Sunday, July 21, 2024
Smartphone news

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from the UK, Germany, India and the US


Finding the best deals is a game of patience – pre-order promos and sales events like Black Friday lean heavily on advertising, but sometimes it’s better to wait things out. This week we found a lot of discounts on current devices that are just coming off the pre-order buzz. Use the links below to skip to your country:



UK

Samsung is running a “boost” promo deal in the UK for the Galaxy S23 series. When trading in an old phone for the S23 or S23+, you can get a guaranteed £200 in Samsung Credit using the S23BOOST code. If you don’t have an old device to trade, use the S23SAVE code instead to get a £100 discount. More details on Samsung.com.

For the Galaxy S23 Ultra the codes are the same, but the discounts are slightly different. You can get £150 on top of the trade-in value of your old phone or a straight £150 discount if you’re not doing trade ins. More details on Samsung.com.

You should also consider purchasing the phone from Amazon instead. Right now the retailer has bundled the Galaxy S23 Ultra, S23+ and S23 with a pair of Galaxy Buds 2 (the vanilla S23 also gets a transparent case). The prices of these bundles are around £50 less than the MSRP for just the phone. So, if you don’t have anything to trade in and need a pair of TWS buds, the Amazon deal might be the better option, otherwise go for the Samsung offers.

Next up, a battle of two £300 phones. The Samsung Galaxy A33 is powered by an Exynos 1280 and has a microSD slot, plus it will get treated to more updates. It has a bigger 5,000mAh battery, but it charges slowly at 25W. The A33 also has the better screen – a 6.4” Super AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 5. And it can record 4K video with its 48MP main camera whereas the Moto tops out at 1080p. Also, this one has a proper IP67 rating, the Moto is only listed as splash and dust resistant.

The Moto Edge 30 Neo is powered by the Snapdragon 695. Its 6.28” P-OLED display is a bit smaller, but it runs at 120Hz. Both displays are FHD+, but only the Samsung has strengthened glass. While the Neo’s battery is smaller (4,020mAh), it achieved the exact same Endurance rating in our tests (both got 104h) and this one has fast 68W wired charging, plus basic 5W wireless charging (it’s slow, but it’s an option, unlike on the Galaxy).

Moving down the price ladder we find a pair of £250 phones, the Motorola Edge 20 and the Oppo Find X5 Lite. The Moto phone is larger with a 6.7” 144Hz OLED display, but has a smaller 4,000mAh battery with 30W charging. The battery capacity is this phone’s Achilles’s heel.

The camera is impressive for this price point – a 108MP main (1/1.52”, no OIS), there is an 8MP 3x telephoto lens too (with OIS), plus a 16MP ultra wide (119°). Also, the Moto is powered by the Snapdragon 778G, while the Oppo uses the less impressive Dimensity 900.

The Oppo Find X5 Lite is smaller with a 6.43” display (90Hz, also GG5), but its 4,500mAh battery achieved nearly 40 hours longer endurance in our tests, plus with 65W charging you can refill it completely in half an hour. The 64MP main camera (1/2.0”, no OIS) and 8MP ultra wide (119°) are not as impressive.



Germany

The four Apple iPhone 14 models are cheaper on Amazon than they are on Apple.com. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has the biggest discount, but the 14 Pro and vanilla 14 discounts aren’t bad either. Really, only the iPhone 14 Plus stands out with just €100 off.

By the way, Amazon doesn’t have the new yellow color option for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus yet. You might have to pay full price if you want one of those.

There is a trio of €270 Android phones next – the Samsung Galaxy A33, Galaxy M23 and the Moto Edge 30 Neo. The M23 has the better chipset of the three, a Snapdragon 750G, although here it is paired with only 4GB of RAM. This one has the largest screen, a 6.6” 120Hz LCD, so not the best quality.

The Galaxy A33 drops down to an Exynos 1280, but it gets 6GB of RAM. Both the A33 and M23 have 5,000mAh batteries with 25W wired-only charging. The A33 uses a Super AMOLED display – 6.4” at a lower 90Hz refresh rate. The A33 also has an IP67 dust and water resistance rating.

The Moto Edge 30 Neo has a smaller 6.28” P-OLED display running at 120Hz. The Snapdragon 695 makes this the only phone not capable of recording 4K video. The battery is smaller at 4,020mAh, but its endurance is just as good as the 5,000mAh battery on the Galaxy A33 (both got 104h in our tests) and it supports both fast 68W wired charging and basic 5W wireless charging. The Neo isn’t fully waterproof, but it does have basic water resistance.



India

The Xiaomi 13 Pro launched in India a couple of weeks ago and its price is fairly high. However, with the vivo X90 Pro still not available in the country, you don’t get a lot of options if you want a 1” camera sensor or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that has enough oomph for the image processing.

The Samsung Galaxy M53 is coming up on a year old, but it offers a 108MP main camera at ₹26,000 (it also has an 8MP ultra wide, but that is a lot less impressive). This phone is equipped with a large 6.7” 120Hz Super AMOLED display and has a large 5,000mAh battery (25W charging). The Dimensity 900 chipset isn’t the best in 2023, but you do get a microSD slot.

The iQOO Z6 Pro costs ₹3,000 less and uses the more powerful Snapdragon 778G. The display isn’t as good as it’s smaller and slower (6.44” and 90Hz) and the 64+8+2MP rear camera is nothing to write home about. The iQOO wins the battery charging race, however, its 4,700mAh can do 66W over a wire.

Next up, three phones at ₹20,000 or less – the Redmi Note 12, OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite and the Samsung Galaxy M33. All three have fairly large displays around 6.6” in size, all three have FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

However, the pricier Redmi uses a Super AMOLED, the Nord has an IPS LCD the Galaxy a plain LCD. The Redmi is also the only with an IP53 rating. The first two have 5,000mAh batteries with 33W charging, the Galaxy M33 gets a 6,000mAh power pack in India (25W). Note that the Nord is the only one without an ultra wide camera, the Redmi has an 8MP, the Galaxy a 5MP module.

Finally, the chipsets. The Redmi Note 12 uses the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, the Nord CE 2 Lite a Snapdragon 695. This means that the Galaxy M33 with its Exynos 1280 is the only one capable of 4K video. All three have 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, plus microSD slots and 3.5mm jacks.

Finally, another trio, though this one is centered on the ₹10,000 mark – the Samsung Galaxy M13, Galaxy M04 and Realme Narzo 50A Prime. All three run full-blown Android, by the way, no Go Edition here.

You may want to skip the Galaxy M04 as it’s the only one with an HD+ display, the other two have 6.6” FHD+ LCDs (60Hz). Also, the Helio P35 is slower than both the Exynos 850 in the M13 and the Unisoc T612 in the Narzo. And the M04 is the only one without a fingerprint reader and with a basic 13MP main camera.

The Galaxy M13 and Narzo 50A Prime both have 50MP main cameras, but the Samsung stands out with a 5MP ultra wide as well. The Samsung also has the biggest battery, a 6,000mAh unit compared to 5,000mAh on the other two. All three have microSD slots and 3.5mm jacks.



USA

The MacBook Air with the new Apple M2 chip launched at $1,200 in mid-2022, now Best Buy offers it at $1,050 (for an 8/256GB unit, 8/512GB Is $1,350). There’s talk of a 15.5” Air coming later this year, but which might use the M3 and will certainly be pricier.

The iPhone SE from last year costs $430 brand new from Apple.com (64GB). Amazon lists refurbished units for $285, which saves $145 – that’s a 33% discount. This model uses the same Apple A15 chip as the new iPhone 14 (though with less RAM, 4GB vs. 6GB), so it’s plenty powerful, even if the 60Hz 750 x 1,334px display isn’t the sharpest (in case you were wondering, analysts are doubtful that the vanilla iPhone 15 will have a higher than 60Hz display).

We spotted a couple of Apple Watch deals that might be good for exercising. Best Buy has paired the Apple Watch Series 8 with the Beats Fit Pro TWS buds and knocked $50 off the combo for both the 41mm and 45mm watches.

If that combo is too pricey, here’s the budget version – the Apple Watch SE 2022 with a pair of Beats Flex (this is a neckband style headset). The discount for this combo is only $20, but it’s still $150 less than the option above.

We’ll wrap up with a cheap 5G phone, the OnePlus Nord N200. It’s $100 less than the refurbished iPhone SE and it has a larger FHD+ 90Hz display with modern-looking bezels, plus the 5,000mAh battery has two and a half time the capacity of the SE battery. And you get things like a microSD slot and a 3.5mm jack. Still, this is the US market we are talking about and many might prefer the iPhone anyway.



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