Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most exciting phone on the market, and it’s not necessarily the best phone released this year. However, it’s by far the one that made me say “fucking finally” more than ever during his debut. There’s the move to USB-C, which, while not entirely voluntary, will make life easier for people on both sides of the operating system.
Finally adopting a periscope camera has Apple making rapid progress with the best Android camera phones, while the move to 256GB of storage for the base version is long overdue. I also appreciated the switch from a stainless steel frame to a titanium one. Although the new material is not that strong, it is an admission that the weight of modern smartphones is starting to get out of control and that something needs to be done about it. Better yet, the company finally replaced the sharp-edged frame with a more rounded version that doesn’t dig into your palm and fingers when you hold the phone.
The importance of these changes is compounded by the fact that Apple is the biggest trend setter in the industry, and that makes the iPhone 15 Pro Max one of the most important launches of the year.
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra
Motorola Razr 40 Ultra or razr+ as it is known is the kind of phone that pushes the boundaries of technology and that you can’t help but admire. Capable of running most applications fully, the half-panel cover screen is functional and good-looking. Gone are the days when it was necessary to unfold foldable devices to do the simplest of tasks, now we can have the best of both worlds.
There are still some compromises — particularly the smaller camera sensors and battery capacity compared to the Razr 40, but the Razr 40 Ultra still embodies the kind of innovative spirit I love to see.
Honor Magic V2
The Honor Magic V2 would probably top my list, had it managed to hit international markets in 2023. Sadly, that has been left for 2024, so the best piece of hardware I tried last year will have to settle for third place.
With a thickness of less than 10mm and a weight of 231g, the innovative phone emulates the feel of a traditional bar phone when folded, while still offering an 8-inch display. It is truly an amazing feat of engineering and hard to believe when you first encounter it. There’s really no point in thinking about those boring old tapes, unless you really need a powerful endoscope camera.
Honor still needs to up its game when it comes to big-screen multitasking, but hopefully Magic OS 8.0 will be ready in time for a global rollout in the next couple of months. It may be a 2023 phone, but I’m still excited for it at the start of 2024. With Samsung doing the bare minimum when it comes to hardware development for its Fold lineup over the past three years, a phone like the Magic V2 shows that there’s actually a lot of room for improvement.
Oppo Find N3/OnePlus Open
In another significant development, the OnePlus Open and Find N3 doppleganger have the exact same camera setup as the flagship OnePlus 12 bar phone. What’s even better is that the Open got it 12 years ago and has been the most capable camera phone OnePlus has made for a good few months. In fact, it may still be the case, thanks to the extra flexibility offered by the form factor – selfies with the main camera and being its own tripod.
Since the beginning of their existence, foldable devices have been absent from the mobile phone race, citing the inability of split bodies to accommodate the large sensors needed for it. However, Oppo/OnePlus has provided definitive proof that you can actually have your cake and eat it too.
Better yet, the duo made by Oppo has the best multitasking UI outside of a Galaxy phone. In fact, you’ve closed the gap so much that at this point you can be almost equally productive with either.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5
The Galaxy Fold5 may have been a disappointment, but the Galaxy Z Flip5 is a well-thought-out upgrade that brought more people into the foldable game than any previous version. It finally made the external screen usable and eliminated the unsightly gap when folded — the latter a much bigger problem on early design shells than productivity-focused book-style foldable devices.
There’s an improvement in battery life to take note of thanks to the new Snapdragon chipset, but that’s more due to the fact that you no longer need to open the phone and light up the large main screen just to read a message. With prices in Europe currently hovering around €800, it’s easy to understand the Z Flip5’s popularity.
With the durability issues faced by the first generations, many people are understandably hesitant to try foldable devices. The best way to fix it is to get the new units in h people