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UNLEASHED: Our Top Phones in January 2024

2024 is just getting started and we already have a handful of gadgets to choose from. This month's UNLEASHED enlists our top picks for January—ranging from the AI-driven Galaxy S24 to the newly-released OnePlus 12 in its gorgeous Flowy Emerald colorway. Our criteria is based on the device's popularity, demand in-country, appearance, and reviews seen throughout the web.

1. Samsung Galaxy S24: Breaking the norms.

Samsung Galaxy S24 is our top pick this month. This is because of how Samsung's in-house chip, Exynos 2400, managed to keep up with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in terms of hardware-extensive gaming. As one would know, Exynos is usually perceived as an inferior chip mainly due to its throttling issues and lackluster performance. However, the Exynos 2400 seems to break the common misconception as it gets on par with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in a video by NL Tech. Check their video below.

2. realme Note 50: Introduction done right.

realme Note 50
The realme Note 50 | Image: realme

Second on the list is the realme Note 50. It is an interesting change of pace—introduction to the Note series done right. First announced (and released) in the Philippines, the realme Note 50 is the most affordable offering from the brand yet. Priced at PHP 3,599 (~roughly US $60), it offers uncompromised essentials at a staggering cost. It has a 90hz HD display, and a 5,000mAh battery, and runs on Android 13 with two years of major OS upgrades (via Unbox PH).

3. HONOR X9b 5G: The robust trendsetter.

The HONOR X9b | Image: HONOR

The HONOR X9b surely made rounds online—it's all over social media—and that's all thanks to its durable design and certifications. Dubbed "The Toughest Phone," the HONOR X9b is mostly known for its durability. Much like its predecessor, it boasts an ultra-bounce, anti-drop display. The new indomitable handset from HONOR comes with 360-degree protection that is able to withstand pressures in extreme measures.

4. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra | Image: Samsung
A centerpiece in the S24 family, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is another frontrunner on the spot—the tremendous handset from the South Korean phone maker comes with top-of-the-line flagship essentials with a slew of AI features right up its sleeve. While the iterative upgrades underneath didn't get enough traction, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is regarded as a game-changer for its anti-reflective display—thanks to the Gorilla Glass Armor which the S24 Ultra's display is based on (via SamMobile).

5. OPPO Find X7 Ultra

OPPO Find X7 Ultra
The OPPO Find X7 Ultra | Image: OPPO

The Find X series is OPPO's innovative catalog when it comes to cameras and the Find X7 Ultra is one of them. A breakthrough in camera hardware, the Find X7 Ultra introduces never-before-seen camera capabilities in the OPPO family—developed jointly with Hasselblad. Despite being camera-centric, the Find X7 Ultra also achieves a simple but sophisticated aesthetic.

6. ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
The ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro | Image: ASUS

Prevalent in the gaming spectrum, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 series sets the bar again in mobile gaming—with cameras this time around. ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro, the gaming duo from the Taiwanese tech giant, aspires to be an overall flagship instead of the usual gaming norm. The series came with a new design, bringing both significant camera upgrades and a profound look for a more practical experience.

7. Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G

Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G
The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G | Image: Xiaomi

The Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G is a chic member of the Redmi Note 13 family. The new mid-ranger from the Chinese phone maker embraces the sleek appearance—adding a refined look to its premium complex. A classy eye candy, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G aims for a natural, modern look to the ordinary lifestyle.

8. HONOR Magic V2

HONOR Magic V2
The HONOR Magic V2 | Image: HONOR

Notably regarded as the slimmest foldable to date, the HONOR Magic V2 is another critically-acclaimed foldable on the horizon. The elusive, foldable slate from HONOR elevates the foldable scene as it measures only 9.9 mm thin when folded and 4.7 mm unfolded—it generally received favorable reviews mainly because of its hardware.

9. Pixel 8 in Mint

Pixel 8 Mint
The Pixel 8 in Mint | Image: Google

The Pixel 8 in Mint is an eye-catching intro to start 2024. Introduced late January, the Pixel 8 duo from Google now comes in a limited-edition Mint colorway, exclusive to the Google store. A luminous color option, the Pixel 8 in Mint is an interesting addition to the lineup's original set of colors—it's a meticulous takeaway of the colorway.

10. OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12
The OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald | Image: OnePlus

The OnePlus 12 is powerful alright, but that's not what we're going on about here. The non-exclusive, marble-like colorway is (supposedly) included as a substitute to the Silky Black color but acts the other way around. An efficacious colorway, the Flowy Emerald is a gist of a flair—and it's not exclusive.

androidist UNLEASHED: Top 10 Phones in January 2024

androidist UNLEASHED

This story is part of androidist UNLEASHED, androidist's monthly curation of phone releases released per month. See more of our monthly staff picks on UNLEASHED.