Best phones 2019

After hours of testing all the flagship models, we've ranked the 10 top smartphones you can buy right now.

Last updated:

Group smiling and looking at phone

Summary

  • Right now, following our comprehensive review process, we've come to the conclusion that the best phone you can buy is the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max.

1. Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is an expensive phone. But it is also a really, really good phone. So good in fact that it takes top spot in our list. Apple has done impressive things with its software to take advantage of the third camera lens, and when it comes to processor power, Apple is achieving great things with the A13 Bionic.

Throw in the best battery life we've ever seen on an iPhone and incredible video quality, and Apple has returned to the top of the list with the phone to beat.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

From $1,272.13
via perfect_mission
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

From $2,508.20
via Kalugi


2. Samsung Galaxy Note10+

Samsung Galaxy Note10+

The second of Samsung's major flagship ranges, the Note10+ is the larger variant Samsung's 2019 Note series. That extra space squeezes in a triple rear camera and a huge 4,300mAh battery, as well as the Note's iconic stylus.

Intelligent software updates mean you can create your own augmented reality additions to your selfies, while handwriting recognition is astonishingly good. Battery life probably isn't as good as you'd hope, but this is definitely the best Galaxy phone of 2019.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note10+

From $1,107.69 to $1,141.71
via mobileciti_estore
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy Note10+

From $1,499.00
via Amazon AU

3. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Galaxy S10 5G

Samsung's biggest (and most expensive) handset has its finest camera, refined design and plenty of performance power. 5G alone isn't enough to sell any phone, but Samsung's premium offering just inches ahead of its competition.

It's a very close race between the top contenders, and the S10 5G's battery performance lags behind competitors, but it's enough to keep you going for a day's typical usage.


4. 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. Also, Huawei's current woes with the US government could rob it of future Android updates.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Huawei P30 Pro

From $917.18
via mobileciti_estore
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Huawei P30 Pro

From $1,348.00
via Amazon AU

5. Google Pixel 4XL

Google Pixel 4 XL review

Google has become one of the major handset manufacturers in Australia with its Pixel lineup of smartphones. The 2019 XL variant of the phone introduces a dual-camera, and a surprisingly robust voice transcription service. 

However, it's been a rough launch period, with a facial login that can be too easily fooled, and a somewhat disappointing battery life. Still, it's a good upgrade for Pixel 2 owners, or anyone looking for the purest form of Android.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Google Pixel 4 XL

via mobileciti_estore

6. Oppo Reno 5G

Oppo Reno 5G

Oppo's newest flagship is the cheapest 5G phone you can buy, but the Chinese maker didn't skimp on internals, with superb battery life and the performance of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 inside. The "shark fin" camera is a cute innovation, but it does rob it of water resistance and wireless charging.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Oppo Reno 5G

From $868.87
via mobileciti_estore

7. 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.
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10+

From $937.59
via mobileciti_estore
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10+

From $1,489.00
via Amazon AU

8. LG V50 ThinQ

LG V50 ThinQ

LG didn't expect to get the first "foldable" phone to market, but with the 5G-capable LG V50 ThinQ, that's precisely what it has done. Performance is excellent and the camera is the best LG has managed in years, but the dual screen is really the reason to get excited about the V50 ThinQ.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

LG V50 ThinQ

via mobileciti_estore

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. We may be coming towards the end of 2019 now, but the XR is still a fine buy to get in on the floor of the Apple iOS experience.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Apple iPhone XR

via allphones_online
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Apple iPhone XR

From $1,287.98
via KOGAN

10. Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung's strategy of rolling out multiple variants of its flagship phones has paid off here, with its fourth Galaxy phone in our top 10. The S10's comparatively smaller body to the S10+ means that you don't get as much battery life, which is actually a bit worse than the Galaxy S9.

But the Exynos processor is powerful, the camera is solid and the lower price means it still has a place in our round up of best phones.

Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10

From $870.23 to $911.06
via mobileciti_estore
Pricing accurate as of 23rd November 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB

From $1,297.00
via Amazon AU

Compare best phone specifications

How we choose the best mobile phones in Australia

Here at Finder, 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 it 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.


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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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JamesAugust 4, 2019

    What is the advantage or the object of having Dual Sims on a mobile phone?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiAugust 5, 2019Staff

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your question. Some people prefer carrying a phone that has a dual sim feature. These people do this because they have 2 different sim cards and typically, one sim card is for personal use and the other one is for business. This is best for them as need not bring two phones all the time.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Default Gravatar
    JohnMay 7, 2017

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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 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

  6. 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??

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 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

  7. 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

    • Default Gravatar
      BrodieAugust 27, 2015

      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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