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Sony Xperia 5 V review: Saved by the camera
11:24 pm | September 7, 2023

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Sony Xperia 5 V: Two-minute review

Sony's Xperia 5 line started life as a low-compromise alternative to the Xperia 1 series – the first three packed the exact same camera systems as their flagship counterparts, with the Xperia 1 III being a serious high-point with its continuous zoom periscope camera. 

In recent years, the compromises seem to have been creeping in, and the Xperia 5 V is the most compromised in its line. But does not being a carbon copy of the Xperia 1 V make the 5 V a bad phone? Absolutely not.

After a couple of weeks of testing, the Xperia 1 V's solid build, comfortable size, excellent battery life, consistently good performance, and fantastic primary camera really do help it shine. But it isn't without some shortcomings.

Firstly, design. The Xperia 5 V may feel great and be hardy – with its IP65/68 water resistance being a particular highlight – but from the front, the phone looks far more mid-range than it ought to. I understand Sony doesn't subscribe to that notch or punch-hole life, so its Xperias have bookends above and below the screen. Whereas the Xperia 5 IV was almost borderless either side of the screen, though, the 5 V has chunky bezels, making it look almost like a cheaper Xperia 10 series phone.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Next, it's the Xperia 5 V's storage. To my knowledge, only a 128GB version will be launching, at least in the UK. With 33GB filled up after pre-installed apps are updated, that leaves just 87GB for all your apps, games, and WhatsApp backups. This might be plenty for some, but it isn't enough for me, and likely you, if you consider yourself a power user.

The Xperia 5 V's screen is also weak when it comes to color-integrity off-angle, with the display suffering more than any other high-end panel from low-end, OLED color-shifting. Not something we'd expect from a Sony device. While you probably won't notice this in isolation, alongside a premium device, the 5 V clearly falls behind.

There is a microSD card slot – and that's the Xperia 5 V's saving grace – so video, offline movies and songs can be loaded up on it. But most apps don't support offloading files to the SD card nowadays, as such you'll likely still run out of space soon enough, if you download loads of offline content through an app. And, as an example, if you want to install Genshin Impact, you're losing 27.25GB of space with just one install.

So, despite plenty of highlights, especially for camera fans who like total control over their photography and filming experience, Sony hasn't made the Xperia 5 V a winner across the board, even if it is still a good phone.

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Price and availability

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Available from late September
  • Priced at £849 / €999 (approximately $1,075 / AU$1,665)
  • Cheaper than the Xperia 5 IV and 5 III on launch in the UK

The Xperia 5 IV is the lowest-cost Xperia 5-series phone since 2020's Xperia 5 II, at least in the UK. Costing £849 / €999 (approximately $1,075 / AU$1,665) – £100 less than the Xperia 5 IV at launch – the slightly more affordable positioning goes some way to explain some of Sony's decision to pare some specs and styling back for 2023, even if I'm not happy about that.

The Xperia 5 V also costs a lot less than the flagship Xperia 1 V, which comes in at a pricey $1,399 / £1,299 / AU$2,099. For anyone who wants to experience Sony's new, Exmor T for Mobile stacked camera sensor, therefore, the Xperia 5 V is now the lowest-cost way to do so.

Compared to other phones on the market, Sony's pricing starts to look a little less affordable. The Google Pixel 7 Pro, which has a periscope telephoto camera and a much more striking design and display, costs the same as the Xperia 5 V. And if you want a small phone with wireless charging, a headphone jack, and even more storage, the Asus Zenfone 10 is a great shout – though you'll be taking a hit on the camera.

  • Value score:  3.5 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Specs

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Sony's Xperia 5 V sits in that awkward is-it-isn't-it-a flagship space. Some of its specs are as good as they get as a result – that Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and the superb Exmor T for Mobile primary camera sensor – but other specs let it down.

The biggest culprit holding the Xperia 5 V back is its 128GB storage and 8GB RAM combo. While I'm not too concerned about the modest amount of RAM – I had no performance issues with the phone in my time with it – the 128GB storage is a bit of an issue at the phone's price. The aforementioned Zenfone 10 starts at 256GB, matches most of the Xperia 5 V's specs, and costs a fair bit less.

Sony also opts for slower charging than much of the competition, and it hasn't included a telephoto camera for this series of Xperia 5. Both these factors work against the phone at its premium price, but neither is a deal breaker.

What you do get, though, is IP65/68 water and dust resistance, expandable storage, a headphone jack – which should please wired audio lovers, a decent OLED screen, and novel Sony highlights, like a SIM tray that can be pulled out with a fingernail (i.e. without any tools).

Sony phones definitely have their charm, but a couple of weak areas limit the Xperia 5 V's full-package factor.

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Design

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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back and front
  • IP65/68-certified water resistance
  • Feels clunkier than Xperia 5 IV

The Sony Xperia 5 V looks like a fine phone in a bubble. Forget about all past Xperia 5s, and forget about all the low-on-bezel Honor 90-a-likes launching with all-screen, curved, immersive displays, and the Xperia 5 V's design nails it.

Of course, no phone is an island, and the Xperia 5 V starts to look chunkier and clunkier when you compare it with its predecessors and its competition. 

Specifically, the one element that makes Sony's latest phone feel less than competitive alternatives are those chunky bezels on either side of the screen. When it comes to phones, small bezels equate to a flagship look, and bigger bezels to a budget look, and the Xperia 5 V has big, budget bezels.

What's really interesting is that no phone shows the 5 V up more than its predecessor, the Xperia 5 IV. Side by side, the latter looks like the newer model – so anyone thinking of upgrading from another 5 series phone will likely be underwhelmed on the design front. This feels like a move that could alienate Sony Mobile's die-hard following.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Everything gets a lot better once you get past the Xperia 5 V's bezelly fascia. It's IP65/68 water and dust-resistant, so you can submerge it in water for 30 minutes at 1.5 meters, without fear of wrecking it.

The Xperia 5 V also feels solid. Its metal frame is easy to grip – likely owing to its profile being thicker than past Xperia 5s, and the blasted matte texture also feels great. I also love the fingerprint-resistant finish around the back, and Corning's Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both sides is a fitting addition for added peace of mind.

Sony favorites are back, including a headphone jack for wired audio fans, a SIM and microSD card tray that can be pulled out without any tools, and a physical camera button. The Xperia 5 V doesn't have that rich, textured shutter button as on the Xperia 1 V, but it's still a dual-detent photography tool that fans of the series will appreciate.

With the 6.1-inch screen's modest size helping the phone feel very manageable, despite its extra heft over past Xperia 5 phones, the 5 V is comfortable to use and didn't pull up any red flags in our time with it. I just wish it looked a bit more Xperia 5 and a little less Xperia 10.

  • Design score:  3 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Display

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Bright and sharp, but color shifting off-angle is noticeable
  • 21:9 aspect ratio and plenty of display options to customize

The Xperia 5 V's screen is fine, but it isn't excellent. At 6.1 inches, it's small compared to most modern-day flagship phones, but I still found it wide enough for comfortable typing and swiping, and being an OLED panel, colors look vibrant, and contrast levels are high. This combo makes for a manageable, pleasing, high-impact watching and messaging experience, but there are some quality shortcomings.

The Xperia 5 V's OLED color shifting is much more pronounced than on most high-end phones out now, including its predecessor. In fact, the visual characteristics of this pricey phone more closely resemble those of the Xperia 10 V than the Xperia 1 V off-angle. While they probably aren't using the exact same display – one is 60Hz and one is 120Hz – they both suffer from exceptionally bad color shifting.

If you aren't familiar with the term color shifting, some OLED screens take on a slightly blue or magenta tint when you aren't looking at them head-on. This varies from display to display, and the Xperia 5 V I tested showcases some of the worst performance on this front outside the budget and mid-range space I've seen in a while. Tilt the phones almost totally side-on, and both the 10 V and the 5 V screens turn totally blue.

This color shifting is particularly visible when looking at white or very light content, but on the plus, it doesn't affect viewing angles – content is easy to see and read head-on or off-angle – but it does impact color integrity.

Even much cheaper phones like the RedMagic 8s Pro outperform the Xperia 5 V in this respect, which we wouldn't have expected, given Sony's Xperia line is so focused on creators and content consumption. 

Xperia 10 V and Xperia 5 V – extreme blue hue at steep angle and a fair bit of colour shifting off-angle hold the Xperia 5 V's screen back from looking like a true flagship display (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

If you dive into the settings, Sony gives you plenty of control over how your Xperia 5 V screen performs, including complete manual white balance.

There are two color gamut and contrast modes to choose from: creator mode and standard mode, with the prior designed to work perfectly with HDR and 10-bit content. A Real-time HDR drive option boosts visibility when playing back HDR content, and Sony's X1 image enhancer is also back, adding a little extra zing and pop to video.

You can choose between two refresh rates, 60Hz and 120Hz, with the Xperia 5 V screen set to 60Hz by default. There's no third option to activate dynamic or variable refresh rate, so the phone can't automatically choose based on what's on-screen, and it can't drop the refresh rate to save power. These refresh rate limitations seem like a missed trick, as both features are now commonplace in much more affordable devices.

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Weak peak brightness levels have hamstrung Sony phones in the past, but the Xperia 5 V beamed brilliantly on a hot summer day, making for easy reading in direct sunlight with auto-brightness fired up. Manual brightness doesn't shine quite as dazzlingly, but it never left me wanting.

Old favorites like an always-on display are back, and there's a really intuitive one-handed mode – swipe down from the gesture bar in the bottom center of the display – so navigating all 6.1 inches of the Xperia 5 V is plain sailing.

So, yes, the Xperia 5 V nails the basics – it's bright, sharp, responsive, and has loads of customization options – but the excessive color distortion off-angle is just too much of a compromise for a phone that costs this much.

  • Display score:  3 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Software

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Runs Android 13 with Sony's relatively light UI
  • 2 years OS updates + 3 years security updates
  • Floating windows and split-screen working customizations

Sony phones have almost always looked clean and fuss-free, and that tradition carries forward to the Xperia 5 V in virtually every respect, including its user interface (UI). 

For the most part, the Xperia 5 V's experience is stock Android 13, though Sony's added highlights. These include Side Sense – a menu that pops up on the side of the screen for shortcuts to frequently used apps. This also makes it easy to quickly launch split-screen app combos; a fun, handy customization.

Swipe right from the main home screen to activate the Google App and news feed, swipe up from the bottom to pull up an apps tray, and swipe down anywhere on a home screen to bring down your notifications menu.

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Sony has also upgraded its Game Enhancer for 2023, with the Xperia 5 V debuting its new look. This gaming portal congregates all your games in one place, and when you fire one up, it overlays a host of options to help level up your gameplay.

You can launch an app in a floating window, access a browser to pull up a walkthrough, or access YouTube alongside your gameplay. It's also where you can toggle performance mode, customize your display settings, and make other changes on a game-by-game basis.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the Xperia 5 V UI relates to the camera – there are three camera apps. That said, with the upgraded Photography Pro now supporting vertical capture and a fantastic auto mode, not to mention perfectly respectable video capture, non-filmmakers and creatives should be more than happy to just live in Photo Pro and ignore Cinema and Video Pro; an option that wasnt always as easy to recommend.

The main drawback of the Xperia 5 V's software isn't what it's like to use, it's the lack of future-proofing Sony commits to. While other brands like Oppo offer four years of major OS and five years of security updates, Sony only commits to two and three years, respectively.

Sony charges a premium for its phones and is vocal about its commitment to reducing e-waste and focusing on battery longevity. Its innovation when it comes to eco-friendly packaging materials is also part of its sustainability narrative, making limited OS and security support the clear weak link in Sony's commitment to long-lasting smartphones.

  • Software score: 3.5 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Cameras

  • 52MP primary camera
  • 12MP ultra-wide camera
  • 12MP selfie camera
  • Updated bokeh (portrait) mode

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The Xperia 5 V has a 52MP primary camera with a 1/1.35-inch sensor and an f/1.9 aperture lens. Unlike past Xperia 5 phones, it misses out on a telephoto camera, but it does have a 12MP ultra-wide with an f/2.2 aperture and autofocus. 

It's worth talking about the main camera first, as thanks to the sensor's novel dimensions – 4.3:3 – versus traditional 4:3 sensors, the camera only uses a 48MP, 4:3 portion to capture photos. That's why you might have seen the Xperia 5 V marketed as a 48MP camera phone, but technically, it has a 52MP sensor.

Even calling the 5 V a 48MP phone is a stretch, as the photos are pixel-binned down to 12MP, whether captured in JPG or RAW. So while some phones, including the iPhone 14 Pro, support full-res, 48MP photos, Sony caps all photos from all cameras to 12MP; an odd move to be sure.

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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The Xperia 5 V also carries forward the Sony tradition of including no less than three camera apps. The default app, Photography Pro takes you from full automatic camera – a la iPhone – through to full manual, controlling every aspect of your shot other than the aperture.

Video Pro is one for online video creators who shoot in 16:9. It has extensive slow-motion shooting options with maximum control over frame rates and also offers an 'S Cinetone for mobile' look, which Sony Alpha shooters will appreciate.

Finally, Cinema Pro is a 21:9 lover's jam. Ideal for filmmakers, this is where you'll find terms like shutter angle, manage recording projects rather than files, and access the super-flat Venice look that shoots with almost log-grade low contrast.

The Xperia 5 V shoots video at up to 4K, 120fps, and also benefits from a microphone around the back, so you can choose to prioritize voices captured on it, or general sound from all three microphones on the phone.

All this might sound like a lot of features, but I haven't scratched the surface when it comes to all the manual control Sony makes possible.

One aspect of the Xperia 5 V we didn't get to test out was a new Video Creator app, which can be used to manually edit videos or create an auto-generated montage, similar to GoPro Highlight Clips.

Sony Xperia 5 V camera samples

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

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A photo shot on the Sony Xperia 5 V

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

If you aren't a fan of heavily processed photos – shadows boosted to within an inch of their lives, backlit subjects brighter than their background, and nighttime photos that look like they were taken in the day – Sony's natural, realistic styling will be a breath of fresh air. 

I found the Xperia 5 V's shots to be nuanced, detailed, and low in noise. Sony's conceded a little when it comes to computational photography when compared to the Xperia 5 IV. Now, shadows are richer in detail than ever, and night shots look great.

For anyone who's concerned about the lack of a telephoto camera on the Xperia 5 V, I've created some examples of how well its zoom fares when compared to its predecessor and its 2.5x optical zoom:

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A set of comparison images captured on the Sony Xperia 5 V and 5 IV

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A set of comparison images captured on the Sony Xperia 5 V and 5 IV

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A set of comparison images captured on the Sony Xperia 5 V and 5 IV

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
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A set of comparison images captured on the Sony Xperia 5 V and 5 IV

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

In bright environments, the optical zoom does edge ahead, but when the lights drop, the Xperia 1 V's larger sensor nails it. In fact, even in middling light – which is more common than bright or near-night ambient light – the quality of the Xperia 5 V photos won out for me.

As a result, in the case of the Xperia 5 V, two cameras really are better than three, if the third is a mediocre telephoto camera. Were it a quality periscope camera, though, that would have been a different story.

Unsurprisingly, the ultra-wide camera doesn't perform as well as the primary camera. Sony's processing helps it along with night shots, but it can't keep up when it comes to exposure when the lights drop. That means its photos will usually look a little darker when set against the primary camera in a low light environment, and it will also be a bit noisier.

It's great to see the ultra-wide lens feature autofocus, and that offers some versatility, but with a nearest focus distance of around 20cm, there's no ultra-wide macro option. Nevertheless, ultra-wide group shots and selfies should look a bit crisper than generic fixed-focus snaps.

Sony's improved its Bokeh (portrait) mode, apparently for the Xperia 5 V, however, I still experienced the same crunchy subject masking as on old Sony phones in more challenging scenes. Simple, head-on, posed portraits look great. But get a bit further back or load up the scene with complication, and it can't stack up to a Pixel or iPhone.

Video captured on the Xperia 5 V's main camera looks fantastic, and stabilization is strong across resolutions. The ultra-wide camera is the weak link, so you'll want to lean on the main camera, especially when the lights drop, but if you do, the 5 V serves up a best-in-class primary camera across both photo and video.

As for the selfie camera, it’s a solid snapper, especially when the light is right. Benefiting from Sony’s balanced processing, photos look natural, detailed, and we had more success with the bokeh mode on it than when using the rear camera mix. It also captures night photos too, and if you hold still, results are impressive even when the lights drop, and with 4K video, it’s one of the more versatile front cameras on the scene.

  • Camera score: 5 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Performance

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • One memory option: 8GB RAM
  • Global storage options TBC with one in the UK: 128GB

The Xperia 5 V is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is a mighty chipset that's tried and tested to run cool and fast for the most part. Sony's struggled with heat management before, but with its slightly thicker chassis and superior internals, the Xperia 5 V does a decent job of keeping heat in check.

The phone benchmarks brilliantly, scoring a Geekbench 6 score of 5140 multi-core and a 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme score of 3600, putting it in the upper echelon of non-gaming phone performance alongside the OnePlus 11 5G and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

The biggest challenge I faced when gaming was that I cycle eight games when testing a phone: Diablo Immortal, DragonBall Z, Genshin Impact for performance, Injustice 2 and Sky for some mid-tier, relatively demanding gameplay, and TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, Streets of Rage 4, and Marvel Snap for 2D gaming.

It wasn't gaming performance that left me wanting on the Xperia 5 V, even though Sony's phones won't stack up to gaming phones; GSM Arena found that throttling occurs to keep the temperature in check. That said, 128GB is too little storage for a phone of this price. Genshin Impact alone fills up 27.25GB, Diablo Immortal over 4GB, and DragonBall a similar amount. Add the 33GB of pre-installed software, and between three games, you're over halfway to filling up your Xperia 5 V.

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The Xperia 5 V does have a microSD card slot, which is a saving grace, though more and more for Android phones, its value is limited. Apps can't be installed onto SD cards, and big storage hogs like WhatsApp backups have to be installed on internal storage. So, yes – your massive 4K video files can be recorded to a huge 1TB SD card – but that doesn't mean a power user won't have to watch how many movies and games they download. That's fine for a midrange phone but not for one as pricey as the Xperia 5 V, which has already seen cutbacks to design and screen quality.

With Samsung and other brands scrapping the 128GB entry-level storage capacity in their premium phones, it's time Sony did the same if it wants to compete.

What the Xperia 5 V does exceptionally well is sound great – both from the front-firing dual speakers and headphone jack – and it offers up plenty of audio settings. These include control over the Dolby sound profile – you can choose from Dynamic, Movie, Music, Custom and advanced (full EQ control) – toggle on 360 Reality Audio or 360 Upmix, as well as DSEE Ultimate for audio upscaling, and Effect Priority to pick which feature to prioritize. The phone also supports Spatial audio across the phone speaker and wired headphones.

  • Performance score:  4 / 5

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Battery life

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • 5,000mAh battery (same as Xperia 5 IV)
  • Almost double the screen-on time versus the Xperia 5 IV in tests
  • 30W wired charging, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging

The Xperia 5 V has excellent battery life. For the screen-on battery test, I calibrated the Xperia 5 V and 5 IV to the same brightness level with a lux meter and streamed a one-hour clip from YouTube over Wi-Fi, then ran identical benchmarks. Last year's Xperia 5 IV discharged almost double as quickly, dropping to 92 percent, versus the Xperia 5 V, which was at 96 percent – very impressive – and possibly owing to the different (visually inferior) display used in the newer model.

The phone easily lasted a whole day, even with some tethering, gaming, watching, and a fair amount of camera use. It's also great to see wireless charging back, so quick top-ups throughout the day means you could get two days out of the Xperia 5 V if you're more conservative with it.

The fact the Xperia 5 V's charging caps out at 30W and the phone misses out on a USB-C cable and a power brick will matter more to some than others. For me, the relatively slow charging isn't an issue – the phone powers up from 0-100 percent in around 90 minutes, which is competitive with iPhones. 

As I'm a wireless charger who tops up rather than plugs in overnight or on the go, and have a number of cables and plugs already – the potential battery health benefits of slower charging, smaller packaging, and reduction of e-waste mean the Xperia 5 V's setup is great for me. If you know you rely on fast charging and are short on cables and power bricks, then the Xperia 5 V might not fare so well for you.

A photo of the Xperia 5 V on a Mous wireless charger

The Xperia 5 V charging wirelessly on a Mous Charging Station with MagSafe (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Battery score:  4.5 / 5

Should you buy the Sony Xperia 5 V?

Buy it if...

You're a photo and/or video enthusiast
The Xperia 5 V's main camera combines excellent hardware with balanced photo processing and more manual control than any other camera phone at its price.

You want all-day battery life
If you want a relatively compact phone that lasts for ages, the Xperia 5 V is it, and its wireless charging is also a nice-to-have not seen on alternatives like the OnePlus 11.

You're an audiophile
If you don't want to carry a DAC like the excellent Chord Mojo 2 but still want wired audio, the Xperia 5 V is one of the best-sounding phones around, and its speakers are mighty as well.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a tight budget
The Xperia 5 V is best-in-class in some areas, but it's expensive, and you can get a better-looking design, superior screen, more versatile camera system, and more power for less.

You prioritize watching and screen quality
21:9 screens may be good for cinematic movies, but they aren't great for 16:9 or 4:3 TV shows, putting the Xperia on the back foot. The 5 V's new screen isn't as high-quality as we've come to expect from the brand either, so web pages and content with a white background suffer from off-angle color shifting.

You want loads of internal storage
With just one storage option available on launch – 128GB – and games needing to be installed on internal storage, eight or so titles could end up zapping 30-40 percent of your internal capacity. Yes, there's a microSD card slot, but most apps can't offload to external storage.

Sony Xperia 5 V review: Also consider

The Sony Xperia 5 V is an excellent phone for a certain kind of user, but there are plenty of alternatives that might check more of your boxes.

Google Pixel 7 Pro
It's a much bigger phone, but costing the same, and with an optional 256GB version and a periscope camera, not to mention a superior screen and much more standout design, the Pixel 7 Pro is a fantastic flagship choice, if you can handle its extra size.

Asus Zenfone 10
It costs less but arguably offers more, at least when it comes to storage, the Asus Zenfone 10 packs in much of what makes the Xperia 5 V great – compact size and a headphone jack – but with double the storage, faster charging, and a superior screen, could edge ahead for a certain type of user. 

How I tested the Sony Xperia 5 V

A photo of the Sony Xperia 5 V smartphone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (bottom), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (top) (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
  • Review test period = 2 weeks
  • Testing included = Everyday usage w/ web browsing, social media, photography, video calling, gaming, streaming video, music playback
  • Tools used = Geekbench 6, 3DMark, Device HW info, UGreen 140W USB-C charger

I started using the Xperia 5 V a week before flying out to Berlin for IFA 2023, so had a week of using it in the UK, and three days of roaming with it in Berlin before wrapping up my review back in the UK.

Initially, I was eager to put the camera through its paces, so went out and about in London to try out all the modes and capture most of the photos you're seeing in this review. I then gamed on the Xperia 5 V on a hot summer day to check if the heat issues that plagued its predecessor were resolved – and they are – and made calls, messaged, listened to music wirelessly, and wired to give it a 'lifestyle test'. 

When I had the phone in test conditions, I ran benchmarks and in-depth screen tests. I knew outdoor viewability was solid, but I picked up on the weak off-angle color integrity only when conducting indoor tests alongside other phones.

The battery tests were also done indoors, which supplemented my real-world use, and a direct camera comparison was carried out between the Xperia 5 IV and 5 V, so users looking to upgrade could gauge how much zoom they're be sacrificing.

The rest of the review findings were the result of using the phone as my primary device for two weeks and making notes as I went along, matched with almost 15 years of industry experience as a technology journalist and phone reviewer. 

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First reviewed September 2023

Beelink GTR7 7840HS review
2:09 pm | August 31, 2023

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

Beelink GTR7 7840HS: 30 second review

Beelink GTR7 7840HS Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS (Base: 3.80 GHz, Boost: 5.10 GHz)
Graphics: AMD Radeon™ (12 Cores, 2700 MHz Frequency)
RAM: Dual SO-DIMM 32GB DDR5 (Upgradeable)
Storage: PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe 2280 1TB SSD (Expandable with additional M.2 slots)
Rear Ports: USB 2.0x2, USB 3.2x2, USB4x2, DPx1, HDMx1, LAN 2.5Gx2, 3.5mm Audio Jackx2
Front Ports: Not specified
Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: Realtek ALC897
Camera: Not specified
Size: Not specified
OS installed: Windows11
Accessories: Power Adapter, User Manual

The Beelink GTR7 7840HS stands out against other mini PC with its high-quality build, quick, hassle-free setup, and superb gaming performance. Inside, the M.2 storage steals the show with transfer speeds that are rare to find on machines at this price point and helps ensure that this machine can hit well above its weight regarding video and gaming performance. 

Most notably, that speed comes into play when used as a 4K video editing solution; despite its size, it provides substantial power to edit 4K Log3 footage with relative ease, effects and all. 

Essentially this is an incredibly well-rounded machine that will appeal as one of the best mini PCs for gaming enthusiasts and creative professionals.

Price and Availablity

Beelink GTR7 7840HS

(Image credit: Future)

The Beelink GTR7 7840HS is available for purchase at the top end of the price scale from this style of Mini PC, but the specifications and performance justify the price. Considering its features and performance, this pricing is relatively budget-friendly, especially as a longer-term investment. 

However, it's important to note that the package includes the PC itself; essential peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, and mouse must be purchased separately. 

Additionally, while the system comes with 32GB DDR5 RAM and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD, users looking for more memory and storage can opt for additional upgrades. Despite these considerations, the GTR7 7840HS provides a comprehensive and appealing option for many users.

  • Score: 4/5


Beelink GTR7 7840HS

(Image credit: Future)

The Beelink GTR7 7840HS boasts a compact form that hides its powerful internals. The casing, composed of high-quality metal, feels durable and of a premium build, perfect for carting around if you need it, although it does come with a monitor mount in the box.

Alongside the standard 1TB M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe, there's a space slot for you to expand the onboard storage. The RAM is also expandable from the standard 32GB to 64GB of DDR5 memory for more intensive tasks, and upgrading is a great idea if you're considering using this for video editing.

On the front is a straight set of standard USB connections with a Type-A and C alongside a 3.5mm headphone jack and power button. The main ports with USB, HDMI and Network options are on the back.

The box is small and well-designed, if slightly unambitious, with easy but secure access to the internals using a screwdriver. In use, the commonly used ports are accessible on the front of the machine, with further ports neatly at the back. The style is tried and tested when it comes to design, and there's no doubt that it all works.

  • Design: 4/5


Beelink GTR7 7840HS

(Image credit: Future)

The GTR7 is powered by the AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS processor at its heart. With a base frequency of 3.80 GHz and a turbo boost reaching an impressive 5.10 GHz, this CPU delivers swift performance across various tasks, from browsing to video editing. Complementing this is the integrated AMD Radeon™ GPU with 12 cores, clocked at 2700 MHz. This GPU handles graphics-intensive tasks and, through the test, renders high-quality visuals in gaming and creative applications.

As standard, the GTR7 has 32GB DDR5 memory installed across dual SO-DIMM slots. The machine's potential is further enhanced by the possibility of upgrading to a maximum of 64GB.

The mini PC features dual M.2 PCIe 4.0 NVMe slots. The pre-installed 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD boasts transfer speeds of up to 7000MB/s. The storage is expandable up to 4TB in each slot, which is impressive for such small machines. 

Regarding connection ports on the rear, there are USB 2.0 and 3.2 ports, USB4 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, and dual 2.5G LAN ports. The front features a 3.5mm audio jack, USB 3.2, Type-C and CLR CMOS. 

  • Features: 4/5


Beelink GTR7 7840HS

(Image credit: Future)

3DMark Wild Life: 16937, Fire Strike: 7934, Time Spy:  2857
Cinebench R23: Multi-Core Score: 15784, Single-Core Score: 1755
GeekBench 5: Multi-Core Score: 12189, Single-Core Score: 2514
CrystalDiskMark: Read Speed: 5165.11 MB/s, Write Speed: 3131.03 MB/s
PCMark 10: 7268
Windows Experience Index: 8.2

In real-world scenarios, the GTR7 impressed. Its powerful AMD Ryzen™ 7 7840HS processor, combined with the capable GPU, enabled multiple applications to run smoothly without issue, video editing was possible, and gaming was smooth. The machine excelled in handling 4K video editing software, swiftly rendering edits and minimising wait times when rendering. 

Gaming performance is the focus of this machine, and it performed superbly. I tested Titles, such as Assasins Creed Valhalla and Red Dead Redemption, and all worked fine with a slight tweak of some of the Graphic settings to enable smooth gameplay. Games like Assassin's Creed Remastered played at 4K, and Red Dead Redemption II, while slightly adjusted in resolution and effects, proved very playable.

Despite the demands of multitasking and gaming, the GTR7 maintained a commendably cool temperature, no doubt helped by the combination of the MSC Technology-Vapor Chamber and System Fan. While you can hear the fans, they're not overly loud. 

The CrystalDiskMark results translated to impressive real-world speeds. Application launches were swift, and data transfers were nearly instantaneous, thanks to the PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD. Large files, including 4K videos, were transferred with lightning speed, meaning I had to double-check that the files had transferred.

  • Performance: 5/5

Should you buy a Beelink GTR7 7840HS

The Beelink GTR7 7840HS design embraces sleek aesthetics and practicality, housing impressive internal technology like dual M.2 NVMe slots boasting speeds of up to 7000MB/s on paper and 5000MB/s in the real world. 

The AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS processor and 12-core GPU ensure exceptional gaming and multitasking. With expandable RAM, storage, quad-display support, and efficient cooling, this mini PC caters to creative professionals and gamers. While the price is competitive, it may not fit every budget, and its robust capabilities could be more than some require. A versatile powerhouse for those demanding more from their compact setup.

Beelink GTR7 7840HS

(Image credit: Future)

Report Card

Value: Priced competitively for its features and performance. (4/5)
Design: Stylish yet functional, with excellent build quality and compact size. (4/5)
Features: Impressive technologies, expandability, and connectivity options. (4.5/5)
Performance: Outstanding benchmark results translate to real-world power. (4.5/5) Total: A high-performing, feature-rich mini PC with good value. (4.5/5)

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Minisforum UM790 Pro review
2:06 pm |

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Minisforum UM790 Pro: 30 second review

Minisforum UM790 Pro Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 9 7940HS Processor, 8 Cores/16 Threads (16M Cache, up to 5.2 GHz)
Graphics: AMD Radeon 780M
RAM: DDR5 Dual channel 32GB installed (SODIMM Slots×2, Up to 5600MHz, Max 64GB)
Storage: M.2 2280 PCIe4.0 SSD ×2 Slots, 1TB Installed
Rear Ports: RJ45 2.5G Ethernet Port×1, USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A Port ×4, HDMI 2.1 ×2
Front Ports: USB 4 x2, 3.5mm Headphone
Connectivity: M.2 2230 WIFI Support (Wi-Fi 6E, BlueTooth 5.3)
Audio: HDMI 2.1 ×2, Audio Jack ×1
Camera: (Not specified)
Size: 130mmx126mmx52.3mm
OS installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: DC 19V(Adapter Included)

The Minisforum UM790 Pro impresses with its compact size and impressive performance. While its design is simple and somewhat boring, the setup is easy and efficient, and the ports and connectors are all where you would want them to be for pure practicality. 

The machine shines in gaming and 4K video editing tasks, making it an ideal choice for creative professionals. Marketed as a desktop replacement, it delivers exceptional power for its size and will appeal to anyone looking for versatility and performance, so ideal for creators. Despite its slightly mundane design, its capabilities as a compact power PC and its focus on gaming and content creation set it apart as an attractive choice and make it one of our choices for the best mini PCs.

Price and Availablity

Minisforum UM790 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Minisforum UM790 Pro is priced in the midrange for a high-end mini PC, so any way you look, it's one of the best PC purchases out there. Considering its impressive specifications and desktop-level processing power, this price point makes it a budget-friendly option for anyone needing high performance in a compact form. 

While the UM790 Pro offers powerful performance akin to a desktop PC, its limited upgradability should be considered. However, external GPUs and Hard drives can be attached, so it's not a huge issue when considering the RAM and internal storage option upgrades. The midrange price tag and simple design make this a strong and sensible choice. 

  • Score: 5/5


Minisforum UM790 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Minisforum UM790 Pro is everything a compact Mini PC should be and offers a simple space-saving solution ideal for desktop and creative setups. While its exterior design appears fairly standard, its true capabilities lie inside. The machine is built with an emphasis on practicality, allowing it to easily mount to the back of a monitor, thereby maximising desk space. Its integrated metal body enhances durability while ensuring that it stays cool under intensive workloads.

While the UM790 Pro might not be as upgradable as traditional desktops, its dual-channel DDR5 memory slots allow for a maximum of 64GB RAM, catering to multitasking needs. Moreover, dual PCIe 4.0 SSD slots empower users to expand storage capacity and enhance data performance through RAID0 and RAID1 configurations.

  • Design: 4.5/5


Minisforum UM790 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Minisforum UM790 Pro employs cutting-edge technologies, housing an AMD Ryzen™ 9 7940HS processor with up to 5.2 GHz boost and an AMD Radeon™ 780M GPU, delivering remarkable performance for gaming and intensive tasks.

The UM790 Pro's AMD Ryzen™ 9 7940HS processor boasts 8 cores and 16 threads, while the AMD Radeon™ 780M graphics card ensures smooth visuals and seamless gaming, as well as sufficient for video and image editing tasks.

Backing up the processing is dual-channel DDR5 memory slots and support for frequencies up to 5600MHz; the UM790 Pro offers fast data access, a major consideration for content creators dealing with large files. 

Those large files are perfectly catered for by the M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD slots, of which there are two, although only one is filled off the shelf.

Ensuring connection options, there's a good range of ports, including USB3.2 Gen2 Type-A and USB4 ports and supporting high-resolution displays, there's HDMI 2.1 and USB4 video outputs.

Measuring 130mm x 126mm x 52.3mm, the UM790 Pro's compact size makes it suitable for limited desk spaces, and it's compatible with VESA mounting, which is a nice touch, especially in studios where you want the surface to be clear of cables and machines. 

Regarding the network connections, there's a 2.5G Ethernet port and Killer™ AX1675 Wi-Fi 6E network card; in the test, this all seemed more than fast and reliable enough for most workshop and studio tasks and gaming. 

  • Features: 4.5/5


Minisforum UM790 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

3DMark Wild Life: 15402, Fire Strike: 7351, Time Spy: 2674 Cinebench R23: Multi-Core Score: 15874, Single-Core Score: 1834
GeekBench 5: Multi-Core Score: 12387,- Single-Core Score: 2714
CrystalDiskMark: Read Speed: 3905.29 MB/s Write Speed: 1970.44 MB/s
PCMark 10: 7110
Windows Experience Index: 8.2

The Minisforum UM790 Pro proves to be a solid performer through our series of benchmark tests, translating into outstanding real-world performance when used with Premiere Pro and Photoshop. Its AMD Ryzen™ 9 7940HS processor, coupled with the AMD Radeon™ 780M GPU handled games, images and video with relative ease. 

In 3DMark Wild Life, the UM790 Pro achieved a Graphics Score of 15402, reflecting the gaming performance. Fire Strike yielded a Graphics Score of 7351, with additional scores highlighting its CPU and combined performance.

Time Spy recorded a Graphics Score of 2674 and a CPU Score of 10862, illustrating its multifaceted capabilities. In Cinebench R23, the machine showcased a Multi-Core Score of 15874, affirming its computational strength and this was again reflected in the video editing.

GeekBench 5 reflected the other results with a Multi-Core and Single-Core Scores of 12387 and 2714, respectively. CrystalDiskMark revealed read and write speeds of 3905.29 MB/s and 1970.44 MB/s, demonstrating a decent but not remarkable transfer speed. 

PCMark 10 returned a Score of 7110, reinforcing the well-rounded performance which was topped off with a Windows Experience Index with a score of 8.2.

  • Performance: 4.5/5

Should you buy a Minisforum UM790 Pro

The Minisforum UM790 Pro presents a powerful solution in a compact form. With exceptional performance that outshines its peers in this price range, it proves itself as a reliable and mini PC and desktop replacememnt. Its unassuming design might lack flair, but it's a testament to functionality, easily fitting into any professional environment. 

From solid gaming capabilities to smooth video editing, the UM790 Pro delivers on multiple fronts. While it might not be the choice for those seeking a design that pops or offers a multi coloured light show, its performance-focused approach and simplicity make it a great option.

Minisforum UM790

(Image credit: Future)

Value: Priced affordably for its capabilities, providing desktop-level power. (5/5)
Design: Simple and practical, but lacking visual flair. (3/5)
Features: Cutting-edge technologies, versatile CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options. (4.5/5)
Performance: Impressive benchmark scores translate to exceptional real-world performance. (4.5/5)
Total: A solid mini PC with powerful performance and practical design, suited for various tasks. (4/5)

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T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3 review
2:03 pm |

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

T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3: 30 second review

T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3 Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 5 5500U, 2.1-4.0GHz
Graphics: AMD Radeon™ Graphics 7
Storage: 512GB M.2 NVME 2280 SSD
Rear Ports: 1 x Type-C, - 1 x DP Port, - 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Audio Jack, 2 x RJ45 2.5G
Front Ports: N/A
Connectivity: WiFi6 -802.11AX, Bluetooth BT5.2, LAN Support RJ45 2.5Gx2
Audio: Not specified
Camera: Not specified
Size: Product Size (L x W x H): 16.2 x 16.2 x 19.8cm
OS installed: Windows 11 Home
Accessories: 1x Power Adapter, 1x SATA Cable, 1x User Manual

The T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 stands out from many of the best mini PCs by being an extremely versatile option that has been tailored for the needs of day-to-day use. Less boxy and more Air Purifier by design T-Bao has deliberately focused on seamless integration into home aesthetics, as well as computing functionality.

Crafted to cater to everyday computing demands, the T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 presents a cheap and easy-to-use solution for anyone wanting something other than pure gaming performance. Its compact form and stylish if slightly plasticy design means it looks equally in place on your desk or living room.

The big selling point of the T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 is its integrated NAS system. This integration isn't an afterthought but a fundamental design of the machine. It's only an entry-level NAS but still, in a machine of this size, it's impressive with the capacity for two 3.5-inch HDDs. Essentially with two drives installed, this machine transforms a compact daily computer into a hub for all your multimedia and files which is why we consider it one of the top mini PCs in its class. 

Powering the system is an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor which is an excellent balance between price and performance for this style of machine. 

Price and Availablity


(Image credit: Future)

The T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 arrives at an affordable price and is designed to cater to a wide range of users. The machine is positioned for day-to-day use with a specification and design that will cater to most word processing, web browsing, multimedia and the occasional use for games. 

One of the most enticing aspects of the T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 is its budget-friendly price point. If you're looking for a cost-effective option, this machine really does pack in quite a bit for the price and with features such as the NAS and Network hub that aren't that common at this level. 

While the machine primarily focuses on day-to-day tasks, its design seamlessly slots into your home design with a far more aesthetic look than the small box design of most other mini PCs. Its compact dimensions ensure it doesn't occupy too much space.

The T-Bao MiniPC + NAS is available for a reasonable amount and the versatile design and the inclusion of a simplified NAS system make it a compelling option if you're looking for an all-in-one solution that caters to day-to-day computing, multimedia enjoyment, and mass storage.

  • Score: 4/5



(Image credit: Future)

The T-BAO MiniPC + NAS R3 impresses with a design that seamlessly blends functionality and aesthetics. Its small footprint makes it an unobtrusive addition to any workspace. The standout feature for this small machine is the provision for two 3.5-inch HDDs, enabling easy storage expansion without compromising on elegance. In this test I popped in two inexpensive 500GB WD Green Drives effectively quadrupling the storage size in a little under two minutes without the need for any tools. 

The through-type cooling design, supported by a generously-sized base fan, ensures excellent heat dissipation for consistent performance while maintaining nice quiet operation even when some of the task such as basic video editing push the resources of the machine. 

The MiniPC + NAS R3 also excels in connectivity, offering a range of connection options including USB, HDMI, DP, and more, making peripheral integration simple. The distinctive design is reminiscent of an air purifier which may appeal to some people, it also makes it more at home when trying to blend it into a living area rather than a home office.

While the overall design is good the quality of the materials does let it down and some flexing of the outer case was initially required to align all ports correctly. The other issue is the caddy loading system for the two 3.5-inch HDDs, while a great idea the caddies are a little fiddly and cheap feeling, however, they;re simple to use.

  • Design: 3/5



(Image credit: Future)

The T-bao R3 Mini PC brings together a collection of features that elevate both performance and convenience. At its core, the device is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor and AMD Radeon Graphics 7. This combination ensures solid performance for most day-to-day tasks, including multimedia.

The standout feature is its built-in NAS functionality, which transforms the Mini PC into a centralized storage hub. The NAS system is designed to accommodate two 3.5-inch hard drives, allowing you to quickly expand your storage beyond the basic 512GB that comes preinstalled.

This makes the machine an ideal solution if you're seeking to store an extensive collection of media libraries, files, and more. What truly stands out is its ease of use; even someone with no prior experience can navigate this simple NAS functionality, especially with the support of the Windows Storage Spaces application.

The T-bao R3 Mini PC boasts fast network connectivity, powered by WiFi 6 and two 2.5G Ethernet ports. In terms of other connections, a bank of connectors adorns the rear, including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, DP, and Type-C ports.

  • Features: 4/5



(Image credit: Future)

3DMark Wild Life: 6903, Fire Strike: 3491, Time Spy: 1006
Cinebench R23: Multi-Core Score: 3270, Single-Core Score: 1152
GeekBench 5: Multi-Core Score: 5820, Single-Core Score: 1479
CrystalDiskMark: Read Speed: 2078.72MB/s, Write Speed: 1665.39MB/s
PCMark 10: Score: 4948
Windows Experience Index: Score: 8.1

The T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3 strikes a balance between performance and practicality. While it might not be a powerhouse, it proves itself as a versatile day-to-day performer.

In 3DMark Wild Life, the graphics score of 6903 showcases the machine's capability to handle multimedia tasks and casual gaming without any issue. It comfortably accommodates everyday graphic demands and even ventures into light gaming territory with decent visuals.

The Fire Strike benchmark yielded a graphics score of 3491, with the physics score hitting 14818 and the combined score reaching 1131. These scores underline the machine's ability to handle various tasks, from graphics-heavy applications to multitasking, albeit within reasonable boundaries.

The Time Spy benchmark presented a graphics score of 1006 and a CPU score of 4519, reflecting the MiniPC + NAS R3's aptitude for multimedia playback, productivity, and light content creation. It performs well in various scenarios, such as photo and video editing, offering smooth multitasking capabilities.

Cinebench R23 showcased a multi-core score of 3270 and a single-core score of 1152, reaffirming the machine's suitability for handling multiple tasks simultaneously and its efficiency in single-threaded processes. Editing video in Premiere Pro showed it sailed through 1080p edits but started to stuggle with more demanding 4K.

GeekBench 5 revealed a multi-core score of 5820 and a single-core score of 1479 again a middle-of-the-road score.

CrystalDiskMark demonstrated a read speed of 2078.72MB/s and a write speed of 1665.39MB/s, showing the device's storage speed, which aligns well with its intended use as a day-to-day computing solution. While this speed is slower than some, for almost all tasks this is still an impressive result. 

Finally with a PCMark 10 score of 4948 and a Windows Experience Index score of 8.1 this all comes together to further emphasise the device's practicality for everyday work, multimedia and a bit of gaming. 

Should you buy a T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3

The T-Bao MiniPC + NAS R3 offers a great blend of convenience and functionality. Designed with day-to-day users in mind, its sleek form seamlessly integrates into home setups with a design that's more air purifier than PC. 

The MiniPC + NAS R3 is a versatile multimedia hub, thanks to its AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, ample RAM, and expandable storage. The built-in NAS functionality, while simple, is the standout feature, streamlining file storage. However, the device may not suffice for demanding gamers or graphics-intensive tasks. Affordably priced, this mini PC presents an attractive solution if you're looking for a compact, stylish computing solution with storage versatility.


(Image credit: Future)

Value: A versatile hybrid at an attractive price point. (4/5)
Design: Compact and efficient, but average build quality. (3/5)
Features: Impressive NAS integration and storage potential. (4/5)
Performance: Moderate processing and graphics capabilities. (3/5)
Total: A well-rounded choice for multitaskers and storage enthusiasts. (4/5)

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T-Bao Mini PC MN58U review
1:59 pm |

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

T-Bao Mini PC MN58U: 30 second review

T-Bao Mini PC MN58U Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, 1.9-4.4GHz
Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics 8
RAM: 32GB DDR4-3200
Storage: 1TB M.2 NVME SSD
Rear Ports: 1 x Type-C, 1 x DP Port, 1 x HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x RJ45 1000Mbps, 1 x RJ45 2.5Gbps
Front Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x Type-C, 1 x Ear Audio Jack
Connectivity: WiFi: WiFi6 -802.11AX, Bluetooth: BT5.0 LAN: Support RJ45 1000Mx1 2.5Gx1
Audio: Not specified
Camera: Not specified
Size: 13.3 x 13.3 x 5cm
OS installed: Windows 11 Home -EU
Accessories: Power Adapter, 1x SATA Cable, 1x User Manual

The T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC impresses with its compact size and ease of setup, making it a great choice for anyone looking at their first gaming PC and one that's highly portable. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor and AMD Radeon Graphics 8, it delivers moderate gaming performance, handling most games smoothly at a 1440p resolution. The 32GB DDR4 RAM ensures smooth multitasking and is more than enough for day-to-day use.

In benchmark tests, the MN58U showed promising results in 3DMark Wild Life, Fire Strike, and Time Spy, indicating its capability to handle graphics-intensive tasks and gaming. However, it fell short in some benchmarks compared to more powerful gaming PCs.

Despite not being a high-end gaming rig, the T-bao MN58U shines as one of the best mini PCs for excellent day-to-day use. Its compact design, and versatile interface configuration allow easy connections to various peripherals and displays, catering to everyday computing needs. The pre-installed Windows 11 Home operating system provides a familiar user experience, while the 1TB M.2 NVME SSD offers quick data transfers and fast software boot speeds.

While it performs well in gaming and regular tasks, power users may find it lacking in handling more demanding applications, such as high-resolution video editing, above 1080p, or 3D rendering. The cooling system, though efficient, can get a bit noisy under heavy loads, impacting the overall user experience.

In summary, the T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC lives up to its promise of being a compact and capable mini gaming PC. It's moderate gaming performance and day-to-day efficiency make it suitable for casual gamers and general users. For those seeking a space-saving desktop setup that can handle light to moderate gaming and regular tasks, the MN58U is a solid choice. However, higher-end gaming PCs would be more suitable for hardcore gamers or professionals requiring heavy computing power.

Price and Availablity

T-Bao Mini PC MN58U

(Image credit: Future)

The T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC offers an attractive price point, currently available at £327.46. Considering the powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor, AMD Radeon Graphics 8, and generous 32GB DDR4 RAM, this mini PC presents an attractive package at an affordable price.

However, it's essential to note that the listed price only covers the mini PC itself. Users must invest in additional peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to utilise the system fully. 

  • Score: 4/5


T-Bao Mini PC MN58U

(Image credit: Future)

The T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC boasts a compact, space-saving design, measuring just 13.3 x 13.3 x 5cm. This small form factor allows for easy placement on any desk, making it ideal for users with limited space or those who like a clutter-free setup. 

For storage, the T-bao MN58U offers a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD as standard, and there are a few different options available when you order; alongside this, there's enough space inside to fit in a larger 2.5-inch HDD.

When it comes to connectivity options, there is a good selection of USB and network ports covering the front and back of the machine.

The CPU and GPU power, combined with the fast network connections, including WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps Ethernet support, ensure smooth and reliable performance for gaming, content creation, and everyday tasks. The Mini PC also supports wired and wireless keyboards and mice, adding flexibility and convenience for user input.

On portability, you can power the small machine through USB Type-C PD 100W with the power supply and adapter that comes with the machine. The actual quality of the build is middle of the road, with an aesthetically pleasing design and mid-quality plastic and finish. While it's solid enough, a little more care will be needed with it than some of the more hardy gaming machines, such as the Intel Nuc series. 

  • Design: 3/5


T-Bao Mini PC MN58U

(Image credit: Future)

The T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC boasts impressive specifications for its small size with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor, 8 cores, and a clock speed of up to 4.4GHz. This is paired with the AMD Radeon Graphics 8 to handle the gaming and other graphic tasks.

Inside is a decent amount of memory with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, storage is well balanced with 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, with quoted speeds of up to 8GB/s for sequential reads, and then there's the option to add that 2.5-inch HDD if you want. 

Connectivity options are well catered for with two rear USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI port, one DP port, one LAN port, and one 2.5G LAN port. The front houses two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, and a 3.5mm audio jack, enabling simple connection to various peripherals and displays.

When it comes to networking, there's WiFi 6 and 2.5Gbps Ethernet support; the T-bao MN58U is well suited to a fast and reliable network connection ready for online gaming and content streaming. The Mini PC also supports wired and wireless keyboards and mice, providing additional convenience.

The T-bao MN58U's compact size of 13.3 x 13.3 x 5cm makes it a great space-saving option, but equally, it's easy to stash away in a bag if you want to take it with you. 

  • Features: 4/5


T-Bao Mini PC MN58U

(Image credit: Future)

3DMark Wild Life: 6856, Fire Strike:  3526, Time Spy: 1138
Cinebench R23: Multi-Core Score: 4016, - Single-Core Score: 1321
GeekBench 5: Multi-Core Score: 7146, Single-Core Score: 1867
CrystalDiskMark: Read Speed: 1857.81MB/s, Write Speed: 691MB/s
PCMark 10: Score: 5741
Windows Experience Index: 8.1

The T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC is mixed when it comes to performance, offering decent enough processing power, graphics capabilities, and storage speeds. Through various computing tasks and benchmark tests, it proved to be a versatile machine for day-to-day use, and as long as you lower the graphics of your games to 1440p, the gameplay is mostly smooth.

In 3DMark Wild Life, the T-bao MN58U achieved an impressive graphics score of 6856, indicating that most games will run smoothly at 1440p resolution. Similarly, in Fire Strike, the graphics score reached 3526, showcasing its gaming potential at a higher resolution. While running Time Spy, the graphics score of 1138 highlighted the mini PC's capacity to handle demanding graphics-intensive tasks easily.

Ultimately, this breaks down to is that with most games, as long as you can reduce the resolution to 1440p and occasionally reduce some atmospheric effects, you can happily play most games on the system. I played CREW 2, Portal 2, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and Red Dead Redemption II through this test.

The CPU performance, tested in Cinebench R23, delivered promising results with a multi-core score of 4016 and a single-core score of 1321. The GeekBench 5 test further confirmed its efficiency, achieving a multi-core score of 7146 and a single-core score of 1867.

Storage performance proved fast, as shown in the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, with a read speed of 1857.81MB/s and a write speed of 691MB/s, ensuring quick data access and snappy software boot times.

In the real-world test and putting both the CPU and storage to the test, I edited the machine's 1080p and 4K video. The 1080p shot in Log3 from a Canon R5 C was edited without issue; a few small glitches on Premiere Pro, but otherwise a smooth experience. Editing 4K was equally easy until the application of effects, and then the system slowed down, and a proxy workflow would be better suited. However, the small machine could get through short edits of up to five minutes without too much issue. 

The PCMark 10 test, with a score of 5741, showcased the T-bao MN58U's proficiency in office-related tasks, demonstrating its suitability for productivity-focused workloads.

I tried Word and Excel, and they worked without issue; this small machine has enough power to rip through all your admin needs.

The final test for the small T-bao MN58U's performance was the Windows Experience Index, receiving a decent score of 8.1.

Should you buy a T-bao MN58U Gaming Mini PC

Ultimately, the decision to invest depends on your priorities. If you want a decent all-rounder cheaply, then the T-bao MN58U is an excellent choice. While the overall design and connectivity are good, the build quality and materials could be improved, so if you need a machine you can transport, this might not be the best option. However, this small machine excels when it comes to affordability, day-to-day tasks, and a machine that will enable you to play games, edit videos, and get on with a bit of work. 


(Image credit: Future)

Value: Considering the AMD CPU and Graphics this machine is exceptional value. 4 / 5
Design: Aesthetically great, but the quality of the build, materials and noise from the fans lets it down 3 / 5
Features: Plenty of connectivity options and the ability to add an HDD give you the ability to customise 4 / 5
Performance: The small box struggles with games over 1440p and 4K video, but other tasks are fast 3 / 5
Total: Considering the price and what you can do with the small machine it's impress, if only the build quality was better 4 / 5

Why you should buy

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AceMagician AM08 Pro review
11:58 am |

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

AceMagician AM08 Pro AMD Ryzen 9: 30-second review

ACE MAGICIAN AM08 Pro AMD Ryzen 9 Specs

CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 9 6900HX
Graphics: AMD Radeon™ 680M
RAM: 16GB DDR5*2 (Maximum Support: 64GB)
Storage: M.2*1 PCIE NVME 512GB (Maximum Support: 2TB)
Rear Ports: 1 x Audio-in/out, 4 x USB3.2 Type-A, 7 x TYPE-C, 2 x HDMI 2.0 Type A, 1 x RJ45
Front Ports: Not specified
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Audio: Not specified
Camera: Not specified
Size: 149 x 78 x 188mm
OS installed: Windows 11 Pro
Accessories: Mini PC, Power Adapter, HDMI Cable, User Manual

The AceMagician AM08 Pro offers a compact size with impressive connectivity and expandability options. Its straightforward setup and effective cooling system make it user-friendly. The design is instantly eye catching and reflecting the gaming market that it's intended for there's an array of coloured lights that adorn the front.

While excelling in intensive day-to-day tasks and offering mid-range gaming performance, some games with all effects at high resolutions will stutter. However, the system's excellent cooling ensures stable operation during all intensive tasks and gaming sessions. 

The small machine also offers triple 4K display support further enhancing its appeal as one of the best mini PCs for gamers and creatives. Though not the most affordable option, it's a decent and fun choice.

Price and Availablity


(Image credit: Future)

The AceMagician AM08 Pro AMD Ryzen 9 comes at a slightly higher price point than some of its competitors, but it brings with it a distinct gamer-style design, efficient cooling solutions, and convenient memory and storage upgradability. 

This added investment affords users the benefit of a machine that not only handles day-to-day tasks efficiently but also offers enhanced capabilities for more intensive gaming and creative applications like using 4K video editing software. While it might require a bit more financial commitment, the AM08 Pro stands out for its cooling efficiency, design aesthetics, and user-friendly upgrade options, making it a solid choice for those seeking both performance and flexibility.

  • Score 3.5/5



(Image credit: Future)

The design of the mini PC is a blend of elements that might not be universally appealing, yet manages to cater to a specific audience. Personally, the design didn't strike a chord with me, feeling slightly quirky with its triangular shape and prominent power button at the top the unit. However, the dynamic RGB lights and upright stance give it a distinct gamer aesthetic that can undoubtedly attract enthusiasts.

What truly stands out about the design is its practicality. The placement of main ports on both the front and back enables easy connectivity, while the unique triangular form provides stability and enables that effective cooling. This layout makes accessing ports easier, ensuring that plugging in peripherals or monitors is a hassle-free. 

  • Design: 3/5


Rear ports

(Image credit: Future)

The AM08 Pro packs in features that make this machine suitable for both gamers and creatives. Featuring a relatively compact form factor of 149 x 77 x 188.47mm, it fits neatly on the desk. Inside is a relatively powerful AMD Ryzen™ 9 6900HX processor, boasting 8 cores and 16 threads, while not at the top end it does provide decent multitasking capabilities and robust performance across applications.

Backing the CPU is the AMD Radeon™ 680M GPU, again this will ensure decent graphics rendering for both gaming and creative tasks. backing up the processing is 16GB DDR5 RAM, with an option to upgrade to 64GB, this amount of RAM would be ideal for gaming, but I would recommend a boost to 32GB for smoother gaming. 

Storage options are equally impressive, offering a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVME SSD with expandability up to a generous 2TB. The fitting of both RAM and storage upgrade is simple in both cases. 

The AM08 Pro also features a good array of connectivity options with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, enabling the wireless communication. Furthermore, USB 3.2 Type-A ports and other interfaces, including HDMI and Type-C, enhance the machine's adaptability for various peripherals as well display options.

The machine comes with Windows 11 Pro pre-installed, the AM08 Pro which is a nice touch, although the boot times are slightly longer than machine running the home edition. 

  • Features: 4/5



(Image credit: Future)

The AMD Ryzen 9-powered machine proved itself as a capable workhorse with solid performance across various benchmarks and real-world usage scenarios. Its specifications and benchmark results offer insight into its efficiency and suitability for different tasks.

In 3DMark Wild Life, the graphics score reached a commendable 15500, showing the machine's graphics abilities. This result indicates its capability to handle graphically demanding tasks, making it suitable for gaming and multimedia.

In the Fire Strike benchmark, the graphics score settled at 6523, while the physics score impressively hit 7057, and the combined score reached an impressive 25045. These results further demonstrate the AM08 Pro's well-rounded performance, particularly in graphics-intensive applications and multitasking scenarios.

Moving to Time Spy, the graphics score reached 2435, and the CPU score achieved a solid 9448, highlighting the machine's versatility for both graphics processing and computational tasks.

Cinebench R23 unveiled a multi-core score of 12478, showcasing the AM08 Pro's proficiency in handling multitasking and resource-intensive applications. The single-core score came in at 1602.

In GeekBench 5, the multi-core score impressed at 10532, while the single-core score reached 2184. Again these results are good putting the machine in the midrange for this level of machine. 

CrystalDiskMark demonstrated impressive read and write speeds, with a read speed of 2800.72 MB/s and a write speed of 2423.33 MB/s. These speeds are again mid-range, fast but by means the fastest for this size and price of the machine.

The all-important PCMark 10 benchmark test showed that the AM08 Pro produced a score of 6740, again on the midrange for this machine level.

Finally, the Windows Experience Index score of 8.2 reflects an overall solid but mid-range result for the machine. 


Here's how the Geekom AS 6 scored in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Wild Life: 15500, Fire Strike: 6523, Time Spy: 243
Cinebench R23: Multi-Core Score: 12478, Single-Core Score: 1602
GeekBench 5: Multi-Core Score: 10532, Single-Core Score: 2184
CrystalDiskMark: Read Speed: 2800.72 MB/s, Write Speed: 2423.33 MB/s
PCMark 10: 6740
Windows Experience Index: Score: 8.2

  • Performance: 3.5/5

Should you buy a AceMagician AM08 Pro AMD Ryzen 9

The AceMagician AM08 Pro AMD Ryzen 9 is a great option for gamers and users doing more intensive day-to-day tasks such as video editing who are looking for a quirky yet efficient mini PC. Its gaming aesthetics, including LED lights and an upright stance, immerse you in the gaming culture. The machine's expandability is well thought through, allowing easy memory and storage upgrades for future-proofing. 

Despite being slightly pricier and lacking the sturdiness of metal-cased alternatives, the AM08 Pro offers robust build quality. While its performance is solid but not cutting-edge, the cooling system and abundant connectivity options make it an excellent choice for versatile day-to-day use and multimedia enjoyment.

Report Card

  • Value: A bit pricier than some, but offers gaming aesthetics and expandability. (3.5/5)
  • Design: Unique design with gaming flair, easy access, and versatile connectivity. (4/5)
  • Features: Comprehensive features, triple displays, WiFi 6E, and easy upgrade options. (4/5)
  • Performance: Good performance, though middle-of-the-road; enhanced cooling and connectivity. (3.5/5)
  • Total: A solid mini PC choice with balanced features and performance. (3.5/5)

Why you should buy

Don't buy it if

Asus Zenfone 10 review: powerful and pocketable but performative
3:46 pm | August 23, 2023

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

Asus Zenfone 10 two-minute review

If the Asus Zenfone 10 is a write-in for the title of ‘best small phone’, it’s only because it’s the only small phone to be released this year, with the ‘best’ designation used through gritted teeth.

Asus seems to keep bumping into the same problem with its Zenfone line of mini Android phones: in a world where mobiles are always getting bigger and bigger, what do you do with a device that’s defined by its small stature?

Not much, says the Asus Zenfone 10, because it’s a near clone of the Asus Zenfone 9 that we saw a year prior, but with a few specs tweaked and a higher price. And all in all, it offers the same package: it’s nice for people who want a one-handed phone, but its identity issues mean it’s not getting onto our list of the best Android phones.

Like a Michelin-star chef using cheap ingredients, Asus has a great recipe with its Zenfone mobiles but hasn't got the recipe right. There’s definitely a market for cutesy one-handed mobiles, but by combining both premium features (the chipset, the high-end price) and ones that leave a sour taste in your mouth (the camera, the design, the slow charging), the company is ending with a ‘jack of no trades’, so to say.

Case in point, the chipset. Asus has insistently pumped the newest and best Snapdragon chips into each entry of Zenfone series, which would ostensibly make them great for gaming – until you realize that they’re so small, that it’s hard to see what you’re doing in your game. 

The price is another sticking point, with the $699.99 / £749.99 (roughly AU$1,450) asking price putting the Zenfone at roughly the same price point as the iPhone 14 and Samsung Galaxy S22. Suffice to say, the Zenfone 10 is not a contender, given its weaker cameras and less impressive screen.

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)

Asus has kept to its distinctly unimpressive specs in other areas. The camera array would feel at home on a mid-range mobile, while the charging speed gets beaten by many more affordable Android phones. 

If you’re looking for a small phone, though, you don't really have many other options. The market for new sub-6-inch mobiles basically gives you two options: Zenfone or iPhone SE, meaning Android phone fans will have to settle.

So far, the tone of this two-minute review has been negative, and that’s because it’s hard to recommend this phone to people who aren’t dead-set on getting a small phone, but there are some qualities to the Zenfone that make it worth considering.

Thanks to its small size, the Zen 10 is very easy to use one-handed, and it slips into even the smallest pocket or purse with ease.

Some of the Zenfone 10's improvements are welcome: the front-facing camera has gotten a lot better, and the selfie experience is noticeably improved. Plus, wireless charging will gain some converts into the Asus camp. We’ve also got to flag the wide variety of bright color options: Asus sees your ‘black or white’ binary choices for many modern mobiles and raises you red, blue and green to boot. 

But are more colors, more megapixels and more ways to charge that big of an upgrade, given the higher price? 

Why Asus won’t position its Zenfone devices as happy mid-rangers is a mystery to us – with some of the specs clipped, and at a more affordable price point, this mobile could do gangbusters. Sadly, that isn’t the Zenfone 10.

Asus Zenfone 10 review: price and availability

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)
  • On sale in the UK & Europe from July 31
  • Pre-order in the US from August 22
  • Australian availability TBC
  • From $699.99 (128GB) / £749.99 (256GB)

After being unveiled on June 29, 2023, the Asus Zenfone 10 hit shelves on July 31 in Europe (including the UK). The phone hit pre-order in the US on August 22 and an Australian release hasn’t yet been confirmed.

The phone costs $699.99 (roughly £550 / AU$1,090) for the base 8GB RAM / 128GB storage variant (which seems to be a US-exclusive), $749.99 / £749.99 (roughly AU$1,450) for a bump to 256GB of storage and $799.99 / £819.99 (around AU$1,550) for the top-tier 16GB RAM / 512GB model. Our review unit was of the fully-loaded model, in its Aurora Green variant, but there are also white, black, red and blue options.

For some comparison, the Asus Zenfone 9 cost $699 / £699 / AU$1,199 for 8GB / 128GB and $799 / £749 (around AU$1,300) for 16GB / 256GB build. So there’s a slight price increase for each RAM model year-on-year, and while it arguably could be justified by the increased storage and other features, it does make the Zenfone even closer in terms of price to some top-tier rivals.

The Android champ, the Samsung Galaxy S23 costs $799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349 and the iPhone 14 costs $799 / £849 / AU$1,339; both for their base models, so although they’re both a touch costlier than the Asus, the margin between cheapest models is shrinking with each generation. And more importantly, the Zenfone 10 has crossed the border between ‘mid-range’ phone into ‘premium’, albeit at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: Specs

The Zenfone 10 arguably boasts more power than it could ever use effectively, but it's nice to know that this pint-sized smartphone has room to spare, regardless of what you might throw at it.

Asus Zenfone 10 review: design

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)
  • One of the only noteworthy compact phones available
  • IP68 certified
  • Rare 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Numerous color options

The Asus Zenfone 10 is a real dead ringer for the Zenfone 9 – the one small tweak is the design of the camera system, but even I didn’t spot this minor change before reading the company’s comments pointing it out.

The phone’s selling point is its size. At 146.5 x 68.1 x 9.4mm, it’s one of the smallest modern mobiles on the market, with only the iPhone SE being smaller. This is reflected in the weight too, with the phone being nice and light at 172g.

With these dimensions, the phone is easy to use one-handed, with all but the extremities of the display as well as the buttons on the right edge being well within reach. Those buttons are the volume rocker and power button, with the latter embedded in a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that was reliable at picking up my thumbprint during testing.

In theory, the size would make the Zenfone incredibly comfortable to hold, but Asus balances this by following the flat-edge phone trend that’s become popular in the last few years (despite common sense). The corners of the handset, therefore, dig into the palm and fingers a little when you’re holding it.

There’s a USB-C port for charging your phone as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, with the Zenfone rapidly becoming one of the last bastions for wired audio fans (alongside the Sony Xperia 1 V).

If you like a well-protected phone, you’ll be at home here: there’s an IP68 rating against water and dust, and the frame is made of plastic, which may not feel too premium in the hand but it’s certainly more durable than glass.

As stated, there are quite a few color options for the Asus Zenfone 10, making it a rare exception to the modern rule of boring phone shades. We tested Aurora Green, though from Asus’ images, red seems like the real vibrant standout.

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: display

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)
  • 5.9-inch Full HD+ display
  • 144Hz refresh rate (up from 120Hz on Zenfone 9)
  • Small screen size can make gaming difficult

A small body means a small screen, and at 5.9 inches, this is one of the smallest displays you’ll find on a current-gen smartphone. It does match the last few generations of Zenfone, in the resolution as well as the size, with 1080 x 2400 Full HD+ making a return.

An improvement here is the refresh rate, which has crept up to 144Hz, meaning that the screen refreshes 144 times per second, for smoother motion. This is only actually available in games though, not for everyday use, so non-gamers won’t be able to make the most of it.

We’re not sure why gamers would pick a 5.9-inch screen phone for gaming though, as it’s just not big enough to see details. When you’ve got icons cluttering the screen and your fingers blocking your vision you’ll find yourself begging for a bigger display.

  • Display score: 3.5 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: software

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)
  • Zen UI atop Android 13 out of box
  • Smart Key is a great inclusion
  • Promised two years of OS updates, four years security updates

Like most Android phone makers, Asus likes to layer its own user interface over stock Android – for the Zenfone 10, Android 13 is embellished with Zen UI.

Unlike some Android forks, Zen UI is quite a gentle overhaul, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the Zenfone 10 ran stock Android, and that’s largely because Asus lets you pick between its own features and the Android alternatives.

Zen UI gives you a redesigned and improved volume slider, a unique call display, reorganized quick settings panels and more, but many of the changes are purely in the appearance.

One bigger improvement is Smart Key, which lets you activate various functions by double tapping or pressing and holding the side power key, however we found that this was less reliable than simply using the tried-and-tested methods for, say, checking notifications or skipping songs.

If you’re the sort that cares about support length, then you should know that Asus has confirmed the Zenfone 10 will get two years of operating system updates (so, up to Android 15) and two extra years beyond that for security patches.

  • Software score: 4 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: cameras

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)
  • 50MP main + 13MP ultra-wide
  • 32MP front-facer (up from 12MP on predecessors)
  • Improved AI image processing but no autofocus on ultra-wide

The Asus Zenfone 10 has a few changes over its predecessor, but I'm loathed to call these ‘upgrades’. Side-grades?

The main camera is the same as on the Zenfone 9: a 50MP f/1.9 snapper that uses the ever-popular Sony IMX766 sensor. This is a good mid-range sensor that picks up light well, making for colorful pictures, and you'll find it in plenty of budget and mid-range mobiles.

As you can see from the camera samples below, the photos taken were reasonably rich, with decent contrast and saturation – and it seems Asus has improved its AI image processing from previous mobiles.

Joining that on the back is a 13MP ultra-wide camera, with a 120-degree field of view, which is slightly higher-res and wider than last year’s alternative, but with the curious omission of autofocus. Oops? Autofocus isn’t as important on this camera as on the main one, but with many people opting to use UW cameras to take macro pictures, some might find the lack of this feature critical.

A more jarring issue that I found with this camera is that photos were noticeably more desaturated and flat than on the main camera. Goodbye color.

There are only two rear cameras here – clearly Asus is taking the wrong leaf from the iPhone playbook – and so if you like a versatile photographic experience, the lack of a macro or telephoto lens will disappoint you.

On the front of the phone, the camera hardware has undergone a more drastic change, with the 12MP selfie snapper of years past ditched in favor of a 32MP shooter. This makes a marked increase on selfie quality – not only are they more high res, letting you edit and play with them more, but Portrait mode and AI processing upgrades are abound too. In this department, at least, Asus has sussed out how to upgrade its phones.

Video recording maxes out at 8K/24fps or 4K/60fps, or if you want to embrace slow-mo there’s 4K/120fps, FHD/240fps or HD/480fps. The other modes on the Camera app tick all the standard boxes: there’s time-lapse, portrait, light trails, Pro and night mode.

Please note, the two selfie camera samples had to be cropped to 1:1 in order to upload successfully. By default, the phone captures in 4:3.

Asus Zenfone 10 camera samples

Image 1 of 6

A camera sample from the Asus Zenfone 10

A nice flower in a field, captured on the main camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 6

A camera sample from the Asus Zenfone 10

A wide field, taken on the main camera... (Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 6

A camera sample from the Asus Zenfone 10

... the same field captured on the ultra-wide camera. (Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 6

A camera sample from the Asus Zenfone 10

(Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 6

Examples of a selfie on the Asus Zenfone 10

A photo taken on the standard Zenfone 10 front-facing camera mode. (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 6

Examples of a selfie on the Asus Zenfone 10

A photo taken on the Zenfone 10's portrait mode. As you can tell I'm smiling more, and that's because I look better in portrait mode. (Image credit: Future)
  • Camera score: 3.5 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: performance and audio

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is overkill for a phone of this size
  • Gaming is smooth but cramped
  • Versatile audio experience

We’ve touched on the Asus Zenfone 10’s chipset already; it’s the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the current most powerful processor available to Android phones and found in lots of the top models. Asus tends to use the best chips available to it, and the Zenfone 10 is no exception.

This amount of processing power is, unfortunately, totally unnecessary – with its small screen size, it’s really hard to use the Zenfone for power-hungry applications like games, photo editing and so on. Bear in mind that a 16GB RAM version of the phone is on sale!

I played lots of Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile to test the phone, and ran into multiple problems. On-screen icons were, by default, way to small to be reliably pressed at a moment’s notice, and resizing them only goes so far to fix this. My hands also ended up covering lots of the screen, my thumbs would frequently smash into each other when I was trying to run one way and look the other, and even short gaming bouts resulted in some serious hand cramp from grasping this tiny mobile – gaming on this device was really tough (somewhat ironic as Asus also makes the best gaming phone on the market).

Remove the human element, and games play well – toggle the 144Hz screen option, and the highest graphics options available, and the Asus still tanks through games (well, other than the long-running overheating issue of Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets). But you’d be hard-pressed to notice if you can barely see the screen.

It’s getting tiring complaining about the Zenfone’s bizarre chipset choice – a Snapdragon 7-series chipset would let Asus sell its phone for less, would remove the overheating issue, and wouldn’t have a noticeable effect on the way people use the phone anyway. 

In terms of audio, the Zenfone has built-in speakers that are absolutely fine, but with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Bluetooth connectivity you can easily use your own headphones too.

  • Performance score: 3.5 / 5

Asus Zenfone 10 review: battery life

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)

On any other phone, a 4,300mAh battery would throw up red flags: this mid-sized battery wouldn’t normally support a mobile with a top-end chip, 5G connectivity and high-refresh-rate display for very long at all. Thankfully, the Zenfone’s small screen lets it skirt around this issue, and it ends up having a pretty standard battery life.

In our testing we comfortably used the Zenfone 10 for a full day of use without needing to charge it up, which is what you expect from the average mobile. It won’t serve you for two days – realistically no phone will – but you won’t need to worry about it running out of charge over the course of just one.

Charging is done via the USB-C port at 30W, which is pretty slow in the grand scheme of Android phones, and it’ll take you at least an hour to power it to full. There’s a new feature here in the form of wireless charging, which comes in at 15W. Again, that’s not fast, but it’s a useful extra feature for people who like charging docks or pads.

I’ve frequently tested phones that are so big that they’re tricky to use on wireless charging stands, but the Zenfone’s size made it easy to place and readjust against some of the chargers it was placed upon.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Asus Zenfone 10?

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want a tiny phone
Sick of struggling to reach the edges of your phone screen? This pint-size mobile is small enough that your woes will be gone.

You love the headphone jack
Asus is one of the few companies reliably using a 3.5mm headphone jack on mid-range and premium mobiles, so audio fans can rest easy here.

You're a selfie fan
With a new higher-resolution front camera and a few new AI tricks and tweaks, the Zenfone is a good phone for selfies. Plus, it's not going to block light when you hold it high, unlike some other rivals.

Don't buy it if...

You like your screen space
Whether you like watching Netflix on the go, play games a lot or simply like seeing lots of your email at once, many people want lots of screen space. If you have big hands too, you'll get cramp using this little phone.

You're a gamer
We can't overstate how many issues accompany this small form factor phone to make it a gaming nightmare. Small display, quick to overheat, hand cramp abounds.

You find the Zenfone 9 on sale
Not much has changed here from the Zenfone 9, and while we weren't blown away by that, a year's worth of sales could make it a much more affordable alternative.

Asus Zenfone 10 review: Also consider

Asus has settled into its comfort zone for the Zenfone 10, not changing much from the Zenfone 9, and if that didn't impress you then this won't either. In that case, here are some alternatives.

Google Pixel 6a
Another small phone, but this one has better cameras, a much lower price and cleaner software. Plus, it's not so small that your hand threatens to collapse in on itself. We prefer this to the Pixel 7a, especially with its ever-lowering price.

iPhone 13 mini
Is the whole 'Android' thing putting you off? In that case, consider the iPhone's small option (though not the too-small and otherwise-flawed iPhone SE). This is powerful, has great cameras and, most importantly for you Android naysayers, runs iOS.

How I tested the Asus Zenfone 10

The Asus Zenfone 10 on a bench, with a field in the background

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

I started using the Asus Zenfone 10 when it was shipped to me to review, using the 512GB storage and 16GB RAM unit in green, as you can see from the pictures accompanying this review.

I used the phone as my normal device during the testing period which included bouts of photography, gaming and streaming shows, but I mainly just used it for everyday tasks; to listen to music on the way to work, doomscroll through social media during work and work or play after work.

Having previously spent time in the TechRadar phones team, including as a staff writer and also Deputy and Acting Editor for the section, I have lots of experience testing many different mobile devices including phones, tablets and wearables, and have tested many of the Asus Zenfone 10's rivals and predecessors. Plus I go climbing, so know some handy hand exercises to stop the cramp from using the thing hurt quite so much.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed July 2023

Fitbit Premium review: Still a first-class premium fitness app
8:12 pm | August 15, 2023

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

Fitbit Premium: One minute review

If you’ve ever picked up a Fitbit device, you’ll know that the slimline bracelet design is still a bit of a marvel, offering a wealth of data about your body, its rhythms, and its overall health.

Fitbit Premium, in many ways, is just an extension of that idea. Fitbit Premium gives you more data to pull from when judging how to approach the day, challenges you to do better, and even offers you a bunch of workouts you can do from the comfort (and privacy) of your own home.

There are even recipes, making Fitbit Premium an all-in-one option for clearing those fitness goals, whether that’s weight loss, training to get faster and fitter, or just getting a better night’s sleep. The paywall may be a bit galling, but the value on offer here in terms of deep metric insight and the content from Fitbit and other apps means that, for us, it's worth the price of admission. especially if you're already an owner of one of the best Fitbits.

Fitbit Premium: Specifications

Fitbit Premium: Price and availability

Fitbit Premium on an iPhone

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Fitbit Premium, as with many workout apps, will let you try before you buy - up to ninety days. which is an ideal window for seeing if it fits you. Otherwise, Premium costs : $79.99 / £79.99 / AU$124.99 per year. $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$15.49 per month.

If you buy a Fitbit device, it usually comes with six months included, although the Fitbit Inspire 2 can still be found with one year free. Considering some devices are as cheap as $50, it may be worth picking one up, snagging the trial, and passing the device to a friend once you're done, or selling it on.

It’s worth remembering that while Fitbit Premium is designed to be used with a Fitbit device, it does offer plenty of functionality without one – not much that you can’t get for free online with a bit of hard searching, but in a time in which the fitness industry is ripe with misinformation online, it’s helpful to have the content all in one place here, and from a trusted source. 

You’ll naturally need a Fitbit or Google Pixel Watch to reap the benefits of seeing your health data though, or enjoying the Daily Readiness Score.

  • Value score: 5/5

Fitbit Premium: Design

Fitbit Premium screenshot

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Fitbit)
  • Content neatly laid out
  • Discover and Premium tabs
  • Really requires a Fitbit device

Once you’re subscribed to Fitbit Premium, you’ll see a whole host of options appear within the Fitbit app. It’s hard not to miss the additional features, with the app bursting with excitement to show you what it can do when you enter the Discover tab or the Premium tab.

There you’ll find all of your premium benefits laid out in one easy location. Fitbit Premium naturally wants to link to a Fitbit device so that it can grab data points, but you’ll also be able to access recipes, mindfulness activities, and much more just on your phone.

That means a Fitbit on your wrist isn’t a prerequisite to access the guided workouts, recipes, mindfulness features and so on, but you’ll naturally want one to get more from the subscription. That all-important Daily Readiness Score, for example, needs you to be wearing a Fitbit for activity and sleep tracking.

Still, if you do own one, there’s a little something for everyone. Between workout plans to help you get fitter, meal ideas to make you healthier, and much more, it’s easy to find something to justify the monthly cost – or not, if you’re using the free trial included with a device.

  •  Design score: 4.5 

Fitbit Premium: Features

A mobile phone on a pink background showing the redesigned Fitbit app

(Image credit: Google / Fitbit)
  • Activity and Sleep logs
  • Curated workouts and recipes
  • Content from other wellness apps

Fitbit devices can track your activity and sleep, but Fitbit Premium unlocks additional options at the end of the spectrum that feel a little like supercharging your fitness tracker. Of course, it’s a little grating that your fitness tracker’s capabilities are locked behind an additional paywall – but Fitbit devices aren’t usually too expensive, and Premium does offer you a lot for your money here. 

The majority of Fitbit Premium’s additional features fold into the big feature that sets it apart from the competition – the Daily Readiness Score. Taking into account your exercise history, sleep pattern, and much more, the score tells you how advisable activity is. Garmin offers something similar with its Training Readiness score metric, but Google, Apple, and Samsung are lacking in specific recovery metrics. 

Fitbit Premium users can also expect a host of curated workouts from Fitbit’s own trainers as well as household names (well, at least in the fitness industry) such as Les Mills or Aaptiv. These can be focused on set muscle groups for the gym or resistance-based home workouts, cardio-focused HIIT sessions, or training plans for specific goals like Couch to 5K. Other content includes guided meditations, soundscapes, and sleep stories from popular apps like Calm and Breethe, making Fitbit Premium a bit of a roundup of other wellness apps’ best features. 

Fitbit Premium can offer a series of challenges across all aspects, even challenging you to grab more sleep or race against friends through asynchronous contests. However, it’s important to know the community Challenges feature is being removed in an upcoming redesign of the app, so don’t expect this social element to stick around. You will still be able to see some of your Fitbit friends’ progress and workouts completed in the ‘You’ tab, but Groups and Challenges are out, as are Adventures. 

While Fitbit’s basic sleep tracking functionality will let users know how long they slept, Fitbit Premium adds sleep stages and guided bedtime routines to help maximize your rest at night.

  •  Features score: 5/5 

Fitbit Premium: Performance

Fitbit Premium screenshot

(Image credit: Lloyd Coombes / Fitbit)
  • Can run on any OS
  • Imports into both Google and Apple Health apps
  • Good quality information

A lot of the performance aspect of Fitbits will really depend on which Fitbit device you’re using, if at all. However, if you’re using a GPS-enabled device such as the Fitbit Charge 5 or Google Pixel Watch, your runs and cycling workouts can access more sophisticated route and speed data in line with other apps such as Garmin Connect, although not quite in as much detail as its top-end best running watch versions. 

In our Fitbit Charge 5 review, sleep tracking – the measurement of light, deep and REM sleep – was comparable to our top sleep tracker, the Oura Ring Generation 3, and of course, sleep feeds into your Daily Readiness score without you having to do any extra work in-app. 

Skin temperature variation, heart rate variability, blood oxygen saturation, breathing rate and more are available to most newer Fitbit device users and fed back to you via the health Metrics dashboard, and automatically incorporated into your Readiness score. The fact that it’s all done for you and the data is presented in friendly graphs and round numbers is what makes Fitbit Premium so appealing to fitness beginners. 

It’s useful to compare Fitbit Premium’s performance to another of its closest rivals, Apple Fitness Plus. In many ways, Apple Fitness Plus is the most analogous comparison point to Fitbit Premium - albeit Apple’s is more expensive and the Apple Watch is very dependent on an iPhone, making it essentially exclusive to Apple users.

That gives Fitbit Premium an advantage since it’s platform agnostic, but with Apple’s ownership of the hardware and software stack, Fitbit can only ever offer a third-party app. However, Fitbit’s information can feed directly into either Apple or Google health apps, and if you’re using a Pixel Watch, Fitbit comes as standard. 

  • Performance score: 4/5 

Fitbit Premium: Scorecard

Fitbit Premium: Should I buy?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also Consider

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review – slimmed down, brightened up
2:00 pm | July 26, 2023

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

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: One-minute preview

While it was Motorola that popularized the clamshell form factor when it appeared back in the mid-1990s, in the smartphone era it's been Samsung that has steered the ship with regard to what a clamshell foldable smartphone looks like and is capable of.

In the three short years in which the Galaxy Z Flip line has cemented its place among the best foldables, we've seen the rapid evolution of both the form factor itself and Samsung's specific approach, with this year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 offering some overdue refinements to combat fresh-faced competition in a race where Samsung once ran unopposed.

Looking at the evolution of its foldable lines up to this point you certainly couldn't call the company complacent, but the main upgrades that the Z Flip 5 brings to the table give us the impression that, for the first time, Samsung is playing catch-up to newcomers to the foldable space such as Oppo and the aforementioned Motorola. But caught up it has.

The Z Flip 5 – like the Galaxy Z Fold 5 which launched alongside it at July's Samsung Unpacked event – offers one important and overdue upgrade over its folding forebears: when you close the phone its two halves finally fold perfectly flat against each other, with no gap. Despite the near-wizardry that phones with folding displays such as these are seemingly imbued with, in order for past Flips and Folds to bend in two, Samsung has always had to make an allowance for the radius of the bend placed on each device's main screen, and that has resulted in a wedge-shaped profile with a visible gap through the middle of their folded forms.

Now, both the Flip 5 and Fold 5 echo the numerous rivals that already boast such a silhouette, making them markedly thinner without compromising on what still remains a rarity in the foldable space – IPX8-certified water resistance.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 side

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 closed

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 front

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 back angled

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 back

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (left), Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Beyond its new slimmed-down profile, the Flip 5 arguably has a bigger upgrade to shout about than its larger folding sibling, thanks to a significantly larger outer screen that now dominates the exterior of the phone. A bigger display on the outside allows for more functionality without having to open to phone up, meaning email triage, quick-reply messaging and checking your notifications without diving into the full-screen apps is more accessible than it ever was on the stamp-sized outer screen of the Flip 5's predecessor.

There's still a dual 12MP camera setup on the outside, as with last year's Flip; however, the bigger external cover display also makes for a far more visible viewfinder, meaning that framing shots when you've set the Flip 5 down on a flat surface to capture photos with friends is easier than ever.

The last major upgrade to speak of has to be the chipset, with the same exclusively-tuned Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy that Samsung and Qualcomm collaborated on for the Galaxy S23 series which launched at the start of the year also making an appearance here (it also powers the new Fold 5 and Galaxy Tab S9 series).

Also like the S23 line – namely the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra – there's no longer a 128GB storage SKU to speak of. Instead, you have the choice of 256GB of 512GB of internal space, with the price starting at £10 less than you would have paid for the equivalent storage on last year's Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 in the UK, and Australian customers paying the same. Meanwhile US customers pay the same as they would have for a 128GB Flip 4 ($999.99), making the phone an even better deal Stateside.

With the key upgrades out of the way, let's dive into details of Samsung's most sophisticated Z Flip yet.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on partial open angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Pre-orders from July 26, on sale August 11
  • Available from $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649

In an impressive display of self-confidence, Samsung actually let fans register their interest for pre-orders before the Flip 5 had even been announced, pairing the experience with the promise of pre-order bonuses which vary by region.

In the US, buyers can expect $50 of Samsung Credit on their pre-order, and save up to $540 when they bundle a Z Flip 5 (or Fold 5) with a Galaxy Tab S9 series and / or a Galaxy Watch 6. In the UK those who order multiple new products launched at the July Unpacked event can stack a similar credit deal – meaning savings of up to £150 – along with a free upgrade to the 512GB Flip at no extra cost. In Australia, buyers who pre-ordered get AU$100 off their purchase or can instead grab a 10,000mAh battery pack, worth AU$59.

Pre-orders themselves kicked off during Unpacked, on July 26, with the Z Flip 5 on sale from August 11.

As you'll see from the table above, US customers get the best deal, being asked to pay no more than they would have last year for a 128GB Z Flip 4, UK customers pay £10 less than they would have for an equivalent 256GB Flip 4 (making the double storage pre-order bonus all the more worthwhile) and pricing remains unchanged relative to storage between generations in Australia.

Check out our rundown of the best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 deals for the latest offers on this next-gen foldable and its launch partner.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on front straight table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As with the last Z Flip, Samsung lets you customize the finish on the Flip 5, not to mention there are some colorways that you won't find from other retailers.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Design

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on back angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back
  • IPX8-certified
  • 2mm thinner when closed, compared to Z Flip 4

There aren't all that many clamshell foldables currently on the market, but the Galaxy Z Flip series sports the most defined aesthetic makeup, with the Z Flip 3 and Z Flip 4 being the most like-minded of the run so far.

The Z Flip 5 has plenty of familial traits too, if you're familiar with the last two generations of Samsung's signature clamshell; with a polished color-matched (with most colorways, at least) Armor Aluminum frame, relatively tight radii at its corners and a flat back – save for the dual circular camera lenses jutting out of the top left corner.

With the display placement on the last two models, the cameras sat vertically (the ultra-wide underneath the main sensor) but in order to accommodate the new greatly-expanded cover display on the Flip 5, they now sit laterally. The phone doesn't have the same two tone finish of its predecessors either; with the cover display ensuring that the top half of the Z Flip 5's back is now a glossy black (when the screen's off), regardless of colorway.

Speaking of colors, Samsung has stuck with a similar pastel palette to previous generations, however, saturation looks to have been reduced across the board, meaning in some lighting, it's hard to tell what color the finish of the phone is at all – is that the new signature 'mint' finish, or just white?

Thankfully, there are a few bolder options to choose from, especially if you aren't sold on the four default hues – mint, lavender, graphite and cream. As with previous generations there are a number of exclusives to choose from: blue, green, gray and yellow, which I haven't seen in person but look to be bolder finishes by comparson.

Beyond new colors and a rebalance of visual contrast in the design (brought on by that new larger outer screen), the big hook of opting for the Z Flip 5 over its predecessors – from a design perspective, at least – is the revised water-drop hinge, which lets the phone finally fold flat when closed, resulting in a significantly slimmer profile than the Flip 4. 2mm might not sound like much but in the hands and, more importantly, in the pocket, you'd notice the difference if you could compare the two side by side.

Despite reworking the series' most complicated mechanism, Samsung has instilled the Flip 5 with the same reassuringly sturdy Flex Hinge feel that you'd find on the previous generations and, as before, you can position the phone between 75 degrees and 115 degrees to enable Flex Mode, which optimizes UI placement when placing the phone down on a flat surface and viewing it with the screen angled within that range; great for watching shows while you're busy in the kitchen or want to sit back hands-free while on a video call.

Samsung has also managed to retain the phone's IPX8-certified water resistance – a standout durability feature that most rivals can't rise to meet the Z Flip 5 on. There's also talk of improved dust resistance, although Samsung hasn't confirmed this in an official capacity, meaning durability on paper is similar to the Flip 4, albeit with the guarantee of newer Gorilla Glass Victus 2 – as introduced on the Galaxy S23 series.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Display

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.7-inch Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) AMOLED main display w/ adaptive 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate
  • 3.4-inch 720 x 748 60Hz AMOLED cover display
  • Almost 80% larger cover display than Flip 4

Compared to prominent rival Motorola, Samsung has proved consistently reluctant to expand the size of the cover display on its recent clamshells between generations, plateauing at 1.9-inches for the two entries prior to the Flip 5.

This year, however, it's finally decided to make the jump and cover the majority of the upper half of the phone's back with pixels; a screen size increase of almost 80 percent. This means functionality of 'Flex Window' – as Samsung calls it – has been greatly expanded, with familiar experiences like a variety of clocks, a calendar and timers on all hand, as well as third-party support (for things like Spotify and Google Stocks) that's likely to keep growing beyond the 13 available at launch, now the phone is available. The added size also allows for a full QWERTY keyboard typing experience, so you're no longer relegated to quick replies-only when responding to messages without opening the phone up.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display weather

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display alarm

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display apps menu

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display calendar

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld 21:9

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display clock handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display Netflix

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display Samsung Health

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display stocks

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on cover display timer

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on display crease

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on side open

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on vs Flip 4 side

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The Samsung Labs menu in the phone's settings also lets you enable unsupported apps to be run on the Flex Window, bringing functionality more in-line with what the last two generations of Motorola Razr have been capable of.

Speaking of the Razr, or more specifically the recent Motorola Razr Plus 2023/Razr 40 Ultra, while both have gone big on their cover displays this year, Motorola's iteration looks to be ahead of the curve, wrapping pixels all the way around its dual camera system, while the Flip 5's Flex Window skirts around the cameras, leaving a little more bezel; not that you'd know from the press images, where the darkest areas of the wallpaper conceal the cover screen's true boundary, in the same way Apple tried to hide the notch on the iPhone Xs' press images when it first launched.

It's a small aesthetic quirk that helps differentiate these two top-tier clamshell foldables but when we're talking about phones where design is one of their key selling points, it feels like a distinction worth highlighting.

While there's a lot to talk about with the cover display, the Flip 5's main screen is comparatively more pedestrian, at least in the sense that it's seemingly unchanged from the main screen on the last Z Flip: a 6.7-inch Full HD+ (2640 x 1080) 'Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity Flex Display' (Samsung's marketing team was clearly left unsupervised with that one), with an adaptive refresh rate that can scale from a silky-smooth 120Hz, all the way down to 1Hz, for optimum power consumption.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Software

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on front angled handheld

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Runs Android 13 on top of One UI 5.1.1 out the box
  • 4 years OS updates + 5 years security updates

If you're coming from an existing Samsung phone, One UI 5.1.1 (atop Android 13) on the Flip 5 should feel wholly familiar, with both Google Play and the Galaxy Store at your disposal, and in fact a number of Google and Samsung apps sitting side by side (most of the latter can be uninstalled or hidden if they're duplicates you don't intend on using).

One UI has a distinct aesthetic that differs from more stock builds of Android, from its use and placement of color to the squircle icons throughout your home screens and app drawer. Of course, Samsung wants to give users a little added value beyond a new coat of paint and its own app store, so you'll also find features like Edge Panels – granting access to favourite apps or contacts, and even app pairs, so you can jump into split-screen multitasking (particularly enjoyable on the Flip 5's tall display) with a single tap.

The Flip being the Flip, there's also Flex Mode to consider, which lets you place the phone down on a flat surface partially open (between 75 degrees and 115 degrees) at which point supported apps will shift to the upper half of the display, so they're more easily viewable, while controls will appear on the lower half. If you're streaming a show, for example, you'll be able to play/pause, scrub, skip forward or back in time and change the volume, all without obstructing what's on-screen. There's even a one-touch screenshot button and you can turn it into a computing-style trackpad, complete with mouse cursor.

One aspect of the software experience that Samsung has instilled within its top-tier phones and even its mid-range entries is practically unmatched long-term software support (particularly in the Android camp). This means the Z Flip 5 will benefit from four years of OS updates post launch and an additional year of security updates; that's more than practically all of the other best Android phones and means better long-term value and usability for buyers.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on closed angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 12MP primary and ultra-wide rear cameras
  • 10MP hole-punch selfie camera
  • New main lens with reduced lens flare
  • New FlexCam third-party optimizations

It would appear that the cameras at play on the Z Flip 5 ape those of its predecessor exactly; with a 12MP primary sensor sporting 1.8μm pixels, an f/1.8 aperture and OIS (optical image stabilization), accompanied by a 12MP ultra-wide snapper with 1.12μm pixels, an f/2.2 aperture and a 123-degree field of view. The front-facing 10MP hole-punch selfie snapper reads the same as well, with 1.12μm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture, so are there any upgrades to consider here? Some but only minor.

Samsung says the lens on the main 12MP sensor is new and less-prone to lens flare that would otherwise wash-out and reduce contrast in shots, with most of generational improvements to image quality coming straight from the new silicon at the phone's heart, provided by Qualcomm.

Improved multi-frame processing with the chipmakers AI Object Aware Engine, should do a better job of processing depth and detail in images, digitally-zoomed shoots shout retain more detail too, while skin tones and low light performance are also touted as areas of focus and improvement all of which will likely be hard to judge without side-by-side testing with the Flip 4 but sound great, in theory.

FlexCam is the Flip 5's party piece when it comes to photography and that larger cover display makes capturing content even easier. Samsung has worked to improve third-party camera experiences when using FlexCam, so while your Flip 5 is set down on a flat surface ready to record the action, you can capture directly to the likes of YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels and TikTok.

As with previous generations, you don't need to open the Flip 5 up to grab high-quality selfies using the phone's main camera either, with the ability to switch between the main and ultra-wide, shoot video and choose between a natural and a warm tone finish on your shots – a pleasing level of versatility that's always accessible, it would seem.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Performance

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hands on A stand angled table

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
  • No 128GB model, only 256GB or 512GB this year (UFS 4.0)

As with the Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra this year, Samsung has bid farewell to the base 128GB storage model found on the last few generations of Z Flip, leaving you with just 256GB and 512GB to choose from. As the pricing hasn't really changed in markets like the UK and Australia, this means the barrier to entry for owning a Z Flip is higher than before, even if you're getting at least double the storage out the gate.

Unlike the Z Fold 5, which gets 12GB of RAM – likely to support its focus on productivity and multitasking – the Flip 5 comes with 8GB RAM, regardless of storage configuration. In an effort to raise performance across the board, though, the phone boasts the latest LPDDR5X RAM, UFS 4.0 storage and the same tailor-made Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset first seen in the S23 series that collectively promise a one-two punch of faster performance and greater power efficiency, which is great for a phone which still sports a relatively small battery.

Beyond raw power, which the Flip 5 looks to have plenty of, the 8 Gen 2 SoC is also the main driving force behind the phone's camera improvements and battery life promises, so it'll be interesting to see just how much of a different it makes compared to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that powered its predecessor.

Hands-on Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review: Battery life

  • 3,700mAh battery (same as Flip 4)
  • 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, 4.5W reverse wireless charging

Like the Flip 5's main display and camera sensors, the battery tech on offer seems unchanged from that found in the Galaxy Z Flip 4; a 3,700mAh cell that supports up to 25W fast wired charging.

While that's disappointing at first blush, concessions have to be made for the fact that Samsung has managed to make its latest clamshell foldable 2mm thinner, without affecting battery capacity – one of the first things that's often affected when the dimensions of a device change between generations.

This, paired to the more efficient chipset, RAM and storage should, in theory, result in better longevity compared to the Flip 4, which although it managed to last all day, delivered a sub-par 4 hours of screen-on time per charge in our tests.

Foldables seem far more likely to be experience greater variance in usage and power consumption compared to your conventional candy bar smartphone, primarily because of their dual-screen setup. On the one-hand the outer display is larger than it's ever been for a Z Flip, however, in the past that would have led to most users to resort to the larger primary display to carry out important actions not possible from the tiny cover screen. With the Z Flip 5, however, with so much more screen real-estate and functionality on offer from its cover screen, will users find fewer reasons to open up the phone and use the main, presumably more power-hungry display We'll have to test this theory out for ourselves come the full review.

First tested July 2023

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3 Business Laptop Review
1:30 pm | July 18, 2023

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

The Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga Generation 3 (G3) is a 14-inch 2-in-1 business laptop with a reasonable price. It sadly only has a FHD display (1920 x 1080), but for most business users, that's completely okay. This 2-in-1 laptop still packs a punch for having a sub-$900 price tag.

The machine's dual set-up means it can transform into whatever kind of device the situation warrants. I can easily annotate documents or draw diagrams just by turning the screen into tablet-view or place the keyboard underneath the screen to create a more stable surface. 

Additionally, if I require a conventional laptop, it can function as a standard one. Those are only some ways I can use this laptop. There are even more that are just as beneficial for my use in the professional world, showing just how great this laptop can be for most business use.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Unboxing and First Impressions

Unboxing this laptop was nothing too out of the ordinary. I pulled the computer out of the branded box, found a charger in the box, and could boot up, sign in, install updates, and get right to work. It took no time to get to using this laptop because there's nothing complicated about it. It just works.

I love the clean metallic finish of the exterior casing. It makes this laptop feel more premium than the pricetag deems. The ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3 is also reasonably slim. Though not quite an ultrabook, it's easy to carry around from meeting to meeting or office to office.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

The keyboard is also well thought out. Some smaller laptops have awkwardly spaced keys on the keyboard, which slows down the overall typing experience. Lenovo, however, chose to keep these spaced well with a great tactile response when typing.

The ports on this laptop are also something that I am pleased to see. Not just because of what is offered but where the ports are located. Granted, I wish that one of the charging options was on the right-hand side, but that's more a petty wish than an expectation or con against Lenovo.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Design and Build Quality


Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.67in 
Weight: 3.3lb
Screen Size: 14in
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Ports: 1x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DP/PD), 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x microSD card reader, 1x headphone / mic combo
OS: Windows 11 Pro

We have seen quite a few laptops and monitors these days adopt a 16:10 aspect ratio, granting a bit more vertical space than standard 16:9. For the ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3, Lenovo chose to keep the 16:9 aspect ratio with Full HD graphics, so not 4K. 

While the official resolution is not anything to jump for joy about, one nice thing is that the monitor still looks good while using it. Most business or professional users do not need expensive 4K monitors, let alone 5K and 8K monitors, since most people don't need a perfectly color-accurate display.

Lenovo chose to keep its fingerprint scanner for unlocking the device on the power button, which is not uncommon. What is unusual is that the power button for the Lenovo ThinkBook is still on the side. I don't mind it. Once I know it's there, I don't mind reaching around to the side to unlock my device. Some people may not like the placement, but it's a moot point for me.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

The last thing I will mention on design is that I am happy to see Lenovo built the stylus into the laptop. The little slot the stylus goes into on the right-hand side is inconspicuous enough that you may miss it if you are not looking for it. But at the same time, it's readily available whenever needed.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

In Use

During my time using this 2-in-1 laptop as my daily driver, I found myself genuinely enjoying it. The laptop is easy to carry around, it's easy to throw into a bag, it's easy to plug into a laptop docking station, and it's easy to write on as a tablet. All around, this laptop just works. It doesn't have any loud bells and whistles like other laptops I test. This one is simple, works, and works well at that.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Along those same lines of not having any flagship feature, this laptop also does not boast enormous processing power, but I had no issues while working on it. 

I ran many, many tabs on Google Chrome, watched some YouTube while working, listened to Spotify, responded to emails, wrote a few reviews. I then edited some webpage content, responded to some Slack messages, performed light design work in Adobe Express, and updated some Google Sheets. Your day might look similar. And for the price, this laptop is excellent.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga G3

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)

Final Verdict

If you are looking for the latest and greatest, other options have more flashy features. If you want a laptop with the newest flagship addition, this is not for you. But, if you are looking for a computer for a great price that you know will work, with no frills, no secret codes to get in, or retina scanning to send an email, then this 2-in-1 laptop is perfect for you.

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