OnePlus launched the 12 and 12R for the international market this week (they were already available in China). This includes the US, where the market isn’t as competitive as Europe and Asia and is dominated by Apple and Samsung.
But check this out – $800 buys you a proper flagship with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, plenty of memory (16/512GB thanks to a free upgrade) and a 6.82” QHD+ LTPO display. The cameras are quite good (50MP main, 64MP 3x tele and 48MP ultra wide, plus a lovely 32MP selfie camera), though daytime video recording could have been better. Our only other complaint is that the phone is rated only IP65 instead of IP68 like other flagships (and some mid-rangers too). This year there is wireless charging too (50W) for the 5,400mAh battery, you can also do 80W over a wire.
You can also go cheaper with the OnePlus 12R. This one steps down to last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (it’s still a mighty fast chip) and the 6.78” screen drops in resolution a bit to 1,264 x 2,780px (between FHD+ and QHD+). The cameras take a hit too with a smaller sensor on the 50MP main, only an 8MP ultra wide and no tele lens. The 5,500mAh battery does only 80W wired charging.
Keep these prices in mind as we look at the Samsung Galaxy S24 series. We already listed them last week, but Amazon and Best Buy are offering gift cards that help make the price easier to swallow. Also, the free storage upgrades are still in effect. Even so, $800 buys you an 8/256GB Galaxy S24 (well, $750 if you subtract the gift card). The Galaxy S24 Ultra does have great video recording (including 4K 120fps and 8K modes) and the $200 gift card from Amazon softens the blow to your wallet.
On the cheaper end of things, the Samsung Galaxy A25 and A15 5G also get gift cards – just $25, but these are cheap phones (and the S24 only got $50).
The Beads Studio Buds+ are TWS buds from last year. They have solid listening time (up to 36 hours with the case), good quality sound (with emphasis on bass, as is typical for the brand) and improved noise cancellation.
For some reason Apple brought back the Beats Solo3 – these originally launched in 2016! We’re not sure why the folks at Cupertino did that, but these are a fine pair of on-ear buds with Apple’s W1 chip. They could have used an upgrade or two, for example, that microUSB is downright ancient!
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