The best Android Phones you can buy now in New Zealand

best android phones in nz
Best Android Phones in NZ

It’s not a big deal to have a mobile in your pocket. But not all mobile phones are smart.

Also, most are not good at playing games because of their small screen size, not-so-good battery, and mobile UI.

Many gamers say the Apple iPhone is the best, but there are reasons that not all players can afford it.

If you look at the mobile market segment in New Zealand, you will find that iPhones have a 41% market share, and that means 59% of the smartphones in Kiwi pockets are Android phones that run Google’s Android operating system.

Android mobiles in New Zealand

Best Android phones in NZ
Best Android phones in NZ

Fewer Android manufacturers are selling in New Zealand than in other countries. Therefore, choices for Android mobiles are tucked at looking for Samsung, Huawei, and Oppo with a bit of Nokia thrown in occasionally.

  • Samsung is considered the best Android and is famous for its hardware, software, and excellent features.
  • Oppo’s latest phones have brought it right up to speed, besting Samsung in some cases for sheer design and specs at lower or similar prices.
  • Though a few mobile phones are popular now, Nokia’s brand name is licensed by another Finnish company, HMD. HMD manufactures phones and puts the Nokia name on them, but the quality is still poor, and if you want a simple Android phone, they are a solid choice.
  • Huawei phones can’t run Google services, so you won’t be able to use Gmail, Google Maps, or the Play Store for your favourite apps.

According to research firm IDC, in early 2019, New Zealanders spent more on smartphones as time went on.

Spending on low-end phones declined 19% from 2018, but that was pre-Covid. Now you need to be a bit realistic and consider mobile in the range of $100- $2000 (if you can afford it)

Read also: Best Pokie Machines to Play on Android Mobile Phones

Best Android Phones you can buy now in New Zealand

Phone NamePrice (NZ$)Unique Features
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra1124Excellent camera, high-resolution
Oppo Find N32998Foldable design, large screen
Galaxy Z Flip 3VariesInnovative foldable design
Google Pixel 8a809Advanced camera features
OnePlus 121457Powerful performance, large battery

In New Zealand, it’s common for Android phones to be sold locked to one of the extensive networks, even if you’re buying the phone outright from a retailer or the manufacturer.

So, it would be best to double-check that you’re buying a phone that is completely unlocked or one that is locked to the network you want to use.

If you are buying on contract, consider if you can afford a 24-month rather than 36-month contract so you’re locked in for two years of payments instead of three.

Contracts with a phone are pricey in New Zealand for not much mobile data, so if you can afford to buy a phone outright, you might be able to afford a better monthly data plan.

1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

galaxy s23 ultra
Galaxy S23 Ultra
CategoryDetails
Launched DateFebruary 17, 2023
Operating SystemAndroid
Network Compatibility5G
ColorBlack
Device Screen Size (inches)6.8
Resolution (Pixels)3088 x 1400
Display TypeDynamic AMOLED 2X
TouchscreenYes
Internal Memory256GB
Internal Storage256GB
Battery Capacity (mAh)5000
Good for GamingYes
RAM (GB)8
Rear Cameras (MP)200MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front Camera (MP)12MP
Environmental ProtectionWater resistant, Dustproof

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was launched on February 1st, 2023. Many users rave about the camera, particularly the powerful zoom and low-light capabilities.

The 200MP sensor and improved OIS are definite highlights. The phone’s speed and responsiveness are also appreciated, as they provide a powerful and smooth gaming experience.

Galaxy S23 Ultra supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, ensuring future-proof connectivity options.

Since the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was launched on Feb 23, it’s no longer the newest model; you can look for the Samsung Galaxy S24, which might be a better option for you.

Price of Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – NZ$1124

There are new lineups in the series of Samsung Galaxy S series. You can find it below.

Samsung Galaxy S24/24+/24 Ultra

FeatureSamsung Galaxy S24 UltraSamsung Galaxy S24+Samsung Galaxy S24
Launch DateJanuary 31, 2024January 31, 2024January 31, 2024
Operating SystemAndroid OSAndroid 14Android 14 with One UI 6.1
Network Compatibility3G, 4G, and 5G5G5G
Device Screen Size (inches)6.86.76.2
Resolution (Pixels)3120 x 14403120 x 14402340×1080
TouchscreenYesYesYes
Internal Memory128/256/512GB512GB128/256/512GB
Internal Storage256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB512GB2340×1080
Battery Capacity (mAh)50004900Li-ion 4000 mAh
Good for GamingYesYesYes
RAM (GB)12128
Rear Cameras (MP)200 MP + 12 MP + 50 MP + 10 MP50 MP + 12 MP + 10 MP 3x telephoto camera50MP + 10MP + 12MP
Front Camera (MP)12 MP12 MP12 MP
Price$2699$2249$1387

2. Oppo Find N3

oppo find n3
Oppo Find N3
FeatureDetails
Launch Date19 October 2023
Operating SystemAndroid
Network Compatibility5G
Screen Size (inches)7.8
Resolution (pixels)Multiple
Internal Storage512 GB
Battery Capacity (mAH)4800
FoldableYes
Good for GamingYes
RAM (GB)16 GB
Rear Cameras (MP)64 + 48 + 48 + 16
Front Camera (MP)32
Price$2998

Oppo Find N3 is in the same category as Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, a foldable Android smartphone.

It has a large foldable main display that unfolds to offer a mixture of regular-sized phones and a near tablet-like experience.

Ultra Thin Glass is there to protect the foldable display from damage. It has a decent battery life and supports fast charging for quick power top-ups.

However, no phone is perfect, and so is the Oppo Find N3. While the main camera is decent, many reviews suggest that the selfie camera was not up to the mark.

Some apps might not be fully optimized for the foldable form factor yet, potentially leading to awkward layouts.

3. Galaxy Z Flip 3

galaxy Z flip3 5G
Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
FeatureSpecification
Launch DateAugust 11, 2021
Operating SystemAndroid
Network CompatibilityVaries by carrier
Screen Size (inches)Main: 6.7 & Cover: 1.9
Resolution (pixels)Main: 2636 x 1080 (FHD+) & Cover: 260 x 512
Internal Storage128, 256 GB
Battery Capacity (mAh)3300
FoldableYes
Good for GamingDecent, but foldable crease might be distracting
RAM (GB)8
Rear Cameras (MP)12 MP (wide) + 12 MP (ultrawide)
Front Camera (MP)10 MP
PriceVaries by retailer and storage optionpen_spark

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a stylish phone with an innovative foldable design. The foldable factor is a conversation starter, and the phone feels comfortable to hold when unfolded.

While not top-of-the-line, the dual rear cameras capture good-quality photos in most lighting conditions.

However, users’ battery life is a concern as the 3300 mAh battery might require a mid-day charge.

It has a Snapdragon 888 processor, which is smooth for everyday tasks, but the gaming experience might be a little disappointing.

Compared to earlier models, the Z Flip 3 boasts a more robust hinge and IPX8 water resistance (for splashes).

If you prioritize a compact design and a foldable experience, the Z Flip 3 is a good option.

But a traditional smartphone might be a better fit if you need a phone with excellent battery life, a perfectly flat screen, and affordability.

4. Google Pixel 8a

google pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a
FeatureDetails
Launch DateMay 7, 2024
Operating SystemAndroid
Network Compatibility5G
Screen Size (inches)6.1
Resolution (pixels)1080×2400 OLED at 430 PPI
Internal Storage128/256 GB
Battery Capacity (mAH)4492
Good for GamingYes
RAM (GB)8 GB
Rear Cameras (MP)64 MP Quad PD Wide Camera
Front Camera (MP)13 MP
Price$809

The Google Pixel 8a features a 50MP main camera, advanced software like Magic Eraser and Night Sight, and a 13MP front camera.

It has a 6.1-inch OLED display with 1080 x 2400 resolution. Powered by a Google Tensor G3 processor and 8GB RAM, it runs on clean Android 14.

Additional features include a fingerprint sensor, a 4492mAh battery with fast charging, and storage options of 128GB or 256GB. The design is compact with a plastic back.

The storage of the Google Pixel 8a is not expandable. It only comes with 128GB of storage, which can fill up quickly with photos, videos, and apps.

If you need a lot of storage space, you’ll either have to be very selective about what you keep on the phone or opt for the more expensive 256GB option.

5. OnePlus 12

one plus 12
One Plus 12
FeatureDetails
Launch DateJanuary 23, 2024
Operating SystemOxygenOS 14.0 based on Android 14
Network Compatibility5G
Screen Size (inches)6.82
Resolution (pixels)3168 x 1440 (QHD+), 510 ppi
Internal Storage256GB/512GB
Battery Capacity (mAH)5400
Good for GamingYes
RAM (GB)12GB/16GB LPDDR5X
Rear Cameras (MP)64 + 48
Front Camera (MP)32
Price$1457

The OnePlus 12 features a flat glass rear panel with a circular camera module and is available in Flowy Emerald and Silky Black finishes.

It has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, 12GB/256GB and 16GB/512GB variants, a curved glass screen, and telephoto performance with Hasselblad cameras.

It has a 5,400mAh battery and runs on Oxygen OS.

It offers a value of $1457 in New Zealand but lacks generative AI features and full water resistance, differentiating it from competitors like Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy series.

Latest iOS Phones

FeatureiPhone 15iPhone 15 Plus
Launch Date12 September 202312 September 2023
Operating SystemiOS 17, upgradable to iOS 17.5.1iOS 17, upgradable to iOS 17.5.1
Network Compatibility5G5G
Screen Size (inches)5.816.33
Resolution (Pixels)2556‑by‑11792796‑by‑1290
Internal Storage128/256/512GB128/256/512GB
Battery Capacity (mAh)33494383
Good for GamingYesYes
RAM (GB)6GB6GB
Rear Cameras (MP)48MP Main and 12MP Ultra Wide48MP Main and 12MP Ultra Wide
Front Camera (MP)12MP12MP
Price (NZ$)NZ$1,649NZ$1,849

Apple announced the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in September 2023. Although the official market release date was September 2022, they were both available for pre-orders on September 15.

Editors Verdict

Choosing the best phone among these options depends on individual preferences and priorities. However, here’s what I feel:

Recommendation:

  • Best for Overall Performance and Features: Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
  • Best Foldable Option: Oppo Find N3.
  • Best for Camera and Software Experience: Google Pixel 8a.
  • Best Value for Performance: OnePlus 12.
  • Best iOS Option: iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus.

If budget is a key consideration and you want a high-performance device with a clean Android experience, the Google Pixel 8a is a great choice.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or the Oppo Find N3 are excellent options for those seeking the latest features and top-tier performance. If you prefer iOS, the iPhone 15 series would be the best bet.

About the author

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur

Kamal Kaur has been an integral voice in the New Zealand gaming landscape for years.

As a senior writer for PokiesMobile NZ, Kamal brings rich experiences from her diverse background.

Born in India and later migrating to New Zealand, she effortlessly blends her cultural insights with a deep love for gaming.

Kamal is renowned for her in-depth game analysis, player strategies, and knack for spotting industry trends.