A quick guide to the best new smartphones – INTHEBLACK


The latest Pixel phones mark Google’s return to the premium end of the market, after two years in the mid-range space. Despite the high-end specifications, however, Google seems intent on shaking up the market with very competitive pricing: from A$999 for the 6.4-inch Pixel 6 and from A$1299 for the 6.7-inch Pixel 6 Pro.

The headline new feature is the first Google-designed chip, the Tensor. In addition to being a high-performance chip, it allows enhanced security, artificial intelligence and photography features. It can, for example, allow you to instantly translate messages and videos without internet access.

The latest Pixels have larger batteries and improved cameras, including a 4x optical zoom for the Pro. They also come with Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 12.

Samsung’s foldables

Samsung leads the market when it comes to innovative hardware, offering two models of foldable phones. At the premium end is the Galaxy Z Fold3, a flexible device with two displays – a conventional 6.2-inch screen on the front and a 7.6-inch fold-out display inside.

The phone is hefty both in the hand, weighing 271 grams, and in the hip pocket, priced from A$2499 in return for high-end performance and features.

If you want a smartphone that doubles as a small tablet, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is your best option. Alternatively, the Galaxy Z Flip3 is Samsung’s modern take on the flip phone. The Flip has a 6.7-inch display that folds up into a much more compact device – and it is about A$1000 cheaper than the Fold3.

The downside is limited battery size and, subsequently, battery life, but that can be extended if you spend less time glued to the large screen – and the Flip allows you to do just that. It has a second smaller 1.9-inch screen on the front that you can use to view notifications, make payments, take phone calls and selfies, and more.

Both foldables are in their third generation. That means the early design kinks have been largely ironed out and they are more robust than earlier models. For example, they both offer IPX8 water resistance.


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