The Redmi series has been immensely popular for Xiaomi, so much so that the company is now positioning ‘Redmi’ as a sub-brand, similar to the way it introduced its Poco sub-brand for enthusiasts. The company recently launched the Redmi Y3 and Redmi 7 (Review) smartphones in India as replacements for the Redmi Y2 (Review) and Redmi 6 (Review) respectively.
Xiaomi introduced the Y-series a couple of years ago for selfie lovers, and the latest iteration boasts of a 32-megapixel selfie camera, which seems quite impressive for a phone that costs Rs. 9,999. However, the Redmi Y3 does have a more immediate problem to deal with first. You see, its base price is exactly the same as that of Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 7 (Review) and the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 (Review) — two phones that offer vastly superior specifications compared to the Redmi Y3.
This means the Redmi Y3 ought to have some killer selfie performance to justify picking it over the obvious choices. Let’s see if its worth your while.
Redmi Y3 design
Xiaomi launched the Redmi Y3 and the Redmi 7 together, and apart from their colours, front cameras, and RAM/ storage configurations, both phones are virtually identical. In fact, they both share the exact same dimensions. Just like the Redmi 7, the Redmi Y3 is on the heavy side as you certainly feel its 180g weight when you hold it. It’s also noticeably chunky at 8.47mm in thickness. However, the plastics used here feel sturdy.
The phone’s ‘Aura Prism’ design looks striking, especially in the Elegant Blue trim that we have for review. This phone is also available in Prime Black and Bold Red trims. The glossy finish on the back and sides means it does attract fingerprints and smudges very easily. Xiaomi has also added a P2i nano coating which is said to offer some resistance against humidity and light splashes of water.
The buttons have good feedback and are ergonomically placed on the right. The Redmi Y3 has single slot on the left for two Nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. The 3.5mm headphone socket is placed on the top, beside the infrared emitter. The latter can be used to control IR devices such as televisions, ACs, etc.
At the bottom, we have a Micro-USB port and a loudspeaker.
The plastic back on Redmi Y3 picks up scuffs easily, but the colour looks striking
Coming to the display, we have a ‘dot notch’ or dewdrop notch on the top with prominent bezels on all sides, with the chin being a little thicker. The 6.26-inch display only has an HD+ resolution so images and text don’t look their sharpest when viewed beside a phone with a similar sized full-HD+ panel, but overall, the colours and viewing angles are decent.
We initially found the brightness to be slightly limited when we first unboxed this phone, but after using it for a few days, we can say that we didn’t face any difficulties using this display outdoors under sunlight. The of this phone is made of has Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch protection.
The Redmi Y3 has white LED tucked away in the bottom chin for notifications and to indicate charging status. At the back, we have a dual camera module, flash, and fingerprint sensor. The latter works well at authentication.
There’s also face recognition, which isn’t as quick as the solution offered by Realme, but still works well. In low light, it takes a second longer to unlock the Redmi Y3, but the process tends to fail in complete darkness unless you bring the phone really close to your face.
In the box, the Redmi Y3 ships with a standard 10W charger, Micro-USB cable, SIM eject tool, some manuals, and a tinted silicone case. You don’t get earphones in the box.
Redmi Y3 specifications and features
The Redmi Y3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 SoC, which is the same chip powering the Asus Zenfone Max M2 (Review) and of course the Redmi 7 (Review). It’s a decent performer for casual tasks but isn’t suited for intensive workloads such as playing high-end games.
The Redmi Y3 comes in two variants — one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the other with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. We have the 3GB version to test today.
Other specifications include dual 4G VoLTE, single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, support for three satellite navigation systems, and the usual suite of sensors. There’s also FM radio and USB-OTG support.
The Redmi Y3 ships with a decent set of accessories
The phone runs MIUI 10.2, which is based on Android 9 Pie, however our review unit still had a slightly dated February Android security patch. The singe-layered UI will be very familiar if you’ve used any recently launched Redmi phones. There’s still plenty of bloatware pre-installed and even though you can uninstall even some of the stock apps, spammy notifications continue to be a problem which sadly, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
There is a way to stop this to an extent. For instance, during the initial setup, you need to make sure you uncheck the ‘Personalised ad recommendations’ toggle. You can also manually open each of the stock apps such as Music, Video, etc and make sure you disable ‘Receive recommendations’. With all these measures taken, we managed to reduce the spam considerably but every now and then, we would still get a couple of push notifications from the Mi Apps store and the Mi Music player.
How to Remove Ads From Xiaomi Phone
Some of the preinstalled apps included Mi Pay, which lets you setup a UPI wallet for utility payments; and Mi Drop, which lets you share files between two devices or between your device and a computer via FTP. Then there are the usual suite of gestures and shortcuts that we’ve come to expect from MIUI.
Redmi Y3 performance, cameras, and battery life
With regular activities such as using chat apps, streaming music, and using Google Maps for directions, the Redmi Y3 handled itself quite well. MIUI runs fairly smoothly and even switching between apps is often quick and painless. We did face one or two instances where the system became unresponsive when we had many apps running in the background, but this wasn’t a consistent issue.
The phone doesn’t heat up too much either, and even when gaming, the back only gets mildly warm. We didn’t face any issues with call quality.
In benchmarks the Redmi Y3 posted an AnTuTu score of 1,04,587 points and a graphics score of 35fps in GFXbench’s T-Rex test. Real-world gaming performance is decent too, as long as you stick to casual titles. Alto’s Odyssey ran smoothly, although the graphics weren’t the sharpest due to the lower resolution display.
In more demanding titles such as PUBG Mobile, the game defaulted to the ‘Low’ preset, and even then, gameplay wasn’t exactly smooth. Video playback is handled well, but the speaker doesn’t get very loud.
The Redmi Y3 features a 3.5mm headphone socket and an infrared emitter
The main reason for considering the Redmi Y3 is its 32-megapixel front camera, and now it’s time to see how it fares when pitted against the competition. Xiaomi has smartly used a 4-in-1 oversampling technique that saves an 8-megapixel image by default. This reduces the file size so photos take up less space on your phone and are easier to share. You can, however, shoot using the full 32-megapixel resolution using a toggle in the viewfinder.
In daylight, the Redmi Y3 captures detailed selfies when shooting at the full sensor resolution and when combining four pixels into one. The main difference in the two modes is that when shooting at 8 megapixels, there’s generally much better detail in background objects, which is not the case when using the full 32-megapixel resolution. There’s a big difference in file sizes too. The oversampled shots are usually under 6MB while full-resolution shots come in at around 21MB. Saving a 32-megapixel file also takes a hair longer.
When compared to similarly priced phones such as the Redmi Note 7 and the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2, the Redmi Y3 certainly has the sharpest selfies but we’re not convinced that they’re the best in terms of quality overall. Beauty mode was disabled on all the phones for our comparisons.
We prefer the overall look of selfies taken by the Redmi Note 7. Skin tones look a lot more natural and the highlights and exposures aren’t blown out, like on the ZenFone Max Pro M2. The Redmi Y3 still has the best details in objects in the background but selfies themselves look too oversharpened. Adding beautification does fix this a bit.
From top to bottom – Daylight sample, Low-light sample, Night with flash sample (Tap to see full-sized images)
In low light, the oversampling definitely helps in reducing noise, which is present when shooting at the full 32-megapixel resolution. Selfies shot with the Redmi Y3 were sharper and more detailed, and overall more appealing when compared to those taken by competition. In pitch darkness, the Redmi Y3 has the most powerful flash of the three phones, giving you the best lit selfies. There’s Portrait mode too, but the effect isn’t very convincing.
You can shoot selfie videos at up to 1080p resolution. Quality is very good in daylight but videos get a little grainy in low light. The Redmi Y3 is supposed to have electronic stabilisation (EIS) for the selfie camera but this didn’t appear to be working when we tested it, despite enabling it in the camera app’s settings.
Other selfie-centric features include Palm Shutter, which counts down to release the shutter when it detects your palm; and Group Selfie, which takes multiple photos and combines them to try to create a frame in which everyone looks good. This latter feature didn’t seem to work very well all the time.
At the back of the Redmi Y3, you get a 12-megapixel primary sensor with a f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth camera, just like on the Redmi 7. There’s AI scene detection which can be switched on or off if needed. Interestingly, AI scene recognition isn’t available for the selfie camera, like it is on the Redmi Note 7.
Autofocus speed is average at best, and while shooting videos, we found the continuous autofocus to be a little iffy as we had to tap the screen a couple of times to ensure it focused properly.
Tap to see full-sized images of Redmi Y3 camera samples
With ample light around, landscapes packed in good detail. Colours could look a little muted when HDR kicked in, but otherwise, saturation was good. Macros turned out good too but there were instances when the phone got colours completely wrong. For example, the colour of the hibiscus above should have been red and not pink. Also, the AI tended to smoothen out textures and boost the colours of objects such as flowers.
In low light, the main sensor really struggled to capture good details and sharpness. Distant objects in focus appeared a bit soft, although macros fared a bit better. The depth sensor helps this phone do a decent job with edge detection when shooting people. Video recording goes up to 1080p at 60fps. Image quality is good in daylight but gets grainy in low light. The effect of EIS wasn’t very apparent, so despite it being on, we’re not sure if it was actually doing anything.
The camera app is similar to what we’ve seen on previous Xiaomi phones. It’s easy to use and features shooting modes such as short video, panorama and pro. There’s no Night mode though, which we saw in the Redmi Note 7.
Xiaomi is touting two-day battery life with the Redmi Y3. The 4000mAh battery fared well in our battery loop test, lasting for 13 hours and 41 minutes, which is good but we were expecting a longer given the specs of this phone. However, in actual usage, we easily managed a day and a half (at times, a bit more) on one charge. Our usage typically involved a bit of gaming, chatting, and using social apps, plus making few calls and surfing the Web.
There’s no fast charging support but the 10W adapter can charge the Redmi Y3 from zero to about 52 percent in an hour.
VerdictSo, to answer our initial question — is the Redmi Y3 worth buying over more powerful smartphones at its base price of Rs. 9,999? The answer really depends on how big of a selfie shooter you are. If you find yourself obsessively taking pictures of yourself for Instagram throughout the day, then you might be willing to compromise on the specifications, just for a better front camera. While not perfect, we did find the Redmi Y3 to have an edge over competition such as the Redmi Note 7 (Review) and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 (Review) when it comes to selfies, especially in low-light.
The 4GB version is priced at Rs. 11,999, and it has even stiffer competition in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment. Many of the other options you could buy at this price offer more powerful specifications, but you might still prefer the Redmi Y3 just for its selfie camera.
On the other hand, if you only take selfies casually now and then, you would find the Redmi Note 7 (Review) or Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 (Review) to be better value than the Redmi Y3. Both phones have much better displays, more powerful processors, and slightly better rear cameras.
Do Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3 prices in India show that Xiaomi’s missed a trick? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Android vs. iPhone: 6 stellar features Apple fans wish their phones had – CNET
Android phones have some features that might make iPhone owners jealous. Sarah Tew/CNET With the release of iOS 14, Apple added several features that Android owners can no longer claim as bragging rights. For example, the iPhone now has picture-in-picture capabilities so you can watch a video and keep using your phone. Not to be…
Android phones have some features that might make iPhone owners jealous.
With the release of iOS 14, Apple added several features that Android owners can no longer claim as bragging rights. For example, the iPhone now has picture-in-picture capabilities so you can watch a video and keep using your phone. Not to be outdone any longer, Apple added home screen widgets and the ability to customize app icons. Oh, and there’s even an app drawer now, called App Library. It’s unclear of the iPhone 12’s MagSafe feature is a benefit over Android, but we’re starting to warm up to it. Despite Android 11 adding new features like Quick Controls or a built-in screen recording tool, the update didn’t really add anything iPhone owners don’t already have access to. Nonetheless, Android users still have plenty of bragging rights over iPhone users. From being able to use two apps at the same time to Google Assistant and more customization options are, for now at least, some of the features Android owners can claim as their own.
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Below are 6 things Android still does better than the iPhone. Facts. Don’t worry, though. I’ve also given Android the same treatment by highlighting what the iPhone does better. Also facts.
Surprising Android tricks an iPhone can’t do
Use the apps you want, not the apps Google wants you to use Yeah, yeah, yeah. Apple added the ability to set your default app for email or web browsing in iOS 14, but that’s it. Google has given Android users the ability to set their default apps for a number of different tasks. Want to use a different app for text messaging than what came preinstalled? Do it. In fact, you should use Google Messages as your default app for its sweet chat features that are getting closer to being an iMessage equivalent. Finding the setting for default apps can take a little digging, but at least it’s there.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
It isn’t hard to see which apps have been labeled as default on your Android device: Open the Settings app and go to Apps & notifications > Default apps. To change the defaults, select the app category, such as Phone app or Browser app and choose from the options. Google Assistant is always ready for you.
Google Assistant for the win iPhone users have Siri, but Android gives you Google Assistant. Google Assistant is a much more sophisticated tool than Apple’s Siri for a slew of reasons, but the most important one is that it makes use of Google’s impressive database. Google Assistant can understand common requests for businesses and names, plus it gets requests right more often than wrong. It also returns high-quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a tool that Siri doesn’t have access to. Google Assistant also tightly integrates with the phone’s other functions, to tell you when it’s time to leave for your next meeting and warn you that traffic will be heavy on the way home. If you have any Google Home or Nest Home smart speakers or other compatible devices, you can also use Assistant on your phone to control smart devices around your house like lights, outlets or your thermostat — even from afar. Split Screen is easy to use on an Android phone and increases the versatility of a phone.
And it’s built right into your Android device. “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google” are the two wake phrases. If you need help knowing what to ask, you can ask Google Assistant for a list of commands: “OK, Google, What can you do?” iPhone owners can also install the Google app to use Assistant, but it’s not built in and it’s not the default personal assistant. Use two apps at once through split-screen mode Even though iPadOS supports using multiple apps at the same time, iOS 14 and the iPhone do not. Android users, however, have had split-screen apps since 2016 with the release of Android 7.0 Nougat. Using two apps is helpful if you’re trying to look up a contact’s phone number to send to someone on Facebook Messenger, or if you need to reference information in a document when composing an email. It’s unclear why Apple hasn’t added this feature to the iPhone yet, but perhaps it has something to do with the size of windows on the iPhone’s display as compared with the larger iPad ($275 at Back Market). The easiest way to use split-screen mode is to open the multitasking view and tap on the app’s icon at the top of its multitasking card — it’s the same icon you use to launch the app from your home screen. Select Split screen from the list of options, then select the second app you want to have open at the same time. (These steps might vary depending on which Android phone you use. For example, Samsung phones have their own version of the interface.) Move icons around to arrange them, or delete them and only use the app drawer.
You can adjust the size of each app by dragging the small handle between the two apps to expand or decrease how much space each app takes up. Read more: Best portable chargers and power banks to buy for Android in 2020 Customize your home screen just how you like it Apple’s approach to the home screen is still locked to placing all installed apps in a rigid grid, although you can now add widgets to the homescreen and mix up the overall look. However, the home screen on Android devices don’t follow a grid layout, allowing you to place apps anywhere you’d like. Both platforms let you make folders containing groups of apps. The benefit of Android’s approach is that you can customize the home screen by arranging app icons in any pattern of your choosing. The way your Android phone’s home screen looks is because of its launcher. But you’re not stuck with what comes preinstalled.
You can use launchers to fully customize your phone Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. These apps let you completely change how you interact with the home screen, the app drawer and even the app icons on your phone. Using a launcher on your Android phone allows you to customize almost every aspect of how your phone looks and behaves, making your phone even more personal than it already is. Launchers like Nova Launcher, Microsoft’s Launcher, Apex Launcher and Action Launcher all add their own twists and features to your Android phone. For example, another popular Android launcher, Evie, emphasizes using a search bar to quickly find and open apps, or anything else on your Android phone for that matter. It’s minimalism at its finest. I recommend taking some time to research the various launchers, trying a couple of them and really customizing the look and feel of your phone. Just be forewarned: The deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the more time and energy you’re going to spend on tweaking your setup. It’s hard to imagine a world where Apple ever lets something like this happen for the iPhone, although it appears it is loosening its grip on how much iPhone users can change the look of their homescreen. The Wallpapers app is a must for any Android user.
Never get bored thanks to automatically changing wallpapers If taking the time to find and customize a launcher feels like a lot of work, there’s another way to make your Android phone constantly feel fresh and it’s yet another thing your iPhone friends can’t do — use Google’s Wallpapers app. The Wallpapers app refreshes the wallpaper on your home screen and lock screen daily, without you having to do a thing. There are several different categories of wallpaper styles to choose from. Pick your favorite and let the app take care of the rest. Personally, I like to use the geometric shapes category. The wallpapers are unique and colorful. Granted, the iPhone now has wallpapers you can pick from that change based on whether or not dark mode is activated. But even then, it’s still the same wallpaper two times a day. If you’re ready to switch to Android, or are looking to get more from the Android phone you already own, check out our list of the best Android phones of 2020. If you’re new to the OS, make sure to change these Android settings right away. Then after that, we have some helpful tips for using Android 10.
Best Black Friday router deals: Upgrade to mesh or Wi-Fi 6 at a holiday discount – CNET
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family. Holiday buying season is in full swing, with Black Friday in full swing. It’s a good time to catch a deal on a new router, with all sorts…
This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Holiday buying season is in full swing, with Black Friday in full swing. It’s a good time to catch a deal on a new router, with all sorts of new mesh options on the market, as well as new routers that support Wi-Fi 6, the newest and fastest version of Wi-Fi. With most of us doing our best to stay home as much as possible, having the right router quarterbacking your home network can make a world of difference. If a new router sits on top of your shopping list, bookmark this post — I’ll be updating it regularly through Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond with all of the best home networking deals we’ve spotted across the web. With the big Friday still a day away, we’ve already got a couple of early-bird deals worth checking out, so take a look.
Black Friday 2020 sales and deals
Deals live now
It’s still expensive, but you can currently save $50 on a two-piece Netgear Orbi AX6000 mesh router setup, bringing the cost down from $700 to $650. With full support for Wi-Fi 6, a triband design with an extra 5GHz band for system transmissions, and a WAN port capable of accepting incoming wired speeds as high as 2.5Gbps, the AX6000 is Netgear’s fanciest Orbi system — and it remains the fastest, best-performing mesh router we’ve ever tested. Netgear tells me this deal will be live through Nov. 30, which is Cyber Monday. I might hold off on clicking the buy button to see if a better Orbi offer emerges by Black Friday, but I haven’t heard of any other AX6000 deals just yet. At any rate, if you’ve been waiting for a sale on the fastest, most reliable mesh system we’ve ever tested, this is the week.Meanwhile, if you need more than one range-extending satellite to cover a large home, you might consider the AX4200 version of Orbi. It isn’t quite as fast as the AX6000 version, but it’s still a tri-band mesh router with full support for Wi-Fi 6. And hey, wouldn’t you know it, Netgear is currently offering a four-pack with the main router and three extenders for $660, which is $90 less than usual.
Read our Netgear Orbi AX6000 review.
It doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, but the Nest Wifi mesh router still punches well above its weight with stable, reliable performance and enough advanced features to feel like an upgrade. The system’s main router is the slightly bigger device on the left in the image above, and it’ll work on its own without any of the range-extending Nest Wifi Point smart speakers. It usually costs $169, but this week, Google is offering it up for $139. That’s not a bad deal, but if you’re starting from scratch, you’re better off just getting the two-pack with the router and one extender at the normal $269 combo price (those extenders cost $150 on their own). However, if you use the first-gen Google Wifi mesh system in your home, you can swap in the Nest Wifi router and use it with your first-gen Google Wifi extenders for faster speeds and better performance.
Read our Nest Wifi review.
Here’s another Nest Wifi deal, this time from Buydig: a two-pack of Nest Wifi routers for $219, plus two free Deco Gear smart plugs once you add the deal to your cart.A few things to know here. First, the Nest Wifi router is the central brain of the Nest Wifi mesh, and it doesn’t include a built-in Google Assistant smart speaker like the range-extending Nest Wifi Points. That said, you can use a second Nest Wifi router as a range extender, too, so this deal is basically the same thing as the Nest Wifi two-pack which usually costs $269. You’re just replacing the range extender with a second router. That means you’re losing the built-in Google Assistant voice controls, but you also might see slightly better performance (the router is a bit stronger than the range extender). As for the smart plugs, I’m not familiar with Deco Gear and we haven’t tested their stuff out, but they claim to work with both Alexa and the Google Assistant. If you already use either of those voice assistants, then this deal just got a little bit better.
Read our Nest Wifi review.
Eero Pro 6 is the fancier version of Amazon’s new Wi-Fi 6 mesh router, and it adds in faster speeds and an additional 5GHz band to help improve system performance. It tested well, and offers a lot of value even at full price, with a $599 three-pack that’s $400 less than the comparable Netgear Orbi AX6000 setup. Now, for Black Friday week, Amazon has that three-pack marked all the way down to $479, which is about as good a price as I’ve ever seen for a three-piece, triband mesh router that supports Wi-Fi 6. It’s back-ordered until Dec. 18, so you’ll need to wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive, but the deal is live now and Amazon is taking orders.
Read our Eero Pro 6 review.
It’s not the newest version of Eero that supports Wi-Fi 6, but last year’s Eero mesh router tested well at the CNET Smart Home, and you can nab a three-piece setup for just $174 on Amazon right now, saving you $75. Meanwhile, that newer version of Eero is on sale, too (it’s called Eero 6), but it wasn’t as reliable in my tests as last year’s version, so read my review before making a purchase.
Read our Eero (2019) review.
The Archer AX20 is one of TP-Link’s entry-level Wi-Fi 6 routers. With a dual-band design and AX1800 speeds, it isn’t going to be a game-changer for your entire home network, but it’ll still help you notch slightly faster Wi-Fi performance from any Wi-Fi 6 devices you might own, which might make it a sensible upgrade for anyone who just bought a new iPhone. The router usually sells for $130, but TP-Link has it marked down to $100 as an early special for Black Friday week.
This TP-Link mesh router is basically the exact same thing as Amazon’s Eero 6, at least as far as specs are concerned. Both are dual-band AX1800 systems that support Wi-Fi 6, and both three-packs typically sell for $270. But right now, you can grab TP-Link’s system for $230, which saves you $40.Don’t care about Wi-Fi 6? The TP-Link Deco M5 system is last year’s Wi-Fi 5 model — that three-piece system usually costs $170, but it’s available right now for $150, saving you a cool $20.
Deals coming soon
The usual starting price for this high-speed Wi-Fi 6 router is $300, which is admittedly pretty steep for a dual-band model that doesn’t have an extra 5GHz band. Sit tight, though, because on Saturday, Nov. 28 (the day after Black Friday), Best Buy will have it marked down by 50% to a sale price of $150. That’s a pretty darned good deal for a router capable of hitting top speeds as high as 4.8Gbps.
If you’re not looking for a router upgrade, and instead, just want a good deal on something simple and functional, then you might consider the Linksys EA6350. It’s a pretty basic Wi-Fi 5 router, but it’ll get the job done for browsing and light streaming. Starting on Saturday, Nov. 28 (again, that’s the day after Black Friday), Best Buy will offer it for $55, which is $15 less than the current sale price and $35 less than the usual retail price.
Expired deals These offers appear to be over or out of stock — we’ll keep an eye on them and update this post if that changes.
It doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6, but the AC1200 version of the Netgear Orbi is still a solid and dependable mesh router, and it impressed us with surprisingly strong signal strength when we tested it out at the CNET Smart Home. Back then, I called the two-piece version of this system a terrific value at $129 — now, as an early Black Friday special at Walmart, you can get the three-piece version with an extra range extender for just $99.A three-piece mesh system like this one is the best way to cover a large-size home with a steady, reliable Wi-Fi connection, and $99 is as low a price as you’ll ever see for a well-reviewed, name-brand option like this one. If your home Wi-Fi network has a lot of ground to cover and you’re sick of dead zones, then this is a deal worth pouncing on. Note this is appearing out of stock to some CNET staff, but not others, so availability (and maybe price) may depend on your location.
Read our Netgear Orbi AC1200 review.
I haven’t reviewed this particular model, but one of my CNET predecessors on the Wi-Fi beat was a fan of an earlier version of it back in 2017, calling it “a just-right router for small homes.” This one, the Linksys MR8300, is nearly identical to that one — an AC2200 router with four antennas and two 5GHz bands. What’s best about it is the triband design, and the fact that you can use it with other Linksys Max Stream devices to create your own mesh network. The extra 5GHz band will help keep speeds fast across your entire home should you choose to go that route. Now, ahead of Black Friday, you can get it for $30 off at Best Buy, where it boasts a review average of 4.6, with over 1,000 five-star reviews.
Amazon-owned Eero released two new mesh routers this fall: the Eero 6 and the Eero Pro 6. Both include full support for Wi-Fi 6, but the Eero Pro 6 boasts faster top speeds and it adds a second 5GHz band for dedicated backhaul transmissions between the router and its range-extending satellites. That’s a key upgrade if you want your mesh router to make the most of Wi-Fi 6.The Eero Pro 6 isn’t cheap at $599 for a three-pack, but that’s less than you’ll spend for other high-end, triband mesh routers that support Wi-Fi 6, including our top picks such as the Asus ZenWiFi AX and the AX6000 version of Netgear Orbi. And, if you’re willing to wait a couple of extra days for delivery, Amazon will include a free Fire TV Cube for folks who purchase through the link below. That’s a leftover deal from Prime Day, but it’s a good offer for a mesh system that held up well in our tests.
Read our Eero Pro 6 review.
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Pixel 5 vs. iPhone 11: Which sub-$700 phone is better? – CNET
Available to buy now, Google’s Pixel 5 introduces many features that are new to the company’s phone brand, including 5G connectivity, an ultrawide-angle camera and a much larger, longer-lasting battery. The phone is currently on sale for $649, and it launched alongside the midtier Pixel 4A 5G, which costs $499 (£499, AU$799). Read more: Black Friday 2020 phone…
Available to buy now, Google’s Pixel 5 introduces many features that are new to the company’s phone brand, including 5G connectivity, an ultrawide-angle camera and a much larger, longer-lasting battery. The phone is currently on sale for $649, and it launched alongside the midtier Pixel 4A 5G, which costs $499 (£499, AU$799). Read more: Black Friday 2020 phone dealsWhile the phone has notable updates compared with its predecessor, the Pixel 4, Google anticipates lower-than-usual Pixel 5 phone sales due to the coronavirus pandemic and is planning to produce only 800,000 units this year. It also faces stiff competition from one of the most popular phone-makers, Apple, and its iPhone 11. Though it’s been available since last September and Apple has already launched its sequel, the iPhone 12, the iPhone 11 is now cheaper. It starts at $599 (£599, AU$999) off contract, and is equipped with a fast processor and excellent cameras. It does not, however, have 5G. To see how these phones stack up, we took a closer look and compared them based on design, camera specs, hardware, software and other features. And for more info, check out CNET’s other comparisons, Pixel 5 vs. Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5 vs. iPhone 12.
The Pixel 5 has a superb camera and a long-lasting battery, and is the obvious pick for anyone who wants to connect to a 5G network. It also starts with more internal storage (128GB) and its 90Hz display will keep the interface looking silky-smooth.
Read more about the Pixel 5’s new camera features.
If you’re in the Apple and iOS ecosystem, the iPhone 11 is the more fitting candidate. You’ll also get an outstanding camera, especially for video recording, and a powerful A13 Bionic processor that outperformed the Pixel 5 in benchmark tests. And now that the iPhone 12 is out, it’s $100 cheaper than when it first launched.
Read our Apple iPhone 11 review.
Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G spec comparison
Design: Pixel 5’s natural aesthetics vs. iPhone 11’s glossy looks When Google designed the Pixel 5, it set out to give the phone a natural feel, reminiscent of a pebble. And with the phone’s matte texture, aluminum and glass encasing and soft, rounded corners, the Pixel 5 in green sports a minimalist, earthy look. It’s a direct contrast to the iPhone 11’s high-gloss, pop-art pastel-green design. Neither aesthetic is particularly better than the other, but those who want more options will appreciate the iPhone 11’s four other colors (yellow, purple, red and white) in addition to black and green. The iPhone 11 with iOS 14 widgets.
On the back of the Pixel 5 is the fingerprint reader that unlocks the phone and permits digital payments. The iPhone 11 uses facial recognition sensors in the front-facing camera for user authorization. Both phones have a 6-inch display (if you want to be exact, the iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch display), they don’t have headphone jacks and they’re rated IP68 for water resistance. On paper, the Pixel 5’s screen is sharper than the iPhone 11’s in terms of having a higher resolution and pixel density. The Pixel 5 also has an OLED screen while the iPhone 11 has an LCD. OLED displays are typically more vibrant, with richer contrast and inkier blacks. But you’ll only notice these differences if you look at the devices side by side, and by itself you’ll likely have no problems with the iPhone 11’s screen. What is a bit more obvious, however, is the Pixel 5’s 90Hz display. Most phones, like the iPhone 11, refresh at 60 frames per second. But having a 90Hz display on the Pixel means that scrolling through webpages and text feels much springier, smoother and more responsive.
Camera: Pixel 5 and iPhone 11 both have dual rear cameras Tweaking a photo using the Pixel’s Portrait light tool.
Both the Pixel 5 and the iPhone 11 have two rear cameras, optical image stabilization and special modes for low-light environments. The Pixel 5 has a standard and a wide-angle camera. The iPhone 11 has wide and ultrawide cameras, with the ultrawide camera having a slightly wider field of view than the Pixel 5 (120 degrees compared with 107 degrees). Google added two new features to the Pixel 5’s camera. You can now enable dramatic, blurred portrait shots in Night Mode and you can adjust the lighting in your portraits too. While iPhones do have different lighting options for portraits, the feature in the Pixel works more like an editing tool than a broad filter effect. As for video, the Pixel 5 and iPhone 11 can record 4K video and supersmooth 1080p video at 240 frames per second. But the iPhone 11’s front-facing camera has more capabilities. It can capture 4K video and it can record slo-mo video (known as “slofies”) at 120fps. The highest video resolution on the Pixel 5’s front-facing shooter, on the other hand, is 1080p with no slo-mo options. Check out a few different shots below from the Pixel 4A 5G (which has the same camera as the Pixel 5) and the iPhone 11. Night Sight on the Pixel 4A 5G.
Night Mode on the iPhone 11.
The wide-angle lens on the Pixel 4A 5G.
A wide-angle shot from the iPhone 11.
A close-up image of a succulent on the Pixel 4A 5G.
A close-up picture of some fruit with the iPhone 11.
Pixel 5’s long battery life vs. iPhone 11’s superfast processor The Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G are Google’s first 5G phones and are capable of connecting to the next-gen network, which promises to be much faster than 4G. The iPhone 11 doesn’t have 5G, but the iPhone 12 does. The Pixel 5 is equipped with the Snapdragon 765G chipset from Qualcomm, while the iPhone 11 features Apple’s A13 Bionic processor. Google’s choice of the 765G chipset is an interesting one, as it’s not as fast as the Pixel 4’s Snapdragon 855. But Google said it went with the 765G to keep costs down. We didn’t notice any speed issues or lag during our time with the Pixel 5, but on benchmark tests, it did get lower scores on 3DMark and Geekbench 5 than the iPhone 11 did when we tested it last year. 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited
Longer bars indicate better performance
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
Longer bars indicate better performance
Geekbench v.5.0 single-core
Longer bars indicate better performance
Geekbench v.5.0 multicore
Longer bars indicate better performance
The Pixel 5 has 128GB of internal memory and 8GB of RAM. The iPhone 11 has three memory tiers, and if you want 128GB you’ll have to pay more at $649 (£649, AU$1,079). In the US, though, the iPhone 11 at 128GB is still cheaper than the Pixel 5, thanks to Apple lowering the price. Apple also doesn’t disclose the amount of RAM its iPhones have, but regulatory filings report that the iPhone 11 has 4GB of RAM. The Pixel 5.
Neither phone has external storage options, but Google and Apple encourage users to upload and back up their photos and videos on their respective cloud services. Apple’s iCloud gives you 5GB for free and it costs $10 a month for 2TB. Google Photos users have unlimited storage for photos and video at “high” quality. But if you want to upload lots of content of “original” quality, which has a higher resolution, Google’s One cloud service gives you the first 15GB for free. If you want more, it will also cost you $10 a month for 2TB. Lastly, the Pixel 5 has a 4,000-mAh battery, the highest capacity of any Pixel phone to date. Apple doesn’t list battery specs, but unofficial third-party teardowns show the iPhone 11 has a 3,110-mAh battery. Battery tests on the Pixel 5 for continuous video playback in Airplane mode clocked in at 21 hours, 11 minutes. This is an excellent time, and longer than the iPhone 11, which lasted 15 hours, 24 minutes. With streaming video it clocked in at 13 hours, 52 minutes. We haven’t tested streaming video on the Pixel 5 yet, so stay tuned when we get those numbers. Like the Galaxy S20 phones, the Pixel 5 also has reverse wireless charging. That means the phone can charge accessories, like the Pixel Buds 2, without any cables or plugs.
Discover the latest news and best reviews in smartphones and carriers from CNET’s mobile experts.
Software: Android 11 vs. iOS 14 Hold saves you from spending time listening to hold music.
As always, when comparing phones from Apple and Google you’ll have to decide which OS works better for you: iOS or Android. Both phones have a dark mode and a digital search assistant (Siri and Google Assistant). And because the phones don’t have physical home buttons, their interfaces rely on swiping gestures to switch between apps. The Pixel 5 will run Android 11 out of the box. The latest mobile OS has useful features like Quick Control, chat bubbles, a native screen recorder and more. Hold For Me will also be previewed on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G: When you’re put on hold, you can have Google Assistant do the waiting for you. This frees you from constantly needing to be near your phone or listening to crummy hold music. You’ll be alerted when the other line returns. The iPhone 11 has the latest iOS 14 software from Apple. It includes a more organized App Library, widgets to customize your home screen with, picture-in-picture and a native translation app. Other features to consider: Both phones have dual-SIM: In addition to your regular nano-SIM, both phones use e-SIM technology that supports multiple phone numbers. This is useful if you want to keep your personal and work phone number on the same device. The iPhone 11 has Wi-Fi 6: Devices with Wi-Fi 6 speak that same Wi-Fi language to talk to each other, and compared with Wi-Fi 5, it’s faster and more battery-efficient. But Wi-Fi 6 was only certified in September 2019 and Wi-Fi 6 routers remain expensive. Instead of regarding it as an immediate benefit, think of Wi-Fi 6 as readying your phone for the future. The iPhone 11 has a chip just for “spatial awareness”: Called U1, this new chip helps iPhones find other iPhones more precisely when they’re in close proximity. Apple says this improves AirDrop, but many believe the U1 chip is laying the groundwork for a long-rumored Apple Tile-like tracker. The iPhone 11.
Pixel 5 and iPhone 11 specs
Google Pixel 5
Display size, resolution
6-inch FHD+ OLED; 2,340×1,080 pixels
6.1-inch LCD; 1,792×828 pixels
Weight (ounces, grams)
5.33 oz; 151g
6.84 oz; 194g
12.2-megapixel (standard), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)
12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Apple A13 Bionic
64GB, 128GB, 256GB
None (Face ID)
5G-enabled; water-resistant (IP68); 90Hz refresh rate display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); reverse wireless charging; fast charging
Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD)
$599 (64GB), $649 (128GB), $749 (256GB)
£599 (64GB), £649 (128GB), £749 (256GB)
AU$999 (64GB), AU$1,079 (128GB), AU$1,249 (256GB)
*prices as of Oct. 14.
Apple iPhone 11Superfast and cheaper too
Google Pixel 5The 5G choice