retailers including Moto itself, has lots of specs in common with the G84.

It has a lower price and the same camera array, same rough design, same software, same battery size, same charging speed and same screen size. Admittedly it’s screen quality is worse, it doesn’t have an under-display fingerprint scanner, it’s less powerful and it doesn’t catch the eye quite like this Viva Magenta-clad beast. But if you want to save some cash and don’t mind these tweaked features, it’s a very real competitor that may sway your attention.

‘Close competition’ is nothing new for Moto phones, given how many similar-looking budget mobiles it releases each year. Neither is my other major gripe with the handset: its cameras are anything but impressive, with photos that look a little dull and unexciting.

Picking up a Motorola phone and being surprised that its cameras aren’t amazing, is like picking up a dumbbell and being surprised it’s heavy – that trait is just par for the course. The cameras aren’t terrible either, they just won’t suit passionate smartphone-centric photographers.

And overall, the Moto G84 is a terribly impressive phone, when you consider its feisty look, gaming power and low price; it’ll just fit some users better than others.

Moto G84 review: price and availability

  • Released in September 2023
  • Costs £249.99 (roughly $315, AU$475) 
  • Not for sale in US or Australia

The Moto G84 in the hand

(Image credit: Future)

The Moto G84 was released in the UK in mid-September 2023, after coming out in India and Europe in the weeks prior. It was joined by the low-end Moto G54 and premium-leaning Moto Edge 40 Neo.

You can pick up the phone for £249.99 (roughly $315, AU$475), which lodges it firmly in the category of ‘cheap Android phone’, perfect for people on a budget who want a reliable mobile. That’s Moto’s whole schtick, after all. There’s no information on a US or Australian launch, but they seem unlikely even several months after the phone's release.

Rivals at that price include Samsung’s Galaxy A23 5G, Redmi’s Note 12 5G, OnePlus' Nord CE 3 Lite and several of Motorola’s own mobiles, like the Moto G73 5G and Edge 40 Neo, which are all at roughly the same price point. But for its price and the performance it offers, the G84 is solidly good value. 

  • Value score: 4 / 5

Moto G84 review: specs

The Moto G84 has many traits in common with other budget phones, but it exceeds its class in a few areas too.

Moto G84 review: design

  • Vibrant Pantone-designed red shell
  • Repositioned under-display fingerprint scanner
  • 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C port

The Moto G84 looking festive amongst some baked goods

(Image credit: Future)

Motorola isn’t exactly in the business of revolutionizing smartphone design (well, at least for its budget mobiles, though you can say what you like about the Moto Razr). So if you’ve seen a Moto G in the last few years you’ve seen the G84.

It’s a standard Android mobile measuring 160 x 74.4 x 7.6 mm – a few years ago we could’ve called it "a little on the big side" though you could probably consider it average now. It’s surprisingly light at 166.8g, which means the phone sits a little comfier in the hand than most phones with a flat edge.

You’ve got the usual accouterments of a Moto: a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack underneath, a power button and volume rocker on the right edge. But Motorola has made one big adjustment in its budget phones of late, and that’s in replacing the side-mounted fingerprint scanner with a more premium under-display one. And it’s a great change too, as unlocking the phone is much easier than in previous Motos. The scanner is a bit lower down the phone than on most others, but it’s something I got used to.

There are three different color options for the Moto G84: a silver and a black option, and also an eye-catching red version called Viva Magenta. This latter was created by paint company Pantone, and it’d make the phone very attractive if it wasn’t for the big Pantone-logo color swatch on the bottom. You can’t remove this, it’s part of the phone.

Still, if the G84 was in a line-up of 10 random other phones, it’d be the most attractive one the vast majority of the time – its red is a little richer than Apple’s Product Red and the glossy alternatives some Chinese phones offer.

In terms of protection, you’re looking at IP54: it’s partly dust proofed but not against all solids, and is splash-proof but can’t be dunked in water. That's all to be expected at this price. 

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Moto G84 review: display

  • Big 6.5-inch screen
  • FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh
  • Automatic brightness issues

The Moto G84's front-facing camera

(Image credit: Future)

The Moto G84 has a 6.5-inch display, which is pretty average for a smartphone these days, but the Moto’s specs are anything but average.

The phone packs an FHD+ display (that’s 1080 x 2400) and a 120Hz refresh rate, which means the display updates its image 120 times per second, over the old standard of 60Hz. Lots of budget mobiles tout this spec now but certainly not all of them, and it brings a marked improvement when you’re scrolling around the menus.

Another unusual trait is the use of the DCI-P3 color gamut with over 1 billion colors – this was designed for use in movies and it makes videos look that little bit better than on another budget phone.

One other display feature worth flagging is that the punch-hole that houses the front-facing camera is very small, reducing the amount of screen space you’re losing from it.

A small issue I had with the phone was with its display and the automatic brightness features. Often, the phone would default to a screen brightness that was just too low, and I frequently had to manually adjust it to be able to make out the display.

  • Display score: 3.5 / 5

Moto G84 review: software

  • Stock Android 13 is clean
  • Useful Moto Actions return
  • Plenty of customization options

The Moto G84 looking festive amongst some baked goods

(Image credit: Future)

When you boot up the Moto G84, it’ll come running stock Android 13 – that was the current OS when the mobile launched, though Android 14 started rolling out just weeks later. The G84 is only confirmed for one software update too, so Android 14 is all you’ll definitely get, though you’ll be able to enjoy at least three years’ security updates.

Stock Android is always fairly clean, at least compared to some other Android forks, but some bloatware has snuck into the Moto. There’s TikTok, LinkedIn and three simple games – it’s nothing too offensive, and if you’ve used one of the budget phones from another brand you might have used something a lot worse, but it’s still not ideal.

Moto phones have always been great for software customization, even before Google made it an official Android feature, and there’s no difference here. You have plenty of choice in terms of font, color scheme, icon shape, animations and more – if you like diving into the settings and then tweaking the nitty-gritty of how your phone looks, you’ll love this phone.

A returning feature exclusive to Moto phones are Moto Actions, which are easy navigation tricks that I find myself using a lot. Examples include a double karate-chop motion to quickly turn on the torch and a twisting shake to open the camera app. They take a little getting used to, but once you’ve got the knack for them, they’re incredibly handy.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Moto G84: cameras

  • 50MP main and 8MP ultra-wide cameras
  • Some extra features like Spot Color
  • 16MP front-facing camera for selfies

The Moto G84's camera bump

(Image credit: Future)

The camera department is an area that Motorola phones rarely excel in, and there’s no exception here. The phone uses up its ‘color’ budget on its exterior shell and there’s none left for its photos…

The main snapper is a 50MP f/1.9 unit and it’s joined by a single 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide companion. On the front, you’re looking at a 16MP f/2.5 selfie camera. That’s not exactly a revolutionary combo for Moto, which used the exact same line-up in the Moto G73 from earlier in the year. 

Pictures taken on the main camera looked fine – that nondescript word is the best way to describe them – with fair sharpness but a lack of vibrancy or color that made me miss Samsung’s or Xiaomi’s handsets.

Flip onto the ultra-wide camera and you’re getting pretty grainy pictures – it’s an 8MP sensor, what did you expect – though not straight away. No, the secondary snapper was surprisingly slow to focus when I pressed the icon in the camera app, and I often found myself waiting a few moments for it to sharpen the image.

You can also use the ultra-wide camera for macro (close-up) shots, but this suffers from the issue that all wide-angle-macro phone photos do: it’s rounded and distorted thanks to the lens type. No thanks!

There’s no zoom lens on the Moto G84, so you have to use its 8x digital zoom to get closer to a subject. But I’d really recommend you don’t, unless you want your photo to be as grainy as spot art.

Grainy is also the word to use for pictures captured on the front camera, which is a surprising twist as some Motos redeem themselves on their selfie abilities. They'll be fine for sending between phones, especially with bokeh working well in Portrait mode, but if you look at selfies on any bigger screen you'll see the pixels clearly.

When capturing video, you can shoot at 1080p, with no 4K option. There’s also a slow-mo option as well as dual capture (front and back cameras at once) and Spot Color, which lets you isolate a single color in your recording. These latter two options are also available for photography.

  • Camera score: 2.5 / 5

Moto G84 camera samples

Image 1 of 7

A coffee photographed on the  Moto G84

This 'standard' shot of a coffee looks a little dull in the froth and colorful plates. (Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 7

A pint captured on the  Moto G84

This photo came out bizarrely yellow. (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 7

A street shot on the  Moto G84

Here's a standard snap of a street, so you can contrast to the next pic... (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 7

A street captured on the Moto G84's ultra-wide camera.'s that same street in ultra-wide. (Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 7

A christmassy table captured on the G84

This festive outlook also looks a little duller than what another phone would capture. (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 7

A selfie on the Moto G84

If you were to zoom in close to the face, you'd see it's quite grainy (but please don't!). (Image credit: Future)
Image 7 of 7

The Moto Edge 40 Neo captured on the  Moto G84

I captured the G84's contemporary, the Edge 40 Neo, so you can see how it picks up color. (Image credit: Future)

Moto G84: performance and audio

  • Snapdragon 695 chip exceeds expectations
  • 12GB RAM and 256GB storage
  • 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth 5.1

The Moto G84 packs the Snapdragon 695, and anyone who’s used a phone using this chipset knows what to expect: fine everyday performance, but a lackluster showing when used for gaming or intensive processes. That's how this exact same chip worked in the recent OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, and gaming was a slog.

In a pleasantly surprising plot twist, the G84 bucks expectations: it runs a lot faster than you’d think. In fact, through our rigorous gaming tests, it proved itself as one of the most reliable low-budget phones for gaming.

When playing titles like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile, the phone could be relied on to get through a match without lags, stutters or freezes – in fact, the G84 beat many gaming phones in that it didn’t even overheat!

This may be thanks to the 12GB RAM you’re getting, a surprising amount for a phone at this price. The 256GB storage is also laudable – this is a phone that’ll last you a long time, and even if you do manage to fill the device’s onboard storage, the microSD card slot will keep you going for even longer.

If you’re into your facts and figures, a benchmark test through Geekbench 6 returned a multi-core average score of 2,037. That middling score shows that this phone is no supercomputer that’ll land a spaceship on the sun or predict the future, but for the price, I was very surprised.

Onto audio – this is par for the course for a Moto phone. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired music and Bluetooth 5.1 for wireless. The onboard stereo speaker is nothing to write home about, but it’s not so tinny that voice calls or memos are affected.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

Moto G84 review: battery life

  • Large 5,000mAh battery
  • Over a day's use from a single charge
  • 30W charging isn't particularly fast

The Moto G84's ports looking festive amongst some baked goods

(Image credit: Future)

If there’s one thing a Motorola phone can be relied on to have, even more than a confusing name, great customization or that distinctive sound when you first boot it up, it’s a long-lasting battery life.

No surprise, then, that the Moto G84’s 5,000mAh battery lasts a long time. You can use it to get through a day of use with no issue, and in our tests it lasted well into a second day before the charging cable needed to come out.

That charging cable gets you powering at 30W, so it’s not particularly fast, not when rival budget mobiles hit 50W, 67W or higher. You’re looking at charging times just shy of an hour, or more if you’re using the thing as you power it.

There’s no wireless charging here, but at that price, no-one should be surprised.

  • Battery score: 3.5 / 5

Should you buy the Moto G84?

Buy it if...

You like the color
As soon as you opened this review and saw the header image, you came to a quick conclusion on its distinctive color. If that reaction was positive, then for sure, go for it!

You’re a budget gamer
Honestly, if I didn’t already have a phone, I’d consider the G84 just for its gaming chops alone – it plays games just as well as a handset that’d cost you twice as much. 

You need a reliable budget device
Moto's G phones are always dependable low-cost Androids that'll last you a long time, and if you're not fussy about certain premium features, they're always great picks.

Don't buy it if...

The Moto G73 is fine for you
The G84 has many specs in common with the G73, yet costs more – if you don’t mind screen quality and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, you’ll be happy and have more cash with the older phone!

You’re a phone photographer
If there’s one cut corner with the G84, its the lackluster camera performance. If you love taking pictures all the time with your phone, you can do better than this handset.

You care about software updates
Software fanatics out there might raise an eyebrow at Moto's limited software update promise. If you want new Android versions for years to come, you might want to opt for another brand's phones.

Moto G84 review: Also consider

If you're looking for Android phones at the Moto G84's price, you've got loads of rivals to consider. Here are a few:

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite
A bigger screen, higher-res main camera and fast charging are balanced out by a higher price, weaker gaming chops and a bulkier build in this recent rival from OnePlus.

Redmi Note 12 Pro
Xiaomi is a strong budget phone rival with its spec-heavy Redmi mobiles, and the 12 Pro is an example. Lots of specs in common with the G84 but more processing power.

How I tested the Moto G84

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

As you can tell from my review and the images, I tested the Moto G84 in its Pantone-endorsed Viva Magenta colorway. It felt fitting to test this festive-looking mobile during winter, hence the Christmas baking images!

Before true testing commenced I set up the phone to let the battery use settle, then used it as a standard mobile for two weeks. This included all the tasks you'd use your mobile for: social media, photography and streaming. 

I also used it for gaming a lot. In fact, it was so snappy and fast for this task, alongside its lovely display, that I was loathe to move onto the next handset I'm testing for TechRadar!

My tech review history spans five years for TechRadar, and more for other brands. I used to work as an editor and writer for the site, covering phones, tablets and wearables (as well as a wide range of other gadgets), and continue to write freelance reviews across many types of gadget.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed December 2023

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: can this keep you and the planet clean?
1:30 pm | February 25, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: | Comments: Off

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush: One minute review

The Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush tells you a lot about what it's aiming for right there in the name. However, there are other attributes to this powerful yet relatively affordable brush, that make it stand out from the many offerings now vying for your mouth space and the title of best electric toothbrush.

Primarily this is a company that prides itself on being sustainable, meaning it uses recyclable plant-based materials for the heads and bristles. But it also is designed with a simple aluminum frame that's made to be taken apart and fixed if necessary.

The company is so confident that you'll be pleased with what it offers that there is also a 100-day money-back guarantee – which applies to both the UK and US.

The brush is a sonic model, meaning it vibrates rather than oscillates. It also, quite uniquely, offers a carry case that features a UV-C light designed to give your brush head a bacteria-killing clean. A nifty feature that helps it compete even against the tech-crammed top-tier toothbrushes like the Oral-B iO Series 10 and the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean 9000.

Plus – and this is a tiny detail but shows the depth of thinking in design here – you get a sticky back magnet to attach to your bathroom mirror or wall, so the metal toothbrush can sit up and out of the way, keeping your sides clear and clean.


Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Price and availability

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)
  • Priced at $92 in the US 
  • £75 in the UK 
  • AU$145 in Australia

The Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush might not have been around for long, having launched in 2024, but it has been placed at such an ideal price point it is going to be appealing for a long time – especially if that price drops. It is available in the US, Canada, UK and Europe. It is currently priced at $92 / £75 / AU$145.

However, that is for the brush and charger alone, and if you want the case it will cost you extra. For the brush and UV case, the pricing is $116 / £95 / AU$185. The company says the brush is made to be easily repaired, so you shouldn't need another. Plus, if you do change up, Suri will recycle it all for free.

The heads are sustainable but are still going to wear down so you'll need to factor in replacement costs. A pack of three new heads will cost you $18.45 / £14.40 / AU$28. That includes fast and free shipping as part of the charge.

  • Value score: 4.5 / 5


(Image credit: Future)

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Specifications

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Design

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)
  • IP67 waterproof
  • Aluminium body
  • Sustainable, plant-based heads

When it comes to design, this is an area that Suri has worked on from the basics to the finished product with great attention to detail. This is because it had the goal of not only creating a great sonic toothbrush to compete with the big-name brands, but to do it all while remaining eco-conscious.

To do this, Suri used plant-based ingredients for its brush heads, from cornstarch and castor oil. These are shaped into a wave-shaped bristle pattern to take care of interdental cleaning. Plus the company will send these out with a return envelope so you can send them back for recycling.

The brush unit is made from an aluminum frame which lends it a solid and robust feel. The slender shape, thinner in depth than width, feels very comfortable in the hand and makes for a fine balance of weight, both in the hand and when standing up.

I found the included mount simple to set up, with a sticky back and magnetic front, yet it adds so much value. Stick it anywhere and your brush magnetically attaches – keeping your bathroom sides clutter-free and avoiding those black ring marks that most of the other brands leave on your bathroom sides.

The case is also worth shouting about as it not only charges the brush but also features a UV-C light to clean the head, but more on this in the features section. There is also an included puck-style charger base that plugs into a USB-style charging socket.

Suri has spent a lot of time and money refining the design of this toothbrush and it really comes across in the finish. Proof that sustainable and premium can be found in one sleek and sonic electric toothbrush-shaped package.

  • Design score: 5 / 5 

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Features

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)
  • Impressive 40+ day battery
  • Fast charging
  • UV-C cleaning light

Competing against the already established electric toothbrush competition in the forms of Oral-B and Philips was always going to be a challenge. But one way to really bring it to them is to offer better battery life – something that everyone nowadays appreciates, as one less gadget to charge is a relief. That's why this brush's battery life, which extends to beyond 40 days of use, is a really appealing feature. And, as if that wasn't enough, it also charges to full in just four hours. 

The tricks keep helping this brush punch above the price point though, as that travel case is packing a UV-C light. This is a powerful light when it comes to cleaning as it will kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria in a single minute – a great feature especially when travelling. Plus the case charges the toothbrush, is sleek in its finish, and is minimal enough to take up very little room in a wash bag. 

Of course, that case is part of the higher priced package – but even having the option to leave that, if it's not for you, in favor of saving a bit of money, is a thoughtful option.

The brush head itself features that wave design for superior cleaning, while the back of the head has a rubberized pattern that can make for the now-standard tongue cleaning with just the right amount of abrasion. 

The main body is super minimal with a single button to power on and jump between modes. There are only two of these: Clean or Polish. The lack of modes sounds like a negative, but unless you need a softer mode for sensitive teeth, this can be more than enough. Since this is a sonic setup, it means you can go as gentle or hard as you need, so even the lack of a sensitive setting is probably an intentional choice from Suri.

There is a timer as standard, so you can get that recommended daily two minutes morning and night. This brush also features haptic feedback with vibrations at every 30 seconds so you have that guidance to move between dental zones – all pretty standard and expected of an electric brush at this price.

  • Features score: 4.5 / 5

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush review: Performance

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)
  • Super quiet operating
  • High-speed sonics at 33,000
  • Brilliant battery

One of the standout features of this toothbrush is just how quietly it runs, at a meagre 54 db. This is barely noticeable. When you compare to oscillating brushes or premium sonic options, this undercuts them quite considerably – ideal for late-night brushing when a partner, roommate or parent is within earshot.

The brushing performance is above average standard. This is thanks to a combination of that brush head with the wave-shaped bristles of varying lengths that get in between teeth, and those sonic vibrations. The brush will vibrate at 33,000 times per minute which is ideal as a way to break down plaque and clean teeth more effectively than a manual brush, although the lack of oscillation does mean it's not as comprehensive as some of the ultra-premium brushes. 

Usefully, when you switch up to Polish mode, you can feel the intensity increase, which allows you to put less pressure on while the brush does more of the work for you. This is useful for those who might struggle to maintain pressure for the full two minutes, or for anyone who wants to achieve a more effective clean without as much pressure on the brushing technique itself. 

That battery life is also worth another mention since it's so effective. A four-hour charge time is fantastic. You can easily pop this on in the morning and you're good to go for your evening brush – or even a lunchtime clean if you're that committed. Then having a solid 40 days of use means you don't need to think about battery life for a good month or more. 

Details like including the recycling packaging, to send heads back to the company, make it a more realistic process for most people, as does designing the brush to be easily repaired. This is potentially the last brush you need to buy for a very, very long time.

  • Performance score: 4/5 

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush: Scorecard

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)

Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

How I tested

I used the Suri Sustainable Sonic Toothbrush for weeks in order to test the effectiveness of the brush itself as well as that battery performance. I also visited the dentist during this time and was complemented on my cleaning efforts - reflecting well on this brush's performance.

I used the case for travel, over-night, as well as making use of the UV-C light cleaning feature. I mounted the magnetic holder to test its usefulness and was left surprised at how helpful this small addition was. 

My brushing was twice daily with that two-minute timer and haptic half-minute guidance vibrations used to get a full and fair brush.

I was also testing other brushes from Oral-B and more which allowed me to see the difference between features like extra modes, oscillations versus sonics, battery life, screes, apps and more.

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: a behemoth air fryer that can serve 8+ people
6:30 pm | February 20, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Air Fryers Computers Gadgets Home Small Appliances | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: one minute review

You might be wondering how many more ways a company can innovate on the best air fryers, but Ninja is at it again with its enormous Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer, also known as the FlexDrawer in the UK. This vast air fryer can serve eight (or more, by a small margin – although I felt six was the sweet spot) and offers up Ninja’s excellent air fry features, including Dual Zone technology.

But is bigger always better? Broadly speaking, yes – and if you regularly need to cook for more than four people, the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket 11qt / 10.4L dual air fryer is easily the best large-capacity air fryer I’ve tried. For a bit of visual context, 11qt / 10.4L can easily fit a whole leg of lamb and accompanying vegetables. 

It isn’t flawless, of course. Compared even to Ninja’s own dual-drawer competition, the Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer AF300, the Foodi FlexBasket has one large basket with a divider rather than two distinct drawers that can be independently opened and cleaned. Granted, this difference is intentional; the FlexBasket allows you to cook either across two zones or remove the divider to create one aptly named MegaZone, which is excellent for cooking larger meals such as roasts. 

When using the independent zones, you can choose any of the seven cooking functions, different times and temperatures, and use the Sync mode to ensure cooking in both compartments completes at the same time. 

It’s a delightfully easy machine to use that delivers consistent, fantastic results; but it absolutely dominated my kitchen countertop. Were it a little lighter then I wouldn’t have been so bothered by it, but the combination of size and weight make it difficult appliance to stow away.

A portion of fries cooked in the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer

(Image credit: Future)

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: price and availability

  •  Price: $199 / £270 / AU$599.99 
  •  Available directly from Ninja and most third-party retailers 

With great power comes a pretty hefty price tag for the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket 11qt / 10.4L dual air fryer, coming in at  $199 / £270 / AU$600. It’s available directly from Ninja in the UK and Australia as well as from third-party retailers; but, interestingly, it appears to only be available from the likes of Walmart in the US at the time of writing. 

The slightly smaller 7qt FlexBasket is more widely available in the US both at Ninja and on websites such as Amazon, where it’s also available for other regions wanting a slightly less domineering MegaZone air fryer, and sells for $179.99 / 

There’s little else to consider in terms of maintenance costs and accessories for this air fryer, and it’s pretty well-priced overall. Considering that some rival models, such as the Instant Vortex Plus XL 8QT ClearCook, come in at a far higher price for less capacity – and, in my opinion, inferior build materials – the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer offers impressive value for money. However, I’d have loved to see a cooking window included. 

Value: 4.5/5

Ninja Foodi Flexdrawer air fryer

(Image credit: Ninja)

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: design

  •  One 11qt / 10.4L basket that can be configured to have two zones 
  •  Absolutely enormous 
  •  Easy controls 

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room; literally. The Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer is huge at 12.9 x 19.5 x 12.4 inches / 32.7 x 49.6 x 31.6cm and weighs in at 9.3kg – which shouldn’t be surprising, really, given its capacity. However, it's when you factor in things like the clearance needed at the front of the machine to open and close the drawer and the space required on either side to ensure good airflow while cooking that its size could become an issue. 

The basket itself measures 12.9 x 19.5 x 12.4 inches / 13.7 x 37 x 21.5cm, and with its 10.4L capacity, there’s plenty of cooking room available. Simply insert the two crisper trays (and the divider, if you want to cook across two zones) and you’re ready to get started. Note, too, that all of the drawer parts are dishwasher friendly, for convenient cleanup.

However, if you don’t have a dishwasher then you might find cleaning the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer a little annoying. Since it uses one large basket instead of the two independent drawers of some other dual air fryers, you’ll have to wash the entire basket regardless of whether or not you used both sides. 

On the front of the machine are the controls: you can select the time and temperature as well as one of the seven cooking modes that include air fry, max crisp, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate and prove. 

There’s a silver roller dial that allows you to navigate these modes, as well as buttons to switch between Sync and Match cooking times and powering the machine on and off. It’s overall a very inoffensive control system, although every now and then, it would become non-responsive if I pressed too many buttons in close succession while trying to change cooking zones.

Ninja Foodi FlexBasket Dual Air Fryer review: performance

  •  No need to preheat 
  •  Gorgeous, crispy results 
  •  Very configurable for every meal 

Ninja Foodi cooking a chicken

(Image credit: Future)

As a smaller household, I was a little intimidated by the sheer size of the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer, but I put it to the test by making several meals using a variety of ingredients – including a whole roast chicken. 

The air fryer can heat up to 450°F / 240°C for up to four hours (although not at its highest temperature, which only offers up to 30 minutes of continuous cooking time) and offers seven cooking modes – air fry, max crisp, roast, bake, reheat, dehydrate and prove. These offer rough guidelines for cooking times and temperature, although it’s likely you’ll need to tweak these set times. 

One of the key benefits of standard air fryers is that they’re able to deliver speedy results, using less energy, due to their reduced capacities over regular ovens. As such, I had expected the FlexBasket’s cooking times to be longer. Pleasingly, I didn’t find a significant difference, with cooking times only a few minutes longer. 

The Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer doesn’t require preheating, doing so very quickly during the first few minutes of cooking time, but it does have an automatic cooling mode at the end of the cycle. Of course, there’s no imperative to observe this, but it won’t alert you to remove your food until that time has elapsed. 

You also have Sync and Match cooking modes, which allow you to set individual temperatures and times for both sides of the basket, cook on just one side, or use the MegaZone. All of these settings worked as expected but, every now and then, the air fryer would become a little confused or overwhelmed when I was flitting between the different drawer settings – although this is more likely me being too scattergun than it is the machine being faulty.

Ninja Foodi air fryer cooked chicken

(Image credit: Future)

A lot of the air fryers I’ve tested feature automatic shake timers that encourage you to move your food around mid-cook to ensure even cooking results; but this air fryer doesn’t, and that isn’t the end of the world. Especially given that this behemoth of a basket couldn’t be easily shaken. It’s much better to just grab a fork or a pair of tongs to shuffle around your food. 

As with most Ninja air fryers, the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer performs exceptionally on test, delivering deliciously crispy results with ease. In addition to our standard tests of fries, potatoes, and chicken wings, I wanted to try using the MegaZone configuration for its intended use. I opted to test with a whole roast chicken and a few roast potatoes thrown in for good measure. 

Ninja air fryers easily cook the best frozen fries I’ve ever tried, and it was no different with the FlexBasket I tried both its max crisp and bake settings for my thick-cut fries, and the results were excellent, with the air fryer producing wonderfully crispy fries with soft, fluffy centres – although the max crisp came out on top. 

Likewise, my chicken wings were perfectly cooked, too. Full of flavor and moist on the inside, and crisp and golden skinned on the outside, even without the use of lashings of oil. 

However, it was the full roast chicken and potatoes that were the pièce de résistance. I was incredibly nervous that the innermost part of the chicken wouldn’t reach an adequate temperature to cook off any harmful bacteria, but I forged onwards, and I’m so glad I did. I cooked the chicken at 350°F / 180°C for 40 minutes, adding in the roast potatoes after 10 minutes, and turning the chicken halfway through. I cranked up the temperature a little for the last five minutes, for good measure; but I don’t think it was required. My chicken came out gorgeously cooked: succulent inside, and with a wonderful brown skin on the exterior. The roast potatoes were some of my best, despite having cut back on the amount of butter I usually use to encourage a crispy outer layer. 

One issue I have found is that the divider doesn’t prevent heat transfer between the two cooking zones. However, this is only a problem if you’re cooking food at vastly different temperatures, or only using one zone since energy is wasted heating the whole fryer. TIt proved most problematic when cooking my greatest nemesis, crispy kale. At the best of times, I struggle to nail perfect results even in the oven; but when you’re contending with the other side of the air fryer leaking much hotter air into the side holding the kale, it produces less than ideal results. I ended up with a lot of too well cooked kale. 

Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How I tested

  •  I used all of the air fryer presets 
  •  I cooked fries, potatoes, chicken wings, and a roast dinner 
  •  I used both the dual zone and MegaZone configurations 

Ninja Foodi air fryer end result

(Image credit: Future)

Testing the Ninja Foodi FlexBasket dual air fryer involved eating a lot of food. As well as performing all of our standard tests (fries, potatoes, and chicken wings), I used it to cook my usual weekday meals, including salmon, kale, and roast vegetables to see how well the presets represent standard cooking times as well as the overall cooking performance of the machine.

I tried out the various basket configurations, and the Sync and Match cooking modes to see how easy the air fryer was to set up, use, and clean. 

I’ve been testing home appliances for three years now, from cleaning tech to cooking to smart home, and I’ve become familiar with what a variety of different users need from their home devices. I’ve also been cooking with an air fryer almost every week throughout that period, so I’m pretty used to navigating these clever cookers.

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: hair drying made easy
2:21 am | February 12, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer: One-minute review

It might be a mouthful of a name but the SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer (hereon referred to as the SpeedStyle) has been designed to dry hair with less time and effort. Coming with a selection of five attachments, you can even reduce the amount of frizz in your hair while styling, resulting in glossier looks.

Its high performance is backed by the Shark SpeedStyle’s ability to automatically adjust the heat and airflow settings when switching between attachments, recycling this feature from the Shark Style iQ. You can still manually adjust the settings to your liking though, as the hair dryer sports two convenient buttons for airflow and temperature, allowing you to gain complete control over your styling needs.

The hardware that allows these intelligent features to function, along with a 1700W motor, are packed into a stylish and compact design, though it does mean the Shark SpeedStyle tips the scales towards the heavier end when compared to some of the best hair dryers. Despite the extra weight, it’s still small enough to neatly pack away into luggage, making it a good travel companion if your flight’s weight allowance allows for it.

Adding to the weight are five attachments that come with the SpeedStyle, and each one performs a specific task when drying and styling hair. They all use a simple rotating lock mechanism to connect to the hair dryer, and are cool-touch zones that don’t retain as much heat so you can touch them safely when swapping them. However, I found that those cool-touch zones would often still retain heat and I’d need to wait a moment or blast some cool air through them before I could touch them.

Depending on your location, you can find different Shark SpeedStyle bundles at various price points. The one I tested for this review comes with all the bells and whistles and is a hefty investment, which gets a little difficult to justify when you consider that the brand has a more versatile hair styling tool in the Shark FlexStyle Air Styling & Hair Drying System for around the same price.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in front of mirror

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with five different attachments and a carry bag in its most expensive bundle. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: price & availability

  • Initially released in the US in August 2023
  • Available now in the US, UK and Australia
  • List price for full bundle: $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99

Released initially in the US back in August 2023, the Shark SpeedStyle is available in all major markets in different bundles, although these options will vary depending on where you live. You can purchase the SpeedStyle directly from its maker or through various retailers, including on Amazon in the US, UK and Australia, and other regional sellers who typically stock Shark products.

The full package with five different attachments and a handy travel pouch will set you back $259 / £249.99 / AU$559.99 at full price, and is the only available bundle in Australia at the time of publication. In the US, you can select two of your own attachments with a regular list price of $179, or buy bundles with three pre-selected attachments for various hair types, including curly and wavy hair, for $199. The UK also has the pre-selected bundles for £199.

This price isn’t as extreme as the Dyson Supersonic – the British brand’s popular hair dryer is available from $429 / £329.99 / AU$649. Though, in Australia you can find the Supersonic for AU$549 with five different attachments in an exclusive bundle, making it a slightly more affordable option than the SpeedStyle at full price.

While it might be possible to justify the SpeedStyle’s price in comparison to Dyson, I find its cost a little confusing compared to the Shark FlexStyle. Admittedly the latter is more of a styling tool, but it can still be used as a hair dryer and comes with five attachments costing $299 / £299 / AU$499. It’s a more versatile appliance as it can transform between a hair dryer and a styling wand, plus, it’s lighter too. It might be a bit more expensive in the US and UK, but in Australia especially, the FlexStyle sits at a more affordable price – so you do the math.

• Value score: 3.5/5

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: specs

Shark SpeedStyle and Shark FlexStyle compared

The Shark SpeedStyle is larger than the FlexStyle, especially when the latter is in hair dryer mode. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: design & features

  • Slim design with a decent heft
  • Intelligent sensor for automatic adjustments
  • Four heat settings, including a cool-shot button, and three for airflow

Shark has designed a sleek and compact hair dryer, although the FlexStyle is a touch smaller when folded into its dryer mode. Compared to other brands, though, the SpeedStyle is slim. Also aiding in giving it a modern look is an unique off-white and rose-gold color scheme.

Even with its attachments, the SpeedStyle is small enough to slip into a travel bag – its most expensive bundle even comes with a neat carry case for this purpose. However, it will tip the scales in luggage as the SpeedStyle is heavier than some of its competitors, weighing in at 750g before any attachment. In comparison, the FlexStyle is only 700g, while the Dyson Supersonic and T3 AirLuxe are also both lighter at 650g and 707g respectively. On the flipside, the GHD Helios weighs 780g, so there are still heavier hair dryers than the SpeedStyle.

Its main barrel is a simple cylinder that’s uniform from end to end, Similar to what Dyson did with the Supersonic hair dryer. The Shark SpeedStyle, however, is thinner and slightly longer than its competitor, which is both a good and a bad thing.

I personally found the handle uncomfortable to grip, occasionally causing cramps if I’ve held it for too long while using it as a styler. In comparison, I found the wider handle design of the FlexStyle more comfortable when I reviewed it for sister site Tom’s Guide. That said, the slimmer design might suit smaller hands, which is complimented by a well-thought out button placement for a shot of cool air that’s easy to reach and press when needed.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer showing the button placement

There's a button for both heat and air flow settings just above the on/off switch on the handle of the Shark SpeedStyle. These buttons are low enough that they won't accidentally be bumped while styling. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

The other buttons are also well situated – the power switch is at the base of the handle but nowhere you would accidentally turn the dryer off, while the heat and airflow controls sit just above the power button and light up to indicate the setting you’re currently using. You likely won’t have to use the latter two buttons as the SpeedStyle inherits the auto-adjustments from the much older Shark Style iQ hair dryer. You can still manually make adjustments if you need to, although I found letting the SpeedStyle do its thing can save a little time.

Fitting attachments is a simple clip-in-and-lock mechanism, and these include a diffuser for drying curly hair, a Touchup brush for natural-looking blowouts, a round one for straightening, a styling concentrator that lets you focus on sections of hair, and a RapidGloss Finisher to add a glossy and smooth finish to your hairdo.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer on table with filter removed

The Shark SpeedStyle's filter can be removed from the back of the hair dryer for easy cleaning with a simple twist. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Like a lot of other hair dryers out there, the SpeedStyle boasts a removable filter, which is a major improvement over the Shark Style Qi – keeping it clean will prolong the life of the product by preventing overheating. Given that the SpeedStyle can hit temperatures of up to 100ºC, you’ll want to clean it regularly to avoid any ongoing issues, especially if you use it every day.

While I didn’t have issues with overheating during my testing of the SpeedStyle, which included everyday use over a full week, I found that its barrel and attachments retained heat for quite some time and I had to wait a few minutes before I was able to touch them to switch attachments. And this is despite the fact that Shark has included cool-touch zones on the dryer and the attachments.

• Design & features score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle on table surrounded by attachments and hair brushes

Each attachment included with the Shark SpeedStyle has a specific purpose, allowing it to dry and style multiple different hair types. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer review: performance

  • Fast drying times
  • Good for different hair types
  • Requires a small learning curve for some attachments

Don’t be fooled by its compact size – the Shark SpeedStyle has some speedy dry times. Its 1,700W motor allows it to hit 100ºC / 212ºF, and I found I could dry my thick shoulder-length hair in three and a half minutes without any attachments at the highest settings. Brushing and styling my hair with the round brush attachment while also drying, however, took approximately 15 minutes for a simple and neat hairdo. While this is still quite fast, it doesn’t quite compete with the Dyson Supersonic or the GHD Helios – our reviewers found that the Supersonic can dry hair in a little over 2 minutes without attachments and the GHD Helios could do so in just over a minute.

What I really appreciate is that, even at its highest setting, the SpeedStyle doesn’t get very loud, hitting 85dB when on the maximum settings, but sitting comfortably between 76dB-80dB when on the lower settings, as recorded on the Decibel X app I used to measure sound for this review. Importantly, there’s no annoying high-pitched tone that I found with the Shark FlexStyle and that a colleague experienced with the Shark Cordless Detect Pro with Auto-empty System vacuum cleaner that was also reviewed on sister site Tom’s Guide.

My hair isn’t curly, so I didn’t use the diffuser very much but, for my needs, I found the Touchup brush the most useful. It can swivel to different angles while moving around your head, and uses the second heat setting to reduce heat damage. I found both brush attachments – the Touchup and round – capable of untangling knots easily, something my hair is prone to due to previous damage from bleaching, thanks to the combination of long, short and bunched bristles on both brushes.

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer being held in hand with RapidGloss Finisher attachement

The RapidGloss Finisher attachment has a slight learning curve, but can be used for sleek and glossy styles with less frizz thanks to its metallic plating. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

I found that the RapidGloss Finisher – the SpeedStyle’s headline attachment – can take a bit of getting used to. It’s designed to smooth flyaways and leave a glossy finish by pulling locks of hair along a metal roller, but I couldn’t get it to work right the first few times I tried it. It took a few tries before I was able to smoothen my hair and achieve a glossier result than what my usual styling method yields. To get the best results from the RapidGloss Finisher, though, you need to use the highest heat setting along with the strongest airflow, so it can get uncomfortably hot on the scalp.

The styling concentrator also works well, but it’s a staple attachment for most hair dryers and not unique to the Shark Speedstyle.

I’m quite impressed with the cool-shot button – it kicks in real quick with an almost instantaneous temperature change even if the dryer is set at its hottest. I found that I could even use the cool-shot function to deal with the heat retention issue on the attachments, saving me a little bit of time.

• Performance score: 4/5

Shark SpeedStyle hairdryer behind held in hand with diffuser attachment

The Shark SpeedStyle comes with a diffuser attachment to help keep natural hairstyles while drying. (Image credit: Future / Petra Player)

Should I buy the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider

If you’re not sold on the Shark SpeedStyle, here’s how it compares to three other hair dryers.

How I tested the Shark SpeedStyle RapidGloss Finisher & High-Velocity Dryer

  • Used all attachments for different styles
  • Tested on thick, shoulder-length hair
  • Testing was done during summer months in Sydney, Australia

To put the Shark SpeedStyle to the test, I used it every time I washed my hair over a period of eight weeks. My testing included a week when I used it every single day. To put it through its paces, I swapped between the SpeedStyle’s attachments each time, using a paddle brush and comb to achieve different styles and results. 

I even went on holiday with it, leading me to the conclusion that it’s a good travel size despite being slightly weighty. I used it late at night in my hotel room and was relieved to not get any noise complaints.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed February 2024]

Under Armour Flow Dynamic review: Built for cross-training comfort
8:37 pm | January 23, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , | Comments: Off

UA Flow Dynamic: One minute review

If, like me, you love mixing up your workouts – from interval running to strength workouts, then you’ll need some of the best gym shoes to keep up with you. UA’s Flow Dynamic trainers are lightweight and comfortable enough for a quick HIIT session, thanks to super foam soles and IntelliKnit uppers, but they also have the stability needed for strength sessions. 

The Flow Dynamic trainers boast an innovative design that sets them apart from other cross-training shoes; stylish and functional, they have a sock-like design, a lateral TPU wrap and engaging colors. 

The use of synthetic overlays and a breathable mesh upper means you’ll also get durability and breathability from the trainer, an important factor for any intense cross-training routine. Other highlights include the internal shank, which gave me extra stability during jumps and lunges.

When it comes to running long distances, I found they didn’t have enough energy return, while when lifting heavy weights, the trainers 8mm heel-to-toe-drop let me down, as while they gave me flexibility when I was moving fast, the foam isn’t sturdy enough when handling bigger weights.

UA Flow Dynamic: Specifications

UA Flow Dynamic: Price and availability

Under Armour Flow Dynamic

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • $130 in the US 
  • £115 in the UK
  • AU$140 in Australia

The trainers are priced at $130 in the US, £115 in the UK and AU$140. This is around the standard market price for a premium workout shoe, although they don’t represent outstanding value other than perhaps the Australian price. Thrifty gym-goers can try older models such as the Under Armour Tribase Reign 4, which can now be picked up very cheaply and will certainly do the job well, unless you’re looking for extreme performance. 

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

UA Flow Dynamic: Design

  • Upper is lightweight and breathable
  • Cushioning outsole foam
  • Snug sock-like fit 

I love the striking design of the trainers: my samples were white with accents of orange and blue, which wrap around the base of the foot, giving them some edge. The trainer also comes in other color designs including pink, black and white. I personally felt the sleek design and bold color options make these sneakers not only a top choice for the gym but also a nice addition to my wardrobe, and I regularly paired them with jeans and other casual outfits. 

The uppers of the Flow Dynamic trainers are made with Under Armour's IntelliKnit, a stretchy, lightweight mesh material which supports my foot but allows them to breathe as I start to sweat. While the lateral TPU wrap up gives the shoe a snug, sock-like fit: they are easier to slip on than other trainers, while the padded heel support, with a collar, is also sturdy and doesn’t rub as I make my way through multiple workouts.

The 8mm heel-to-toe drop midsole is made from the brand's one-piece flow technology - giving them a cushioning, responsive and comfortable ride. The Flow Dynamic trainer also has the same rubberless sole as two of the brand's running shoes, Velociti and SlipSpeed, meaning they are super-light to wear but also supportive throughout the footbed. 

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

UA Flow Dynamic: Performance

Under Armour Flow Dynamic

(Image credit: Sarah Finley)
  • Versatile in gym workouts
  • Stability for HIIT workouts
  • Lacks energy return for running 

I’m a big gym-goer, regularly attending HIIT and strength classes, so I was keen to out these trainers to the test, which I did rigorously over a couple of months. The trainer's responsive Flow technology, a super foam, is firmer than other foams so took a while for me to ‘break in’, but once I had they provided a great bounce. This makes them perfect for activities that involve jumping or quick lateral movements like squat jumps or skaters. At the same time the outsole, thanks to its multidirectional patterns, gave them a good grip – I find myself slipping on some gym floors, especially when pushing heavy weights, but they performed well on various surfaces, from rubber tile floors to outdoor tracks. 

The trainers also boast an internal shank, there to give you more support. I found I had supportive landings when I was performing more explosive movements such as skipping or box jumps. I also really appreciated the lightweight construction as it made me feel less weighed down during high-intensity workouts. The sock-like fit also helped to keep my feet stable, ensuring they had minimal movement as I made my way through different workouts. These shoes do come up big though, and I would advise going down half a size so make sure you have a snug fit.

Lacing up the shoes for a series of short runs I loved how light they were, but I found the super foam a little too stiff for a comfortable run. Unlike some of their running specific trainers, there wasn’t enough energy return, the process of using the compressing and decompressing foam on your feet to save you energy and propel you forwards during your run. The trainers weren’t the best choice for very heavy weightlifting either, as I prefer a flatter sole and more stability for exercises such as squats and deadlifts.

However, the shoe is built to withstand the wear and tear of intense cross-training and HIIT sessions full of plyometric movements – the shoes’ support and comfort, particularly in the midsole and heel areas, is a key reason why I keep slipping them on for gym sessions even after I’ve finished testing. I’m sure this is one of the main reasons why I’ve avoided injuries over the last couple of months: these shoes are seriously well-constructed.

  • Performance score: 4 / 5 

UA Flow Dynamic: Scorecard

UA Flow Dynamic: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

UA Flow Dynamic: Also consider

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 review: Not quite an elite level racing shoe
3:11 pm | January 16, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Health & Fitness | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: One minute review

Brooks wants the Hyperion Elite 3 to be the best running shoe for race day, the one shoe you lace up when you’re ready for peak performance. 

Like the Elite 2, Brooks says this shoe is the perfect choice for those who run marathons and half marathons, and it sticks largely to the same formula as its predecessor. There have been some small tweaks, which Brooks hopes will make the Hyperion Elite 3 the shoe of choice if you’re stepping up to that start line.

It’s up against a host of carbon race shoes, such as the Nike Vaporfly 3, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Asics Metaspeed Sky+ among others, which have graced most the feet of some of the fastest runners on the planet such as Eliud Kipchoge. It also faces competition from new brands of race shoe in the market, such as the Hoka Rocket X 2 and On Running Cloudboom Echo 3.

Competition appears to be pretty fierce, then, and the feeling is that maybe the Elite 3 isn’t quite the shoe of choice for chasing a PB.

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Specifications

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Price and availability

  • $250 in the US
  • £200 in the UK
  • AU$399.95 in Australia

The Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 launched in the US in 2022, and in the UK in early 2023. You can pick up a pair for £200 / $250 / AU$399.95, which makes this shoe cheaper than the Nike Vaporfly 3, Asics Metaspeed Sky+, Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 and Saucony Endorphin Pro 3.

  • Value score: 4/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Design

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)
  • Quickknit upper
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Weighs 246g in UK size 8

The Elite 3’s design doesn’t see too much of a shift away from the Elite 2. The main change is a move to Brooks’ knitted style of upper, rather than the mesh kind used for the Elite 2. Brooks has also updated the design of the heel and the collar, to address some of the rubbing issues associated with the Elite 2.

An 8mm drop remains, but it’s picked up some weight over its predecessor. My UK size 8 weighed in at 246g, which makes it heavier than the Nike Vaporfly 3 and the Asics Metaspeed Sky+.

Sticking with its DNA Flash midsole foam, which is an EVA-based setup that’s nitrogen-infused to deliver a lightweight and fast ride, Brooks partners this with a full-length carbon plate to promise some pop when you hit your top speeds. The rubber outsole looks identical to the one used on the Elite 2, with a similar pattern and exposed areas of foam. 

Overall, I found the fit pretty decent. The ridged laces and slightly gusseted tongue offer a strong foot-ground connection, keeping you secure inside the shoe with no sliding around, and I didn’t experience any rubbing at the heel, either. The stretchy nature of the upper creates some welcome space up front in the toe box, so I’d say that opting for your regular size should work for most. 

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Performance

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)
  • Feels more speedy daily trainer than race shoe
  • Same DNA Flash as Hyperion Elite 2
  • Outsole grip performed well on dry and wet roads

 Brooks pitches the Hyperion Elite 3 as a racing shoe, and while I’ve yet to use them in that capacity, I’ve aimed to replicate that race pace in my runs with the shoes on my feet. What I’d say about that time is that the Elite 3 shoe doesn’t feel quite that Elite.

In fact, I’d say the Elite 3 would be more suitable for uptempo training sessions of the type you’d do before actually starting to race. Brooks’ DNA Flash delivers an EVA-type midsole as opposed to the more popular Pebax-based type used to such great effect by the likes of Nike, Hoka and On Running. As such, the Elite 3 feels more firm and, along with the carbon plate, really requires you to engage with that midsole to get the best out of it.

Run quicker in the Elite 3 and you’ll experience a more rockered feeling at the forefoot, a more stable feeling than most top-tier carbon racing shoes. If you’re hoping this is a shoe you can ease off in, this simply isn’t the case here. You’ll feel a firmness and stiffness at slower speeds; but that’s hardly surprising given it’s a shoe pitched at giving you that speedy feeling. 

The Elite 3 definitely wouldn’t be my shoe of choice for going particularly long; other super shoes feel a bit more forgiving over distance by comparison. It screams tempo running and speed sessions, and will reward you in such use. However, it doesn’t deliver that “wow”, even against speedier training shoes that are available for a lot less.

Elsewhere, the outsole has generally been fine in terms of grip. I’ve run the pavements in the Elite 3 on both dry and wet days, and while it’s held up surprisingly well on the latter, I’m still of the opinion that the Elite 3 feels more at home in drier running conditions.

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Scorecard

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Brooks Hyperion Elite 3: Also consider

Next Page »