Here at finder, we review all the major phones released in Australia to compare what they all have to offer. From our reviews, we've come to the conclusion that the best phone you can buy right now is the Samsung Galaxy S8. Read on to find what other phones are worth your investment, and we'll be assessing the newly announced iPhone X and iPhone 8 to see how they place in this list as soon as they launch.
UPDATE 30 August 2017: Budget manufacturer OnePlus has stormed into the top ten with its first official Australian device, the OnePlus 5.
1. Samsung Galaxy S8
SPECS: Screen: 5.8in | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 152g | Processor: Exynos 8895 | Rear cam: 12MP | Front cam: 8MP | Battery: 3,000mAh | Screen res: 2960 × 1440
Last year's Galaxy S7 was the best phone you could buy, right up until the point the Galaxy S8 was released. With its incredible screen, impressive battery life and powerful performance, the Galaxy S8 is the new benchmark for what smartphones need to be to fit our modern lifestyle.
2. Sony Xperia XZ Premium
SPECS: Screen: 5.5in | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 195g | Processor: SnapDragon 835 | Rear cam: 19MP | Front cam: 13MP | Battery: 3,230mAh | Screen res: 3840 × 2160
This year's phones have continued to impress, with the Sony leapfrogging HTC to the second top spot thanks to its 960fps slow motion camera, incredible speeds, impressive battery life and integrated water resistance. It's a little bulky, but you get a lot of solid performance inside that chunk.
3. HTC U11
SPECS: Screen: 5.5in | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 169g | Processor: Snapdragon 835 | Rear cam: 16MP | Front cam: 12MP | Battery: 3,000mAh | Screen res: 2560 × 1440
It's been a few years since HTC blew the world away with the HTC One, but the U11 is a real return to form. While it's ultimately bested by the Galaxy S8, it's also a fair bit cheaper, with relatively impressive performance and a unique design style
4. OnePlus 5
The OnePlus 5 is the first time the brand has launched a flagship phone in Australia, and with a starting outright price of $599, the OnePlus 5 is an impressive device, bringing top performance to a more budget-conscious market. There's no expandable storage and the screen resolution is a bit lower than most current flagships, but this is still outperforms many more expensive rivals.
5. Apple iPhone 7 Plus
If you can get past the loss of the 3.5mm headphone jack, the iPhone 7 Plus is a powerful phone that seriously competes with Samsung's devices for top billing in this list. If you're keen to remain inside the Apple and iOS ecosystem, this is the phone to choose, but the price premium on the iPhone 7 Plus means the Galaxy S8 gets top billing.
6. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
The plus variant of Samsung's new Galaxy S8 family offers almost identical specs to the smaller version, but with a larger 6.2-inch screen and a 3,500mAh battery. While that extra battery capacity leads to incredible longevity, the extra cost involved with the S8+ holds it back from a spot on the podium. It's an impressive phone for anyone keen on owning a large-screen device, but for most users the Galaxy S8 will be a better choice.
7. Huawei P10
Combining impressive battery life for a standard-sized handset and solid performance, the Huawei P10 manages to rocket to the top half of our list. Some clever developments for the fingerprint sensor and impressive photo skills are rounded out by an impressively accessible asking price, making it a real contender for anyone looking for a great new phone without spending a fortune.
8. LG G6
The LG G6 features a striking 18:9 display and retains the dual camera setup from the G5. It also manages to get premium performance out of both the camera and the processor. LG has also added water resistance while boosting the battery life, making it an impressive all-rounder.
9. Apple iPhone 7
With two low-powered processors for handling smaller tasks without burning through battery life, the A10 Fusion chip gives the iPhone 7 market-leading performance. While the iPhone 7 offers a big step up over the iPhone 6S, the 1,960mAh battery just doesn't deliver enough juice. If you're prepared to regularly charge your phone and prepared to pay the Apple premium, the iPhone 7 is a fantastic device with plenty of grunt to get things done.
10. Google Pixel XL
The Pixel XL makes a big deal of its integrated camera, which sings in natural light situations by producing vibrant images. The Pixel XL also offers a super smart digital assistant, with voice control technology that learns over time to basically deliver you the best information you need using easy to understand natural language. Unfortunately, the phone's design is rather dull, but the pure Android experience counteracts that disappointment.
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 the decision on 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.
2016 was the best year for mobile phones to date, and 2017 is shaping up to be even better. The trend towards larger screen smartphones has allowed for phones to feature larger batteries, helping overcome the challenge of running out of juice before you get home from work each day. Improvements to mobile operating systems like iOS 10 and Android N also allow us to accomplish more from our phones than ever before.
It hasn't all been smooth sailing though. Despite debuting at the number two spot, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was recalled because of fear of spontaneous combustion. It then had replacements issued and when some of those caught fire, shipments were paused around the world. It's reached the point that the phone has been recalled worldwide and won't be relaunched, so we've removed it from our list altogether.
Note 7 issues aside, here at finder we've reviewed all 2016 and 2017 flagship smartphones, putting them through their paces to see which is best. We've argued long and hard to create this list of 2017's best smartphones, which we'll be updating constantly.
So far, 2017 has launched with an explosion of superb devices, from the Mate 9 and P10 from Huawei to the Galaxy S8 family from Samsung. We've still to see where Sony and HTC's new handsets will appear in the list, but we'll update this page when they do.
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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 from 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 the 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.|
The Apple iPhone has far less RAM than the Android smartphones. When the RAM fills up 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.
|Mega pixels||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 and the 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.|
10 best phones you can buy in Australia
|Number 1||Samsung Galaxy S8|
|Number 2||Sony Xperia XZ Premium|
|Number 3||HTC U11|
|Number 4||OnePlus 5|
|Number 5||Apple iPhone 7 Plus|
|Number 6||Samsung Galaxy S8+|
|Number 7||Huawei P10|
|Number 8||LG G6|
|Number 9||Apple iPhone 7|
|Number 10||Google Pixel XL|