Budget Guide: The Best Mobile Phones This 2021

Date Nov 1, 2021
Blog category Mobile Phone
By Sieg C
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Looking for the best mobile phone this 2021? That will depend on the specs you're looking for. Are you after a great camera, long-lasting battery, snappy software, ultra-modern design, or all of the above? Either way, you have plenty of options at different price levels.

Of course, it's so easy to go over budget if you're not sure of what to buy. Some manufacturers boast of their specs which don’t really live up to their day-to-day usage. On the other hand, some mobile phones may not appear as impressive on paper, but they offer some of the best user experience.

So, how can you make sure that your purchase is the right one for you? Check out this buying guide for the best mobile phones of 2021 available in NZ.

Best budget smartphones

Are you on a tight budget? This shouldn’t hold you back from upgrading this year! More and more rands are offering plenty of budget options, as most people don’t need the super high-end specs on their phones. 

For under $500, you can purchase these phones:

Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung’s budget king, the Galaxy A12 is made for those who want a complete package smartphone with an impressive spec sheet — all at an affordable price! You can get this entry-level phone for less than $300 in some retailers and licenced re-sellers.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.5-inches (164 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm), 205 grams
  • Display: PLS IPS, 82.1% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels (720p)
  • OS: Android 10 (can be upgraded to Android 11), One UI 3.1
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio P35 (12nm)
  • Rear camera: 48 MP (wide), 5 MP (ultrawide),  2 MP (macro), 2 MP (depth)
  • Front camera: 8 MP
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB (microSDXC dedicated slot)
  • RAM: 2GB, 3GB, 4GB, 6GB

Samsung Galaxy A12 standout features:

  • Fast wired charging of up to 15W
  • USB Type-C  2.0 wired charging
  • Video recording up to 1080p at 30fps
  • With a 3.5mm jack for wired headphones
  • Bluetooth 5.0 with NFC-support

Why you might want to skip buying Samsung Galaxy A12:

  • Only PLS IPS display (not an OLED or AMOLED)
  • Plastic build (instead of premium glass build)
  • 6GB maximum RAM (some max out at 8GB)

Read: Top 10 Cities With The Fastest 5G Speeds: How Does New Zealand Compare?

Oppo A55 5G

Another budget champ is Oppo A55 5G, released early this year. This is perfect for those who want to take advantage of the 5G connections in your area, but don’t want to spend the premium. Undeniably, its price is its best part, at around $350.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.5-inches (163.9 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm), 186 grams
  • Display: IPS LCD, 82.2% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels (720p)
  • OS: Android 11, ColorOS 11.1
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G (7 nm)
  • Rear camera: 13 MP (wide), 2 MP (macro), 2 MP (depth)
  • Front camera: 8 MP
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: 128GB (microSDXC dedicated slot)
  • RAM: 4GB, 6GB, 8GB

Oppo A55 5G standout features:

  • Bluetooth 5.1 with LE and aptX HD support
  • USB Type-C 2.0 with USB On-The-Go
  • Video recording up to 1080p at 30fps
  • With a 3.5mm jack for wired headphones
  • 480 nits peak brightness for using it under the sun

Why you might want to skip buying Oppo A55 5G:

  • Only IPS LCD display (not an OLED or AMOLED)
  • Only 10W charging (slower than other fast charging)
  • No ultrawide or telephoto camera

Xiaomi Redmi 9T

You can find Xiaomi's best budget smartphone under their Redmi line! Xiaomi Redmi 9T has several quirky colour options including Carbon Gray, Twilight Blue, Sunrise Orange, and Ocean Green! Get this entry-level phone for just under $400.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.53-inches (162.3 x 77.3 x 9.6 mm), 198 grams
  • Display: IPS LCD, 83.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 10, MIUI 12
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11 nm)
  • Rear camera: 48 MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 2 MP (macro), 2 MP (depth)
  • Front camera: 8 MP
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 2.1 64GB, UFS 2.2 128GB (microSDXC dedicated slot)
  • RAM: 4GB, 8GB

Xiaomi Redmi 9T standout features:

  • Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the front
  • Fast charging up to 18W and reverse charging up to 2.5W
  • USB Type-C 2.0 with USB On-The-Go
  • Water repellent coating but no standard IP rating
  • With a 3.5mm jack, capable of hi-res audio (24-bit/192kHz)

Why you might want to skip buying Xiaomi Redmi 9T:

  • Only IPS LCD display (not an OLED or AMOLED)
  • Only Bluetooth 5.0 (instead of faster 5.1 or 5.2)
  • Playful colour options may not appeal to some people

Read: Where To Dispose Your Old Electronics In New Zealand

Best mid-range smartphones

If you're not after the exclusive features of a premium flagship smartphone but still want something better than an entry-level mobile phone, then you may just fit right in the mid-range category. As of Q2 of 2021, it now captures 37% of 5G smartphone shipments in the world!

For about $500-$800, you can purchase these smartphones:

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

The mid-range Galaxy A52 5G from Samsung is a package of premium features from two to three years ago, now made more affordable. It’s an awesome mid-range smartphone, perfect for all kinds of users — even gamers! Get this now for under $800.

Read: Axie Infinity: How To Earn Money With This Play-To-Earn NFT Game

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.5-inches (159.9 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm), 189 grams
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 84.1% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G (8 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide), 5 MP (macro), 5 MP (depth)
  • Front camera: 32 MP
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Storage configurations: 128GB, 256GB (microSDXC shared SIM slot)
  • RAM: 6GB, 8GB

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G standout features:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front
  • Fast charging up to 25W (50% full in 30 minutes)
  • Video recording up to 4K at 30fps with electronic stabilisation
  • IP67 dust and water-resistant (up to 1 metre for 30 mins)
  • 120Hz on a super AMOLED screen with 800 nits max brightness

Why you might want to skip buying Samsung Galaxy A52 5G:

  • Hybrid dual nano-SIM slot (no dedicated microSD slot)
  • Only Bluetooth 5.0 (instead of faster 5.1 or 5.2)
  • Battery life can be better with an endurance rating of 111 hours

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Samsung Galaxy A72

For a larger form factor and better camera set-up, you may want to skip Galaxy A52 5G. Samsung Galaxy A72 is perfect for those who like to stream content, read online books, and more. The best part is, it costs almost the same as its smaller sibling, at around $800.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.7-inches (165 x 77.4 x 8.4 mm), 203 grams
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 84.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G (8 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide), 8 MP (telephoto), 5 MP (macro)
  • Front camera: 32 MP
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: 128GB, 256GB (microSDXC shared SIM slot)
  • RAM: 6GB, 8GB

Samsung Galaxy A72 standout features:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on a 6.7-inch phone
  • Telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom with OIS
  • Video recording up to 4K at 30fps with electronic stabilisation
  • IP67 dust and water-resistant (up to 1 metre for 30 mins)
  • 90Hz on a super AMOLED screen with 800 nits max brightness

Why you might want to skip buying Samsung Galaxy A72:

  • Hybrid dual nano-SIM slot (no dedicated microSD slot)
  • No 5G capability (can be a deal-breaker 2-3 years from now)
  • Screen refresh rate of 90Hz can be better if it maxes at 120Hz

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

Another Android phone to dominate the mid-range category is Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G. Even if it’s the cheapest offering from the flagship Mi 11 series, it nails all the basic features that it's created as a league of its own. This sells for around $650-700 in New Zealand.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.55-inches (160.5 x 75.7 x 6.8 mm), 159 grams
  • Display: AMOLED, 85.3% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, MIUI 12
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 8MP (ultrawide), 5 MP (macro)
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,250 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 2.2 64GB, 128GB, 256GB (microSDXC shared SIM slot)
  • RAM: 6GB, 8GB

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G standout features:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection that supports 1B colours & HDR10+
  • Fast charging up to 33W with a Power Delivery 3.0 technology
  • Video recording up to 4K at 30fps with electronic stabilisation
  • IP53 dust and splash resistant (can handle spraying water)
  • 90Hz on an AMOLED screen with 800 nits max brightness

Why you might want to skip buying Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G:

  • Hybrid dual nano-SIM slot (no dedicated microSD slot)
  • No 3.5mm jack but is capable of hi-res audio (24-bit/192kHz)
  • Battery life can be better with an endurance rating of 106 hours

Best flagship smartphones

For a smartphone that can do everything you throw at it — be it producing top photo and video qualities, multitasking, gaming, and even 4K streaming — choose a flagship smartphone. The best part is, these phones are encased in premium materials like glass and aluminium!

For a crazy amount of $1,000 and above, here are the best flagship smartphones you can get:

Apple iPhone 13

Finally, an Apple entry in this list! Apple iPhone 13 is one of the four new flagship smartphones from the tech giant. The standard iPhone 13 fixes all the issues from its previous lineups, giving you a more refined tech and user experience. Get this flagship for under $1,500.

Read: Find The Best iPhone 13 Mobile Phone Plans In New Zealand

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.1-inches (146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm), 174 grams
  • Display: Super Retina XDR OLED, 86.0% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1170 x 2532 pixels (1080p~1440p)
  • OS: iOS 15
  • Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 12 MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 12MP (wide), SL 3D (biometrics/ depth)
  • Battery: 3,240 mAh
  • Storage configurations: NVMe 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 4GB

What are the stand-out features of the Apple iPhone 13:

  • Gorilla Glass protection on the front and back with aluminium frames
  • Capable of Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX certified)
  • Up to 4K video recording at 24, 30, or 60fps (HDR and Dolby Vision HDR)
  • Screen is scratch-resistant with ceramic glass and oleophobic coating
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 6 metres for 30 mins)
  • 1200 nits peak brightness, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Wide colour gamut, and True-tone support

Why you might want to skip buying Apple iPhone 13:

  • No dedicated ultrawide camera on its rear camera
  • Only Bluetooth 5.0 (instead of faster 5.1 or 5.2)
  • Battery life can be better with an endurance rating of 89 hours

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G may be the most basic out of the three flagship offerings, but it still shares the best features from its higher-end siblings. You can purchase this directly from Samsung or authorised retailers for around $1,200-1,500.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.2-inches (151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm), 169 grams
  • Display: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 87.2% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Chipset: Exynos 2100 (5 nm) - International, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) - USA/China
  • Rear camera: 12 MP (wide), 64MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 10MP (wide)
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 128GB, 256GB
  • RAM: 8GB

What are the stand-out features of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G:

  • Strongest and most durable Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front
  • Capable of Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX, and Samsung Pay
  • Up to 8K video recording at 24fps (HDR+ and electronic stabilisation)
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 1.5 metres for 30 mins)
  • 120Hz screen with 1300 nits peak brightness and HDR10+ support

Why you might want to skip buying Samsung Galaxy S21 5G:

  • The variant that you can purchase may vary depending on your region 
  • Bixby may miss out on voice commands (but you can opt for Google Assistant as a default)
  • The plastic back build may make it seem less premium

Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo Find X3 Pro may be under the radar because of the Samsungs and Apples of the world, but it’s one of the best flagship smartphones of the year. It has experimental cameras with features like a built-in microscope! This package costs around $1,500-$1,700 in New Zealand.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.7-inches (163.6 x 74 x 8.3 mm), 193 grams
  • Display: LTPO AMOLED, 89.6% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1440 x 3216 pixels (1440p)
  • OS: Android 11, ColorOS 11.2
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 50 MP (wide), 13 MP (telephoto), 50 MP (ultrawide), 3MP (microscope)
  • Front camera: 32MP (wide)
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 8GB, 12GB, 16GB

Oppo Find X3 Pro standout features:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the front and back with aluminium frame
  • 65W fast wired charging, 30W fast wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging
  • The microscope lens has its own ring flash, autofocus, and 60x magnification
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 1.5 metres for 30 mins)
  • Adaptive 120Hz screen with 1300 nits peak brightness, HDR10+, 1B colours

Why you might want to skip buying Oppo Find X3 Pro:

  • The exterior design is almost similar to Apple iPhone 12 series
  • Battery life can be better with an endurance rating of only 81 hours
  • Not for Kiwis who have Samsung or Apple wireless devices

Best ultra high-end camera smartphones

For those who want something better than already the best of the best flagship phones, purchase an ultra-high-end smartphone. Of course, this may also mean a more premium price tag, reaching up to $2,00 or more. This should be worth it, as you don’t skimp on features at all, especially in the camera department!

If you have plenty of savings, get one of these ultra-high-end camera mobile phones:

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s thick and chunky form factor houses some of the best screens, best camera sensors and software, fastest charging technologies, and strongest build protection! For $2,100+, you get these best features:

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.81-inches (164.3 x 74.6 x 8.4 mm), 234 grams
  • Display: AMOLED, 91.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1440 x 3200 pixels (1440p)
  • OS: Android 11, MIUI 12.5
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 50 MP (wide), 48 MP (periscope telephoto), 48 MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 20 MP (wide)
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 8GB, 12GB

What are the stand-out features of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and a ceramic back
  • 67W fast wired and wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging
  • Stereo speakers with hi-res audio (24-bit/192kHz), tuned by Harman Kardon
  • Up to 8K video recording at 24fps with electronic stabilisation and HDR10+ support
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 1.5 metres for 30 mins)
  • Adaptive 120Hz screen with 1700 nits peak brightness, HDR10+, 1B colours, and Dolby Vision

Why you might want to skip buying Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra:

  • A heavy and thick phone (even thicker if you have a phone case on it)
  • Only USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go (instead of the faster 3.2)

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the top-of-the-line flagship, housing the biggest camera sensors in a smartphone. It has incredible zoom capability, up to 100x, and super laser autofocus for snappier videos and photo captures. Get this ultra phone for around $1,700-2,100.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.8-inches (165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm), 227 grams
  • Display: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 89.8% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1440 x 3200 pixels (1440p)
  • OS: Android 11, One UI 3.1
  • Chipset: Exynos 2100 (5 nm) - International, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm) - USA/China
  • Rear camera: 108 MP (wide), 10 MP (periscope telephoto), 10 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 40 MP (wide)
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 12GB, 16GB

What are the stand-out features of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:

  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and back with an aluminium frame
  • 25W fast wired charging, 15W fast Qi/PMA wireless charging, and 4.5 W reverse wireless charging
  • Stereo speakers with hi-res audio (32-bit/384kHz), tuned by AKG
  • Capable of always-on display with special Samsung stylus support
  • Capable of Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX, and Samsung Pay
  • Up to 8K super steady video recording at 24fps with electronic stabilisation and HDR10+ support
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 1.5 metres for 30 mins)
  • Adaptive 120Hz screen with 1500 nits peak brightness and HDR10+ support

Why you might want to skip buying Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G:

  • A heavy and thick phone (even thicker if you have a phone case on it)
  • The variant that you can purchase may vary depending on your region 
  • Bixby may miss out on some voice commands (but you can opt for Google Assistant as a default)

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max is by far the thickest and largest phone that Apple made. It takes advantage of this huge body to house features like a faster charging tech, bigger camera sensors, and more. Pay anywhere from $2,000-3,000 for this ultra-high-end smartphone.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.7-inches (160.8 x 78.1 x 7.7 mm), 240 grams
  • Display: Super Retina XDR OLED, 87.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1284 x 2778 pixels (1080p~1440p)
  • OS: iOS 15
  • Chipset: Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 12 MP (wide), 12 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide), 3D LiDAR (depth)
  • Front camera: 12 MP (wide), SL 3D (depth/biometrics)
  • Battery: 4,352 mAh
  • Storage configurations: NVMe 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • RAM: 6GB

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max standout features:

  • Gorilla Glass protection on the front and back with a stainless steel frame
  • Capable of Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX certified)
  • Up to 4K recording at 24,30, or 60fps with 10‑bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR, and ProRes, Cinematic mode support
  • TOF 3D LiDAR scanner for depth sensor and integrated augmented reality
  • The screen is scratch-resistant with ceramic glass and oleophobic coating
  • IP68 dust and water-resistant (up to 6 metres for 30 mins)
  • Adaptive 120Hz screen with 1200 nits peak brightness, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Wide colour gamut, and True-tone support

Why you might want to skip buying Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max:

  • A heavy and thick phone (even thicker if you have a phone case on it)
  • Only Bluetooth 5.0 (instead of faster 5.1 or 5.2)

Best gaming smartphones

For a growing niche of people that are into mobile gaming, specialised gaming phones are also available in New Zealand. These smartphones max performance, while minimising throttle and keeping your device cool. For heavy gamers out there, this category is for you.

There’s no set price range for gamer phones, as some may add more features or install better cameras. What they have in common is their max-out gaming performance.

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

Asus’ ROG line-up has always been known for its gaming performance. ROG Phone 5 Ultimate lives up to its predecessors. Be it design, sensors, and optimisation — it’s a gamer’s phone through and through. Purchase this ultimate gaming phone for around $1,800-2,500.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.78-inches (172.8 x 77.3 x 10.3 mm), 238 grams
  • Display: AMOLED, 82.0% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2448 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, ROG UI
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 13 MP (ultrawide), 5 MP (macro)
  • Front camera: 24 MP (wide)
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 512GB
  • RAM: 18GB

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate standout features:

  • Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and Gorilla Glass on the back
  • Has pressure-sensitive zones (gaming triggers), touch sensor, ROG Vision monochrome, and PMOLED display on the back
  • Fast 65W wired charging (100% in 52 minutes) and 10W reverse charging
  • USB Type-C 3.1 (side) and USB Type-C 2.0 (bottom) that can charge at the same time
  • DTS:X stereo speakers with 2 dedicated amplifiers
  • 144Hz screen with 1200 nits peak brightness and HDR10+ support

Why you might want to skip buying Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate:

  • A heavy and thick phone (even thicker if you have a phone case on it)
  • Camera software, colour reproduction, and overall quality are average
  • Aesthetics and overall design fits gamer’s preferences, so it's clearly not for everyone

Lenovo Legion Duel 2

Another gaming beast is Lenovo Legion Duel 2! Once you hold the phone, you’ll know exactly that it’s made for gaming as the front-facing camera uses a motorised pop-up design for a seamless gaming experience. It costs anywhere between $1,300-1,500 in New Zealand.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.92-inches (176 x 78.5 x 9.9 mm), 259 grams
  • Display: AMOLED, 82.3% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2448 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, ZUI 12.5
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 15 MP (ultrawide)
  • Front camera: 44 MP (wide)
  • Battery: 5,500 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 12GB, 18GB

Lenovo Legion Duel 2 standout features:

  • Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front, glass back, and aluminium frames
  • Has built-in two cooling fans, RGB light panel on the back, 6 pressure-sensitive gaming triggers (4 ultrasonic buttons at the top and 2 capacitive sliding buttons on the back)
  • Fast 65W wired charging (single USB-C port) or fast 90W wired charging (double USB-C ports), fully charging at 100% in 12 minutes
  • Up to 8K video recording at 24fps with HDR10+ and gyro-electronic stabilisation support
  • 144Hz screen with 1300 nits peak brightness and HDR10+ support

Why you might want to skip buying Lenovo Legion Duel 2:

  • A heavy and thick phone (even thicker if you have a phone case on it)
  • Software isn’t refined compared to other brands like MIUI, One UI, or ColorOS
  • Aesthetics and overall design fits gamer’s preferences; not for everyone

Xiaomi Black Shark 4S Pro

Xiaomi Black Shark 4S Pro is one of the newest smartphones to house the newest 888+ chipset from Qualcomm! This means even snappier gaming compared to the already very capable 888 chipsets. This has just been released globally and is expected to cost around $1,100-1,200.

Specifications:

  • Size: 6.67-inches (163.7 x 76.2 x 9.9 mm), 220 grams
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 86.1% screen-to-body ratio
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels (1080p)
  • OS: Android 11, Joy UI 12.8
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G+ (5 nm)
  • Rear camera: 64 MP (wide), 8 MP (ultrawide), 5 MP (macro)
  • Front camera: 20 MP (wide)
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh
  • Storage configurations: UFS 3.1 256GB, 512GB
  • RAM: 8GB, 12GB, 18GB

Xiaomi Black Shark 4S Pro standout features:

  • Has physical pop-up gaming triggers and always-on display
  • Fast 120W wired charging, fully charging at 100% in 15 minutes
  • Up to 4K video recording at 30 or 60 fps with HDR10+ support
  • 144Hz screen with 1300 nits peak brightness and HDR10+ support
  • With a 3.5 mm jack capable of hi-res audio (24-bit/192kHz)

Why you might want to skip buying Xiaomi Black Shark 4S Pro:

  • Limited gaming triggers and physical buttons compared to the competition
  • Aesthetics are more flushed but it still caters to gamer’s preferences
  • Charging tech isn’t as complex and experimental but reliable

Don’t get easily swayed by online reviews and ads. List down the features you value most and work around your budget. This way, you know you truly got your money's worth.

While this can be a handy guide, it’s also important to:

  • Do your research (read articles, watch reviews, wait for real-world testimonies)
  • Keep updated with the latest releases on all price categories
  • Know the technologies that go on the phone like screens, OS, battery, and more
  • Set your budget before you actually shop for the phone

Most of all, it’s important to choose a mobile plan that goes with your smartphone. This way, you maximise all the features of your mobile phone such as 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 capability, and many more.

To get the best mobile plan in New Zealand, use glimp’s free comparison tool!

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