Al Dubai luxury
  • Please enable News ticker from the theme option Panel to display Post

A couple of great new midrange phones led the pack last month — one long-anticipated and one somewhat unusual — but we didn’t see any flagship releases or major Android milestones. Instead, we’ve been hard at work digging into some of the most interesting new products in other categories, including tablets, smart home gadgets, speakers, and input devices.

It was also an opportunity to examine some slightly older releases, confirming they’re worthy of the hype. All in all, there’s an impressive crop of advanced consumer electronics out there right now, with novel and useful offerings for nearly any budget.

1 Google Pixel 8a

The Pixel 8a in a hand held in front of a window.

While it’s a pretty well-known quantity at this point, the Pixel 8a lived up to expectations. It delivers a near-flagship experience at even less than the already reasonably priced Pixel 8. Its relatively minor compromises make a lot of sense, too, like the matte plastic back that some users will like more than the more expensive model’s glass. Of course, it also comes with the longest software support lifespan and the best camera implementation of any model near its $500 price.

Read our review

Google Pixel 8a review: A great phone that I’m not sure you should buy

Google’s hardware lineup is in a tricky spot, and the Pixel 8a only makes things more confusing

Google also jumped to using one of its Actua-branded displays, squashing the bigger issue of the Pixel 7a’s less-than-great screen. With similar hardware and software performance as its more costly siblings, it’ll satisfy many needs for less, even if it’s not exactly groundbreaking. When you consider the chance it’ll see a discount or two later this year, it’s hard to argue against it as one of the best midrange phones we’ve seen.

google pixel 8a aloe, front and back views

2 Nubia Flip 5G

Nubia Flip 5G half folded home screen showing fold and plastic

Sometimes new devices don’t exactly push the envelope as much as they make the hottest trends available to a wider range of consumers, which is where Nubia’s new midrange foldable comes in. It’s not just neat because it’s a reasonably priced folding phone, but because it looks and feels much like a premium device. Longtime Android Police expert Matthew Sholtz went so far as to liken it to “fancy jewelry.”

Inside, it sports relatively pedestrian hardware compared to a flagship but doesn’t disappoint in real-world use. The Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 system-on-a-chip is a step down from Qualcomm’s industry-leading SoC lineup, but we hardly noticed, given its great handling of the various resource-intensive games. And even though it’s not tailored specifically to the US market, T-Mobile connectivity was seamless.

Read our review

Nubia Flip 5G review: Folding on a budget

And loving it!

Its hinge, while not ergonomically perfect, is as durable and protected as they come. The phone’s also set apart by its outer display, which looks so much like a repurposed smartwatch face that it probably is. And to say phones like this are rare in the $500 range is an understatement. The Nubia Flip marks the industry’s first foray into midrange foldables, and we’re here for it.

nubia flip 5g showing fron face of phpne folded

3 Kobo Libra Colour

Kobo Libra Colour open to cover of 'River Sing Me Home' propped up on wooden bench

What’s in a name, after all? Kobo’s latest e-reader stands out from the many great e-readers thanks to its 4,096-color display, but the rest of this lithe slate’s so well-balanced that it almost makes that innovation an afterthought. It’s not designed to compete with heavy hitters like the Onyx Boox Note Air 3C but instead serves as a dedicated platform for engaging in your favorite digital print media.

On top of the ability to enjoy illustrations, maps, covers, and all the other colorful material that supplements a good read, the Libra Colour hits the sweet spot in terms of size, software, and functionality. It’s thin, light, reasonably tough, and supports any MPP 2.0-compatible stylus — which is great because the OEM Kobo Stylus 2 is pretty expensive.

Read our review

Kobo Libra Colour review: A new e-reader era in full bloom

Color is a cool feature, even if all you do is highlight text

Running a proprietary, Linux-based operating system, the Libra Colour doesn’t support Android apps or side-loading. But it does support the most popular e-book formats, and the interface is solid, despite a few minor quirks. Lastly, at just $220 MSRP, it’s the best deal yet on a color E Ink tablet.

Kobo Libra Colour in black on white background

Kobo Libra Colour

$220 $250 Save $30

4 Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

Person arming security system with Ecobee Premium smart thermostat

While many of our favorite smart home devices are some combination of practical, convenient, and fun, few make as much sense as a smart thermostat. The Ecobee Premium offers similar scheduling, monitoring, and remote access functions to its various competitors, but goes a couple of steps further.

Unlike some of the top smart thermostats, it can learn from household activity and proactively get the gears turning, ensuring, for example, that your space is at the ideal temperature when the first person arrives home from their typical school or work schedule. The thermostat’s remote occupancy and temperature sensors are some of the best in the business, and it boasts an air quality monitor, a voice assistant mic, and even a surprisingly good-sounding speaker.

Read our review

Ecobee Premium review: The valedictorian of smart thermostats

It’s actually more of a thermo-speaker-security-cam-stat, if we’re being honest

The Ecobee Premium’s only real drawback is the price. But you can rest assured you’re getting excellent software, reliable hardware, a versatile feature set, and premium build quality. Few others come close.

Ecobee Premium smart thermostat

Ecobee Premium Smart Thermostat

$215 $250 Save $35

5 G-Shock Move DWH5600

G-Shock Move DWH5600 displaying health tracking information

Somewhere along the line, smartwatches have evolved into similar, bland, and visually featureless designs, not unlike the stark slabs of Apple and Samsung phones. Enter Casio, which has long made timepieces with an eye on the practical, rather than the flashy.

The G-Shock Move DWH5600 embodies that philosophy, as a direct upgrade to the classic G-Shock 5600, but with the functionality enabled by high-powered processing and wireless connectivity. As such, it boasts impeccable build quality, nearly unrivaled durability, and high-contrast readability the line is known for.

Read our review

G-Shock Move DWH5600 review: A smart watch, not a smartwatch

This hybrid G-Shock doesn’t sacrifice heritage for functionality

It’s not as customizable or comprehensive as many great smartwatches with wide-spanning OLED displays, but it does the most important things users want from a smartwatch. Fitness tracking, health monitoring, and notification and message management — they are all there, albeit behind a few more button presses than with other smartwatches. The only major knock is the subpar phone app, but hopefully, Casio can address that.

Product render of the Casio G-Shock Move DWH5600

6 Dreametech Robotic Mower A1

Rear view of the Dreametech Robotic Mower A1 on grass

Now here’s what AI should be doing for us: chores. Designing a reliable, effective robot mower is a big task, and Dreametech has knocked it out of the park with one of its best smart devices yet. For starters, it forgoes the wires and antennas most competitors rely on, instead leveraging wide-angle LiDAR, a lot like the best robot vacuums.

It’s also just about as convenient as a robot vacuum in that it requires minimal oversight once configured. Scheduling works consistently, obstacle avoidance works well (if a bit too conservatively), and the app is relatively straightforward.

Read our review

Dreametech Robotic Mower A1 review: Revolutionizing lawn care

Wire-free installation, hassle-free mowing

There are a couple of minor software hiccups that could, ideally, be corrected in the future, but the biggest hardship is the need to manually drive it along your lawn’s entire perimeter during the initial setup. But once that’s done, you’re mostly golden, and this is one of the best smart lawnmowers to date — if you can stomach the price.


Dreametech Robotic Mower A1

7 Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus

Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus turned on with detachable strap attached and placed on grass

Far from the average Bluetooth pill speaker, Soundcore’s Boom 2 Plus is a full-on boombox with all the bass that moniker entails. A dependable carrying strap, easy-to-hold handle, and floating, IPX7-rated design make it great for nearly any outdoor setting.

The speaker has a two-way stereo driver setup of 4.5-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters, giving it all the oomph needed to fill a backyard or bother every stranger on the beach (please don’t do that). They all combine to the tune of 140W — in real-world terms, it gets really loud, easily enough to alert neighbors to your party.

Read our review

Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus review: Excellent Bluetooth speaker for the great outdoors

Booming audio and outdoor durability make this Soundcore speaker a delight

For audio accessories, consistent connections and battery life are key, and the Boom 2 Plus excels at both. It’s dead simple to use, doesn’t drop the signal unexpectedly, and can connect with additional units for more encompassing audio. There’s even a customizable light show on the side-mounted passive radiators. Sure, it’s slightly heavy and expensive, but it’s the complete package.

Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus Black Front Left LED On with White Background

Anker Soundcore Boom 2 Plus

8 Acer Chromebook Plus 514

Acer Chromebook Plus 514 sitting on a desk with Pusheen

One of the latest models to get Google’s Chromebook Plus certification, the Acer 514 is driven by an octa-core CPU with way more power than normally required for Chrome OS, especially considering the 514’s 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.

The real inspiration for this high-powered yet midrange clamshell, though, is everybody’s favorite buzzword — AI. The benefits include a one-year subscription to the 2TB Google One cloud storage and Gemini Advanced AI model (a $100+ value on its own), which enables a host of tools that are fully integrated across the increasingly refined lightweight operating system.

Read our review

Acer Chromebook Plus 514 review: Enhanced with AI

Acer’s trademark Plus power meets AI, but how much value does it add?

If Chromebooks’ typically lower versatility compared to laptops has ever put you off, now’s the time to reconsider. The Acer 514 is an extremely capable device that will remain effortlessly functional for years. It’s not perfect, and with keyboard flex and shoddy touchpad performance like the 514’s is not entirely unheard of on budget-friendly Acer devices. But with the right deal (and we highly recommend the $250, 512GB model from Costco until the end of June), the Acer Chromebook Plus 514 could redefine how you look at these ultra-efficient machines.

Acer Chromebook Plus 514 CB514-4H_angles 2-1

Acer Chromebook Plus 514

$250 $350 Save $100

What’s in store for June

There aren’t any flagship phones scheduled for release this month, but we are testing a sizable handful of great electronics now. Stay tuned, and you’ll get a peek at some excellent smart lighting, high-fidelity speakers, powerful tablets, and even — gasp — a truly compact smartphone. And, even though this is Android Police, we’ll have some analysis of Apple’s WWDC event and its impacts, implications, and inevitable host of iOS features lifted from Android.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

100% secure your website.