Best phones on the Vodafone network

Our expert team has tested hundreds of smartphones to find the 10 top phones you can buy on the Vodafone network.

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The best Vodafone phones, ranked

  1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  2. Apple iPhone 12
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  4. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G
  6. Google Pixel 5
  7. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  9. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  10. Apple iPhone SE

How did we pick this list?

Finder's team of experts have tested and reviewed every single phone featured in this guide to come up with our list of the best smartphones. For each phone, we assess and test 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.

Read more detail on our methodology below.


Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

The top option

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Flexible and capable cameras
  • Delightful 120Hz display
  • S-Pen compatibility
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • S-Pen isn’t standard
  • Australia gets the weaker Exynos model (again)
  • AI focus can go off-track
  • No included charger or headphones
  • No storage expansion

Why we chose it

Samsung and Apple are Australia's most popular phone brands, and right now if you're after a true flagship phone with great low light camera performance, 5G and a slick design, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the phone to get on the Vodafone network.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review.


Apple iPhone 12

Great for iOS fans

Apple iPhone 12
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Camera gives better low-light shots
  • Apple A14 Bionic runs ludicrously fast
  • Improved Ceramic Shield glass

Cons

  • Dual cameras on a flagship is a little odd
  • No charger or headphones included
  • Battery life is still low for a premium priced phone

Why we chose it

Apple has a lot of phones in its iPhone 12 family, but if you're after the best balance between performance and price for an iPhone on the Vodafone network, look no further than the iPhone 12. You get the same A14 Bionic processor as the rest of Apple's current crop of premium handsets, a very good camera experience and you're saving money over the Pro series phones. What's not to like about that?

Read our full Apple iPhone 12 review.


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

An affordable flagship

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Great app performance
  • Good low light camera
  • Flexible shooting for video or stills
  • Range of colour choices

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • 5G model carries a stiff price premium
  • 4G model uses a lower spec processor

Why we chose it

The Galaxy S20 FE is a curious phone, because in all sorts of ways it breaks the rules. Flagship features belong on premium priced phones, right? It seems that Samsung broke its own rules with the Galaxy S20 FE, which takes the essential flagship features of its S20 handsets and dropped them into a very affordable handset, whether you're after great photos from its cameras or fast application performance.

Read our full Galaxy S20 FE review.


Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Huge and powerful

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Best cameras in any iPhone to date
  • A14 processor is very powerful
  • Good battery life
  • IP 68 water resistance and ceramic shield glass

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy and large
  • iOS doesn't make the most of a large screen
  • Aussies don't get the best 5G options Apple can make

Why we chose it

Apple's iPhones have long been the best in class trendsetters when it comes to true premium phones, and if that's what you want from your next Vodafone handset, look no further than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. You get great battery life, a truly pro-grade camera and the best processor in any handset, hands down for your money… although it is a pricey proposition, which is why we recommend the base model iPhone 12 over it for most Australians.

Read our full Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review.


Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G

Perfect for stylus aficionados

Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Great camera
  • S-Pen continues to impress
  • Matches the S20 Ultra step for step
  • Water resistance

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Space Zoom is still a gimmick
  • Not quite as nice a display as the S20 Ultra

Why we chose it

Every smartphone works on a touchscreen, but only a small fraction offer the more precise option of a stylus. Samsung not only invented the category with the original Note phone, but also kept on improving it to this day. Your best and most affordable option here on the Vodafone network is the Galaxy Note 20 5G, which also brings with it good performance and a quality camera experience.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review.


Google Pixel 5

The core Google experience

Google Pixel 5
Image: Supplied/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Great ultrawide camera lens
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Only one storage option
  • Middling performance

Why we chose it

The Pixel 5 isn't the most expensive flagship on the market – that's a big plus if you want a more affordable Vodafone handset – but it offers a different take on what you might want out of a premium Android phone. Like other Pixels, you get guaranteed updates and a clean interface that isn't infested with apps you won't want, along with a smart and simple camera best for those who want nice pictures without the Pro fuss.

Check out the latest on the Google Pixel 5.


Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

Fast and accurate

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Camera is fast and accurate
  • S-Pen is a great productivity tool
  • 120Hz display can be lovely to look at
  • Water resistance

Cons

  • Battery life at 120Hz is sub-par
  • 50x Space Zoom delivers awful pictures
  • Chunky camera bump

Why we chose it

The cheaper Note 20 covers the basics, but if you want a more expansive phone with a superb 6.9-inch display and S-Pen compatibility, then the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G is well worth your time and money. You've got to like a larger phone of course, but then that does also give you more sketching space with the S-Pen, or for binge watching streaming services late at night. The choice is yours.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

A unique mobile experience

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Front display is much larger now
  • Cameras give pleasing results
  • Powerful performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No storage expansion
  • No water resistance
  • Plastic display with crease
  • Cameras on the Note 20 Ultra are better

Why we chose it

Is the best phone the one with the most high-end features? For some people that's exactly what you want, and if so, look no further than Samsung's premium foldable phone, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. It works astonishingly well on its own as a premium smartphone, but adds the ability to simply fold out into a full Android tablet as well. This is more than a party piece, because it's also a powerful phone in its own right, making it a great productivity tool for those who can afford it.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review.


Apple iPhone 12 mini

Just like the iPhone 12, but mini

Apple iPhone 12 mini
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Same cameras as the iPhone 12
  • A14 Processor puts it in a class of its own
  • 5G capable

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Small display screen for the price
  • Slower Qi charging
  • No mmWave support

Why we chose it

For a long time, all Apple phones were "mini" compared to the rest of the market, but in recent years Apple stepped away from smaller phones with smaller screens. If you miss those days but don't want to compromise on performance, then the tiny and cute Apple iPhone 12 Mini is precisely the handset you've been waiting for.

Read our full Apple iPhone 12 Mini review.


Apple iPhone SE (2020)

Basic, but versatile

Apple iPhone SE (2020)
Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

Finder Score:

★★★★★

Pros

  • Apple A13 processor is very powerful
  • A lower cost entry point for iOS phones
  • Small size is easy to carry

Cons

  • Only a single lens camera feels cheap
  • Low light shooting is poor
  • Battery life is sub-par

Why we chose it

Apple has never sold itself as a "cheap" brand, and compared to the Android market, there are no "cheap" iPhones to be had. However, the iPhone SE does represent a more "affordable" option while still retaining everything you like about iOS and a good quantity of processing power as well, so it's not a slow or old-feeling phone despite its lower price point on a Vodafone plan.

Read our full Apple iPhone SE review.


Methodology

150+
Mobile phones reviewed
10,000+
Hours spent testing
10
Best Vodafone phones ranked
  • 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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