The best budget phones in Australia for 2022

Our expert team has tested hundreds of mobile phones to find the 10 best options under $400.

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Top 10 budget phones

  1. Nokia G10
  2. Moto G10
  3. Vivo Y52
  4. Oppo A54
  5. Moto G30
  6. TCL 20 SE
  7. Aspera R40
  8. Moto e7 Power
  9. TCL 20 R 5G
  10. Aspera R9

How did we pick this list?

Finder's team of experts has tested and reviewed every phone on this list. For each phone, we consider the design, cameras, performance, battery life and overall value for money.

Our editorial team selected the phones on this list based on their overall quality and value compared to other phones on the market. All phones featured on this list have a launch RRP of under $400.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Nokia G10

Clean Android and guaranteed updates make it a budget winner

Nokia G10
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • 3-year warranty
  • Android One
  • USB-C charging
  • Fair performance for its price

Cons

  • Only 720p display
  • Average camera
  • Doesn’t entirely live up to 3-day battery claim

Why we chose it

Picking any budget handset always involves compromise beyond just the price point. You're not going to get every feature, but most budget buyers also aren't going to want to replace their phones regularly. That's why we favour the Nokia G10, which comes with 3 years of Android updates along with a 3-year actual device warranty.

You just don't see that in the budget space all that often. It's not the fastest phone of course, and the cameras aren't exceptional either, but if you're after a phone that you can reliably trust to last the distance, the Nokia G10 does stand out.

Read our full Nokia G10 review.


Motorola Moto G10

Excellent battery life for a budget phone

Motorola Moto G10
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Clean Android runs well at this price point
  • Choice of colour styles

Cons

  • Cheap plastic build
  • Camera app can be slow to fire up
  • Slow charging

Why we chose it

Motorola genuinely surprised us with the Motorola Moto G10. Not that it couldn't make a good budget phone, because that's been the backbone of the company's Australian offerings for years now. More because it's actually a better phone than some of its pricier siblings, with solid battery life, good app performance and even a choice of colour styles.

You typically get to pick from the black one, the black one and the one that is the opposite of the white one in budget phone land, after all. Our biggest complaint for a phone at this price point is that the camera app can be very slow to launch, so it's not ideal for those fast action shots.

Read our full review Motorola Moto G10.


Vivo Y52 5G

5G-ready in the budget space

Vivo Y52 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Decent app performance
  • 5G capable
  • Acceptable cameras for the price

Cons

  • Very plain plastic body
  • Battery life doesn't live up to expectations
  • Middling 5G speeds

Why we chose it

For technology you expect to see in cheaper phones, 5G network compatibility isn't usually high on the list. Vivo's big claim for the Vivo Y52 when it launched was that it was the cheapest 5G handset you could buy. That's not reason enough to buy a smartphone, however, but it is a nice future-proofing touch if you plan to keep it a long while.

For a budget phone, the Vivo Y52's cameras are notably good. It's even reasonably powerful for running apps, at least compared to most budget phones. However, battery life was on the lower side, and it would dip even lower if you did need it as a pure 5G handset.

Read our full Vivo Y52 review.


Oppo A54 5G

The complete package, including 5G

Oppo A54 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Affordable 5G
  • NFC on board
  • Screen protector and case supplied

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Sluggish performance
  • Fingerprint sensor is tricky to use

Why we chose it

Oppo has long sold itself as a value brand, and the affordable Oppo A54 shows what it can do in a cheaper handset. 5G is one of the bigger calling cards here, but like the Vivo Y52 you shouldn't just look at network compatibility.

You do also get NFC on board, which means it's compatible with contactless payment systems such as Google Pay. We were also impressed with the included case and already applied screen protector, something of a rarity in the budget space. However, it's not the fastest handset even for a budget offering, and battery life did leave us a little wanting.


Motorola Moto G30

The Moto G10's bigger sibling has a very nice screen

Motorola Moto G30
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • 90Hz-capable display
  • Good overall battery life
  • USB-C charging

Cons

  • Camera isn’t a huge jump from the cheaper Moto G10
  • 4GB RAM hampers performance

Why we chose it

The Motorola Moto G30 is effectively the "flagship" budget Motorola phone, sitting just above the Motorola Moto G10 in price terms most of the time. The big upgrade here is the inclusion of a 90Hz-capable 6.5-inch display, giving you smoother web page scrolling and better game performance.

However, it's still using just a 720p-capable display, which feels like a bit of a waste. Where the Motorola Moto G30 might make more sense is if you can score one at a discount closer to the price of the Motorola Moto G10, because it's still otherwise a good budget option.

Read our full Motorola Moto G30 review.


TCL 20 SE

The screen's the thing

TCL 20 SE
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Large display
  • 18W charging
  • Android 11

Cons

  • Poor battery life despite 5,000mAh battery
  • Middling performance
  • Cameras aren't great

Why we chose it

TCL is best known in Australia for affordable TV sets, so it's no real surprise that the best part of its budget-centric TCL 20 SE is the display. It's a large 6.82-inch LCD that gets pumped up with TCL's proprietary NXTVision algorithms for a generally brighter and clearer image.

Side-by-side with other phones, the contrast difference can be quite stark, and while that kind of colour balancing won't suit every image, it can make the TCL 20 SE a good option for those who watch a lot of video on their handsets. However, the rest of the TCL 20 SE isn't quite as compelling, with middling performance across applications, cameras and even battery life despite the 5,000mAh battery pack.

Read our full TCL 20 SE review.


Aspera R40

A tough feature phone that can really take a knock

Aspera R40
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • IP68 water resistant
  • Large, friendly buttons
  • KaiOS has some extensibility
  • Removable battery

Cons

  • Not quite as rugged as the Nokia 800 Tough
  • Limited in the classic feature phone ways
  • Camera is awful

Why we chose it

The Aspera R40 is essentially a clone of one of our prior best budget phone winners, the Nokia 800 Tough. That's an older handset suited to those who like feature phones, and harder to find these days.

The R40 is more than a capable replacement within the obvious caveats that you don't get smartphone-style performance for your money. Still, if you favour physical buttons and a simpler phone world within a device you can literally drop down the stairs or drop into water – we've done both – then the Aspera R40 is a more than capable replacement.

Read our full Aspera R40 review.


Motorola Moto e7 Power

We like big batteries and we cannot lie

Motorola Moto e7 Power
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • 5,000mAh battery runs well
  • Nice design
  • USB-C charging

Cons

  • Not a fast phone for apps
  • Cheap build quality
  • Only 2GB of onboard RAM
  • Regular Moto e7 isn’t much more expensive

Why we chose it

Like prior Motorola "Power" phones, the big selling point for the budget-centric Motorola Moto e7 Power is the inclusion of a large battery pack. You get a sealed 5,000mAh battery. And while that's not quite as unique as it once was in the budget space, the rest of the Moto e7 Power's features means that it lasts a very long time for regular everyday use.

Part of how it gets to that endurance benchmark is by being a low-powered, low-RAM phone, so it's not particularly quick to respond.

Read our full Motorola Moto e7 Power review.


TCL 20 R 5G

Older phone, but worth pursuing if you can score a bargain

TCL 20 R 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • 90Hhz NXTVision display is lovely
  • Ridged edges feel nice in the hand
  • 5G capable
  • Good battery life
  • Protective case included

Cons

  • Mediocre camera
  • Slow Android security updates
  • Slow charging

Why we chose it

TCL's cheapest 5G phone stands out not because it's got some revolutionary camera or processor on board, or indeed on price grounds. It is in direct competition with a lot of budget 5G phones that use the exact same combination of processor, RAM and Android version.

It mostly stands out because while like all budget phones there are compromises to bear in mind to meet a price point, the TCL 20 R 5G mostly balances them really well. In our tests it sat near or at the top of its class for processor and graphics performance as well as battery life. It's not a fast phone, but it's a good representation of what you should expect if you're after value for money.

The compromise you do have to put up with is a mediocre camera array, with a slow macro camera and inconsistent front-facing selfie camera. If you're after a smartphone with 5G and better camera quality look away, but if you want an everyday phone that does the basics very well, it's sharply priced for what you get.

Read our full TCL 20 R 5G review.


Aspera R9

Tough-as-boots phone for tradies looking to save a buck or 2

Aspera R9
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • IP-rated water resistance
  • Shock resistance
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Low-level performance
  • Poor camera
  • Big phone, but small display

Why we chose it

We're all pretty good at dropping and breaking our phones, so it's surprising that there are very few actual "tough" phones on the market. That's even more true in the budget space, with Aspera's R9 standing out as much for the fact that it's IP-rated for water and dust resistance and drop resistant too for under $300.

It would certainly fit the bill for tradies who want and need a basic phone that won't die after a few months due to the odd drop or exposure to dust. The trade-off here is that it's not a notably good phone in other aspects. Cameras aren't great, the processor is slow and charging is via the more fiddly microUSB standard.

Read our full Aspera R9 review.


Amazon prices last updated on 23 May, 2022 at 12:29 am
eBay prices last updated on 22 May, 2022 at 10:29 am

Methodology

100+
Mobile phones reviewed
10,000+
Hours spent testing
10
Top budget picks
  • We've spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing mobile phones.
  • Our editorial team has a combined 60+ years of experience writing about tech and reviewing the latest devices.
  • The phones on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not based on commercial relationships.

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