Realme GT 2 review

It’s not quite the same situation in 2022, partly because there’s a GT 2 Pro model as well. While that is arguably more of a flagship (it costs £699), the GT 2 get much of the same hardware and features for £150 less.

It doesn’t have the LTPO 2.0 display with its variable refresh rate down to 1Hz, and uses the older Snapdragon 888 rather than the Pro’s newer Gen 1 chip, but for many people, neither of these things matter.

In fact, the GT 2 is a more well-rounded, better value for money option in many ways. However, if you already own a Realme GT, this new model isn’t going to tempt you to upgrade.

Design & Build
‘Paper-like’ biopolymer rear
Bigger and heavier than before
Still not waterproof
In terms of design, it’s nearly impossible to tell the two new phones apart. The GT 2 and GT 2 Pro share almost identical dimensions and styling, so this isn’t a typical case of the Pro model being larger.

Perhaps more importantly, the vegan leather option from last year’s Realme GT 5G with its striking yellow colour is gone in favour of a ‘paper’ design. Realme has once again partnered with Japanese designer Naoto Fukusawa, who worked on the GT Master Edition, to create a biopolymer – yep, that’s another one to add to phone vocabulary – that resembles paper.

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Xiaomi 12 review

Small handed phone users rejoice, the Xiaomi 12 is one of the most compact flagships around with some impressive specs, but it’s by no means perfect

Now without the ‘Mi’ branding, the Xiaomi 12 series has been given a global launch and the regular model is now smaller and more aligned with Samsung’s Galaxy S range than before. Can Xiaomi win the flagship Android race, though?

Like the Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 offers a much more compact option, leaving the 12 Pro for those that want something bigger – and with more impressive specs.

Starting at US$749, the Xiaomi 12 has a lot going for it including its display, performance, speedy charging and, to an extent, its photography skills. However, some big downsides such as battery life, lack of waterproofing and software peeves mean a rival might be a better choice.

Design & build
8.16mm thick
180g
No IP rating
The Xiaomi 12 is tiny. Well, by modern standards anyway, and especially when I’ve become accustomed to the hefty size of the Pixel 6. Even so, it’s like jumping into a time machine to 2017 and the release of the Galaxy S8.

These two phones have a lot in common and I’m not just talking about the footprint of the handset, although they are very similar. The Xiaomi 12 has a similar metal frame that tapers down to a thin strip on the sides to accommodate the curved display.

It’s 2022 so the screen-to-body ratio is obviously much better and things like a triple rear camera array make it heavier.

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Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G review

The Samsung Galaxy A52s is a mid-range phone that makes compromises in the right areas, but it still faces fierce competition from other brands

The Samsung A52s is the follow-up phone to the mid-range A52, which was released back in spring 2021. Whilst it is nearly identical to its sister handset in its exterior appearance, it has an upgraded chipset which Samsung claims improves the performance and battery life.

But how does this translate to daily use? I have spent some time with the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A52s, seeing how it fairs and compares to rivals of a similar price, including this phone’s successor, the A53 5G. Our device sample was supplied by Box.

Design and build
Design doesn’t match the high standards of rivals
IP57 rating
Four colours on offer
To keep costs down, mid-rangers always have sacrifices when compared to flagship models. For the A52s, this is in the build quality. It is quite bland and feels cheap in your hand, like the standard A52. The bezel around the screen is also quite thick, so it doesn’t feel as slim or sleek as other phones. The upside is that at a weight of 189g, this phone is lightweight and easy to port around.

I tested the black model, but you can also get it in purple, white and mint. The rear s plastic rather than glass and picks up fingerprints quite easily.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G review

The Redmi Note 11 range receives one more addition, and it’s the best of the series, with Xiaomi adding eye-watering charging capabilities to the Pro+

Not content with offering no less than four other Redmi Note 11 models this year, Xiaomi has also treated us to the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G.

With the new 11S 5G, the Redmi Note 11 range has no less than six models to choose from. The Pro+ 5G on test here is now the top-spec option and adds headline features such as 120W HyperCharge meaning you can fully charge the phone in just 15 minutes, according to Xiaomi.

All still without breaking the bank thanks to a starting price of £369 and you’ll be able to get it in May. So, how does it compare to its stablemates, as well as other affordable phones?

Design & Build
Square-edged design
Face unlock feature
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
IP53 rating
In terms of its appearance, it’s hard to distinguish the Pro+ 5G from the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, which is actually a good thing. It means the Note 11 Pro+ 5G treats the user to squared-off edges, a tidy rear camera module and a shimmering plastic back.

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review

The Redmi Note 10 Pro was one of our favourite budget phones – now can the Note 11 Pro 5G wear such a heavy crown?

Xiaomi has updated its affordable Redmi Note range with the new Note 11, Note 11 Pro 5G and various other models.

So, what makes something a Pro device at the cheap end of the market? Here’s the full Tech Advisor review.

Design & build
Square-edged design
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
IP53 rating
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a phone in the affordable bracket that had a truly pleasing design. Most are perfectly serviceable variations on the slab of glass and plastic that we know so well, but this time around Xiaomi has impressed with an aesthetic that defies the device’s price-tag.

Gone are the shiny surfaces, curved edges and jumbled camera bump of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, replaced instead with a more refined approach.

The squared off edges and chassis surround give the Note 11 Pro 5G a similar look to the current iPhone 13 range, while the simple plastic back and more organised camera array keep the minimalist design intact.

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Xiaomi 12X review

It’s missing some sought-after features, but the Xiaomi 12X is an overall solid device, especially for those wanting a smaller phone

With the 12X, Xiaomi has basically taken its Mi 11X from last year and has made an ‘S’ variant since the two models are very similar (including the exact same processor).

While it shares a lot with the Mi 11X before it, there’s a lot to like with the Xiaomi 12X like the beautiful AMOLED screen, snappier performance and twice as fast charging. It’s also a cheaper option than its stablemates, the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Design & Build
8.2mm thick
176g
No IP rating
Like its Xiaomi 12 counterpart, the Xiaomi 12X is fairly compact and easy to hold in one hand. This is especially helpful for those not interested in the massive phones of today like the Galaxy S22 Ultra or Pixel 6 Pro.

At just 176g, the phone has just the right amount of heft. Part of that is because the phone is made from aluminium and Gorilla Glass Victus which makes it feel like a solid slab of metal and glass without making it seem too heavy.

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Realme GT 2 Pro review

Realme’s GT 2 Pro boasts an aggressive price/performance proposition, an environmentally conscious design and better software support than ever

Realme was among the first companies to reassure fans that it would be slipping the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor into its next flagship; after the silicon was unveiled at the end of 2021.

Sure enough, the Realme GT 2 Pro was announced in China promptly afterwards sporting the chip, going on sale in the region at the turn of the new year.

Fans in the rest of the world, however, were left waiting until the company made its Mobile World Congress debut in late February, where the GT 2 Pro’s international availability was confirmed for 8 March.

Now that the phone is here, it’s a matter of understanding whether the Pro strikes the characteristic price/performance balancing act that the company’s short lineage of existing flagship phones is known for or whether it offers a more competitive package against the wider flagship market.

Design & build
Unique biopolymer finish on Master Edition
Glass-backed models weigh 10g more
Still no IP rating or wireless charging
Paper isn’t the first material you might think of when it comes to smartphone materials but that’s exactly what Realme’s design team used as the jumping-off point for the finish on the GT 2 Pro (as well as the standard GT 2).

While the phone can be had in a relatively pedestrian Steel Black in Europe (as well as Titanium Blue in China) with a conventional glass back, Realme has also given the GT 2 Pro the Master Edition treatment by once again partnering with Japanese designer Naoto Fukusawa to create a unique set of finishes that pull away from traditional smartphone tropes.

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OnePlus 10 Pro review

The OnePlus 10 Pro finally launches internationally, with powerful hardware, impressive battery tech and signs of Oppo’s growing influence

OnePlus has undergone a lot of change since we first met the brand as a plucky upstart all those years ago. Having been partially folded into sister company Oppo over the past 18 months or so, the phones that OnePlus is now releasing exist in a very different context to the company’s early handsets and the new OnePlus 10 Pro embodies this shift perfectly.

While an initial January release in China gave us our first taste of what a OnePlus flagship in 2022 looks like, the phone’s more recent expansion into new markets globally really highlights the enduring influence of the brand’s passionate fandom, while reflecting the change that the company is going through internally, all at once.

With no standard OnePlus 10 (and only rumours of a OnePlus 10 Ultra), the 10 Pro is currently the only top-tier OnePlus purpose-built to take on rivals from Samsung, Apple and beyond. But does it deliver?

Design & build
Surprisingly lightweight
OnePlus’ signature physical alert slider
No IP-certified dust or water resistance
For all the technical prowess, performance and innovation last year’s OnePlus 9 Pro touted, it came packaged in an uncharacteristically bland design for the brand. This year, OnePlus’ design team has veered in a wildly different direction, with the OnePlus 10 Pro’s form punctuated by a bold new camera housing that’s impossible to miss and unlike anything the company’s served up to date.

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Sony Xperia Pro-I review

Sony’s Xperia Pro-I walks a wholly different path to the previous Pro; with an impressive 1in sensor on its main camera that makes it ideal for vlogging

Should I buy the Sony Xperia PRO-I?
Expert’s Rating:


Pros
Precision utilitarian design
Powerful camera controls
Clean software
Cons
Strange camera compromises
Dated chipset
Expensive
Our Verdict
While it’s unquestionably a technical achievement, almost everything that stands the Pro-I apart from the Xperia 1 III makes it unsuitable as a conventional smartphone recommendation. Only enthusiasts need apply.

Sony debuted the first Xperia Pro in early 2020; a device that we dubbed one of the only phones truly worthy of the ‘Pro’ suffix; with its skillset tailored towards industry-grade broadcasting over consumer use. Now the company has brought another Pro to market – the Xperia Pro-I – which takes a wholly different approach, aimed at a wholly different demographic.

Similarly to the previous Pro, the Pro-I builds on the company’s current flagship – the Xperia 1 III – with near-identical underlying hardware and a similar software experience, but it’s augmented by a bold new camera system that pushes past practically everything else currently out there; with the hopes of being perceived as a serious tool for creators and enthusiasts.

Oppo Find X5 review

If you want a flagship phone without the associated high cost, the Find X5 offers sensible compromises for significant savings

Price when reviewed
Not available in the US

Oppo Find X5 full review
As the middle child, sitting between the Lite and Pro models, the regular Oppo Find X5 is easy to overlook. Even Oppo itself dedicated just four pages to the phone in its reviewer’s guide, compared to over 40 for the Pro.

To be fair, the Find X5 is so similar and shares so many of the Pro’s features that it didn’t warrant going over the same ground again. Then again, while Oppo would like you to think it’s virtually identical but cheaper, there are many subtle differences that mean it is quite a different phone overall.

The question is, is it a better buy than the Xiaomi 12 or Galaxy S22? Arguably it is, but to explain why, let’s get into the detail.

Design & build
Matt glass rear
No IP rating
Gorilla Glass Victus on display
If you’re familiar with the Find X5 Pro, then the X5 looks mostly identical. It has the same quirky 75° ‘organic curve’ beneath the camera module but aside from the distinctive design, this offers no practical benefit.

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