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Arlo Technologies recently re-launched its Arlo Ultra 4K wireless security camera after experiencing issues during its initial availability. The widely reported issues, which caused the company to pull back on the launch, involved bugs and connectivity issues.

With several firmware updates under its belt that addressed the reported problems, Arlo feels that their 4K security camera is now ready for prime time. How does it stack up to the Arlo Pro 2? Should you consider upgrading? Watch our hands-on video impressions for the details.

As a recent adopter of a 6-camera Arlo Pro 2 system, I was keenly interested to see how Arlo’s latest offering compared to the setup I already had installed. What makes Arlo cameras so good is that they are truly wireless, running off rechargeable batteries. With this in mind, by default they only record when motion is detected in order to save battery. You can connect to a permanent power source if you choose to, but easy anywhere-installation is what makes these camera so compelling.

The Arlo Ultra boasts several notable improvements over its predecessors, including:

4K video capture with HDR

Wider 180 degree field of view

Integrated security spotlight

Enhanced 2-way audio

As expected, the enhanced camera is the highlight of the Arlo Ultra, as the higher resolution, and super-wide viewing angle are features that previous Arlo cameras lack. The integrated spotlight and more capable 2-way radio are additional enhancements that set the Arlo Ultra apart from its predecessors.

Arlo Ultra 4K wireless security camera hands-on impressions

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New Smart Hub

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Arlo Ultra 4K is that it comes with an updated Smart Hub. The new Smart Hub is a simpler take on the previous hub that shipped with the Arlo Pro 2. Missing is the built in siren, which is now directly integrated within Arlo Ultra cameras.

Having the siren built right into the product that triggers the alarm makes sense, but I found that the siren lacked the loudness necessary to be an audible deterrent. It doesn’t outright hurt your ears like the siren integrated inside the Arlo Pro 2 Smart Hub does.

The USB ports on the Arlo Pro 2 Smart Hub allowed users to connect external drives to save camera footage locally. The new Smart Hub omits the USB ports in favor of a micro SD card slot hidden away on the bottom of the unit.

Initially I was concerned that the new hub would only work with new Arlo Ultra cameras, but my fears were allayed when I was able to pair my already existing Arlo cameras with the new Smart Hub.

Arlo Ultra 4K

The Arlo Ultra 4K looks similar to the Arlo Pro 2, but it features a bigger unibody design that’s slightly heavier. Of course, the camera technology is much improved, with a new 4K capable sensor, HDR, and a 180 degree super-wide viewing angle.

Unfortunately the batteries used on the Arlo Pro 2 are not interchangeable with the batteries found in the Arlo Ultra. You’ll also find a new magnetic charging interface instead of the micro USB ports used to facilitate charging in the Arlo Pro 2.

The magnetic charging interface on the Arlo Ultra is easier to use, but the included cable is much shorter than the micro USB interface found on its predecessor. Users who want to provide their cameras with constant power will need to purchase an 8- or 25-foot magnetic charging cable, or opt to install a solar panel charger.

Another big difference between the two cameras involves the magnetic mounts. Sadly, the mount used by the Arlo Pro 2 is not interchangeable with the Arlo Ultra mount. It means you can’t simply swap out an Arlo Pro 2 camera for an Arlo Ultra camera, as you’ll need to install the new multi-axis magnetic mount first.

Arlo Ultra 4K mounting

Arlo packs mounting hardware inside the box, which includes the multi-axis magnetic mount, screw, anchor (if needed), and mounting bracket. I decided to mount the Arlo Ultra inside my garage next to my existing Arlo Pro 2, to make it easier to compare the two cameras.

Mounting was as simple as drilling a small hole into a wooden beam inside my garage, and screwing in the included screw with the mounting bracket. The magnetic mount then slips over the mounting bracket, fastening securely into place.

From there it’s just a matter of sticking the Arlo Ultra to the mount via the strong multi-axis magnetic mount connection. Users have the option of positioning the camera pointing up or down, and adjusting the camera to various degrees left or right.

Arlo Smart Premier subscription

Arlo Ultra kits come with a complimentary 1-year subscription to Arlo Smart Premier, which includes support for up to 10 cameras, 30-days of cloud recordings, up to 10GB of cloud storage, along with person, vehicle, animal, and package detection, as well as unlimited support.

The Arlo Smart Premier plan normally costs $9.99/month, which is what you should expect to pay after the first year. You don’t need a subscription to use features like push notifications, local recording to SD Card, and two-way audio, but as a security camera, it’s much less useful without cloud recording.

For Arlo Ultra customers, there is an extra $1.99/month (per camera!) optional add-on for enabling cloud storage for 4K videos. Without this add-on users have access to live 4K video playback when on the same network, and can save 4K videos to local storage, but all videos stored in the cloud will be stored in 1080p resolution.

If you’re an Arlo Ultra customer, I think it makes sense to consider forking over the additional two dollars to gain cloud access to all of your videos in a much higher, better-looking resolution. Otherwise, it kind of defeats the purpose of having the better camera.

Arlo Ultra 4K exclusive features

Setting up the Arlo Ultra is a simple affair that’s accomplished by launching the Arlo app and stepping through the guided pairing process. Once the camera is paired, you can configure it to your liking via the Arlo app’s preferences.

Lots of new Arlo Ultra-exclusive features

Arlo Pro 2 users will notice a wealth of new features that are exclusively available to Arlo Ultra cameras. Venturing into the video settings will reveal new additions like Auto HDR, Local 4K Live Streaming, Auto Zoom & Tracking, as well as a new Low Light settings panel for configuring the spotlight and various related behaviors.

Does 4K matter?

Arlo Pro 2 1080p footage

Don’t expect the kind of high quality 4K video you’d normally see while watching an Ultra HD movie, but you’ll definitely notice improved visual fidelity when compared to the video coming from the Arlo Pro 2.

Arlo Ultra 4K footage

Arlo uses HEVC to encode its 4K content — the same codec used by the iPhone — which places an emphasis on keeping file sizes low while maintaining visual fidelity. It therefore keeps the camera from having to transfer large amounts of data typically associated with 4K videos, which would severely hinder battery life.

Arlo Ultra maintains good detail when zooming in

4K allows users to zoom in on content, while maintaining a higher visual quality than you would get when zooming in on a 1080p frame. It’s also why the Arlo Ultra 4K comes with a new Auto Zoom & Tracking option, which automatically pans and zooms around the frame in order to track subjects.


Along with support for 4K, the Arlo Ultra also features high dynamic range support, which can be very useful for security cameras that are placed outdoors. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, meaning that it’s able to capture a wider range of brightness levels, and present them in a way so that one level isn’t too bright or too dark. It’s basically a good way to make sure images are not severely overexposed or underexposed in certain areas of the frame.

Notice the overexposed windows

With that said, HDR would be very useful for my Arlo Ultra setup, which is placed inside of a dark garage with windows that catch lots of sunlight. Inevitably the windows are blown out from overexposure on my Arlo Pro 2 camera, but sadly it’s not much better on the Arlo Ultra. Admittedly my setup is a bit on the extreme side when it comes to the amount of dynamic range required. I’ll provide more feedback on HDR performance in a future rewind update.

Three viewing angles

Limited Arlo Pro 2 field of view

A new Video Mode panel allows users to configure the Arlo Ultra using one of three viewing angles — 180 degree super-wide, 155 degree wide, and a 120 degree full view. The super-wide angle, in my opinion, is the most impressive new camera-related feature outside of 4K, as it covers an area lesser cameras in Arlo’s ecosystem simply aren’t capable of.

A much wider 180 degree Arlo Ultra field of view

Both of the wide field of view options will attempt to automatically reduce the fisheye effect that occurs with a wide viewing angle. There are limits to how well that works, so temper your expectations, but it does a reasonably good job of reducing distortion of what’s in frame.

Arlo Ultra 4K integrated security spotlight

The integrated spotlight fixes one of my main complaints about the Arlo Pro 2. Now instead of having to install a separate Arlo security light, the Arlo Ultra 4K offers both a camera and spotlight in one combined product.

Built in spotlight functionality on Arlo Ultra

Not only is the spotlight good to have for illuminating a dark environment, it works in concert with the Arlo Ultra’s 4K camera to capture higher quality images. Arlo boasts about its enhanced night vision that allows the camera to see colors in the dark, but that seems a bit disingenuous since it requires that the integrated spotlight be triggered. It’s color night vision, yes, but that’s because there’s a built-in light allowing it to see colors. In other words, if you choose to disable the spotlight, color night vision is disabled as an option.

Enhanced 2-way radio

The Arlo Ultra features an enhanced 2-way radio that allows you to both listen and speak to those within range of the camera. The Arlo Pro 2 features 2-way radio support as well, but the fidelity of the audio is noticeably better and more natural sounding on the Arlo Ultra. The Ultra model also makes it possible to engage in conversations without having to hold down the the speak button within the Arlo app.

Opportunities for improvement

The Arlo Ultra is a big improvement over its predecessors, but there are still a few items that I’d like to see Arlo address…

Still no HomeKit support

With recent rumors suggesting that Apple will be fleshing out its support for security cameras in iOS 13, it may be possible that Arlo is waiting to push out support for HomeKit. Until then, there remains a void that prevents the Arlo security cameras from working together with HomeKit-enabled devices.

Smarter app

The Arlo app is good, but there are a few areas that I would like to see addressed in future updates.

First and foremost, we should be able to filter notifications based on the type of recognition. For instance, I don’t want to be alerted every time a cat or other animal walks in front of a camera, but I do want alerts when people come within view of the camera.

On that same note, when you have an alarm siren enabled, the camera should be smart enough not to sound the alarm when it sees someone it knows.

There should also be time of day triggers, so that you’re able to enable or disable Arlo hardware during certain times of the day. HomeKit support would go a long way towards helping in this area.

Web UI still relies on…Adobe Flash Player?

Most people will use the Arlo app to manage their Arlo account and view videos saved to the cloud, but there’s also a web portal available. The web portal feels ridiculously outdated, and you can’t even view videos without installing Adobe Flash Player, which is utterly absurd in 2023.

4K cloud storage up-charge

One of my biggest gripes is that Arlo nickels and dimes its users with a $2 add-on to save 4K videos to the cloud storage, which you’re already paying a monthly subscription for after the 1-year trial. This is absurd, considering that 4K video recording is the flagship feature of the Arlo Ultra. Arlo should do better in this regard.

9to5Mac’s Take

In most cases, the company’s Arlo Pro 2 camera kit will be “good enough” for security monitoring, but there’s no denying that the Arlo Ultra is a much more polished offering than any of its predecessors. If I were building a kit from scratch, I’d opt for a four-camera Arlo Ultra for $1000 MSRP over a $800 ($700 on sale) Arlo Pro 2 four-camera kit.

While some features come across as a bit gimmicky — such as the the Auto Zoom & Tracking, and the “color night vision” — there’s no denying that the Arlo Ultra’s higher resolution camera provides an improved experience that lends more visual detail, along with the ability to zoom around the frame while maintaining good quality.

Additional features, like the integrated spotlight and wider viewing angles are extremely useful additions. These can potentially save you money by requiring less hardware when the cameras are mounted in strategic locations.

The lack of HomeKit, and some of the half-baked features of the app experience means that there’s lots of room for Arlo to grow, but there’s already a solid foundation established to work with.

Obviously one of the biggest concerns with any truly wireless camera setup is going to be battery life. How well does the Arlo Ultra, with its ability to live stream and store videos in 4K, perform in this area? Arlo notes that the battery should last between 3-6 months, which seems really optimistic given my experience with the Arlo Pro 2.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that for high traffic areas where the camera is often triggered, you’re going to want to purchase an outdoor power cord or install the handy solar power kit. For lower traffic areas the battery should last long enough (think more like once a month) to where it’s not annoying to charge them when they run out of power. I’ll be monitoring the Arlo Ultra’s battery life closely over the next few weeks, and will provide a rewind update of my experience.

Arlo cameras aren’t perfect solutions for everyone. If you need constant recording, or require integration with a local NAS, you may want to consider other options. But if you’re looking for an easy-to setup wireless security camera, and you can budget the subscription prices, not to mention the high price of the initial investment, it’s worth looking into.

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Review Del Antivirus Bitdefender Premium Security


Excelente protección contra malware

Multitud de funciones

Servicio VPN decente e ilimitado


Experiencia fragmentada con múltiples aplicaciones

No se pueden establecer límites de tiempo para cada aplicación mediante el control parental

Protección de identidad incluida sólo en el paquete más caro

Nuestro veredicto

Bitdefender Premium Security ofrece una protección contra malware impresionante, phishing y estafas. Algunas de las funciones adicionales, como servicio VPN y el gestor de contraseñas, son buenas, pero otras, como el control parental, están lejos de ser las mejores de su clase. Hay que pagar más por la protección de identidad, pero en general es un buen servicio.

En los últimos años, Bitdefender Total Security parecía llevar el nombre equivocado, porque su seguridad no era “total” del todo. A diferencia de algunos rivales, no incluye ninguna protección para su identidad.

Es un problema de nombre más que nada, porque Bitdefender ofrecía protección de identidad, aunque como un servicio separado e independiente.

Si prefieres pagar una única cuota de suscripción, Norton, McAfee y otros te lo darán todo en un solo paquete.

Pero ahora, Bitdefender ha integrado esta protección en su suite de seguridad superior y la denomina Premium Security Plus. Se llama Bitdefender Ultimate Security. Hay razones para ello, en las que entraremos más adelante, cuando expliquemos cómo funciona esa protección.

Para simplificar las cosas, sin embargo, esto es principalmente una review de Bitdefender Premium Security, que no incluye protección de identidad. Ofrece protección para 10 dispositivos, ya estén ejecutando Windows, macOS, iOS o Android.

Dado que Premium Security es esencialmente Bitdefender Total Security pero sin el límite de 200 MB por día de VPN, también puedes entender esta review como una prueba de Total Security – solo ten en cuenta este límite bastante molesto.

¿Qué incluye?

Mega-suites como Premium Security incluyen tantas características que es difícil entenderlas todas.

Aquí tienes una lista de las principales características. Pero, para complicar las cosas, las funciones varían según el sistema operativo: Windows y Android se llevan la mayor parte, mientras que iOS y macOS tienen menos.

Protección contra malware, incluido el ransomware

Prevención de ataques web

Antiphishing, antifraude, antispam

Evaluación de vulnerabilidades

Modos de juego, película y trabajo

Optimizador de rendimiento

Herramientas antirrobo

Modo batería


Herramientas anti-seguimiento

Control de micrófono y webcam

Control parental


Destructor de archivos

Protección de banca en línea (navegador Safepay)

Asesor de seguridad wifi

Protección de redes sociales

Eso es sólo Seguridad Total. Con Seguridad Premium (que cubre 10 dispositivos en lugar de 5) también obtendrá:

VPN sin límites

Gestor de contraseñas

Si optas por Seguridad Premium Plus, obtendrás Protección de ID digital.

Puede ser difícil detectar lo que falta en una lista como ésta, pero lo más obvio, especialmente si también estás considerando Norton 360, es la copia de seguridad en la nube. Sin embargo, Norton es la única empresa que lo ofrece. Norton también incluye un actualizador que comprueba y actualiza automáticamente cualquier software obsoleto, pero ésta y el almacenamiento en la nube son funciones exclusivas de Windows.

Una lista de funciones sólo es útil hasta cierto punto: lo importante es si las funciones son buenas. Y eso es lo que explicaremos en el resto de este análisis.

Aplicaciones e interfaz

Cuando te registres en el paquete que hayas elegido, recibirás un código de activación. Puedes introducirlo en el sitio web de Bitdefender Central (o en la aplicación móvil), donde podrá crear una cuenta y utilizar el código para canjear su suscripción.

El sitio web Central es un portal importante donde puede gestionar su suscripción, ver un resumen de cuántas licencias ha utilizado y enviar enlaces a dispositivos (o miembros de la familia) para que puedan instalar Bitdefender en sus dispositivos.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Los enlaces incluyen detalles de inicio de sesión, lo que hace que sea muy fácil para todos instalar la aplicación y protegerse.

Instala Bitdefender en Windows y te encontraráa con una interfaz de aspecto ordenador que te dirá “Estás a salvo”. Para los usuarios no técnicos, los accesos directos predeterminados a ‘Análisis rápido’, ‘Análisis del sistema’ y ‘Análisis de vulnerabilidades’ no son especialmente fáciles de entender.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Los más avispados se darán cuenta de que en la parte superior pone Bitdefender Total Security, incluso si está suscrito a Premium o Ultimate. Una vez más, esto se debe a la convención de nomenclatura: en realidad estás adquiriendo Total Security con algunos extras añadidos.

Volviendo a la aplicación en sí, ‘Análisis rápido’ hace lo que dice, al igual que el segundo, un análisis completo del sistema. El tercero – vulnerabilidad – comprueba tu dispositivo en busca de cosas como aplicaciones desactualizadas, ajustes del sistema que han sido cambiados de los valores predeterminados y contraseñas débiles. También hay un análisis específico de wifi que comprueba que no estés utilizando protocolos de cifrado o autenticación débiles.

La pestaña ‘Protección’ es mucho menos intimidante que antes y es mucho más fácil de entender

Puedes editar estos seis accesos directos y sustituirlos por las funciones que quieras ver. Y por encima de ellos está el extrañamente llamado “piloto automático”, que ofrece recomendaciones de acciones que necesita o podría querer tomar, lo contrario del piloto automático. La primera es activar la protección contra ransomware, para lo que basta con hacer clic en ‘Activar’.

A la izquierda hay pestañas para ‘Protección’, ‘Privacidad’ y ‘Utilidades’. Notificaciones es un registro de lo que Bitdefender ha estado haciendo o notando en su sistema, y ‘Configuración’ te permite elegir el modo oscuro o claro, el idioma y un montón de otras cosas, incluyendo desactivar las notificaciones de ofertas especiales que están activadas por defecto.

La pestaña ‘Protección’ es mucho menos intimidante de lo que era antes y es mucho más fácil de entender. Remediación de ransomware, por ejemplo, hace una copia de seguridad de los archivos importantes como protección adicional para que puedan restaurarse si ocurre lo peor y Bitdefender no puede detener un ataque de ransomware en primer lugar. Aunque, como verás, todos los principales laboratorios de pruebas antivirus encontraron a Bitdefender excepcionalmente bueno en el bloqueo de todo tipo de malware.

El módulo antispam te permite poner explícitamente en la lista blanca a los amigos y en la lista negra a los verdaderos spammers. Sin embargo, con tanta gente utilizando servicios de correo electrónico basados en web (junto con sus aplicaciones móviles), esto no será de ninguna utilidad, ya que sólo funciona con las aplicaciones de correo electrónico de escritorio Outlook y Thunderbird.

La navegación web está protegida por el módulo de Prevención de Amenazas Online. Este módulo utiliza el aprendizaje automático y una base de datos global de reputación de sitios web para determinar si un sitio que visitas debe considerarse malicioso. Al igual que el servicio de Navegación Segura de Chrome y otros navegadores, se actualiza constantemente, lo que significa que técnicamente recibes protección global en tiempo real. (También está disponible en iOS y Android)

Otra utilidad son los ‘Perfiles’. Se activan automáticamente cuando ves una película o juegas, por ejemplo. Los distintos modos evitan las ventanas emergentes o posponen las tareas domésticas hasta que el software detecta que son apropiadas. Ahora, estos perfiles pueden activarse automáticamente, una vez que hayas activado ese ajuste concreto, y cada uno puede configurarse a tu gusto.

Jim Martin / Foundry

En las pruebas más recientes de AV-Test, el rendimiento de Bitdefender es sobresaliente. Ha obtenido puntuaciones perfectas en protección, rendimiento y facilidad de uso. De forma similar, AV-Comparatives le ha otorgado la máxima puntuación en rendimiento y protección contra malware, y ha obtenido el primer puesto en las últimas pruebas de SE Labs que abarcan de enero a marzo de 2023.

Como se mencionó al principio, Bitdefender también tiene un historial envidiable: estos resultados se han repetido mes tras mes, año tras año.

Funciones de privacidad

Además de la supervisión de la cámara web y el micrófono ya mencionada, Anti-Tracker bloquea la recopilación de datos de sitios web. Está “activado” por defecto, pero esto es engañoso porque por defecto sólo se aplica esta protección a Internet Explorer. ¿Quién utiliza todavía Internet Explorer?

Tienes que hacer clic en la configuración para instalarlo y habilitarlo en Chrome, Firefox y Edge, los únicos otros navegadores compatibles.

VPN de Bitdefender

Como ya hemos mencionado, el servicio VPN -impulsado por Hotspot Shield- también forma parte de Total Security y Premium Security. Esta es una característica tan importante que la hemos cubierto en un análisis completo y separado de Bitdefender Premium VPN.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Si eliges Seguridad Total, es muy limitada porque solo obtienes 200 MB de datos al día. Pero con Bitdefender Premium Security es un servicio “adecuado” con datos ilimitados y la posibilidad de elegir entre unos 30 países y transmitir vídeo de Netflix, Disney +, HBO Max y otros.

Sin embargo, no desbloquearía los servicios de streaming de otros países, como BBC iPlayer e ITVX. Aún así, dado que los mejores servicios VPN independientes cuestan casi tanto como Premium Security (al menos durante el primer año con descuento), es una verdadera ventaja tener un servicio VPN medio decente que puedes usar en 10 dispositivos al mismo tiempo.

Gestor de contraseñas

Ha habido muchas críticas al gestor de contraseñas de Bitdefender en el pasado – específicamente en su encarnación “Wallet” – pero la compañía lo está retirando y sustituyendo por uno totalmente nuevo llamado Bitdefender Password Manager. Por supuesto, la extensión de Wallet para navegadores web sigue existiendo, por lo que debes evitarla (si no la usas ya) y en su lugar instalar el complemento correcto en tus navegadores web. Firefox, Chrome y Edge.

Es muy confuso para los nuevos usuarios que el gestor de contraseñas dentro de la aplicación Total Security Windows siga siendo la versión Wallet. Además, aunque el nuevo gestor de contraseñas tiene una opción de importación de Bitdefender Wallet (junto con 1Password y otras aplicaciones populares) sólo las acepta como archivo .csv. Pero Wallet exporta como .db – un problema del que Bitdefender obviamente no se ha dado cuenta.

Ha habido muchas críticas al gestor de contraseñas de Bitdefender en el pasado – específicamente en su encarnación ‘Wallet’ – pero la compañía lo está retirando y sustituyendo por uno totalmente nuevo llamado Bitdefender Password Manager

Un representante nos dijo que había una herramienta para cambiar sin problemas de Wallet a Password Manager, pero no hay ninguna referencia a esto en Total Security ni en la nueva extensión del navegador.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Password Manager no permite crear varios monederos (lo que siempre nos ha parecido innecesario), pero sí almacenar información de identidad (nombre, dirección, correo electrónico, números de teléfono) para introducirla rápidamente en formularios web, datos de tarjetas de crédito/débito, inicios de sesión en sitios web y también hay una sección para notas que quieras mantener en privado. También generará contraseñas seguras, con opciones para incluir o excluir determinados tipos de caracteres.

Además, hay un práctico Informe de Seguridad que muestra de un vistazo cuántas contraseñas duplicadas, débiles y antiguas tienes.

El proceso de inicio de sesión en la web es más doloroso de lo que podría ser porque la extensión te redirige al sitio web de Bitdefender Central, que te obliga a hacer clic en imágenes Captcha antes de poder iniciar sesión. Sin embargo, solo hay que hacerlo la primera vez.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Después de configurar su bóveda de contraseñas – que afortunadamente tiene una clave de recuperación – solo te pedirá su contraseña maestra cada vez que cierre su navegador web, lo cual es una práctica estándar. Y una vez conectado, funciona bien, y las aplicaciones móviles son buenas, también.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Un problema mayor es que utilizar un gestor de contraseñas incluido en una suite de seguridad significa que perderás el acceso a él si interrumpes tu suscripción. Así que, en lugar de eso, recomendamos usar un servicio dedicado; algunos de los mejores gestores de contraseñas también son gratuitos.

Control parental

El control parental de Bitdefender permite controlar el tiempo de pantalla de tus hijos/as en todos los dispositivos compatibles, así como decidir cuándo pueden y cuándo no pueden utilizar sus dispositivos.

La principal limitación es que no puede establecer límites de tiempo para aplicaciones específicas. Así que si les permites, por ejemplo, seis horas de tiempo de pantalla, podrían elegir pasar todo ese tiempo en TikTok, lo que probablemente no quieres.

La única opción es bloquear aplicaciones específicas, pero este enfoque no será aceptable para tus hijos.

También hay un filtro de contenidos que ayuda a evitar que vean cosas inapropiadas online.

El filtrado funciona bastante bien, pero no hay manera de que un niño solicite el acceso a un sitio web específico que cree que se le debe permitir utilizar. Si tu hijo o hija tiene un iPhone, Bitdefender no puede decirte para qué está utilizando el dispositivo, por lo que es mejor (si también tienes un iPhone o iPad) utilizar los controles de tiempo de pantalla incorporados de Apple.

Hay otra característica clave: la posibilidad de configurar ubicaciones geocercadas para que pueda recibir alertas cuando tu hijo o hija llegue o salga de un lugar específico.

Aplicaciones móviles

Como es habitual con las aplicaciones de seguridad, la versión para Android tiene muchas más funciones que la de iPhone.

En Android se incluyen varias funciones útiles. Está Anti-Theft, que te da varias opciones en caso de que pierdas o te roben el teléfono, como poder rastrearlo, bloquearlo y borrar los datos de forma remota. App Lock te permite poner un PIN en las aplicaciones que no quieres que nadie abra si te cogen prestado el teléfono o lo encuentran por ahí desbloqueado.

También te permite hacer una foto automáticamente cuando alguien no desbloquea el dispositivo tres veces seguidas. Todo esto se controla desde Bitdefender Central.

App Lock es otra práctica función que impide que nadie utilice las aplicaciones que usted elija solicitando un PIN antes de iniciar la aplicación.

Web Protection está activada por defecto y le protege de páginas web peligrosas. La alerta de estafas te avisa de cualquier enlace peligroso que encuentres en los mensajes, no solo en los SMS, sino también en WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger y otros.

Sigues teniendo el mismo límite de 200 MB de datos gratuitos al día a través de la VPN si te suscribes a Seguridad Total, pero es ilimitado con una Premium.

Por supuesto, también hay un componente antivirus adecuado que protegerá los dispositivos Android de una variedad similar de amenazas a la versión de Windows. Al igual que con la versión de Windows, la aplicación para Android obtuvo las mejores puntuaciones en las pruebas de AV-Test para Android y AV-Comparatives para Android.

En un iPhone no tienes eso, pero sí las funciones antirrobo, la VPN y la protección web básica, que también funciona utilizando una VPN.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

También hay una auditoría que te avisa si las funciones de seguridad como Face ID están desactivadas, y si hay una actualización del sistema operativo disponible.

Protección Digital ID

El servicio Digital ID Protection de Bitdefender siempre ha sido un servicio independiente al que podías suscribirte por separado del antivirus. Ahora, se obtiene si se opta por el paquete más caro de Bitdefender: Premium Security Plus, que cuesta 139,99 € al año en España.

También es la razón por la que la mejor suite de seguridad de Bitdefender se llama Ultimate Security, porque incluye la Protección frente al robo de identidad.

Con Digital ID Protection recibirá alertas instantáneas cuando Bitdefender considere que sus datos están en peligro, como su dirección de correo electrónico o su número de teléfono incluidos en una filtración de datos. También puede ayudarle a detectar intentos de suplantación de identidad por parte de personas que crean perfiles en redes sociales utilizando sus datos.

Lo que no ofrece es ningún tipo de servicio de restauración de identidad, supervisión del crédito o seguro para cubrir el robo de identidad. Para que quede claro, si vives en Estados Unidos, obtienes estas funciones al comprar Ultimate Security o al suscribirte a Identity Theft Protection Standard por separado.

Sin embargo, las funciones de Protección de identidad digital son esenciales en ambos paquetes y funcionan igual.

Es decir, se trata de un servicio independiente que no está integrado en absoluto en las aplicaciones de escritorio o móviles.

Jim Martin / Foundry

En su lugar, se gestiona desde el sitio web de Bitdefender Central. A pesar de la existencia de una aplicación Bitdefender Central para dispositivos móviles, no se puede acceder a ninguna información o configuración de ID Protection en ella, lo cual es una pena.

El sitio web, sin embargo, es bueno. Hay un panel de control en el que puedes ver una puntuación general (que indica lo bien que están protegidos tus datos), un mapa de riesgos (para que puedas ver dónde corren más riesgo los datos y cuál podría ser su impacto), las violaciones de datos que afectan a tu información, tu huella digital y una comprobación de suplantación de identidad.

Jim Martin / Foundry

También se puede acceder a la mayoría de ellas mediante enlaces situados en la parte superior. Para empezar, solo se controla la dirección de correo electrónico con la que te registraste. Pero puede añadir nueve más, además de hasta cinco números de teléfono.

Data Brokers es otra área en la que puedes ver ocho de los principales brokers, y enlaces para buscar en cada uno de ellos y ver qué datos tienen sobre ti, si es que tienen alguno.

Se trata de un proceso manual en el que tú tienes que hacer el trabajo. Otros servicios de control de identidad como DeleteMe e Incogni -que cuestan bastante más- lo hacen por ti. Sin embargo, en la mayoría de los casos, los corredores de datos sólo aceptan solicitudes de eliminación de datos de la persona de cuyos datos se trata, lo que significa que usted tendría que hacer esa parte de todos modos.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Para monitorizar sus datos, Bitdefender sólo le pide su dirección de correo electrónico y un número de teléfono, y los utiliza para rastrear la Web y ver qué puede encontrar. No tarda mucho en encontrar mucho más, y te lo muestra todo en la sección Huella Digital, que puedes ver como una especie de diagrama de araña.

A continuación, puede comprobar cada pieza de información y decirle a Bitdefender si es correcta o no. Merece la pena hacer esto para eliminar todo lo que no tenga que ver con usted, para que no reciba alertas cuando se descubra en otro lugar o en una nueva violación de datos.

Jim Martin / Foundry

En la vista de lista, puedes ver qué es cada elemento, cuándo o dónde se vio por primera vez, y un enlace a “Gestionar tus datos”.

Algunos aparecen borrosos hasta que verificas que te pertenecen. El único problema es que no puedes verificar algunas cosas (números de teléfono y direcciones de correo electrónico, por ejemplo) si ya no tienes acceso a ellas, ya que el proceso implica recibir un código para demostrar que son tuyas. Para los números y direcciones de correo electrónico antiguos, básicamente no hay nada que hacer.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Aparte de ir a los sitios web (como Facebook y Twitter) donde se ha encontrado esta información y eliminarla de tu perfil, o ajustar la configuración de privacidad para que no sea pública, no hay mucho que puedas hacer para reducir tu huella digital.

Pedir a los intermediarios de datos que eliminen tu información tampoco sirve de mucho. Eso se debe a que tienden a obtenerla de las redes sociales y otros lugares, por lo que tienes que solicitar la eliminación con cada corredor, así como tratar de eliminarla de la fuente original.

Los intermediarios suelen pedirte que pagues una cuota para ver la información que tienen sobre ti, pero puedes solicitar la eliminación de cualquier dato sin pagar por verlo. Según Bitdefender, la eliminación suele tardar entre 15 y 45 días laborables, pero los intermediarios suelen ignorar estas solicitudes.

No reconocimos a ninguno de los ocho brokers que Bitdefender incluye en su lista, y algunos tan conocidos como Experian y Equifax no estaban en ella. Bitdefender dice que añadirá más a la lista “pronto”.

El historial de Bitdefender en protección contra malware es absolutamente excelente, por lo que es fácil de recomendar sobre esa base

Precio y disponibilidad

Bitdefender Premium Security cuesta 49,99 €, pero tiene un descuento para el primer año. Después, cuesta 139,99 €. No olvides que es para 10 dispositivos. Si no tienes 10 que proteger, no te saldrá tan rentable.

Puedes ver cómo se comparan las alternativas, incluyendo McAfee Total Protection y Norton 360 Deluxe en nuestro resumen del mejor software antivirus.


El historial de Bitdefender en cuanto a protección contra malware es absolutamente excelente, por lo que es fácil recomendarlo. De hecho, si le preocupa el coste y puede prescindir de todas las funciones adicionales, puede suscribirse a Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, que protege hasta tres dispositivos. De hecho -aunque parezca una locura- Bitdefender regala el antivirus básico completamente gratis y puedes instalarlo en tantos dispositivos como quieras.

Total Security es un buen paso adelante respecto a Antivirus Plus (y un gran paso adelante en términos de protección) respecto a la oferta gratuita. Sin embargo, con un límite diario en la VPN, es difícil de recomendar. Esta es la razón principal por la que hemos revisado Premium Security en su lugar: es el punto dulce. Y si además quieres protección ID, suscríbete a Premium Security Plus (UK) o Ultimate Security (US).

¿Es el mejor de todos? Está muy cerca. Ninguna megasuite de seguridad es perfecta, y si realmente no necesitas controles parentales y no te importa la falta de almacenamiento en la nube y el actualizador de software que obtienes con Norton 360, Bitdefender es una buena opción.

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Lg Ultragear 27Gp950 Review: A Premium 4K 144Hz Gaming Monitor

Best Prices Today: LG Ultragear 27GP950




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Thanks to its fast panel and frame rates of up to 160 hertz, the LG Ultragear 27GP950 27-inch display cuts a fine figure in fast-reacting games, such as shooters and racing simulations. Ergonomic adjustment options and easy handling round out the impressive overall package. However, LG is asking a hefty price of $799 to enjoy those features.

Note: This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best gaming monitors. Go there to learn more about the competition, what to look for in a gaming monitor, and buying recommendations.

LG Ultragear 27GP950: The specs

The LG Ultragear 27GP950 gaming monitor is based on an in-house Nano IPS panel with a fast response time of 1 millisecond and a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The 27-inch screen also achieves a maximum frame rate of 144 hertz (or up to 160Hz when overclocked). Additionally, it comes with the welcome addition of HDMI 2.1 compatibility.

Display size 27-inchNative resolution3840×2160Panel typeNano IPS / 16:9Refresh rate144HzAdaptive syncCompatible with FreeSync and G-SyncPorts1 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, 2 USB, 1 analog audio jackStand adjustmentHeight, tilt, swivelVESA mountYes, 100x100mmSpeakersNoHDRYes, HDR 10Price$799

Since it supports both FreeSync and G-Sync, you are free to choose your preferred graphics cards, meaning the LG Ultragear 27GP950 will work problem-free with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards. However, keep in mind that to use the full power of the 4K monitor, you’ll need a very powerful graphics cards, such as an Nvidia RTX 3080 or an AMD RX 6800 XT.

LG Ultragear 27GP950: Image quality

Since the 4K gaming monitor is particularly appealing for graphically demanding games, the general image quality—color fidelity, brightness, and contrast—is of great significance. The LG Ultragear 27GP950 doesn’t disappoint. 

The color reproduction is neutral and natural due to the almost 100 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. In addition, it dazzled with its high brightness and rich contrast.

The 27-inch monitor also impresses with superior performance in our gaming tests. Even with swift action and racing games, the LG Ultragear 27GP950 offers fluid and smooth playback with its responsive panel. We didn’t see any errors in the tests, such as tearing, motion blur, or input lag. 

LG Ultragear 27GP950: UHD-Gaming-Monitor with top performance.

PC Welt

LG Ultragear 27GP950: Ports

The LG Ultragear 27GP950 has all of the standard ports for modern gaming monitors: a DisplayPort input (version 1.4), two HDMI (version 2.1) ,and USB 3.0 ports. All of the appropriate cables for these interface ports are included along with the monitor. What really stands out here are the HDMI 2.1 ports. It means that not only can you use this monitor for PC gaming, but you are able to connect it to all next-gen consoles such as the PS5 or the Xbox Series X and enjoy 4K gaming with those as well.

LG Ultragear 27GP950: The interfaces are very easily accessible directly on the back of the case.

PC Welt

LG Ultragear 27GP950: Features and menu

The ergonomic adjustment options—rotating, tilting, and up to 4 inches of height adjustment—ensure that this monitor can be adapted to fit any location. We also found that the location of the ports were very convenient. Unlike most competitor models, the ports are not located in a niche on the lower back of the case that is difficult to reach. Instead, they are integrated directly next to the panel bracket so that they are easily accessible. 

In addition to general settings, such as brightness and contrast, the on-screen menu offers various specific game features such as FPS, crosshairs, RTS, and two game presets. The five-way joystick, which controls the OSD, is conveniently located in the middle of the underside of the panel and allows the LG Ultragear 27GP950 to be configured very quickly and easily.

LG Ultragear 27GP950: The OSD is conveniently controlled via a five-way joystick.

PC Welt

LG Ultragear 27GP950: Power consumption

During operation, the gaming monitor consumes almost 50 watts at maximum brightness, quite a lot, even for a 4K display. In standby mode, the power requirement drops to a low 0.6 watts, which is still higher than most of its competitors.

Final thoughts

The LG Ultragear 27GP950 monitor is a stand-out option for gaming monitors. Yes, you’ll pay for the high purchase price and power consumption, but that’s what’s required when you only settle for the best gaming performance. The clear and stunning images, interfaces, and menu options really set the bar high for competitors. The addition of the HDMI 2.1 ports also makes it a great option for any gamers who wish to use it with next-gen consoles.

This review originally appeared on PC-Welt, PCWorld’s German sister site.

Review: Burkley Hardshell Leather Macbook Air Case, Premium Leather At A Premium Price

I’m not normally one for hiding Apple’s gorgeous designs away inside cases, but my 11-inch MacBook Air is used almost exclusively when I’m out and about, so it does normally live in a TwelveSouth BookBook case to keep it safe on its travels. I adore that case, so persuading me to set it aside for an alternative would not be an easy task.

But I was very taken with the leather iPhone and iPad cases I recently reviewed from NY-based Burkley, so I decided to give one of the company’s snap-on leather MacBook Air covers a try. It currently offers these for the MacBook Air only (both 11- and 13-inch) – though it does also have a non-snap-on variation for the 12-inch MacBook.

Burkley likes to mix up its leather offerings for each product, with the Antique Camel Leather I liked last time not available for the MacBook, so I tried the Special Burned Tan Leather. This is a fairly standard tan color in the center, with darker burned-in edges …

The case itself is a hardshell plastic coated in leather. The two separate pieces snap into place around the base and lid.

Fitting it is straightforward, though you do have to work your way around with your thumb ensuring that each part of it has fully snapped into place. Once fitted, it is totally solid. Removal is a little fiddly, but not too difficult.

When using the MacBook, you simply see the thin black surround of the plastic shell. But from every other angle, all you really see is the leather.

There are cutouts on both sides for the ports. Oddly, on the left side, one of the two microphone sockets has a cut-out hole while the other is uncovered. Burkley tells me they originally wanted to leave both mics uncovered, but they needed a longer side piece to ensure a solid fit.

On the other side, the low-profile USB key I leave permanently plugged-in for mobile backups sits quite happily in place.

The case adds very little bulk to the MacBook. At the front, there are tabs that hold the case in place, and these can be seen as slight protrusions and cutouts, but the visual impact is minimal.

The rear is open, likely to avoid the risk of overheating, though the overlapping edge of the case does still offer some degree of protection.

The bottom of the case also has some cutouts for cooling.

And to complete the picture, the top view.

The leather has a luxurious feel, and that lovely leather smell. It looks and feels like a premium product well suited to a MacBook.

I learned one lesson about leather at a young age, when I laid out rather a lot of cash on a matching leather luggage set. The main bag got used a lot more than the secondary bags, and the color darkened a lot faster than it did on the ones that spent most of their life in the closet. That matched set didn’t stay matched for long.

I’ve seen the same thing with Burkley’s iPhone case. As someone who works from a home office, my phone spends most of the day out on my desk rather than tucked inside a pocket. The antique camel leather has darkened very quickly indeed in the month I’ve owned it. Here it is when about a week old:

And here it is now, pictured with the MacBook case and a brand new passport wallet from Burkley’s wallet range. Both are the same leather, but are now very different colors.

So despite the wide range of leathers the company offers, I wouldn’t spend too much time sweating the detail of the exact shade you want – because it’s going to change. But part of the beauty of leather to me is that it continues to look great as it ages – wrinkles, scratches, color changes and all.

One of the reasons I do use a case for the MacBook Air is that it spends a lot of time in my bike bag. London’s streets are not the smoothest of surfaces, so I’d worry about the MacBook moving around inside the bag and getting scratched as I cycle around the place. The final test, then, was to see whether the Burkley case itself got scuffed when cycling.

The answer is yes. In these before-and-after photos, you can see several scuffs from its first cycling journey (ignore the color difference and deeper shadow on the logo – that’s simply because the after photo was taken in early morning sunlight).

So again, the moral here is not to expect the look to remain unchanged with time and usage. The MacBook Air itself remained pristine beneath the case.

Here, by way of comparison, is my BookBook case after three years of use:

I would say the pristine nature of the Burkley case when brand new makes the comparison look more dramatic, but the end result is going to be the same: leather shows battle-scars.

Pricing and conclusions

Ok, you may want to ensure you’re sitting down for this part, because there’s no getting away from the fact that the Burkley case is very expensive. The 11-inch model costs $176.80, while the 13-inch one is even pricier at $208.80. That’s a lot of money for a case. Depending on the exact model of MacBook Air you own, that could be 20% of the price of the machine itself. (Burkley does also offer a much cheaper slip-on cover for $90, but I wasn’t taken with the much more obtrusive look of that, especially the retaining straps at the top.)

Compare this with the official BookBook RRP of $99.99, and the $79.99 you can pay to buy direct from TwelveSouth’s own Amazon store (availability varies), and Burkley’s pricing does definitely cause a sharp intake of breath.

The question, then, is whether it can possibly justify that kind of pricing – and the answer to that will always be very personal.

If you simply want to protect your machine from damage, you can buy low-cost cases that do the same job from as little as thirteen bucks. If you want something beautiful as well as protective, the BookBook option is a very obvious answer. Quality-wise, I would say there’s nothing to choose between that and the Burkley.

Only you can decide whether those benefits justify the price-tag, but for me, I’ve made the switch. Sorry, trusty BookBook case: we’ve travelled many miles together, but the Burkley case is my MacBook Air’s new home.

The Burkley Hardshell Leather MacBook Air Cover is available direct from the company’s own website for $176.80 (11-inch) or $208.80 (13-inch). BookBook cases are available from TwelveSouth’s own Amazon store from $79.99.

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Asus Rog Strix Xg27Uq Review: An Excellent 4K Gaming Monitor At A Premium Price


4K resolution with 144Hz

Impressive gaming performance

Good ergonomic adjustment options

Comfortable configuration


High power consumption

Premium price

Our Verdict

The Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ is a more-than-suitable display for everyone passionate about gaming who wants to enjoy the latest AAA titles at high resolutions with nonexistent input lag. In our tests, we found that, thanks to high frame rates and a fast IPS panel, the 4K monitor can master demanding, responsive games flawlessly and effortlessly.

Best Prices Today: Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ



The 27-inch display impresses with its ergonomic adjustment options and simple configuration, including numerous gaming functions. However, this quality has its price; the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ retails for around $699. That’s a lot of money for a 27-inch display that hopes to compete in an already crowded market. But given the specs, it’s not entirely an unfair price for a monitor with 4K and 144Hz. It seems that Asus has aimed this model at gamers who want to enjoy 4K resolution with three-digit refresh rates but who are not willing to shell out for a four-digit purchase price.

Note: This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best gaming monitors. Go there to learn more about competing products, what to look for in a gaming monitor, and buying recommendations.

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: The specs

The Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ supports both of the important synchronization methods, G-Sync and FreeSync, which require either an Nvidia or AMD graphics processor, respectively. The IPS panel has a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels and absolutely shines with a response time of a mere 1 millisecond and supports up to 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color range. 

Display size 27-inchNative resolution3840×2160Panel typeIPS / 16:9Refresh rate144HzAdaptive SyncCompatible with Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD FreeSyncPorts2 DisplayPort, 2 HDMI, 2 USB, 1 analog audio jackStand adjustmentHeight, tilt, swivel, pivotVESA mountYes, 100x100mmSpeakersNoHDRYes, HDR 10Price$950

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: Image quality

With its 144Hz frame rate, the Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ handles responsive, fast games confidently and without image errors, such as tearing and motion blur. However, with its 4K resolution, the main focus remains on aesthetic graphics-oriented games, which the 27-inch unit displays admirably with a focus on stunning detail. 

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: 4K gaming monitor (2160p) with impressive gaming performance

PC Welt

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: Ports

The Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ has two HDMI and two DisplayPort interfaces, two USB 3.0 outputs, and a headphone jack. On another positive note, the Asus monitor includes all cables—HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB 3.0—so there are no additional costs no matter which connection option you choose.

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: There is an LED light bar on the back, which can be controlled via Asus’ own Aura light management system


PC Welt

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: Features and menu

The screen menu is clearly structured and offers extensive setting options. There are lots of useful features for gamers, such as FPS, crosshairs, various presets for different game genres, and two large buttons that allow direct access to the predefined game settings. These are on the right rear of the case below a five-way joystick, allowing for convenient overall control of the OSD.

Ergonomic adjustment options—turning, tilting, and 5 inches of height adjustment—ensure optimal adjustment depending on your respective location to help fight fatigue during those marathon gaming sessions.

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: The clear on-screen menu offers ample setting options for gaming


PC Welt

One last thing to note is that the monitor does not come with any internal speakers. While not a game breaker, for a display this expensive it would be nice to have.

Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ: Power consumption

At maximum brightness, the gaming monitor consumes just over 50 watts in operation, which is quite high, but relatively standard for 4K monitors on the whole. In standby mode, the energy requirement drops to a low 0.3 watts.

Final thoughts

The Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ monitor delivers excellent performance, especially if you’re looking to play everything at maxed out settings and have the computer to do so. Sure, you’ll need external speakers and top-market hardware, but you’ll love watching the most demanding games play out flawlessly on the display. It is a monitor with a lot going for it, and it is more than capable of handling everything a high-end system (or game) might throw at it. Though it’s not exactly inexpensive, what it will give you is enough to justify the high price.

This review originally appeared on PC-Welt, PCWorld’s German sister site.

Google Pixel 3A Review: A Budget Phone That Acts Like A Premium Flagship

The Google Pixel 3a has the right combination of great, good enough, and affordability to rival phones that cost twice as much.

The Google Pixel 3a makes a strong case for tossing out the spec sheet. On paper, it looks like yet another boring budget smartphone, with a middling processor, single front and rear cameras, and a bare-minimum 1080p screen. But in your pocket, you might just mistake it for a premium phone.

Ignoring the numbers game

For as long as high-end Android phones have existed, we’ve been trained to believe that we need the biggest battery and best processor to get the best experience. As such, handsets have crossed the thousand-dollar threshold to give us the specs they’ve convinced us we need, as premium phones have all sought to outdo each other with cameras, RAM, storage, and pixels.

Michael Simon/IDG

You can squeeze the sides of the Pixel 3a to summon Google Assistant.

The Pixel 3a does none of that. Spec-, design-, and most importantly, price-wise, it’s the antithesis of a premium Android phone. It’s made of plastic rather than glass, has a Full HD screen instead of a Quad HD one, and its interior attributes are decidedly non-premium as well:

Processor: Snapdragon 670


Storage: 64GB

Battery: 3,000mAh

Front camera: 8MP, f/2.0

Rear camera: 12MP, f/1.8, OIS

But numbers aren’t what the Pixel 3a is selling. Much like the premium Pixel—which also has just 4GB of RAM and 64GB of base storage—the 3a makes the most of its parts, offering an Android experience that rivals phones that cost more than twice as much. Plus it has a headphone jack, which makes the lack of one on the higher-priced Pixel more glaring. I’d like an option for more storage or at least a slot for an SD card, but as it stands, the Pixel 3a maxes out at a relatively paltry 64GB of storage. Keep in mind that you don’t get free unlimited storage of photos in original quality like you do on the Pixel 3, so space might become an issue.

In benchmarks, the Pixel 3a’s Snapdragon 670 scored around 7,250 in the PCMark Work 2.0 test, lower than the Snapdragon 845-based Pixel 3’s 8,828, but not crippling by any stretch. Geekbench 4 returned similar results, with the Pixel 3a posting a 1,600/5,125 (single-core/multi-core) score versus 2,358/8,337 on the Pixel 3, but all in all, the Snapdragon 670 wasn’t as laggy as I expected. Only occasionally during my testing was I consciously aware that I wasn’t using a near-thousand-dollar phone, and even then, it was fleeting. More often than not, I forgot that I wasn’t using the grown-up Pixel.

Michael Simon/IDG

The Pixel 3a runs the latest version of Android—and will until Android S in 2023.

That’s because Google has taken an iOS-like approach with the Pixel 3a. Instead of building a phone optimized to run Android, Google has optimized Android for the handset to the point where the Pixel 3, which costs twice as much, doesn’t feel all that much faster than the 3a in normal use. Even with a lesser processor, Android Pie on the Pixel 3a is as fast or faster than it is on phones that cost twice as much. Little touches like Now Playing (which listens to background audio to automatically ID songs on the lock screen and notification panel) are delightful without dragging things down. And because you’re guaranteed to get three years of Android updates—something few phones in this price range can promise—your Pixel 3a might actually feel faster even as its hardware ages.

A design that finally fits

Michael Simon/IDG

Is that…. yes, it’s a headphone jack!

The front of the phone has a modest screen-to-body ratio, but the 5.6-inch OLED display’s rounded corners and 18.5:9 aspect ratio give it a high-end feel. The Full HD display itself is basically the same as the one in the 5.5-inch Pixel 3, with 441 ppi (vs 443 on the Pixel 3) and full 24-bit color depth, though it’s wrapped in Dragontail glass rather than the more famous Corning Gorilla Glass. You likely won’t notice the difference, however. My case- and screen protector-less Pixel 3a picked up a few visible smudges reminiscent of the Pixel 2’s oleophobic coating issues, but it emerged scratch- and scuff-free.

Michael Simon/IDG

The Pixel 3a has the same two-tone look as the Pixel 3, except here it’s all made of plastic.

Besides, you’re not going to have to charge it all that often. Not only does it feature 18W fast charging via the bundled charger, it’ll also likely last you through a whole day. In testing, I was able to reach more than seven hours of screen-on time and 14+ hours between charges, which should get most people through a day. If you can’t make it, a quick 30-minute charge will give you all you need.

A premium shooting experience

12.2MP dual-pixel


Autofocus + dual pixel phase detection

Optical + electronic image stabilization

Michael Simon/IDG

The Pixel 3a, left, actually captured better distance detail than the iPhone XR in this shot.

Unfortunately the dedicated Pixel Visual Core image signal processor isn’t present on the 3a, so photos aren’t quite as sharp or as detailed as they are on the higher-priced Pixel phones, but they’re still fantastic for a phone in this price range. I was most impressed with the color accuracy, which was rich and vibrant without being oversaturated. Portraits were equally impressive, with crisp edges and impressive definition even when dealing with objects instead of people.

Michael Simon/IDG

In good lighting, the Pixel 3a is capable of taking some fantastic shots.

Even motion shots, which generally cause all kinds of issues in budgets smartphones, showed minimal blur. In the photo of the rollercoaster above (center), the Pixel 3a not only captured the quickly-moving car, but legs and arms are also in focus. That’s the kind of quick shutter that I expect from a $900 phone but not from a $399 one. Heck, some premium phones can’t handle motion as well as the Pixel 3a does.

Michael Simon/IDG

With Night Sight turned on, the Pixel 3a (left) is able to capture an incredible amount of color with barely any light, but the Pixel 3 (right) makes the most of the Visual Core.

Should you buy a Google Pixel 3a?

Whether you’re in the market for a Pixel 3, Galaxy S10, or OnePlus 7 Pro, you should give the Pixel 3a some serious consideration. It may technically be a mid-range phone, but it’s really hard to tell when using it. It’s plenty fast, takes great pictures, and has a killer price tag.

But you don’t have to think of it as a great alternative. Just think of it as a great phone that doesn’t cost a lot.

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