Review of phones in Telemachus campaign – Technostar

Matjaž Ropret

November 20, 2023 at 12:17 p.m

In the “Black Friday” offer, Telemach has very different phones from three brands and also some smart watches. Lower prices are valid for a 24-month contract. We will see how it is with mobile phones in this campaign.

The most striking of all are Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold5 and Galaxy S23+, and maybe the Honor Magic5 Pro, but we’ll get to that later, we’ll start with the most expensive, i.e. the Fold. The fifth-generation foldable comes in a version with 256 GB of data space, which will almost certainly be sufficient for everyone, except for users with very specific needs, who can go for 512 GB, 240 euros cheaper than the usual price in the highest subscription package (Maximum). Compared to the previous generation, it has been concretely improved in several very important areas. The hinge is even more thoughtful and now the device closes without a crevice as a result, making it slimmer and more chic. The cooling of the (more powerful) processor is more efficient, which makes the Fold even more sovereign at the top of the most suitable phones for gamers. If you really want it, now is a good opportunity to buy it.

The Galaxy S23+ isn’t as obviously good value for money in the higher price range this year as last year’s Galaxy S22+ was, but it shouldn’t be written off too quickly, especially when it gets a price cut. It got a Snapdragon processor, which compared to the Exynos is a significant improvement, also in terms of photo and video quality, not just performance and battery life. It is still an extremely competent mobile phone, but we are already expecting something concretely new with the S24+ in the winter.

Skip the Galaxy A14 and S21 FE. The first one is one of those in an ungrateful position, when not much more expensive ones (in terms of absolute amount, not percentage) offer significantly more, while the second one is well advanced in years and in mid-December it is finally getting a (already presented some time ago) successor.

Both Xiaomi phones in this promotion are among my favorites – from l. 2022. Namely, they are last year’s models, and to be honest, I don’t know where they were pulled from here. I’m not saying they don’t have certain strengths, and in some ways I even like them better than the successors. The Xiaomi 12 is extremely nice to use with a curved screen – this year’s 13 has a flat as well as an angular body – especially for small phone fans, and it has more or less everything we want, with the exception of a true telephoto lens. But its problem is the rather greedy Snapdragon 8 processor of the first generation, which makes the battery autonomy average. This problem is mostly mitigated by fast charging (66 W) and the option of wireless. The successor’s screen is also of much better quality, especially with regard to the display of white and its shades.

In the “light” version, Xiaomi went in the opposite direction. While the 12 Lite was angular and had a flat screen, the 13 Lite is pleasantly rounded with a curved screen. Unfortunately, it only has a mono speaker, which is a step back from the previous stereo speakers, but in everything else, with the exception of the battery, where we are here and there, we have mostly seen progress. Therefore, maybe last year’s model is no longer so very interesting.

Even though the 12 is a really nice phone and I used it as my primary phone for about ten months and was very satisfied with it, I still do not recommend buying it, because the price is not so spectacular, in fact it is even higher than in the sales a year ago, and the newer processors are showed that the first generation Snapdragon 8 was actually too power hungry. If a bigger phone isn’t a problem for you and you can miss wireless charging, you’ll probably be better off with the 13T. On the other hand, the 12 Lite may still be a solid buy, but the slightly cheaper Redmi Note 12 Pro 5G isn’t much worse in practice and will probably have a year longer support with software updates.

Of the Honor models, the Magic5 Lite can be described very briefly. Nice, with a quality case and a durable battery, but an underpowered processor and mediocre cameras. The “real” Magic 5 Pro is, of course, a completely different beast, as it rivals Samsung’s Plus in many ways or even surpasses it, for example in some of the cameras (but not all, and certainly not in video recording). The least we like is the case with a pronounced bump for the photo-video assembly, although it is nicely rounded, as the phone is large and heavy. Honor has significantly improved its software in recent years, but the promise of updates is still not at Samsung’s level. The problem with this phone is that for the same price – and it’s still on sale – it has a hard time beating the “safe choice” of a more established brand. But whoever decides on it anyway, will almost certainly be impressed.

The Honor 70 is similar to the Xiaomi 12 Lite of the previous generation, but with the difference that the newer 90 looks almost exactly the same. It advanced in terms of processing and the main camera, and the wide-angle one was even better on the 70. The latter is for the same money as the Xiaomi 12 Lite, with which they share a similar processor, is more pleasant to hold and offers a larger and more beautiful screen (both are 120 hertz). Which one the cameras perform better is debatable, but in terms of battery life and charging speed, they are very evenly matched.

The article is in Slovenian

Tags: Review phones Telemachus campaign Technostar


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