We scour the web for good deals (almost) every week and we share them over the weekend of your perusal. However, we have heard your complaints that we don’t cover enough countries, so let’s try two new ones – Australia and Singapore. If there’s enough interest, these could become regulars in our weekly deals posts, so let us know.
The brand new Samsung Galaxy S23 FE offers an alternative to the mainline flagships – while the base S23 and the S23+ start at A$1,350 and A$1,650, respectively, the new FE has a base price of A$1,000. And you won’t even pay that much since the phone comes with discounts right out of the gate.
By the way, you can pick up another FE product, the new Galaxy Buds FE, for just A$50. Normally, they are A$200, so that’s a pretty hefty discount. If you’re interested in just the buds, they are available separately, though with a smaller discount.
By the way, have you considered getting the older Samsung Galaxy S21 FE instead of the S23 FE? It’s cheaper, though not much cheaper at A$700. So, you do save some cash, but you get a different chipset – the Exynos 2200 for the 2023 model and the Snapdragon 888 for the 2022 model.
Also, the older phone has an old-school 12MP camera instead of the new 50MP sensor used for its successor. It does have a few things going for it, the S21 FE is lighter (177g vs. 209g) and thinner (7.9mm vs. 8.2mm), while having the same 4,500mAh battery capacity and same 25W charging, plus it has a 32MP selfie camera (vs. 10MP).
If you’re not getting the top of the line flagship, you could also get an A-series mid-ranger like the Galaxy A54 or A34. The A54 goes for A$600, so a bit cheaper than an S21 FE. It has a similar 6.4” FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, but a mid-range Exynos 1380 chipset. And while it does have a 50MP main and 32MP selfie cameras, there is no tele (the two FE models have an 8MP 3x shooter).
Then there’s the Galaxy A34, which costs around the same as the A54. It has a bigger 6.6” display (also FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED) and a Dimensity 1080 instead. Still no tele camera, of course. The batteries on the two A-phones measure 5,000mAh in capacity and support the same 25W wired charging (but no wireless). The support timeline for the A-phones and FE-phones is the same – 4 OS updates and 5 years of security patches (since launch).
Hold on a minute, though. The Motorola Edge 30 Fusion has a Snapdragon 888+, similar to the S21 FE, but is A$200 cheaper. And its 6.55” FHD+ AMOLED display runs at 144Hz. The camera department has a 50MP main and 32MP selfie, plus a 13MP ultra wide but no telephoto. The battery is about the same size with 4,400mAh capacity and supports fast 68W wired-only charging.
Next up, a pair of smartwatches. Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 and the Galaxy Watch6 Classic are available. They are near identical save for the rotating bezel on the Classic model (a trademark feature). This does make them a few millimeter wider and a few dollars pricier, though. Note that while we’ve linked the Bluetooth versions below, Amazon also has the LTE models of the Watch6 (A$590 for both the 40mm and 44mm models) and Watch6 Classic (A$730 for the 43mm one and A$790 for the 47mm one).
We’ll wrap things up with headphones. The Sony WF-1000XM5 are pricey, but they offer class-leading sound quality and superb noise cancellation and plenty of features. In our review we only had a few minor complaints about the controls.
Noticeably cheaper are the Apple AirPods (3rd gen). They can’t match the quality of the Sonys when it comes to sound and ANC, but they do have better integration with the Apple ecosystem. And did we mention they are cheaper? Note that this version has MagSafe charging on the case along with the now-obsolete Lightning port.
For over-ear headphones, the Apple AirPods Max are expensive, they look like it too with their aluminum build. While they don’t have a foldable design, the earcups can rotate to make them easier to stash in your luggage. Also, the earcups are easy to swap once they become worn out – something this expensive better last a long time.
Foldables are catching on with flips leading the charge. The recent Oppo Find N3 Flip puts more emphasis on the cameras than most of its competitors – it has a 50MP main (1/1.56” with OIS), a 48MP ultra wide and even a 32MP 2x portrait camera. The phone has a 6.8” 120Hz FHD+ display inside, an LTPO panel to boot, and a 3.26” cover display outside. It is powered by the Dimensity 9200 and a 4,300mAh battery with 44W charging.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 can be picked up for less. It has better water resistance (proper IPX8 compared to the IPX4 splash resistance of the Oppo) and it does run the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. However, it has less impressive cameras with a 12MP main (1/1.76” with OIS) and a 12MP ultra wide, no tele on board. The battery is smaller at 3,700mAh, but it does both wired and wireless charging (25W and 15W). The inner display is a non-LTPO 6.7” FHD+ panel with 120Hz refresh rate, the cover display measures 3.4”.
There’s also the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, but that’s pricier than even the Oppo. That price tag will be tough to justify with the older Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, but the 6.9” 165Hz LTPO inner display does sound good. Even the 3.6” cover display is an HRR panel with 144Hz refresh rate. The 12+13MP cameras are nothing to write home about and the battery is similar to the Galaxy (3,800mAh with 30W wired and 5W wireless charging). There’s no official IP rating, but the phone has a water-repellent design.
We’re not done with foldables yet, next we will look at the horizontal kind. The Oppo Find N3 switches to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and packs two LTPO displays – 7.82” 120Hz inside and 6.31” 120Hz outside (with a reasonable 20:9 aspect ratio). The camera department boasts a 48MP main (1/1.43” with OIS) and a 48MP ultra wide, plus a better tele module – a 64MP 3x camera. There is a 32MP selfie camera outside and a 20MP one inside. This phone has a 4,805mAh battery with 67W wired-only charging and an IPX4 splash resistant design.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is again cheaper than the Oppo competitor. This one has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but it’s the faster “for Galaxy” variant. The inner display is a 7.6” 120Hz panel (not LTPO) and the cover display is a slender 6.2” panel (23.1:9). The battery is smaller (4,400mAh) and slower to charge over a wire (25W), but there is 15W wireless available. And don’t forget the better IPX8 water resistance.
We talked about cameras and in the Google Pixel 8 Pro has to be part of that conversation. It has a 50MP main with a 1/1.31” sensor (and OIS), plus a 48MP ultra wide and a 48MP periscope with 5x optical magnification, more when Google’s digital magic gets involved. The Pro has a 6.7” LTPO display with 120Hz refresh rate and just short of QHD+ resolution. It is powered by the improved but still lagging Tensor G3 chipset and a 5,050mAh battery with 30W wired and 23W wireless charging.
So far all the phones that we have mentioned have been over S$1,000, so let’s look at something more affordable. The phone offers a 6.6” 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display and a Dimensity 1080 chipset. The storage is expandable and there is a 3.5mm headphone jack (plus stereo speakers). An IP67 rating and a 5,000mAh battery with 25W wired-only charging round off the specs.
We just finished reviewing the new Oculus Quest 3 and we were left impressed – the hardware and software are impressive and offer a meaningful upgrade over the Quest 2. The 4MP full-color passthrough in particular opens new avenues to AR applications. There are two versions – one with 128GB storage and one with 512GB. The latter comes bundled with the Asgard’s Wrath 2, plus a free 6-month subscription to Quest+.
To wrap things up, here are two TWS buds from Sony. Starting with the older Sony WF-1000XM4, these improve the ergonomics compared to the XM3 model and offer high quality audio, plus capable active noise canceling.
If these are too expensive, check out the Sony LinkBuds S. These are almost as good as the WF-1000XM4, with comparable sound, ANC and battery life, so this offers great bang for your buck.
We may get a commission from qualifying sales.