Price cuts on gadgets are always good news for consumers, and it would seem that the iPhone 15 could be in line for one if the latest leak can be believed: apparently Apple is considering cutting the pricing of the iPhone 15 Plus due to launch in September.
This comes from reputable online source Yeux1122 on South Korean social network Naver (via Macworld). The move is apparently being given serious consideration, and would be made in response to underwhelming sales of the current Plus model.
The iPhone 14 Plus that was unveiled with the rest of the family earlier this year has a starting price of $899 / £949 / AU$1,579 for the 128GB version, but it doesn't appear to be attracting buyers in the numbers that Apple would like.
A tale of four phones
While canceling the Plus model would be an option for Apple, it's likely that development on the iPhone 15 is too far down the line for that to happen. A price cut on the handset that replaced the iPhone 13 mini would be the next most logical step.
It's worth bearing in mind that the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers the same screen size as the Plus, but adds in features like a faster chip, the Dynamic Island and the always-on display for another $200 / £250 / AU$320 – which makes it the better deal.
As yet there's no indication of how big the price cut could be, or how it might affect the pricing of the other models in the range. We've also been hearing that Apple could introduce a more powerful, more expensive iPhone 15 Ultra next year too.
Analysis: getting the pricing right
Pricing is always key for any smartphone: the best cheap phones may not have the fastest chips or the best screens, but they cost substantially less than the premium flagships on the market, and so still represent good value for money.
As for Apple's iPhone series, for the last few years the Pro models have been the handsets with the most appeal. That's even more the case with the iPhone 14 Pro, because the less expensive models come with last year's A15 Bionic chip inside.
Buyers of the iPhone 14 are getting a phone that's slower than the Pro, with a camera system that's not quite as good, and without several other cool features. Okay it's cheaper, but there aren't a lot of other reasons to prefer it over the Pro.
We'll have to wait and see what Apple does in 2023, bearing in mind that it has the budget iPhone SE (2022) on sale as well. Next year could be the year when Apple's flagship phone gets closer to mid-range pricing than ever before.
One of the improvements coming in 2023 with the iPhone 15 could be better battery life, with Apple's chip maker of choice TSMC (the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) promising increased efficiency with its next generation of silicon.
As per Bloomberg, TSMC has announced the move to chips made using a 3 nanometer manufacturing process, which is a jump from the 5 nanometer process currently used. Essentially, the smaller the number, the more tightly packed the elements of the processor are going to be.
Crucially, TSMC says that their new chips are going to use around 35% less power, as well as being faster in terms of performance. That should relate to better battery life for devices made by TSMC's partners – including the successor to the iPhone 14 made by Apple.
Chips with everything
There are some caveats here: Apple designs the Bionic processors found inside the iPhone, so it may choose to engineer the improvements that 3 nm offers in a different way rather than maximizing power efficiency.
However, the signs look good that the A17 Bionic chip – widely expected to make its debut in the next round of iPhones – will offer better performance without as much power draw. There's plenty of time for TSMC to perfect its manufacturing process before it starts work churning out iPhone 15 handsets.
If Apple follows this year's plan though, only the Pro models of the 2023 iPhone will get the new silicon. The standard iPhone 15 and the follow-up to the iPhone 14 Plus, if there is one, will most likely get the A16 chipset instead.
Analysis: the rumors are ramping up
The iPhone 15 rumors – like the one above – have already started rolling in, and they'll only increase in number as we go through 2023. No other handset attracts the same kind of attention and anticipation as the Apple flagship, even when we don't get huge year-on-year upgrades.
One upgrade that might be coming with the iPhone 15 range is a "state-of-the-art" camera sensor that's better at capturing pictures and video in challenging conditions. Considering the cameras on the iPhone are already very good, that sounds promising.
There's also been talk of certain iPhone 15 models coming with solid-state power and volume buttons. That's a rumor that's been floating around for years, but it sounds as though 2023 could be the year when it actually happens.
What isn't yet clear is how many iPhone 15 devices we'll get, or what they'll be called. The emphasis in terms of improvements is once again expected to be on the Pro models, and there has been speculation that Apple is working on a new super-powerful, super-expensive iPhone 15 Ultra handset.
The grand unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S23 could be just a month and a bit away now, and the leaks around this flagship smartphone continue to drip in. The latest rumor brings with it some encouraging news about the potential performance boost that the new phone is going to bring with it.
According to tipster Ahmed Qwaider, the Galaxy S23 series – the standard model, the Plus model, and the Ultra model – will boast a 36% increase in processor speed, a 48% increase in graphics performance, and a 60% increase in neural processing (AI-related tasks like voice recognition and smart photo editing).
These improvements are courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor from Qualcomm, which we're hearing might be fitted inside the Galaxy S23 phones in every region. Normally, Samsung uses a Snapdragon processor in some parts of the world and one of its own Exynos processors in others when it comes to the Galaxy S series.
While we already know plenty about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, we haven't heard specific percentage improvements for the Galaxy S23 phones. The performance boosts the chipset is going to bring to phones in 2023 will vary depending on how manufacturers optimize it to work with their own hardware and software.
It looks as though the OnePlus 11 is going to be the first handset to go on sale with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on board. It's scheduled to get its grand unveiling in China on Wednesday, January 4, with a global launch event on the calendar the month after that, on Tuesday, February 7.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 family looks likely to make an appearance early in February, based on what we've heard from those in the know, so we don't have much longer to wait until everything is official – and no doubt Samsung will have some performance figures of its own to share as well.
Analysis: the need for speed
We're expecting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor to feature in quite a few flagship Android smartphones throughout the course of 2023. Perhaps the only significant exception will be the Google Pixel 8, which is likely to use a custom Tensor G3 CPU.
You can make a fair case for arguing that smartphones are already plenty fast enough – indeed the iPhone 14 has stuck with the same Apple A15 Bionic chipset that was inside the iPhone 13 the year before – but bear in mind that the demands that we put on our phones are always increasing too.
Apps and games continue to get more complex, photos and videos continue to get larger and more detailed, and then of course there are the wealth of AI tricks that our handsets can do now (like recognizing the sound of your voice). All this portable computing needs a chipset that can keep up.
And bear in mind too that chipset upgrades like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 aren't just about improvements in performance: they also bring with them increased efficiency, which should equate to less of a demand on battery power.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 FE trail had gone pretty cold, what with it not showing up in 2022 and everything – but the latest whispers emanating from the rumor mill suggest that the phone is indeed on the way and has a newly developed chipset inside it.
This comes from @RGcloudS on Twitter (via Notebookcheck): this is a source we haven't heard too much from in the past, so bear that in mind. The tipster says the Galaxy S22 FE will show up in 2023, replacing the mid-range Galaxy A74 in Samsung's line-up.
It will apparently be powered by a brand new Exynos 2300 chipset developed by Samsung itself, although other sources have suggested that the Exynos 2300 isn't going to make an appearance in any mass-produced devices in the near future.
And a tablet too
If the rumor is right, the Samsung Galaxy S22 FE could show up at a second Unpacked launch event, scheduled in addition to the one we're already expecting in February for the grand unveiling of the Galaxy S23 flagship phones.
The same source also suggests that we're going to see a trimmed-down FE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, carrying the same Exynos 2300 chipset. This isn't the first we've heard about this new tablet, though we were expecting to see it sometime this year.
There's been a lot of uncertainty about whether or not we'd see an FE version of the Samsung Galaxy S22, and while nothing is official yet, it would appear that fans of this budget series might have something to look forward to again.
Analysis: on again off again
The FE or Fan Edition of Samsung's flagship phones is something of a tradition: both the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE offered smartphone buyers a decent level of specs without a huge price tag, which is always a winning combination.
The Galaxy S21 FE arrived later than anticipated though – January 2022, some 15 months after its predecessor – and we've heard plenty of rumors that Samsung had decided to retire the FE line, with comparisons to the cancelation of the Galaxy Note series.
When the usual signs of an upcoming smartphone (like database model numbers) didn't appear, it seemed as though the Galaxy S22 FE was destined never to appear. In fact, it might be that we were just looking for those signs too soon.
There was even talk that the Galaxy S21 FE wouldn't see the light of day, which threw further doubt on a successor. However, the Galaxy S22 FE can be an important part of Samsung's 2023 phone range – if the price is right, of course.
2022 was a great year for phones, but the tech industry never sleeps, so we're already looking ahead to 2023's handsets - and many of them are shaping up to be very exciting.
Leaks and rumors mean we've already heard a fair bit about key handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and the iPhone 15 line, and they certainly rank among the most anticipated phones of 2023.
But there are less obvious yet no less exciting upcoming phones too, from brands including Xiaomi, Sony and more.
So below, you'll find the phones we're most looking forward to in 2023. These are phones that in most cases are likely to be great, and at the very least should be interesting, unusual, or innovative.
Samsung Galaxy S23
The Samsung Galaxy S23 and its siblings - including the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra - are likely to be the most popular Android flagships of 2023, and we're expecting to see them early in the year, probably in February.
Leaks suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could get a monstrous 200MP camera, and that every S23 model will use a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset everywhere in the world, rather than some regions getting an Exynos one.
Beyond that, their specs might not be a million miles from those of the S22 series, but expect camera and screen improvements, even where the core specs are similar. You can see an unofficial render showing the rumored design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra above.
So far we haven't heard much about this phone, other than that it will probably use a Tensor 3 chipset, support satellite communications, and that it might have 12GB of RAM, but we expect class-leading cameras and generally strong software.
Stay tuned for more information, because leaks and rumors are sure to start emerging in greater quantities as we get closer to the phone's launch.
Based on the rumors so far, the Google Pixel Fold might have a 7.6-inch foldable OLED screen, a 5.8-inch cover display, and a Tensor - or more likely Tensor G2 - chipset. It could also look like the phone in the image above, which sources claim shows the design of the Pixel Fold.
There's disagreement on the cameras, but they might impress too, with one leak pointing to a 64MP / 12.2MP / 10MP rear camera combination.
We'd take all of this with a pinch of salt for now, but this could end up being one of the few non-Samsung foldable phones that's worth getting excited about.
Obviously the entire iPhone 15 line is enormously anticipated, but it's the intriguing talk of an iPhone 15 Ultra that has us the most excited.
This phone could land in place of an iPhone 15 Pro Max according to rumors, and could have better cameras than even the iPhone 15 Pro, including a long-range periscope snapper, along with a focus on battery life, a titanium frame, and a very high price.
The Sony Xperia I IV was one of the most interesting phones of 2022, thanks among other things to a continuous optical zoom camera. That's a feature you won't find on other brands, and it helped Sony's flagship stand out from the crowd.
So far we haven't really heard anything about the Xperia 1 V, but we'd expect it will offer similarly unusual cameras, plus a great screen and flagship power - along with, hopefully, some innovative surprises. Look out for it around the middle of 2023.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro has actually already been announced, but so far it's only available in China, with a global launch expected in early 2023.
This phone has a 6.73-inch 1440 x 3200 OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 4,820mAh battery with 120W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, a top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and up to 12GB of RAM.
It also has water resistance and a premium design as you'd expect, but the most exciting aspect of the Xiaomi 13 Pro is its cameras, which include a 50MP f/1.9 primary camera with a big 1-inch sensor, which should help it take better shots than most phones.
It also has a 50MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 50MP f/2.0 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. And if that's not enough for you then there's also talk of an even more accomplished Xiaomi 13 Ultra, although we haven't heard much about this yet.
The OnePlus 11 will probably land within the first few months of 2023, and leaks suggest it won't be joined by a standalone OnePlus 11 Pro - or rather, the OnePlus 11 will be the OnePlus 11 Pro in all but name.
So expect this phone to compete with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus or Ultra, despite the rumored lack of a Pro, Plus or Ultra suffix.
Leaks point to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, up to 16GB of RAM, a 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED screen, a 5,000mAh battery with 100W charging, a 50MP main sensor, a 48MP ultra-wide camera, and a 32MP telephoto one with 2x optical zoom.
You can see how the OnePlus 11 might look in the unofficial render above.
Along with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, we're also looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, which is likely to be the better seller of the two, thanks to a more palatable price.
This upcoming clamshell foldable phone will reportedly use the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, have a 3.3 or 3.4-inch cover screen (up from 1.9 inches on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4), and will have a less visible crease than the current model.
That all sounds very promising, but Samsung will have its work cut out to stay at the top of the clamshell foldable heap, thanks to tough competition from the likes of Oppo and Motorola.
We have more OnePlus 11 news to bring you: OnePlus has announced that the flagship phone will actually make its debut on Wednesday, January 4 in China, and official photos of the handset in two different colors have been pushed out as well.
This all comes from Chinese social network Weibo (via Engadget), emphasizing that this is likely to be a launch event that is pretty extensively regionalized. That said, it's going to be the same phone wherever in the world you buy it.
As we previously reported, a global OnePlus launch event has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, where we'll no doubt hear more about international availability and pricing – even if everything else about the phone will already have been revealed.
OnePlus hasn't been shy about sharing specs, features and promo images for the OnePlus 11 on its Weibo page. In fact there's not going to be a whole lot left to reveal at the official launch events that are coming in January and February.
As expected, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from Qualcomm will be running the show, while the memory configuration options are going to start from 12GB – that starting point is up from 8GB with the OnePlus 10 Pro that was launched earlier this year.
As for the look of the phone, the official images match the leaked renders that have previously emerged. OnePlus says that it's a "black hole-inspired aesthetic design" (according to Google Translate), with a large rear camera module cut-out.
Analysis: 2023 in phones starts here
If you count the January 4 launch event in China as an official unveiling, the OnePlus 11 is going to be the first flagship phone out of the blocks in 2023. There's some value in being first, but it also means other manufacturers have got longer to refine and develop their handsets before launching them.
According to the latest rumors, we're going to see Samsung reveal the Galaxy S23 family of phones on February 1, which is a Wednesday. There will be three high-end handsets on show: the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The Google Pixel 8 is expected to follow along in October, as that's when the Pixel smartphones normally make an appearance. Before that though, we might well see a foldable phone and a mid-range Pixel 7a from Google.
Taking on the Android flagships will be the iPhone 15. If Apple sticks to its usual schedule, we'll see several iPhone 15 models make an appearance at some point during September, and we've already heard that the camera is in line for a substantial upgrade, and that some models in the range could come with solid-state buttons.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 rumors and leaks are still coming, and today we've got some promotional images of the Galaxy S23 Plus and the Galaxy S23 Ultra that have hit the internet ahead of an expected February launch.
These images come courtesy of 91mobiles (via SamMobile), a source with a decent track record when it comes to the accuracy of its information. These pictures certainly look like they're authentic, though of course we can't consider them as official just yet.
Only a couple of days ago we heard about the 'signature' colors that these phones would come in, which are the colors that will be featured most heavily in promotional materials. Here we can actually see those shades: pink for the Plus and green for the Ultra.
More than phones
These promo images emphasize the growing ecosystem of Samsung products – the company is about much more than phones or course, and in these pictures we can see wireless earbuds and smartwatches from Samsung too.
The Samsung Galaxy Plus image shows how the design is going to be changing next year, with the same raised camera lenses as the Ultra (the standard model is expected to follow suit too). The Ultra phone itself isn't going to look hugely differently from the Galaxy S22 Ultra, however.
So when are we actually going to see these smartphones make an appearance? The latest information on that suggests that the launch date has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, so there's not that much longer to wait.
Analysis: another big year for Samsung
Samsung already sells a huge number of smartphones of course, but it's always keen to sell more – and the Galaxy S23 phones (the standard model, the Plus model, and the Ultra model) are going to be a crucial part of that mission in 2023.
Even though the company has handsets available at a whole range of price points, it's the S series devices that really set the standard. Bear in mind that these phones are going to be going up directly against the iPhone 15, which is expected in September.
Thanks to a fresh leak we also think that Google might be expanding its flagship Pixel line-up to three or even four models in the next few years, which is again going to give the Galaxy S devices more competition in what is already a busy market.
From what we've heard so far, it sounds as though the Galaxy S23 phones are going to have the performance and the camera upgrades to compete with the best phones of 2023 – although as you can see in the leaked images above, not much is likely to change in terms of the aesthetics of the handsets.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 family of phones isn't expected to show up until February, but we've already heard plenty of rumors and leaks about these devices – and the latest information to reach us concerns the 'signature colors' of the handsets.
This is according to SamMobile, which has a good track record of getting details about Samsung products in advance. These signature colors are so called because they're the ones predominantly used in marketing and promotional material.
For the standard Galaxy S23 it's apparently going to be green, for the Galaxy S23 Plus it's going to be light gold/pink gold, and for the Galaxy S23 Ultra you can expect pink. Several other color options will be available on all three handsets too.
Launch date rumors
In a separate leak from well-known tipster Ice Universe, the launch date for the Galaxy S23 has been set as February 1 – that's a Wednesday. Follow-up tweets suggest that for "most of the world" we're looking at February 2, however.
Samsung is based in South Korea, which is way ahead of Europe and the US in terms of time zones. Add all of that up together, and a Galaxy Unpacked event that's in the evening on February 1 in South Korea would make the most sense.
There have been conflicting reports on this launch date: other sources said that later in February was more likely, although it's possible that this later date refers to when the phones will go on sale rather than when they're initially unveiled.
Analysis: same design, better internals
Nothing we've heard about the Samsung Galaxy S23 is certain until Samsung unveils the actual devices – but taking all the rumors together, it doesn't seem as though a whole lot is changing when it comes to the 2023 upgrades over the 2022 handsets, at least when it comes to the phone aesthetics.
We've already seen dummy units showing off the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus and the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the designs and setup look very much like the phones that came before them. However, the standard and Plus models might well be borrowing the extruded camera look of the Ultra.
We will see improvements on the inside: upgraded Snapdragon and possibly Exynos chips are going to be powering the Galaxy S23 series, so everything should be running more smoothly than ever. On the software side, the phones are probably going to come with the latest edition of Android.
One area where the Samsung Galaxy S23 might follow the iPhone 14 is in the area of satellite connectivity, giving users an emergency backup if Wi-Fi and cellular links aren't available. When it comes to the rear cameras, meanwhile, we should see photos and videos that are better than ever.
Google's most recent flagship phones are the Google Pixel 7 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but a leaked roadmap gives us an idea of the tech giant's Pixel plans for the next few years – all the way up to 2025. We're going to be seeing foldable phones, spec upgrades, and plenty more besides, it seems.
This intriguing look into the future comes courtesy of Android Authority, though bear in mind that this is in no way official, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Google will change its plans even if this report is currently accurate. Even the source itself says that the roadmap isn't set in stone.
With those caveats out of the way, we can dive in. Around Google IO 2023 time in April or May we are apparently getting the Google Pixel Fold (priced at $1,799, which is roughly £1,495 or AU$2,675) and the Google Pixel 7a (apparently price matched to this year's Google Pixel 6a at $449 / £399 / AU$749).
Up to 2025
Further out we'll have the Google Pixel 8 and the Google Pixel 8 Pro later in 2023. This roadmap suggests the Pixel 8 will be smaller than its direct predecessor, though the Pro model is said to match the Google Pixel 7 Pro in terms of dimensions and display size. Both phones are reportedly going to be powered by the Tensor G3.
The year 2024 will apparently bring three Pixel 9 models running the Tensor G4, with two Pro editions: the existing 6.7-inch size and a new 6.3-inch size (to more closely match the Apple iPhone series). However, the launch of the Google Pixel 8a is dependent on Pixel 7a sales – Google might switch to a two-year cycle for the mid-range handset.
That takes us all the way to 2025, and here the planning is more fluid – a lot depends on how sales of the 2023 and 2024 phones go. Google might launch a clamshell foldable to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series, the report says, it might expand the Pixel 10 range to four phones, and it might launch a Google Pixel Fold 2.
Analysis: following Apple and Samsung
As Android Authority also points out while reporting on its scoop, Google is clearly looking to follow the lead set by Apple and Samsung – the two phone makers that dominate sales in the US. By 2025 Google could have two foldables (like Samsung) and four flagship phone models (like Apple).
Switching the Pixel A series phones to a launch every other year would match Apple as well – it's what's been happening with the iPhone SE. When power and performance aren't quite so important, upgrades aren't quite as urgent, and changing the cycle might help Google in sticking to a fixed price point on these phones.
What remains to be seen is whether or not ramping up its Pixel efforts leads to more hardware sales for Google. It's been working hard to build out its ecosystem of devices – we've had the Pixel Watch launch this year, and next year we're getting the Pixel Tablet, giving consumers more pieces of hardware that work seamlessly together.
Meanwhile the main selling points of the Pixel phones have remained the same for years: excellent photos and videos, and a clean and constantly updated version of Android. However, in the US at least, Google still needs to do something about people's dependence on iMessage to get substantial numbers of users to switch.
Happy (almost) Christmas! As we close out another year, it’s time for one of our favorite seasonal activities - the TechRadar Santa tracker! Using the two most popular trackers, NORAD and Google, we’ll be bringing you live updates as St Nick makes his way around the globe.
Santa tracking is now a well-loved tradition, but it all started by accident nearly 70 years ago. As legend would have it, a Sears catalog accidentally printed the Colorado Springs' Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center’s phone number instead of a Santa hotline in Christmas 1955, and began to receive calls from children hoping to speak to Klaus himself.
Seeing an opportunity for a little festive fun, CONAD began publishing press releases on Santa’s whereabouts every year. The tradition caught on, and CONAD handed over the reins to NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) after its formation in 1958.
While NORAD’s Santa tracker has historically been the go-to resource for following Santa’s whereabouts, there are now a plethora of ways families and big kids alike can scout for Kris Kringle.
The best of them is made by Google, which released its own Santa Tracker in 2004. It offers a very different experience to NORAD, but is still just as fun.
Santa Tracker: Norad vs Google
You've got two main choices when it comes to tracking Santa - both offer different ways of following jolly ol' St Nick, but it depends on the experience you're looking for.
The original way of following Santa and, some would say, the best. This website, run by the US military, fuses gruff colonels presenting a video about Santa Claus with live, up-to-the-minute info on where the man in the big red suit is.
You can download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store, and from there you'll be presented with a number of mini games to play as well as being able to follow the progress of the present giving live.
It's a far more rudimentary experience than other trackers out there, lacking a lot of polish and website design.
However, it's also the most popular and has the heart-warming history behind it - as well as an army of volunteers ready to take your call to find out where Santa is.
NORAD has also added in an AI chatbot called Radar to help you spot Santa too, if you can't be bothered with all that talking, which is a bit lovely. But if you can be bothered, then dialling +1 (877) HI-NORAD will do the trick too.
Every year, when we publish this guide, we have people wondering how to play the games on mobile as the big 'PLAY!' button in the middle of the screen sometimes fails and will only ever give you random games or video anyway. Well, just go to the Santa Tracker site on a mobile browser, click the three lines in the top left-hand corner and see all the games to play. (Note - the 'install' option, which tells you to 'Add to Home Screen', doesn't work on iPhones).
A more recent addition to the Santa tracking mix, Google's Santa Tracker has been going since 2004, combining the power of Google Maps with the savvy knowledge of where Father Christmas is.
While Google doesn't have the same satellite tracking power of NORAD, one has to assume the search giant has struck a deal with the North Pole to figure out where he is in real time using search and radar and lazers and... stuff. Don't ask us to interpret the magic.
Backing up the Santa Tracker are a whole host of minigames to play, as well as a month-long website encouraging children to learn to code while they encounter a winter wonderland.
There are some pro-Google tools moments in this Santa Tracker - the Quick Draw game is designed to teach Google's image recognition Tensor to improve, which feels a bit odd - but it's a wonderfully-designed site and arguably the most visually accessible way to follow Santa.
You can download the app from the Google Play Store, but in our eyes the mobile site is just as good and accessible for iPhone users, plus Google's Santa Tracker has the best and easiest-to-use desktop experience, too.
Welcome, everyone, to this year’s Santa Tracker!
We’ve got a couple of hours until Santa takes off, so there’s plenty of time to set up a special treat for him. Here in the UK, we leave carrots for the reindeer, and Santa often gets a mince pie and some kind of alcoholic tipple such as sherry or brandy, but there are different traditions all over the world.
In Australia, he gets cold beer to beat the heat, families in Denmark leave out a bowl of rice pudding with cinnamon (called Risengrod) for the elves, people in the US leaves milk and cookies, and in Argentina the reindeer are catered for, with hay and water.
You might wonder how we know exactly when Santa will take off and start his happiness-bringing journey around the world, but it's simple - Google and Norad both have countdowns.
The only problem is that they don't seem to agree about when he'll start his trip. NORAD says he'll be aloft in 7hrs 48 minutes at the time of writing (9am GMT) but Google says it's 8hrs 48 minutes. We'll report back in around 8-9hrs as to which of the two was right!
Google's Santa Tracker site really is a wonderful thing, and I particularly love the little video that plays at the start. It's enough to get even the hardest-hearted Grinch into the festive spirit. But, if anyone from Google is reading this, I do have a slight issue with it - and it concerns penguins.
Look, we all know Santa lives at the North Pole. But we also know that penguins are southern-hemisphere creatures. They don't live in the North Pole. Then again, maybe Santa has flown them out there to help him prepare for Christmas - they do seem quite good at getting him ready for his flight, after all.
Can't be bothered calling or using the internet with your fingers?
You can use Google Assistant to communicate directly with the patron of presents (either using Google Assistant baked into your Android phone, the Google app on iPhone in some regions or a Google-enabled smart speaker), allowing anyone to say 'Hey Google, what's new at the North Pole' and hear the latest news updates from Santa's world.
So, what can you expect to see once Santa takes off? Well, Google uses its Maps technology to plot the bearded one's progress, as well as providing a helpful tally of how many gifts he's delivered so far and some useful information about the local area.
NORAD, meanwhile, has the advantage of having actual satellite images of Santa on his sleigh, rather than just a cartoon. Our suggestion: follow both and get double the fun.
Right. I'm taking a break for a bit - I've got my own presents to wrap. Back in a few hours to see how Santa's preparations are going.
Head to the Google site and you can play a variety of games: from bouncing presents into their targets to taking down elves with snowballs. Just click the menu button in the top left to see the games gallery.
Over on the NORAD site we've got holiday songs, Santa facts, and games involving penguins, candy canes and plenty more – each house on the main page has something behind it.
In fact, there's enough here to keep you entertained all through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so it might be worth bookmarking these pages for later.
According to NORAD, Santa will be on his merry way in less than an hour.
Google uses this Santa Tracker as a way of learning more about its systems and tools, letting its developers play with computer and mobile interactions in new ways.
" One engineer who focused on AI and human movement came up with this idea for a game where you could enable tracking on your computer and teach the elves to dance,” said Dave Holmes of Google, “and they would mimic your movement.” But just before launch…they found a glitch. “If the tracker lost you for a second…the elves' heads and arms would go flying off!”
I thought it might be fun to try out Radar, NORAD's chatbot, to see how it was getting on before Santa Claus takes off.
It's not the most advanced artificial intelligence right now - it's certainly no ChatGPT - but it didn't tell me something I didn't know before, which is that Santa's sleigh travels at the speed of starlight. As everyone knows, that's fast - really fast. Don't tire out those reindeer, Santa!
That gave me an idea, actually, so I asked the real ChatGPT about Santa. It said:
"Santa is a very special man who brings presents to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve. He travels all around the world, visiting every house and giving gifts to all the children. Santa is able to travel very, very fast, so he can visit every house in just one night! Some people think that he has a magical sleigh that flies through the air, and others think that he uses advanced technology to move quickly from place to place. No matter how he does it, Santa always manages to bring joy and happiness to children on Christmas morning. So, Santa is able to travel very fast to be able to deliver presents to all the good children in the world in just one night."
Sounds about right to me!
Right, we're just 1 minute anyway from NORAD's Santa Tracker starting. Let's see what happens!
Whenever there's a lull in conversation at this time of year, you can always start a debate about what the best Christmas movie is – or even a debate about what it is that makes a movie a Christmas movie. Does it have to be set over the holidays? Is snow compulsory? Does Santa need to make an appearance?
You can check out our rundown of the best Christmas movies and see if you agree with our choices. There are some classics in there and some that are perhaps a little less well-known, though your personal favorite might not be included. In this live blogger's personal opinion, there's something special about 1985's Santa Claus The Movie (pictured above) – though you won't find it on many lists.
We haven't forgotten about Santa by the way – he's due to set off at the top of the hour. We can only imagine the sort of bedlam happening around his sleigh at the moment, a sleigh which is reportedly going to be packed with 60,000 tons of presents.
Folks we're t-minus 10 minutes from the big take-off – over on the Google Santa Tracker the map view is now live, and the man of the moment is preparing to leave the North Pole.
Meanwhile the NORAD Santa Tracker is still showing a picture of Father Christmas packing up presents. He's cutting it mighty fine here, but we assume after all these years he knows what he's doing.
And he's off (at least on the Google tracker)! We can confirm that Santa is now heading over the Arctic Ocean and has already delivered nearly 4,000 presents. St Nicholas is good at this, right?
It's now Christmas Day somewhere... did you know the earliest time zone on planet Earth is UTC+14:00? And it didn't even officially exist until 1994. The islands of Kiribati have now ticked over to Christmas Day, though with a population of under 120,000 Santa doesn't have too many presents to deliver.
As yet NORAD hasn't updated its 2D or 3D maps – but we're watching closely for the next update.
With Santa already hard at work we're still waiting for the NORAD Santa Tracker to get a lock on his location – but we expect the big man has his most excitable elf currently working on the issue, and for now, you can stick with using the Google Santa Tracker.
Managing these trackers isn't easy, considering how fast Santa is flying around the world – his sleigh apparently has to travel 650 miles per second (that's 3,000 times the speed of sound!) in order to deliver every present on time. We're hoping the reindeer get Christmas Day off.
Gifts delivered count: 45,000 and rising fast.
If you're in the US, you can actually call NORAD from 4am MST on December 24th up until midnight to find out where Santa is: the number you need is 1 877 HI-NORAD (1 877 446-6723).
NORAD says that more than 1,250 uniformed personnel and civilian volunteers give up their time to answer calls and to make sure you always know where Santa is.
However, they'll also give you an important warning: Santa isn't going to deliver his presents until you're asleep!
Santa has arrived in New Zealand! He's likely had to take his jacket off while putting out presents, as it's 23°C / 73°F right now in Auckland – so it's little wonder that in this country a BBQ is just as likely to be the official meal of Christmas Day as a traditional roast lunch or dinner.
Christmas trivia: Kiwis have their own special Christmas tree called the Pōhutukawa, which has bright red flowers that are popular decorations and also feature on Christmas cards. It's been associated with Christmas since the mid 1800s, though many people do also erect the globally recognized pine-style tree in their homes.
Present count update: Santa has given out more than 10 million presents so far, and he's just getting started.
It might not actually be too late to buy your Christmas gifts, depending on where in the world you live. Digital gifts – Spotify subscriptions, audiobooks, a year of Netflix – can be bought online and delivered instantly.
For example, you can buy virtual and physical gift cards for both the Apple and Google app stores, giving your loved ones some money to spend on the best iPhone apps or the best Android apps.
We're still waiting for the NORAD Santa Tracker to burst into life, but in the meantime the site offers plenty of activities to keep you and the kids busy. You can find ideas for games, recipes and crafts, and even get a personalized video message from the main man of the moment.
Over on the Google Santa Tracker, the present giver in chief has swung across to the McMurdo Research Station in the Antarctic, and at the time of writing is heading for his next stop in the Solomon Islands. However, there are still 14 hours to go until he reaches the spot where we're currently live blogging from...
Santa is really covering some distance now: after heading all the way down to the McMurdo Research Station in the Antarctic, he's currently busying himself around the Kuril Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Local time is 11pm on Christmas Eve, where Santa is now, so good boys and girls should all be tucked up and snoozing.
More than 37 million presents have now been distributed, and there's still a long, long way to go. Santa Claus will shortly be heading to Papa New Guinea and Australia, where we've heard surfing in a Santa hat isn't uncommon around Christmas time – not that the real Santa will have any time for that.
If you want to find out where Santa is hands free, and you have an Echo or Echo Dot, then another trick you can try is enabling the NORAD Santa Tracker skill on Alexa, which will then allow you to say things like “Alexa, ask NORAD Tracks Santa, where's Santa?" - it's a bit cumbersome but if Alexa is the only smart assistant in your house, you've got to work with what you've got.
You can ask 'Alexa, where's Santa?' if you enable another holiday personality skill too - head into the app and you'll see it displayed proudly at the top, and you can get stories, info and all manner of things too.
Aha! NORAD's Santa tracker is up and running. There he is, heading across the Pacific ocean towards the Solomon Islands.
Google's Santa Tracker shows him having passed over Japan, touching down in the islands of Chichijima, Ioto and Saipan. There he is handing out the goodies in Ioto. He's now delivered some 48 million of them - that makes my annual scramble to buy about six gifts pale in comparison!
Santa's now reached Papua New Guinea, with Australia next on the list (I think). He might not need his big suit for this leg of the journey - the temperature in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, is currently a balmy 26 degrees C / 78 degrees F.
Next up: Australia. Santa has now stopped off in Cairns and is currently headed for Townsville. It's hot there, too, which is why they leave Santa a nice, cool beer by the Christmas tree.
As you can expect, the summer season makes for a very different-looking festive season than we’re used to in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s popular to have seafood down under for Christmas, and on Boxing Day, many families and friends will gather for a BBQ on the beach.
It might take Santa a while to visit every child in Australia - it is, after all, the world's sixth largest country. While you wait, you could have a go at one of the excellent games on Google's Santa Tracker page. My favorite is Quick Draw- although I'm not very good at it.
How does it work? Well the robot asks you to draw something, then tries to guess what it is. It's like Pictionary, but with a robot rather than your family all shouting at you. The effect is much the same though, with it getting repeatedly annoyed at me and saying "I don't know what that is!"
NORAD has Santa travelling towards Canberra right now. I'm not sure if that's snow around him - that seems unlikely. It's probably some kind of magical stuff.
Santa's now left Australia and according to Google is headed back across the Pacific, towards Fukuoka in Japan.
Japan has a slightly different formula to most Western countries that celebrate Christmas, where it’s considered to be a day you spend with friends and partners. Instead, New Year’s Day is the day to celebrate with family. Christmas Eve is also Japan’s version of Valentine’s day, so overall, it’s the season of sentimentality.
Japan’s Christmas culture is fairly unique, too. Believe it or not, the meal of choice on Christmas in Japan is KFC, with an estimated 3.5 million Japanese families flocking to the fast food chain for their Christmas chicken fix. There are also some typical traditions like Christmas cakes, lights, and markets with a culturally relevant Japanese spin on them.
Josie - Santa’s now spreading Christmas cheer across China, where he’s better known as Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run).
As Christianity spread in China, so too did Christmas celebrations, which carry over a lot of classic traditions but with a more culturally relevant twist. Those who celebrate the festive season will light their homes with paper lanterns, adorning their Christmas trees with paper decorations.
Here's our Buying Guides editor Michelle Rae Uy with a bit of information about Santa's next destination: "Santa's now flying over the one of the most Catholic country in the Asia, surpassed only by Timor-Leste. And, what a sparkingly-festive welcome he (or she) gets.
It's no surprise that the Philippines go all out during Christmas-time, many of their holiday traditions rooted not just in Christian practices but also inherited from the Spanish during the colonization. Nativity scenes (or belen in Tagalog) and Christmas trees not only bedeck homes, but lit-up Christmas stars called parol line up the streets and adorn buildings as well. And, starting September too.
Today, Santa's got his work cut out for him as Filipinos will be awake and out in droves attending Misa de Gallo then heading on home for a late-night Noche Buena, featuring all of my favorite Filipino desserts, which is honestly better than milk and cookies."
I'm sure Santa would agree.
Next up, it's the big one - Santa is headed for Christmas Island!
Why is it called Christmas Island? Surely it's Father Christmas' holiday destination, off the coast of Australia?
It could well be - but the reason for the name is less exciting. The first European to sight the island decided that it should be so named because... Captain William Mynors named it on Christmas Day (25 December) 1643.
Seems a bit obvious, really.
And with that, he's past Christmas Island and on towards Indonesia. That's on NORAD at least - Google has him back in Australia. One of them clearly isn't right, but so long as everyone gets their presents it doesn't matter too much.
I think it's time to 'review' another couple of mini-games from Google's Santa tracker. How about Present Bounce, which challenges you to bounce presents (obviously) from a chute into a big stocking thing. It's really tricky.
It’s much easier on a laptop with a mouse and keyboard than it is on a tablet or phone - as most of these games are. But it’s a fun, diverting way to get the little ones to think logically / waste time when you’re supposed to be working on Christmas Eve.
Or you could try Snowball Storm. This Battle Royale-style game sees you slinging your way around a forest, dodging behind trees and grabbing power-ups in the shape of presents. It's infuriating and slightly addictive - you need to master the tap (or click) to really make your way through it.
It was so infuriating that it incited one our writers to pen... well, this in 2020. Read it to understand his battle with futility at this game.
Santa's currently making his way across China again, having visited Lhasa and the Tibetan plateau. That's according to NORAD at least - Google has him further south, in Laos, and heading towards southern China.
Either way, this zoomed-out image on NORAD shows the scale of the task - that's a lot of visits to make in one day.
Want to know what goes on behind the scenes at NORAD when you get through to a volunteer to find out the current location of Santa?
Well, wonder no more - it's basically someone checking the data and letting you know where he is, while also giving the information that you must be asleep to make sure he visits.
Surprised something so closely related to the military is allowed to be so behind the scenes...
Santa's now criss-crossed over much of central Asia and is heading into India. In fact, Google currently has him at Mount Everest, where we can't imagine there are too many children - but maybe some deserving mountaineers.
He's now dispensed some 1.985 billion gifts, according to NORAD, or 2.5 billion according to Google. Either way, that's a lot of wrapping paper and sticky tape.
NORAD and Google now appear to be diverging. They've mostly followed much the same route, but now Google has Santa in Afghanistan whereas NORAD has him heading towards Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
NORAD Santa is stopping by Madagascar, having just passed the Seychelles. Both sound pretty great for a relaxing Christmas break, especially if you're having to put up with the freezing temperatures currently engulfing most of the US.
Not that Santa gets much time to stop for a chill-out, on his journey, of course, but hopefully he got to see a lemur or two.
The Google Santa’s travels have taken him to Kenya now, where lots of other people have been travelling too to make sure they are with their families over the Christmas period. One of Kenya’s languages is Swahili so Santa will make sure to call ‘Heri ya Krismasi!’ or ‘Krismasi Njema’ down from his sleigh between present stop-offs.
On Christmas Day in Kenya, one of the most popular traditional dishes to be enjoyed with family members is Nyama Choma or roast meat. This can be goat, sheep, or lamb and is roasted outside on a barbecue and served with rice and chapatis. Hungry just thinking about it…
Santa is heading to Scandinavia! Christmas traditions vary depending on where you live.
Norwegians have been celebrating all month with markets and merriment. And, of course, there’s plenty of feasting in Norway too. A long standing Norwegian Christmas tradition is eating lutefisk, a dried fish treated with lye – or lut. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but according to Visitnorway.com more than 750 tonnes are hungrily eaten every year.
He’ll see lots of cosy candles in windows as he makes his rounds in Sweden but these are no ordinary flames. The Advent Candlestick is a Swedish tradition counting down the Sundays before Christmas. Every Sunday a candle is lit, Swedes enjoy spicy mulled wine and eat gingerbread biscuits to celebrate. Gifts are traditionally swapped after dark on Christmas Eve so there’s already plenty of wrapping paper scattered around before lots of feasting tomorrow.
Did you know that Santa's sleigh has to travel 650 miles per second (that's 3,000 times the speed of sound!) in order to deliver all those presents on time? That makes it the fastest vehicle on the planet.
Santa has reached Germany! If you’ve been carefully opening your advent calendar every day, you’ve got Germany to thank for the daily tradition of counting down to Christmas in this way. Although there weren’t any Lego options when German Lutherans kicked it all off in the 19th century…
Santa will be very glad he’s missed Krampus Nacht, a chaotic celebration on the 5th of December as people dress as the horned demon of Christmas sent to scare naughty children. It’s traditional to wait until today, Christmas Eve, to put the tree up and most of the celebrations and gift giving are well underway.
Santa's currently in Northern Africa right now, showering Tunisian and Algerian children with gifts after a quick stop in also predominantly-Muslim Morocco. But, we're just he quite enjoyed his time in Spain, which go all out and celebrate Christmas through January 6, the Three King's Day.
Santa would have flown over a lot of nativity scenes constructed carefully across the cities and towns of Spain, and heard a lot of Spanish Christmas carols called villancicos echoing up from the ground. He probably would have enjoyed some flamenco rhythms influencing the ones over the south of Spain.
Just like France, Spain settles down to a special Christmas Eve meal. This is Nochebuena, meaning ‘good night.’ A delicious sweet nougat called turron is an essential part of the tasty celebrations along with plenty of shaped marzipan treats.
St. Nick might have just arrived in Ghana, but the celebrations here kicked off from the 20th so he’s a little late to the party. The good news is that the frivolity lasts until early January so there’s plenty of fun still to be had.
Just like Kenya, lots of people have been travelling from all over the country to celebrate the festivities with family members. Ghana’s capital, Accra, is full of music festivals, live events and parties over the Christmas period and is fully decked out with trees, tinsel, and sparkling lights. What a great view for the big man in red!
Santa has touched down in the UK, which has a rich Christmas culture, but some of it will seem pretty wacky and wild to onlookers. My favorite tradition to explain to non-Brits is Pantomime, (or Panto), which is a family-friendly form of musical theatre retelling a classic fairy tale with slapstick comedy, gender-crossing actors, and a whole load of audience participation. It’s weird, and just a little cringe-inducing, but it’s a great family day out.
We also call Santa “Father Christmas”, hang oversized socks called stockings at the end of our beds to be filled with gifts, and have a tug-of-war with cardboard tubes called crackers (which have literal gunpowder inside of them) until they rip apart with a “bang!”. Wild.
Either Santa's a bad planner (and jumping continents willy-nilly) or is making great time because right now, he's just crossed the Atlantic to Brazil.
We hope he has some air conditioning options on his sleigh because all that fur isn’t going to be ideal for Brazil’s tropical climate. In fact, many Brazilians celebrate Christmas with a tasty outdoor barbeque with family. Here, Santa is known as Papai Noel and delivers presents through windows instead of chimneys. The celebrations kick off on Christmas Eve with dinner and a trip to Church for ‘Misa de Galo’ or the rooster’s mass.
After a quick stop at the Palmer Station, the famous outpost in Antarctica (and probably waving hello to those adorable penguins because who wouldn't?!), Santa's back in South America. More specifically in Argentina, where Christmas begins promptly at midnight.
Many families kick off the holiday by hosting festive celebrations in their homes, opening gifts with their loved ones, and lighting fireworks in the early hours of the morning.
Most of us struggle to deliver a dozen holiday gifts, but by Norad's count, Santa is up over 4 billion as he heads into Brazil, which calls Christmas Natal, and Portugal, where he can still probably smell the delicious scents of octopus cooked with potatoes and Portuguese cabbage holiday dinner.
Santa may change his big, fluffy red suit for something silkier (still red, though) and he'll need to leave room for all the socks Brazilian kids leave out for him in exchange for a gift. Let's hope they're all clean.
From here it's onto French Guyana where tons of lights will guide his journey and he may already smell the spicey pepperpots being prepared for Christmas morning.
After a quick stop in the Northern US (Cape cod, to be exact), Santa's back over the Atlantic and on his bay to Bermuda where he might look down and seea Christmas Eve candlelight service at the oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere. From there, he cruised into Puerto Rico (how fast is he going?) where he have seen preparations underway for the Misa de Gallo midnight mass.
Now, it's on to South America. Heading south of the equator, Santa doffs his heavy coat to enjoy warm-weather Christmas. He’s flying along the Amazon River, making sure to keep his reindeer well out of crocodile range.
With 5 billion packages delivered, you might think Santa was nearly done, but by our estimation, he has a good bit of the US to cover. The good news is that there are almost another six hours to make it from coast-to-coast, and judging by how fast Santa flies and drops his parcels under millions of trees, this should be a cinch.
Santa's back on the US East Coast where he passed over the nation's capital and is now flying south and then north again (oh, hey Philadelphia).
His incredible 24-hour journey is almost through. If we're guessing correctly, Santa will go from the south to the Midwest and then, maybe, California.
After delivering gifts up and down the US’s west coast from Imperial Beach in San Diego County up past Cape Flattery in Washington State, Santa should make one last sweep along British Columbia and all the way up to Alaska.
He’ll have to make a stop at the North Pole, Alaska, Santa’s home away from home where he can visit the post office which handles many of the Letters to Santa that, naturally, always make it to the real North Pole, and meet with the former mayor who, in a fit of devotion, legally changed his own name to “Santa Claus.” There’s no question, though, who is the real jolly elf.
After that, Santa’s got a quick, 3,000-mile trip to Hawaii where he probably doesn’t have time to join in one of the backyard parties where they’re making a traditional kalua pig, which is cooked underground after being covered with hot rocks and banana leaves.
Okay, maybe Santa grabs a fast bite and lets his near-exhausted reindeer have a quick, revitalizing snack. They've all really earned a rest.
If you’re holding out for an iPhone SE 4 then we have some bad news for you, as a reputable source suggests this phone might either get delayed or canceled.
Ming-Chi Kuo – an analyst with a good track record for Apple information – claims in a tweet thread (via Apple Insider) that Apple will likely either cancel or delay the iPhone SE 4.
The phone apparently won't land until after 2024 in the latter case, despite an earlier leak saying we could see it as soon as 2023.
(1/5)My latest survey indicates that Apple will likely cancel or postpone the mass production plan for the 2024 iPhone SE 4. I think this is due to the consistently lower-than-expected shipments of mid-to-low-end iPhones (e.g., SE 3, 13 mini, and 14 Plus),December 21, 2022
On top of which, rumors suggest the iPhone SE 4 would get a slightly more modern design; with a notch and no home button, and that’s a shift that might increase the overall cost, according to Kuo, which might further hurt sales.
One final reason for the delay (or cancelation) given by Kuo, is that reducing unnecessary new product development expenses in 2023 would be desirable for Apple, since we’re in a global economic recession.
All of which are compelling arguments, and Kuo has certainly been right before, but we’d still take this with a pinch of salt, for now.
Analysis: don’t expect to see an iPhone SE 4 anytime soon
While at least one leak had previously pointed to a 2023 launch for the next iPhone SE, Kuo’s claims seem likely, as beyond the arguments provided, we also simply haven’t heard as much about the iPhone SE 4 as we’d have expected to if it was going to launch in 2023.
The most likely 2023 launch timing would be early in the year, since the current model landed in March 2022, and while these aren’t always yearly releases, the previous model landed in April of its release year.
So sometime around March or April 2023 would seem the most likely timing for a 2023 launch, but we’d think the phone would have leaked more extensively if it was landing that soon.
Also, as noted these aren’t typically yearly releases. In fact, there’s been a gap of at least two years between each model so far, so a launch in 2024 or even later makes a lot of sense – and we certainly wouldn’t rule out Apple ending the line either, given that these phones seemingly struggle to sell compared to most of the best iPhones.
We now know when the OnePlus 11 is being announced, as OnePlus itself has confirmed that the phone will be unveiled on February 7.
The company has said as much on its official site. Or, more specifically, it’s said that it’s holding an event called ‘Cloud 11’ on February 7, but then at the bottom of the page there’s a button to press to learn more about the OnePlus 11 5G, which is there mentioned by name. So that pretty much confirms this phone will be present at Cloud 11.
Incidentally, the additional details that you can learn by pressing that button are just that it has Hasselblad cameras (which we already knew) and an alert slider.
There’s also mention of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, so expect them to land on February 7 as well, and there’s a suggestion that there might also be some surprises.
The event kicks off at 6am PT / 9am ET / 2pm GMT on February 7, or at 1am AEDT on February 8, and of course we’ll be covering the launch in full at TechRadar.
This isn’t the only OnePlus 11 news though, as MySmartPrice has also spotted the phone on a Geekbench 5 benchmark.
The benchmark points to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which we fully expected, since that OnePlus 10 Pro uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. There’s also a mention of 16GB of RAM, which is more than you can get the OnePlus 10 Pro with. This is probably the top model though, so we’d expect there will also be a 12GB version, and possibly an 8GB one.
Android 13 is mentioned too, and the OnePlus 11 achieves a single-core score of 1,493 in this benchmark, and a multi-core score of 5,112. Those are impressive scores, with this year’s top Android phones generally achieving single-core scores of under 1,200 and multi-score scores of under 4,000. But of course, they’re also typically using older chipsets, so that makes sense.
We would also take this benchmark with a pinch of salt, since even if it is genuine, it’s based on pre-release hardware, and benchmark scores aren’t generally worth reading too much into at the best of times. Still, we’ll know exactly how well the OnePlus 11 performs quite soon.
Analysis: OnePlus is ramping up the teasers
The announcement of the OnePlus 11’s unveiling date isn’t the first teaser we’ve had for the phone. Just a couple of days earlier, OnePlus released a teaser video showing off the camera block and Hasselblad branding.
There hasn’t been much else yet from the company, but we expect far more teasers and official details to emerge in the coming weeks, as OnePlus has a habit of drip-feeding information about its phones ahead of the full announcement.
In fact, there’s every chance that we’ll already know most of the details about the OnePlus 11 by the time it’s unveiled on February 7. It’s a strange practice that can slightly deflate the launch event, but perhaps it builds hype ahead of that. Presumably it works for OnePlus anyway, or the company wouldn’t keep doing it.
One of the questions we're still asking about the Samsung Galaxy S23 is when exactly we're going to get to see it – and the latest from the rumor mill suggests a reveal date a little later than we were expecting, if only by a week or two.
According to seasoned tipster @TheGalox_ (via Notebookcheck), Samsung is planning on a mid to late February launch for the phones, with an internal debate over how the handsets should be priced causing the date to be pushed back.
We're previously heard reports from several sources that the Galaxy S23 range would show up in the first week of February, but it now appears we could be waiting until later in the month to see these phones officially pushed out into the world.
The price is right?
The point about the pricing dilemma is an interesting one. Samsung is going to want to make a healthy profit without putting off potential buyers, and it seems that the company hasn't yet decided just how much it's going to charge for these phones.
Going back to the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, those handsets started at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249 (standard), $999 / £949 / AU$1,549 (Plus) and $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1,849 (Ultra), which gives us some idea of what to expect from the new range for 2023.
The same tipster who says the phones are delayed suggests price points of $799, $899 and $1,199 for the three devices in the Galaxy S23 line, but that's more speculation than anything else. We'll find out for sure in a couple of months.
Analysis: pricing pressure
From what we're heard about the Samsung Galaxy S23 series so far, it doesn't sound as though these phones are going to be a huge leap from their predecessors, with many of the same components from the 2022 phones set to be used in the 2023 versions.
It's not difficult to work out why, given the tight economic times that we find ourselves in. Most people are squeezed in terms of their budgets, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt across supply chains, and the cost of materials keeps on rising.
With that in mind, Samsung is going to have to work hard to avoid putting the price of the Galaxy 23 phones at a higher level than the Galaxy S22 handsets that came before them. Certain compromises will need to be made for that to be the case.
As this new leak shows though, the company is keen not to price out consumers, especially given strong competition from Apple, Google, and the rest. Put the price up too much, and people will simply go for more affordable options.
The team at OnePlus has been celebrating its 9th anniversary in China, and as part of the event we've been treated to an official teaser for the upcoming OnePlus 11 flagship phone, expected to launch early in 2023.
While we don't see a whole lot in the teaser (via GSMArena), we do get a decent look at the large camera bump on the back of the phone, complete with Hasselblad camera branding (that's the camera company OnePlus has partnered with in recent years).
A rough translation from the OnePlus post on Chinese social network Weibo suggests that we're about to get a "future performance leader" that will "challenge many impossibilities in the industry" – so make of that what you will.
One company, two brands
There was plenty of talk of the recent merger between OnePlus and Oppo during the anniversary party: Oppo is apparently investing hefty sums in OnePlus products as part of a "dual-brand" strategy for the singular company going forward.
That means the Find and Reno phones produced by Oppo will continue to appear alongside the OnePlus series of handsets, though it remains to be seen just how different the devices are going to be in the future.
We've already seen plenty of rumors and leaks around the OnePlus 11, including renders showing off the handset in black and green. OnePlus usually launches its flagships in the early months of the year, but the teaser just says the OnePlus 11 "will be released soon".
Analysis: new year, new OnePlus
The first OnePlus phone made its debut all the way back in 2014, and in the early days the aim was simple: specs and build quality that was very close to high-end flagships, at a price that was significantly lower than the iPhones and Galaxys on the market.
As time has gone on, OnePlus has slowly moved away from that strategy, producing more expensive phones while launching the OnePlus Nord series to give mid-range phone buyers better value for money further down the pricing scale.
With the merger with Oppo now completed, it's a chance for OnePlus to reset, and decide exactly what it wants from its high-end phones. The OnePlus 10 Pro launched in 2022 offered a mostly great experience at a reasonable price, though it had its weaknesses.
From everything we've heard about the OnePlus 11 so far, it sounds like it's going to have the specs and the polish to take on anything that Apple, Samsung or Google have planned for 2023 – but as always the pricing is going to be crucial.
As the launch of the Samsung Galaxy 23 series draws closer and closer, so the leaks continue to arrive – and the latest teaser for these flagship phones comes in the form of images of dummy units of the devices that have been posted online.
Posted to Slash Leaks (via SamMobile), the pictures of the Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy S23 Plus give us an idea of the dimensions of the phones and how the cameras are going to look on the back. These dummy units will have been built to match schematics leaked from Samsung or sent to case makers, for example.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra isn't here, and that's expected to have a slightly different look to the other two models in the range – from what we've heard so far, it sounds as though the phone will look very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
More prominent cameras
One aesthetic point to note here is that the camera lenses are jutting out slightly from the back casing, rather than being flush with it. That suggests the standard S23 model and the S23 Plus are going to look more like the Ultra edition this year.
Otherwise there aren't too many surprises in the pictures, and unfortunately there isn't an image included in the set where we can compare the sizes of the two phones against each other. The Samsung Galaxy S23 is expected to sport a 6.1-inch display, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus using a 6.6-inch display.
Those are the same dimensions we saw with this year's phones, so it would seem that Samsung is sticking to a formula that it knows well. All the indications are that these handsets will get their grand unveiling in February 2023.
Analysis: more of the same
As far as the look of the Galaxy S23 phones is concerned, this is the latest leak to suggest that not much is going to change from the Samsung Galaxy S22 when it comes to the dimensions and the aesthetics of this premium smartphones from Samsung.
Like just about every other manufacturer in the smartphone industry, Samsung seems stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to design – though to argue it from the other perspective, you could say there's no reason to change what many consider to be a sleek and stylish design.
The Google Pixel 7 and its immediate predecessors have shaken up phone design somewhat with the large protruding camera bar. Meanwhile Apple has introduced the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, though that's more of a software change.
For now at least, it doesn't appear as though Samsung is adopting either of those innovations. When the Samsung Galaxy S23 handsets are unveiled, we might be struggling to tell them apart from their Galaxy S22 predecessors.