We comprehensively review all the major Android handsets released in Australia here at Finder to help you compare what they have to offer.
Right now, the best Android phone you can buy for a combination of power, camera quality, battery life and value for money is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. 2019 promises to reveal a host of competitors to its position, however.
Meet the author
Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades.
Info last updated 22 March 2019.
- Phones added
- This comparison was updated 22 March 2019 with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ added to the list.
30 January 2019
- Phones added
- This comparison was updated 30 January 2019 with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro topping the list.
30 January 2019
- Phones added
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro tops our inaugural best Android phones list.
30 January 2019
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is very nearly tied, or even better than the Huawei Mate 20, with a great triple camera system, the best display screen on any smartphone to date and the slick approach of Samsung's own "One UI" launcher. Its only stumbling point is that the battery life is only good, not great, and that's arguably something you should expect in a premium phone handset. If you're a fan of Samsung's phones, it's easily the best you can buy -- at least until the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Samsung Galaxy Fold arrive.
Samsung's Galaxy Note9 sells itself on that unique S-Pen stylus, but it's not the only trick it has. The camera is great, the display is large and clear, and the battery life runs second only to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It would best out the S9+ as well, but Samsung's premium pricing may be a barrier to some, especially for that ultra-desirable 512GB model. Still, if you've been a fan of previous Note phones, this is a superb update that should be your next handset.
It's a sign of just how good the Samsung Galaxy S9+ is that it's still this high in the rankings, given it's Samsung's 2018 flagship, and the Samsung Galaxy S10 series is already available. It's got a crisp display screen, great camera and superb battery life, and it shows just how good Samsung phones can be.
Much of what makes the Google Pixel phones great comes via HTC. That's partly because they've been the OEM of choice for Google for some time, but also because Google bought a whole host of HTC IP – as well as the services of many of its developers – in 2017. The HTC U12+ is effectively the Google Pixel with a more flexible interface, especially as it relates to the "Edge Sense" squeezable sides feature. Add in a unique design and some solid performance, and you've got a quality handset. One catch here is that it only sells outright in Australia, so there are no contract options on offer.
Oppo traditionally plays in the mid-range space, offering near-premium value at lower price points. The Oppo Find X is the company's first premium flagship phone, with a unique "pop-up" camera module that allows it to have a full screen display. If you're after a genuinely different phone, you'll find it in the Oppo Find X.
Why you should compare the best Android phones in Australia
Google's Android operating system runs more phones than any other, having entirely seen off Windows Phone and taken significant market share from Apple's iOS. It's where we see the most innovation, year in and year out, whether it's in battery capacity, new camera features or consumer-friendly ways to make each Android device your own.
That means it's much more than just a game of comparing specifications, especially as the vast majority of premium phones run off the same OS and mostly the same core processors. Premium Android phones bring features such as improved camera optics, wireless charging, large high resolution displays and stylish finishes with robust glass.
Here at finder.com.au, we've reviewed all of the flagship smartphones that have launched in Australia, putting them through their paces to see which is best. We've argued long and hard to create this list of 2019's best smartphones, which we update constantly.
Glossary: Key Android phone terms to consider
|Display||AMOLED displays don't need a backlight, screen pixels are actually turned off to produce blacks, which can save energy. Super AMOLED has improved visibility in direct sunlight. LCD displays use a backlight, which reduces contrast. An IPS LCD display has truer colour reproduction and looks better when you view the screen at an angle.|
|RAM||RAM is your phone's short-term memory. When you use an app, instead of writing data to your phone's internal storage or SD card (long-term memory), the data is stored in the device's RAM so it can be recalled quickly and easily when it's needed. The more RAM the better, and in the premium space that typically means 4GB or more. When the RAM reaches capacity on an Android phone, RAM is recycled through a memory heavy process called garbage collection.|
|Megapixels||MP is short for megapixels and is generally accepted as a guide for image quality. More megapixels doesn't mean a better-looking photo. Megapixels are about the maximum size of the image in relation to image quality. The more megapixels, the larger you can blow up your picture without it becoming distorted.|
|Sensor size||Too many megapixels for a small image sensor will ruin the image quality.|
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