The most underrated range, tbh.
Best mid-range phones in Australia
In the last decade, flagship smartphone prices have skyrocketed from a few hundred to well over $1,000, and often reaching $3,000. But realistically, you don’t need to spend that much to get all the bells and whistles you’re after. We’ve covered the best budget smartphones in Australia, but what about the best mid-range phones? The unsung heroes of the mobile world, these handsets are just as capable as their more expensive siblings, but with a far less eye watering price tag.
For the purposes of this guide, “mid-range” refers to any phone that retails between $550 and $1,000. Let’s dive in.
- : Google Pixel 4a
- : iPhone SE (2020)
- : OPPO Reno4 5G
- : Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
- : Google Pixel 5
Best mid-range phone under $600 in Australia
Google Pixel 4a ($599 RRP)
Just when it seems like every phone manufacturer is following the mantra of ‘bigger is better’, Google knows less is often more - as is the case with the fantastic Google Pixel 4a. This pocket-sized powerhouse proves that you can’t judge a smartphone by its cover. That’s especially true considering its rather beefy Snapdragon 730G processor and 6GB of RAM, which make for a zippy experience.
The true hero of the Pixel 4a, however, is its camera. Compared to most other smartphones available on the market right now, one rear lens might seem a little lacking. Stingy, even. Well, we’re happy to tell you the Pixel 4a puts many of its multi-lens competitors to shame, producing rich, detailed, true-to-life images every time.
For those who want 5G speeds, you’ll need to spend an extra $200 bucks, but if you’re simply looking for a clean, user-friendly Android experience at a reasonable price point, the 4G Pixel 4a will suit you just fine.
Best mid-range phone under $700 in Australia
iPhone SE 2020 ($679RRP)
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 (2020) 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 11.
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. You’ll want a power bank, though, because the battery life ain’t as flash as almost everything else.
Best mid-range phone under $800 in Australia
OPPO Reno4 5G ($799 RRP)
More than six months after its release, the OPPO Reno4 5G is still one of the best mid-range 5G phones money can buy. As we’d expect from OPPO, the triple lens rear camera and dual-lens selfie camera are fantastic in just about every scenario, capturing true-to-life colours and beautiful detail, even in low light. You get 128GB of onboard storage to hold all those snaps, which is good because, with no external memory support, you’ll need every gig.
The 6.4-inch AMOLED is absolutely gorgeous, and could really only be improved with a higher refresh rate - a feature many people wouldn’t even notice.
Although 5G is a notorious battery drainer, it’s mostly mitigated by the Reno4 5G’s 65W fast charging, which can fully recharge the phone in just over half an hour. Game changing.
The OPPO Reno4 5G retails for around $799, but keep an eye out for sales, which crop up pretty often. It’s no longer available on a plan, so you’ll have to pair it with your current one or switch to a new SIM-only plan.
Best mid-range phone under $900 in Australia
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE ($849 RRP)
Though the S21 series has taken over, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE was such a hit in 2020 that, for a while, it was more popular than the premium S20 series - and for good reason. This perfectly-priced, colourful and fun phone packs a whole lot into a sub-$900 package.
From the silky-smooth 120Hz Super AMOLED display to the cute pastel colourways, the Galaxy S20 FE is a real looker. It’ll also make just about anyone look like a looker with its triple-lens rear camera (capable of 30x Space Zoom) and 32MP selfie shooter.
Really, there are very few flagship features the Galaxy S20 FE doesn’t have. It’s IP68 dust and water resistant, has wireless charging support, and can charge to 50% in half an hour. It’s pretty rare to find all that in a phone under $900.
You can grab the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE outright for around $849 (or even cheaper, if you’re lucky), otherwise, it’s available on a plan with Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone.
Best mid-range phone under $1,000 in Australia
Google Pixel 5 ($999 RRP)
If you ask us, the Google Pixel 5 is the best value smartphone on the market right now. Google seriously knocked it out of the park, bringing clever hardware and the cleanest, smoothest version of Android together to form one of our favourite phones of 2020.
The Pixel’s appeal has always been its photography prowess and clean Android software, and the Pixel 5 is no exception. Two lenses might not sound like much in a market fall of quad-lens snappers, but Google’s image processing software easily (and quickly) squashes any doubts about its capabilities.
Throw in 5G connectivity, solid battery life, a smooth 90Hz OLED display, wireless charging, reverse charging, and water resistance, and you’re onto a real winner. In fact, the only things you’re sacrificing by opting for the Pixel 5 over a more expensive flagship are a couple of specs that everyday users won’t even care about - processor and RAM. Even then, its Snapdragon 765G and 8GB of RAM are perfectly capable for daily use.
You can pick up the Google Pixel 5 outright for $999, or on a plan through Telstra or Vodafone.
Refurbished mid-range phones
If you’ve got flagship tastes on a mid-range budget, there is another option for scoring a high-spec device: refurbished phones. No, they aren’t the newest flagship phones, but they’re still great value. You can usually find quality refurbished phones through Amazon, Kogan and Boost, otherwise, you can score one on a plan through numobile, an MVNO that runs on Telstra’s wholesale network.