Some of the latest and most popular handsets are available at uncommonly low prices. Read more…
What to consider when choosing a new mobile phone
Buying a new smartphone is an investment, not just in terms of the physical product but also in how you use the device. With many phones purchased on 24-month contracts, making sure you're happy with your purchase over time is almost as important as the desire to get the shiniest new phone.
Whether you're picking up a top of the line phone or just a cheap prepaid device, there are a number of factors you should consider before you make your purchase:
Price: While this won't necessarily stop you from choosing the device you want, it will have an impact on the type of phone you can afford. Many of today's flagships cost well over $1,000 outright and are subject to extra monthly payments even if you're picking up the phone on contract. That said, there are plenty of opportunities to pick up cheap phones from retail partners if you shop around, which can help ease the strain on your wallet.
Operating System: For all intents and purposes, there are two mobile operating systems to choose from, Google's Android platform or Apple's iOS. While Windows Phone technically still exists, it accounts for less than 1% of market share in Australia, and other custom operating systems are also too small to consider as a viable choice. The choice between the two platforms comes down to a matter of preference for hardware, with iOS exclusively on offer for iPhones, while Android is on the vast majority of Australian smartphones.
Screen size: The trend over the past few years has definitely tended towards the "bigger is better" mantra, with phone screens approaching 6 inches on the diagonal. Having a bigger screen makes reading text and watching videos easier, but drains the battery faster and can be difficult to control one handed.
Screen resolution: Smartphone screen technology has come a long way in the past few years, with the ability to get devices with 4K capable screens now possible. For the most part, those resolutions are wasted on a device smaller than six inches, but it's worth comparing the Pixels Per Inch (PPI) specification to see just how many pixels the manufacturer was able to cram into an inch, with more pixels generally resulting in a crisper image on screen.
App availability: This is tied to the operating system, but can definitely be a deal breaker. While many popular apps are available for both iOS and Android platforms, there are still plenty of examples of apps and games that are only available on one platform. If those apps are important to you, you should ensure you choose a phone that will offer the app in question.
Battery life: Battery life is the one feature of smartphones that hasn't really changed significantly. While manufacturers have managed to offer improvements through both cramming more battery into larger phones and reducing battery consumption through smarter software, battery technology still remains largely the same as it was when Apple launched the first iPhone. For a full day's battery life, you should probably focus on phones with 3,000mAh or more.
Connectivity: Not all Australian carriers use the same network frequencies, so ensuring your phone works on the full spectrum of frequencies for your carrier is essential. It is fairly complicated, but you can compare the networks and their respective frequencies to get a better idea.
Camera: The smartphone camera has all but replaced the compact digital camera market, and the quality of phone photos gets better every year. It's not all about megapixels though, with sensor size and twin lens technologies helping make smartphone pictures even better.
Storage: If you're buying a phone that's going to house your entire life, from contacts to photos and videos and everything in between, you need to make sure you have enough storage to keep it all. Lower storage devices are cheaper, but look for an expandable memory microSD slot so you can expand the capacity at will. Alternatively, look for a higher capacity device.
Contract availability: Not all phones are available on contract over 24 months. If you can't grab a phone on contract, be prepared to pay more for the phone up front. However, doing so will likely save you money in the long run.
Just scored a new Android phone or tablet? Unfamiliar with the operating system? Here’s what you need to know.Any new operating system can be tricky to master, and this is especially true if you’re making the switch on something you use as often as a mobile phone. If you’re moving over from iOS to Android […]
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.