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While the S10 doesn't provide Apple Watch support, there is an extremely large selection of wearOS and Tizen smartwatches available. The S10 also does reasonably well in the battery department with an average lifespan of 13 hours off a full charge. If those weren't impressive enough, the S10 is the only handset in this list that offers reverse wireless charging so you can top up supported accessories like wireless earbuds in a pinch. Durability-wise, the S10 employs the latest Gorilla Glass 6 for its display panel while using the older Gorilla Glass 5 for the rear, and has a dirt and water resistance rating of IP68 to ensure it protected from the elements.
Unfortunately, the S10 uses glass to cover its rear camera system, which makes it more prone to scratches compared to the sapphire crystal-equipped devices on this list. Glass rear camera cover aside, the flagship also suffers from numerous drawbacks which kept it from ascending further up the list. As amazing as the curved screen is to behold, it also increases the likelihood of accidental touches while interacting with the device during exercise sessions, and that's just the start. As to be expected by an almost edge-to-edge all glass design, the Galaxy S10 fared poorly in drop tests. The S10's inherent susceptibility to shattering is something you'll have to pay close attention to, especially considering that the handset features no texturing of any kind.
So care must be taken when handling this slippery device with sweaty hands. And now that Samsung has done away with both Face and Iris unlocking, there's no hands-free way to unlock your device — instead, you'll have to rely on either your passcode or fingerprint to gain access. This can be problematic if you need to get into your phone while your hands are full or dirty from working out.
Despite being a lesser-known brand, OnePlus' parent company is on the verge of overtaking Samsung as the biggest phone manufacturer in the world. BBK Electronics uses the OnePlus brand to push the boundaries of their smartphones' features and capabilities. Despite being one of the wider and heavier phones in this list at 6. For added slip resistance, the 7T features a textured rear panel that's noticeably smoother than the Pixel 4.
Though it lacks an official rating for water and dust resistance, the OnePlus 7T's tight tolerances, excellent build quality, and use of rubber gaskets in key components like motherboard connectors, speakers, and charging port, make it reasonably resistant to liquid and dirt.
That said, you should still be careful when performing outdoor activities near water. Battery life is excellent on the OnePlus 7T, with an average uptime of 18 hours off a full charge. This places it ahead of all the Android devices on this list, and almost on par with the iPhone In addition, the 7T scored the highest in terms of maximum screen brightness with an average maximum output of only Nits, making it be easiest device to view outdoors.
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As far as durability goes, the OnePlus 7T gave a decent performance on various torture tests done to the device. In JerryRig's durability test , the 7T's aluminum frame and display proved to be very resistant to bending, though its rear panel didn't fare quite as well. The back glass also was the first to break in drop tests done by Gupta Information Systems , though the display survived numerous drops from various heights intact. Besides the fragile rear glass panel, the OnePlus 7T's most glaring weakness is its lack of native health and fitness apps and sensors, though these can be easily remedied by installing apps like Google Fit or Samsung Health, along with a myriad heart rate sensors available on the Google Play Store.
With these apps installed, the 7T does an excellent job at tracking important fitness data like logging steps and approximating heart rates. Not only that, but having these apps and services on-hand also gives you quick access to steps you've logged and other information via the notification panel for instant viewing.
Moreover, the OnePlus 7T is fully compatible with a wide range of smartwatches and wearable fitness trackers, with the exception of the Apple Watch. But with the vast selection of wearOS, Tizen, FitbitOS, and other smartwatches available, you're sure to find one that suits your individual needs.
Compared to more famous models like the S10 and iPhone 11, dedicated accessories like arm bands and protective cases aren't as widely available — especially in brick-and-mortar stores — for the OnePlus 7T. That said, cases and other accessories specific to the 7T are still relatively easy to find online thanks to the brand's cult following and popularity. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 7T is the only handset on this list that doesn't have wireless charging capabilities, so care must be taken when charging the device while working out in a gym.
Carelessly leaving it anywhere as you exercise is not only a safety hazard, but doing so can also severely damage the 7T's charging port in the event someone trips on the wire. Despite being overshadowed by more popular OEMs like Google and Samsung, LG has continued to belt out quality handsets, and has even become the brand of choice for music lovers due to innovative flagships like the G8 ThinQ and its Crystal Sound technology.
Beyond being an audio powerhouse, however, this latest flagship also makes for a great fitness companion thanks to its premium build. Sporting a Gorilla Glass 6 rear panel, Gorilla Glass 5 display, and an aluminum mid-frame, and topped off with an IP68 rating, the G8 ThinQ looks and feels like a flagship, and certainly leads to its durability overall. These devices will fully sync with your handset, but do note that the Apple Watch only works with Apple devices.
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While on the topic of hands-free experience, the G8 ThinQ is also the only device on this list apart from the Pixel 4 that features touchless gestures for hands-free accessibility by way of Air Motion. As its name implies, the feature uses the G8 ThinQ's array of front cameras and sensors to detect hand movements for on-screen controls like turning the volume up or down, taking photos, and more.
The LG G8 ThinQ is also a cut above the rest in terms of hands-free unlocking, and besides facial recognition, the flagship gives you the added ability to unlock your device by way of Hand ID. Thanks to its front-facing 3D mapping sensors, the G8 is able to detect the unique circulatory pattern beneath the skin of your palm and use it as a from of biometric ID for added security and ease of access at the same time.
An easy-to-access fingerprint sensor sits below. Watching movies and playing games is a joy, and the screen is bright enough to see in sunny conditions. The curved edges on the back and front make it feel comfortable to hold.
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You will need to adjust how you hold the phone to reach the top corners of the screen. A button on the left edge of the phone accesses Google Assistant.
The screen is a highlight. The audio setup is great, too. If you place the phone on certain surfaces like a hollow box or a wood table , audio is amplified and room-filling. Quickly switching between apps is always a hit-or-miss experience. It tends to skip over a few apps and opens another app completely. The App Drawer is also frustrating. By default, you must swipe various modes all the way to the left to get to the More menu, all just to tap on features like Night View. However, LG has improved image processing, so results have improved. Want a close-up? The telephoto lens offers a 2x optical zoom.
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Bree Fowler I write about all things "cyber" and your right to privacy.