High technology. What smartphone to offer for Christmas and for what budget?

It is one of the most gifted items during the holiday season. Obviously for price reasons, because we don’t offer a smartphone every day, even if it’s an entry-level model. But also for the interest shown by a majority of our contemporaries. From a simple communication tool, it has become the daily companion of many of us, of all generations.

So many (good) reasons to think carefully before starting, even if exchanges are allowed, it is always more pleasant to aim from the start. This short selection is not intended to be exhaustive. We have selected here models that we had the opportunity to test, to take in hand. And who were able to convince us of their overall quality, combining pure performance (screen, battery), design, comfort of use but also quality of the on-board operating system.

The Redmi Note 11, the best placed at the entry level /Photo DR

Your budget is tight

When it comes to spending less than 200 euros for a new smartphone, we always think of Chinese manufacturers. And it’s not Xiaomi’s range that will prove us wrong. the Redmi Note 11 caught our full attention. Far from the (obsolete) clichés about poorly designed low-cost models that are a bit fake, this Note 11 has no reason to disappoint you. A screen of more than 6 inches but a product which remains thin and relatively light (180g), the weight being generally another defect of the entry-level models which want to play in the big leagues.

An efficient screen, good autonomy and photo functions that provide the essentials, that’s all you can expect from a model that can be found between 160 and 180 euros. At this price, obviously no 5G, nor high photo quality in low light, but you shouldn’t dream either.

In this price range, Samsung has not yet abdicated. The Korean firm continues to position at least terminal, namely the A13 right now. Let’s be frank, it fails to compete with the Redmi on performance or design. But it can have two reassuring sides: if you are accustomed to the Samsung interface, you will not be out of place and if you are afraid of buying a Chinese smartphone, you can afford Korean while remaining within a controlled budget, from from 150 euros on the best sites.

The Chinese manufacturer Oppo is well established on the mid and high end / Photo DR

The Chinese manufacturer Oppo is well established on the mid and high end / Photo DR

You have a little leeway

This is certainly the most complex price range to master. There are many models between 300 and 500 euros. For two years we have had a soft spot for products from Oppo, a manufacturer that has been able to offer very interesting models from many points of view. This is still the case with Reno 8sold for just over 500 euros, a hundred euros less than when it was released in mid-2022.

We appreciated its 256 GB of storage, its 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, a sober design even if the finish is not extraordinary. The photo capabilities are very interesting (same sensor as on the Pro model) as well as Oppo’s own operating system, a rather very successful improved Android. The screen is perfectly comfortable, it is one of the constants of the brand in our opinion. The rest is classic and helps make this model a very solid mid-range smartphone.

A little cheaper but no less interesting, the Google Pixel 6A. It’s not the top of the range, since the Pixel 7 has been there, but it is really very well installed, sold around 400 euros. Its photographic capacities, which have made the reputation of this range, are excellent, are really on high performance and possibilities of adjustments and retouching which will delight enlightened amateurs. The rest is classic but devilishly effective. And we obviously love the “pure” Android interface, without overlay (without adding features or software, which many smartphone manufacturers do). It was already our favorite when it came out and it still deserves a place in this selection because it really did not deserve it.

It's not a surprise, it's on the side of Apple who must look when we grip the very high end /Photo DR

It’s not a surprise, it’s on the side of Apple who must look when we grip the very high end /Photo DR

Everything is allowed

Can you really afford any smartphone on the market? Under these (ideal) conditions, there is no need to hesitate for long. A manufacturer has held the upper hand for so long that quoting it is not very original: so go to an Apple Store to get your hands on a iPhone 14 Pro. He accumulates superlatives. Certainly one of the most expensive, but also the most complete, the most powerful, the most “hype”, in short, with the high end of Apple we are always in superlatives. And if the prices are clearly disproportionate, it is also a measure of the success of the image but also of the performance and quality of the products. A bit like at Porsche or Ferrari what … Count 1330 euros for the model with a 6.1-inch screen, and 1480 euros for the “Max”, equipped with a 6.7-inch screen.

You can break the piggy bank but not exceed the thousand euros, this is where we find Oppo. With wires Find X5 Pro this time. This is not new: Chinese manufacturers are also aiming for the top of the range, and this is not a figment of the imagination. This X5 has many arguments to put forward and it is no coincidence that it obtained 5 stars during its test with the very demanding reviewers of the Digital site. Positioned slightly around 1000 euros, this “premium” smartphone is one. High level of performance, impeccable screen, autonomy and charge among the best, we are not on a four-figure price for no reason.

Not easy to separate it from Samsung S22 Ultra. Unless you are a fan of photography: this is clearly the strong point of this model which can be described with superlatives. It is one of the best models on the market in terms of photography and even if some criticize it for forcing a little on the colors, its shooting and editing options are so accomplished that it should not be a problem for you. . It is supplied with a stylus to facilitate, in particular photo editing, that is to say. It could be one of the stars of Christmas with a falling price that positions it under 1000 euros.

49% of French people say they are ready to buy a refurbished smartphone /Photo Pixabay

49% of French people say they are ready to buy a refurbished smartphone /Photo Pixabay

The temptation of refurbished

Many users, especially among teenagers, prefer to buy refurbished equipment rather than new, which would meet their expectations less. This is the case with the highly sought-after models from Apple. A lot of teenagers now opt for a purchase on the famous site backmarket to find a used iPhone. To put it more directly, they greatly prefer an Apple smartphone already on the market for sometimes several years than a brand new smartphone but sold by a Chinese manufacturer.

Made to measure there all the strength of the brand’s marketing at the apple, whose “high-end” image is very popular. But not only. If they are also present on this second-hand market, it is also because the models designed in California prove to last well over time. As such, we cannot regret seeing telephones experiencing a second life rather than ending up in the rebus. At a time of awareness of the importance of monitoring your carbon footprint, it is even beneficial.

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