After testing for some time, YouTube Music is finally bringing the song/video switcher to the Now Playing UI of the web client.
Just above cover art is the Song and Video switcher that has been a staple of the Now Playing screen on Android and iOS.
There are two primary use cases for this switcher. The first is switching between the official music video and the album version of a song, as evidenced by cover art appearing in the latter instance. Your playback position is retained when switching. The switcher appears grayed out when songs aren’t available as videos.
The other use is disabling the video aspect of a live recording, which just uses the thumbnail as cover art. It’s useful for those that just want to listen to audio, with users previously resorting to minimizing Now Playing at the expense of being able to see the Up Next queue.
YouTube Music has been testing the switcher for some time on the desktop, but it looks to be widely rolled out today. It’s another example of the web client getting feature parity with the mobile apps, while the Related tab was introduced in recent months.
Google should also theme the background of Now Playing to album art instead of defaulting to just a dark background. This was previously spotted but never widely rolled out.
YouTube Music artist pages now list songs and albums ‘From your library,’ like Play Music
After rolling out a redesigned “Add to playlist” UI, YouTube Music is adding a “From your library” section to artist pages that is similar to something that was found in Google Play Music.
It’s third from the bottom and just below the “Videos” carousel. Up to five songs or albums are listed with “See all” in the top-right corner. That button takes you to a list of just tracks. There’s a convenient “Shuffle all” button, while sort options include Release date, Recently added, A to Z, and Z to A.
YouTube Music’s Library essentially lets you save media for quicker access, but it does not include songs you’ve manually uploaded. This new grouping joins the Albums, Songs, and Artists views, while “From your library” also exists as a carousel in the Home tab.
The From your library section in artist pages is widely rolled out today on YouTube Music for Android and iOS. However, it’s not currently found on the web, and would ideally be ranked higher up in the page. In all, this new feature is similar to “My Library” in Google Play Music.
APPLE STATEMENT: AirTag lets users keep track of personal items like their keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more through the Find My app. Since AirTag’s launch last April, users have written in to share countless stories of AirTag being instrumental in reuniting them with the things they value. Thanks to AirTag and the Find My app, a customer who lost his wallet on the subway was able to track it down at a station across town. With the help of an AirTag placed inside a medical kit, a parent whose child lost critical medicine on the bus was later able to find it.
AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.
We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when traveling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside. We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.
Apple has been working closely with various safety groups and law enforcement agencies. Through our own evaluations and these discussions, we have identified even more ways we can update AirTag safety warnings and help guard against further unwanted tracking.
Working with Law Enforcement
We have been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests we’ve received. Based on our knowledge and on discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many.
Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement. We have successfully partnered with them on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.
Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for the assistance we’ve provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking. We’ve identified additional improvements we can make in the information we share and the educational resources we provide, and we will be taking action, including making updates to our law enforcement documentation.
Advancements Coming to AirTag and the Find My Network
The following updates represent important steps Apple is taking:
New privacy warnings during AirTag setup: In an upcoming software update, every user setting up their AirTag for the first time will see a message that clearly states that AirTag is meant to track their own belongings, that using AirTag to track people without consent is a crime in many regions around the world, that AirTag is designed to be detected by victims, and that law enforcement can request identifying information about the owner of the AirTag.
Addressing alert issues for AirPods: We’ve heard from users who have reported receiving an “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert. We’ve confirmed this alert will not display if an AirTag is detected near you — only AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or a third-party Find My network accessory. In the same software update, we will be updating the alert users receive to indicate that AirPods have been traveling with them instead of an “Unknown Accessory.”
Updated support documentation: Today Apple is updating its unwanted tracking support article on apple.com to communicate the safety features built into AirTag, AirPods, and Find My network accessories. This page now includes additional explanations of which Find My accessories may trigger an unwanted tracking alert, more visuals to provide specific examples of such alerts, and updated information on what to do after receiving an alert, including instructions for disabling an AirTag, AirPods, or Find My network accessory. There are also links to resources individuals can use if they feel their safety is at risk, such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the National Center for Victims of Crime.
We’re also investigating a series of updates that we plan to introduce later this year, including:
Precision Finding: This capability allows recipients of an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision. iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users will be able to use Precision Finding to see the distance and direction to an unknown AirTag when it is in range. As an iPhone user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide them to the AirTag through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
Display alert with sound: When AirTag automatically emits a sound to alert anyone nearby of its presence and is detected moving with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, we will also display an alert on your device that you can then take action on, like playing a sound or using Precision Finding, if available. This will help in cases where the AirTag may be in a location where it is hard to hear, or if the AirTag speaker has been tampered with.
Refining unwanted tracking alert logic: Our unwanted tracking alert system uses sophisticated logic to determine how we alert users. We plan to update our unwanted tracking alert system to notify users earlier that an unknown AirTag or Find My network accessory may be traveling with them.
Tuning AirTag’s sound: Currently, iOS users receiving an unwanted tracking alert can play a sound to help them find the unknown AirTag. We will be adjusting the tone sequence to use more of the loudest tones to make an unknown AirTag more easily findable.
Apple design there products to provide a great experience, but also with safety and privacy in mind. Across Apple’s hardware, software, and services teams, we’re committed to listening to feedback and innovating to make improvements that continue to guard against unwanted tracking.
After the release of Pocophone, the successor named Poco F2 Pro is here , we called the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro the spiritual successor of the Pocophone and it kind of filled that gap in the segment so we weren’t wrong. Especially seeing how the new Poco F2 Pro is mostly a re-branded Redmi K30 Pro (the previous version of the phone K20 Pro was also known as the Mi 9T Pro in some markets).
But enough about semantics. The real question is, does the Poco F2 Pro live up to the hype as its successor once did. Surely, there was some corner-cutting to allow the original Pocophone to be so competitively priced while this time around, the specs sheet of the F2 Pro doesn’t really give us that notion.
Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro specs
Body: 163.3 x 75.4 x 8.9 mm, 219g; Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, aluminum frame.
Screen: 6.67″ Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; HDR10+ support.
With a significantly higher price, the Poco F2 Pro has yet to prove its salt. It follows the same formula of arriving with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 865 in this case, but the F2 Pro also adds a couple of welcomed improvements in key areas. The screen is now bigger, notch-less, and employs a crisp OLED panel. Additionally, the camera setup covers almost all of the focal lengths you’d want from a modern smartphone and the battery along with the charging have received some love this time around too.
And before we start pointing fingers, we would like to remind you that the prices of current flagships have risen in the past two years a lot. This gives the “flagship killer” segment some headroom to increase its pricing as well. That way, affordable flagships can offer true flagship experience, at least spec-wise, with a minimal price increase.
There’s also the 5G part. All Snapdragon 865-powered phones this year are more expensive, which probably has something to do with Qualcomm’s way of building and licensing all the parts and antennas for the 5G. That doesn’t take away the bang for the buck factor of the Poco F2 Pro as the phone is still much cheaper than the popular top-shelf smartphones and offers plenty of performance per dollar. But its pricing means its purchase is no longer a ‘no-brainer’ in stark contrast to the original Poco F1.
Let’s dive deeper to see what else the much-anticipated Poco F2 Pro has to offer.
Unboxing the Poco F2 Pro
The phone came in its original box containing the usual user manuals along with the compatible 30W wall charger and the USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and data transfer. There was also a transparent silicone case with slightly textured back for extra grip and a big cutout at the top for the 3.5mm jack and the pop-up camera.
Well, Xiaomi did it again. Two years after the release of the Poco F1, the company was still able to undercut the competition even with this significant price increase. The Poco F2 Pro will probably cost less in India than in Europe, but the point stands – this phone is still lighter on the budget compared to the alternatives powered by the Snapdragon 865 chip. It was able to find a sweet spot in the “flagship killer” price bracket. But there are still some phones worth considering that roam in the same territory.
The Realme X50 Pro 5G comes to mind as a potential alternative first. The handset might be a bit more expensive than the Poco F2 Pro at around €600 in Europe and a little less in India – INR 47,999 – but it’s the better phone overall. The overall camera experience with proper telephoto, the high-refresh rate display, and the faster charging might be worth your extra money.
Ultimately, the F2 Pro offers the same performance for less while having a better battery life as well. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with F2 Pro’s screen. If the cleaner, cutout-less design fits you better and the pop-up selfie camera still entertains you, it may even be the better buy.
If the Poco F2 Pro‘s price fits your budget but you can wiggle only a little, the OnePlus 7T could make a potential case for itself. Sure, it’s a last year’s device from, but the 7T is significantly cheaper now asking €529 in Europe, and it’s just INR 34,999 in India which is almost as low as the F2 Pro. The OnePlus 7T, however, will grant you a high-refresh-rate OLED screen (unfortunately, with a notch), a proper 2x telephoto camera, the same quality, if not better, macro shots and leaner, stock-ish OxygenOS, if you are into that sort of Androids. The 7T’s overall camera performance is better too.
The downside of this deal would be the shorter battery life and the older Snapdragon 855 chipset. But if you don’t have any immediate plans of switching to a 5G network carrier, last year’s flagship SoC would do just fine for at least a couple of years.
And in case the F2 Pro is really your upper limit price-wise, why not eyeball the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, too. The camera isn’t better, that’s for sure, but the battery life and screen quality are quite comparable. Also, Samsung might win you over with its One UI. With the European pricing, the S10 Lite is about €60-70 cheaper making an even bigger case for Samsung contender if you don’t mind the older chipset.
Finally, if you are an iPhone user or an Android fan looking for something fresh, the popular iPhone SE (2020) falls in the same price category. If you go with the specs sheet, the F2 Pro has won the match before it started – superior and brighter OLED display, much longer battery life, faster charging and more cameras covering more field of views. There are some things, however, that Apple does better. One of them is cameras. Even with one, the iPhone SE is a better shooter than the F2 Pro. And you do get that extra-long software support, so that’s a plus.
Don’t let the extensive list of alternative options above fool you – we are happy to recommend the Poco F2 Pro. It remains true to its flagship killer heritage – the same thing that made the Poco F1 famous. And despite the significant price increase, we think that Xiaomi has found a nice market niche for it.
There are some considerations, though. The camera experience has its flaws, and it’s far from polished. But when have the flagship killers offered flagship-grade camera performance?
The lack of a proper 2x telephoto is a misstep, as well as skipping the expandable storage, although you get a couple of rare commodities these days – a 3.5mm audio jack and full-screen design. The lack of a high refresh rate is a strange omission for a new €500+ phone coming out in mid-2020. Still, it’s an excellent screen – it gets super bright and brings HDR10+ support.
Battery life is remarkable, fast charging is at hand and the Poco Launcher just flies on this thing and it comes with numerous features that are hard to find all in one place.
So yes, overall, the Poco F2 Pro is an excellent all-rounder that’s worth every extra penny on top of its predecessors. Perhaps in a different way and perhaps for a different crowd, but it remains a ‘flagship killer’ nonetheless.
Really nice build and a design that stands out.
Super bright and color accurate OLED screen without any cutouts.
Record-breaking battery life.
Competitive fast charging solution over Power Delivery.
Good price/performance ratio.
Satisfactory main camera performance with great Night mode and nice macro camera.
Has 3.5mm audio jack, LED notification indicator, IR blaster.
Mature and feature-rich MIUI 11.
Thick and heavy body.
Screen lacks the trendy high-refresh rate.
No stereo speakers.
No telephoto camera.
Low-light photography is not great except for the main cam with Night mode ON.
iPhone and Apple Watch include a wide range of valuable health features and a couple of them that don’t get much attention include measuring ambient and headphone noise levels. Read along for a look at how to protect from hearing loss by checking decibel levels on iPhone and Apple Watch.
In the US, an estimated 37.5 million adults have trouble hearing, and men are believed to be twice as likely to experience hearing loss as women (via the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).
Thankfully, iPhone and Apple Watch feature both ambient (environmental) and headphone decibel monitoring that are quick and easy to use, including noise threshold warnings. That makes it much easier to prevent hearing damage and loss by knowing when to turn down the volume, use ear protection, or leave a loud environment.
How loud is too loud?
So what’s a harmful decibel level? That depends on the amount of time you’re exposed along with the level of noise. Here’s what Apple says:
Repeated, long-term exposure to sounds above 80 dB can lead to permanent damage. Consider using hearing protection or moving to a quieter area.
Apple Watch also shares examples of noise levels/time exposure that can lead to temporary hearing loss:
80 db: Around 5 hours and 30 minutes a day
85 dB: Around 1 hour and 45 minutes a day
90 dB: Around 30 minutes a day
95 dB: Just 10 minutes a day
100 dB: Even a few minutes a day
How to check decibel levels with iPhone and Apple Watch
Decibel levels with iPhone and iPad
Interestingly, Apple doesn’t make its watchOS Noise app available on iPhone and iPad, so here’s how to check decibel levels:
Open the Settings app and choose Control Center
If it’s not already showing under the “Included Controls,” swipe below and look for the green + icon next to Hearing
Connect headphones to your iPhone
Now open Control Center (swipe down from the top right corner of your screen) and look for the ear icon to see headphone dB levels
To turn on alerts for loud headphone audio, head to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Headphone Notifications and tap the toggle
And you can limit loud sounds in headphones by heading to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety > toggle on Reduce Loud Sounds
If you’re playing music with headphones connected, you’ll see the decibel meter appear in the Hearing tile in Control Center
Green desinates “OK” levels and yellow marks “Loud” levels that can damage hearing
Tap the Hearing icon to learn more about your headphone noise levels
With music paused, you can use the microphone of your headphones to measure the ambient decibel levels
Tap the microphone icon that says Live Listen in the bottom left corner (or tap the Live Listen rectangle)
Finally, you can also check your hearing history of both ambient and headphone decibel levels in the Health app
Tap the Browse tab at the bottom
Now choose Hearing
Check decibel levels with Apple Watch
You can measure both ambient and headphone decibel levels with Apple Watch and the former works with the dedicated Noise app. One neat option with the wearable to have quick-access readings is with the Noise app complication.
To check ambient decibel levels, open the Noise app on Apple Watch (you can also turn it on via iPhone in the Apple Watch app > Noise)
If you haven’t used the Noise app before, choose to Enable the feature
You can learn more about the decibel level you’re exposed to by tapping Learn More at the bottom of the Noise app
If you want fast access to decibel levels on Apple Watch, make a watch face with the Noise app compliation
If you don’t enable Noise app notifications when setting up the feature, you can head back to the Watch app on iPhone > Noise > Noise Threshold to change the limit/noise notificiations
To check headphone decibel levels on Apple Watch, open Control Center on your watch (swipe up from the bottom of the screen from your watchface)
Swipe down to the bottom
Tap the ear icon
And here’s a look at how Noise warnings look on Apple Watch:
The Oppo A93 5G comes in as the 5G rendition of the standard Oppp A93. Aside from offering 5G connectivity, we have also got a different chassis design slightly bigger display, a bigger battery, and more. This article bothers on the specs and price, to help you make your purchase decision.
The design on the Oppo A93 5G is the first indication of dichotomy you will find when comparing it to its non 5G sibling. Oppo made a couple of observable changes that make both smartphone design different.
Examining the rear panel design on both smartphones reveals Oppo opted for an elongated square camera module which holds the three cameras in a vertical position, as opposed to the smaller square module on the non-5G A93, which held in cameras in a pair of horizontal positions.
Please note that enthusiasts who decide to purchase this Android smartphone will have three colour options and they include Black, White, and Aurora.
Moving up front, we discover a slightly bigger display, as well as a punch hole, as opposed to the camera cut out on its less premium sibling. This display is 6.5 inches in size and is based on an IPS LCD panel, which is a drop from the AMOLED panel on the standard OppoA93, what more, we have a resolution of 1080 x 2400 Pixels and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The Cameras on the Oppo A93 5G falls short in camera hardware, its camera turns out to be less premium when compared to the ones on its non-5G sibling.
On the rear, we have a 48MP primary camera with an aperture of f/1.8, a 2MP depth camera with an aperture of f/2.4, and another 2MP depth camera. This camera setup is capable of shooting videos up to 4k @ 30fps.
Moving up to the front, we discover a single 8MP camera, as opposed to the dual-camera setup on its non-5G sibling. This camera is capable of shooting videos up to 1080p @ 30fps.
Hardware and Software
On the performance side, the Oppo A93 5G opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor as opposed to the MediaTek Helio P95 processor on its non-5G sibling.
The other performance facilitators include an Adreno 619 GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and a non-removable 5000mAh battery which is bigger than the 4000mAh battery on its non-5G sibling.
On the software side, we have got the ColoOS 11.1 user interface running on the Android 11 operating system.
The Oppo A93 5G features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, low energy Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band WiFi.
Internet connectivity on here is capped at 5G, which means enthusiasts can utilize 5G connectivity for downloads, streaming, and uploads, provided they are in an area with 5G reception.
The Oppo A74 5G is a fairly affordable 5G phone. It is extremely similar to the Oppo A54 5G but has 50% more RAM and double the storage. This kind of cheaper 5G phone is relatively new, but you now have a whole stack of options if you want 5G and have $300 or £250 to spend.
The Oppo A74 5G is better value than the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, and a little slicker than the Moto G50. But die-hard bargain hunters may want to consider the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite instead, as it has a better chipset and a bigger screen.
Don’t rule out the Oppo A54 5G if you can get by with 64GB of storage either. It’s only around $30/£30 cheaper but that may matter when you’re working to a budget, and the jump from 4GB of RAM to 6GB seems to make a rather subtle difference in most use cases.
We know the alternatives, but how is the Oppo A74 5G to use? A joy, mostly. The camera is responsive, the Snapdragon 480 chipset is better than you might guess considering it is part of Qualcomm’s ‘budget’ line. And while the Moto G50’s battery lasts longer, the Oppo A74 5G does just fine if you plan on charging every day. It’s a great ‘first 5G phone’, and to get something significantly more interesting at this level you have to ditch 5G and make do with 4G.
There’s nothing ground-breaking going on in its camera array though, and some 4G phones around the price have better screens or much faster chipsets.We’re still experiencing a 5G growing pain or two, then, but if you care more about 5G than blistering gaming performance, advanced camera chops or getting a bold OLED screen, the Oppo A74 5G is a fine choice.
Oppo A74 5G price and availability
Out now in the UK and Australia
Costs £249.99 / AU$399.99
Can import to the US for around $290-300, but there’s no CDMA support
The Oppo A74 5G is not really a phone intended for the US market. It lacks CDMA support, ruling it out from working properly with some US networks. However, you can import it for around $290-300. It costs £249.99 in the UK and AU$399.99 in Australia, similar to what you’d pay for a base spec Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. Higher ‘A’ number, better phone? They’re completely different series from different companies, but the Oppo does get you a little more tech for your money, including more storage at 128GB, making this a decent deal from most perspectives.
Affordable phones like the Oppo A74 5G may explore recently discovered ground, that of 5G mobiles most of us can afford, but there’s not much of a pioneering spirit in their designs.
Androids in this category tend to either have mid-size or large screens. They have all-plastic designs and tend to sacrifice a tech frill or two in order to fit 5G into the budget.
You get to choose things like whether you prefer a side or rear fingerprint scanner, a teardrop notch or a punch-hole, and how gaudy you want the back to be. The Oppo A74 5G achieves a good balance across these elements.
It’s a mid-size phone, one with a 6.5-inch screen rather than the 6.67-inch display seen in the various 4G and 5G Xiaomi phones you might buy at the price. The punch-hole looks a bit smarter than a teardrop, and the side-mounted thumb scanner is marginally preferable to a rear one, in our opinion.
Oppo A74 5G has a relatively grown-up looking grey to black gradient cast along its back. While the light reactive finish is matte, the rear surface is still glossy, so you’ll see your reflection in it.
The camera lens housing is the one part we’re not too sure about. It’s made in the image of a top-end phone, an oversized chunk of glass, without having hardware that would require all the space used here. On first opening the box we thought the Oppo A74 5G’s camera looked a bit like a toy box approximation of a high-end phone’s, like a kid wearing a slightly-too-large suit. That said, we’d forgotten all about that after about 24 hours.
The Oppo A74 5G is a perfectly pleasant phone to look at, hold, and use in most respects, though it lacks water resistance. It also only has one speaker, a mono driver on its bottom.
We’ve used this for many, many hours of podcast and live radio streams at this point. It doesn’t get too harsh at max volume and performs just fine in most situations. However, some 4G phones at this level have greater volume and bass, and stereo speaker arrays.
6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 IPS LCD screen
Solid peak brightness
90Hz mode improves scrolling smoothness
The Oppo A74 5G has a 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 LCD screen with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz. You can switch it down to 60Hz for a slight battery life boost, but the phone actually automatically drops it down to 60Hz with incompatible apps, or when the screen shows something static for a couple of seconds.
A 90Hz refresh rate improves the fluidity of scrolling, and makes a half-decent phone feel faster, even if it is not in reality. A Full HD resolution shouldn’t really be particularly notable when you spend $250/£250 or more, but these days it kind of is. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G has a 720p screen and so does the cheaper Moto G50.
Should I buy the Oppo A74 5G?
You’re after affordable 5G Cheap 5G is trending, and the Oppo A74 5G is riding that wave. It’s a 5G phone, and if Oppo sold the same device with 4G last year, it wouldn’t have been laughed off the phone shop shelves.
You don’t want a gigantic screen A lot of the enthusiast-fave phones around this price are made by Xiaomi, and they have larger screens than the Oppo A74 5G. More display space may be great for Netflix and gaming, but this phone is easier to handle thanks to its smaller panel.
You need lots of storage With 128GB of storage built in, the Oppo A54 5G has more than a lot of phones at this sort of price. So if you want to locally store a lot of media or download lots of apps and games, you won’t feel constrained.
Don’t buy it if…
You don’t need 128GB of storage
The Oppo A54 5G is very similar to this phone but has less RAM, half the storage and a slower charger. Its cameras, processor, screen, and design are identical — or near enough that you can’t tell them apart. It’s only a little cheaper, but we are talking about cheap 5G phones after all so every dollar or pound counts.
You barely care about 5G We love that phones like the Oppo A74 5G make 5G more accessible. But 5G is not a ‘free’ feature yet and other 4G phones at the price are more interesting. You get a killer chipset in the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro, a better camera in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. The Oppo A74 5G treads a slightly dull middle road.
You want good night-time photos
The Oppo A74 5G’s camera holds up pretty well during the day, but is weaker than many at night. Its auto mode low-light images are poor, and while the night mode increases brightness and brings a bit more color out, it can actually reduce the detail level from dismal to… worse than dismal.
Dynamic Color today is implemented across most first-party Google apps on Android. During the development process, the Material Design team had to reconcile the wallpaper-derived color palette with those that were hard-coded by the application/developer. A recent blog explains the solution Material You arrived at.
Before Material 3 launched to the world, our cross-functional team worked inside Google to understand how teams envisioned their products with the new Material You design language. Several teams raised a challenge with dynamic color: changing colors depending on the user conflicted with products’ chosen colors, which were often semantic and needed to stay static.
Semantic colors are those that initiatively “express conventional meaning,” like how red is associated with stopping/ending. During Dynamic Color’s design process, Google says the “challenges with semantic colors became clear right away,” especially when the wallpaper-generated palette was similar to hues that were manually selected by app developers.
For example, imagine a smart home app where custom colors like yellow, orange, blue, green could be used to intuitively represent concepts like lighting, heating, cooling, and success. These could clash with the user color on the same screen, especially if that color can change.
Google ultimately decided to retain semantic colors but make them closer – either warmer or cooler – to a user’s Dynamic Color. This resulted in a more “harmonious” experience as governed by color theory. A threshold makes it so that a color’s identity remains – “a ‘yellow’ didn’t turn all the way to ‘green,’ and retained its semantic meaning.”
We found that harmonious semantic colors tended to be closer to the user color: semantic colors’ hue numbers were shifting around, making them slightly warmer or cooler. For example, in a blue dynamic scheme, semantic colors like red, orange and green all became cooler, moving closer to the cool hue of the blue user color.
Color is personal and deeply subjective. What one person is drawn to may be off-putting or unusable for another. In Material 3, dynamic color makes apps personal for each user, so apps can adapt to user choices, preferences and needs like expression and accessibility. Dynamic color is one way Material You carries out its ethos of respecting the user.
Dynamic color adapts to each person and upholds the Material You ethos of respecting the user.
When we think about the people in our lives, each has their own unique needs, tastes and relationship with technology. An app’s basic design goal is to be broadly usable and visually capture a company’s brand, which can neglect these unique needs and tastes. Dynamic color addresses this gap and emphasizes the user’s perspective by giving apps a color scheme from the user’s wallpaper.
A Material color scheme provides accent, neutral, and other colors to meet most product needs. Being dynamic, almost all of these colors can change to the user. An exception is the Error color: a red that communicates a failure state when used on an icon or label. We call representational colors like Error, which express conventional meaning, ‘semantic’ colors. Designers often choose semantic colors for their intuitive or cultural associations: think how red is associated with ‘stop’.
‘Semantic’ colors express conventional meaning, and intuitively represent concepts like ‘stop’.
Before Material 3 launched to the world, our cross-functional team worked inside Google to understand how teams envisioned their products with the new Material You design language. Several teams raised a challenge with dynamic color: changing colors depending on the user conflicted with products’ chosen colors, which were often semantic and needed to stay static. For example, imagine a transit app that takes colors from real-world signage or a weather app that uses colors to represent hot and cold temperatures.
This tension presented an opportunity to mature dynamic color—how might Material honor the end-user and product maker with a color system that respects both?
The challenges of algorithmic color
Dynamic color schemes in Material are algorithmic (generated from a set of rules) and derived from the user’s wallpaper.
Material’s new color system is algorithmic. This means that all colors that Material provides are generated from a set of rules, rather than the manual process of hand-picking colors that designers are used to. Even so, designers on the Material team explore colors by hand and evaluate them by eye before turning the colors that we like into an algorithm. This way, we preserve the human touch and sometimes unexpected decisions that create the best visual results.
Material designers also like to work collaboratively with makers using our system, whether that’s a team inside Google or an independent outside team. In this case, we brought together designers from other Google teams in a color workshop. During this, we explored how products’ own colors might fit into dynamic color: a world where the overall color scheme changes, according to the user’s wallpaper.
In a smart home app, specific semantic colors could be used to represent concepts like lighting and heating, which could clash with the user color scheme.
The challenges with semantic colors became clear right away. For example, imagine a smart home app where custom colors like yellow, orange, blue, green could be used to intuitively represent concepts like lighting, heating, cooling, and success. These could clash with the user color on the same screen, especially if that color can change.
Exploring colors by hand
Replacing semantic colors with the user scheme looked pleasing, but made apps that relied on semantic color harder to use.
At first, our designers explored replacing semantic colors with those from the wallpaper-based user scheme, but this made the state of one’s home difficult to parse. We didn’t want aesthetics to compromise giving users an easy and intuitive experience, so we needed to maintain distinguished colors in some way. Knowing this, we explored schemes where different semantic colors appeared visually pleasing and at home under the overall user wallpaper color scheme, largely by manually picking or adjusting them.
The design team needed to maintain different semantic colors while creating harmony in the color scheme overall.
This led to some pretty interesting and provocative color combinations. Ultimately, the most promising examples proved to be those in which the overall scheme appeared harmonious, while semantic colors’ original identity (‘a yellow’), and hence the viewer’s understanding of what they represent (‘lights are yellow’), were retained.
Having just drawn examples, we knew that it was theoretically possible to create color schemes where semantic colors look pleasing rather than clash with user color. But because our color system is dynamic, we now needed to define rules for our algorithm that would create such harmonious schemes given any set of colors, across the whole spectrum.
Finding a solution with the help of color science
First we wanted to understand why these colors were visually pleasing, to uncover any properties they had which could translate into rules. Why does this yellow look more harmonious under this red scheme, while another yellow looks better under a blue scheme?
A color can be described by its hue, tone, and chroma.
This harmony can be explained by color theory. For any color, its hue corresponds to one’s perception of it as red versus blue, or yellow versus green (other properties that describe a color include tone, or how light or dark it appears, and chroma, or how vibrant or neutral). Hue is a spectrum that can be drawn like a circle, and ranges on this circle will correspond to what one might recognize as a certain color, like yellow (how people recognize and separate colors is highly influenced by culture).
A particular hue of a color can be considered warmer or cooler, depending on where it is on the spectrum.
Depending on where in this range a particular color falls, it can be considered a warm or cool version of that color. For example, yellows towards the orange hues are warm yellows, while those towards the green side are cool yellows. This idea of color temperature also corresponds to entire types of colors that people visually and culturally perceive as warm or cool. For example, red overall is a warm color, while blue is a cool one.
Sets of colors that sit closer together on the hue spectrum can appear more harmonious than those farther apart.
In Material, we quantify hue as a number from 0-360, very much like degrees on the circle. To understand why some colors looked pleasing together, we examined their hue numbers. We found that harmonious semantic colors tended to be closer to the user color: semantic colors’ hue numbers were shifting around, making them slightly warmer or cooler. For example, in a blue dynamic scheme, semantic colors like red, orange and green all became cooler, moving closer to the cool hue of the blue user color.
An algorithm to create color harmony
Material creates color harmony by adjusting custom colors towards the user color for a more pleasing overall scheme.
From this, we realized we could define rules to consistently take a semantic color’s hue and shift it towards the user color, creating a warmer or cooler version with better harmony. With more experimenting, we found a threshold that achieved this color harmony while retaining a color’s identity: a ‘yellow’ didn’t turn all the way to ‘green’, and retained its semantic meaning.
Along the way, our designers learned a lot about the intricacies of color science and perception. And since we’ve added color harmony to our design guidance, the Material Theme Builder and engineering resources, we hope to pass this knowledge on to teams and makers, and enable them to work with color in both beautiful and functional ways.
Apple could very well never adopt the Touch ID sensor on its flagship iPhones again, but since the pandemic started more than two years ago, rumors about this possibility ramped up. Now, with iOS 15.4 set to be released in a few weeks now, Apple shows how it could focus on Face ID for the indefinite future.
Don’t get me wrong, Touch ID was a breakthrough feature when it launched with the iPhone 5s: fast, secure, and easy to use, but everything changed when Apple introduced Face ID with the iPhone X.
At the time, the company said it was two years ahead of the competition, but five years since the iPhone X launched, it still looks like Apple is, at least, half a decade ahead of its competitors about facial recognition.
Sure, the embedded fingerprint sensor has gotten better, but the easiest – and the safest – way to unlock your device is by looking at it. And although Apple took a while, it’s finally launching a simple solution that makes Face ID usable again with eye recognition.
It’s funny to think that while iOS 14.5 was a big update to iPhone users – as it brought the ability to unlock the iPhone with the Apple Watch – it’s once again launching an important software feature as. a mid-year release. This upcoming operating system will give users the ability to unlock their iPhones while wearing a mask, without the need for an Apple Watch or other device in addition to your iPhone.
As Apple explains, the TrueDepth system tries to “recognize the unique features around the eye to authenticate” your face. With the Apple Watch unlock feature, on the other hand, the TrueDepth system recognizes someone is wearing a mask, that the Apple Watch is near, and then the iPhone is unlocked. Since it only recognizes a mask and not the person, this is why you couldn’t authenticate third-party apps or pay with Apple Pay before.
Face ID with a mask works – and it’s great
Now, with the beta version of iOS 15.4, You can use Face ID again on the street. You can access email app, WhatsApp, and other apps that require facial recognition with ease. Not only that, but I can also pay with Apple Pay again using my phone.
Of course, in the perfect world, Apple still recommends you use full facial recognition, but as we still have to wear masks everywhere, it’s very convenient to have the TrueDepth system scanning your eyes.
The new Face ID function continues to be as reliable as always. No one can unlock your iPhone by mistake, and the TrueDepth system usually recognizes your eyes rapidly.
It finally looks like Apple found the right approach to deal with Face ID and masks.
Touch ID rumors will die. Even though it was reported that Apple tested an embedded fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 13, Face ID is one of the functions that makes Apple shine when compared to its competitors.
Not only that, but the company keeps pushing for Face ID recognition. Rumors for the iPhone 14 show that Apple is planning a new notch by hiding some TrueDepth sensors. It shows that the company is indeed improving its facial recognition method as the only way for iPhone users to securely unlock, pay, and store information on their devices.
With iOS 15.4 being released a few weeks from now, users that don’t like to update their iPhones with beta versions will see how much this operating system makes our everyday tasks seamless again, as we shouldn’t have to worry whether we’ll be able to unlock our iPhones as fast as we used to.
Google is officially back. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is leagues ahead of its predecessors in hardware, software, and design with a brand-new set of camera sensors, a new and unique design, and plenty of new software features that leverage Google’s custom-made Tensor chip. All packaged in stylish new hardware, the Pixel 6 Pro is what Google believes is the “best expression of Android”.
The Pixel 6 Pro has been totally redesigned and features dual-tone glass finishes, along with a camera array that sits in a bar all the way across the rear of the phone. There’s now an in-display scanner (as is the trend across Android flagships), and the 120Hz LTPO AMOLED is the largest (and smoothest) of any Pixel smartphone.
Google believed that conventional chipsets weren’t enough for what it wanted to be possible on a smartphone, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro is a culmination of years of research and development that led to Google’s first customized Tensor chipset (produced by Samsung), along with the integration of that chipset with advanced software features and improving camera performance all around. The new chipset enables quicker and more efficient on-device language processing, and it allows for Google’s computational photography to work faster than before.
The Google Pixel 6 Pro has new camera sensors all around, all of which are larger than previous Pixel phones. The main camera is a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN1 that Google says can capture 2.5X more light than the Pixel 5’s 12.2MP main sensor. There’s a 48MP periscope telephoto camera capable of 4X optical zoom, and an updated ultrawide camera with a new 12MP sensor. The front camera is now 11.MP and capable of recording 4K video. Google also improved the camera’s facial recognition and introduced Real Tone: a series of tweaks and improvements to the camera to accurately capture people of all skin tones.
Google Pixel 6 Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 210g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins).
Front camera:Wide (main):11.1 MP, f/2.2, 20mm, 1.22µm
Video capture:Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), stereo sound rec; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, EIS.
Battery: 5003mAh; Fast charging 30W, 50% in 30 min (advertised), USB Power Delivery 3.0, fast wireless charging up to 23W, reverse wireless charging
Misc: Titan M2 security coprocessor, In-display fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; Google Pay; Google Assistant
You can expect 80% faster CPU performance and 370% faster GPU performance compared to the Snapdragon 765G that ran in the Pixel 5. Tensor will enable new language processing features that Google touted during its presentation. It also integrated the ISP and Context Core within Tensor to make image processing and background tasks more power-efficient.
We’re excited to dive into the Google Pixel 6 Pro and check out the improvements in photography and videography, as well as expected improvements to battery life given the huge 5,003 mAh power cell. There are also some huge changes in Android 12, which coincide nicely with Google‘s new design identity. Let’s start with the phone’s packaging, which comes in a slimmer box.
The Pixel 6 Pro comes in a more compact box, now that a charger is no longer included. Underneath the handset in the box, you’ll find a USB-C to USB-C charging cable, SIM-eject tool, documentation, and a ‘Quick Transfer Adapter’. This lets you connect a USB-A cable into the Pixel to transfer data from another Android or iOS device.
The Pixel 6 Pro competes directly with higher-end smartphones but slightly undercuts them in price with its $899 starting price. The Pixel 6 Pro is only available in select markets, including the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, UK, and Ireland.
The Pixel 6 (non-Pro) is naturally the first alternative that comes to mind. Though we haven’t reviewed it yet, this Pixel comes at a significantly cheaper price point than the Pro for $599. The Pixel 6 Pro brings a smaller 6.4-inch flat display with a 90Hz refresh rate, there are 8GB of RAM (versus 12GB on the Pro), and there’s no periscope telephoto camera here. Although it has a smaller battery (4614 mAh), we’d have to run tests to tell you which one gets better battery life.
The Google Pixel 5 and 5a come to mind as the only (older) alternatives from Google. The Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a are both very well-rounded smartphones with excellent battery life and great all-around Pixel cameras that still hold up today in their price range.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro are the closest to the Pixel 6 Pro in price, though the Pixel 6 Pro’s display more closely matches Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. Google‘s Pixel is often considered “The iPhone of Android” due to the first-party support and software updates that come directly from Google. Google’s 5 years of Android updates also now more closely matches Apple’s five to six years. Cameras are both impressive, but the iPhone wins in consistency and battery life on the 13 Pro Max.
The Pixel 6 Pro‘s price point sits right between the Galaxy S21+ and the S21 Ultra, but these days – even as we approach the holiday season, it may be possible to snag an Ultra at a decent discount. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is regarded as one of the best smartphones of 2021 with its fully equipped cameras, bright and beautiful AMOLED screen and multi-day battery life. Though the Galaxy is a little behind on software updates, Samsung’s One UI is packed with many features and even brings versatile support for Samsung’s S Pen Pro.
The Oppo Find X3 Pro comes to mind with its large AMOLED screen and excellent cameras. As one of the earliest smartphones running the Snapdragon 888 chipset, its battery endurance is slightly behind the Pixel 6 Pro, albeit with a 4,500 mAh battery versus the Pixel 6 Pro’s larger 5,000 mAh one. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a 50MP main camera and dual 48MP telephoto and ultrawide cameras, and a large display with a high refresh rate. The Xiaomi phone, however, does support 67W fast charging out of the box.
When Google launched the Pixel 5 last year, many (including we) were met with confusion when Google announced that the flagship Pixel phone for 2020 was reverting to a mid-range device with the same camera hardware. In our review of the Pixel 5, we were disappointed that Google would not release a true flagship, but now we realize that it could have been due to supply chain issues that dated back to early 2020.
Google has been overdue for a changeup with the Pixel line, and it has been satisfied with the Pixel 6 Pro. The phone looks beautiful, the cameras have finally been updated, and Android is as good as ever with Android 12. In addition, Google has promised up to 5 years of software support including three years of OS updates and 5 years of security patches.
The cameras are extremely capable with deep colors and well-defined details, even so, we still think it could use a couple of tweaks. HDR+ seems more aggressive than it needs to be, thus making images look slightly overprocessed and sharper than true life. There’s also some inconsistency in color between the main and ultrawide cameras. The resulting images, regardless, are indeed pleasing to look at. Video sees much improvement as well, with excellent dynamic range and great stabilization. We just wish there was a way to use the 4X zoom camera in lower resolution modes, but we think this may be a bug.
So the question that bears asking here: Is the Google Pixel 6 Pro worth it? It depends on where you are located and whether you are willing to wait a bit longer for a new phone. As of the first of November, the Pixel 6 family in the US is backordered through the end of December, and even going into January for some models. In addition, the Pixel 6 duo is only available in a handful of markets across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Although it doesn’t score high marks in battery life, the Pixel 6 Pro truly is a wonderful take on Android that many have been waiting for, and we’d recommend it to anyone who has been holding onto an older-generation Pixel smartphone in hopes that Google would eventually pull through. If you’ve a more recent Pixel smartphone like the Pixel 5 or 5a, we’d recommend waiting until another Pixel comes around with the second-generation Tensor chip – one that is better able to manage battery life and one that’s perhaps less prone to throttling.
If you manage to find availability for the Pixel 6 Pro, this is the best Google Pixel that money can buy today. Google has continued to innovate in software features and has even gone out of its way to customize the chipset to leverage more software features that are exclusive to the newest Pixels while pushing its limits with computational photography.
Gorgeous hardware design with IP68 and durable Gorilla Glass Victus all over
Excellent display with 120Hz and great sunlight legibility
Beautiful UI with fun and colorful elements; extended firmware update support (3 years OS, 5 years security); newly enabled Voice Typing and on-device voice to text processing are excellent
Google Tensor chip offers great all-around performance and excellent graphics performance
Pixel camera sees much needed improvements in still images and video; excellent shots from 4X periscope camera
Battery life misses expectations
No charger included in the box
30W charging is not the quickest
HDR+ is too aggressive in still images and could use some tweaks
Color tuning inconsistent between main and ultrawide cameras
Google Tensor chip throttles under sustained peak performance
Samsung currently has a really strong Galaxy A lineup. They took their “Awesome is for everyone” slogan to heart with interesting and fresh designs, as well as good value specs. Better still, the Korean giant definitely recognizes it has a good product on its hands and is now investing even further in extending its life. Particularly the Galaxy A52, which now has a new Samsung A52s 5G variant.
Technically, it can be considered another generation of the product, compared to the vanilla A52 and the A52 5G, though there aren’t too many new changes here. The first two A52 models came out back in March, with the 5G one swapping the original’s Snapdragon 720G for a 5G-capable Snapdragon 750G and the 90Hz, 6.5 Super AMOLED display for a 120Hz one. All the while keeping the two devices physically identical.
Now the Galaxy A52s 5G takes the Galaxy A52 5G and builds on top of it even further, swapping the chipset once again with an even better Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, effectively addressing one of the few issues we had with the original – a slightly underpowered chipset.
And that’s about it – a significant leap forward in performance and a few other minor specs additions that the new chipset affords, like Wi-Fi 6 compatibility, but still the exact same phone. Arguably, with less changes than going from the vanilla A52 to the A52 5G.
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G specs at a glance:
Body: 159.9×75.1×8.4mm, 189g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic back; IP67 dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins).
That’s definitely not us complaining, though, since the price tag on the Galaxy A52s 5G is practically unchanged either. Plus, you are still getting an excellent device, with some highlights like that 120Hz, 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED panel we just mentioned, a solid quad camera setup – the same as before, a gorgeous and youthful, playful exterior, with a rubber-like finish, pastel colors and an IP67 rating.
Once again, you physically get the exact same 159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm phone, with a plastic yet sturdy frame and a Gorilla Glass 5 front. It even weighs the same at 189 grams, which makes sense since the battery is the same 4,500 mAh one. It can be charged at a rate of up to 25W, like before, but this time around, you get a 25W charger in the box, as well, which is even more added value on the Galaxy A52s 5G.
Both the original Galaxy A52 and the A52 5G in detail, you can refer to those articles for commentary on design, software and any other aspect that has been carried forward unchanged on to the Samsung A52s 5G.
Since the chipset has been swapped, we will go ahead and re-test everything related to that, including performance, battery endurance and charging. We’ll test the camera performance as well, since a new chipset does also mean a new and potentially different DSP, even though the cameras remain the same.
Before we get to all that, let’s go through the new box and its contents really quick. There is nothing particularly special about the box itself – it is a simple, two-piece cardboard affair, but is strong and does its protective job as intended.
The accessory package hasn’t changed drastically, with the important exception of the included charger. The Galaxy A52s 5G comes with a 25W charger in some markets instead of the lesser 15W unit the A52 and the A52 5G came with. You do need to check your particular retailer, though. So, that’s a nice little potential value-add bonus.
Beyond that and a relatively short USB cable, there is nothing extra inside the retail box. No case or anything like that, which you might get with budget offers from other manufacturers. Even so, it’s all about perspective, since with something like the significantly more expensive Galaxy S21 series, you don’t even get a charger at all.
It is not particularly hard to find viable competitors to the Galaxy A52s 5G within its rough mid-ranger price bracket. Though in fairness, Samsung has made the task significantly harder, in the best possible way, now that the refreshed model comes with a snazzy new Snapdragon 778G chipset, at little to no extra cost and at no notable expense to its other strengths.
And the A52s 5G has plenty of those – an excellent 120Hz, 6.5-inch Super AMOLED panel, solid battery life from its 4,500mAh and decently-fast 25W PD charging, a very good stereo speaker setup, plus a 3.5 mm audio jack and ample power from that shiny new Snapdragon 778G chipset. Not to mention the excellent modern connectivity options, like 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
The phone’s excellent exterior should also not be overlooked, and we’re not just talking about the eye-catching pastel colors that also include a great silky, rubbery finish. Just like its predecessors, the A52s 5G comes with Gorilla Glass 5 and, more impressively, IP67 official ingress protection rating. That alone is practically impossible to match at this price point, outside of Samsung’s own offers.
Speaking of which, if your budget is not set in stone, why not look into the Galaxy S20 FE. It has a similar 120Hz AMOLED but offers much better performance thanks to the flagship-grade Snapdragon 865 5G chip. The S20 FE has a better camera on the back, too – there is a 12MP primary with OIS, a dedicated 8MP tele camera with OIS and 3x optical zoom, while the 12MP ultrawide shooter is a match to the Samsung A52s‘. And if these aren’t good enough reasons to spend more, then there is fast wireless and reverse wireless charging, too. Oh, and in case ingress protection matters to you, the S20 FE has an even better IP68 rating.
On the flip side, if you don’t mind giving up a few extras in the name of saving a buck, then the Galaxy A32 is still a great option. Not to be confused with the A32 5G, though. You still get a solid 6.4-inch, 90Hz Super AMOLED panel, an even bigger 5,000mAh battery, with excellent 119 hours of endurance in our tests. You also get most of the same camera setup, with a few downgrades and nearly all of the same software features from One UI and excellent three-Android-release and four-year security packages software support promise. No stereo speakers, ingress protection and a significantly worse chipset, though.
Also, another a bit more “out-there” suggestion for you – if you really like the Samsung A52s 5G, but just wish you didn’t have to spend as much for it, you can probably hunt around for a deal on the original Galaxy A52 and get most of the same experience. You will be sacrificing on 5G, the 120Hz refresh rate (though you still get 90Hz) and some performance overall in the chipset department and connectivity options. Technically, the same logic can be applied to the A52 5G, as well, though the price delta there just doesn’t seem to be worth it at the time of writing.
There is plenty of value to be had outside camp Samsung, often for a notably lower price too. Some highlights include the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. For just shy of EUR 250, it offers an excellent 6.67-inch, 120Hz, AMOLED, HDR10 panel, stereo speakers, a big 5,020mAh battery, with 118 hours of endurance in our testing and 33W fast charging and a quad main camera setup, with a 108MP snapper at the helm. Slightly worse Snapdragon 732G chipset, with no 5G, though and an IP53 rating.
Depending on your personal priorities, you can go for the Poco X3 instead and get a similar overall package, but with a significantly better Snapdragon 870, 5G-enabled chipset and just some minor sacrifices in other departments like a 48MP main camera and a smaller battery.
We would also be remiss if we didn’t mention the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, which practically seems crafted as a direct competitor to the Samsung A52s 5G. Some of its highlights include a 6.55-inch, 90Hz AMOLED display, with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, stereo speakers, the exact same Snapdragon 778G chipset, a nearly-identical 4,250mAh battery, with 33W charging and a similar camera setup, with a 64MP main snapper, but also a dedicated 5MP 50MM telephoto. All of this for a notably lower price than the Galaxy A52s 5G.
Like we said, there is no shortage of great offers in the mid-range segment, so here are a couple more. Depending on where you live, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G might be a great one. A few of its standout features include a high-end MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset, 65W fast charging on its 4,500mAh battery, as well as a 50MP, OIS-enabled main camera.
OnePlus Nord 2 5G • Realme GT Neo2
Last, but not least, you could look into the Realme GT Neo2, again depending on local availability, though. It packs, among other things, a Snapdragon 870 5G chipset, 6.6-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display and a big 5,000mAh battery, also capable of 65W charging.
The Galaxy A52 line, in our opinion, has successfully managed to hit the “sweet spot” within Samsung‘s strong and compelling current Galaxy A lineup. The newest Samsung A52s 5G refresh has flawlessly executed a chipset upgrade, only bringing more value to the table. The Snapdragon 778G is not only all-around faster than the Snapdragon 750G it replaces, but it also brings along some nifty connectivity upgrades, namely Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Most importantly, though, it does so without harming or downgrading the other aspects of the Galaxy A52 and without really increasing its price tag either.
If you are after a great value-proposition from Samsung in 2021, or alternatively, really need an IP67 ingress protection rating for under EUR 450 at current pricing, then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. Or, perhaps the A52, if you can find a good deal and can live with the trade-offs. It’s also important to note Samsung’s promise of extended software support on the Galaxy A line as an extra value add. You can expect 3 major OS updates, as well as 4 years of security patches.
Even with all that said, though, we understand that many of you will look around at what many competitors are currently offering at this price point and still find the Galaxy A52s 5G a bit lacking and not quite hitting the right sports for you, personally. Samsung‘s MSRP is a bit on the higher end. However, price and value are not the same things. Also, value is, in a major way, a subjective matter, and thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives and competing formulas to choose and pick from nowadays.
Nice color options and new silky finish, standout, stylish design, IP67 rating, Gorilla Glass 5.
Bright AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate.
Solid battery life. 25W charger in the box in some markets.
Impressive hybrid stereo speaker setup for the price range.
Latest One UI 3.1 and Android 11 setup, with plenty of advanced Samsung features and a promise of 3 major OS updates and 4 years of security patches.
The Snapdragon 778G chipset offers a nice overall performance boost over the Snapdragon 750G, as well as some connectivity upgrades.
Versatile quad camera setup, with OIS on the main 64MP snapper and solid camera quality.
4K video recording with every camera and at every zoom level.
Still priced a bit too high compared to viable alternative devices.
Color consistency in photos across the ultrawide and main cameras needs some work. So do white balance in low-light and Night mode.
Selfie camera consistency leaves a bit to be desired.