Tech Product Evaluator, Commerce Writer
48 articles published since March 01, 2022
About Steve Smith
Steve is a tech enthusiast and an avid gamer. He loves writing about, tinkering with, researching, and reviewing the latest technology. When not doing something tech related, he enjoys spending time with his family, running, and hiking.
The Google Pixel series has long been a fan favorite, and rightfully so, as each major Pixel device is regarded as one of the best Android phones on the market. Google redesigned the Pixel lineup with the Pixel 6, a design that incorporates a camera bar on the back. This design has now been carried through multiple generations and gives the Pixel series a unique look all to itself.
Android phones that are built to take a beating
It's no secret that inflation is real, and it's reflected in the steep prices of modern smartphones. With some of the best Android phones costing upwards of $1,500, it's more important than ever to protect your investment. Investing in a good phone case is a start, but it's also wise to choose a phone that's capable of withstanding falls and other accidents, especially when you're spending a significant amount of money.
A device worthy of the Fan Edition moniker
When Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 FE in 2020, it blended the best parts of its flagship devices in a more affordable package. While the device made some compromises to get to that $600 price point, it quickly became one of the best affordable Android phones on the market and a fan favorite. When Samsung launched its follow-up, the Galaxy S21 FE, it stumbled out of the gate with its $100 price increase and a delayed launch. This made it shockingly close in price to the superior Galaxy S22 and didn’t offer the same value proposition as its predecessor.
Two great devices, but they are truly extensions of what's in your pocket
The Android space is filled with various great smartwatches, including Google's Pixel Watch. Last year was Google's' first attempt at creating a smartwatch, and they came out swinging for the fences. While they didn't quite knock it out of the park first time, the company succeeded in creating one of the best Android smartwatches on the market. For its second iteration of the Pixel Watch, Google looked to retain the best parts of its first attempt while improving on its shortcomings. While it's still early, the Pixel Watch 2 looks like it's going to be another hit for the company.
Moving on to faster pastures
When Samsung launched the Galaxy 21 Ultra a few years ago, it instantly became one of the best phones you could get. It was so good, that it negated the need to upgrade to the S22 Ultra a year later. It’s not that the S22 Ultra wasn’t an improvement over its predecessor, it's just that Samsung packs so much into its Ultra devices that a year's time isn't enough to make a substantial leap forward. Now that the S21 Ultra is two years older, and Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it's time to see how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison. While these two devices are more similar than they are not, the Galaxy S23 Ultra brings some new enhancements to the table.
You need protection for when your Flip 5 flops
In a year of fairly underwhelming upgrades and announcements, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 stands out by demonstrating some genuine progress. Finally outshining its phablet sibling, the Z Flip 5 has a much improved, much larger cover screen and shows welcome refinement in fold-flat design.
The Galaxy XCover6 Pro is durable but not invincible
If you are looking for something different and more durable than the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, then the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro may be what you are looking for. This phone is strong enough to pass the rigorous MIL-STD-810H testing and can withstand whatever you throw at it. The Galaxy XCover6 Pro is hands down one of the best rugged Android phones on the market.
Effortlessly transform your Chromebook into a desktop setup with a steadfast dock
Modern laptops, including the best Chromebooks on the market, are highly capable machines for both work and play. While Chromebooks are workhorses, sometimes you may find yourself needing additional ports and connectivity options to truly harness their full potential.
Before you buy one, make sure your color choice reflects your style
Now that we've had plenty of time with the Samsung Galaxy S23+, we're confident that it's one of the best Android phones of the year. If you set your sights on the Galaxy S23+ for its larger screen and increased battery life, then all there is left to do is explore the colorways and pick the one that is going to reflect your own personal style.
Keep your OnePlus 11 protected from your slippery fingers
The OnePlus 11 has been built to match up directly against some of the best Android phones you can buy today. It's a powerhouse smartphone, with a solid, Hasselblad-powered triple-camera system, good battery life, and a stunning AMOLED display. That’s before even considering the inclusion of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.
Keep your OnePlus 11's display looking great for the long haul
The high-performing but reasonably priced OnePlus 11 takes the company back to its enthusiast-brand roots and packs flagship-level hardware, thanks to the superpowered Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. It also features a gorgeous design with a smooth glass back and a Hasselblad-tuned camera that stands out and looks the part. Then there's its excellent battery life, which only adds to its case as one of the best Android phones of the year — it's the phone to buy for anybody who was a fan of OnePlus in its heyday.
Asus has a lot of Chromebooks, and we've handpicked the best of the best
Asus makes some of the most well-rounded laptops on the market at just about every price point. Whether you need one of the best Chromebooks on the market or something more budget-friendly, Asus surely has a laptop to suit your needs.
Does the Pixel 8 do enough to justify an upgrade?
The Google Pixel series has offered some of the best Android smartphones on the market. Each year, Google releases a new Pixel device and since the launch of the Pixel 6, has continued to refine the Pixel’s design and provide a modest bump to the specs sheet. This continued refinement means each year you are going to get a better phone than the previous year, but it may not be enough to sway you to an annual upgrade.
Need a good budget phone? Here are your best options from Motorola.
Motorola has been making cellular phones since they were big bulky affairs that needed to be installed in cars or briefcases. So naturally, it was also one of the first companies to eagerly embrace the new era of mainstream smartphones in the late 2000s. Motorola's 2009 release of the Droid was instrumental in turning Android into the dominant force it is today, and that's grown into a wide range of devices covering every conceivable price range and need.
Protect your investment
Sporting a few upgrades from its predecessor, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra was always bound to be a hit. Its 14.6-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU, and impressive battery life helped land the Tab S9 Ultra as the premium pick for the best Android tablets breakdown. And if you’ll be using this premium product, you'll want to protect it as much as possible. For that, there are the best Tab S9 Ultra-compatible cases.
Small displays, but packed with features and health sensors
Fitbit has long been one of the top companies in the fitness tracking industry. They make some of the best fitness trackers available today and it’s not uncommon to find multiple Fitbit products competing against each other at similar price points.
Apple and Samsung go head-to-head
Say what you want about Apple, but they are still the benchmark that manufacturers are pitted against each year. This year, that is no different with the recent announcement of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro. With powerful performance, great cameras, and a ton of versatility, the iPhone 15 Pro is arguably the most well-rounded device that Apple has come up with so far.
Garmin is well known in the smartwatch industry and they particularly excel in designing fitness and health-based watches. Garmin has fantastic running watches, watches for endurance athletes, and they even have more rugged watches to keep up with the most dangerous of sports.
Keep that beautiful OLED screen unblemished
Let's address the elephant in the room: The Google Pixel 7 Pro can be a bit of a pain, at least in terms of protecting its (admittedly lovely) FHD+ display. Of the current Pixel lineup, it's the only model with a curved screen, which can be difficult to perfectly replicate for third-party manufacturers attempting to crank out screen protectors. There's also the fingerprint reader issue — since it lives on the curved display, it can be very sensitive to interference from any additional material covering the screen.
Is it time to upgrade?
Going from a time of near-constant technological leaps, where each year brought groundbreaking advancements, to an era of thoughtful, incremental updates, some would argue that the rapid pace of smartphone innovation might have eased in recent years. So, it's fair to ask: Can a two-year-old phone still cut it in 2023?