The best cheap smartphones in Australia

All the quality and class at a fraction of the cost

Best overall budget phone
Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$849
Processor
Tensor G3
RAM
8GB
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
Motorola Edge 50 Fusion
Motorola Edge 50 Fusion
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$599
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2
RAM
8GB
Resolution
FHD+
Best budget phone under $500
Moto G84
Moto G84
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$379
Processor
Snapdragon 695 5G
RAM
8GB
Resolution
FHD
Best cheap phone under $400
Moto G53 5G hero
Moto G53 5G
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$329
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 480+ 5G
RAM
4GB
Resolution
HD+
Fergus Halliday
Jul 16, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

Have you got a spare $2K in your smartphone-upgrade piggy bank? That’s how much it could cost you to own an iPhone 15 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S24 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 2024 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. Regardless of how far your wallet can reach, you're certain to find something here to pair with one of Australia's best cheap mobile plans.

So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best cheap smartphones in 2024.

Category
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Display size
Refresh rate
5G?
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap Apple phone
From
$695
4.7-inch60HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $600
From
$599
6.7-inches120HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest budget phone under $500
From
$379
6.5-inch120HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $400
From
$449
6.5-inch120HzYes
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $300
From
$299
6.65-inch90HzNo
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone under $200
From
$229
6.5-inch90HzYes
Play Video

Google Pixel 8a

Best budget phone overall

Google Pixel 8a
Google Pixel 8a
Processor
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
From
$849
pro Clean Google software experience
pro Powerful camera
con Chunky design
con You might be able to find the Pixel 8 for less

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The original Google Pixel 3a changed the game for budget-friendly smartphone shoppers. While the new Google Pixel 8a isn't quite as revelatory or influential, it's still pound-for-pound one of the best budget phone you'll find for the price.

The Google Pixel 8a sports a 6.1-inch FHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The front of the device is punctuated by a teardrop-shaped 13MP front-facing camera, while the back is armed with a dual-lens camera that combines a 64MP wide angle lens with a 13MP ultrawide one. Powering it all is the same Google Tensor G3 processor found in last year's flagship Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, complemented by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of on-board storage.

ProcessorGoogle Tensor G3
Display6.1-inch, FHD+
RAM8GB
Storage128GB
Battery4492mAh
Rear camera64-megapixel wide + 13-megapixel ultrawide
Front-facing camera13-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
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

Motorola Edge 50 Fusion

Best cheap phone under $600

Motorola Edge 50 Fusion
Motorola Edge 50 Fusion
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
From
$599
pro Gorgeous display
pro Zippy processor
con No wireless charging
con Mid-range camera

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While last year's OPPO has held onto our recommendation for the best cheap phone under $600 for a surprisingly long time, Motorola has finally stolen the crown with this year's Motorola Edge 50 Fusion.

An asking price of $599 here gets you an Android smartphone with a curvedAMOLED display, sharp looks, snappy processor and a standout multi-lens rear camera with a 50MP main sensor. Premium perks like wireless charging aren't included, but budget buyers will still find plenty to like about the Motorola Edge 50 Fusion.

ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2
Display6.7-inch AMOLED with 120Hz refresh rate
RAM8GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50MP wide lens, 13MP ultrawide lens
Front-facing camera32MP (f/2.5)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
PortsUSB Type-C

Motorola G84

Best budget phone under $500

Moto G84
Moto G84
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Performance
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Camera
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$397
pro Robust features
pro Great display & performance
con No wireless charging
con Lacks eSIM

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 G84 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
Snapdragon 695 5G
Display6.5-inches, OLED, 120Hz,
RAM8GB
Storage256GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra wide camera
Front-facing camera16-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

Moto G53 5G

Best cheap phone under $400

Moto G53 5G hero
Moto G53 5G
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$329
pro Two-day battery life
pro Surprisingly premium feel
con Low resolution screen
con Faster and wireless charging would be nice

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If none of the above picks take your fancy, then this device might be worth a look. The Moto G53 5G comes with a 6.5-inch HD+ display and a surprisingly crisp 120Hz  refresh rate, helping you to make the most of the faster 5G speeds supported by the device. It’s a entry-level devices go, it's a contender for the best 5G Android device around if you simply must have the fastest data speeds available. It's even got an impressive two days of battery life.

If you're in the market for a decent smartphone under $400, the Moto G53 5G should be a shoe-in for your shortlist.

ProcessorSnapdragon 480+ 5G
Display6.5-inch, HD+, 120Hz
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel macro camera
Front-facing camera8-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

HMD Pulse Plus

Best cheap phone under $300

HMD Pulse Pro
HMD Pulse Plus
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
3
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
2 out of 5 stars
2
From
$299
pro Repairability
pro Super cheap price
con Performance problems
con Inconsistent battery life

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The HMD Pulse Pro is the flagship for the brand's first foray into producing smartphones under its own name (as opposed to the Nokia one it revived) and while there's a lot to like about the broad strokes, it stumbles on a few of the details.

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 HMD Pulse Pro delivers.

Processor
Unisoc T606 processor
Display6.65-inch, HD+
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera50MP wide lens, 2MP depth sensor
Front-facing camera50-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5,
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port

OPPO A18

Best cheap phone under $200

OPPO A18
OPPO A18
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
3
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
2 out of 5 stars
2
From
$229
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 smartphone, then this device is definitely one to consider. The OPPO A18 packs in a surprising amount of features for a budget handset. It's even got IP54 water resistance.

Although the OPPO A18's 720p IPS display isn't much to look at, the 5000mAh battery powering the device ensures that it'll be visible for a long time before you need to recharge. At $229, there are always going to be compromises. Thankfully, the OPPO A18 does a decent job of making the right ones.

ProcessorMediaTek G85
Display6.56-inch IPS LCD
RAM4GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera8MP wide lens, 2MP depth lens
Front-facing camera5MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.3, 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
$99
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 physical 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 the best phones in 2024 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.

If you're looking to buy good cheap phones in 2023, you don't have to go far. Most Australian retailers range smartphones that vary in price and go from as little as $99 to as much as $2500.

These days, our go-to is Amazon. The online shopping website is always refreshing its roster of deals on devices and you might end with free shipping for whatever you end up buying if you're an Amazon Prime member.

Still, it always pays to look around and do your research. Even if you can't find the exact cheap phone you're after, you might be able to find something pretty similar at a bargain price.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
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.

Related Articles

Best budget smartphones
The best cheap smartphones in Australia
Looking for a cheap phone? We've ranked the best ones.
13-inch MacBook Pro M2 2022
The best laptops you can buy in 2024
If you’re looking to buy a new laptop in 2024, you'll want to read this...
GEEKOM A8 Mini PC
Geekom A8 mini PC review
Geek out over this mini PC.
Wonderboom 3 header
Best portable speakers for every budget
Get better boom for your buck.