Read my OnePlus 5T review and you’ll see I gave OnePlus a gold star for finally reducing the amount of compromises to the point where I would recommend the phone. I was impressed with the build quality, the screen, the speed, and the price. But the OnePlus 5T is no longer the newest phone OnePlus produces. The OnePlus 6, released earlier this year, has a number of notable changes that make it a compelling offering at $529.
Unfortunately, the changes made are not all necessarily improvements.
The last Samsung phone I used as a daily driver was the Note 5. While I’ve been interested in trying one ever since, I have been pushed away by the constant claims that Samsung has a terrible software experience. The Galaxy S8 looked compelling, but I know that something as simple as the fingerprint sensor placement would have made me hate that phone. So the release of the S9, while otherwise very similar to the S8, excited me.
So I dove in with Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S9+, and surprised to find that there were only a few software “features” that I wasn’t interested in, and found quite an incredible phone otherwise.
I have been a big fan of Huawei since trying out the P9 over two years ago. I found the P9 to be an incredible phone with outstanding design and photography prowess. Since then, I have owned nearly 10 Huawei and Honor phones. I was very excited when the Mate 9 was released in the United States unlocked last year, but unfortunately there were some major sticking points that kept me from recommending it. This year, I was hoping for a redemption with the Mate 10 Pro. Huawei went through some big hurdles in an attempt to sell the device through US carriers, only to be shut down by the US government.
The Mate 10 Pro might be one of the best phones that you can get in the US, but it is not the best phone that Huawei is produced. And being a big Huawei fan, that’s disappointing to me. But this is an incredible phone that should be more than good enough to get Apple and Samsung owners to consider switching.
I purchased the OnePlus 2 in 2015, and was generally disappointed. Sure, it came in at a price point of $350, and it had all of the latest specs. But at the time, the LG G4 I was attempting to replace was so much better in terms of camera, build quality, design.
Then in the beginning of last year, I purchased a OnePlus 3T from Best Buy for full price, and set it up against my long-in-the-teeth Galaxy Note 5, and my newer Huawei P9 Plus. And while it performed well, it simply was too boring in my eyes to warrant keeping around.
You see, since I own so many phones, the ones I like are those that are unique and memorable. Not the ones that focus on being Spartan. While the OnePlus 3T was a good phone, it was incredibly boring. The design was a little outdated, the camera was just okay, and the software, while having a few good features, did not have any quirks that made learning the experience an adventure.
In my quest to replace the Surface RT, I stumbled upon a low-priced Surface Pro alternative in the Acer Aspire Switch 12S (hereon known as the Switch, sorry Nintendo) and decided to run it through its paces hoping that I would finally find a perfect convertible device for the post-RT world. Long story short, I was disappointed. But I did find a device that could possibly burn its own trail as a cheap option for someone looking for a different experience.
But what’s the point of a device that is neither a good tablet, nor a good laptop?
Read my Surface RT review and you’ll get a take for just how much I loved the Surface RT. I think it was an incredible device for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, after two successors, Microsoft has all but abandoned the standard Surface line, opting to focus on the Surface Pro along with their other new products.
Revisiting my Surface RT made me realize that I really miss having that type of device in my arsenal, so I did what any sane tech geek would do and scoured the internet for a suitable modern successor to the Surface RT. I was surprised to find that there are actually very few Windows 10 tablets on the market today, and many of them are either very low end or very high end.
The Lenovo Miix 320 is definitely closer to the low end, but made for a compelling product that I was excited to check out. Does it fit the bill?
While Samsung is well known for manufacturing phones, they are a less prominent laptop maker. I don’t think it’s always been that way; I remember years ago going to a Best Buy and seeing the latest laptop from Samsung which at the time was advertised as the thinnest laptop in the world. While I don’t remember what model it was, I think it was quite a bit under half an inch while most laptops at the time were still pushing an inch of thickness.
It’s because of that unpopularity though that I haven’t ever gotten the chance to use a premium Samsung Windows laptop. The NoteBook 9 Pro is my first trial. I am surprised to say that I will definitely consider Samsung when purchasing my next premium laptop, and I would have never said that before.