Xiaomi 12 design leak shows another cyclops-like smartphone

For a while the Xiaomi 12 wasn't leaking much, even though it's expected to launch in December - that's no longer the case, and the anticipated Android phone is starting to come together.

We've now heard multiple pieces of information about the phone's rear camera bump, which make the upcoming device sound very... Xiaomi.

Firstly, a leaker on Chinese social media platform Weibo has provided imagery of the back of the Xiaomi, showing what looks like the back plate of the mobile. Accompanying the post is a render created based on this panel - it's not an official image.

The picture shows a camera bump with one giant main camera, two smaller ones below it on the left side, and a flash as well as what looks like a light sensor on the right. Judging by the picture, Xiaomi is embracing the 'giant-eye'd Cyclops' look that it's used before on phones like the Mi 10T Pro.

We don't know right now what these cameras are - presumably, the big one is the main camera, perhaps with a super-sized 50MP or 108MP sensor. The render shows '50MP' on the camera bump, and that's a commonly-leaked spec, but it's hard to be sure without solid information.

As well as big, this Xiaomi 12 bump could be good-looking, as a separate leak from prolific leaker Digital Chat Station has commented on the coating the camera module will have - apparently, "it uses a new processing technology to look and feel more coordinated with the AG glass body".

This likely means that the camera bump is getting some kind of coating to ensure it looks similar to the rest of the phone - presumably this will give it a particular glaze or sparkle. It could also give the module extra protection, which will be important if it sticks out as far as the images suggest.


Analysis: sticking with the three-camera setup

Both the Xiaomi 12 back plate and Digital Chat Station's leak suggest the upcoming phone will have three rear cameras, as did the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra.

That's an intriguing change of strategy for the brand from the days of the Mi Note 10 with five rear snappers or the Mi 10 with four.

We're not complaining though, as often extra lenses on phones are more useful for fleshing out a specs list than improving photography in any way - sometimes three is better than four or five.

Two of the cameras will almost definitely be a main and ultra-wide snapper, and the third could be a macro like on the Mi 11, or telephoto which many brands opt to use for zoom pictures.

We'll have to wait and see - the Xiaomi 12 is expected to launch in December so we won't be twiddling our thumbs long.

Via GSMArena

Posted in Uncategorised

Xiaomi 12 design leak shows another cyclops-like smartphone

For a while the Xiaomi 12 wasn't leaking much, even though it's expected to launch in December - that's no longer the case, and the anticipated Android phone is starting to come together.

We've now heard multiple pieces of information about the phone's rear camera bump, which make the upcoming device sound very... Xiaomi.

Firstly, a leaker on Chinese social media platform Weibo has provided imagery of the back of the Xiaomi, showing what looks like the back plate of the mobile. Accompanying the post is a render created based on this panel - it's not an official image.

The picture shows a camera bump with one giant main camera, two smaller ones below it on the left side, and a flash as well as what looks like a light sensor on the right. Judging by the picture, Xiaomi is embracing the 'giant-eye'd Cyclops' look that it's used before on phones like the Mi 10T Pro.

We don't know right now what these cameras are - presumably, the big one is the main camera, perhaps with a super-sized 50MP or 108MP sensor. The render shows '50MP' on the camera bump, and that's a commonly-leaked spec, but it's hard to be sure without solid information.

As well as big, this Xiaomi 12 bump could be good-looking, as a separate leak from prolific leaker Digital Chat Station has commented on the coating the camera module will have - apparently, "it uses a new processing technology to look and feel more coordinated with the AG glass body".

This likely means that the camera bump is getting some kind of coating to ensure it looks similar to the rest of the phone - presumably this will give it a particular glaze or sparkle. It could also give the module extra protection, which will be important if it sticks out as far as the images suggest.


Analysis: sticking with the three-camera setup

Both the Xiaomi 12 back plate and Digital Chat Station's leak suggest the upcoming phone will have three rear cameras, as did the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra.

That's an intriguing change of strategy for the brand from the days of the Mi Note 10 with five rear snappers or the Mi 10 with four.

We're not complaining though, as often extra lenses on phones are more useful for fleshing out a specs list than improving photography in any way - sometimes three is better than four or five.

Two of the cameras will almost definitely be a main and ultra-wide snapper, and the third could be a macro like on the Mi 11, or telephoto which many brands opt to use for zoom pictures.

We'll have to wait and see - the Xiaomi 12 is expected to launch in December so we won't be twiddling our thumbs long.

Via GSMArena

Posted in Uncategorised

Xiaomi 12 might actually be smaller than Xiaomi Mi 11 was – and we’re glad

The Xiaomi Mi 11 was certainly a chunky smartphone, as its 6.81-inch screen made it one of the biggest flagship phones we saw all through 2021 - but it seems like the Xiaomi 12 might have slimmed down a little.

This comes from the website GizmoChina, which apparently got its hands on a screen protector for the upcoming Xiaomi 12 Pro - by the sounds of it, this was sent to them by a third-party screen protector manufacturer, but it isn't explicitly stated where this came from. 

GizmoChina put the Xiaomi 12 Pro screen protector on a Xiaomi Mi 11, and it seems the plastic film doesn't line up on the older device - in fact, it doesn't reach the edges, which suggests the 12 Pro display is smaller than the 11's.

If you're querying possible discrepancies between the 'Pro' model of the Xiaomi 12, and the Mi 11: the Mi 11 Pro, and Mi 10 Pro, both had the same screen size as their non-Pro siblings, which suggests the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro will have the same dimensions too.

Another intriguing change is that the Xiaomi 12 screen protector has a space for a front-facing camera that's at the top-center of the display - this is different to the Mi 11, and many other Xiaomi phones, which have it in the top left.


Analysis: how big is too big?

It's no secret that the average smartphone size is gradually creeping up and up - it's hard to buy a new mobile if you don't want your hand stretched at least somewhat. Still, the Xiaomi Mi 11 was very big.

In our review, we noticed "people with smaller digits may still find it a stretch to reach the upper part of the screen" because of the big size, though thanks to the handset's relatively thin body it wasn't too unwieldy.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also had a 6.81-inch screen, but that phone felt even bigger because of its gigantic rear camera bump.

Despite the fact we weren't too down on the Xiaomi Mi 11's size in our review, we can't help feel a twinge of joy knowing the Xiaomi 12 could be smaller - unless you've got mighty mitts, big mobiles can be uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.

That's not to say all Xiaomi 12 phones will be smaller, and we imagine there's still an enormous 'Ultra' model being planned with more powerful rear cameras than you can shake a stick at - but at least the 'normal' phone could be a cosy little-un.

Posted in Uncategorised

Honor 60 launch live blog: catch up with the ex-Huawei brand’s latest smartphone

Well, that's a wrap - the Honor 60 launch kicked off at 3:30am PT / 6:30am ET / 11:30pm GMT or 7:30pm ACT and lasted about an hour. It's all over now, as is this live blog.

It was, admittedly, not a busy launch event, and we only saw two important devices - the Honor 60 and 60 Pro - as well as a slightly-tweaked fitness tracker and new TVs. It was a China-exclusive launch too, so no global pricing or availability was provided.

If you want a recap of the Honor 60 launch event, you don't need to waste an hour watching a video - instead, scroll on down to see our beat-by-beat coverage of the event.

But if you're just here for the new phones... well, here's a quick look at them:

Honor 60 specs
SpecHonor 60Honor 60 Pro
Screen size6.67-inch6.78-inch
Screen resolution1080 x 23401080 x 2340
Display refresh rate120Hz120Hz
Screen curves?Yes, on two edgesOn all four edges
ChipsetSnapdragon 778Snapdragon 778 Plus
RAM8GB / 12GB8GB / 12GB
Storage128GB / 256GB256GB
Main camera32MP50MP
Rear cameras108MP + 8MP + 2MP108MP + 50MP + 2MP
Battery size4,800mAh4,800mAh
Charging speed66W66W

And so it begins - welcome to our Honor 60 live blog, which we'll be fawning over for the next few hours as the device launches. 

Honor 50

This is the standard Honor 50 smartphone, which saw a global release. (Image credit: Future)

So what are we expecting to launch at the Honor 60 event? Well, we peered deep into our scrying orb and it told us… the Honor 60 smartphone.

Jokes aside, there were actually four members of the Honor 50 family; a Pro, Lite and SE model joined the vanilla one. The Pro was obviously the top-end model with an extra front-facing camera and faster charging than the original, but was basically the same in most other departments.

The Honor 50 SE was also quite similar to the original but its screen didn’t curve at the edges, it had a different (though roughly equal) chipset, it missed out on a depth sensor at the back (no real loss), its selfie snapper was lower-res, and its screen was a little bit bigger. The Honor 50 Lite was the real budget option here though with a lower display refresh rate, lower-res main camera and completely different design.

Other than the Lite, all Honor 50 phones were first unveiled alongside the first one at its June launch event, though only the main Honor 50 saw a global launch. That means it’s very likely we’ll see an Honor 60 family, and not just one phone, launched today - in fact, the company has teased a Pro model so this will almost definitely show up.

And beyond that? Well, we know a tablet is coming, because Honor itself teased it. Let’s see what that’s like at the launch. 

The Honor 60 itself isn’t a total mystery to us, as the brand has teased us with some information already. 

Mostly, we know the design, which is how we know the Honor 60 looks startlingly like the Honor 50, particularly in the camera bump department as it has the same dual-round-bump array. The picture at the top of the article is of the 60, as well as that tablet we mentioned.

It’s also a 5G phone, according to a big poster, but we don’t know exactly what chipset it uses.

Honor 50

Me taking a selfie on the Honor 50 (Image credit: Future)

You might find this Honor 60 launch a little surprising - didn’t TechRadar’s Honor 50 review only go live a month ago?

Well, it did, but that doesn’t mean the device itself is only a few months old. You know how we said the Honor 60 launch is China-only? So was the first Honor 50 launch, which took place in June, and it took quite a while for it to get launched globally.

So don’t expect Honor 60 release information for outside China to be unveiled today - we’ll likely be waiting until the new year for that. CES and MWC happen in January and February respectively - both are global tech events that bring loads of big unveilings, so we could see a launch then.

MWC 2022 is more likely, as that stands for Mobile World Congress and is more focused on smartphone devices, though we’ve also seen Honor use CES to show off products so nothing’s out of the question.

Case in point, regarding the recent Honor 50 launch:

When I went to get breakfast earlier (picked up some croissants and cheese, thanks for asking - also ended up buying more coffee and some mince pies) I passed my local bus stop.

The advert on the side is for the Honor 50, which only just went on sale in the UK. And now the Honor 60 is getting unveiled.

Huawei Nova 9

The Huawei Nova 9, which looks super similar to the Honor 50 (Image credit: Huawei)

The spectre of Huawei still looms over Honor, even though they’ve been… divorced? Separated? ‘Just friends’? - for the best part of a year now.

Take the Honor 50 - it’s a dead ringer for the Huawei Nova 9, which launched shortly afterward. Not only does it look identical, but the specs and internals are almost all the same too, with the one major exception being the main camera.

You could say the same about the Honor Magic 3, which was unveiled in August 2021 but never actually released. It looked like your average Huawei Mate mobile (so, super-top-end), with a super-curved screen, top camera specs and a premium design, and if it’d had a Huawei logo we would have assumed it was the next flagship from the brand.

So maybe we’ll see something today which reminds us of Huawei quite a bit - though judging by early specs, Huawei Nova 10, anyone?

Honor Watch GS Pro

The Honor Watch GS Pro with a custom watch face. (Image credit: Future)

We also could see some wearables, though it’s not certain.

If I may break cover and jump into the first-person temporarily - I’ve always been a huge fan of Honor’s wearables. Smartwatches like the Watch GS Pro or Watch ES have brought interesting and innovative features to devices that feel fairly priced, not like the super-expensive Apple or Samsung alternatives.

We haven’t actually seen an Honor smartwatch since it gained independence though, possibly because its devices were quite similar to Huawei’s, which suggests a lot of cooperation which obviously isn’t possible now. We did get the Honor Band 6 fitness tracker, but the less said about that, the better.

This dry spell can’t last forever though, and we’d hope to see some new wearable tech - or something that isn’t a smartphone, at least - before too long. Maybe today’s the day!

We've found the official Honor live stream - click here to find it on Weibo.

The 'start' time on the stream is actually half an hour before the event is due to begin - presumably we'll see thirty minutes of trailers for the brand or other similar filler.

There’s 40 minutes until the event kicks off - if you were going to pop some corn and brew some coffee, now is the time.

You could pop quite a bit of popcorn in that time, though, so why don’t you entertain yourself by reading about today's big tech news?

Giant chipset maker Qualcomm has unveiled its latest top-end chipset, called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (not exactly a catchy name, is it?).

Loads of upcoming phones are confirmed to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 - these include the Xiaomi 12, Oppo Find X4, Realme GT 2 Pro and a future Motorola phone. Exciting!

The Weibo livestream has officially kicked off - but for now, it's just promotional material that we've already seen.

Huawei MatePad 11

Huawei's MatePad 11 (Image credit: Future)

We're used to seeing Honor and Huawei put out similar products, but that might not be the case today.

The tablet pictured in the header image of this article is completely unlike anything we've seen Huawei put out - the brand's latest MatePad 11, pictured just above, looks quite different.

We look forward to hearing more about this slate soon.

Five minutes left! Looking for something to do to bide these last few minutes? How about you check out one of the two stories our phones team has worked on this morning?

Firstly, some Samsung Galaxy S21 FE colors have leaked, and we think we know all the bright and bold options for the upcoming device.

Secondly, a rumor suggests the next iPhone SE will come out around March 2022, though we don't know if this is the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE Plus.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

The pre-roll adverts have finished...

... and we have begun.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

The CEO of Honor has taken to the stage to talk about the company.

If you're expecting to hear some juicy details straight away... is this your first tech event? Brands often spend ages waffling on about the past, present and future of the company, its devices and so on. Sometimes we have to wait half an hour into a tech event for anything real.

Hopefully it won't take that long for the Honor 60 launch - I really want lunch. But we'll have to see.

Honor just showed a video of the Honor 60 being made, accompanied by inappropriately-epic music.

The name has been confirmed on-stage for the first time, though we already knew it'd be called that

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

We've just seen the phone for the first time - the CEO pulled out two versions of it in different colors. What a shiny thing!

The Honor 60 screen edge is quite curvy at 81 degrees on the edges, but it also bends on the top and bottom at 52 degrees - most smartphones with curved-edge displays only have them on the side, so that's an interesting design twist.

By the way, I'm not getting all this information from my fluent language skills - but when you watch enough of these tech events, you start to understand what they're talking about.

And a giant '1080 x 2340' next to a picture of a screen isn't hard to figure out, for example - that's display resolution.

Why am I saying this, instead of telling you what's happening at the event? Well, not much is happening. We're just hearing about how the bezel is a tiny, tiny, tiny bit smaller than on the Honor 50. What fun.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Here's the Honor 60 Pro screen specs - 6.78-inch 120Hz FHD+ display. It curves at the edges - presumably the only difference for the non-Pro one is this last spec.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

They've shown off a few different Honor 60 Pro color versions.

We like the autumnal one pictured above but a dark green, shiny blue or black version can be chosen instead. There are also a few funky cases being shown off, but we'd imagine these will only go on sale in China.

In basically every single video it has shown during this event, Honor has used the same song. I started by not rating it but it's grown on me.

I've done some research (read: Googling the lyrics). It's apparently called Vibrations by Gill Chang featuring Stonefox. Click here for a Spotify link to the song, if you're interested.

Honor is talking about its AI at the moment - hopefully this is a bridge into discussing its camera capabilities or software or something.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

It's becoming more and more clear that the Honor 60 Pro is being positioned as a phone for budding vloggers - presumably that's a big audience in China - between these camera features, and the fact the company's Weibo is calling it a Pro streamer" phone. 

Lots of advertising in the build-up to the Honor 60 launch prominently featured the word 'Vlog' too. Maybe if I test this phone I'll have to start vlogging my life. Oh dear.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

There's 66W fast charging on the Honor 60 Pro - the company says it'll get from empty to 50% power in 15 minutes.

There's also a 4,800mAh battery, which is fairly big for this kind of phone, though we've seen loads of 5,000mAh power packs on devices of all prices too.

It's been quite a quiet event so far, and we're still waiting on key details like cameras, Honor 60 specs (we've mostly heard about the Pro) and pricing.

I want to go and get some juice, and it's been quiet enough that that shouldn't be a problem. But I know if I leave the desk, something massive is going to be unveiled.

It's a dilemma for sure.

Okay, I managed it. You're now reading the words of a proud drinker of some OJ.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Here we go, Honor has provided the 'full' Honor 60 Pro specs. Lots is missing so far.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

And here are the specs for the standard Honor 60 - again, we're missing camera details and screen specs. That is, unless the display is the same as the Pro's one, which is looking pretty likely.

Let's see what else Honor says before we unpack this information more - maybe we'll get more details, and there could still be a Lite or SE version coming.

And where's that tablet?

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

These are the prices for the Honor 60 - that starting price converts to $420, £320, AU$590. 

Below are the Honor 60 Pro prices, which start at $480, £440, AU$810.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

We're hearing now about the Honor Band 6... which we've already heard about, like, a year ago?

The band first launched at CES 2021 in January - presumably this is a tweaked version with some new features.

Either way, we wouldn't expect this to get launched globally, as Honor doesn't tend to launch its tweaked fitness trackers outside China, only the main-series ones.

Now Honor is detailing its TVs, another gadget we don't expect to come to the global market judging by past performance.

And... it's over (!?)

So that's it, Honor has done unveiling its new smartphones, as well as a tweaked version of an older fitness tracker and some new TVs. The event has wrapped up and the livestream has stopped.

The fun isn't over though - we're going to pick back through our notes and give you the low-down on what you need to know from the event.

Let's look more in-depth at those Honor 60 prices:

Honor 60 prices
RAMStoragePrice in CNYConverted $ priceConverted £ priceConverted AU$ price
8GB128GB2,699$420£320$590
8GB256GB2,999$470£350$660
12GB256GB3,299$520£390$720

For context, the base version of the Honor 50 had 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, so it's a little hard to compare. However there was an 8GB / 256GB version too, which is the middle of the above options, and it cost £529 ($710, AU$960).

Saying that, conversions from Chinese prices are often way out as brands launch their phones for less in China, so don't expect those converted costs to be very accurate.

Now let's look at the Pro prices:

Honor 60 Pro prices
RAMStoragePrice in CNYConverted $ priceConverted £ priceConverted AU$ price
8GB256GB3,699$580£440$810
12GB256GB3,999$630£470$890

The Honor 50 Pro didn't release globally so we can't compare costs for that - and we can't say for sure if the 60 Pro will come out worldwide.

So what's the difference between the Honor 60 and 60 Pro? Uh... not much.

The Honor 60 has the Snapdragon 778 chipset, while the Pro gets the Plus version of that processor. In addition the 60 has a 32MP front camera while the 60 Pro has a 50MP one.

The main - or only - other difference is the display.

The Honor 60 gets a 6.67-inch display which curves at the edges, while the 60 Pro has a 6.78-inch screen which is curved at the edges and top and bottom too.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Honestly, we were expecting a little more from the Honor 60 event - but we're not complaining that it's short, it means there's less work we need to do!

As our final two posts, we're going to collect all the information on the two new phones in one solid place, so expect those posts soon. The other things you need to know from the event are:

Honor 60 Lite / SE: Neither of these showed up.

Honor tablet: Nope, no-show

Honor foldable: Oh yeah, we forgot to mention... just kidding, this didn't come along.

Honor smartwatch: Nah

Honor fitness tracker: A new version of the Honor Band 6 was shown off with a few tweaks and NFC, but it probably won't launch globally.

Honor TVs: There are a few of these, but the planets will align before these get a global launch.

First, let's take a look at the Honor 60 Pro, the top-end of the two smartphones shown off today.

Screen: 6.78-inches diagonally, 120Hz refresh rate. Curves at all four edges.

Front camera: 50MP

Rear cameras: 108MP main, 50MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro

Chipset: Snapdragon 778 Plus paired with 8GB or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage

Battery size: 4,800mAh

Charging speed: 66W

Price: Starts at CNY3,699 (roughly $580, £440, AU$810).

On sale: December 10 in China, unknown elsewhere.

Honor 60 event

(Image credit: Honor)

Finally, let's example the Honor 60, the lower-end of the two smartphones we saw at the launch event.

Screen: 6.67-inches diagonally, 120Hz refresh rate. Curves at two edges.

Front camera: 32MP

Rear cameras: 108MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro

Chipset: Snapdragon 778 paired with 8GB or 12GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage

Battery size: 4,800mAh

Charging speed: 66W

Price: Starts at CNY2,699 (roughly $420, £320, AU$590).

On sale: December 10 in China, unknown elsewhere.

Thanks for watching along to this live blog, if you have been - if you're catching this after the fact, welcome, and make sure to check TechRadar again when phone launches happen as we often host live blogs like this.

Below you'll be able to see everything you need to know about the Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro, the two phones we saw at the event. There's only one thing we haven't said yet: our first-glance verdicts at the phones.

Honesty? They seem too similar to their predecessors to be very interesting - which isn't much of a surprise since the Honor 50 first debuted in June. Many phones are launched on yearly schedules, and the Honor 60 is proof of why that's a good thing.

Posted in Uncategorised

All the new smartphones we still expect will launch this year

Some tech companies aren't letting the last few weeks of 2021 go to waste, even launching new smartphones in the run-up to Christmas.

While some new phone releases are confirmed events, others are rumors that may or may not happen in the next few weeks. Accordingly, we've created a list of new smartphone launches based on the likelihood they'll actually happen in December of 2021.

Of course, none of these releases will be as big as what we'll see in the first few months of 2022. The giant tech conferences, CES in January and MWC in late February/early March, will likely coincide with massive phone launches like the releases of Samsung Galaxy S22, OnePlus 10 and Oppo Find X4. It's hard not to get excited by those!

Still, there are phones in our December 2021 list that are intriguing enough to entice more than a few tech fans.

Phones we'll almost definitely see

Honor 50

The Honor 50, the predecessor to the Honor 60 (Image credit: Future)

Honor 60

We know the Honor 60 is launching, and it's happening very soon: December 1, to be exact.

This China-only launch of the phone will likely be followed by a global release in a few weeks' time. That means we'll soon see the phone in all of its technical glory, but might not know its price until the global launch.

The Honor 60 is the brand's next mid-range phone, following in the footsteps of the recently unveiled Honor 50. We don't expect the 60 to come with too many upgrades since it has only been six months since the last iteration was first released.

The Sony Xperia Pro-I smartphone with its Vlog Monitor accessory

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony Xperia Pro-I

This is another confirmed December release, but we already saw the official launch of Sony's Xperia Pro-I earlier in 2021.

The Sony Xperia Pro-I is a super-premium mobile designed specifically for photographers. This phone has fantastic cameras and also works as a second display for many of Sony's cameras. The Xperia Pro-I is launching on December 2 in the UK and December 10 in the US.

The phone will be expensive, at $1,799 / £1,599 (around AU$2,400), but keep in mind that it's designed for professional photographers, and not your average phone fan.

Motorola Edge 20 Pro

The Motorola Edge 20 Pro is currently Moto's top-end smartphone (Image credit: Future)

Motorola's next smartphone

While this launch hasn't technically been confirmed, we've heard so many rumors about Motorola's plan to release a top-end smartphone by the end of 2021 that we had to include it in this section.

Top chipset maker Qualcomm is expected to soon launch its new premium processor, and we've heard rumors that Motorola is eager to release the first phone using it. This means they might release a new phone by the end of this year, in close competition with Xiaomi, who also has a phone on this list.

We don't know if the new device is the Moto G200 or the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, both of which are rumored to launch in the next few months. Either way, we'd be very shocked if Motorola didn't release another smartphone by the end of the year.


Phones we'll possibly see:

Xiaomi Mi 11

The Xiaomi Mi 11, the company's flagship for 2021. (Image credit: Future)

Xiaomi 12

The Xiaomi Mi 11 was launched in the last days of 2020 at a China-only event before getting a global unveiling in February of this year. We think it's possible Xiaomi will repeat that timing with their Xiaomi 12, but there are others who think the mobile might launch in January. For this reason, we've put this device in the 'possibly' section.

This is Xiaomi's next flagship phone, and the first main-series device since it dropped its 'Mi' branding. We're expecting top specs and a premium design, but we don't actually know all that much about the device yet.

Either way, of all the phones on this list, the Xiaomi 12 will likely end up as one of the biggest releases of the year — regardless of which year it launches. When it does show up, it's definitely a phone we'll be reporting on so stay tuned.

Oppo X 2021

The Oppo X 2021, a rollable smartphone from Oppo. (Image credit: Future)

Oppo foldable phone

There was a rumor that Oppo would launch its first foldable phone in November 2021. Clearly, that didn't happen, but it's possible the launch was just delayed by a few weeks.

A December Oppo release would line up with the company's annual Inno Day, where it shows off new tech innovations that later feature on its devices. Inno Day was in December in 2019, November in 2020, and we still have yet to hear about 2021's Inno Day.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Oppo foldable phone at Inno Day 2021, but we have low expectations the release will happen before the end of the year.  

Nokia X20

The Nokia X20 is one example of HMD Global's X line. (Image credit: Future)

The Nokia X50

Early in 2021, we heard about a flagship phone from HMD Global called the Nokia X50, which was likely to follow 2019's Nokia 9 PureView in place of the rumored Nokia 10. According to the rumors we heard, this X50 would launch by the end of 2021.

Rumors about top-end phones from HMD Global rarely pan out, which means this whisper alone isn't enough to keep an X50 launch on the 'possibly' list. But, we also know that at some point during 2021, HMD Global changed the way it named its phones.

Currently, there are Nokia C, G and X phones, with entries at each level being respectively more premium. Taking this into consideration, a mid-range Nokia X50 is far more likely than a premium one. So if there is another Nokia phone out this year, there's a good chance it's an X50 with mid-range specs and a low price.

Admittedly, that's not a lot to go on, but a Nokia X50 launch is still more likely than releases for some of the other devices on this list.


Phones we probably won't see:

The Samsung Galaxy S21 face down on a table.

The Samsung Galaxy S21, the predecessor to the S22. (Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy S22

Earlier in 2021, a few rumors suggested we could see the Samsung Galaxy S22 in late December, which would buck the usual trend of Samsung's phones launching in January or February of each year.

A December release might have made sense as a response to the cancellation of the Galaxy S21 FE, while positioning the S22 as a more formidable rival of both the iPhone 13 and the Xiaomi 12. But scrapping the Galaxy S21 FE was also only a rumor, and it seems likely that handset will launch after all.

We don't think the S22 will launch in December, but because of some talk in the domain, we had to include it on this list.

Google Pixel 6 event

The Google Pixel 6 was expected to launch with a foldable equivalent. (Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel Fold

We heard quite a few rumors about the Google Pixel Fold in the build-up to the Pixel 6 launch, and we were excited about the possible coming of Google's first foldable smartphone. But sadly, that never came to be.

Still, it's impossible to totally rule out the existence of this phone since several big-profile leakers said the device was coming. One of those leakers also expected other companies, like Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo, to launch foldable phones by the end of 2021, but with the ongoing chipset shortage affecting the tech world, we're not holding our breath.

Vivo X60 Pro

The Vivo X60 Pro, one of the brand's only globally-released smartphones. (Image credit: Future)

Vivo foldable phone

As mentioned above, Vivo is another smartphone maker that was expected to release a foldable phone in 2021, but of all the new phone rumors we've heard, we'd say this launch is the least likely to happen. The primary reason is that Vivo is not an established enough smartphone company to start working on a flashy foldable.

Still, we won't rule this potential phone release out completely since Vivo is owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns Oppo, OnePlus and Realme, companies we've seen share tech developments. It's possible that through collaborative work, Vivo might just surprise us with a foldable smartphone earlier than expected. But over the next few weeks? Hardly likely.

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Sony’s PS4 phone controller patent isn’t enough to get us excited for its mobile games

It's no secret that Sony is looking to push harder into mobile games in the near future, and we've been waiting to see what that actually means. Now a new patent for some mobile gaming hardware might give us our first clue.

As spotted by VideoGamesChronicle, Sony's Japanese arm was recently granted a patent for a mobile phone games controller that looks similar to the PS4 Dualshock (pictured above), except it sandwiches a smartphone.

This dual-controller smartphone gaming peripheral design is something we've seen before, notably with the Razer Kishi which has proven somewhat popular. The real difference here is how much like a PS4 controller the thing looks, and you're apparently meant to use grips like on the PS4 controller, and not just hold the side of the accessory like with the Kishi or most other mobile controllers.

This is just a patent, so a finished product might look quite different (or not come at all). With its big push into mobile gaming, it's no surprise Sony is considering hardware to work with smartphones, though a patent doesn't guarantee a physical device is coming.

However we hope Sony's big drive into smartphone gaming isn't limited to hardware, because that's not what mobile games need right now.


Analysis: it's in the software

The major thing limiting people from enjoying big-franchise games on their smartphones isn't the hardware. Phones are sometimes more powerful than laptops now, and game controller accessories have been a thing for a while – some gaming phones even have built-in triggers.

No, the real thing that stops the enjoyment of triple-A mobile games is the serious lack of actual top-end games to play.

Sure, we sometimes see popular indie titles ported over to mobile and tablet, but until we see the next Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed launch on smartphones, mobile gaming will still have a long way to go.

You might be saying 'triple-A games won't play on phones like that', but such a statement is provably false. Streaming services like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna let you stream big-title games from the internet, onto your tiny little smartphone.

The problem is that game streaming services are rather temperamental, and still require great internet connection to enjoy – you can't boot up Cyberpunk 2077 when you're on the underground or Elder Scrolls 6 when you're out in the countryside.

But it proves the mobile form factor works for traditional console games – there just needs to be a way to get them to play offline on standard smartphones. With each new year of mobiles getting more and more powerful, it'll become more and more feasible in the coming years.

We just hope Sony's pledge to focus more on mobile games results in more genuine console-like experiences, not endless-runners like Crash Bandicoot On The Run or card games like the new Wipeout.

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Xiaomi’s new cheap phone is familiar for a reason

Although the year is nearing its end, tech companies aren't slowing down, and the launch of a new Xiaomi phone shows there are still devices to look out for. This new device is the Redmi Note 11T, which was just unveiled in India, and you'd be forgiven for finding it strangely familiar.

That's because the new Note 11T is more than a dead ringer for the Redmi Note 11 in most ways – it's basically the same phone. That device was unveiled in China in early November, and the T variant is just the same device renamed for India.

The one key shift in the Note 11T is the design: instead of having flat edges like the Note 11, it uses a more traditional curved frame.

Could we eventually see this phone available more widely? Almost definitely – Redmi has a habit of staggering its phone launches around the world, so we wouldn't be surprised if the Note 11 line lands in Europe and the UK at some point in the next few months.

Who knows what it'll be called though. Redmi phone names get switched around and substituted for different regions, so we'll have to wait to see which devices show up.


Analysis: A worthy budget phone... for 2022

The Redmi Note 11 or Note 11T has a 6.6-inch FHD+ 90Hz screen, 50MP main camera, 33W charging, a Dimensity 810 chipset and 5G compatibility.

All in all, it sounds like a decent budget phone, though that of course depends on its price when it launches globally.

We wouldn't expect the phone to launch in Europe in 2021 though – it's too close to Christmas for a new phone line to get unveiled, at least a big one like a family from Redmi.

Instead, maybe we'll see it come in early 2022 – it could be a good complement to the anticipated Xiaomi 12, which will likely be a premium device. We'd imagine a late January or early February launch is most likely, possibly to coincide with the MWC 2022 mobile phone conference which will happen towards the end of the second month.

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Realme GT 2 looks weirdly like the Google Pixel 6, according to leaked renders

When the Google Pixel 6 was unveiled lots of people mocked its weirdly-large horizontal camera bump – but apparently that didn't put off Realme, as it sounds like the next flagship phone from the company could have a similar design.

Shortly after Realme unveiled the 'GT 2 Pro' name for its next smartphone, which will apparently be the brand's "first and most premium flagship phone" according to its CEO, a leaker provided some pictures of what the device could look like.

Popular leaker Onleaks provided these pictures to 91mobiles, and they show green and white versions of the GT 2 Pro – no word on the non-Pro version, but many Chinese manufacturers tend to make more of a song and dance about their top-end devices.

See more

We've seen quite a few Android phones with horizontal camera bumps, but like the Pixel 6, the GT 2 Pro's lens-home sticks a fair way out from the back fo the device.

As well as providing these images, OnLeaks shared some specs for the phone: apparently it'll have a 6.8-inch WQHD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 50MP main camera joined by a 50MP ultra-wide and 8MP telephoto snapper, a 32GB selfie camera, 12GB RAM, the next top-end Snapdragon chipset and 125W fast charging.

A rough price is provided at $799 (around £600, AU$1,120) – that's the cost the Galaxy S21 launched at, so the GT 2 Pro seems like a close rival for that mobile. It's worth pointing out that Realme doesn't see its devices in the US though, yet at least.

Analysis: a strange design side-step

Image 1 of 3

Realme GT

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

Realme GT Neo 2

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

Das Realme GT Master Edition mit dem Gesicht auf einem Holztisch liegend.

(Image credit: Future / Franziska Schaub)

One of the most distinguishing things about the first wave of Realme GT phones was their designs – above you can see a gallery showing the original, the GT Neo 2 and the GT Master Edition.

They've all got noteworthy appearances, with the stripes and bold colors of the first two and the ridged suitcase style of the third.

That's not the case with these Realme GT 2 Pro renders though – judging by the pictures, the handset looks a lot more generic and standard. It's a shame, because at TechRadar we're big fans of interesting-looking phones, and found the GT a refreshingly novel device.

Plus, it doesn't seem like we're getting a vegan leather Realme GT 2 Pro, despite how nice that felt in the hand for the GT.

Perhaps the 'standard' Realme GT 2 will have some more design elements in keeping with the original entry in the series, but we'll have to wait to find out.

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Save £140 on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE in this surprise Cyber Monday phone deal

Curiously, one of the most-searched-for products in the Cyber Monday phone sales has been 2020's Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, the budget spin on the Galaxy S20 that didn't receive a successor in 2021 despite expectation.

Well, in the UK Cyber Monday deals you can pick up the Galaxy S20 FE for £140 off, which is a pretty good saving on the popular mobile.

We've only ever seen the phone for £2 cheaper too, so if you've been waiting a long time for the device it may be your vigil is over.

(Not in the UK? Scroll down for deals in your region).

Today's best Samsung Galaxy S20 FE deal

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: £599 £459 at Very (save £140)
This popular mid-range phone is nearly at its lowest-ever price from Very, and this is for a 128GB version of the phone and the navy colour (it doesn't seem like Very is discounting the other colours).

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE took some of the key specs of the S20 but came at a more affordable price.

The phone has a top-end processor (well, it did for 2020) as well as great cameras and a good-looking screen. The downgrades came in the design department, though we appreciated how colorful it was in our review.

We were expecting a Galaxy S21 FE in 2021 but one never came along, apparently because of the components shortage, so there's no newer version of the device.

More Samsung phone deals

No matter where you live, you'll find all the lowest prices for the Galaxy S20 FE and other Samsung phones from around the web right here, with offers available in your region. 

More Cyber Monday deals

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Some of the best Black Friday phone deals are on these cheap Oppo phones

While most of the Black Friday phone deals have only been about 10-20% off, we now and then see a great reduction on the Oppo Reno 4 and Reno 4 Pro, two mid-range Oppo phones from 2020.

The Black Friday deals have cut over 50% of the price off these phones, with £280 slashed from the asking price of the Reno 4 and a whopping £400 from the Reno 4 Pro's cost - that's a lot of money off from phones that didn't cost too much to begin with.

(Not in the UK? Scroll down for deals in your region).

Today's best Oppo Reno 4 Black Friday deals

Oppo Reno 4: £499 £219 at Amazon (save £280)
This mid-range phone is now very affordable in the sales, with a 56% reduction taking its mid-range price to a budget one. That's great for a fairly powerful 5G Android phone.  

Oppo Reno 4 Pro: £699 £299 at Amazon (save £400)
This is a huge reduction for a fairly powerful 5G phone - it's one of the best deals we've seen over Black Friday on a pretty good mid-range mobile. 

The Oppo Reno 4 has a 6.4-inch screen, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, a Snapdragon 765G chipset and a 48MP main camera.

The Reno 4 Pro has fairly similar specs, but its screen is bigger and curves at the edges - the handset also comes with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage instead of 8GB / 128GB like the non-Pro.

So which should you choose? Well now the Pro only costs £90, it's the no-brainer option - you get more storage, a faster phone and a bigger screen. Saying that, some people prefer mobiles with flat edges, or might not need double the storage, in which case the standard phone is fine.

More Oppo Reno 4 deals

We've collected the best prices for the Oppo Reno 4 and 4 Pro below - just note, the devices aren't available in all regions, so if you see nothing below it means there's nothing for you. Sorry!

More Black Friday deals

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Android 11 still isn’t on as many phones as Android 10

Google has unveiled new figures on how many people use different versions of Android, and surprisingly, the most popular version is from 2019.

Published by Google's Android Studio platform for app developers, these figures show a breakdown of how many people are currently using each version of Android.

According to the figures, 24.3% of users are on Android 11, the newest version of the operating system that's widely available... but 26.5% are on Android 10, which launched in 2019. Then there's 18.2% on Android 9, and the previous versions all have fewer users - interestingly, it seems 0.2% of users are still on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean from 2012.

Clearly Android phone users aren't desperate to upgrade their mobiles every year, which is why we've still got users on nearly-decades-old software, and why the newest version of the operating system isn't the most widely used.

While we generally see quick uptake in new versions of iOS, it's not the same for Android - though it's worth noting that Android 12 isn't included, despite the new Pixel 6 phones coming with the software, which suggests the stats are a bit outdated.


Analysis: a laissez-faire Android update cycle

Stats show that iOS users tend to update their devices very quickly, with the vast majority of users on the newest version. That's certainly not the case for Android users, as these stats show.

That could be down to one of the most popular aspects of Android, which is its ease-of-use - it doesn't nag you to update to the new version all the time, and you're not missing out on key features if you don't upgrade.

The fragmented user base of Android shows that it's okay to upgrade when you want to without the user experience being marred in any kind of way.

Saying that, Google should be raising eyebrows at the fact its newer updates aren't being taken up as enthusiastically as previous updates - it suggests users aren't too keen on the new features of each version.

Via Androidpolice

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Honor’s next Android phone launches very soon – just weeks after we saw the last one

It sounds like the tech events of 2021 aren't all over yet; not only are the Xiaomi 12 and an unknown Motorola mobile rumored to be coming, but Honor has confirmed the day its next Android phone will debut is December 1.

The company shared on its official Weibo page (that's a Chinese social media platform) a teaser for the early-December event, and also confirmed the device would be the Honor 60, which is obviously the successor to the Honor 50.

The post mentions "dreams of the stars" and "stars all over the sky", and the video teaser uses lots of night-sky imagery; perhaps this refers to a cosmic-themed design, or astrophotography modes, or both.

Judging by the post on Weibo, this will be a China-only launch, where we'll only hear about availability and pricing in China, but the phone itself will likely come to other regions over time.

The Honor 50 did just this, and in fact it only debuted in Europe some weeks before this Honor 60 teaser. This might make it seem like the next device has been really rushed out, but in fact it's just that the Honor 50 took a while to come west.

If there's anything interesting shown off at the Honor 60 event, we'll make sure to bring it to you.


Analysis: will the Honor 60 make waves?

When it was Huawei's sub-brand, Honor used to make waves in Europe. Since leaving Huawei, despite making lots of progress in China, Honor has struggled to reclaim its old glory in the west.

The Honor 50 didn't solve that issue, possibly because its staggered launch made it hard to know when or where it was out. 

Plus, the phone was good, but not great, and it perhaps wasn't priced competitively enough to make it really stand out in a crowded market.

It's early days for the company though, at least in its new skin, and it'll likely take a fair few lessons from the Honor 50 in designing the Honor 60. Hopefully we'll see something really impressive on December 1.

Posted in Uncategorised

Honor’s next Android phone launches very soon – just weeks after we saw the last one

It sounds like the tech events of 2021 aren't all over yet; not only are the Xiaomi 12 and an unknown Motorola mobile rumored to be coming, but Honor has confirmed the day its next Android phone will debut is December 1.

The company shared on its official Weibo page (that's a Chinese social media platform) a teaser for the early-December event, and also confirmed the device would be the Honor 60, which is obviously the successor to the Honor 50.

The post mentions "dreams of the stars" and "stars all over the sky", and the video teaser uses lots of night-sky imagery; perhaps this refers to a cosmic-themed design, or astrophotography modes, or both.

Judging by the post on Weibo, this will be a China-only launch, where we'll only hear about availability and pricing in China, but the phone itself will likely come to other regions over time.

The Honor 50 did just this, and in fact it only debuted in Europe some weeks before this Honor 60 teaser. This might make it seem like the next device has been really rushed out, but in fact it's just that the Honor 50 took a while to come west.

If there's anything interesting shown off at the Honor 60 event, we'll make sure to bring it to you.


Analysis: will the Honor 60 make waves?

When it was Huawei's sub-brand, Honor used to make waves in Europe. Since leaving Huawei, despite making lots of progress in China, Honor has struggled to reclaim its old glory in the west.

The Honor 50 didn't solve that issue, possibly because its staggered launch made it hard to know when or where it was out. 

Plus, the phone was good, but not great, and it perhaps wasn't priced competitively enough to make it really stand out in a crowded market.

It's early days for the company though, at least in its new skin, and it'll likely take a fair few lessons from the Honor 50 in designing the Honor 60. Hopefully we'll see something really impressive on December 1.

Posted in Uncategorised

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: what we want to see

We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 to be the next entry in Samsung's line of clamshell foldable phones, following the Galaxy Z Flip 3 which launched alongside the Z Fold 3 in late 2021.

Each new version of this bending Samsung phone comes on leaps and bounds from the last - the original Galaxy Z Flip didn't even have 5G, and the last version came with a big outer screen and a competitive price.

So we're hoping the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 comes with even more improvements over its predecessor - in fact, we've written up a list of what we want to see below. On top of that, we've detailed what we know about the device so far, including leaks and speculation.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung's next foldable clamshell phone
  • When is it out? Possibly around August 2022
  • How much will it cost? About $999 / £949 / AU$1,499, probably

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 release date and price

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Future)

We don't have any solid leads on a release date or price for the Galaxy Z Flip 4, so we have to judge based on the Z Flip 3's appearance.

That phone cost $999 / £949 / AU$1,499 and launched in early August 2021, with a release later in the month. For all we know, the Z Flip 4 could launch at a similar time.

Saying that, the Z Flip 5G cost $1,380 / £1,300 / AU$1,800, so the Flip 3 had a big price reduction. We could see that trend continue so that the Z Flip 4 is even more affordable.

News and leaks

The main leak we've heard so far suggested the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is being tested with an under-display camera, though that's just a prototype so far, so it could end up still using a punch-hole cut-out for the front-facing selfie camera.

The leak continued that the device will have a redesigned lighter hinge but the same screen dimensions as the Z Flip 3.

We've also seen a Galaxy Z Flip 4 patent which showed a rotating camera situated in the hinge - it's a novel concept, but likely one Samsung won't implement given how 'out-there' it is.

What we want to see

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

(Image credit: Peter Hoffmann)

1. A more affordable price

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 made great strides over its predecessor by being relatively affordable compared to the high-cost original... but it was still a pretty expensive smartphone.

We'd like to see the price-lowering trend continue for the next-gen device, to perhaps get the device in line with the premium S22 series or even to a mid-range price. 

The price is unlikely to get low enough to make the Galaxy Z Flip 4 a tempting alternative to non-folding phones, but we live in hope.

2. Improved battery life

One thing we noticed in our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review, is that the battery life wasn't stellar. We were lucky to get the thing to last a day, and it seems the handset was designed so that you wouldn't need to flip it open that much, and thereby draw lots of power from the main screen.

Well, some of us like using our super-pricey smartphones, and therefore need a battery life that actually ticks through a whole day.

So we'd like to see the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 have improved staying power, so we can actually use it without worrying that it'll run out of juice.

Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition

(Image credit: Samsung)

3. Samsung Galaxy Bespoke from the get-go

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 was available in a few colors, but months after launch, Samsung unveiled Galaxy Bespoke, which is a way to design the phone in a few different color combinations.

This lets you make a phone that's a little more personal than the standard ones Samsung offers.

It would be great for early adopters of the Z Flip 4 if they could pick up custom colored models from the get-go, so they don't get burnt if the way-more-interesting options only go on sale later.

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All the best OnePlus phones are reduced in Amazon’s early Black Friday deals

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If you're a fan of OnePlus phones and are looking for a new one, then some early Black Friday phone deals on Amazon might give you what you need.

Many modern mobiles like the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, Nord N200 and 8T are all reduced by $100 or more – most of these devices are at the lowest price they've been thanks to Black Friday.

Not in the US? Scroll down for OnePlus phone deals in your region. 

Today's best OnePlus Black Friday deal

OnePlus 9 | 8GB RAM | 128GB storage: $729 $599 at Amazon (save $130)
You can get a modest amount off the lower-spec OnePlus 9 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage – it doesn’t seem the other storage size is on offer. This is a fair, but not mind-blowing, reduction.

OnePlus 9 Pro | 12GB RAM | 256GB storage: $1,069 $800 at Amazon (save $269)
This is 25% off OnePlus’ newest top-end phone which is a fair reduction, and it means you can get the super-powerful mobile for about the same price that its lower-cost sibling launched for. Plus, this is for the bigger storage size version.

OnePlus Nord N200 | 4GB RAM | 64GB storage: $240 $200 at Amazon (save $40)
This is OnePlus’ budget phone of the year, and admittedly $40 isn’t a huge reduction, but it does make this low-cost phone even more affordable.

OnePlus 8T | 8GB RAM | 128GB storage: $600 $500 at Amazon (save $100)
This is OnePlus’ mid-ranger from late 2021, which took some of the specs of the OnePlus 8 but with some corners cut to keep the price low.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is the company's top-end phone of the year with a 6.7-inch screen, four rear cameras, a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and fast 65W charging.

The OnePlus 9 is similar but it's slightly smaller, has one fewer rear camera, and has a lower-resolution screen. It's the only phone in the deals that has been cheaper before, but only by $10.

The OnePlus 8T is the same size as the 9 but with a display that doesn't curve at the edges; it's slightly weaker in terms of processing power and camera capabilities but it's still no slouch.

Finally, the Nord N200 5G is new for 2021; it has relatively low-res cameras, a weak chipset and slow charging, but with a big battery, a low price and 5G connectivity, it's a worthy mobile. 

More OnePlus phone deals

No matter where you live, you'll find all the lowest prices for OnePlus phones from around the web right here, with offers available in your region. 

More Black Friday deals

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