Moto G8 Plus, Asus ZenBook Flip, Dell workstation, Samsung tablet and more: ZDNet's reviews of the month
Oppo A9 2020
The Oppo A9 2020 costs just £220 (inc. VAT) and, considering its price, there's plenty to like about it. Two SIMs, plenty of storage, a 6.5-inch screen, two speakers and excellent battery life, with reverse charging, is an appealing bundle for the money.
Motorola Moto G8 Plus
The G8 Plus is a worthy 2020 update to the Moto G line. Apart from the odd ultra-wide-angle video shooting setup, it doesn't do much wrong. However, it's not a giant leap forwards for Motorola's budget smartphone range, and it lacks sparkle. There are now plenty of options to consider if you're looking for a new phone at this price point.
Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX563FD
The ZenBook Flip 15 UX563FD is a stylish and durable laptop. A high-quality 4k touch screen and good speakers make this 360-degree convertible equally good for work and after-hours use. The bundled stylus lends itself to creative uses, which are also enabled by the discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics. Whether the ScreenPad is a battery-draining gimmick or a genuinely useful feature is for individuals to decide.
Dell Precision 7740
If you're looking for a lightweight laptop to use on the move, look elsewhere. But if graphics performance is your top priority then Dell's Precision 7740 is one of the most powerful mobile workstations we've seen. Although its weight and battery life do leave room for improvement, this is primarily a desktop replacement system for high-end graphics, VR and AI applications.
Dynabook Satellite Pro L50-G
The Dynabook Satellite Pro L50-G offers some pleasant surprises but also some real annoyances. On the plus side are the small, bag-friendly power brick and good battery life, and the plentiful ports and slots. On the other hand, there's no keyboard backlight, the keyboard is clacky, and build quality could be more robust. Overall, though, the Dynabook Satellite Pro L50-G represents very good value for money.
OnePlus 7T Pro
When it was first released towards the end of last year, the £699 (inc. VAT) OnePlus 7T Pro got mixed reviews. We found that using the OnePlus 7T Pro for longer than the usual review period has been an enjoyable experience. We're fans of the Reading (monochrome screen) mode and the hardware slider that controls the ringer. These are staples on OnePlus handsets, though, and we're not convinced the 7T Pro is hugely better than the somewhat less expensive (£649) OnePlus 7 Pro.
It doesn't look like a rugged phone, but the mid-range Cat S52 can still handle rough treatment while delivering decent performance for mainstream tasks. Graphics performance and battery life could be better, but overall this is an impressive handset that could attract interest beyond the usual vertical markets.
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro
While the Apple iPad leads the tablet market, enterprise customers often need something built to handle work outside the office. The new Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro brings a larger display, improved specifications, and integrated Samsung DeX at a price of $599. The price is reasonable and the tablet helps you get work done in the field. While you can wrap your iPad in a rugged case, it's tough to beat what Samsung is offering here with the Galaxy Tab Active Pro.
Honor MagicWatch 2
Honor's MagicWatch 2 has some compelling features. The basics of health and fitness monitoring are covered, and the companion Health app does a fair job of displaying aggregated information. But Honor needs to work harder on its smartwatch offer. Software updates need to add support for more platforms for its health data and allow the export of GPX files. Harder to fix is the absence of NFC. The lack of support for third-party apps is also a concern.
TCL SOCL 500TWS
Wireless earbuds are becoming the standard for enjoying audio content from your smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. TCL has released an affordable option that may not have the sleekest design, yet performs well. But while $80 is a decent price for a pair of fully wireless earbuds, we would rather pick up older model headsets that offer better consistency in pairing and higher quality audio.
TicPods 2 Pro
With the loss of the 3.5mm audio jack in mobile devices today, wireless headphones are becoming the norm. Mobvoi has launched the TicPods 2 Pro with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX audio, head gestures, and an integrated voice assistant. In addition to outstanding music playback, calls sounded good on the headset with callers mentioning to us that these sounded better than some of the other headphones we've tested recently.
Coros has a few solid GPS sports watches and its latest accessory is designed to enhance these watches with measurement of advanced metrics. The Coros POD captures details that are useful for improving your form and efficiency. It's a great accessory for runners looking to improve their efficiency and performance. The Coros POD offers some wonderful educational data and at $70 is definitely worth considering.
Netgear Orbi WiFi 6
Netgear has extended WiFi 6 support to its Orbi range of mesh networking systems. It's still early days for this new wi-fi standard, so the Orbi WiFi 6 isn't an essential upgrade at the moment. However, the sheer performance and capacity of this new mesh system can provide a useful 'future-proofing' option for businesses that need to support ever-increasing numbers of wi-fi devices on their crowded networks.