The best 5G phones in Australia

The future is calling.

Best 5G iPhone
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$2399
Processor
A17 Pro
RAM
8GB
Resolution
Super XDR Retina
Best 5G Samsung phone
Galaxy S23 Ultra green
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
🔥 Save 11% $2249
$1999
Processor
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM
12GB
Resolution
QHD
Best 5G Android phone
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1699
Processor
Google Tensor G3
RAM
12GB
Resolution
QHD
Best cheap 5G phone
Moto G53 5G hero
Motorola Moto G53
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Starts at
$329
Processor
Snapdragon 480+
RAM
4GB
Resolution
HD
Best mid-range 5G phone
Pixel 7a product image
Google Pixel 7a
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥 Save 5% $697
$661
Processor
Google Tensor G2
RAM
8GB
Resolution
FHD+
Fergus Halliday
Oct 10, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

Even if coverage on par with today's 4G networks is still a ways off, widespread 5G connectivity in Australia is closer than you think. Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are all well on their way when it comes to the rollout of 5G mobile networks across Australia and many Aussies already have access to the super-fast speeds made possible by the next-generation mobile network.

Of course, taking advantage of 5G in Australia will need the right hardware. Older devices don't support 5G and not every new one does either. Fortunately, those looking to hop aboard the 5G express in 2023 have a lot more options than those who came before them.

Here are the most popular 5G phones already available in Australia through every telco. 

Category
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Screen size
Refresh rate
Main camera
Rating
Icon Star Full  LightBest 5G iPhone
From
$2399
6.7-inches120Hz50MP wide lens + 48MP ultrawide + 48MP telephoto
4 out of 5 stars
4
Icon Star Full  LightBest 5G Android phone
From
$1699
6.7-inches120Hz50MP wide angle lens + 48MP telephoto lens + 48MP ultrawide lens
4 out of 5 stars
4
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap 5G phone
From
$329
6.5-inch120Hz50MP main camera + 2MP depth sensor
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Icon Star Full  LightBest 5G mid-range phone
🔥 Save 5% $697
$661
6.1-inches90Hz64MP wide + 13MP ultrawide
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Best 5G Samsung phone
🔥 Save 14% $2249
$1999
6.8-inches120Hz200MP main sensor, 12MP ultra wide-angle lens + 10MP telephoto lens + 10MP telephoto lens
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Best 5G iPhone

iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
5 out of 5 stars
5
From
$2,399
pro Triple-lens camera
pro A17 Bionic processor
con Expensive
con Bulky size

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you're in the market for the 5G iPhone in 2023 and your budget is as big as your ambitions, then Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max is the obvious choice.

While size is the most tangible difference between the top-end of the iPhone 15 lineup and the rest, the iPhone 15 Pro Max also boasts a larger battery and a more capable camera. The difference between the performance offered by this device and the standard iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro isn't huge, but if you're looking for areas where the biggest iPhone of 2023 has the edge, they're easy enough to find.

Although the iPhone 15 Pro Max doesn't quite make the most of the larger form-factor in the way that something like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or a Galaxy Z Fold 5 might, it's still the most compelling candidate for those looking for the best 5G phone that runs on iOS.

Processor
Apple A17 Pro
Display6.7-inches, Super Retina XDR display, OLED
RAM8GB
Storage256GB
Battery4,441mAh
Rear camera48MP (f/1.8) wide lens + 12MP (f/2.2) telephoto + 12MP (f/2.8) ultrawide
Front-facing camera12MP (f/1.9)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
PortsUSB C port
Best budget smartphones

The best cheap smartphones in Australia

Looking for a cheap phone? We've ranked the best budget smartphones available in Australia.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best 5G Samsung phone

Galaxy S23 Ultra green
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
4 out of 5 stars
4
Save 11% $2,399
$1,999
pro S-Pen stylus
pro Samsung-made display
con Expensive
con Camera quality can't compete with Apple or Google

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While the Pixel 8 Pro has Samsung's latest flagship beat when it comes to delivering bang for buck, it's hard to argue that the Galaxy S23 Ultra isn't the brand's best and brightest when it comes to 5G devices.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is a new Galaxy Note in all but name. Even if it shirks away from competing with Google and Apple when it comes to camera quality, the Galaxy S23 has both beat when it comes to catering towards power users.

A sleeker refreshed design and the return of the S-Pen stylus as an integrated accessory rather than an add-on are likely music to the ears of consumers disheartened by the recent demise of the Galaxy Note series. If last year's Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ seemed a little underwhelming to you, that's probably because Samsung saved their best tech for this year's Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Processor
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Display6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display HDR10
RAMStarts at 8GB
StorageStarts at 256GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera200MP main sensor, 12MP ultra wide-angle lens + 10MP telephoto lens + 10MP telephoto lens
Front-facing camera12MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G
PortsUSB Type-C port

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Best 5G Android phone

Google Pixel 8 Pro
Google Pixel 8 Pro
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
5 out of 5 stars
5
From
$1699
pro Tensor processor
pro AI-enahnced camera
con Shorter battery life than you'd expect
con Not as competitive as it once was

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

In line with previous Google-branded smartphones, the Google Pixel 8 Pro eschews camera gimmicks in favor of more practical premium inclusions like water resistance, 5G connectivity, a 120Hz screen, additional RAM and a bigger battery.

The Pixel 6 Pro was our top pick for Android smartphones in 2021 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro builds on that legacy in strong fashion. If you're in the market for an Android-based 5G phone and don't fancy paying the high price attached to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, then the Pixel 8 Pro is a more than worthy alternative. It's a phone with everything you need and an absence of the unnecessary parts that make phones expensive.

Processor
Google Tensor G3
Display6.7-inch AMOLED, 120Hz
RAM12GB
Storage128GB
Battery5,050mAh
Rear camera50MP wide angle lens + 48MP telephoto lens + 48MP ultrawide lens
Front-facing camera10.5MP (f/2.2) wide lens
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
PortsUSB Type C port

Motorola Moto G53

Best cheap 5G phone

Moto G53 5G hero
Motorola Moto G53
Our Rating
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$329
pro Affordable 5G
pro Two-day battery life
con Low resolution screen
con So-so camera

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

When it comes to this budget-friendly 5G handset, cheap doesn't have to mean compromised. Even if it's far from compact and loses some marks for iffy camera performance, Motorola Moto G53 5G packs in an enormous amount of bang for buck.

For an asking price of less than $400, consumers come away with 5G connectivity, a surprisingly premium form-factor, snappy performance and two days of battery life.

While the Motorola Moto G53 can't compete with flagships like the iPhone 15, this more modest take on what 5G smartphones should offer (and how much they should cost) is easier to live with than you might expect.

Processor
Snapdragon 480+
Display6.5-inch HD+, 120Hz
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50MP main camera + 2MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera8-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

Google Pixel 7a

Best mid-tier 5G phone

Google Pixel 7a
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
$749
pro Compact form-factor
pro Premium perks and features
con No expandable storage
con No telephoto lens camera

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While Google's strength in the premium segment has waxed and waned over the years, its Pixel A devices have dominated the mid-range market ever since their introduction.

Back in 2022, Reviews.org’s Fergus Halliday came away with plenty of nice things to say about the Pixel 6a.  In his review of the device, he found that "the aesthetic character, confident camera hardware and powerful processor make it incredibly easy to recommend."

His recent assessment of the Pixel 7a 5G was similarly enthusiastic.

"The Google Pixel 7a is Google's best affordable flagship since its first one. With a cutting-edge processor, capable camera, distinct design and better-than-bearable battery life, it's a phone that ticks all the boxes at an incredibly competitive price."
Processor
Google Tensor G2
Display6.1-inch, OLED, 90Hz
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery4385mAh
Rear camera64MP wide + 13MP ultrawide
Front-facing camera13MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G
PortsUSB Type-C port
icon-expertise

How we choose the best 5G mobile phones

When it came to picking out the best 5G phone in Australia in 2023, our first step was to break the long list of 5G phones in Australia down into five more digestible categories. These designations are designed to reflect the different ways in which modern Australian consumers approach buying a new mobile phone. Beyond just highlighting what best-in-class 5G looks like for these customer archetypes, we also factored in the specs, price and our own experiences with reviewing each of the devices that we ultimately recommend.

There's no one-size-fits-all answer that'll suit every Aussie's needs but our round-up of the best 5G phones is designed to make finding a device that's the right fit for their specific ones. For example, our best 5G iPhone is designed to make it simple and easy for those seeking the best that Apple has to offer to find what they are looking for. Likewise, our best cheap 5G and best mid-range 5G picks are intended to thrill those with more thriftier tastes.

5G phones we also considered

Here are more 5G phones that we considered that didn't make the cut.

iPhone 15

iPhone 15 - Pink
iPhone 15

If you don't need to go Pro or a bigger screen, the iPhone 15 is a solid choice so far as 5G smartphones go. It's not cheap, but it's easy to find. As far as these things go, you get a powerful camera, decent battery life and all the comforts that come with the iOS ecosystem.

Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is Samsung's best small foldable phone to date, with a better camera and a significantly improved cover display. Samsung might not be the leader it once was when it comes to innovation in the foldable smartphone arena, but if you're after a device that seamlessly blends modern 5G speeds and the classic form-factor of a flip-phone then this one is hard to beat.

5G phone buying guide

What to look for when comparing 5G phones
Best 5G Phones Australia

While 5G connectivity used to be reserved for the premium end of the market, that's no longer the case. These days, Aussies can pick up a 5G handset for as little as $349 outright. 5G isn't an extra anymore. It's something you can expect to see included as standard.

If you're in the market for a 5G device, that's not the only thing you'll want to keep in mind though. Here are a few other tips when it comes to 5G phones in Australia:

  • The first few generations of 5G handsets often included both a 4G and 5G modem. That extra hardware contributed to a shortfall in power efficiency, causing many 5G devices to drain their batteries faster than their 4G counterparts.
  • Regardless of brand or operating system, 5G tends to eat up battery life faster than 4G did. Those who want to make the absolute most of the faster speeds that 5G offers without compromising on that front may want to err on the side of larger handsets like the Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone 15 Plus relative to their pint-sized counterparts.

5G phones FAQs

Here are the most commonly asked questions about 5G phones

Which phone is best for 5G?

For most people, their location and mobile provider are going to be a much more significant factor when it comes to 5G speeds. Research conducted by Ookla in 2021 found that the iPhone 13 Pro Max led the pack when it came to median 5G download speeds in the United States and Canada. However, that edge in 5G speed may not necessarily hold up in Australia in 2023.

For most consumers, the difference between 4G and 5G speeds is going to be much more significant and noticeable than the difference between different sub-generations of 5G devices.

Is it worth buying a 5G phone in Australia?

Unless you have a specific business or other use case that requires 5G connectivity, it's probably not worth upgrading to a new device for 5G alone.

That said, the cost associated with 5G connectivity has fallen over the last two years such that, if you are looking to buy a new phone in Australia, making sure it has 5G is a smart way to future-proof that purchase.

Are all phones 5G?

Nope! While most major flagships tend to offer 5G as standard in 2023, it's far from universal.

With a few exceptions like Apple's iPhone range, most manufacturers and carriers include 5G in the branding for relevant devices. Although this makes naming conventions a little clunky, it does make it a little easier for consumers to tell whether a device has 5G without having to dig into spec sheets.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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