The Morning After: Our verdict on the Pixel 6a

Is there a better Android phone under $500?


Google’s Pixel 6a is finally here. It’s a sub-$500 phone that, this year, includes Google’s own Tensor chip which should bring even more power to the cheapest Pixel option. It also matches the Pixel 6 family with a two-tone color scheme and camera bar.


According to Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low, the $449 Pixel 6a feels less like the budget option and more like a smaller version (if a 6.1-inch screen is small..) of Google’s best phone. You get cutting-edge software tricks from Google, great cameras and a decent battery life. In short, it nails the essentials.

Check out the full review, but as Cherlynn puts it: there is no better Android phone under $500 than the Pixel 6a.

-Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

Is it worth importing the Nothing Phone 1?

The cost and lack of support makes importing a challenge.


A lot of readers are intrigued by the Nothing Phone 1, with its combination of eye-catching design, well-rounded performance and a reasonable price. The main struggle may be trying to buy one in North America. Is it worth the effort? Even once the device reaches your hands, there are a few challenges you’ll have to overcome.

Continue reading.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review

Surprise: You don't get much for $60.

Amazon’s latest Fire 7 has landed, with a few upgrades including a faster processor, double the RAM, USB-C charging and longer battery life. Unfortunately, it’s still sluggish, has a poor display and you’ll largely be confined to Amazon-approved apps and services. The $60 price point makes these flaws easier to swallow, but we recommend upgrading to the $90 Fire 8 HD, as it at least offers a better display.

Continue reading.

Amazon's Rivian-made electric vans are now delivering in some US cities

You'll see them in places like Chicago, Dallas and San Diego.

Amazon has revealed that Rivian's custom-made EVs are now delivering packages across the US. You'll find them in numerous cities including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Nashville, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and St. Louis. The company expects the vans to serve over 100 cities by the end of 2022. This deployment is important to both companies. Amazon had a 20 percent stake in Rivian as of late 2021. At the same time, Rivian has been cutting costs. Amazon stands to benefit when its automotive partner does.

Continue reading.

EA's last FIFA game is finally making women's soccer a priority

'FIFA 23' launches September 30th on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Stadia.

After revealing Chelsea star Sam Kerr on its cover earlier this week, EA has unveiled the first trailer for FIFA 23 showing that women's soccer will finally be a key part of the game. It will include women's club teams from the top leagues in England and France, along with both the women's and men's competitions in both the 2022 Qatar World Cup and 2023 Australia/New Zealand World Cup. A reminder: FIFA 23 will be EA's last version of the game with the FIFA name, as it failed to come to terms with FIFA over financial and exclusivity issues.

Continue reading.

Zoom adds end-to-end encryption to its cloud phone service

E2EE protection is coming to meeting breakout rooms as well.

Zoom is bolstering its privacy and security protections by expanding end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to more of its services. First up is Zoom Phone, its cloud phone system. Users of that service will be able to switch on E2EE during one-on-one calls. When it's on, E2EE will ensure calls are secure with cryptographic keys that only the calling and receiving devices can access. The security feature will soon be available in breakout rooms — smaller discussions that break off from group meetings.

Continue reading.