In New Zealand, we don’t get as many foldable devices as larger countries like the US or UK. However foldable phones are becoming more and more popular here.
There’s a small number of foldables available in New Zealand and they each have their own pros and cons. Some fold vertically, others fold horizontally, some have multiple screens, others have a screen that folds in on itself. But what they all have in common is they have technology that allows their main display to fold, and in most cases they’re very similar.
With Google’s recent announcement regarding its new Pixel Fold, hopefully there will be more options for New Zealanders in the future but for now we only have a small range of foldable options there still isn’t an Apple foldable. The tricky part is the foldables we have on offer are incredibly similar and it can make it difficult to find out which foldable device is right for you.
To assist with your purchasing decision, we’ve tested and reviewed a number of foldable phones ourselves and created a list of what we think are the best foldable phones in NZ. We’ve also included some devices that we haven’t managed to get our hands on yet, but that come with praise and commendations from our trusted sources.
Below you’ll find out expert guide on what we think is the best foldable phone NZ.
The best foldable phone NZ 2023
1. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4
Specs – Screen: 6.7in, 2640 x 1080; Camera: 12MP (wide), 12MP (ultra-wide); Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1; Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB; Operating System: Android 12, One UI 5.1
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 is a great foldable phone. Folding horizontally as opposed to vertically, the Flip4 can transform into a compact size that can easily fit into your pocket or in a bag.
There’s a large 1.9-inch 512 x 640 outer display which allows you to use the device comfortably without having to unfold it. Here you can take pictures, send texts and a lot more. This allows for more convenient usage and quick access to everything you need.
Unfolded, the Flip4 has a slick design that means you can barely see the fold in the screen. The large 6.7-inch display is vibrant and smooth with a 120Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 1200nits meaning you’ll be able to comfortably use the Flip4 outside.
While not the best battery you’re going to find on a phone, the Flip4 will last all day and the camera will allow you to take social media worthy photos. But the main attraction here is the features that take full advantage of the Flip4’s foldable capabilities. You can multitask by opening two separate apps on different sides of the screen and you can take selfies using the Flip4’s Flex mode in which you put the device on a platform and fold it up to take pictures or videos.
The Flip4 is the foldable that will suit most people. If you’re after a foldable phone you’re going to love Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4.
2. Oppo Find N2 Flip
Specs – Screen: 6.8in, 2520 x 1080; Camera: 50MP (wide), 8MP (ultra-wide); Processor: Mediatek Dimensity 9000+; Storage: 256GB, 512GB; Operating System: Android 13, ColorOS 13
The experience you’ll get with Oppo’s Find N2 Flip is almost identical to what you’ll get from Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip4. There’s very little differentiating them.
This is a very good foldable phone with a good dual-camera array, great battery life and decent performance capabilities. And of course, it comes with features that utilise the phones foldable nature. FlexForm allows you to fold the top screen up 90° like a small laptop. You can place the phone on a surface and take selfies, you can hold the phone sideways like you’re using an old handheld camera, you can take and make video calls and even watch YouTube with the comments on the bottom half of the screen and the video on the top.
There’s a 3.26-inch front cover display which is rectangular shaped and boasting a 720 x 382-pixel resolution. It’s longer than the square shaped cover display found on the Z Flip4 but its functionalities are pretty much the same. You can answer texts, skip songs, take pictures and more. You’ll just need to ask yourself if you like a longer or a wider front display.
The most attractive feature about the N2 Flip is its price. This is quite a bit cheaper than the Z Flip4 and the starting model comes with 256GB of storage as opposed to the 128GB with the Z Flip4.
Read our review of the Find N2 Flip
3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
Specs – Screen: 7.6in, 2176 x 1812; Camera: 50MP (wide), 12MP (ultra-wide), 10MP (telephoto); Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1; Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB; Operating System: Android 13, OneUI 5.1
Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold4 is a beast. A bit different from the “flip” phones listed above the Fold4 folds vertically, opening like a book. This means it doubles to create a large screen more like a tablet than a phone. There’s also a full sized 6.2-inch 2316 x 904 front display so you never have to open up the device if you don’t want to.
The Fold4 has an excellent camera array that competes with the best of the best phones for photography. It has a processor that is able to keep up with what is essentially a three-screen configuration and Samsung have introduced a number of key features that make it even better than it’s predecessor.
The most notable is the Taskbar feature. This pops up at the bottom of the screen and allows you to select and open apps instead of having to return to the homescreen. It sounds minor but being able to open up to 3 apps next to each other on the unfolded larger display works really well. Of course there’s Flex mode here as well which allows you to set the phone up more like a laptop.
This is a bulky device though and it’s also heavy. Essentially two phones stuck on top of each other, the Fold4 is definitely noticeable in your pocket and it feels a lot bulkier than a standard phone. That said, you can’t open two apps side-by-side on a standard phone.
Unfortunately, the fold is quite noticeable and while it isn’t distracting most of the time, once you notice it, it does get a bit annoying. It’s also very expensive at $2,849, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.
4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G
Specs – Screen: 6.7in, 2640 x 1080; Camera: 12MP (wide), 12MP (ultra-wide); Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888; Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating System: Android 13, One UI 5.1
If you’re looking for a foldable phone that can be used steadily without a tripod, that can split its main display into two panels and that has a durable, sturdy design, you’re going to love the Galaxy Z Flip3.
It performs well, has a great looking main display and the large outer display is a massive improvement on the original Flip. But the Flip3 is held back by a very poor battery.
Samsung have fixed most of the problems we came across with the Flip3 with the newer, better Flip4.
The new device is better in almost every way, however the Flip3 now being an older device will come at a much cheaper price – if you can find it.
Read our review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3
Specs – Screen: 7.6in, 2208 x 1768; Camera: 52MP (wide), 12MP (ultra-wide), 12MP (telephoto); Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888; Storage: 256GB, 512GB; Operating System: Android 13, OneUI 5.1
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 has been eclipsed by the Z Fold4 which is better in almost every way. However, if you can get your hands on one, the Z Fold3 is quite a bit cheaper than the newer device and you’ll have a very similar experience with the older phone.
The Fold3 opens up like a book to produce a large screen which is great for watching movies or YouTube videos. It’s also great for multitasking, you can open up to three apps on the screen simultaneously. This means you could have notes open on one side and YouTube open on the other. Perfect for being able to do tasks quickly.
This is a large phone though. If you’re looking for something a bit more inconspicuous, it’s definitely not the Fold3. It’s compatible with the S-pen which is great however the battery life isn’t the best. For a phone which essentially has three screens, battery life is incredibly important and it’s not great here.
If you can get your hands on one, you’ll love the Z Fold3 however for a better, more optimised experience and better battery life, the Galaxy Z Fold4 is even better.
What to consider when choosing the best foldable phone
The factors you need to consider when choosing the best foldable phone are very similar to the factors you would consider when buying a normal phone:
Just like a non-folding phone, the display is probably the biggest factor you should consider when buying a foldable device.
You’ll want a high-resolution screen, high brightness levels look for around 1,000 nits and a good refresh rate. The best foldable phones should have a 120Hz screen and at minimum a 90Hz display.
You should also consider the durability of the screen. Being a foldable device, the screen can be more prone to damage and scratches. The best foldables should boast a sturdy screen that can withstand damage.
How does it fold?
Foldable devices don’t all fold the same way, some boast a clamshell design while others are more book-like in their folding capabilities.
Clamshell foldables fold vertically while book-like foldables fold horizontally. The latter means the phone can fold into something more like a tablet while the former sits more like a laptop.
Choose a form factor that suits your usage preferences. If you’re one who likes to take selfies or videos and who wants a phone that can change into a compact form a clamshell foldable will suit you. If your looking for a foldable that can double your screen space and be used like a tablet, the book-like foldable will be more in line with your needs.
Because foldables are constantly being folded and unfolded, it’s important to consider the durability of the build quality.
These days, foldables will last hundreds of thousands of folds and you won’t have to worry about this too much however it’s alway simportant to make sure the device will be able to handle your usage.
Battery life is incredibly important to consider when choosing a foldable device.
If you’re looking to purchase a book-like foldable, you’re essentially buying a phone with three screens. This will require a significant battery to last all day and much like any other phone, you don’t want to have to charge it all the time.
Consider reviews and battery tests when seeing how long the battery lasts on the foldable, you’re interested in.
Foldable devices are only as good as the software they come with and that support them.
Most foldables allow customers to open multiple apps simultaneously and display them on separate screens, however foldables don’t support all apps.
Third party apps don’t always support foldable features. It pays to look into which apps the foldable is compatible with and if that’s something you think you’ll use with the device.
Just like any phone, it pays to look into the capabilities of the foldables camera array.
If you’re hoping to take photos or videos with your foldable, you’ll want a device with a good camera array.
This means you’ll want a camera that can ensure decent photos in different lighting conditions and that offers a photography experience that suits you.