The best cheap smartphones in Australia

All the quality and class at a fraction of the cost

Best overall budget phone
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$699
Processor
Exynos 1280
RAM
6GB
Resolution
FHD+
Best cheap Apple phone
Apple iPhone SE in Starlight
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$719
Processor
A15 Bionic
RAM
4GB
Resolution
Retina HD
Best cheap phone under $600
OPPO Find X3 Lite
OPPO Find X3 Lite
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$599
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
RAM
8GB
Resolution
FHD+
Best budget phone under $500
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Moto Edge 20 Fusion
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$449
Processor
Mediatek Dimensity 800
RAM
6GB
Resolution
FHD
Best cheap phone under $400
OPPO A76
OPPO A76
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$349
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
RAM
4GB
Resolution
HD
Fergus Halliday
Digital Content Editor
Read More
April 11, 2022
6 min read

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Have you got a spare $2K in your smartphone-upgrade piggy bank? That’s how much it could cost you to own an iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. A ‘budget' or 'cheap' phone in comparison to that top-dollar smartphone tier can go quite high. Still, for us, we reach as far as $700 for the 2022 definition of a budget smartphone.

But $700 still ain’t cheap, which is why we also have options for less than our greenest cash note. That’s the bottom end of the budget scale, with $100 increments to better features.

So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best cheap smartphones in 2022.

Category
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Display size
Refresh rate
5G?
Icon Star Full  LightBest overall cheap smartphone
From
$699
6.5-inch120HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap Apple phone
From
$719
4.7-inch60HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $600
From
$599
6.4-inches90HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest budget phone under $500
From
$449
6.7-inch90HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $400
From
$349
6.56-inch90HzNo
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $300
From
$299
6.52-inch60HzNo
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $200
From
$199
6.5-inch60HzNo
Play Video

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Best budget phone overall

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Processor
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$699
pro 120Hz display
pro Premium design
con Uneven camera hardware
con Smudge magnet

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Samsung tends to stick towards the mid-to-high-end with their phones, but the Galaxy A53 5G fits neatly into the budget phone category.

The Galaxy A53 5G sports a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and blue light protection, making it extra easy on the eyes. It’s punctuated by a teardrop 32MP front-facing camera, which is joined by an impressive quad-lens array around the back (64MP/5MP/12MP/5MP). Powering it all is a Exynos 1280  chipset running Android 12 with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 1TB.

Processor
Exynos 1280
Display6.5-inch, FHD+, 120Hz
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera64-megapixel main camera, 5-megapixel depth sensor, 12-megapixel ultra wide camera and 5-megapixel macro camera
Front-facing camera32-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
PortsUSB Type-C port
Best phones under $500 header

Best phones under $500

You'd be surprised what $500 can afford.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Best cheap Apple phone

Apple iPhone SE in Starlight
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Our Rating
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
5
Design
3 out of 5 stars
3
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$719
pro Great software
pro Powerful processor
con Outdated design
con Low-spec camera

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you've got your heart set on an iPhone but don't want to spend the $1,200+ price tag that often comes with flagship models, the iPhone SE (2022) is a solid option. Don't let its iPhone 8-esque appearance fool you - on the inside, the SE has more in common with the much more recent iPhone 13.

It comes with a gorgeous 4.7-inch Retina HD full-screen display, a decent 64GB of internal storage, and a speedy processor. The camera offers decent results, even if it struggles with lowlight photography, and there’s baked-in software-support longevity thanks to its beefy innards.

Here's how much it'll set you back on a plan.

Processor
Apple A15 Bionic
Display4.7-inch, Retina HD
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Battery2,018mAh
Rear camera12MP, f/1.8 (wide)
Front-facing camera7-MP (f/2.2)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1
PortsLightning port

OPPO Find X3 Lite

Best cheap phone under $600

OPPO Find X3 Lite
OPPO Find X3 Lite
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$599
pro Gorgeous display
pro Zippy processor
con No wireless charging
con Mediocre macro lens

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

When it launched in Australia last year, the OPPO Find X3 Lite boasted a thrifty recommended retail price of $749. The last twelve months and the announcement of its successor (the OPPO Find X5 Lite) has seen this figure depreciated by almost a third of the original sum.

When it comes to Australian retailers that still stock the OPPO Find X3 Lite, you're looking at a price of around $599. That price gets you an Android smartphone with a slick display, snappy processor and a sharp multi-lens rear camera. Premium perks like wireless charging aren't included, but budget buyers will still find plenty to like about the Find X3 Lite.

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Display6.4-inch AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate
RAM8GB
Storage128GB
Battery4300mAh
Rear camera64MP wide lens, 8MP ultrawide lens, 2MP macro lens, 2MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera32MP (f/2.4)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
PortsUSB Type-C

Motorola Moto Edge 20 Fusion

Best budget phone under $500

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$449
pro Affordable 5G
pro Solid battery life with fast charging
con Chunky design
con Camera is slow to focus

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Even if it's far from compact and loses some marks for iffy camera hardware, Motorola's Edge 20 Fusion packs in an enormous amount of bang for buck. The device makes the most of its larger form-factor, combining 5G connectivity, crisp 90Hz OLED display and all-day battery life to great effect.

Processor
Mediatek Dimensity 800
Display6.7-inch FHD, OLED, 90Hz, HDR10+
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera108-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra wide camera and 2-megapixel depth sensor
Front-facing camera32-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

OPPO A76

Best cheap phone under $400

OPPO A76
OPPO A76
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
3 out of 5 stars
3
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$349
pro Snapdragon processor
pro 33W fast-charging
con Only dual-lens camera
con No 5G

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

We haven't had the chance to pen our review of Oppo's latest A-series device, but the spec sheet suggests it's going to live up to the brand's reputation when it comes to features and overall value.

The newly-announced OPPO A76 boasts a 6.56-inch LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a Snapdragon 680 processor. Meanwhile, the back of the device is kitted out with a 13-megapixel main sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor that's used to power better portrait photography. It doesn't have 5G connectivity, but it does have 33W SUPERVOOC fast-charging and IPX4 splash resistance.

If you're in the market for a decent smartphone under $400, the OPPO A76 should be a shoe-in for your shortlist.

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
Display6.56-inch, HD 90Hz
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera13MP wide lens, 2MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera8-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

OPPO A54s

Best cheap phone under $300

OPPO A54S
OPPO A54s
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
3 out of 5 stars
3
From
$299
pro Affordable price
pro Triple lens camera
con No 5G
con Low resolution display

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The OPPO A54s plays to the brand's usual strengths, combining snappy hardware, smart software and a solid price-point. It's not going to reinvent the wheel, but it will certainly fit the bill for budget buyers.

Those who can afford to spend more will find that doing so is worth it, but those who cannot should be able to do more than just live with what the OPPO A54s delivers.

Processor
MediaTek MT6765
Display6.52-inch, HD+
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50MP wide lens, 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro lens
Front-facing camera8-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, 4G
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

Motorola Moto G10

Best cheap phone under $200

Motorola Moto G10s back to back
Motorola Moto G10
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
3
Design
3 out of 5 stars
3
Camera
2 out of 5 stars
2
From
$199
pro Big screen
pro Long battery life
con Tiny speaker
con Budget processor

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you're unwilling to stretch past the $200 mark when it comes to buying your next smartphones, then this device is definitely one to consider. The Motorola Moto G10 packs in a surprising amount of features for a budget handset.

Although the Moto G10's 720p IPS display isn't much to look at, the 5000mAh battery powering the device ensures that it'll be visible for long time before you need to recharge. At $199, there are always going to be compromises. Thankfully, the Motorola Moto G10 does a decent job of making the right ones.

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
Display6.5-inch IPS TFT LCD
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera48MP wide lens, 8MP ultrawide lens, 2MP macro lens, 2MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera8MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5, 4G
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

Nokia 225

Best cheap phone under $100

Nokia 225
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
2
Design
3 out of 5 stars
3
Camera
1 out of 5 stars
1
From
$59
pro Solid battery life
pro Iconic design
con Limited functionality
con Small screen

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Smartphones under the $100 mark tend to be pretty dicey, so we'd recommend one of HMD Global's Nokia feature phones as a natural alternative.

The new Nokia 225 is a more than worthy headliner here. The device's pPhysical buttons are great for first-time phone users, while the 2.4-inch polarised screen is both the right size and designed to be easy to read in sunlight.

Unlike the smartphones on this page, the Nokia 225 is close to a dumbphone. It can still use apps like Twitter and Facebook, but that's about it.

Other than that, there’s some light entertainment in the form of reimagined Snake, an FM radio, an MP3 player, and a 0.3MP camera for taking basic snaps. While this limited featureset can't compete with the latest iPhone, the battery life blows it out of the water at up to 19 hours of talk time.

Processor
Unisoc T117
Display2.4-inch QVGA
RAM64MB
Storage128MB
Battery1150mAh
Rear camera0.3MP
Front-facing cameraN/A
ConnectivityBluetooth 5, 4G
PortsHeadphone jack, Micro USB port

Best cheap phones buyer's guide

What to look for when comparing the best cheap phones

Where flagship smartphones tend to operate around an expectation of minimal compromises, the same can't be said for sub-$700 devices.

At this and other budget-friendly pricepoints, consumers will rarely get everything they want. However, doing your research can be key to making sure that you choose a device with the right compromises.

Manufacturers of sub-$500 Android devices are typically less likely to invest in the research and development than they would be with more expensive smartphones due to the smaller margins involved. For that reason, budget smartphones often boil down to the specs and little else. 

The devil is in the details here. So when it came time to decide our picks for the best mobile phones under $700, we kept a few factors in mind. These included:

  • Display quality and size: Resolution isn't the only thing that matters.
  • 5G connectivity: Faster speeds are good, but long battery life is better.
  • Build quality and design: Just because a phone is cheap doesn't mean it has to feel cheap.
  • Software pedigree: Invariably, the more budget-friendly a smartphone is, the more bloatware is typically involved. We try to recommend devices that veer in the opposite direction.

Best cheap phones FAQs

Here are the most commonly asked questions about cheap phones

It depends on both what you plan to do with that phone. 4GB is probably a safe amount of memory for basic tasks like web browsing and social media. However, if you're more inclined towards multitasking or a gamer, the benefits that come with additional memory can make it worth the upgrade.

While Australia's 5G networks have grown significantly in both coverage over the past few years, access to this high-speed connectivity is still far from necessary for most users.

While there are clear benefits, less-demanding consumers might not even notice them. If you're looking to buy a cheap smartphone, 5G probably isn't worth it unless you see it as a form of a future-proofing over the long-run.

Apple sets a high benchmark for post-launch when it comes to the iPhone. Typically, users should expect between five and seven years of regular use from a brand new iPhone.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for Reviews.org who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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