Who said you had to spend a fortune to bag yourself one of the best smartphones in the market? The truth is, flagships don’t come cheap, and prices seem to keep getting higher each year. Smartphone innovation isn’t cheap, after all. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable smartphones out there, offering exceptional performance and great functionality. In this article, we’ve sorted through the rubble to present to you the best cheap smartphones in Australia. If you are looking for a decent handset without spending too much, here is a list of our top picks.
Apple iPhone SE
The iPhone SE range is your cheapest ticket to the iOS ecosystem. So far, we’ve seen three iterations of the phones, and they all deliver flagship-level performance. This year Apple released the iPhone SE 3, which boasts the same Bionic chip as the iPhone 13 range. Nevertheless, the original iPhone SE is still a good buy in 2022. The build quality on the outside feels and looks identical to the iPhone 5. It comes with a Touch ID button and thick bezels around the display. For the display, the iPhone SE offers a 4-inch IPS LCD display. This is a phone designed for people who like small phones. It only has one rear camera – a 12MP shooter, while on the front, it features a 1.2MP selfie camera. The subsequent iPhone SEs boast the same rear camera, but they have a much more powerful front camera.
Google Pixel 3
The Google Pixel 3 is the perfect phone for anyone who loves phone photography. The smartphone was released back in 2018 at starting price of $1,349 AUD, but you can now buy it for as low as $200 AUD. Well, that depends on whether you want a refurbished variant or a new model. Either way, the Google Pixel 3 is an excellent phone. It has a glass back made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and a glass front as well. The two are sandwiched with an aluminium frame with a hybrid coating. The display is a 5.5-inch OLED screen which is neither too small nor too big. Hence, the phone fits easily on your palm. As for the camera, the Google Pixel 3 has a 12.2MP shooter at the back as well as an 8MP wide and 8MP ultrawide lens on the front.
Apple iPhone XS
Nearly four years later, the iPhone XS is still a very powerful phone. The display and design look a lot like the iPhone X. You get an edge-to-edge 5.8-inch OLED display with a notch at the top. It’s marginally heavier than the iPhone X, but you are unlikely to notice. Performance is excellent. It’s equipped with a 7nm A12 Bionic processor, which was one of the most powerful chips at the time. You can run power-hungry games and AR apps effortlessly without experiencing any lag. The chip also renders the phone more power-efficient. It promises up to 14 hours of video playback, which is pretty decent. The iPhone XS has a dual camera set-up consisting of telephoto and wide lenses, both 12MP. The front camera is 7MP. At launch, the iPhone XS went for $1,629 AUD, but you can now purchase it for less.
Samsung Galaxy S8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 has had several successors. Nevertheless, it can still stand its own as an affordable smartphone. It has a stunning design, an incredibly vibrant 5.8-inch display, a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, and more. The build is quite decent. The front is dominated by the infinity display with the slimmest of bezels nestles above and below. Samsung stuck to the same 12MP rear snapper with an f/1.7 aperture as the S7. However, the front camera got a bump from its predecessor. Instead of a 5MP shooter, you get an 8MP lens and a 2MP dedicated iris scanner camera. The current price is pretty attractive given the specs.
Apple iPhone 8
Is the iPhone 8 worth buying in 2022? The short answer is yes! The phone was originally released in 2017, and it shared many of the same features as the iPhone 7. The bezels are a lot thicker than newer iPhones, and it still has a physical Touch ID home button. It has a decent 12MP rear camera and a 7MP front camera. Under the hood, the iPhone 8 comes equipped with Apple’s A11 Bionic chip. It might not be as powerful as recent chips, but it still performs pretty well on regular use. In terms of display, the iPhone 8 sports a 4.7-inch Retina HD screen with a 1334 x 750 resolution. The phone has an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. At the moment, you can purchase the iPhone 8 for less than $500 AUD.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Feeling nostalgic? The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 could be a great option for you. The phone has aged quite well, especially in terms of hardware. It has a stunning 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen. Despite its slimline design, the phone feels dense on your hand. The front camera is an 8MP lens with autofocus. The rear camera, on the other hand, is two 12MP shooters. Both cameras deliver excellent shots, even under low light. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 runs on either Qualcomms’s Snapdragon 845 or the Exynos 9810 chip.
The bottom line is, the concept of expensive = best isn’t always true when it comes to tech. So, before you pull the trigger on a new phone, a little research is always recommended to ensure you get value for your money. We just offered you the list to get you started.