It might look like a Kindle, but the missing store holds it back
The Onyx Boox Page reminds me of the Atari Jaguar video game console from the 90s. It featured great hardware and a lot of cool capabilities, but without great games to play — it was a tough sell.
The size we want, the phone we deserve
Between the practicality of the Galaxy S23+ and the majesty of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it’s hard for the Samsung Galaxy S23 to escape their shadows. But the Galaxy S23 fills a couple of important niches in the smartphone market.
We abolished the bulky bezels, but at what cost?
This was the Chromebook I was most excited about heading into 2023, but I'm throwing in the towel after a month and a half. This compact Chromebook is the first in a new generation, the first to break a decade of tradition and escape the shackles of the 11.6-inch, 1360 x 768-pixel panel that I've seen literally since my first rubberized education Chromebook back in 2015. Being a trailblazer is attention-grabbing, but as we know, the first try is not always ready for primetime.
Great audio + great ANC + great battery life = great earbuds
Sony's high-end earbuds have been widely regarded as the best in the business for years. Its newest, the WF-1000XM5, live up to the legacy, building on the strengths of the previous-gen XM4 — excellent audio quality, top-notch ANC, and marathon battery life — with improvements like larger drivers that can push more bass and a smaller, more comfortable design. At a super-premium price point of $300, there's not much room for error. Thankfully, once again Sony stuck the landing: based on my time with them, the WF-1000XM5 are the best earbuds you can buy today.
One of the best E Ink tablets for writing, marred only by its lacking e-reader functionality
When the original reMarkable paper tablet launched in 2017, it wasn't received well thanks to a laggy experience plagued with loading problems. Fortunately, the company has proven that everyone deserves a second chance, with the reMarkable 2 paper tablet providing a stellar writing experience across the board, as well as robust battery life and a slick, comfortable design that will make it even harder to put down.
Not too small, not too expensive, the Tab S9+ is juuuuuust right
These days, you have a few choices when it comes to purchasing an Android tablet. But if you're looking for the cream of the crop, your options are drastically less. Samsung is a consistent front-runner when it comes to high-end Android tablets, offering some of the very best devices with the Tab S-series, all pushing top-of-the-line specs. But how much can a tablet be improved every 18 months? Well, to be honest, not all that much this year.
Google's first foldable fails to live up to its full potential
You have to give Google some credit. Despite being known for quickly throwing in the towel on projects that fail to garner a fan base quickly, it continues to pump out more hardware than ever before. What began in 2016 with the original Google Pixel — alongside some Chromebook hardware, rest in peace — has blossomed into an ever-growing lineup of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and now, foldables. The Pixel Fold has long been a dream for the company — it even canned an earlier iteration after deeming it unsatisfactory. That's not the type of thing most companies will admit, and for a brand that often struggles with first-gen products, it doubles as a big promise.
You could keep these headphones going for years — but would you want to?
Sustainability has become a seriously tired refrain in the world of big tech. It's ostensibly the reason why nothing comes bundled with a charger anymore, and why seemingly every high-profile gadget launch event now includes a self-congratulatory segment about how some components in the device are made partially from reclaimed ocean plastic or recycled aluminum. That's all well and good, but coming from behemoth corporations like Samsung or Apple, it can come across as greenwashing lip-service meant to preempt environmental criticism.
A bit on the pricey side for an entry-level tracker, but it's got all the goods to get you started
Fitbit has been with us since 2009, when it brought the world of fitness tracking to the general public for the reasonable price of $100. Since then (and particularly since the Apple Watch in 2015), the market for smartwatches and fitness trackers has exploded bringing a staggering diversity of choices to the public. Despite this abundance, Fitbit’s current $100 offering, the Inspire 3, is still one of the better fitness trackers you can buy today.
All the specs are here, but the lack of a store holds the experience back
When I use a product from Onyx, I feel like someone who chooses Donkey Kong in Mario Kart. He can’t accelerate to save his life, and his handling is garbage, but if you can overcome that, his top speed is absolutely glorious. It’s a niche playstyle. And, if you know what you’re getting into, it can be effective and a lot of fun.
Taking Synology's new super-affordable two-bay NAS for a spin
The Synology DiskStation DS223j is the company's answer for an affordable two-bay NAS in 2023. This enclosure replaces the DiskStation DS220j, which was a favorite of those seeking out their very first NAS purchase or needing somewhere to stash some files and safely store backups. Android Police has spent a week with this enclosure, testing out the CPU upgrades and seeing how it compares against its predecessor. Could this be the new best NAS for those on tighter budgets?
Unpolished software and subpar camera performance holds the Honor 90 back from being a true Pixel 7a rival
Honor is on a trajectory for growth. The company recently worked to significantly expand its business operation in Europe, aiming for market domination. While the company has some enticing flagship phones on offer, like its foldable Honor Magic Vs or the Honor Magic 5 Pro, I'm sure that the biggest portion of growth comes from more handsets at more competitive price points. Enter the Honor 90, the company's latest midrange flagship phone that's supposed to take on the Google Pixel 7a and co.
If you've never uttered the word "mids" in your life, the Studio Buds+ are for you
I’ve enjoyed watching the evolution of Beats over the last few years. After starting as gaudy bass goblins with questionable build quality, Beats has focused on refining its image, resulting in better-balanced products worth considering. A great example of this transition are the Beats Studio Buds released in 2021. The Studio Buds produce above-average sound quality and have solid battery life, making them a contender for our list of best earbuds.
A slightly larger cover screen makes all the difference in the world
If you've been hearing one refrain over and over from people who have been using Samsung's new fleet of foldables, tablets, and wearables — all introduced in late July at Galaxy Unpacked in Seoul — it's likely been one lamenting the lack of forward progress with this generation: too much the same. Having spent some time with much of the new hardware, I absolutely see where those feelings are coming from, but there's still one device here that can proudly wear a badge of progress, one that makes some very strong arguments towards upgrading (even from a recent model). That's because the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is easily the best hardware from Samsung this summer.
Premium listening without paying a high premium
Sony is no stranger to the wireless earbud category, and its flagship WF-1000XM line has topped our favorite earbuds roundups for years. Suffice it to say, Sony knows how to make fantastic earbuds. While the WF-C700N earbuds aren’t quite entry-level at $120, the cost-cutting calculus involved in designing great earbuds in this price range is nothing like it is with flagship ones.
Call it boring, but it’s still the best Android smartwatch, hands down
The tech industry’s 2023 can be sufficiently summed up in one word: iterative. Refining what’s already good, adding small tweaks, but no total overhauls or revolutionary changes — with the possible exception of the Moto Razr+. Samsung has been leading this charge, with the biggest product changes we’ve seen this year being a bigger Galaxy Z Flip 5 cover screen, and one small but so significant change to the Galaxy Watch 6 series. And no, it’s not the return of the fancy rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
This streaming device undeniably proves that affordable things also come in compact packages
When it comes to great streaming devices, the options available can be overwhelming. While they all offer the same basic features, if you’re looking for a high-quality 4K UHD option that is extremely budget-friendly, the new compact Onn Google TV 4K Streaming Box is worth considering.
A killer media machine, but you'll pay for the privilege
Samsung's hardware seems to have peaked recently: the company's phones, smartwatches, and tablets all get just a little better with each new release. The Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra is no exception. It's almost indistinguishable from the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra Samsung released in early 2022, with the same 14.6-inch AMOLED display, the same size and shape, the same quad speakers... you get the idea.
This smart drive could replace Google Drive backups on your PC
Synology is best known for its niche network storage devices that routinely make it to our list of favorite NAS enclosures made for both work and play. But it ventured into internal hard drives not too long ago to offer its customers a complete package in-house, and now, the company is expanding its drive offerings to portable external SSDs. The first device to join its roster is the Synology BeeDrive.
An important launch for Synology to retain its NAS crown.
The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is an important network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure, as it directly replaces the popular DS220+, which came out in 2019. The two-bay NAS has been recommended by us for not only running your own storage platform at home or in a small office but also for more intensive applications such as Plex Media Server. It's one of the best NAS that does it all for a reasonable price, which is why we were excited to see what Synology would bring to the table with this highly anticipated enclosure.