You don't have to shell out thousands of dollars to get a great smartphone these days, in fact, you can get one with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a modern phone, and some pretty sharp specs, for under $800. We've dived into the massive range to find five of the best smartphones you can get right now, filtering down to show options with a range of features often associated with the most expensive mobile device, including very high quality cameras, fast biometic security, water resistance, and of course, fast smooth performance, even in games.
1. Samsung Galaxy A51
The Samsung Galaxy A Series makes true innovation accessible to everyone. With the Galaxy A51, you get big screen, big battery and an awesome camera, all without breaking the bank!
Starting out with the all important screen, A51's Infinity-O Display lets you enjoy a smartphone experience that minimizes the bezel and maximizes each inch of screen space. Now you can game, watch, surf, and multi-task without interruption on a 6.5" FHD+ widescreen display-all powered by Super AMOLED technology. This seamlessly combines with the A51's design theme which introduces smooth and elegant pastel shades including Prism Crush Black, White, Blue and Pink, with a premium gloss finish that adds the perfect touch of style to its sleek and slim body, perfectly blending of style with in-hand comfort.
An advanced Octa-core processor and up to 6GB of RAM deliver smooth and efficient performance. You can download more and delete less with up to 128GB internal storage, plus you can easily add more with a microSD card slot. Secure access is easy thanks to high-tech biometric authentication, the on-screen fingerprint scanner recognizes your unique print, so you are the only one who can press and unlock in one easy move.
A four camera array lets you take amazing photos, in a range of ways. A 48MP main camera makes for crisp, clear photos day and night, and another 123° 12MP ultra wide cam allows you to capture a bit more with the wider field of vision, great for big events and nights out with friends. Get in close (4cm) with a built-in macro cam, the clarity and quality help to bring out the ultra-fine details of your close-up shots, or apply and adjust a natural background blur (Bokeh) to isolate your subject and increase its visual impact. Its great for video too, able to shoot smooth and steady. The Galaxy A51 records like a pro-level action camera by utilizing the ultra wide camera and predictive software. Super steady gives you smooth live videos, even if your journey is on the adventurous side. The front 32MP camera gives you clear, high-resolution photos. And with Selfie focus to gently blur the background, it produces excellent shots too.
Made with gaming features in mind, the A51 works to maximize performance and cut distractions and up your game with a dedicated interface and easy-to-reach menu named the Game Booster. This, combines with Frame Booster to gives graphics smooth, life-like motion, so your can play at your best as Game Booster learns and optimizes battery, temperature and memory.
The A51 series also features a large battery which gives you the power to stream, share and game on. And when it's time to charge, plug in and power up fast with 15W Fast Charging support.
2. iPhone SE (2020)
There's lots to love about the iPhone SE (2020), but perhaps the greatest selling point for those who are interested in an Apple phone, is the fact that it's the most affordable iPhone without sacrificing much on features and specs, including a Retina HD display, wireless charging, 4K video, and more.
The 64GB version comes in a durable glass and aluminium design, with a brilliant 4.7-inch Retina HD display that looks stunning. Under the hood Apple put the brains of iPhone 11 Pro into the body of their iPhone SE - it's using the A13 Bionic chip too so everything feels fluid, whether you're launching apps, playing the latest games, or exploring new ways to work.
The camera array is exceptionally good too, next-generation smart HDR knows a face when it sees one, and your iPhone SE can intelligently relight it to capture more natural-looking contours and skin tones. It also finesses highlight and shadow detail in the background. So every part of your photo looks utterly amazing. It can even capture 4K video, and that extended dynamic range adds greater detail in highlights and shadows here too!
Built to last, the iPhone SE is water-resistant to 1 metre for 30 minutes, giving you confidence to take it with you on adventures, it can survive splashes, sprinkles, sprays, splatters and spills.
3. Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S
Despite it's super affordable price point, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9S is a smartphone you can rely on. It has a large display, consistent and reliable performance, and an unmatched battery life so you can keep going all day long
Seriously, the specs for this one are so good! Whether you are traveling, commuting or just running around having fun - a long-lasting battery is a must. The Note 9S comes equipped with a 5020mAh ultra-high capacity battery, you can browse your phone for hours on end without having to worry about running out of power. The Redmi Note 9S also supports 18W fast charge and comes equipped with a 22.5W fast charger in the box.
The four camera array is excellent yet again, with a 48MP ultra-high resolution main camera able to capture the magnificent 8000 x 6000 ultra-high resolution images, with additional cameras combining for wide angle, bokeh, 4K and video pro modes.
4. Huawei Nova 5T
The Huawei Nova 5T always catches some eyes with it's dazzling colours, amazing textures and reflective design. Perhaps one of the most notable points of this phone are the 48MP Four AI cameras! HUAWEI nova 5T's four, rear-mounted AI cameras capture stunning high-definition, ultra wide-angle, macro and bokeh photography. The cameras also create next-level videos.
HUAWEI nova 5T's four, rear-mounted AI cameras capture stunning high-definition, ultra wide-angle, macro and Bokeh photography. The cameras also create next-level videos. Rich, clear images and videos from vast landscapes to breathtaking close-ups. Powerful photo / video algorithms help you get colourful, high-resolution images and videos anytime and anywhere.
It's a seriously popular phone, with lots of reviews to check out that help to highlight just how good this phone really is!
5. Oppo Find X2 Lite
Equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, octa-core processor, and a maximum downlink speed of 1.9Gbps, Find X2 Lite easily meets your demand for speed. If you love photos, you'll appreciate the ultra-clear quad camera that allows you to capture quality night scenes in detail.
Featuring a four front camera array, with that oh so awesome 48MP main camera with additional wide + macro goodness, the OPPO Find X2 can capture some beautiful shots. Expect exceptionally good night images with Ultra Night Mode and NPU AI noise reduction.
Gamers will love playing with Hyper Boost, developed by OPPO, can monitor the execution status of the GPU (graphics processing unit) in real time for games, reduce image loss and tactile response and, therefore, optimize the fluidity of the game.
One of the coolest things about the Oppo Find X2 is the ability to switch seamlessly between 4G and 5G via a pre-set network transmission strategy that will automatically adjust according to the required network bandwidth, regulating power consumption to increase battery life!
Wow what a great bunch of phones, and that's just a quick look at some of our best smartphones under $800!
If you're looking for value for money, these phones are a great place to start. With NZ's largest range of smartphones though, we've got a massive range for you to choose from - check out the massive smartphones section to see all that we have to offer today!