February 26, 2023
This week, alongside the various deals on new smartphones, we also found some refurbished devices – save the planet and save some money, what’s not to like? Use the links below to jump to your country:
Amazon has the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max at pretty solid discounts compared to what Apple’s official online store is charging. The Pro Max, for example, costs €170 less than its RRP of €1,450.
The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro also have nice discounts, a little over €100 off depending on the model.
Continuing with the Apple kit, you can snag a 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 (aluminum) with or without 4G connectivity (the difference between them is €100).
You can also pick up some TWS buds. The AirPods Pro 2 are as good as it gets for iPhone buds. The cheaper AirPods 3 have the head-tracking feature but lack ANC.
While you’re at it, some AirTags can help secure your pack. If you have several pieces of luggage, look at the 4-pack.
Switching to Android, the Nokia X30 is quite expensive, but it comes with a 3-year warranty, gets 3-year software support and is made from recycled materials.
You can spend a lot less if all you want is a 5G phone. The ZTE Blade A72 5G is pretty basic with an HD+ 90Hz IPS LCD, Dimensity 700 chipset, 13+2+2MP cameras and a 4,000mAh battery.
We conclude with the Sony WH-1000XM5. These over-ear headphones strike a great balance of audio quality, comfort, and (of course) active noise cancellation. They work equally well with both Android and iOS.
We’ve found quite a few refurbished phones in the UK. Some like the Samsung Galaxy S22 are fairly new, offering a flagship experience for under £600, well below the S23 range.
You can also go back to the Galaxy S21 and save even more money. Note that the S21 is said to get 4 OS updates (it started with Android 11, so it already had two) and 5 years of security patches (i.e. until early 2026). The S22 has the same update schedule, but it started with Android 12.
Next, we dive into Apple phones from a few years ago. There’s the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 – same size, even the same chipset, albeit with more RAM on the Pro. Of course, the Pro model also has a telephoto lens.
You can also select the iPhone 12 mini. The 13 mini is still available from Apple, but it starts at £650. This refurbished 12 Mini is £300 cheaper.
You can go even further back in time, Apple’s hardware and software support is still ahead of any Android. A refurbished iPhone 11 costs just under £250.
Normal sales are now up for the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, making pre-order benefits a thing of the past – it’s all about discounts now. We didn’t think the $140 discount Galaxy S23+ was bad considering it’s only been a few weeks since launch.
For around the same money, you can buy a Google Pixel 7 Pro, also with 256GB of storage but with more RAM (12GB vs. 8GB). And this one has a QHD+ LTPO panel, something Samsung reserved for the S23 Ultra.
Next up are refurbished phones. The Samsung Galaxy S22 is from last year and you can pick up a refreshed device for $410 – about half what Samsung is charging for a new S23.
Then there is the S21 series. We found all three, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, S21+ and S21. You get a total of 4 OS updates (they started with Android 11, are now running 13, will go up to v15) and 5 years of security patches (until 2026). The S21 Ultra camera has been pushed off the camera charts by newer models, but it’s still a high-performance shooter.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, the Galaxy S20 FE is an option. It’s not as good as the S21 and it won’t get the same software support, but it only costs $210.
For a few dollars more, you can have a refurbished Google Pixel 6. You get more RAM, and with that, Google will update its operating system three times in total, that is, up to Android 15. Note that the FHD+ display on this only runs at 90Hz and there’s no dedicated telephoto camera.
For $85 more, you can grab the larger Pixel 6 Pro. This has a 120 Hz QHD+ display and a telephoto camera.
We will end with a few small and cheap Apple phones. The iPhone 12 mini is no longer available from Apple, but you can snag a refurbished 64GB device for $320.
If you just want an iPhone that works, the old SE 2020 is available for under $150. It’s not glamorous, but you get access to all Apple services and features, including iMessage.
The OnePlus 11 is out now, competing against other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones. The iQOO 11, for example, costs ₹60,000 for an 8/256GB model and we’ve featured it in previous posts. The 8/128GB OnePlus costs £57,000, although you might want to buy the 16/256GB model, which isn’t much more expensive at £62,000.
The Oppo F21s Pro 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 695. It sports a 6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED (FHD+) display and fancy RGB lighting around the camera island. The camera is nothing special, with a 64MP sensor and 1080p video recording (not ultra-wide). The battery has a capacity of 4,500 mAh and charges at 33 W, so it takes just over an hour to fully charge.
For less than that you can have the iQOO Z6. It uses a larger 6.58-inch 120Hz display, this time an IPS LCD, and the same Snapdragon 695 chip. The camera is nothing special (50MP, 1080p video, no ultra wide). The battery is slightly larger at 5,000mAh, but it’s also slower – it only supports 18W charging.
The Tecno Pova Neo 5G chooses the Dimensity 810 as its chipset and features an even larger 6.8-inch 120Hz IPS LCD (still FHD+). The new chipset allows the 50-megapixel camera to capture QHD video – not as good as 4K, but still better than 1080p. The battery is also larger, 6,000 mAh with 18W charging.
We’re going to be coming up with a phone under £10,000 and this week we’ve opted for the Tecno Pop 6 Pro. Note that this is an Android 12 Go Edition phone and only has 2GB of RAM (32GB storage, expandable via microSD). The large 5,000 mAh battery and the simple 6.56-inch HD+ IPS LCD are also worth mentioning.