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iPhone 13, Google Pixel 6 Pro, Fairphone 4 5G, Dell XPS 17 9710, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

From Apple's and Google's latest and greatest smartphones to an ethical alternative and a range of other innovative devices, here's the gear our reviewers tested in October.

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Topic: Reviews
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1 of 18 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

iPhone 13

The standard iPhone 13 is good enough to be the best option for most people. It's affordable and has the same performance, battery life and camera features as its Pro equivalent. If you have an iPhone 12, there's not a whole lot of incentive to rush out and pick up an iPhone 13. For everyone else, the iPhone 13 is a worthy upgrade or first iPhone. 

SEE: iPhone 13 review: Good enough to be the best

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2 of 18 Jason Cipriani/ZDnet

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Without a doubt, the Pixel 6 Pro is the best smartphone Google has ever made. From Android 12 improvements and custom Pixel features that improve upon the experience, to Google Tensor's performance, battery life and the return of the Pixel's superior camera experience -- there's a lot to like there. 

SEE: Google Pixel 6 Pro review: Google's best smartphone yet, but is it enough?

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3 of 18 Sebaztian Barns/ZDNet

Google Pixel 6

When you are due to upgrade, this phone should definitely be high up the list of contenders. While the 6 Pro is there to battle against the iPhone Pros and Samsung Ultras of the world, the Pixel 6 is there to fill a void in a workmanlike fashion and get the job done. This phone delivers, quibbles with software aside.

SEE: Google Pixel 6 is the new workhorse to the Pixel 6 Pro thoroughbred

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4 of 18 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Fairphone 4 5G

The Fairphone 4 5G is a perfectly serviceable mid-range smartphone, albeit one that can't compete with the rest of the market in terms of specs for the price. But that's not the game this phone is playing: Fairphone gives ethical consumers somewhere to go, and that has to be a good thing. 

SEE: Fairphone 4 5G review: A sustainable smartphone for ethical consumers

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5 of 18 Dell

Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021)

The Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) is large and heavy at 2.42kg. The UHD+ touch screen is superb, with great viewing angles and a very usable 16:10 aspect ratio. The keyboard is responsive and comfortable to use, and the speakers are superb. But battery life was poor on our sample.

SEE: Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) review: A highly configurable premium 17-inch laptop

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6 of 18 Acer

Acer Swift X

The Swift X isn't perfect, and its modest display and limited customisation and upgrade options could be a deal-breaker for some creative users. However, it does manage to combine a lightweight design, strong performance and good battery life at a very competitive price. 

SEE: Acer Swift X review: A slimline AMD-powered workhorse with discrete Nvidia graphics

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7 of 18 Asus

Asus Chromebook Flip CX5

This is a robust Chromebook with a large screen and serviceable keyboard. However, the 250-nits screen will make outdoor viewing challenging, and the speakers are disappointing. The Core i3 model is affordable at £599.99 (inc. VAT), but the Core i5 specification, which costs over £700/$800, will come up against any number of fully-fledged Windows laptops.

SEE: Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 review: A sturdy 15.6-inch convertible Chromebook

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8 of 18 Lenovo

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

Lenovo's 13.3-inch Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a compact and lightweight Intel Evo-branded laptop with a mid-range price tag. Although it lacks a fingerprint sensor and offers mediocre battery life in its Core i7/16GB configuration, Lenovo's Yoga Slim 7i Carbon is a serviceable, lightweight and distinctive-looking 13-inch laptop.

SEE: Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon, hands on: A compact sub-1kg ultraportable

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9 of 18 Lenovo

Lenovo Yoga Tab 13

There are other options in the Android market, including Galaxy Tab devices from Samsung that cater for mobile broadband (including 5G), keyboard covers and styli. But none have that useful integrated kickstand, and there's no doubt that Lenovo really knows how to handle audio.

SEE: Lenovo Yoga Tab 13, hands on: A versatile Android tablet, with entertainment front and centre

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10 of 18 Xiaomi

Xiaomi Pad 5

A neat Android 11 tablet with a solid design, an excellent 120Hz screen, long battery life and great speakers. If your existing tablet is getting a bit long in the tooth, and you're happy with the 11-inch form factor, it might be well worth checking out.

SEE: Xiaomi Pad 5, hands on: A high-quality, long-lasting 11-inch Android tablet

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11 of 18 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

Amazon quietly and confidently keeps the Kindle lineup, and in particular the Paperwhite version, humming along. With faster performance, a larger display and USB-C, there's really nothing to fault with the new Kindle Paperwhites.

SEE: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review: A classic, now modern, e-reader thanks to USB-C and wireless charging

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12 of 18 palmsolo/ZDNet

Jabra Elite 7 Pro

There are plenty of options to fully customise the earbud experience. We recommend you go through the hearing test, ANC slider optimisation, and all of the rest to get the headset setup just how you like. The $200 price point is fair for a high-powered headset with all of these features.

SEE: Jabra Elite 7 Pro review: Buy for outstanding phone calls, not for ANC

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13 of 18 Polar

Polar Grit X Pro Titan

You can purchase a Polar Grit X Pro Titan now for $599.95. It's extremely well-made, and we can't believe how light it is for such a large watch. So far, the GPS tracking, heart rate measurements, sleep stages, and more match up with other wearables we've tested. 

SEE: Polar Grit X Pro Titan first look: Premium materials, dashboards, tests and coaching

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14 of 18 Bose

Bose Videobar VB1

The Bose Videobar VB1 is a slim but sturdy camera/mic/speaker combo designed to service meeting rooms with space for about 10 people. If you're happy with the premium $1,199 price, you'll get a very capable and configurable product.

SEE: Bose Videobar VB1 review: Premium audio and video for small meeting spaces

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15 of 18 Netgear

Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963)

This new Orbi model has the ability to create multiple networks (SSIDs). Its high-end performance comes at a price, though. Due to ship at the end of October, the Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963) currently costs a hefty £1,499.99 (inc. VAT), or $1499.99.

SEE: Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963): Fast but expensive wireless mesh networking

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16 of 18 Airthings

Airthings View Plus

How useful you find the View Plus depends on what issues you have with your air quality and what you're able to do about them. But this is a comprehensive, if expensive, option for tracking down data to help you understand your air quality and see whether those changes improve it. 

SEE: Airthings View Plus, hands on: Smart but pricey air quality monitoring

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17 of 18 Amazon

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

This is a versatile smart thermostat and, with room sensors, you can adjust temperatures based on occupancy and humidity. It works with smart home ecosystems to provide convenience and comfort.

SEE: Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat review

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18 of 18 Amazon

Anycubic Vyper

This is a sweet filament printer for the price. Sure, there are better machines out there, but for the mix of features this offers, you'd be paying two to four times as much. The Vyper offers a sweet spot of convenience and pro-level features for just slightly above an entry-level price.

SEE: Anycubic Vyper: An under $500 filament printer with all the best features

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