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When the first-generation AirPods were announced in September 2023, I didn’t give them too much thought. At the time, I was editing videos with large headphones on for eight hours per day, and the idea of swapping one set of headphones for another after work just wasn’t appealing. Purchasing a set didn’t cross my mind until one year later when Apple showed off the AirPods wireless charging case and elusive AirPower mat.

Later that fall, I took a trip to San Francisco and began to understand how AirPods might fit into my life. Spotting a set of the white buds sticking out of someone’s ears was still fairly uncommon outside of major metropolitan areas, so this was my first experience seeing AirPods worn in public. I decided I wanted to give them a try, but figured I’d wait for the wireless charging case to be released. It could arrive any day, right?

As weeks of waiting turned into months, I regretted not purchasing the first-generation AirPods on that fateful November day and enjoying them for over a full year in the interim. But by the start of 2023, even considering the “old” model seemed absurd. Needless to say, I scooped up the second-generation AirPods within minutes of their availability online.

Prior to yesterday, I had seen countless pairs of AirPods in public but never tried them on myself or inspected a friend’s set — that’s just gross. As a “late adopter,” the very nature of wireless earbuds is still as novel to me as the new charging case is to seasoned owners. Here are a few of my observations after a day of use:

The AirPods case is tiny

It’s difficult to get a sense of just how small the AirPods case is in Apple’s marketing photos. I imagined it to be about the size and weight of the iPad Pro’s 18W USB-C charger, but it’s much more compact and lightweight. 

Wireless charging is natural

Admittedly, I was caught off guard when I found the Lighting cable in my AirPods box. Wireless charging is so natural that I had forgotten it didn’t exist before last week. I don’t know if I would be a fan of AirPods if I had to plug in the case every night.

AirPods are more comfortable than EarPods

I was nervous that AirPods wouldn’t fit well in my ears. Had I just made a $200 mistake? My old EarPods were prone to falling out randomly. So far, I haven’t had any issues. If you’ve been holding off on a purchase for the same reason, it’s worth giving them a try. 

Podcasts are more appealing

I listen to a lot of podcasts, but only on my Mac or through my HomePod. Wired earbuds are no longer interesting post-headphone jack, and the iPhone’s speaker still isn’t ideal for extended listening. As I get used to owning AirPods, I think my podcast listening habits will shift to the iPhone.

The second-gen Apple Pencil spoiled me

The matte finish and heft of the new Apple Pencil makes it feel substantially more luxurious and pleasant to hold than AirPods. The new Pencil’s battery life is pretty incredible too. I’m able to draw all morning while hardly making a dent in the battery. My AirPods, in comparison, chimed with low battery after a morning streaming Apple Music and podcasts. I understand that the battery capacity and technology between both products differs significantly, but the contrast was a little surprising. 

I haven’t embraced the double-tap gesture or “Hey Siri”… yet

Just like with the Apple Pencil, I have to remind myself to use the double-tap music controls on AirPods. My first instinct is to reach for my phone. I haven’t tested hands-free Siri control yet, but I don’t use Siri on the HomePod or iPhone that often, either. Hopefully the convenience of AirPods will help me discover more places to use it.

While I’m still thinking about how to adapt to an entirely new audio experience, I’ve been genuinely impressed by how quickly AirPods are becoming a natural part of my day. There isn’t a steep learning curve or annoying caveats to accept. It’s easy to forget I’m even wearing them. The experience is seamless, and I think that’s the mark of success.

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Airpods 3 Fall To Second

Heading into the weekend, all of today’s best deals kick off with an Apple AirPods 3 discount via Woot for $145. That’s alongside up to $150 off the latest 11-inch M1 iPad Pros and Apple’s new iPad mini 6 starting from $459. Hit the jump for all that and more in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

Apple AirPods 3 see discount to second-best price

Woot is now offering the new Apple AirPods 3 for $145. Normally fetching $179, today’s offer is $5 under our previous mention from back in January and marks the best price in months at within $5 of the all-time low. Apple’s latest earbuds just launched back in October and most notably arrive with a redesigned casing that takes a page out of the pro version’s book. While you’re ditching the silicone eartips, AirPods 3 arrive with much of the same Spatial Audio support, as well as added water resistance for tagging along on runs or workouts. Plus, there’s the nifty new MagSafe charging case that provides 30 hours of listening to complete the package. 

Amazon takes up to $150 off latest 11-inch M1 iPad Pros

Amazon is now offering Apple’s latest 11-inch M1 iPad Pro 512GB Wi-Fi for $999. Down from the usual $1,099 going rate, today’s offer is matching the previous discount from the very beginning of the year at $100. This is the second-best price to date and has only sold for less on one occasion back at the start of November. You can also save up to $150 on other configurations, which are also at the best prices of the year. 

Centered around the M1 chip, Apple’s latest iPad Pro delivers an 11-inch Liquid Retina display alongside Thunderbolt connectivity. That’s alongside Wi-Fi 6, Face ID, and all-day battery life, alongside staples in the iPadOS lineup like Apple Pencil support and more. Ideal for everything from media consumption to digital artistry and other work, the compact iPad Pro delivers plenty of power in a portable package. Get a closer look in our coverage.

Apple’s new iPad mini 6 starts at $459 via Amazon

Amazon now offers the Apple iPad mini 6 Wi-Fi 256GB for $599 in several styles. Normally fetching $649, you’re looking at a match of the all-time low for the first time in months at $50 off. This is still one of the first times we’ve seen such a low price and a rare all-around discount. You can also save on the 64GB version, which is down to $459 from $499. 

Carrying over many of the signature features of its latest tablets, the new iPad mini 6 arrives with an edge-to-edge 8.3-inch Retina display alongside Touch ID in the power button. There’s also Apple Pencil support thrown in, with the A15 Bionic chip powering the entire experience. I’m a recent convert myself, and I have been absolutely loving the compact form-factor. Don’t just take my word for it, as our first impressions review notes just how perfect its size is without sacrificing on performance. 

Philips Hue Bluetooth Lightstrip Plus starter kit at $87

Amazon now also offers the Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus Starter Kit for $87. Down form its usual $129 price tag, today’s offer is the best price of the year at $5 under our previous mention and a total of $42 in savings. 

Delivering everything you need to get started in the Philips Hue ecosystem, this bundle delivers the latest iteration of Light Strip Plus alongside the bridge that enables HomeKit, Alexa, and Assistant control. With both Bluetooth and Zigbee control, this is a great way to bring 6-feet of multicolor illumination to your space, be it for some ambient lighting on a shelf or to make for a more immersive home theater experience. 

Spigen’s AirPods Pro and AirTag case hits new low

The official Spigen Amazon storefront is now offering its Tag Armor Duo AirPods Pro case for $20. This AirTag-ready AirPods Pro case released back in summer 2023 at $25 and is now seeing a new Amazon all-time low in black, metal slate, and military green colorways.

The Tag Armor Duo provides a protective cover for your AirPods Pro case with a wireless charging-compatible design that leaves the LED indicator visible. Living up to its name, it also provides a home for your Apple AirTag and includes a carabiner clip with your purchase. Get even more details in our launch coverage.

Best trade-in deals

9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way!

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Update: Oneplus One Hands On And First Impressions

In just 4 months OnePlus have managed to build enough hype and excitement around their brand and first ever device to make even the likes of Xiaomi jealous! If you haven’t already read the full details of the OnePlus One and its amazing price you can see them here in our earlier post, if you are ready then keep reading for the first OnePlus One hands on and first impressions.

Keep in mind that the OnePlus One in these images is a pre-production sample and that some of the features of CM11S were not added yet.

Update: Added the OnePlus One video hands on below also so you don’t need to go from post to post.

OnePlus One Hands on

There are going to be obvious comparisons made between the OnePlus One and the Oppo Find 7a so let’s start with the similarities in design.

Picking the OPO up for the first time you can feel the difference in weight between it and the Oppo Find 7. The OnePlus One is lighter than the Find 7, weighing 162g compared to 170g, thanks to the magnesium frame but it is the distribution of the weight which is most notable. The OPO feels more balanced in your hands than the Find 7a and with slightly narrower edges and a flatter rear also feels a more comfortable in the hand too.

The white model shown in these photos has the Silk white rear panel. OnePlus tell us the finish is made from cashew nuts, the result is a soft to the touch finish that feels much better than the simple textured rear of the Find 7a.

Physical controls on the OPO are just a single power button and volume rocker, but these are on the opposite sides to the Find 7a. So the power button is on the right where as the volume rocker is on the left. This took a bit a re-learning, but once you remember it isn’t a problem and the actual location of each button seems to land beneath your fingers more accurately. Again a small detail but a nice one.

The stereo speakers are located in the base of the OnePlus One, either side of the USB. Sound was pretty good, but we were told that there will be some adjustments for the final production model.

This being an international version of the OPO the rear of the phone has a CyanogenMod logo (the Chinese version of the phone will ship with ColorOS). The camera and dual LED flash are surrounded by a metal place similar to that on the Oppo Find 5, and the OnePlus Logo is carved out of the shell material.

On to the front of the phone and you can see that we have a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display from JDI, front facing 5 mega-pixel camera with 80 degree lens to the left of the receiver, an LED notification light between the two, and capacitive navigation buttons on the chin of the phone. Dimensions are 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9mm, so slightly wider and longer than the Find 7 but not quite as thick.

The screen on the OnePlus One sits away from the body with the bezels a few mm below. This creates a metal lip around the phone which is said to help protect the display if the phone is dropped on its edges. It also adds a nice design flourish to the already good-looking chassis.

If you saw the words “capacitive buttons” and decided that the OPO isn’t the phone for you just hold on as you can easily turn on onscreen buttons if you prefer, but doing so will disable the capacitive controls.

OnePlus One hands on – CyanogenMod 11s

The Cyanogenmod 11S build on these pre-production phones isn’t the final one so the icons aren’t the final ones and some of the features were missing. The production phone will have the icons seen in the press images here, and additional features will be added in time.

What we did learn though was that CM11s will be able to support themes designed for other ROMs so if for example you had a favourite MIUI theme you wanted to use there should be no problem using it.

Other features in CM11S include enhanced security, the voice command feature which activates when hearing “OK, OnePlus” and a new CyanogenMod camera application. The camera app has Normal, HDR, Night, Sport modes along with filters. Switching between them is simply a matter of sliding up or down on the screen, much faster and nicer to use than the menu options in ColorOS.

We’ll wait for our review unit to arrive and for the final build of CM11S to launch to make a full review, but what we could see on the phones we tested was a nice base, with snappy performance and happily uncluttered.

OnePlus One video hands on

OnePlus One first impressions

I had a good long time to play with the OnePlus One flagship and overall came away with the impression that this is the phone Oppo could have had as the Find 7.

From just $299 the OnePlus One has a better looking design, better balance and weight and is slightly more comfortable to hold than the Find 7. What makes matters worse is the OPO gets a 2.5Ghz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB RAM, the same camera specs, optional covers and a larger 3100mAh battery than the Find 7 too!

Sure the OPO misses a removable battery, VOOC fast charging, memory expansion and cool LED notification beam, but for the price it represents amazing value for money, even more so than Xiaomi phones (for international customers at least).

But there are some important questions;

Is it worth buying the OnePlus One if you already have the Find 7a?

Is the OnePlus One the Flagship killer it was promised to be?

So do you need a Find 7 and OPO? I would say no. If you already have the Find 7 it would seem pointless to buy the OnePlus One, unless of course you have plenty of extra cash for phones or if you feel like being a part the OnePlus phenomenon. On the other hand if you are choosing between the Find 7 and Oneplus One, the OPO would be my personal choice.

Is the OnePlus One really the flagship killer it was promised to be? This is a difficult one to answer as different users want different things from their devices. If you want amazing hardware, great usability, Cyanogenmod all at an amazing price then there is really nothing on the market to touch the OnePlus One yet. If you need the best of the best i.e a 2K display, f1.8 aperture etc then there are other options out there, but are they really worth the extra cost?

What do you think of the OnePlus One? Is this the phone you imagined? Are you impressed or did you wish for more?

[ OnePlus ]

[ OnePlus ]

Asus Aio V241 First Impressions: A Solid All

As the Coronavirus pandemic has by now taught is, work from home is not that bad. In fact, other than the relentless Zoom calls, it’s quite liberating. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to use a designated home office space for your work from home needs, chances are you want a big-screen display and a space-saving solution for it, and a laptop just doesn’t cut it. That’s exactly why Asus has launched its new line-up of AiO devices in India. We have the Asus AiO V241 here with us and I’ve used it a bit as my regular work PC. Here are my first impressions.

Design and Build

First things first, Asus has paid a lot of attention to the design and build quality of this machine. Not only is it one of the cleanest looking setups I have seen, it’s also built well. Looking at the V241 dead-on, it appears as if it’s just one big slab of screen with the accent-affording metal grille on the bottom which also houses the webcam and microphones.

That webcam placement is not my favorite, on laptops and AiOs alike, but it’s the price company’s have decided on making us pay for thinner bezels. Not that I’m really complaining because I barely use the webcam, if ever. However, if you’re someone that keeps their webcam on during video meetings, this is not a flattering angle to have a camera in.

Other than that, the design and build doesn’t leave much to be desired. The stand is flawless and allows the display to be angled smoothly with just a single hand – another thing I appreciate. All the ports are on the back, like what you’ll find on an iMac, for example.

We have the White-Silver color of the AiO here with us, but it’s also available in a Black-Gold color combination if you want something more substantial looking on your desk.


Having a big screen is one of the primary reasons you might be looking to get an AiO instead of a laptop for your work, and the Asus V241 comes with a pretty large 23.8-inch LED-backlit panel with a 1920×1080 resolution. I’m not entirely sold on the Full HD resolution for a screen this size, especially if you work with text often. Personally, with text, the resolution coupled with the screen size means that the pixel density isn’t as high as I would like, but that might also be because I’m used to the MacBook Pro’s retina display.

Asus also claims 178° viewing angles on the display. In my use so far, that seems accurate. However, there is some drop in brightness when you go off-center from the screen. I have watched a few episodes of The Office on this screen, along with some YouTube videos, and the colors do look pretty good.

Overall, the display on the Asus AiO V241 looks pretty good in my limited time with this machine so far.


The Asus V241 comes with an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor, paired with up to 16GB RAM as well as a 1TB 7200RPM HDD + up to 512GB PCIe SSD. The variant we have with us comes with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. Also, there’s no dedicated GPU on this AiO, you only get the Intel Iris Xe GPU which should be up to handling most graphical tasks, but this isn’t a machine built for gaming.

In my use so far, which hasn’t been long by any means, I have found the V241 to be plenty fast and snappy in usual everyday tasks. I have been writing on this machine for a while along with music or videos playing in the background. Plus, a little bit of Photoshop here and there, and there has been no issue with speed or lag anywhere.

Basically, the Asus V241 is meant to be a computer that you can keep at your home for regular work, watching videos, or listening to music; and it is great at doing all of those things.


The Asus AiO V241 comes with 3W stereo speakers and they are surprisingly good. I wasn’t expecting much from these speakers, but they are just real good. They get loud, the sound doesn’t distort even at max volumes and there’s a healthy amount of bass output as well. That can be attributed to the large sound chambers Asus has built for the speakers on the V241.

Moreover, the AiO comes with DTS Audio Processing that you can use to customize the audio output of the speakers just the way you want. All in all, the speakers on the Asus AiO V241 are impressive and can serve you well for watching movies, as well as for work related video calls.

Keyboard and Mouse

Along with the giant 23.8-inch Full HD screen that packs in all the CPU, RAM and storage components on its back, Asus also sends a wireless keyboard and mouse with the V241. Now, the keyboard here is a full-size keyboard complete with a numpad, but it’s not too good.

The mouse is fine and does its job well enough. I have no major qualms with it. However, I do feel like Asus should have made these accessories rechargeable instead of being powered by AA and AAA cells. The keyboard uses 2xAAA batteries, while the mouse uses a single AA cell to run.

Fortunately, Asus does supply the batteries in the box, which I am thankful for. However, I was honestly expecting a USB-C or even micro-USB charging system here. I’m not completely sure how long the keyboard and the mouse will last on these batteries, but I’m definitely not looking forward to replacing them once the keyboard dies.

Ports and Connectivity

Now, that HDMI in port is exciting. On the bottom of the V241, there’s a ‘Mode’ button which you can press and switch between the PC mode and monitor mode. So you can connect your Xbox or PlayStation, or a smart TV stick like the Fire TV Stick, or anything basically, and use the 23.8-inch screen as a monitor when you want to. That’s quite impressive, and it lets me play games on the PS5 at work without having to use a separate monitor or going to the gaming area within the office. So thanks, Asus.

On the wireless connectivity front, the V241 comes with Bluetooth 5.1 as well as WiFi 5 (802.11ac) on board for your WiFi and Bluetooth accessories requirements.

Asus AiO V241: What’s It Like?

Look, this isn’t a review by any means, and I haven’t spent nearly enough time using the Asus AiO V241 to outrightly tell you whether or not this is worth your money. However, based on the time I have spent using this machine, I can tell you this: the Asus AiO V241 is a pretty solid device for your home office, or even as your work computer. It offers a big display with nice colors and brightness, impressive speakers, and a really pretty design. It’s not a high-end gaming PC, but it’s not meant to be, and it seems to fit right into the slot that Asus is hoping for – people with work from home requirements, or a simple home PC for your everyday tasks.

The Asus AiO V241 is priced starting at Rs. 61,990, and will be available soon.

Xiaomi Mi 8 First Impressions: A Oneplus 6 Competitor?

Xiaomi recently unveiled its flagship for 2023, the Xiaomi Mi 8, and well, it has been scrutinized a lot for its iPhone X like design and features. Well, the iPhone X resemblance aside, the Mi 8 seems like a power packed smartphone. I mean, it’s the first Xiaomi phone with a Super AMOLED display, the first with dual GPS frequency, the first with a notch and the first with infrared face unlock. Well, we have the Mi 8 here with us and these are our first impressions:

Xiaomi Mi 8 Specifications

First, let’s get the Mi 8 specs out of the way. Here’s everything the Mi 8 brings on paper:

175 grams

Gorilla Glass 5

Adreno 630


Storage64/128/256GB non-expandable

4K Video Recording

Front Camwera20MP f/2.0

Quick Charge 4.0+

SoftwareMIUI 9.5 (Android 8.1 Oreo); MIUI 10 Coming

SensorsFingerprint, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyro, IR

Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, headphone jack, dual GPS frequency

PriceStarts at ¥2,700 (~₹29,000)

Design and Build Quality

We have the white variant of the Mi 8 and let me just get this straight out of the way, yes, it’s an iPhone X copy. The notch has the same design, the back is very similar. The Mi 8 just resembles the iPhone X a lot but hey, let’s not forget that almost every other phone these days looks like the iPhone X.


Anyways, the iPhone X resemblance aside, the Mi 8 is a beautiful phone. The back here is glass but there’s no wireless charging, which is okay really and it feels a lot like the Silk White finish on the OnePlus 6. It’s more glossy than the Silk White finish of the OnePlus  but it feels premium in the hands and looks premium too with that beautiful aluminium frame. No doubts about that.

However, the front is something I am not a fan of. Say what you will, a smaller notch just looks way better, at least to me.


Having said that, the notch here has a infrared sensor in addition to the front camera, notification LED and other sensors, so I guess it makes sense. I mean, it’s not the Face ID tech that the Explorer Edition packs but the infrared sensor should be useful. I’ll get back to the sensor later but coming back to the notch, there is an option to hide the notch but it’s just weird. The hide screen notch adds an additional layer of bezel below the notch. I have no idea why it does that but hopefully, Xiaomi fixes that in a future update.

Apart from that, there’s the fingerprint scanner on the back, which is fast, as you would expect and there are the usual buttons here and the USB-C port but like the Mi 6, there’s no headphone jack and sadly, there’s no IP rating here, so you can’t just take it for a swim.

See, overall, the Mi 8 is a premium phone even with its quirks, no doubts about that, but yeah, it’s undoubtedly an iPhone X wannabe.


The Mi 8 comes with a 6.21-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. Yes, it’s a Super AMOLED display from Samsung and it’s beautiful, expectedly so. I mean, we all love AMOLED displays, so the Mi 8’s display is something most people will love, especially since this is the first time a Xiaomi flagship comes with a Super AMOLED display.

Honestly, Xiaomi has made a great decision to go with AMOLED in the Mi 8. Just look at this, the always on screen looks just way better when there’s a AMOLED display.

Overall, I really like the display on the Mi 8. It’s not QHD but it’s still a beautiful display. Having said that, I should know better about the display when it comes to sunlight legibility, brightness etc. when I do a detailed review of the phone.


The Mi 8 comes with a 12 MP f/1.8 plus 12 MP f/2.4 dual camera setup and it’s got AI, like most other things these days. I mean, there’s even an AI camera option here, which is said to improve scene detection. Anyways, we took some photos, so take a look.




The Mi 8 is supposed to have a good camera and from the looks of it, things do look positive. I mean, take a look at the portrait shots below, they seem pretty decent, right? but yeah, I will be testing out the camera more thoroughly in the coming days.




On the front, the Mi 8 comes with a 20MP camera, which should do the job well enough when it comes to selfies. There’s also the Portrait Mode here, which is nice to have. Having said that, it seems to have the same problems as other Xiaomi phones, like the oversmoothening, and overexposing. We should know better in our full review though.




Hardware and Performance

Under the hood, the Mi 8 packs in the latest and greatest out there. There’s the Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 gigs of RAM, so the performance should not be a problem. I mean, in my brief usage, things were snappy and hopefully, it will remain the same because hey, let’s face it, MIUI might be a heavy custom skin but it’s optimized pretty well and should work well with top-end hardware like this.


The Mi 8 we have comes with MIUI 9.5 but this is the China variant of the phone and if the phone does come to India, we can expect it to run the latest MIUI 10 update. Anyways, MIUI 9.5 is the MIUI 9.5 we know with the full screen gestures, which I like, and the usual MIUI features which a lot of you love. I was hoping to find the animojis like 3D emojis that Xiaomi announced but it’s not here yet. Maybe it will come in an update or maybe it will only come with the Explorer Edition of the phone. We don’t know yet.

The MIUI 9.5 also features face unlock, which works really fast on the Mi 8. I tested it out against my OnePlus 6 and the Mi 8’s face unlock was almost as fast as the face unlock on the OnePlus 6. Plus, with the infrared sensor on the device, the Mi 8’s face unlock works even at night, and that too flawlessly.I was able to unlock the Mi 8 via my face even in a pitch dark room. So yes, the infrared sensor on the Mi 8 is definitely a nice addition.


Lastly, there’s the battery, the Mi 8 comes with a 3,400 mAh battery, which isn’t something extraordinary but should be decent enough. I know the phone has a huge display but with the latest processor in tow, the power efficiency should be good enough. Having said that, I will be testing out the battery on this device thoroughly to get a better idea.

On the charging front, the Mi 8 comes with Quick Charging 4.0+ support, which should mean really fast charging for the device. Last year’s Mi 6 had impressive fast charging support, so I am hoping for the same in the Mi 8.


SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s Mi 8 SE and Mi Band 3 Coming to India Next Month

Xiaomi Mi 8 First Impressions: An iPhone X Wannabe But More

Well, that’s pretty much everything about the Xiaomi Mi 8. Look, I know we’ve all got the perception that the Mi 8 is Xiaomi’s version of iPhone X but if we look past that, the Xiaomi flagship seems like a pretty great smartphone. It’s premium, it’s got a great display, the hardware is top-notch and the cameras seem great. Plus, the Mi 8 in China is priced at 2700 Yuan, which is around 29,000 rupees, which is a great price for the phone.

Having said that, this is all wishful thinking really. I mean, we know that the Mi 8 SE should be launched in India next month but there’s no word on the Mi 8 but honestly, we do hope the Mi 8 arrives in India. Xiaomi, if you are listening, make it happen, India deserves your flagship!

$99.99 Elephone P7 Blade Hands On Photos And First Impressions

This is the second Elephone we have been sent to try out, the first was the P6 which we were pleasantly surprised with when we reviewed it last year. Elephone have come a long way since the P6, and now their range is made up mostly of more ‘unique’ designs rather than ‘inspired’devices.

Before actually seeing the phone in the flesh I had seen plenty of photos of the black bodied phone with red highlights, and was eager to see if the look would translate well in to real life, here is are my first impressions.

Elephone P7 Blade – in the box

Upon removing the tightly fitting lid from the black and silver box you come to see the Elephone P7 Blade itself, safely wrapped up in a plastic wrapper. Lifting the phone out and underneath a cardboard patrician there is also an included screen film, USB data cable, charger and an instruction manual. No ear buds are included, which is fine by me as they are usually of low quality on these more affordable phones.

Elephone P7 Blade – First impressions

Slipping the phone from its packing reveals for the first time (for me at least) the black and red body of the phone. In all honesty I was hoping it would look a little better in real life, but that is just my personal preference.

The P7 Blade has a 5.5-inch display, but to keep the price down uses a low resolution 960 x 540 panel. Another cost cutting decision is the thickness of the bezels which has an effected on the overall width of the phone, making the Blade wider than the Oppo Find 7 and as wide as the 5.7-inch iOcean X8.

These choices help to keep the cost low, but do make the phone less comfortable to hold than other options, but considering it costs only $99.99 (international price) I’m sure most people won’t mind.

Below the display are 3 capacative touch buttons, and above a front facing 2 mega-pixel camera.

The edges of the Elephone P7 blade are highlighted with red on the left, where the volume rocker is located, and right where you can find the power button. These are the only physical controls on the phone and don’t sit quite in the center of the phone but this does not cause an issue when in use.

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Speakers are located in the base of the phone, while the Micro USB and 3.5mm headphone jack live on the front.

The black textured rear has been made to look like carbon fibre and is something you will either love or hate. The Elephone logo is located in the center and an 8 mega-pixel rear camera with LED flash protrudes from the back a little further up.

Pull the rear off and this is where you fill find the removable 2300mAb battery. Dual SIM are also supported, but in this case you can use two regular size SIM cards rather than one normal and one micro, and lastly there is space for a micro SD card.

Overall Elephone have done a good job at trying to spruce up the look of a low-cost phone, and on the whole it has worked. If you don’t like the black and red there is also the option of white with red too.

I’ve been playing around with the P7 Blade outside in the sun and find the OGS display to be bright enough to be seen and being a thinner OGS panel offers better viewing angles than a phone of this price ought to.

Elephone haven’t got around to updating their quad-core phones, so the P7 Blade and it’s Mediatek MT6582 processor is still running on Android 4.2 rather than 4.4k Kitkat. The ROM isn’t entirely stock though and has the look and feel of Samsung Touchwhizz.

I haven’t looked at photos taken with the rear camera on my computer yet, but can see that even taken on a bright day they the 2.8 aperture isn’t letting in as much light as I might like and images are darker than they should be, I assume that low-light photos will be quite noisy.

The reviews are piling up here, but I hope to get around to finishing the Elephone P7 Blade off sooner rather than later. In the meantime you can get more details of this $99.99 octacore smartphone from the official Elephone website.

[ Elephone ]

[ Elephone ]

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