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Finder's expert review team has tested every single phone on this list extensively, considering design, camera output, performance, battery life and any special features for each handset.
Our editorial team selected the phones on this list based on their overall quality and value compared to other phones on the market. The selection and order is not based on review scores. More detail on methodology below.
Apple is not known for being an "affordable" brand, but the iPhone SE (2020) is the exception, thanks to the inclusion of the exact same processor that's found in the much more expensive iPhone 11 line, the Apple A13 Bionic. It puts it astonishingly far ahead of its Android competition when it comes to running apps of any type.
There's a definite passion for iPhones amongst Australian phone buyers, but that brings with it a big problem. Apple's premium smartphones are hands-down expensive, unless you go down the risky refurbished/second-hand route. That's where the Apple iPhone SE enters the picture. While it's not as slick as a fresh iPhone, its Apple A13 Bionic processor still gives it plenty of processing grunt to run the wide array of easy-to-use Apple iOS apps. Its smaller size also makes it pocket-friendly if you prefer a smaller phone. The big downside for the SE really is its battery life – so it would be wise to invest in a battery pack as well.
Google's affordable Pixel 4a is an impressive effort even in the busy mid-range space. While its design is somewhat plain and battery life is equally mid-range, it's also first in line for Android updates. Google leaves it up to you what to install or how it should look, with a clean and fast Android experience your reward as a result. It's also one of the easiest smartphones to get top-quality photo results from, thanks to Google's AI-assisted camera. If you're keen on the Pixel 4a, it's also worth checking prices on the Google Pixel 4a 5G, not so much for its 5G capabilities as its larger screen.
Samsung has its range of premium phones in the Galaxy S series and its mid-range Galaxy A phones… and then there's the Galaxy S20 FE, which bridges the gap between the two, resulting in a phone that can be purchased at mid-range prices with features you'd typically find in top-end devices instead. The Galaxy S20 FE's camera is a standout, and it's no slouch in the app performance stakes instead, especially if you can score the 5G model at a good price.
Oppo's Find X series is meant to be its flagship line, but like other makers it's also got a cut-down or "lite" option – quite literally in the case of the Oppo Find X3 Lite. Its highlights include a sharp 90Hz capable 6.4 inch FHD+ display and good battery life, which is a real rarity in 90Hz-capable handsets. Surprisingly for an Oppo phone, where usually the cameras are a standout, here they're a little more ordinary, however.
The easiest way to describe the Nokia 8.3 5G is that it's essentially what would happen if you took a Google Pixel phone and added luxury features and style. That's because like HMD Global's other Nokia devices, it's an Android One phone with guaranteed updates and a clean Android interface to play with, along with just a little more luxury in a handset that can easily be had for mid-range pricing now. You don't quite get the upper tier of premium features like IP-rated water resistance or wireless charging, however.
Compare the specs and and purchasing options of each phone in the table below. Click on "View details" for more product specifications.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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