9 fun drones you can control with your smartphone

This post was originally published on our sister site DroneRush.com

Traditional RC toys rely on dedicated controllers to operate, but modern technology put an extremely capable smart device in your pocket and many manufacturers look to use it for their new toys. I’m being vague, I refer to quadcopter style drones you can control with your smartphone or tablet.

Higher-end drones still rely on a dedicated remote for actual flight controls, but many toy class units fly using nothing more than an app and a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. Let’s take a look at some of the best on the market today.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Mavic 2 Pro in hand in New York at the DJI Mavic 2 launch event along with the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Launched in August 2018, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro are the same drone, as far as connectivity to your smartphone goes. They have different cameras, offering different modes for different shooting styles, but they are, otherwise, two of the very best drones that DJI has put to market. Through the DJI GO 4 application, or other apps like AirMap and Litchi, you can put a highly capable, speedy but smooth drone into the air.

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is $1249 and the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is $1449 ($1849 in Fly More kit bundle.)


Skydio R1

Skydio R1 at InterDrone 2018

Taking things to an entirely new level for obstacle avoidance, the Skydio R1 is a powerful machine with the Nvidia Jetson computer on-board to help navigate. This 4K flying machine pretty much flies itself, just use your mobile device to tell it to take off and follow you, then head on down the road. It’s pretty impressive. Stay tuned for more coverage of this powerful drone. With a significant recent price drop, you’ll still need to save up $1,999 for the Skydio R1

Related reading: Skydio R1 update from InterDrone 2018


DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air review

I’m sure you’ve heard that DJI has announced the new Mavic Air, a compact, folding drone that packs the best of the Mavic Pro and Spark into one. Well, that goes for flying the quadcopter by hand gestures and using the mobile application. We’ll be bringing you plenty more coverage of this new drone soon, for now, if you like DJI products, were looking for a portable option and wondering which is the best, the Mavic Air is probably the answer. 

Learn more about the Mavic Air:

The Mavic Air is $697 alone, grab the Fly More combo for $894. Regular $799 and $999. 


DJI Mavic Pro

Also seen in our Best drones list, Best camera dronesBest professional drones and DJI Drones guide

DJI Mavic Pro flying mountain featured ch

DJI Mavic Pro reviewWe hesitated to add this here, the Mavic Pro, as with other DJI drones that can be controlled via smartphone, benefit greatly using the controller and smartphone in combination. Thing is, there is a WiFi mode that allows you to take control using just your phone. Range is limited, capabilities are not all utilized, but you can do it. Take the control method out of the equation and I can do nothing more than gush at how great of a drone you are getting here; the compact, folding design is unrivaled today, particularly in this capable of a 4K video recording drone with excellent autonomous features.

Learn more about the Mavic Pro

Check out the DJI Mavic Pro for $875 as the base package, $1,129 in the Fly More bundle from Amazon today. (Watch for sales as low as $800 and $1000. Regular price $999 and $1299.)


DJI Spark

Also seen in our Best drone and Best selfie drones lists

DJI Spark reviewForget your smartphone, control this drone with your bare hands! That’s right, the new DJI Spark was designed for the maximum in ease of use, where a controller can be cumbersome to transport and a smart phone can be used, but maybe you want to save the battery, you can use hand gestures to control the quadcopter. From start to finish, you can fly this drone, capture some aerial selfies and land it right back in your hand.

If you own a larger smartphone, you’ll find it is larger than this drone, it’s that small. I mean, the fuselage is small, there’s still propeller arms and the folding propellers to deal with, but hey, it’s still one of the more portable flying machines around.

Related reading:

Grab the DJI Spark for $310 for the drone alone, a Fly More bundle will run $509. (Regular price $499 and $699.)


Yuneec Mantis Q

yuneec-mantis-q-flying-indoors-6

The compact, folding drone market exploded for consumer class machines, and we’re happy to see Yuneec produce an offering. The Yuneec Mantis Q is one of the smaller offerings, with one of the longest flight times. As far as controlling this drone with your phone goes, it is, perhaps, the most fun around. Yuneec built voice control into this drone! Talk into your phone, it translates your words then transmits the controls to the drone. 

Related: Mantis Q review

You can grab the Yuneec Mantis Q for $439 on Amazon today.


Hubsan X4 H501S Pro

Also seen in our Hubsan drones at CES video

Hubsan Drones GuideWe spent some time with Hubsan at CES behind closed doors, they have some interesting and fun stuff in the pipeline, but next to hit the market will be the new Pro version of the brushless H501S. Despite using their advanced controller with FPV video screen, you can actually fly this drone, as with many other Hubsan drones, using just the app.

They have a special tiny controller in the works that seems little more than a phone dock, which, to be fair, is basically what it is. Put your phone to use on a number of Hubsan drones, including the X4 H501S Pro. or the lesser expensive X4 H501S Brushless for $178 on Amazon today.


Parrot MiniDrone rolling spider

Also seen in our Best drones for kids and Parrot drones guide

It’s a car, nope, it’s a quadcopter? Parrot is not offering both in one device, but the MiniDrone Rolling Spider has large wheels that can spin along, adding a new level of fun and safety to indoor flying. These are not powered wheels, but they do protect the drone from crashing, allow you to scoot along the floor when there is not enough battery life left to take off, and have fun ‘crawling’ up walls when there is power.

Equipped with a small camera, this small drone is controlled by smartphone or tablet and can be yours for $25 on Amazon


Sphero BB-8

Not on any other list, but it’s Star Wars!

What is a drone? The military builds them as highly capable unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and more, the toy store says it’s a flying multi-rotor remote controlled toy, but if we are to be fairly exact about it, we’re looking at an unmanned craft of pretty much any sort. Under the water, in the air or across the ground, whether autonomous or remote controlled, there are many types of drones, and within these guidelines, Sphero’s BB-8 has got to be one of our favorite.

Control BB-8 with your smartphone, roll along the ground and enjoy some fun sound effects, augmented reality stories and more. Check out our initial thoughts on this toy. I might add that Edgar, who wrote the post, got his hands on this droid at CES 2016. We’re serious fans around here.

Check out Sphero BB-8 for $60 on Amazon today.


Drone Rush Drone Pilot Training banner Pilot-Training-Banner

Special considerations – phone and remote, plus VR

While there are few drones that accept your smartphone as the only input method, don’t forget that you can enhance or augment most flying experiences by adding your phone or tablet into the mix. DJI is a primary player in this setup, most of their drones are made to be control by remote, but then use your phone as FPV video screen.

Our favorite DJI Mavic Pro is a primary example of this, your connected phone displays what the camera on the drone sees. Further, you can control the camera from the phone and you initiate most advanced flying modes from the app on your mobile device.

In this regard, there are many, many drones that you can control, at least in part, using your smartphone.

In terms of VR capabilities with your smartphone and your drone, head on over to our partner site VRSource for David Imel’s take on the best VR drones.

While you’re looking into VR, and flying by phone, why not also check out the DJI Goggles. This new headset can connect to your DJI Mavic Pro, the new DJI Spark and has an HDMI input, so it can act as display for way more than just your drone.


Wrap-up

That sums up some of the best drones you can fly using your smartphone or tablet. There are many, but mostly just toy-class units that you can control completely via mobile device, however, keep your phone charged, it is a valuable tool for most drones even if you can’t directly control them.

Read: The best drones for kids

What is your favorite drone to fly using just your Android phone or tablet?

What’s next?
We’ve got all the Best drones here, or check out our master Drone Rush drones list!

Drone Pilot Training   |   Drone starter guide   |   Drone Manufacturers

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Best Fitbit trackers and smartwatches (March 2019)

Fitbit, currently one of the most well-known names in the fitness tracking world, has seven different trackers on sale right now. Which of them is the best Fitbit device for you? Should you pick up one of the fashion-forward devices like the Inspire HR or Charge 3, or should you consider a smartwatch device like the Versa or Ionic?

Related: 

With devices ranging anywhere from $70-$270, there’s certainly a wide range of options from which to choose. So with that said, read on to find out which one is right for you.

UpdatesMarch 2019

This month we removed the Fitbit Alta HR, Flex 2, and Ace from our list to make room for the Fitbit Versa Lite, Inspire, Inspire HR, and Ace 2.


The best Fitbit smartwatch

Fitbit Versa

fitbit versa on hand

If you were underwhelmed by Fitbit’s first smartwatch offering, the Versa might be just the thing for you.

The Fitbit Versa is much better looking and more compact than the Ionic, and it doesn’t cost as much money. Now, that lower price tag will get you fewer features (no GPS, for instance), but that’s the whole point of this smartwatch — the Versa is a smartwatch for everyone.

Don’t miss: Fitbit Versa review | Fitbit Versa vs Ionic

With the addition of quick replies, you can now reply to just about every app notification you receive on your wrist. The Versa also recently received Fitbit’s female health tracking suite, making this a much more powerful health tracker for women.

The Versa also brings Fitbit OS 3.0, 24/7 heart rate tracking, on-screen workouts with Fitbit Coach, over 15 exercise modes, Connected GPS, and swim tracking thanks to its 5ATM rating. There’s also room to store your music, and if you spring for the Special Edition model you’ll have access to Fitbit Pay. It’s not as powerful than the Ionic due to the lack of a built-in GPS, but we think the design of the watch puts it ahead of the pack.

If the Versa is a bit out of your budget, we’d recommend checking out the Fitbit Versa Lite. It’s just about the same thing with no music storage and no altimeter, and with a lower $160 price tag.

Fitbit Ionic

best gps running watches

This is the best Fitbit you can buy if you need something with a GPS. It’s an incredible fitness and sleep tracker, comes with a built-in GPS, allows you to pay for things from your wrist, and it’s water resistant. If you don’t care about smartwatch features and are looking for a high-end Fitbit device, buy the Ionic.

More: Fitbit Ionic review | Best GPS running watches

Just like the Fitbit Versa, the Ionic now has support for quick replies for notifications and female health tracking features.

Software issues aside, the Ionic is one heck of a fitness watch. It’s available now on Amazon and Fitbit.com for $269.95, and comes in three different color options.


Best Fitbit fitness trackers

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit’s Charge 3 is the best fitness tracker you can buy for under $150. Its classy, versatile design means it’ll look good in the office and at the gym. It’s also water resistant this time around, and has one of the more accurate wrist-based heart rate sensors we’ve tried on a wearable.

Don’t miss: Fitbit Charge 3 review | Where to buy the Fitbit Charge 3

Elsewhere, the Fitbit Charge 3 offers a great software experience, plenty of smartwatch features, and a battery that can last almost a week on a single charge.

If you don’t need GPS, the Fitbit Charge 3 is a great option.

Fitbit Inspire HR

fitbit inspire hr display brown leather strap on wrist

The Fitbit Inspire HR is a great fitness tracker, health tracker, and sleep tracker. It’s just $100, too!

It’s small and lightweight, supports interchangeable straps, and offers smartphone notifications on your wrist. It might be small, but it doesn’t skimp on the features. The Fitbit Inspire HR offers Connected GPS, a heart rate sensor, as well as five-day battery life.

Also read: Fitbit Inspire HR review: A good fitness tracker at a great price

Think of the Inspire HR as the “Fitbit Charge 3 Lite.” It removes a few notable features like notification history, an altimeter, and a bigger display in order to reach that $100 price point. If you don’t need those things though, the Inspire HR is a fantastic option.


Best budget Fitbit tracker

Fitbit Inspire

black fitbit inspire fitness tracker on wrist Fitbit

At $70, the Fitbit Inspire (non-HR variant) undercuts the Garmin Vivofit 4 by about $10. Aside from lacking a heart rate sensor and goal-based exercises, the Fitbit Inspire isn’t all that much different from the Inspire HR.

That means you get the same great fitness/sleep/health tracking as the pricier model, albeit with a slightly smaller feature set. Full disclosure, we have not reviewed the Fitbit Inspire, though it’s close enough to the Inspire HR that we just had to include it on our list.

What’s more, you can buy a clip accessory for the Inspire, which essentially turns it into a Fitbit Zip-type device. Nice!


Best Fitbit for kids

Fitbit Ace 2

fitbit ace 2 colors

Alongside the Versa Lite and Inspire line, Fitbit also announced the Fitbit Ace 2 — a kid-friendly version of the Inspire fitness trackers made for kids ages 6-14. While the original Fitbit Ace was more of a repackaged Alta HR, the Ace 2 sports a similar design to the Inspire but adds a durable silicone case for protection.

Read more: Best fitness trackers for kids

It has a monochrome display and clock faces with cute animations that help kids see their progress throughout the day. Specifically, it can keep track of steps taken, number of active minutes, sleep quality and duration, and periodic reminders that let kids know when to get up and get moving. It also has handy software features like bedtime reminders and alarms.

It’s swimproof, so kids don’t have to take it off before jumping in the pool, and will last approximately five days on a single charge.

Of course, all Fitbit Ace 2 devices can be managed by parents in the family account settings of the Fitbit app. Parents can also urge kids to participate in family challenges and goal-based achievements.


So there you have it — our guide to the best Fitbit devices! Are we missing something? Have you tried a Fitbit device in the past? If so, what are your experiences? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Next: The most common Fitbit problems and how to fix them

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Snapdragon 855 phones — what are your best options?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 case

If performance is what you’re after, getting your hands on the best Snapdragon 855 phone you can find is the way to go. Quite a few of them were announced this year by Samsung, LGSony, and more, with even more expected to debut in the near future.

We’ve rounded up the best Snapdragon 855 phones on the market. Some are already on sale and others will hit the stores soon. Let’s dive in.

Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best Snapdragon 855 phones regularly as new devices launch.

Samsung Galaxy S10 series

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus - best Snapdragon 855 phones

The Galaxy S10 phones are aimed at demanding users, packing the Snapdragon 855 chipset under the hood (Exynos 9820 Octa in some regions), with up to 12GB of RAM. The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus offer almost identical specs, with a few differences. The Plus model has a larger display, a bigger battery, and two cameras on the front (instead of one).

Both sport a triple-camera setup at the back, with an IP68 ratingexpandable storage, and wireless charging. There’s even a headphone jack on board. They also feature an in-display fingerprint scanner and a punch-hole display with curved edges.

The Galaxy S10e offers the least of the trio, sporting the smallest display at 5.8-inches with Full HD+ resolution instead of the QHD+ you get with its bigger brothers. The phone has two cameras at the back and sports a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It’s the cheapest Galaxy S10 phone you can get, although it’s still pricey — check out the prices via the button below.

In addition to these three phones, Samsung also announced the Galaxy S10 5G, which isn’t available yet. You can learn more about it here.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

  • 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution, 522ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 (Exynos 9820 Octa in some regions)
  • 8/12GB of RAM
  • 128GB/512GB/1TB of storage, expandable up to 512GB
  • 12, 12, and 16MP rear cameras, 10 and 8MP front cameras
  • Non-removable 4,100mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm, 175g

Samsung Galaxy S10

  • 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution, 550ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 (Exynos 9820 Octa in some regions)
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 128/512GB of storage, expandable up to 512GB
  • 12, 12, and 16MP rear cameras, 10MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm, 157g

Samsung Galaxy S10e

  • 5.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 2,280 x 1,080 resolution, 438ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 (Exynos 9820 Octa in some regions)
  • 6/8GB of RAM
  • 128/256GB of storage, expandable up to 512GB
  • 12 and 16MP rear cameras, 10MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,100mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9 mm, 150g

Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1 Sony Xperia 10 10 Plus

Sony announced Xperia 1 at MWC 2019. It sports a 6.5-inch 21:9 display, which makes it quite tall. According to the company, this aspect ratio offers improved multitasking. For example, you can run two apps on the display in split-screen mode and see more of each one.

Editor’s Pick

The handset sports the latest Qualcomm chipset under the hood along with 6GB of RAM, which means it can handle anything you throw at it. It comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, three rear cameras, and a modern design with thin bezels and a glass back. The phone doesn’t have a headphone jack and packs a 3,300mAh battery, which is far from impressive.

The Sony Xperia 1 isn’t on sale yet, but it is up for pre-order at Clove in the U.K. It retails for 850 pounds, which translates to around $1,100. However, the phone will be cheaper once it launches in the U.S. — you’ll be able to get it unlocked from various retailers including Best Buy and Amazon.

Specs

  • 6.5-inch OLED display with 3,840 x 1,644 resolution, 643ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage, expandable up to 512GB
  • Three 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,330mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 167 x 72 x 8.2mm, 180g

Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 - Device on Table

The Xiaomi Mi 9‘s combination of high-end specs, modern design, and an affordable price make it one of the best Snapdragon 855 phones. The global version comes with 6GB of RAM under the hood paired with 64 or 128GB of storage, while users in China also get variants with 8 and 12GB of RAM and as much as 256GB of storage.

The Mi 9’s battery goes from zero to 100 percent in around 65 minutes.

Xiaomi’s flagship sports an in-display fingerprint scanner and packs a 3,300mAh battery that supports 27W wired charging. This charger is sold separately — you get an 18W charger in the box — and gets the battery from zero to 100 percent in around 65 minutes.

The Mi 9 also supports wireless charging, features three rear cameras covered by sapphire glass, and comes in a couple of gorgeous colors. It’s already up for pre-order in a few European countries with a starting price of 450 euros (~$510).

Specs

  • 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, 403ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • 6/8/12GB of RAM
  • 64/128/256GB of storage, non-expandable
  • 48, 16, and 12MP rear cameras, 20MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,300mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6mm, 173g

LG V50 ThinQ

best Snapdragon 855 phones

The V50 ThinQ is a minor upgrade over its predecessor. It’s 5G-ready, powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest SoC, and sports a large 4,000mAh battery. The phone is a great choice for music lovers, as it features a headphone jack and a Quad DAC for a better audio experience with the right headphones.

Read next: LG’s V-series will now be exclusively 5G, G-series will be 4G only

LG’s flagship has five cameras on board — three at the back and two up front. It’s IP68 rated for protection against water and dust, supports expandable storage, and comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. All these specs and features combined make it one of the best Snapdragon 855 phones out there.

However, you’ll have to wait a bit to get your hands on it. The phone will launch on Sprint’s 5G network this year, which is supposed to roll out before the end of the first half of 2019. No word on pricing yet.

Specs

  • 6.4-inch P-OLED display with 3,120 x 1,440 resolution, 537ppi
  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB of storage, expandable up to 512GB
  • 12, 12, and 16MP rear cameras, 8 and 5MP front cameras
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • 159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3mm, 183g

Samsung Galaxy Fold

This is Samsung’s first foldable phone. It can switch between phone and tablet form factors thanks to its bendable display. When closed, you interact with the device via an outer 4.6-inch display. It opens up like a book, revealing a 7.3-inch display.

Editor’s Pick

The Galaxy Fold is a beast of a phone. In addition to Qualcomm’s latest chipset, it also comes with 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a total of six cameras — three on the back, one on the front, and two on the inside. Unlike the rest of Samsung’s lineup, this device doesn’t have a headphone jack. It also sports two batteries totaling 4,380mAh, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and 5G support.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is the most unique device on our list of the best Snapdragon 855 phones. It will go on sale in the U.S. on April 26 with a starting price tag of $1,980.

Specs

  • 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED main display with 2,152 x 1,536 resolution, 414ppi
  • 4.6-inch Super AMOLED cover display with HD+ resolution
  • Snapdragon 855 chipset
  • 12GB of RAM
  • 512GB of storage, non-expandable
  • 12, 12, and 16MP rear cameras, 10 and 8MP front cameras, 10MP cover camera
  • Non-removable 4,380mAh battery
  • Android 9.0 Pie

These are the best Snapdragon 855 phones in our opinion, but plenty of other great options are available, like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, ZTE Axon 10 Pro, LG G8 ThinQ, and Lenovo Z5 Pro GT. Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments! 

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

The best phones of MWC 2019

MWC 2019 is already coming to a close, but a huge amount of devices debuted during the show. From foldables to 5G, this year’s event saw a lot of innovation in a space many would say has been stagnant. While many amazing devices were shown off at this year’s event, only a few can reign supreme.

These are the best phones of MWC 2019.

Huawei Mate X

While Samsung jumped the MWC gun by announcing the Galaxy Fold days before the annual Barcelona event, Huawei was quick to bite at its heels with the Mate X. With an enormous 8-inch unfolded display and a still fairly massive 6.3-inch main display in its default state, Huawei’s model shows the potential of unfolding your device to give your content a much bigger display to play on.

Huawei’s model has no notch of any kind, instead opting to mount the cameras on a small grip on the side of the device. This solves multiple problems, making the phone easier to hold unfolded and also letting someone having their photo taken see their image on the other side of the phone.

It may seem strange not to include Samsung’s Galaxy Fold on the list, but we actually got to touch the Mate X at MWC this year. The experience made us stop thinking of this device as just a weird concept and accept that it is actually a unique and interesting product.

The Galaxy Fold may very well be equally interesting. Without actually seeing and touching the device outside of a glass box on a show floor, we’re reserving judgement until we can test it in full.

Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series wasn’t technically unveiled at MWC 2019, but clearly the company wanted reviewers to experience the device in the beautiful and challenging conditions of MWC 2019 Barcelona. Samsung unveiled the device just a day before most of us got on planes headed to the event, so while it didn’t hold a press event at the actual show, we think the devices still deserves a mention.

We’re still working hard on our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, but our initial impressions have been incredibly positive. Samsung has been refining the design of these devices for almost a decade now, and the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus feel like the apex of the company’s ethos.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model, this is one of the best devices on the market from a pure power perspective. Add that Samsung has maintained all the bells and whistles like wireless charging (and reverse wireless!), IP68 water and dust resistance and even a headphone jack, and you’ve got a phone that already firmly secures a spot as one of the best phones of 2019.

We don’t won’t to go too in depth on this device since our full review is coming shortly, but it only makes sense for this device to be on our list of the best devices of MWC 2019.

Nokia 9 PureView

The Nokia 9 PureView has been leaked and rumored for quite a long time, but it still surprised us with its innovative penta-camera array and relatively low price. While specs might indicate this device is a top of the line 2018 flagship, the unique features and competitive price make it a lot more interesting.

The phone’s three monochrome cameras mean it can capture an astounding amount of detail — almost three times more than a standard RGB camera sensor. We saw how powerful monochrome sensors can be on the Huawei P20 Pro, but with three sensors it’s anyone’s guess how amazing the camera on this device will be. This device can capture 1200 layers of depth, compared to the standard three to seven captured in most smartphones, which means it could theoretically rival a traditional DSLR or mirrorless camera system.

We’re eagerly waiting to review this device, but our hands-on time indicates it could be a sleeper hit. We’ve always adored devices in the Android One program due to their simplified software, and Nokia has continued to surprise us with delightful experiences since its resurgence with HMD Global.

Sony Xperia 1

While Sony has had a hard time selling mobile devices recently, the company has always tried hard to create phones showcasing the best it has to offer. With a 4K 10-bit HDR display tuned by the Bravia team and a triple-camera system developed alongside the Sony Alpha team, we’re excited to see what Sony can deliver in the Xperia 1.

At our briefing for the device, Sony told us it scrapped the “XZ” naming scheme to indicate it was completely reimagining what its devices should be. Arguably the biggest design change is the phone’s new 21:9 aspect ratio, which Sony thinks is superior for content consumption. While most online content is still 16:9, we have seen a radical shift towards the cinema standard for a lot of content, even some on YouTube.

It’s clear Sony is pushing this idea hard, allowing the device to shoot photos and video in 21:9, as well as record in 24fps, the traditional standard for motion pictures. For someone who wants as many high-end content creation capabilities as they can get, this device looks incredibly exciting.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

While Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 was announced about four months ago, the new 5G variant excites us because of the precedent it sets for the cost of 5G devices. Because 5G is still so new, manufacturers are charging much more for phones that support it. Xiaomi is looking to live up to its legacy of low-cost, high end devices with the Mi Mix 3 5G.

The Mi Mix 3 5G costs just 599 euros, and while we recognize that is a lot of money, the original device already cost ~418 euros. The new device also comes packed with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 chip, which is reason enough to pick it over the original Mi Mix 3. While the baseline storage has been downgraded to 64GB from 128GB, Xiaomi is clearly trying to find every possible corner to cut to keep this phone as affordable as possible.

We loved the slider mechanism and fullscreen display of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and we’re sure the 5G model will be every bit as exciting. Until 5G networks are actually live, you’ll still get 4G speeds, but this an investment into the future of wireless tech. You’re definitely future-proofing with this device.


A number of other interesting and innovative devices were announced at MWC 2019, but these are our top picks this year. Have a different opinion? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments! Let’s get that discourse going!

Want an Apple laptop? Here are the best and cheapest you can buy

If you’re looking for the best Apple laptop, the company currently offers three kinds: MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. For now, the cheapest one is the older 2017 MacBook Air, which starts at $999. The newer overhauled version packs an integrated Touch ID sensor and a starting price of $1,199.

If you need additional meat in an Apple laptop, the 15-inch MacBook Pro includes discrete AMD graphics and options for six-core Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors. The smaller 13-inch model doesn’t have discrete graphics, but you’ll find Apple’s innovative Touch Bar on both. If you’re feeling cash-strapped, Apple sells a 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar too for an even happier wallet.

Okay, let’s jump in and look at the best Apple laptops you can buy right now. 

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15-inch)

Apple laptop

Apple’s largest MacBook Pro to date features a 15.4-inch IPS screen with a 2,880 x 1,800 resolution. From here the configurations are somewhat tricky to read, since Apple throws three different processors, four separate discrete graphics chips, and two starting points into the MacBook Pro menu.

The first configuration starts at $2,399 with the eighth-generation Core i7-8750H six-core processor, which is upgradable to the Core i9-8950HK for a higher price. The base configuration also includes AMD’s Radeon Pro 555X discrete graphics processor you can swap for the pricier Radeon Pro 560X. It ships with 256GB of storage but can be configured with larger a 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB SSD. Memory starts at 16GB (DDR4 at 2,400MHz) with an option for 32GB.

The maximum price you can pay for this model, just in hardware alone (no extra software) is $6,299.

The second configuration has a $2,799 starting price. It includes the Core i7-8850H six-core chip with the same Core i9-8950HK upgrade option. For graphics, the base configuration includes the Radeon Pro 560X discrete chip with upgrade options for the meatier Radeon Pro Vega 16 or Radeon Pro Vega GPUs at a higher cost. You have the same memory and storage options as the $2,399 version, though this configuration doesn’t offer the 256GB SSD.

The maximum price you can pay for this model, just in hardware alone is $7,049.

Outside those four major differences, the overall design is the same. Both include Wireless AC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, the coveted Touch Bar with Touch ID, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 720p camera. Powering this MacBook Pro is an 83.6WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of video playback or web surfing.

Finally, Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro measures 0.61 inches thick and weighs 4.02 pounds. You can configure this Apple laptop in the typical silver or Space Gray.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch)

Apple laptop

Here we jump down to Apple’s MacBook Pro sporting a 13.3-inch IPS screen and a 2,560 x 1,800 resolution. It’s powered by Intel’s Core i5-8259U four-core processor and integrated graphics with an upgrade option for the Core i7-8559U at a higher price. The base model also includes 8GB of system memory (LPDDR3 at 2,133MHz) and a 256GB SSD for a starting price of $1,799. You can upgrade the memory to 16GB while storage options include 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

In addition to the Touch Bar, you’ll find four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 3.5mm audio jack, a 720p webcam, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and a 58WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of video playback or web browsing. It measures 0.59 inches thick, weighs 3.02 pounds, and ships in silver or Space Gray.

Unlike the 15-inch version, this model does not provide options for discrete Radeon graphics or Intel’s six-core processors. Note that the $1,999 price point starts you off with a 512GB SSD.

MacBook Pro without Touch Bar (13-inch)

Apple laptop

The hardware is slightly different inside the 13-inch model without Apple’s Touch Bar. This version has the same IPS screen with the 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. By default it is powered by an older seventh-generation Core i5-7360U two-core processor, with a Core i7-7660U upgrade option. The storage options are also slightly different: the base configuration relies on a 128GB SSD and removes the 2TB model, providing only the 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD.

This model only has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one 3.5mm audio jack, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, 8GB of system memory upgradable to 16GB before checkout, a 720p webcam, and a 54.5WHr battery promising up to 10 hours of video playback or web browsing. It measures 0.59 inches thick, weighs 3.02 pounds, and ships in silver or Space Gray.

Prices start at $1,299 for 128GB of storage and $1,499 with 256GB of storage.

MacBook Air “Retina” 2018 (13-inch)

Apple laptop

This is Apple’s latest MacBook Air refreshed with a newer processor. Currently it relies on a single eighth-generation Core i5-8210Y two-core CPU option and integrated graphics powering a 13.3-inch IPS screen with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. The starting configuration includes 128GB of storage and 8GB of system memory (LPDDR3 at 1,866MHz) for $1,199 while the second starting point includes a 256GB SSD and 8GB of memory for $1,399.

In both cases, you can upgrade to 16GB of memory before checkout and ramp up the storage to 512GB or 1.5TB. Meanwhile, the set specifications include two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one 3.5mm audio jack, a 720p webcam, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, and a 50.3WHr battery promising up to 13 hours of video playback and up to 12 hours of web surfing.

This updated model comes in gold, silver, and Space Gray, along with an integrated Touch ID sensor. It measures 0.61 inches thin and weighs 2.75 pounds.

MacBook Air 2017 (13-inch)

Apple laptop

This Apple laptop arrived in mid-2017 packing fifth-generation Intel CPUs. The $999 default configuration relies on an Intel Core i5-5350U two-core processor with an upgrade option for Intel’s Core i7-5650U chip. This unit remains locked in memory at 8GB (LPDDR3 at 1,600MHz) while storage includes 128GB by default with 256GB and 512GB SSD upgrade options.

This model pack a 13.3-inch TN display with a 1,440 x 900 resolution. It’s complemented by two USB-A ports at 5Gbps each, one Thunderbolt 2 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card reader. Other ingredients include Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, a 720p camera, a 54WHr battery promising up to 12 hours of video playback or web browsing, and a silver exterior. It measures 0.68 inches thick and weighs 2.96 pounds.

MacBook (12-inch)

Apple laptop

Finally, we have Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, which sports an IPS screen with a 2,304 x 1,440 resolution. You can get this notebook with Intel’s seventh-generation Core m3-7Y32 two-core processor, 8GB of system memory, and 256GB of storage for a starting price of $1,299. You can also start with the $1,599 price point offering Intel’s Core i5-7Y54 two-core chip, 8GB of memory and 512GB of storage. In both cases, you can upgrade to the Core i7-7Y75 two-core processor and 16GB of system memory prior to shipping.

The latest 12-inch MacBook includes a 480p webcam, Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, one USB-C port at 5Gbps, one 3.5mm audio jack, and a 41.1WHr battery promising up to 12 hours of video playback and up to 10 hours of web browsing, It measures 0.52 inches thin, weighs 2.03 pounds, and ships in gold, silver, and Space Gray.

 
So that’s it for our look at the best Apple laptops. While the Pro may technically be the very best Apple laptop, really all comes down to your needs. 

The best earbuds under $50

Cheap earbuds: Close-up of RHA MA390 earbuds on a wooden beam.

The best cheap earbuds are the RHA MA390.

Cheap earbuds litter city streets and occupy gas station walls, making them more ubiquitous than AirPods. Although we’re riding out a wave of wireless and true wireless earbuds, wired alternatives still have their place in our ears and in our bags. The problem with having so many options is that there is a lot of junk out there, making it a bit harder to find the gems. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best of what’s around as you gear up for some last-minute holiday shopping.

If you have a moment, we implore you to read the in-depth list at SoundGuys, which provides greater insight to those interested.

You may like the Best of Android 2018: the best audio

Best all-around: RHA MA390

Cheap earbuds: RHA MA390 earbuds on wooden table with one earbud in background dangling over iPod Classic (silver).

The in-line microphone isn’t the best quality, but it works.

Reasons to consider the RHA MA390:

  • Despite the ~$30 price, the RHA MA390 sports aluminum housings, emulating a premium feel.
  • You’re allowed virtual assistant access via the integrated one-button microphone and remote.
  • The low-end frequencies are emphasized and reinforced by the solid seal created by dual-density silicone ear tips.
  • Listeners are afforded a three-year warranty.

Best workout: Creative Outlier One

cheap earbuds: Creative Outlier One on a wood surface.

Athletes who want to save some money on a good set of wireless earbuds will like the Outlier One.

Reasons to consider the Creative Outlier One:

Best wireless: SoundPeats Engine

Best earbuds under $50: SoundPeats Engine earbuds on black box with vase in left half of the image.

The SoundPeats Engine Wireless earbuds support aptX and aptX LL, and the magnetic housings are useful when not listening to the buds.

Reasons to consider the SoundPeats Engine:

Best durability: Shure SE112-GR

Cheap earbuds: Shure SE112 earbuds on white background.

These earbuds feature a boosted low-end.

Reasons to consider the Shure SE112-GR:

  • Shure, a legacy audio company, has been around for decades, and its SE112 earbuds feature the company’s bass-heavy house sound.
  • Stress relievers at the Y-splitter and descending from the earbuds are well-reinforced.
  • Despite the lack of a stiff ear hook component, these earbuds are meant to be worn around the ear. This mitigates microphonics, the phenomenon of cable vibrations traveling up to the earbuds.

Best bang for your buck: Panasonic Ergo Fit

Cheap earbuds: Red Panasonic Ergo Fit on white table.

These are great for listeners who just want cheap earbuds that work.

Reasons to consider the Panasonic Ergo Fit:

  • These earbuds usually retail for less than $10 and are available in 15 colorways.
  • The angled nozzles promote a more comfortable fit.
  • Sound quality for the price is surprisingly good.
If you’re still looking, check out the full article for excellent alternatives and detailed information concerning how we chose and tested the awardees.

What you should consider before buying cheap earbuds

cheap earbuds - Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100: The earbuds in the case, which lays open, and flanked by two faux greenery pieces.

The Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 retails for $149.99 and includes more features than the products listed.

  • A cogent seal is an easy way to improve sound quality. If you can’t get a good seal from the included earbuds, investing in third-party ear tips is an easy, long-term solution.
  • Premium materials are usually the first to go. That said, the Outlier One still includes IPX4 water-resistance for running and exercising.
  • A bass-heavy frequency response is common, and often preferred, when it comes to cheap earbuds. If you’d like to EQ the sound, most phones allow users to do so.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

cheap earbuds - Woman wearing Aukey 7.1-Channel RGB gaming headphones.

Writers at SoundGuys respect that audio is both subjective and objective. In turn, they apply this philosophy to their reviews.

 
Editor’s Pick

SoundGuys is Android Authority’s sister site, and the writers often cross-over to cover topics on this site. No one on the SoundGuys team benefits from partnerships or referral purchases. Individually, each writer at SoundGuys has multiple years of experience keeping tabs on the consumer audio domain, informing their review and reporting styles. To get a more in-depth understanding of the inner workings, feel free to visit the SoundGuys ethics policy page.

See also: best cheap gifts under $25

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Here are the best T-Mobile deals and offers right now (January 2019)

T-Mobile is now the third-biggest U.S. wireless carrier and could soon be the second if the Sprint merger works out. Its growth is due in part to the many aggressive T-Mobile deals and offers always available for new and current customers, with discounts on phones and other accessories.

Read Next: Best unlimited data plans in the US

Here are the currently available T-Mobile deals, so you can be aware of them when you make your next smartphone purchase from the carrier. Since T-Mobile lets some deals expire and adds new ones, we will update this post as those deals are revealed.

T-Mobile deals – Buy a Galaxy Watch or Gear S3 Watch and get a second one “free”

T-Mobile is currently running a promotion where if you get a Samsung Galaxy Watch or the older Gear S3 Watch, you can get a second one for free. You have to get both smartwatches up front along with a paid Data plan with Paired Digits line. Existing T-Mobile customers will need to get at least one new line. The “free” part comes with bill credits that will total $400 over 24 months. There’s an upper limit of six “free” watches with the purchase of six regular watches, for a total of 12 watches.

If you cancel your T-Mobile account before the free period ends, you are responsible for paying the rest of the smartwatch’s price.

 


T-Mobile deals – Get up to four free Samsung Galaxy S9 phones with trade in and unlimited plan

The best current T-Mobile deal gets you a free Samsung Galaxy S9 when you trade in a qualified older phone and sign up for one of T-Mobile’s unlimited plans. This deal will be available for up to four phones and lines on T-Mobile unlimited accounts. The phones will become free with bill credits spaced out over 36 months. 

As usual with these kinds of deals, if you cancel your T-Mobile account before the 26 month period ends, you are responsible for paying for the rest of the phone’s price out of your own pocket.


T-Mobile deals – Get a free Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 tablet

 

Another of the best T-Mobile deals gets you a free Samsung Galaxy A 8.0 tablet. You will have to add a new line to get this deal. The “free” comes when you get 24 monthly bill credits that will total $264. Again, if you cancel your T-Mobile account before the free period ends, you are responsible for paying the rest of the tablet’s price.
 
 
 
Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Buying the Pixel 3? Here are the best Google Pixel 3 XL cases

Pixel 3 XL hands on

Google recently took the wraps off the latest additions to its Pixel series – the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL. The larger Google Pixel 3 XL offers all the hardware we expect from a 2018 flagship and a slew of camera features that improve on the already fantastic camera of its predecessor. Extras like an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and wireless charging also make for an even more compelling device.

Keeping your brand new smartphone safe from accidental bumps and drops is always important. To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of the best protective Google Pixel 3 XL cases and covers that are currently available!


Google fabric case

The four available colors of the Google Pixel 3 Fabric Case. Google

One of the official cases for the Google Pixel 3 XL is the fabric case, which features the same tailored fabric as is seen with the Google Home smart speaker. The case is also thin enough to work with the Pixel Stand for wireless charging and its Active Edge feature. Available in Carbon (black), Indigo (blue), Fog (gray), and Pink Moon, the Google fabric case is priced at $40.


Pixel 3 MNML Case

Promoted

pixel 3 xl mnml mask

Looking for a thin Pixel 3 XL case? There is no thinner case than the MNML case at just 0.35 mm thin. It’s so thin that it will look and feel like you have no case at all. It doesn’t offer much drop protection, but it will protect you from the day-to-day scratches that can accumulate.

The case comes in 5 different colors, including frosted black, frosted white, matte black, really blue, and red, and it’s on sale for $14.99. Get 15% off with code: 15PX3 only at MNMLCase.com


Google My Case

Descriptions of how the Google My Case process works. Google

Another one of the official Google Pixel 3 XL cases is the Google My Case. This is a customized case for which you can upload your own photos or design, pick from Google’s own artwork, or customize a case based on a location. Finally, you can choose to pick a color for the trim of the case that looks like the color of the phone itself to keep everything uniform. The “My Case” from Google will set you back $50.


Otterbox Defender

A promotional image of the Google Pixel 3 OtterBox. Google

The Otterbox Defender is an ultra-rugged case that combines a hard outer shell and a soft inner lining to keep the phone safe from accidents. It also comes with its own belt holster that can also double as a kickstand for some hands-free video watching. The Otterbox case for the Pixel 3 XL is available for $59.95 and comes in black or blue color choices.


Bellroy Leather Google Pixel 3 case

A promotional image of the Bellroy Leather Case for Google Pixel 3. Google

These three real leather Pixel 3 XL cases come from Bellroy. Available in three colors – Black, Navy, and Carmel – these cases will definitely give your new phone a classy, fashionable look. Of course, the leather also adds a lot of grip and makes the phone easier to hold. The Bellroy Pixel 3 XL cases are available on Amazon for $49.


Spigen Liquid Crystal

spigen liquid crystal case for the pixel 3 xl

The Spigen Liquid Crystal is an ultra slim case that lets you show off the look of the phone. This TPU case comes with precise cutouts for easy access to all ports and features. It utilizes Air Cushion technology to provide better corner protection and is thin enough to be kept on when using it with a wireless charger. The Spigen Liquid Crystal case for the Pixel 3 XL is priced at $9.99.


Ringke Fusion

ringke fusion pixel 3 xl case

The Ringke Fusion case offers features dual layer protection with a TPU bumper and a hard polycarbonate panel. The case is quite thin but comes with the MIL-STD 810G-516.6 certification for shock protection. Precise cutouts are available for easy access to all ports and features, while the buttons are covered but easy to press. The Ringke Fusion case for the Pixel 3 XL is priced starting at $8.99.


Dretal Armor

dretal pixel 3 xl case with built-in plate for magnetic car holder

The Dretal Armor case is made of environment-friendly plastic and an anti-stretch TPU rubber. The corners are reinforced with an inner airbag design to allow for more shock absorption. The case also comes with a built-in metal plate that can be used place the phone on a magnetic car mount or holder. Available color options include black, orange, and navy blue, and the case is priced at $8.98.


TUDIA Merge

tudia merge pixel 3 xl case

The TUDIA Merge is a dual-layer case that combines a soft TPU gel layer and a hard polycarbonate shell to provide rugged protection. Raised edges keep the camera and screen protected and all the buttons are covered as well. The TUDIA Merge case is available in a few different colors like matte black, green, gold, and metallic slate. The TUDIA Merge Pixel 3 XL cases are priced starting at just $8.99.


Spigen Rugged Armor

spigen rugged armor - one of the best pixel 3 xl cases

The Spigen Rugged Armor is one of the best Google Pixel 3 XL cases you can get. The flexible TPU case utilizes Air Cushion technology to keep the device safe from accidental drops. The buttons are covered but easy to press. A raised lip keeps the camera bump protected and precise cutouts are available for all ports and features. The case is also compatible with wireless charging the Active Edge feature. The Spigen Rugged Armor case is priced at $9.99.


Incipio DualPro

incipio dualpro

The Incipio DualPro is another case that offers dual layer protection with a shock absorbing inner core and impact resistant Plextonium polycarbonate frame. The buttons are covered but easy to press, and there are precise cutouts for everything else. The Incipio DualPro case is currently available for $29.99.


Poetic Revolution

poetic revolution rugged pixel 3 xl case

The Poetic Revolution is a great option if you are looking for one of the rugged Google Pixel 3 XL cases around. Made with polycarbonate and TPU materials, the case comes textured sides that provide enhanced grip and raised supports on the corners to create a cushion. A polycarbonate shell covers the front and comes with a built-in screen protector. The case also comes with a kickstand. The Poetic Revolution case is available in black, white, and sky blue, and retails for $14.95.


Moment Pixel 3 XL case

The Moment Pixel 3 XL case is designed to let owners attach one of Moment’s smartphone camera lens add-ons to the back of the case. Therefore, its great for people who want to get more out of the Pixel 3 XL’s already excellent camera hardware. You can also attach a wrist strap to the bottom of the Moment case for better grip while you take pictures. The case also has a rubberized body designed to protect the phone from any accidental spills or drops.

It’s on Amazon for $34.99 and you can choose from models with a black canvas finish, a speckled white finish with real tan horween leather, or one like the model above with a real wood finish.


That’s it for this roundup of some of the Google Pixel 3 XL cases that are currently available, and we will be updating this post with more choices as they are released.

Pixel 3 XL coverage:

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Best portable battery chargers (January 2019)

Smartphone technology has come a long way in the past few years, but there is a lingering issue that is taking time to evolve — battery life. Sure, batteries are getting bigger and phones more resourceful, but many of us still have a problem keeping our devices alive. One solution is to charge your phone throughout the day, something that proves to be an issue when there is no outlet around. The next best solution is to buy yourself a battery pack or one of the many portable chargers to charge on-the-go.

With so many options around, we know it’s hard to find the best units on the market. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best portable chargers! While many use these devices to charge their phones, many modern electronic devices can be charged up including select laptops, tablets, and game systems like the Nintendo Switch.

Let’s get started and show you our picks for the best portable battery chargers you can buy right now. 


Best high-capacity options

Anker PowerCore+ 26,800mAh portable battery charger

Anker is a trusted name when it comes to portable battery chargers, and this particular option offers it all. To start with, you get the massive capacity of 26,800mAh, which is more than enough to fully recharge your smartphone multiple times. The power bank comes with three USB ports, including a USB-C port with 30W output to let you charge a MacBook and the Nintendo Switch. Like every portable charger on this list, you get protection from short circuits, overcharging, and current and voltage surge. The portable charger also comes with a 30W USB-C wall charger.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 26,800mAh
  • Output: 2 x USB ports 5V/3A max, 1 x USB-C port 5V/3A or 9V~15V/2A or 20V/1.5A (30W max)
  • Dimensions: 166.1 x 80 x 23.1mm, 576grams
  • Current price: $129.99

RAVPower 20,100mAh portable charger

This RAVPower portable charger offers features that are similar to the Anker charger above, with a few key differences. The capacity is slightly lower at 20,100mAh, but the USB-C port offers a 45W output. The capacity is still more than enough to recharge a smartphone multiple times and the device can be used to charge laptops like Macbooks and the Dell XPS 13 or 15 as well. 4 LED indicators let you know how much charge the power bank has remaining. You also get a standard USB-A port that will let you charge a second device simultaneously.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 20,100mAh
  • Output: 1 x USB ports 5V/2.4A max, 1 x USB-C port 5V~15V/3A or 20V/2.25A (45W max)
  • Dimensions: 160 x 78.5 x 23mm, 400grams
  • Current price: $59.99

AUKEY 20,000mAh portable charger

Portable battery charger - Aukey

AUKEY is a pretty well-known name in the phone accessories industry. Its product lineup includes this 20,000mAh external battery that features a thin and slim design compared to the more bulky devices on this list. Even with its thin casing, it has four power output ports for charging up to four devices at once, including three standard USB ports plus one USB Type-C port to charge the latest smartphones.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Output: 1 x USB-C port 5V/3A max, 3 x USB ports 5V/2A
  • Dimensions: 200 x 96 x 14mm, 435grams
  • Current price: $39.99
 

MAXOAK 50,000mAh portable charger

If you want to get a portable battery charger that can charge all of your smartphones, laptops, and tablets at once, then the MAXOAK charger may be for you. It not only has a massive 50,000mAh capacity, but it has no less than six charging ports. One of the ports has a 20V/5A charging capacity for laptops. Another port has a 12V/2.5A charger, while two others have a 5V/2.1A capacity. The final two ports have a 5V/1A capacity. It may not be the most portable power bank on this best portable chargers list, but it should be more than enough to cover all your charging needs.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 50,000mAh
  • Output: 6 ports (1 x 20V/5A, 1 x 12V/2.5Am 2 x 5V/2.1A, 2 x 5V/1A)
  • Dimensions: 205.7 x 134.6 x 33mm, 1.25kgs
  • Current price: $135.99
 
Looking for more high-capacity power bank option? check out our guide to the best ultra-high capacity portable chargers (26,800 mAh and above).

Best smaller capacity option: Anker PowerCore Slim 5,000mAh portable charger

Anker PowerCore Slim

The Anker PowerCore Slim, as the name suggests, is a thin, sleek, and ultra portable battery charger. The device comes with a 5,000mAh capacity, which should be enough to fully charge or get close to a full charge with most current smartphones. It comes with a single USB port that takes advantage of PowerIQ technology to allow for the fastest charge possible. While the PowerCore Slim may not be as feature packed as the other ones on this best portable chargers list, its portability is the biggest selling point.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 5,000mAh
  • Output: 1 x PowerIQ port 5V/2A
  • Dimensions: 124.5 x 63.5 x 10.2mm, 126grams
  • Current price: $29.99

Be sure to check out our guide for more portable chargers with a capacity of 10,000mAh or less.


Best for wireless charging power bank: AideaZ 20,000mAh portable battery charger

Portable battery charger - AideaZ

The Aidez portable charger not only has a battery with a big 20,000mAh capacity but also offers wireless charging. Owners can place compatible phones on top of the battery and charge them cable free. It also has two USB Type-C ports with Quick Charge support for a more conventional, and faster, phone charging experience. That means this portable battery can charge two wired phones and one wireless phone at the same time. The battery also has an LED indicator to let you know the exact charge percentage left in the battery.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Output: 2 x USB-C output ports (5~6V/3A, 6~9V/2A, 9~12V//1.5A), wireless charging
  • Dimensions: 170.2 x 61 x 22.9mm, 377grams
  • Current price: $44.99
 
 

Jump start capable battery pack: Beatit 500A 10,800mAh portable charger

The Beatit portable jump starter is ideal for anyone looking to address all their emergency power needs with a single device. This portable charger will jump-start a 3.0L gas or 2.5L diesel engine up to 20 times on a single charge. It also comes with three USB ports, including one with support for Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 and a USB-C port, to keep your devices charged on the go. There is also a flashlight with three modes — normal, SOS, and strobe. Considering all its features and its affordable price, this is one of the best portable battery chargers for anyone who is on the road a lot.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 10,800mAh
  • Output: 1 x USB port 5V/2A, 1 x USB-C port 5V/3A, 1 x QC 3.0 port 5V/2A or 6.5V~9V/1.5A or 9V~12V/1A
  • Current: Start current 250A, Peak current 500A
  • Dimensions: 145 x 84 x 25.4mm, 454grams
  • Current price: $39.99

Best for solar battery chargers: RAVPower 25,000mAh solar charger

If you’re the outdoorsy type, this is the best portable charger to get. It offers a large 25,000mAh capacity and features a solar panel on top for charging the device while you’re out and about. It’s also waterproof and there’s a flashlight on board that can be used in case you run into trouble on your adventure. The power bank has three USB ports, including a quick charge port and a USB-C port. All of these features make it a great option for those who love to hike, camp, and do similar outdoor activities.

Key details:

  • Capacity: 25,000mAh
  • Output: 1 x USB port 5V/2.4A, 1 x USB-C port 5V/3A, 1 x QC port 5V/3A or 6.5V~9V/2A or 9V~12V/1.5A
  • Dimensions: 233.7 x 99 x 38.1mm, 550grams
  • Current price: $52.99
For more solar battery chargers, be sure to check out our extended guide.
 

There you have it. These are our picks for the best portable chargers currently available! Now hit the comments and let us know which portable battery charger would you consider getting. Are there any other portable battery packs you think your fellow Android fans would like?

Related

Android Authority’s CES Top Picks 2019 Awards: Our favorite products from the show

We’ve spent the last week meeting with companies and roaming around the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center to find the very best of CES 2019. From laptops, to smart home devices, to drones, there’s certainly a lot to take in — that’s why we’ve created a list of the best products announced at CES 2019.

Here are Android Authority’s CES Top Picks 2019 Awards.

The best smartphone: Alcatel 1X

The Alcatel 1X is proof that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a decent smartphone. For around 130 Euros, Alcatel’s new budget-friendly phone offers a 5.5-inch display, Android 8.1 Oreo, a 3,000mAh battery, and support for 4G connectivity. It also comes with this beautiful sandstone texture on the back that will instill nostalgia in any OnePlus One fan out there.

What’s more, it packs a dual 16MP and 2MP rear-camera setup, which actually turned out to be quite impressive during our hands-on time with the device. Portrait mode is surprisingly good too.

The best laptop: Dell Alienware Area-51m

Dell’s Alienware went back to the drawing board to overhaul its popular gaming laptop design. Called Alienware Legend, the move marks a significant change in the overall Alienware brand. That includes a reimagined shape and new color options: Lunar Light and Dark Side of the Moon. The underlying sci-fi theme fans love still remains highly relevant.

The first product based on this new Alienware Legend identity is the Area-51m. In addition to the new outward appearance, Alienware revised the internal design to provide better overclocking and a thinner form factor. All this plays host to the latest Intel Core processors and GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics. The Area-51m initiates a new era for Alienware and its fans.

The best smartwatch: Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2

A ton of smartwatches were announced at the trade show this year, and the best one came from Kate Spade. We’re giving the Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2 an award this year because it was clear the team listened to user feedback. With an on-board GPS and heart rate sensor, the Scallop Smartwatch 2 is now a capable fitness companion — not just a pretty watch.

Watch: The best smartwatches from CES 2019

Let’s be honest, this is still a pretty watch, though. The flower-like design surrounding the bezel adds to the classy aesthetic, backed up by the understated silicone strap and stainless steel case. Of course, the iconic spade icon is scattered throughout, adorning the rotatable crown and on the top of each Kate Spade watch face.

A pretty, feature-packed smartwatch. What more could you ask for?

The best fitness product: Withings Move ECG

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The Withings team is back in full force after its brief time at Nokia, and it just announced two new fitness watches called the Withings Move and Withings Move ECG. The Move ECG won Android Authority’s Best Fitness Product Award due to the overall quality of product and benefit users will get out of the electrocardiogram.

ECGs can be literal life savers for some people, and the fact that it’s packed into an attractive, affordable, and customizable fitness watch should not be overlooked. At $130, the Withings Move ECG is a no-brainer if you frequent the doctor for heart problems.

The best smart home product: Google Assistant Connect

For years Google has been trying to become the one-stop shop for smart home products, and the Google Assistant Connect is its next big push to bring even more Assistant-connected products to your life.

Assistant Connect is a set of capabilities that product manufacturers can use to connect their own products to Google Assistant-powered devices like the Google Home or Home Hub. If a product was developed with Assistant Connect, it’s able to talk to nearby Assistant devices and display your personal information (i.e. calendar events/weather) on the screen.

The most obvious example is if a company were to create a simple display without any mics or speakers, including Assistant Connect would allow it to show you content from your linked smart speaker. In this case, the smart speaker would handle all the computing on its own while using Assistant Connect to transfer and display that content on the display.

It’s an inexpensive and easy way for companies to bring Assistant to their products, which is why it’s deserving of our Best Smart Home Product award.

The best audio product: Audio Technica ATH-ANC900BT

Few audio companies have the professional history of Audio-Technica, and when they throw their hat in the ring, we pay attention. Taking aim at the top end of active noise cancelling headphones, the ATH-ANC900BT has the firepower to be a blast.

By using a more energy efficient Bluetooth 5 connection, the ATH-ANC900BT has the specs to outlast the likes of Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser’s top-of-the-line headphones. Additionally, they’re also the most affordable entry into the top-end of ANC headsets, coming in at only $299.

The best concept: Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven

Whirlpool surprised us this year when it showed off its Smart Countertop Oven, produced under its WLabs brand.

The WLabs Smart Countertop Oven automatically detects the type of food you’re cooking. You can then choose from additional cooking options based on your preferences. For example, if you’re cooking pizza, the Smart Countertop will give you a range of crispiness to to choose from.

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Whirlpool is also the first on the market with a product that can distinguish between frozen and non-frozen food. Its current cooking algorithm is set to a 95 percent confidence interval too, so cooking times and settings should be very accurate.

What impressed us most, however, is Whirlpool’s planned distribution model for this product. Whirlpool will ship just two thousand units in the coming weeks for $799 each. We’re told the reasoning behind launching under the WLabs brand is so that Whirlpool can better gather user feedback and tweak anything accordingly. That way, it can improve the experience even further before launching a mainstream consumer product.

Overall, we were quite impressed with Whirlpool’s work as is. So, we’re very happy to see a commitment to develop the concept further.

The best mobile accessory: Corning Gorilla Glass Personalized Phone Case

The Corning Gorilla Glass personalized phone case is a surprisingly fun new addition to the mobile protection market. Corning will print any photo you like on the back of its Gorilla Glass 5 which then gets embedded into a rubberized case for your smartphone. The final product is a sturdy case with a smooth, elegant glass back that also has a picture of your spouse, kids, family, pets, or anything, really.

Eventually, Corning will have vending machines that will print you a case in a matter of minutes. Just upload your photo to a web server, tell the machine which phone you own, and a few minutes later your brand new case will pop out. Keeping your phone free of scratches and dents has never been this cool.

Best innovation: LG Signature OLED TV R

LG’s Signature OLED TV R is something we’ve only ever imagined or seen in a movie or TV show. It may shape the future of TVs forever, which is why it wins our Best Innovation Award.

Watch: LG’s rollable OLED TV at CES 2019

A prototype of the TV was shown off at CES 2018, but this year the rollable TV is a real product that consumers will actually be able to buy. The way it beautifully rolls and rises out of the sound bar feels like pure magic. The TV is there when you want it, and disappears when you don’t. It can even be there when you only partially want it. The horizon-line view shows only a fraction of the display for quick access to basic functions. It’s cool, futuristic, and will be a game changer to the TV industry.


Spotlight Awards

It’s easy to focus on the biggest names in technology at trade shows as big as CES. That’s why Android Authority has chosen six of our favorite innovative tech products that may have flown under the radar.

Jabra Elite 85h


Elevating their wireless headphones game, the new Jabra Elite 85h are noise-cancelling cans made for folks on the go.

Equipped with SmartSound, these over-ear headphones adapt automatically to produce the best sound for phone calls, music, and more. Coming in four colors with a rain resistant build, enjoy ANC on the go for up to 32 hours of battery life, even longer with ANC turned off. ANC auto switching turns on and off the service based on your environment. Of course, the Jabra Elite 85h also sound great, and you can adjust the EQ and sound profiles through the Jabra Sound+ app for extra sound clarity.

Insta360 ONE X

Weather you’re skiing down a mountain or hiking up a cliff, the Insta360 ONE X should be just the thing you need to capture great 360-degree video. This 4K-capable camera features Insta360’s FlowState Stabilization, which means smooth footage even in the most

Nuu Mobile G4

Nuu Mobile showed off its brand new G4 smartphone at CES 2019, and it provides some killer value at a cheap price. It comes with a big 6.2-inch display, a 2GHz MediaTek Helio P60 processor, dual 16 + 8MP rear cameras, and it runs Android 9.0 Pie.

The best part? You can get all of that for just $249 in March 2019.

Next: All our favorite CES 2019 announcements in one place