We live in dark times. As a brutal knock-on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses and individuals are facing financial uncertainty the likes no one could have predicted mere months ago. Many are giving up luxuries as priorities instead turn to food, healthcare, and supporting family members and loved ones.
In other news, Apple just announced the Mac Pro Wheels Kit â€” a set of four wheels for its bonkers expensive Mac Pro computer that will retail for an eye-popping $699.
Four wheels. $699.
Now, donâ€™t get me wrong. While the Mac Pro itself looks like a bizarre space-age cheese grater, as far as wheels go, these are some pretty sexy wheels.
â€œCustom-designed stainless steel and rubber wheels,â€� Apple describes them as, while luring you in with the promise that they will â€œmake it easy to move your Mac Pro around.â€� Take my money, Tim Apple, Iâ€™m sold. In fact, it turns out the wheels make it so easy to move your Mac Pro around because they donâ€™t actually have locks.
More on Apple: iPhone SE: The right phone at the right time, and that’s bad news for Android
So, with Apple charging an extravagant fee for some wheels (sorry, and a 1/4-inch to 4mm hex bit for installation, canâ€™t forget that), we thought itâ€™d be fun to roll out some alternative options for spending just shy of $700.
Here are five great phones you can (and should) buy instead of the Mac Pro Wheels Kit:
Getting a headstart on the Mac Pro Wheels by launching a day prior, the OnePlus 8 series is pretty darn impressive.
Ever since OnePlus swerved away from flagship killers and started making flagships, the focus has shifted to its premium offerings, but the vanilla OnePlus 8 looks to be well worth its $699 price tag for the cheapest model.
Weâ€™ll have more in our review coming very soon, but even if it doesnâ€™t reinvent the wheel like the OnePlus 8 Pro does, the refreshed design, top-level specs, 5G support, and much more, itâ€™s certainly more versatile than four round things, a hex bit, and an instruction manual.
How could I forget the instruction manual? That price tag is starting to make sense now.
Google Pixel 3a
Our Editorâ€™s Choice for 2019 is still driving sales for Google in 2020 thanks to its amazing camera, sublime software, and a mega-affordable price tag of just $399 (or $249 in Best Buy’s current deal)
Even with the Pixel 4a just around the corner, youâ€™d still be better off cashing in now on one of the best mid-range phones ever, rather than Appleâ€™s ritzy rollers.
Samsung Galaxy S10e
The Galaxy S10 series may have been lapped by the S20 family, but itâ€™s still a wheely good collection of phones.
While you can probably find an S10 Plus and S10 for under $700 if you do some shopping around, theÂ S10e will absolutely be cheaper than the Mac Pro Wheels kit and leave you with change. Itâ€™s still a real shame Samsung put the brakes on the S10e.
Just a whole bunch of phones from Chinese OEMs
Chinaâ€™s many OEMs are firmly in the driverâ€™s seat when it comes to offering phones with crazy price-performance ratios. Even with import fees, youâ€™ll still be under that magic $699 mark with any of these devices.
Realme is on a roll right now thanks to affordable flagships like the X50 Pro and X2 Pro. Xiaomi has driven up its prices with the core Mi 10 series, but the Mi Note 10 is still mega affordable and its Redmi sub-brand has the K30 Pro too.
Related: Never settle? Xiaomi Mi 10 borrows from OnePlus’ playbook
Huawei and Honor also have some great phones, especially the ones that launched before the US ban put them in a spin. The P30 Pro is still one of the best camera phones ever.
I could go on, but Iâ€™ll stop myself… which is something the Mac Pro Wheels would struggle to do.
iPhone 11 or SE plus iPad (nearly)
Yes. You can buy Appleâ€™s entry-level iPhone 11 series handset for the same price as some fancy wheels.
As well as the big wheels announcement, Apple actually also revealed the iPhone SE (2020), a revival of the affordable SE line that was first introduced in 2016.
The iPhone SEâ€™s design is definitely a little tire-d, but at $399 it looks to be a great deal, especially when you look at the specs and the Android competition right now. With the extra change out of $699, you can almost buy an entry-level iPad too.
What phones or other bits of tech would you buy for the price of Appleâ€™s courageous new iWheels? Let me know in the comments and if youâ€™re still planning on spending $699 on some ludicrously overpriced wheels, please… explain yourself.