Top 5G Mobile Phones In New Zealand This Early 2021

Date Mar 25, 2021
Blog category Mobile Phone
By Sieg C

The future of 5G is gradual, but it’s gaining traction within New Zealand! 

Leading providers are installing more and more 5G networks throughout the country. Sooner, you may be able to take advantage of their networks wherever you are — but only if you have a smartphone that can receive these signals!

Since 5G is a relatively new technology, only newer mobile phones may be capable of fully utilising it. Fortunately, leading mobile manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, and OnePlus, among others are now releasing their smartphones with 5G capability.

If you’re planning to futureproof your mobile experience and connectivity, get a 5G mobile phone today! Check out the best 5G smartphones in early 2021 per price category.

Note: All prices listed here are in NZD unless otherwise indicated. Only phones readily available in most major mobile providers are on this list.

Best flagship 5G smartphones

If you want the best of the best specs with the fastest performance out of your smartphone, get flagship 5G-capable smartphones! Having the latest features means you can use your mobile phone for at least three years and still get an optimum user experience. 

If budget isn’t the problem, you should get the best flagship 5G smartphones. They come with a premium price tag of more than $1,300, but you can guarantee you'll get your money’s worth.

Oppo Find X3 Pro 5G

If you’re after a smartphone with a bold design, you may find Oppo Find X3 Pro to be an appealing choice! The glass-back curves to accommodate the massive camera bump. It’s a quality workmanship paired with the best specs in the market.

  • Release date: March 2021
  • Price: Starts at $1,899
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Display: 6.7” LTPO AMOLED
  • Resolution: 1440p Adaptive 120Hz
  • OS: ColorOS 11.2, on top of Android 11
  • Rear camera: 50MP (Wide), 50MP (Ultrawide), 12MP (2x Telephoto), 3MP (Micro)
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Storage: 256GB
  • RAM: 8GB/ 12GB
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Do you want a smartphone that packs all the latest features you can ask for? The recently released Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes that cake! It ticks all the right boxes — whether you’re big on gaming, art and productivity driver, or just a casual social media user.

  • Release date: January 2021
  • Price: Starts at $2,199
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 / Samsung Exynos 2100
  • Display: 6.8” Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • Resolution: 1440p Adaptive 120Hz
  • OS: One UI 3.1, on top of Android 11
  • Rear camera: 108MP (Wide), 12MP (Ultrawide), 10MP (3x Telephoto), 10MP ( Periscopic)
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Storage: 128GB/ 256GB/ 512GB
  • RAM: 12GB/ 16GB
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh


Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Not a fan of Android skins and interfaces? Go with Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max! It’s one of the most optimised smartphones, with a well-thought design for 5G. It has a physical button that you can turn on to dial down 5G and save battery life.

  • Release date: November 2020
  • Price: Starts at $2,099
  • Chipset: Apple A14 Bionic
  • Display: 6.7” Super Retina XDR OLED
  • Resolution: 1284p 60Hz
  • OS: iOS 14.1
  • Rear camera: 12MP (Wide), 12MP (Ultrawide), 12MP (2.5x Telephoto), TOF 3D LiDar (Depth)
  • Front camera: 12MP (Wide), SL 3D (Depth/ Biometrics)
  • Storage: 128GB/ 256GB/ 512GB
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Battery: 3,687 mAh

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is still a good 5G flagship phone, even though it's almost a year old. It still houses a very capable chipset, which is supported for upgrades up to 3 years and optimised for security patches up to 4 years.

  • Release date: August 2020
  • Price: Starts at $2,299
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ / Samsung Exynos 990
  • Display: 6.9” Dynamic AMOLED 2X
  • Resolution: 1440p Adaptive 120Hz
  • OS: One UI 3.0, on top of Android 10
  • Rear camera: 108MP (Wide), 10MP (Ultrawide), 12MP (Periscopic)
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Storage: 128GB/ 256GB/ 512GB
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Battery: 4,500 mAh

Best midrange 5G smartphones

Although most manufacturers only reserve their 5G capability to higher-end smartphones, some companies are now housing them in their upper mid-range and even to lower mid-range offerings! This is great news because you don’t have to pay the premium just to get 5G.

This price range is competitive because many Kiwis want a higher-spec mobile phone but don’t spend the premium. Generally, the prices of mid-range 5G smartphones are within $700-$1,300.

Oppo Reno4 Z 5G

If you’re not after the highest-end flagship features but still want 5G, Oppo Reno4 Z 5G may fit your budget. There are some trade-offs, unlike their flagship competitors — but they’re not that noticeable, especially for average consumers.

  • Release date: September 2020
  • Price: Starts at $799
  • Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 800 5G
  • Display: 6.57” LTPS IPS LCD
  • Resolution: 1080p 120Hz
  • OS: ColorOS 7.2, on top of Android 10
  • Rear camera: 48MP (Wide), 8MP (Ultrawide), 2MP (depth), 2MP (depth)
  • Front camera: 16MP (Wide), 2MP (depth)
  • Storage: 128GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh

Oppo Find X2 Lite 5G

When it was released, Oppo Find X2 Lite 5G was one of the first smartphones to sport 5G capability at this price point. Almost one year later, it’s still one of the most affordable 5G phones, with the price even dropping to $599.

  • Release date: April 2020
  • Release date price: Starts at $800
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • Display: 6.4” AMOLED
  • Resolution: 1080p 60Hz
  • OS: ColorOS 7, on top of Android 10
  • Rear camera: 48MP (Wide), 8MP (Ultrawide), 2MP (depth), 2MP (B/W)
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Storage: 128GB
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Battery: 4,025 mAh

Top mobile providers are yet to offer 5G smartphones in the budget category or under the $700 price point. Sooner, Kiwis may be able to readily buy more budget-friendly 5G smartphones from leading NZ companies.

Compare plans to find the right Mobile plan for you here at CompareBear!

Best 5G smartphone honourable mentions

Of course, other smartphones can also take advantage of 5G, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 series, Apple iPhone 12 series, Samsung Z series, and Samsung Note series. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other 5G smartphones but you either have to import them or purchase them outside NZ mobile providers.

Here are the best 5G smartphone honourable mentions:

Best 5G flagship smartphones honourable mentions

  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • Vivo X60 Pro+
  • Huawei Mate 40 Pro+
  • Huawei Mate X2
  • LG Wing 5G
  • ASUS ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

Best 5G mid-range smartphones honourable mentions

  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
  • Huawei Nova 8 Pro 5G
  • Google Pixel 5
  • OnePlus Nord

Best 5G smartphones honourable mentions

  • Samsung Galaxy A32 5G
  • Motorola Moto G 5G
  • Motorola One 5G
  • OnePlus Nord N10
  • Vivo Y72 5G
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G

Should you get 5G smartphones?

It’s your call! If your location doesn’t support 5G connectivity yet, you may want to postpone buying a 5G smartphone later on. However, if you plan to use your mobile phone for at least 2-3 years, you may want to purchase one now! 

It’s recommended that you purchase a 5G smartphone now as leading mobile providers are rolling out their networks fast! If you’re planning to get one now, make sure to get a 5G capable SIM card and mobile plan to fully receive and take advantage of their signals.

Compare the best mobile phone plans from the leading NZ providers, using CompareBear’s comparison tool.

About the author
Sieg C

Sieg C is a content writer who has written in a diverse range of industries including tech, energy, automobiles, and finance. His daily creative booster is at least two cups of black coffee and his curated chill vibes playlist.

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