Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and India
Each week we try to find the best smartphone deals from around the world (with the occasional smartwatch or maybe some headphones). This week the focus was on discounts since there are no special sales events. Use the links below to jump to your region:
The Poco X4 GT is a gaming phone for medium budgets – the Dimensity 8100 chipset isn’t the fastest, but the 144Hz IPS LCD (6.6” FHD+) can do some high FPS gaming with less demanding titles. Also, the 5,080mAh battery will last long gaming sessions (and is quick to recharge at 67W, 46 minutes to full). There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to stereo speakers.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE is from 2021, but for €300 you get a Snapdragon 778G, a 90Hz AMOLED (6.55” FHD+). The camera setup features a 64MP main and 8MP ultra wide, plus a 20MP selfie cam, the battery is 4,250mAh with 33W charging.
You may prefer the Google Pixel 6a – for a bit more you it offers a better Android OS update schedule (and it’s the Pixel Experience vs. MIUI). Its 6.1” FHD+ display runs at only 60Hz, the original Tensor chipset holds its own against the Snapdragon. The camera uses two 12MP sensors on the back (with the coveted Gcam image processing), the battery is a bit larger but slower at 4,410mAh and 18W.
Next up, the Poco M5s and M5 at €200 and €160, respectively. The M5s has a 6.43” AMOLED vs. 6.58” IPS LCD on the M5 (both FHD+), it also has an 8MP ultra wide camera on the rear (vs. none on the M5) and a 13MP selfie camera (vs. 5MP). While, both phones have 5,000mAh batteries, the pricier model charges at 33W, the other at 18W. Finally, the M5s comes with double the storage. Is all that worth the extra €40? That’s for you to decide.
Leaving Android land for some Apple offerings. The iPhone 13 mini (128GB) is currently €80 less than the same phone on Apple.com. This might be the last mini for a while, unless a future SE model takes over.
Speaking of, a refurbished iPhone SE 2020 goes for just over €200. It’s not fabulous, but depending on how used you are to the Apple ecosystem, this might be a better pick than a low to mid-range Android.
There is also an Apple Watch Series 8 (aluminum) is up for grabs, but it is not cheap. The 45mm model is €35 more than the 41mm one.
The ZTE Blade A72 5G is a cheap way to get in on 5G connectivity. The phone’s Dimensity 700 chipset is the best thing about it, however. The 6.52” HD+ 90hz IPS LCD is nothing to write home about, same goes for the 13MP main camera. The 4,000mAh battery is decently sized, though it lacks fast charging.
Here is an odd one - the rugged Samsung Galaxy Xcover 5 (IP68, MIL-STD-810H). The hardware is not great (Exynos 850, 5.3” HD+ display), but the phone can and does run Android 13 and it has a user-replaceable battery. It’s not a great daily driver, but if you want something relatively cheap as a work phone or something to take while hiking, this might be an interesting pick.
The Xiaomi Watch S1 Active is not a Google Wear device, on the plus side, it has better battery life than those – Xiaomi claims that it lasts up to 12 days, we got around 7 days when we tested it. The watch still offers niceties like contactless payments and voice commands with Alexa.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is fairly expensive and it doesn’t even fold – the Galaxy Z Fold4 does, however. And you can pick one up for €1,200, less than what you would pay for the Ultra. The question really is whether you want a large screen in a next-gen form factor or better cameras.
The Xiaomi 12T features a 108MP main camera (1/1.67”) with OIS, a 5,000mAh battery with blazing fast 120W charging and a 12-bit 6.67” 120Hz AMOLED display with 1,220 x 2,712px resolution. It has its flaws, e.g. the ultra wide camera is only 8MP, but this is a lot of hardware for €500 and the Dimensity 8100-Max is fast enough for most use cases.
For €100 less you can have the Samsung Galaxy M53 instead, also with a 108MP main camera (and 8MP ultra wide). However, the 120Hz AMOLED has lower resolution (1,080 x 2,408px) and it uses the older Dimensity 900 chipset, not to mention that the 5,000mAh battery charges at only 25W. On the plus side, there is a microSD slot and the One UI software is already on Android 13.
The Nokia XR20 is coming up on a couple of years old, but it runs Android 13 today and should get v14, plus a total of 4 years of security patches. It’s no 3310, but it’s pretty tough with an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810H testing, including drop resistance on concrete from 1.8m/6ft. Throw in 5G connectivity (Snapdragon 480) and a 6.67” FHD+ IPS LCD, wireless charging (at 15W, 18W wired, 4,630mAh battery) and this looks pretty good for its sub-€300 price.
Alternatively, for a bit more you can get the Sony Xperia 10 IV. It’s not as tough but it still has an IP68 rating. And it’s more petite with a slender 6.0” OLED display (FHD+, 21:9), plus the 12+8+8MP camera features a zoom lens (2x). The 5,000mAh battery offers stellar battery life (no wireless charging, though).
While the 80 series has been around for a few months now, the slightly older Honor 70 still holds its own. It has a 54MP 1/4.9” main sensor (instead of 160MP 1/1.56” on the newer model), but it also has a 50MP ultra wide camera (vs. just 8MP). The 6.67” 120Hz OLED displays are similar enough, the 4,800mAh batteries with 66W charging are basically identical and there isn’t much difference between the Snapdragon 778G+ and the 782G either.
Next up, a pair of 5G phones that cost £200 or so. The Samsung Galaxy A23 5G has a larger 6.6” 120Hz LCD, the Oppo Find X3 Lite has a 6.43” 90Hz AMOLED display. The Oppo is older (2021 model) but has the better chipset, a Snapdragon 765G vs. a 695. The Galaxy has a microSD slot, but the Oppo has double the RAM and storage.
The 50+5MP camera on the A23 includes OIS for the main module, the 64+8MP on the Oppo does not. Even so, the better chipset allows the Find phone to record 4K video. Finally, the Galaxy’s 5,000mAh battery is larger but slower to charge at 25W vs. 4,300mAh and 65W.
The Samsung Galaxy M13 is not as capable as the A23 – no 5G and the Exynos 850 chipset wasn’t impressive even last year. Still, it’s a cheap phone with a 6.6” LCD (FHD+, 60Hz), a 5,000mAh battery (15W) and a 50+5MP camera.
The Galaxy A03s is a £100 phone. Its Helio P35 won’t wow anyone, but the 3GB of RAM is just enough to run full Android 12 with One UI 4.1 Core. The 32GB storage is expandable via the microSD slot. The camera setup is quite basic with only a 13MP main camera, no ultra wide. Unless you really can’t spare the £30, we’d go with the M13.
Finally, some accessories. The 40mm Samsung Galaxy Watch4 goes for £150 for the Bluetooth model and £30 more than that if you also want LTE connectivity.
The Galaxy Buds Live, aka The Beans, are some of the least obtrusive TWS buds that you can find, but their active noise cancellation isn’t the best. The Galaxy Buds2 do a better job of it. Both support 360 Audio.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra sells for $1,200 on Samsung.com (unlocked, no trade-in) and you get $100 in Samsung Credit. However, if you prefer a $100 Amazon Gift Card, you can get the Ultra from the retailer for the same $1,200 price.
Similarly, the Galaxy S23+ price is the same on Samsung.com and on Amazon ($100 off MSRP) and you still get $100 Samsung Credit or an Amazon Gift card.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is discounted by only $50 and Samsung won’t give you Credit. Amazon does offer a $50 Gift Card, though.
The Moto G Play (2023) is a basic 4G phone for $150. It has an HD+ screen, which isn’t ideal but it matches the capabilities of the Helio G37 chipset. The 5,000mAh battery is pretty large, though it would have been nice if it supported faster than 10W charging. Still, it’s $150 for a brand new phone.
That’s less that you might pay for the Apple AirPods Pro 2. We called these the best TWS buds you can get for your iPhone and we stand by that. You can check out the post from last week for some refurbished iPhone deals if you are on a limited budget.
The iQOO Neo 7 has a pretty clean look for a gaming phone. It is powered by a Dimensity 8200 chipset and features an expansive 6.78” 120Hz AMOLED display (FHD+). Plus, once the 5,000mAh battery is depleted, you will be able to quickly jump back into the action with the 120W charger (1-100% in 25 minutes). Note that the battery is not amazing, there is really only a 64MP module on the back (with OIS) and a 16MP camera on the front.
The Samsung Galaxy M33 has a huge 6,000mAh battery (1,000mAh more than the international version of the M33 has) and charging speed is okay at 25W. The phone is also equipped with a 6.6” 120Hz LCD (FHD+), has a microSD slot, 50+5MP cameras and is powered by the Exynos 1280 chipset.
Next up, some sibling rivalry. The iQOO Z6 Lite is an affordable 5G phone powered by the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. For a bit less cash you can get the 4G-only iQOO Z6 44W (with Snapdragon 680). As the name suggests, its 5,000mAh battery charges at 44W – the Lite has the same battery capacity but only manages 18W. The Lite has a 6.58” 120Hz IPS LCD, its sibling has a 6.44” 60Hz AMOLED. Their cameras are identical, 50MP modules and some 2MP helpers.
Then a trio of phones for ₹7,000 or less. All three use HD+ displays, all of them 60Hz. All three use 5,000mAh batteries (10W charging). And all three have basic cameras with 1080p video recording. The Tecno has double the storage, but the Narzo is the only one with an octa-core CPU and with an extra gig of RAM. At this point it’s more about which OS you prefer – the Narzo runs Android 11, the Tecno Android 12 and the Redmi Android 11 Go Edition.
Those three a super affordable, but let’s compare them to the Redmi 10A or Galaxy M04, which are slightly pricier (though still under ₹10,000) . They still have 60Hz HD+ displays and the cameras feature 13MP sensors with 1080p video recording. The batteries are no better, 5,000mAh and 10W charging.
- 04 Mar 2023
Where is it that expensive? It's about 400€ in romania I think
- 04 Mar 2023
“Deals” Amazon is one of the more expensive places to buy smartphones in the Netherlands, not to mention how often the ship a open box because they didn’t check it.
- 03 Mar 2023
The Nokia XR 20 is a good deal for around €290. Unfortunately it's almost double the price here. I was looking to buy it but the ridiculous, overpricing tradition by tras-H.M.D turns away most of buyers perhaps. Anyways, plenty of fish in the sm...