The best phone to buy in 2023

These are the best smartphones we've reviewed that you can buy in 2023.

Best Apple phone in 2023
Apple iPhone 14
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$1379
Processor
A15 Bionic
RAM
4GB
Resolution
Super XDR Retina
Best Android phone in 2023
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google Pixel 7 Pro
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$1299
Processor
Google Tensor G2
RAM
12GB
Resolution
QHD
Best cheap phone in 2023
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Moto Edge 20 Fusion
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$499
Processor
Mediatek Dimensity 800
RAM
6GB
Resolution
FHD
Best mid-range phone in 2023
Samsung Galaxy A73
Samsung Galaxy A73 5G
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$799
Processor
Snapdragon 778 5G
RAM
6GB
Resolution
FHD+
Best foldable phone in 2023
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥 Save 6% $2499
$2337
Processor
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
RAM
12GB
Resolution
QHD+
Fergus Halliday
Digital Content Editor
Read More
January 19, 2023
7 min read

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Most years, the best smartphones are just about what you’d expect. Apple, Samsung almost always dominate the conversation.

Big name brands like the above are typically the ones making the big-name smartphones you'll find on a plan with Australia's major telcos and carriers. Huawei was a contender for a while there too, particularly in the smartphone camera space, before having its wings clipped in the West.

As of 2023, only four brands have any meaningful claim to the pricey-end of Australia's  smartphone market: Apple, Samsung, Google and OPPO. LG, Sony and HTC no longer sell phones in the region, and while brands like Nokia and Motorola might dabble with more expensive devices from time to time, the bulk of the market share belongs to the "Big Four" listed above.

This year’s a little different, though. The economic nightmare of 2020 and 2021 led some of the biggest smartphone manufacturers to yield ever so slightly on increasing smartphone costs while some new players swooped in on the mid-range and Android space. Meanwhile, foldable phones edged closer towards a more affordable and reliable future.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best smartphones we’ve reviewed over the last year.

Category
Product
Price [RRP]
Availability
Screen size
Refresh rate
Main camera
Rating
Icon Star Full  LightBest Apple phone in 2023
From
$1379
6.1-inches60Hz12MP wide lens + 12MP ultrawide
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Icon Star Full  LightBest Android phone in 2023
From
$1299
6.7-inches120Hz50MP wide angle lens + 48MP telephoto lens + 12MP ultrawide lens
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap phone in 2023
From
$499
6.7-inch90Hz108MP main camera + 8MP ultra wide camera + 2MP depth sensor
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Icon Star Full  LightBest mid-range phone in 2023
From
$799
6.8-inches120Hz108MP wide lens + 5MP depth sensor + 12MP ultra wide camera + 5MP macro camera
4 out of 5 stars
4
Icon Star Full  LightBest foldable phone in 2023
🔥 Save 6% $2499
$2337
7.6-inches120Hz50MP wide + 10MP telephoto + 12MP ultrawide
4 out of 5 stars
4
Best cheap Apple phone in 2023
From
$719
4.7-inches60Hz12MP wide angle
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Best Samsung phone in 2023
🔥 Save 14% $1849
$1599
6.8-inches120Hz12MP ultra-wide lens + 108MP wide-angle lens + 10MP telephoto lens + 10MP telephoto lens
4 out of 5 stars
4

Apple iPhone 14

Best iPhone in 2023

iPhone 14
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
5
Design
4 out of 5 stars
4
Camera
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$1,397
pro Improved camera
pro Great battery life
con Only 60Hz screen
con Apple has kept the best new features to the Pro

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

If you had asked us which flagship iPhone to choose back in 2021, it would have been hard not to recommend the superior iPhone 13 Pro. When it comes to the latest lot of Apple-branded handsets, the story isn't as simple.

Both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are outstanding smartphones, where the only real issue is just okay battery life and a lack of significant improvements on the previous generation. For that reason, the iPhone 13 will be the more sensible pick for most. It’s not only one of the more reasonably priced flagship handsets on offer, and will go above and beyond the needs of most consumers.

As with the iPhone 13, Apple has elevated the baseline iPhone experience. You’re getting almost just as much iPhone as someone who buys an iPhone 14 Pro. just without a few extra bells and whistles that most casual smartphone users can do without.

Processor
Apple A15 Bionic
DisplaySuper Retina XDR display, OLED
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery3,279mAh
Rear camera12MP (f/1.5) wide lens + 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide
Front-facing camera12MP (f/1.9)
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
PortsLightning 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.

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Best Android phone in 2023

Google Pixel 7 Pro
Google Pixel 7 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
$1299
pro Tensor processor
pro Class leading price
con No power adapter
con Slippery design

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The price of smartphones has steadily increased in recent years, but have you stopped to wonder what exactly we’re paying for? Google have given this question some thought, and the Pixel 7 Pro is their answer. It's a phone with everything you need and an absence of the unnecessary parts that make phones expensive.

The standard Google Pixel 7 manages to keep its outright cost below $1,000 without making any significant compromises, but the Google Pixel 7 Pro goes a lot further while only adding $200 to the total asking price.

Where Apple would charge just as much for another 128GB of on-board storage, Google's flagship provides a triple-lens camera with 4x optical zoom, a 120Hz screen, more RAM and a bigger battery.

Some might miss the convenience of facial recognition, sure, but acclimatizing back to touch ID isn’t as cumbersome as you might imagine. The Pixel 5 was our top pick for Android smartphones in 2021 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro builds on that legacy in strong fashion.

Processor
Google Tensor
Display6.7-inch AMOLED, 120Hz
RAM12GB
Storage128GB
Battery5,000mAh
Rear camera50MP (f/1.9) wide angle lens + 48MP (f/3.5) telephoto lens and 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide lens
Front-facing camera11MP (f/2.2) wide lens
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
PortsUSB Type C port

Motorola Moto Edge 20 Fusion

Best cheap phone in 2023

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
$499
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 performance, Motorola's Edge 20 Fusion packs in an enormous amount of bang for buck. In this case, cheap doesn't have to mean compromised.

For an asking price of less than $500, the device boasts 5G connectivity, a crisp 90Hz OLED screen and all-day battery life. It won't compete with or outperform flagships like the iPhone 13, but Motorola's more modest take on what smartphones should offer and how much they should cost is easy to like and easier to live with than you might expect.

Processor
Mediatek Dimensity 800
Display6.7-inch FHD, OLED, 90Hz, HDR10+
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera108-megapixel (f/1.9) main camera, 8-megapixel ultra wide (f/2.2) camera and 2-megapixel (f/2.4) depth sensor
Front-facing camera32-megapixel
ConnectivityWi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
PortsHeadphone jack, USB Type-C port
Still haven't found what you're looking for?
Money

Dig a little deeper with more of our phone buying guides.

Samsung Galaxy A73

Best mid-range phone in 2023

Samsung Galaxy A73
Samsung Galaxy A73
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
$799
pro Gorgeous screen
pro Long battery life
con Iffy night mode
con No wireless charging

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While Samsung’s popularity in the premium range has wavered, its mid-range and budget Galaxy handsets have gone from strength to strength in the last few years. So strong in fact, Reviews.org’s Joe Hanlon questioned whether the Samsung Galaxy A71 was actually the best Samsung smartphone of 2020.

2022's Samsung Galaxy A73 continues this legacy in strong form. The Galaxy A73’s two-day battery life and stunning Super AMOLED display are worth more than their sub-$700 price tag would have you think. The quad-lens rear camera isn't going to replace your DSLR anytime soon, but smartphone photography has never been Samsung's strength to begin with.

Processor
Snapdragon 778 5G
Display6.8-inch Super AMOLED, FHD+, 120Hz
RAM6GB
Storage128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera108MP (f/1.8) wide lens, 5MP depth (f/2.2) sensor, 12MP ultra wide (f/2.4) camera and 5MP macro (f/2.4) camera
Front-facing camera32MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, 5G
PortsUSB Type-C port

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

Best foldable phone in 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
4 out of 5 stars
4
Save 6% $2499
$2,337
pro Foldable screen
pro Flagship specs
con Expensive
con In-display camera

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 proved that the third time is the charm, and the inevitable follow-up only adds to that momentum.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 builds on the bold refinements made by the manufacturer's third-generation flagship foldable smartphone with cutting edge specs and an much better camera camera. Even though the results delivered by the latter have clear room for improvement, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 shows that Samsung are still leading the way when it comes to mainstream foldable smartphones.

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
Display7.6-inch, AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+
RAM12GB
StorageStarts at 256GB
Battery4400mAh
Rear camera50MP (f/1.8) wide lens, 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens, 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2) lens
Front-facing camera10MP (f/2.2) lens, 4MP (f/1.8) in-display camera
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
PortsUSB Type-C

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022)

Best mid-range 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 3 (2022) is an alternative that's hard to beat.

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 the new iPhone SE 3 (2022) will 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

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Best Samsung phone in 2023

Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
4
Design
5 out of 5 stars
5
Camera
4 out of 5 stars
4
Save 14% $1849
$1,599
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 7 Pro has Samsung's latest flagship beat when it comes to value for money, it's hard to dismiss the allure of a device that is a new Galaxy Note in all but name.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's shirks away from competing with Google and Apple when it comes to camera quality, but 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 here see the Galaxy S22 Ultra loom tall as Samsung's best phone of 2022. If this year's Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ seemed a little underwhelming to you, that's probably because Samsung saved their best tech for last.

Processor
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Display6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display HDR10
RAMStarts at 8GB
StorageStarts at 128GB
Battery5000mAh
Rear camera12MP ultra-wide lens (f/2.2) 108MP wide-angle (f/1.8) lens, 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto lens, 10MP (f/4.9) telephoto lens
Front-facing camera10-MP
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G
PortsUSB Type-C port

Other phones we also considered

Here are more of the best smartphones that we considered that didn't make the cut.

OPPO Find X5 Pro

OPPO’s 2022 flagship brings a lot to the table, thanks to a more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a larger 6.7-inch WQHD+ display, a 5000mAh battery, 12GB RAM, better IP68 water resistance and support for up to 50W wireless charging.

Ultimately, and partially due to the high price, we ended up favoring the Google Pixel 7 Pro over OPPO's latest. Still, you can check out the widget below for a round-up of the most popular plans for the device.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4

While the more powerful specs, robust design and capable camera make the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 the best foldable smartphone in the company's portfolio to date, those looking for a more affordable or compact entry-point into the world of foldable smartphones need look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.

With a sleeker two-tone design, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 fixes almost everything you could find fault with in its predecessors. The camera hardware here remains painfully dated, but the rest of the equation checks out.

You can check out the widget below for a round-up of popular plans for the device.

Best phone buying guide

What to look for when comparing phones

Like most gadgets, it's rare for any phone to have it all. Thankfully, Australian consumers have a decent amount of choice when it comes to finding a smartphone that has the features and specs that matter to them.

The best place to start when trying to work out which phone to buy is size. Modern smartphone screens range from around 5.9-inches to 6.8-inches in size, and the form-factor involved typically affects other aspects of the product. For example, a larger phone can fit in a larger battery or more camera hardware.

If you care about things like long-battery life or better smartphone photography, then you'll want to start your search towards the big-screen end of the market. If having something a little more pocket-friendly is preferred, then your choices become a little more limited. Still, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to finding your next phone, so deciding on a size is a great way to narrow them down.

The other big question that consumers looking to decide on their next smartphone will want to consider is whether or not they want a device that runs on iOS or Android.

iOS is Apple's mobile operating system and is found in all iPhones. Android is Google's equivalent, and is responsible for powering basically everything else in the market.

While device manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola each offer their own spin on Android, Apple has complete control over the iOS ecosystem. For some users, this can be a blessing while others may chafe against the limitations and additional costs involved with it.

It's usually easiest to stick with whatever operating system you're most familiar with, but those tired of Apple's walled garden approach to mobile computing may benefit from switching to Android. These days, crossing over from one ecosystem to the other isn't nearly as mentally taxing or time consuming. Both Apple and Google have gone out of their way to make it easy as possible, for obvious reasons.

How we review smartphones

Here at Reviews.org, we don’t do long, exhausting technical spec lists and benchmarks. Our rankings are pulled from a five-star rating decided by the writer of each review.

Our editors might share different, unique opinions on the best smartphones available. But we all believe that, for the everyday consumer, the most important factors are value for money and user experience.

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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