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The results

A tale of love and hate: The Google Pixel 4 XL story

David Imel / Android Authority

With a single exception, no one phone appeared more than twice in our list of daily drivers. That exception was the Google Pixel 4 XL. A whopping seven (!) members of the AA family use the larger Pixel 4 model as their primary phone. The wider Galaxy S10 series came close with a total of five, but apparently we just love those Pixels.

Or do we?

Of those seven Pixel 4 XL users (which includes me!), five gave it an overall rating of eight out of ten. This led to a respectable average score, but that’s far from the whole story.

Google’s biggest Pixel 4a rival might not be an Android OEM


While Google’s fancy computational photography and clean software were repeatedly praised, all but one Pixel 4 XL owner cited battery headaches as the main complaint. And remember, this is the Pixel 4 XL, not the Pixel 4 with its even smaller battery. Yikes.

On the more positive side, writer Phillip Prado said, “I really love the design and how simple the software is,” going even as far to say that “it’s probably the most pleasurable device to use I’ve ever had,” but still described the battery life as “not good.” Managing editor Jimmy Westenberg echoed this, noting, “I find myself at 50% at about 4pm every day.”

Although battery life was the recurring sore spot, Drone Rush‘s Jonathan Feist had other major complaints and wasn’t shy about listing them all. He also slapped the phone with a rating of six out of ten, the lowest of any phone in our poll. Take it away, Feisty:

“Everything that Google did to make this phone “Pixel,” sucks. I’ve turned off all the special features, (Soli, ambient display stuff, etc.) I hate that the lower chin is so small, I miss the fingerprint scanner, and where’s my headphone jack?”


Samsung: The popular choice

While Google took the crown for the most daily drivers of a single model, it’s Samsung that snagged the gold in basically every other department. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise; it’s the brand most synonymous with Android. But it’s not just about awareness, you have to satisfy your customers, and Samsung killed it in that department too.

Almost a quarter of Team AA rock a Samsung phone as a daily driver. Yet even in spite of the saturation, the brand still achieved the highest average when looking at all phones and all different models. In addition, the Galaxy S10 Plus came out with the top overall average with an almost-perfect score of nine and a half out of ten.

Apple Authority?

Can you believe it, iPhone users at Android Authority!

In all seriousness, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Apple’s phones (and tablets, and laptops, and earbuds, etc.) are all stupidly popular. In fact, most people reading this very article will be doing so on an iPhone!

Love or hate Apple, you also can’t argue that some its products aren’t pretty darn great, especially the excellent iPhone 11 series, which accounted for half of the iPhones scattered around our team.

Camera shootout: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max


The most common positives centered around the camera experience, iMessage, speed, and compatibility with Apple’s wider hardware ecosystem. Media operations manager Sarah Clary said her iPhone XR is, “fast, organized, and works seamlessly with my Macbook,” while writer and photography expert Edgar Cervantes highlighted the superior resale value of iPhones.

Perhaps the most telling response came from Adam Sinicki, our Android dev expert who could probably deadlift the entire AA team with one arm:

“I got [the iPhone 11 Pro Max] 99% for the camera! I also was convinced by my iPad Mini 5 that Apple still attracts the best apps. And I wanted the Apple Watch!”

However, when asked what he didn’t like about it even Adam had to admit, “it’s not an Android.” While the petty hate between certain overzealous iOS and Android fans should’ve ended long ago, there are still plenty of reasons why we’re still dedicated to the best OS out there.

Other takeaways

Only four Team AA members said they wouldn’t recommend their current daily driver to our readers. Those were Adam Molina — iPhone 11 Pro (awful file management), Tristan Rayner — HUAWEI Mate 9 (I mean, it’s pretty old now), David Imel — OPPO Find X2 Pro (great phone, shame about the price), and Jonathan Feist with his aforementioned Pixel 4 XL woes.

Just three of the phones listed in our 2023 survey made another appearance in 2023. Those were the HUAWEI Mate 9, the Samsung Galaxy S8, and the HUAWEI P20 Pro.

Our results vaguely reflected the global market share picture with Apple, Samsung, and HUAWEI all featured multiple times. The outliers were Google and OnePlus, with the latter heavily buoyed by votes from our amazing writers in India.

Despite there being five HUAWEI phones scattered among the team, not one is of the Google-less variety. I guess we’re not ready to take the plunge on Huawei’s mobile services just yet.

The oldest phone on the list is the HUAWEI Mate 9 by quite a wide margin. Seriously, Tristan, treat yourself to a new phone already.

The only phones that received individual ten out of ten ratings were the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and the OnePlus 7T Pro.

Just 24% of our daily drivers have headphone jacks. Sad face.

One-third of the phones had “Pro” in the name.

What phones do we want next?

We’re already eying our next daily drivers. Are you?

One exciting takeaway is the sheer diversity of brands. Unlike the current daily driver results, here we see names like ASUS, LG, Motorola, Sony, and even Microsoft get a mention. Three foldables also make the list: the Galaxy Z Flip, the HUAWEI Mate XS, and the rumored Galaxy Fold 2.

Based on the results here, it’s notable that our team of hardcore tech enthusiasts doesn’t reflect wider industry trends. While many are hanging onto their phones for longer than ever, only five respondents said they weren’t looking to upgrade anytime soon. Instead, the vast majority of us are already eying our next daily driver.

You're reading What Phones Do The Android Authority Team Use As Daily Drivers? (2023 Edition)

Daily Authority: 📚 New 2023 Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon’s 2023 Kindles


Amazon has updated its Kindle Paperwhite line for the first time since 2023 and there’s a lot of good things here.

The Paperwhite is one of Amazon’s more popular products and something I use most evenings, though I don’t always remember to find a micro-USB cable for it.

Handily, the new models are now USB-C which is one of the bigger improvements.

(By the way, I strongly recommend you look at and use Amazon’s “Send to Kindle by E-mail” feature for adding documents and books you already own… Oh, and turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it to extend battery life) 

A short version of the updates:

The 2023 editions have a bigger screen, faster processor, USB-C, “warm light” option, battery life, waterproofing and more storage.

And are a touch more expensive, $10 more for the basic model, $30 for the higher-end Paperwhite, now with a new name.

More detail:

The Paperwhite line now has two different hardware models, plus a separate Paperwhite Kids edition.

The vanilla Paperwhite is $140 (up $10) and now offers a 6.8-inch screen (up from 6-inch, same 300ppi e-ink display) with thinner bezels, faster processor, more LEDs for better lighting, and a “warm light” like the Kindle Oasis ($250).

USB-C charging replaces the micro-USB, which is major.

The new 2023 edition is a tiny bit lighter than the previous edition too.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, at $190, adds an auto-brightness sensor and Qi wireless charging and makes it close to the Kindle Oasis on a few points.

Finally, there’s a Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition that includes an auto-brightness sensor and Qi wireless charging for a few extra bucks.

Also, I’m unclear on this, but the size of the Paperwhite was always pretty good for portability. While the new 2023 model is bigger, it seems it’s mostly the bezels that have shrunk, so it may only be a half-inch taller and wider.

They’ll ship from October 27, and Amazon notes it’s used recycled materials in plastics and magnesium, though there’s plenty of other materials in use here.

When developers abandon their games, and leave them online without sufficient support, strange things happen.

Hackers ruthlessly figure out that they can a) cheat, hack or even obtain admin privileges and then, b) mess with people with those various cheats, bots, or bans, making the online game unplayable and frustrating.

That’s what happened with Titanfall 2, which was a game from Respawn (the developer) and EA (publisher) that was highly acclaimed yet mostly unsuccessful, released a week after Battlefield 1, and a week before the next Call of Duty:

Then, once Fortnite emerged and EA’s Apex Legends became the next great hope, Titanfall 2 was left alone by Respawn, with only a skeleton crew keeping the lights on.

In protest, the hardcore Titanfall fans hacked Apex Legends, to try and get attention to the Titanfall 2 situation, which is still being sold today (though, at least, there’s a single-player mode which is offline).

The developer, Respawn, seems unwilling to do much but resources are finite, too.

In any case, it’s complicated. Releasing a multiplayer game requires a lot of effort to patch and update and fix holes from bots and hackers.

Once a game is decided to be unprofitable, balancing community goodwill for the gamers who keep logging on, versus moving on, becomes difficult.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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The Weekly Authority: Edition #165

🎃 Halloween’s right around the corner so I’ve been busy decorating the house while also watching all the Halloween films. The first one’s still my favorite.

Popular news this week

Luka Mlinar / Android Authority


C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Weekly Wonder

This week we’re diving into tech history with a look at American inventor Thomas Edison.

On this week in 1879 — October 21, to be precise — Edison perfected the first commercially practical incandescent light bulb. Although it didn’t last quite as long as bulbs do today, racking up just 13.5 hours of light before burning out, his later attempts lasted longer, extending the bulb’s lifespan to around 40 hours.

Many people think Edison invented the light bulb, but that’s simply not true.

The light bulb was actually invented by a British scientist called Warren de la Rue, back in 1840. Warren’s invention use a coiled filament made of platinum, but due to the cost of the materials, it never became a success commercially.

He was far from the only one to have a go at inventing light bulbs: Back in 1800, Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, chemist, and electricity pioneer — also credited as the inventor of the electric battery — was already carrying out his own experiments. In 1799, Volta invented the voltaic pile, an early form of electric battery, proving that electricity could be generated chemically.

There were others creating early incandescent lamps too, but all attempts were commercially impractical, requiring the use of a high electric current and with an extremely short lifespan.

But back to Edison: He didn’t perfect the light bulb as we know it today on his first attempt. In fact, Edison began working on creating an incandescent lamp for indoor use almost 18 months before his success, using a filament made of carbonized cardboard that burnt out too fast.

He later experimented with different filaments, using palmetto, hemp, and various grasses, finally settling on bamboo. In total, he tested more than 6,000 vegetable fibers, ran 1,200 experiments, and spent $40,000.

After his success on October 21, Edison filed for a US patent on November 4, 1879, granted January 27, 1880.

A few months after the patent was granted, Edison discovered carbonizing the bamboo filament gave the bulb a lifespan of over 1,200 hours.

Edison went on to form the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City, demonstrating his light bulb for the first time in public on December 31, 1879. During the demonstration, he said, “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

Things you never knew about Thomas Edison

The light bulb wasn’t Thomas Edison’s first foray into inventing. In 1869, he invented the Electrographic Vote-Recorder, to speed up the voting process. No more shouting “Yes!” or “No!” Just flip a switch, and votes would be counted electronically. Politicians weren’t fans of the invention, and as a result, it was a total flop.

In 1877, he invented the phonograph — or record player, as we know it today — but he can also be credited with inventing the fluoroscope, the tasimeter, and the electromechanical design for the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera.

After the phonograph’s debut, Edison began work developing creepy talking dolls with tiny phonographs that played children’s songs and “spoke” lyrics. He only sold 500 dolls, and critics said they couldn’t understand what the dolls were saying, so they never really took off.

Love cat videos? Thomas Edison made one of the first. In 1893, he built The Black Maria (known better as “The Dog House”), one of the first movie studios, at his labs in West Orange, New Jersey. During its time it made several short films, including the above movie about boxing cats…

Nikola Tesla worked briefly with Edison. The inventor and engineer was hired on June 8, 1884, and started work at the Edison Machine Works as an Electrical Engineer, earning $100 a year. He only stayed for six months, attempting to convince Edison of the potential of AC, before securing investment and selling patents that relied on AC to the industrialist George Westinghouse.

The Tesla-Edison feud was definitely a real thing, but the two men weren’t the staunch enemies they were made out to be. When Tesla lost his lab following a fire in 1895, Edison offered him a workspace. When Edison gave a lecture for the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Tesla ensured he received a standing ovation.

Tech Calendar

October 26: Sony Xperia launch @ 11PM ET

October 26: Palm Bud Pros launch

October 27-28: 2023 Android Dev Summit

October 28: Redmi Note 11 launch

November 18-19: MediaTek Executive Summit

Tech Tweet of the Week

First: Can you believe it’s now backordered until November?

And this is everything…

The angry little face as the green beans get snapped.

I’ve been laughing at this for an embarrassingly long time. chúng tôi

— Daniel Holland🎗🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@DannyDutch) October 16, 2023

Have a de-light-ful week (sorry!)

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor

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Daily Authority: Microsoft Surface Day 💻

What we think we’ll see are new editions of the Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Go, and Surface Pro X.

Given we’re up to a Surface Pro 8, Microsoft’s main flagship, and the high-end Surface Book is now at a 4th edition, those two bits of hardware are some of the more polished devices.

The Surface Pro X, which is expected to have an ARM-based processor again, has seen imperfect Windows app support and a really high price tag.

Then there’s the Surface Duo, which was billed as a dual-screen Android device for productivity and performance, but was roundly seen as a terrible release.

And ahead of this week’s event, we have very solid leaks around the Surface Pro 8 and the Duo 2.

For the laptops and notebooks, they’ll be released with Windows 11, which you’ll recall is set for an October 5 release date. 

Part of the hook of Windows 11 is the promise of more optimizations for CPU performance in particular.

Surface Pro 8:

The Pro 8 coming this week has seen a stack of leaks, with the latest via a Twitter post that looks like it’s a leak from a retailer, showing the Pro 8 will have Intel’s 11th-generation Core processor on board, a slightly bigger 13-inch display at 120Hz, replaceable SSDs, dual Thunderbolt interfaces meaning no more USB-A, and it’ll come with Windows 11.

What’s significant is the 120Hz refresh rate, which ties in with Windows 11 offering a dynamic refresh rate feature. 

So, like on high refresh rate smartphones, the refresh rate will be lower when you’re reading a page and kick up to 120Hz when required, such as during scrolling, flipping between 60Hz and 120Hz to save power and performance.

But with a display firing at 120Hz comes significantly more demand on the CPU and battery life. 

The Surface Pro has never been about raw power, so seeing how this balances out will be interesting.

And, Intel’s 12th generation CPUs are expected sometime in late October though availability is likely in November, December and perhaps 2023 for anything other than the enthusiast spec desktop CPUs.

David Imel / Android Authority

Microsoft Surface Duo 2: 

We’ve seen Duo 2 leaks for months now, and new discovered FCC filings have crystallized some details, revealing 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC support, which was a big omission of the original Duo.

Previous leaks suggested coming specs including wireless charging, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB storage options, an actual rear camera setup, and a 4,400mAh battery to power the dual-screens.

So, should you have any interest after the Duo’s terrible first edition? 

Well, Windows Central managed to tough out a year with the Duo 1 and detailed the good: dual-screens at the right aspect ratio are great and can be better than the Galaxy Fold line in many use cases, and the bad: Microsoft just hasn’t fixed enough software bugs, noting “Microsoft is the problem with Surface Duo.” Ouch.

The Duo 2, then, has a lot to prove: what it’s like right out of the box, and how committed Microsoft is to improving, refining, and making the very high price-tag seem worth it.


📁 The grapevine continues to suggest Google isn’t just working on its Pixel 6 series, but a Pixel foldable as well. This summary explains the possible existence of two foldable Pixel devices, with evidence in Android 12.1 and via @evleaks (Android Authority).

⏩ Also, Google’s Pixel 6 Pro could charge fast, jumping up to 33W, and Pixel 6 wallpapers have leaked (Android Authority).

⚡ Ikea’s $40 pad adds built-in wireless charging to almost any table (The Verge).

🔋 Volkswagen’s electric ID.4 was already good—does adding AWD via twin-motors change that? (Ars Technica).

🏠 Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning. Like how the blackest-black paint Vantablack has special uses, white paint that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation is pretty handy too (Engadget).

🚀 The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission and crew returned to Earth with a splashdown on Saturday and everyone seemed pretty chuffed, capping off the first fully private mission in orbit. They had fun in space including betting on NFL and ringing the NYSE bell, and raised US$153m for the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital as well (The Verge).

📰 The endless Facebook apology, written after the WSJ’s incredibly detailed reporting with whistleblower documents everywhere: “The Journal’s series includes internal reports showing that Facebook was fully aware of Instagram’s deleterious impact on the mental health of teen girls while moving full steam ahead with an Instagram for Kids product; internal documents inferring that the company lied to its independent Oversight Board when it said it gave only a small amount of celebs, pols and other grandees a wide berth to break its rules on the platform while, in fact, the free pass was given to millions; and the latest revelation that Facebook makes people angry, in part because of futile efforts of its leader, Mark Zuckerberg, to stop the endless rage.” (NY Times, gift link)

📡 Elon Musk says Starlink will come out of beta phase next month, though he also said it’d come at the end of summer. So, soonish? (Gizmodo).

🚗 NTSB head says Tesla must address ‘basic safety issues’ with semi-autonomous features, i.e. pump the brakes on the roll-out of “Full Self Driving” (Engadget).

📺 Emmys 2023 results: The full list of winners, many of which are streamed TV series like Ted Lasso or The Crown (CNET).

🌌 A mathematician’s guided tour through higher dimensions (Wired).

🦦 How sea otters can fight climate change (BBC).

🌩 “Can lightning really crack rocks and damage mountains like we see in fiction?” (r/askscience).

Apparently, the video comes from an old Egyptian TV drama series.

And I think the actors are trying not to laugh? 

My colleague Hadlee recommended this very similar sequence in wrestling, too.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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Daily Authority: 📈 Starlink, Pixel Sales

☕ Good morning! It’s Groundhog Day, stay safe out there!

Ok, what you might want to know this morning is that Elon Musk tweeted a link to news that SpaceX has a new deal:

The new Starlink Premium now promises up to 500Mbps for $500 a month.

To get it, you’ll also need a new premium antenna with “double the antenna capabilities” and an upfront cost of $2,500.

The new site dedicated to the option says: “Starlink Premium users can expect download speeds of 150-500Mbps and latency of 20-40ms, enabling high throughput connectivity for small offices, storefronts, and super users across the globe.”

And it’s still pretty flexible: “With Starlink, there are no long-term contracts, no data caps, and no exclusivity requirements.”

In addition, the new “extra-rugged” dish may work better in very hot or cold environments, and there’s 24/7 prioritized support, too.

It looks like a pitch towards businesses to buy: the answer to the perhaps shouted demand from an office or someone in the field, something like “Just get me internet that works!”

By the way, SpaceX has now launched 1,993 Starlink satellites to date, with one tracker saying that 1,468 of them are providing Starlink services, so coverage should be getting better, though the end goal is 42,000 sats.

The other thing you should know this morning is that last night, Google confirmed a good quarter for the Pixel.

Now, unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of detail: no sales figures or dollars, exactly.

But what Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai did say was: “In Q4 we set an all-time quarterly sales record for Pixel. This came in spite of an extremely challenging supply chain environment. The response to Pixel 6 from our customers and carrier partners was incredibly positive.”

So, no numbers. Google might’ve sold one more phone than the last quarter, which would give it every right to say we set a new record. That’s how records work.

But really, it seems bigger than that, and …that’s pretty much expected given Google actually tried.

The Pixel 6 series is acclaimed, the Pixel 6 alone is a great deal and you don’t need a Pro, and there’s more marketing for it than ever before — and I’ve seen that in my city and heard it from a bunch of people in different parts of the world.

Google also signed 45 carrier and retailer partnership deals, which is a key vector to getting phones into hands.

Weirdness Wednesday

For some reason, in the past month or so, Musk offered Sweeney $5,000 to take down the bot via Twitter DM. And that’s where it gets interesting: now Elon has shut down Twitter negotiations with the teen creator.

Mashable has been keeping admirable tabs on the whole thing, with Protocol doing the early yards in talking with Sweeney.

Anyway, first came the Twitter DM offering $5k, with a conversation unfolding about flight tracking via ADS-B Exchange data, and even pointing Musk towards using a free information-blocking program set up by the FAA, called Privacy ICAO aircraft address program, or PIA.

But Sweeney, whose dad works in the airline industry, has been able to keep tracking ol’ Musky.

Sweeney countered Musk’s offer by asking for $50k, or a Tesla Model 3, or an internship at SpaceX or Tesla, and was then blocked by Musk.

Anyway, the Twitter bot is still working, even with the PIA blocking program, even with some kind of weird military-level blocking going on.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

The Best Honor Phones 2023

That’s brought both challenges – forming its own R&D, manufacture, and distribution channels – and benefits, as Honor is finally free from the US trade restrictions that have crippled Huawei’s ability to make phones, and so from now on Honor devices can ship globally with full Google software.

The result is that this is a relatively short list, as Honor hasn’t released that many phones since it began shipping Google software again. The Honor 50 and Magic 4 series were the first to ship worldwide with Google, as do the more recent Honor 70, Honor 90, and Magic 5 phones.

Best Honor phones 2023

1. Honor Magic 5 Pro – Best Honor phone


One of the best displays in any phone

Excellent battery life

Powerful triple camera


Uneven performance


The Magic 5 Pro is proof that the flagship form Honor found in last year’s Magic 4 Pro was no fluke.

On display and battery life this phone can duke it out with the best, and the camera does enough to earn its place in that conversation too.

It’s strange that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset runs a little cold compared to other 2023 flagships, and I’ll admit that the striking design didn’t really win me over – though you may prefer it.

This is an expensive phone by any measure, but if you can afford it then this is the best handset Honor makes.

Read our full

2. Honor Magic Vs – Best Honor foldable


Cheaper than Samsung’s foldable

Closes fully flat

Comfortable to use when closed

Great main camera


No water-resistance

No wireless charging

Unpolished software

Disappointing ultrawide camera

The Magic Vs is Honor’s second-generation foldable, but it’s a much more polished effort than the first – and, unlike that phone, it’s gone on sale in countries around the world.

You’ll have to live without water-proofing or wireless charging though, and Honor’s software doesn’t make the most of the form factor, not even using Android’s built-in foldable features. Hopefully that will improve with time, making this a genuine contender to the Z Fold line.

Read our full

3. Honor 90 – Best mid-range


Class-leading display

Decent main camera

Good battery life


Cheap, plasticky feel

No wireless charging

Only promised two Android updates

The Honor 90 is a capable mid-range option, especially for those tempted by the excellent display – among the best at the price – or the prospect of getting up to 512GB of storage at an affordable price.

Elsewhere the phone impresses a little less. Decent cameras and solid performance are welcome but don’t exactly excite, and the plasticky design is a letdown.

It suffers from the same awkward software and limited long-term support as other Honor phones, but those are easier to put up with at this phone’s more affordable mid-range price point.

Read our full

4. Honor Magic 5 Lite – Best design


Beautiful, refined design

Strong battery life

Accurate OLED display


Outdated chipset

No bundled charger

Mono speaker

The Magic 5 Lite is an affordable mid-ranger that excels most of all in how it looks, with a sleek, slender design that could belong to a phone at least twice its price.

Brilliant battery life helps the phone stand out too, though it’s let down a little by an older chipset (the same found in the older Magic 4 Lite, below), slow charging (with no charger in the box), and a camera that’s good but not great.

Still, if you want a phone that looks and feels like a flagship for a fraction of the cost, you could do an awful lot worse.

Read our full

5. Honor 70 – Excellent and affordable


Lovely design

Strong camera performance

Good battery life

Curved OLED 120Hz screen


Poor software update promise

No waterproofing

The Honor 70 is an accomplished mid-range phone, a confident step forward for the company after its breakaway from Huawei. With Google services and apps, a thoughtful and attractive design, strong performance, and good battery life, this is one of the better phones in this price range in the UK and Europe – sorry US friends.

But with a 120Hz display and very good main camera, the Honor 70 is still a solid choice.

Read our full

6. Honor Magic 4 Pro


Powerful performance

Beautiful display

Excellent camera

Full Google support


Only 2 years of Android updates

Unreliable with 3rd-party chargers

The Magic 4 Pro is a full-on flagship, with top specs in almost every respect.

That means a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a 120Hz LTPO OLED display, and incredibly fast charging: 100W wired and wireless. The camera is committed too, with a triple lens setup including a powerful 64Mp periscope lens.

Still, this isn’t a perfect phone. There’s no IP rating, unlike some similarly priced rivals, and small flaws frustrate, like unreliable performance with unofficial chargers. Compared to other flagships, Honor’s commitment to only two years of software updates can’t quite compete either.

This is the most impressive phone Honor makes though, and with strong specs and a competitive price it’s well worth considering.

Read our full

7. Honor Magic 4 Lite 5G


66W charging

Big 120Hz display

Cheap 5G


Android 11

Inconsistent cameras

LCD screen

The Honor Magic 4 Lite 5G – also known as the X9 5G in some markets – is an impressive 5G device when it comes to performance.

There’s a lot to like. The battery life is good, the screen is huge, and it offers solid performance alongside its 5G connectivity.

It’s a shame that huge screen is LCD rather than OLED, but at this prices compromises have to come somewhere, and that’s the trade-off made for a 120Hz refresh rate. Inconsistent cameras hold it back a little further, as does the choice to ship the phone with the now-old Android 11, but overall this is still a capable cheap mid-ranger.

Read our full

8. Honor 50


Slim and light

Beautiful display

Full Google support


No waterproofing

Mixed camera performance

The Honor 50 was the company’s first phone to get a global release since going independent, and also the first to feature Google support. It was a great buy at launch, and is even better now that it’s dropped significantly in price.

The design and display are the biggest selling points here – the Honor 50 looks and feels great, and it’s both slim (7.8mm) and light (175g). The curved 120Hz OLED display is also one of the best you’ll find in any phone at this price.

The 108Mp rear camera is pretty strong, though the other rear lenses disappoint a bit. The selfie camera is still good though, and at 32Mp it’s one of the higher-resolution front-facing cameras around.

Read our full

9. Honor 50 Lite


66W charging

Big display


No 5G

60Hz screen

The Honor 50 Lite is a chunk cheaper than the regular Honor 50. If you can afford the upgrade it’s worthwhile, but if not then the 50 Lite isn’t a bad option.

The large 6.67in display is welcome at this price point (even if it only has a 60Hz refresh rate), and you’re also getting a decent 64Mp main rear camera and really fast 66W charging – genuinely impressive at this price point.

There’s no 5G support, and the design isn’t a match for its sibling, but for the price this really isn’t too shabby.

Read our full

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