Best phones 2019: The 10 top smartphones you can buy

Here at finder, we review all the major phones released in Australia to compare what they have to offer.
Right now, following our comprehensive review process, we've come to the conclusion that the best value phone you can buy is the Huawei P30 Pro. As 2019's flagship phones have hit Australian shelves, read on to find out which other phones are worth your investment.
alex

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 08 April 2019.

Phones added
This comparison was updated 8 April 2019 to add the Huawei P30 Pro.

08 April 2019

Phones added
This comparison was updated 22 March 2019 to add the Samsung Galaxy S10+.

22 March 2019

Phones added
Samsung Galaxy S10+ has been added to the top phones list.

30 January 2018

Phones added
Apple iPhone XS Max, Google Pixel 3, Google Pixel 3XL and Huawei Mate 20 Pro have been added to the top phones list.

05 October 2018

Phones added
This comparison was updated 2 July 2018 to reflect the arrival of the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact and HTC U12+ smartphones.

View latest updates

Jacob Smith
Jacob

1. Huawei P30 Pro

P30 Pro

Huawei's P30 Pro combines class-leading battery life with a camera that shows just how far ahead of the pack the Chinese manufacturer truly is. It's not quite perfect -- we'd prefer proper microSD expansion, and Huawei's EMUI launcher is a little inconsistent -- but it's easily the best flagship phone you can buy right now

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.47
inches

2340 x 1080px

  • Display

    6.47 inches 2340 x 1080
  • Rear camera

    40MP + 20MP + 8MP
  • Battery size

    4,200 mAh
40MP + 20MP + 8MP

256GB

4,200
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


2. Samsung Galaxy S10+

Samsung Galaxy S10+
Samsung's flagship phone for 2019 incorporates a superb dynamic AMOLED display, triple cameras and plenty of processing power, although it's notably not quite the battery behemoth that previous Samsung phones have been.
Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.4
inches

3040 x 1440px

  • Display

    6.4 inches 3040 x 1440
  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP + 16MP
  • Battery size

    4,100 mAh
12MP + 12MP + 16MP

128GB


512GB


1TB

4,100
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


3. Apple iPhone XS

iPhone XS

The iPhone XS has the same core processor, memory and camera as the iPhone XS Max, but it wraps it in an easier-to-hold body with a high-quality OLED display at a much more appealing price point. It's still a premium price, but not quite as up there as its bigger sibling.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
5.8
inches

2436 x 1125px

  • Display

    5.8 inches 2436 x 1125
  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    2,659 mAh
12MP + 12MP

64GB


256GB


512GB

2,659
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


4. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei's Mate 20 Pro features a camera that's really only outclassed by the exceptional Huawei P30 Pro. Like the P30 Pro, its battery life is also superb, but you do have to be happy with Huawei's EMUI launcher.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.39
inches

3120 x 1440px

  • Display

    6.39 inches 3120 x 1440
  • Rear camera

    40MP + 20MP + 8MP
  • Battery size

    4,200 mAh
40MP + 20MP + 8MP

128GB

4,200
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


5. Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3

Google's latest premium flagship phone is ultra-portable, aggressively priced and very powerful, thanks to the optimisations built into Android Pie. Its single-camera night sight camera is seriously impressive stuff, and it's the phone to buy if you want a pure Google experience.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
5.5
inches

2160 x 1080px

  • Display

    5.5 inches 2160 x 1080
  • Rear camera

    12.2MP
  • Battery size

    2,915 mAh
12.2MP

64GB


128GB

2,915
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


6. Apple iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max

Apple's latest and greatest handset is an impressive technical achievement, with the power of the A12 Fusion blowing away every other smartphone you can buy, and not by a small margin. It's also equipped with excellent dual cameras and the smooth operation of iOS 12. Balancing against that, however, is the fact that Apple charges a serious premium for the iPhone XS Max, more than any other regular smartphone on sale in Australia today.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.5
inches

2688 x 1242px

  • Display

    6.5 inches 2688 x 1242
  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    3,179 mAh
12MP + 12MP

64GB


256GB


512GB

3,179
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


7. Samsung Galaxy Note9

Galaxy Note9

Samsung's Galaxy Note9 is an impressive phone with superb battery life, an ever-improving S-Pen stylus and a huge display screen. The Galaxy S10+ outpaces it for performance, but it's got much better battery stamina than Samsung's current flagship. It's still a little pricey, especially if you want the top-tier storage variants, but if you've been a fan of previous Note phones, this is a superb update that should be your next handset.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.4
inches

2960 x 1440px

  • Display

    6.4 inches 2960 x 1440
  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    4,000 mAh
12MP + 12MP

128GB


512GB

4,000
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


8. Google Pixel 3XL

Google Pixel 3XL

The bigger brother of the Pixel 3 is worth considering if you're a fan of bigger phones. It's got the same clean Google interface, first access to new Google OS updates and some very nifty camera tricks despite only rocking a single rear lens.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.3
inches

1440 x 2960px

  • Display

    6.3 inches 1440 x 2960
  • Rear camera

    12.2MP
  • Battery size

    3,430 mAh
12.2MP

64GB


128GB

3,430
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers



9. Apple iPhone XR

Apple iPhone XR

Apple's most "affordable" iPhone for 2018 was the Apple iPhone XR. It uses the same underlying Apple A12 Fusion as its bigger siblings, but with an LCD rather than OLED display and a single rear lens. It's a fine buy to get in on the floor of the Apple iOS experience, but if you're paying premium money the iPhone XS is arguably the better overall buy.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.1
inches

1792 x 828px

  • Display

    6.1 inches 1792 x 828
  • Rear camera

    12MP
  • Battery size

    2,942 mAh
12MP

64GB


128GB


256GB

2,942
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


10. Samsung Galaxy S9+

The Samsung Galaxy S9+ provides a quality package of features led the pack over most of 2018, especially thanks to its sharp price point. It's still a great option if you're after a premium phone, especially as we're seeing even better prices for it now that the Galaxy S10 series has arrived.

Updated April 26th, 2019
Name Product Display Display Rear camera Internal storage Battery size More info More info
6.2
inches

2960 x 1440px

  • Display

    6.2 inches 2960 x 1440
  • Rear camera

    12MP + 12MP
  • Battery size

    3,500 mAh
12MP + 12MP

64GB


256GB

3,500
mAh

Compare up to 4 providers


Compare best phone specifications

How we choose the best mobile phones in Australia

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.

In choosing the order of phones, we consider the features that most premium phone buyers will care about. Style is very much a personal matter, but more measurable features such as battery life, application performance and camera quality are features we can measure and rank. Every single phone in this list has been extensively tested by Finder's expert team of mobile reviewers to give us reference points for comparison.

While premium phones attract higher price points, we also compare the price you'll pay outright and on contract when placing phones in this list. There's no such thing as a "cheap" flagship phone, but there's definitely a value question that needs levelling when you're spending north of $1,000 on a handset.

Why you should compare the best mobile phones in Australia

Ever since Steve Jobs took to the stage in 2007 and unveiled the very first iPhone to the world, the smartphone has become one of the most important tech devices you will ever own. Today's smartphones manage our very existence, connecting us with friends and family and keeping us informed throughout our day-to-day lives.

The sheer impact of the smartphone on today's society makes deciding which smartphone to purchase all the more important. These products can be expensive and are often purchased with a two-year contract, meaning you have to live with your choice for an extended period of time.

To make matters harder, there are many great mobile devices to choose from, with major technology manufacturers from around the world all producing excellent-quality devices. We're here to help you choose.

2017 was a step-change for phones. While 2016 saw devices that massively increased efficiency and power, it was also marred by the explosive Galaxy Note 7 recall. 2017 also saw Apple's impressive return after they managed to create a series of phones that outperform Android devices on both performance and battery life.

2018 saw a bumper crop of smartphones from all manufacturers. Cameras are a key battleground, with some amazing results from what are, after all, very small smartphone sensors. Even ordinary photographers can get some astonishing shots with today's very best flagship phones.

In 2019, we're already seeing plenty of truly exceptional phones in the premium space, especially for camera performance, as well as the first true "foldable" phones set to appear. Needless to say, 2019 could be quite the transformative year for smartphone technology.


Latest Mobile Phones news


Glossary: Key smartphone 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.
OS This is the operating system. The Apple iOS works seamlessly with the App Store for a dynamic and engaging mobile phone experience. Android is an open source platform created by Google, meaning anyone can play around with it. All the phones on our list use the Android OS except the Apple iPhones.
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. Apple's iPhones have far less RAM than Android smartphones. When the RAM reaches capacity on an Android phone, RAM is recycled through a memory heavy process called garbage collection. Apple does it differently and is able to run just as smoothly with half the RAM of most Android mobile phones.
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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12 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AnayaSeptember 19, 2017

    Hi

    I am looking at buying a new mobile phone. I am currently using a Note 5. I am just wondering if you could help me find a phone with good battery life and good camera also a decent screen size (phablet type). I had a look at S8, but it appeared too narrow. Note 8 is really expensive and I can’t justify spending that much money. Ideally I am looking at buying something within $1000.00 range.

    Could you please help me find a phone?

    Cheers,
    Anaya

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 19, 2017

      Hello Anaya,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Currently we don’t have dedicated page for phablets, but if you’re looking for long-battery life handsets and good camera ones, then we have those on a plan. In case you’d like to buy it outright, you can visit the respective stores of the providers offering them.

      Alternatively, if reading multiple tabs is of no concern then you can use our finder search result page regarding different phablet reviews.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    BobJune 29, 2017

    I want to buy a mobile phone 3G or 4G? All I have seen is you have to swipe a finger across and as I shake it, will not work as I’m over 80.

    I want a simple one like a 2G phone I do not use text only used to dial out and receive phone call only. I do not have much money and with the 2g I have a Vodafone 365 day deal pay $20 per year.

    What can I buy?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 29, 2017

      Hi Bob!

      It sounds to me that you only need a basic phone or also known as a “feature” phone. :)

      Please check this page that we have for feature phones available. You may stay on 3G handsets since you mostly use it for calls and texts.

      Take note this is only a handset, you need to buy a 3G or 4G compatible sim to use your new phone.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    JeffJune 12, 2017

    After a new one, intending to choose LG or HTC, was wondering what happened to Sony XZ or Z5 ?? Only asking as my old Z1 had an excellent camera, and curious if the new ones are any good.
    Thanks
    Jeff

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleJune 13, 2017

      Hi Jeff

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      For a review of the Sony XZ you may refer to this page. And for a review of the Sony Z5, you may click here.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  4. Default Gravatar
    JohnMay 7, 2017

    Is there any news about a possible release of huawei mate 9 pro in Australia. If so when?

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 8, 2017Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your question.

      Huawei currently sells the Mate 9 outright in a dual SIM configuration through Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi for $999. If you prefer a phone on contract, the single SIM variant is offered by both Vodafone and Optus on 24 month contract terms. You can check this page for more information on the phone plans.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  5. Default Gravatar
    BarratoneApril 28, 2017

    Do you know if any of the mobile services in Australia will be picking up the new Android Nokia’s this year, before Christmas hopefully??

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 1, 2017Staff

      Hi Barratone,

      Thanks for your question.

      We don’t have information yet as to which mobile service provider will include Android Nokia in their plan. But there are some speculations. You may want to check this news article for more information.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  6. Default Gravatar
    KafeAugust 26, 2015

    What is the best mobile phone with the largest ram and expandable memory at a cheap price with excellent features and apps

    • finder Customer Care
      BrodieAugust 27, 2015Staff

      Hi Kafe,

      The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge boasts a massive 4GB of RAM. However, the latest Galaxy handsets (including the S6 Edge) do not offer expandable memory. I’d recommend either waiting to see what the Sony Xperia Z5 offers or settling for a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which has 3GB of RAM and expandable memory up to 128GB.

      Thanks,

      Brodie

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