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Moto G8 Plus, Asus ZenBook Flip, Dell workstation, Samsung tablet and more: ZDNet's reviews of the month

From budget smartphones to rugged devices and onto wireless earbuds, here's the kit we got our hands on in January.
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1 of 13 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

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.

SEE: Oppo A9 2020, hands on: A good-value large-screen handset with great battery life

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2 of 13 Motorola

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.

SEE: Motorola Moto G8 Plus, hands on: A worthy update, but is it enough to stand out?

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3 of 13 Asus

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.

SEE: Asus ZenBook Flip 15 UX563FD review: A feature-rich 15-inch convertible

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4 of 13 Dell

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.

SEE: Dell Precision 7740 review: A weighty 17-inch mobile workstation that packs a punch

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5 of 13 Dynabook

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.

SEE: Dynabook Satellite Pro L50-G review: A good-value business workhorse

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6 of 13 OnePlus

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.

SEE: OnePlus 7T Pro, long-term test: An upgrade dilemma

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7 of 13 Cat Phones

Cat S52

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.

SEE: Cat S52 review: A mid-range rugged smartphone in consumer disguise

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8 of 13 palmsolo/ZDNet

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.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro review: Rugged, affordable tablet built for work in the field

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9 of 13 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

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.

SEE: Honor MagicWatch 2 review: Solid on health and fitness, but light elsewhere

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10 of 13 TCL

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.

SEE: TCL SOCL 500TWS wireless earbuds hands-on: High end specifications and decent performance for $80

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11 of 13 palmsolo/ZDNet

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.

SEE: TicPods 2 Pro wireless earbuds review: Mobvoi's latest brings improved means of interaction and advanced audio

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12 of 13 palmsolo/ZDNet

Coros POD

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.

SEE: Coros POD review: Advanced running metrics, including power analysis

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13 of 13 Netgear

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.

SEE: Netgear Orbi WiFi 6, hands on: State-of-the-art mesh wi-fi with a price tag to match

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