Top 10 Apple and Android smartphones you can buy for under $800

OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6

Credit: OnePlus

In 2020, it’s all too easy to spend too much money on a smartphone - especially if you’re only looking at the most popular brands 

Apple’s top-end iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Maxcan cost you thousands, and Samsung’s own high-spec Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 10+ aren’t that much cheaper.

Thankfully, these days it’s much easier to find a cheaper and more budget-friendly alternative to these flagship devices than ever before. The amount of overlap in features for mid-tier devices and premium ones continues to grow while the gap in quality continues to shrink. 

Forget spending over a grand on a device. These days, $800 can buy you a pretty good smartphone. Here are our picks for the top 10 best Android and Apple phones you can find for under $800 Australian dollars.

Google Pixel 3a 

Credit: Google

The Google Pixel 3a doesn’t have anything particularly revolutionary inside it but, for the AU$599 asking price, it pretty much blows every other mid-ranger out of the water. You’re getting the same slick, clean and expansive version of Android found in the flagship Pixel plus a camera that’s almost just as good. 

In our review, we came away impressed and said that “if you have $650 to spend, and can live without things like wireless charging, water resistance and the ability to take photos of the moon, there are almost zero reasons to look at buying anything other than the Pixel 3a.”

You can read our full review here.

Pros:

  • Incredible camera

  • Clean software

  • OLED screen

Cons:

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

  • Physical fingerprint sensor & no Face Unlock

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Google Pixel 3a outright through the following retailers:

The Google Pixel 3a is also available on any postpaid mobile plans via Vodafone. Check out the widget below for more.


Oppo Reno Z

Credit: Oppo Reno Z

A learner, cheaper companion to Oppo’s 5G-ready Reno, the Reno Z successfully replicates most of what makes its bigger brother the Chinese company’s most compelling flagship yet. Although lacking in flagship perks like wireless charging, water-resistance or the Reno’s famed 10x lossless zoom, it does offer up an in-screen fingerprint sensor, solid performance and a surprisingly-capable camera for the price point.

In our review, we concluded that “the Reno Z subtracts much of what makes the mainline Reno such an exceptional device. However, for less than half the price, it manages to carve out a compelling balance between nailing the essentials and being good enough at everything else that you rarely think about what you’re missing out on.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Sleek design

  • In-display fingerprint sensor

  • Great performance

Cons

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

  • ColorOS can be an acquired taste

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Oppo Reno Z outright at the following retailers:

The Oppo Reno Z is also available on any postpaid mobile plans via Woolworths and Vodafone. Check out the widget below for more.

Samsung Galaxy A70

Credit: Samsung

Even if the waterproofing is a conspicuous omission, the Samsung Galaxy A70 still manages to hold up as an impressively adept mid-ranger that hits a surprising amount of the same notes as its flagship inspirations. Equipped with a triple-lens rear camera, an Exynos processor and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the Galaxy A70 excels at far more than just the fundamentals. 

In our review, we said that “The Samsung Galaxy A70 is more than the smartphone you can get away with, it's one that most people will probably be you’ll be happy with.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Great performance

  • Outstanding camera

  • In-display fingerprint sensor

Cons

  • “Glastic” feel-factor can be off-putting

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

Where to buy

In Australia, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy A70 outright at the following retailers:

You can also purchase the Galaxy A70 on a post-paid mobile plan (see below):

Motorola One Vision

Screenshot_2019-11-25 resize (WEBP Image, 706 × 706 pixels).pngCredit: Motorola
Screenshot_2019-11-25 resize (WEBP Image, 706 × 706 pixels).png

If you’ve used any of Motorola’s G-series phones before, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Motorola’s One Vision offers up great battery life and a smooth-as-all-get-out software experience that’s a sneeze away from stock Android. However, if you’ve used any of Motorola’s G-series phones before, you’ll probably end up impressed by just how powerful the camera on the One Vision is and how much slicker the device looks compared to what’s come before it.

In our review of the One Vision, we said that “The Motorola One Vision is a mid-tier smartphone that swings above its weight when it comes to look and feel. It combines many of Motorola’s more-established strengths with a penchant for aesthetics and design that you might not expect from the brand.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Striking design

  • Clean software

  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Camera falls short of the hype

  • No water resistance 

  • No wireless charging

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Motorola One Vision outright at the following retailers:

The Motorola One Vision isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Huawei Mate 20

Credit: Huawei

The regular Huawei Mate 20 lacks the 3D face unlock and IP68 water resistance found in its more expensive cousin but gains a headphone jack in return. And it does still maintain two of the key things that have made Huawei’s recent Mate-series devices so compelling: a high-end Kirin processor and a triple-lens camera. 

The Mate 20 is armed with a 12-megapixel wide angle (f/18) lens,  a 16-megapixel ultra wide angle (f.2/2) lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) lens. Then, under the hood, it rocks Huawei’s latest Kirin 980 CPU.

You can read our full review of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro here.

Pros

  • Fast processor

  • Triple lens camera

Cons

  • EMUI

  • No water resistance or wireless charging

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Huawei Mate 20 through the following:

The Huawei Mate 20 isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Oppo Find X

Credit: Oppo

Oppo’s Find X sees the brand pivot towards pop-up camera tech to achieve a slick OLED display that's without bezels or notches. The Find X also sees Oppo graduate from designs that veer away from trying to be as close as possible to Apple’s iPhone and towards trying to find a more confident and unique sense of identity for the brand. In many ways, the Find X is Oppo's most distinct flagship yet.

In our review, we said that “Though not without its drawbacks, the Oppo Find X largely succeeds at being a meaningfully-different flagship smartphone. Even if it’s outgunned on a few fronts, the Find X combines a solid spec sheet, polished software and distinguished design to great effect. There’s so much to like here that it’s really hard to hold the Find X in contempt of a few wrinkles.”

You can read the full review here.

Pros

  • Unique design

  • 3D Face Unlock

Cons

  • No NFC

  • So-so camera

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Oppo Find X through the following:

The Oppo Find X is no longer available on postpaid mobile plans but you can pair it up with a SIM-only plan using the widget below:

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Credit: Samsung

The shortest way to summarize Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ is to call it an S8 with a better camera. However, that description sounds more dismissive than it is.

In our review, we said that “Even if the moment-to-moment experience of using the Galaxy S9+ is every bit as solid as its predecessor and the new camera does cut a sharper silhouette, it rarely feels like the kind of triumph that a Galaxy flagship like it probably should feel like. That said, if the contract on your current handset has just run out, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are a pair of super-compelling options worth considering. “

You can read our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ here. 

Pros

  • Sleek design

  • Headphone jack

Cons

  • OK battery life

  • Bixby 

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Samsung Galaxy S9 through the following:

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is available on postpaid mobile plans via Optus and Vodafone:

OnePlus 7

Credit: OnePlus

Even if they aren't *officially* available in Australia, there's a good chance you might have seen the name OnePlus around the place in recent years. This boutique brand has quickly made a name for themselves by combining razor sharp specs and flagship features with a price-tag that’s perhaps a little more reasonable than you’ll get from the Samsungs and Apples of the smartphone world. 

The OnePlus 7 features a 6.41-inch AMOLED display, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a Snapdragon 855 processor and a dual-lens camera with a 48-megapixel sensor. That's a lot of phone.

Pros

  • Powerful camera

  • Premium display

Cons

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the OnePlus 7 through the following:

The OnePlus 7 isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

iPhone 8 

Credit: Apple

The iPhone 8 was Apple’s last hurrah for the classic pre-iPhone X school of design. The iPhone 8 boasts a 4.7-inch LCD TrueTone Retina display (1334×750 pixels) and runs on Apple’s own A11 Bionic processor and iOS 11. It comes in two storage sizes: 64GB and 256GB. 

In our review, we said “While it won’t inspire mania among the enthusiast crowd like the iPhone X will, the iPhone 8 remains a solid package for those happy to play things safe.”

You can read our full review of the iPhone 8 here. 

Pros

  • iOS

  • Headphone jack

Cons

  • Dated camera

  • Limited battery

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the iPhone 8 through the following:

The Apple iPhone 8 is available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Google Pixel 3 XL

Credit: Google

Google’s third generation Pixel don’t stray too far from their strengths but they do a great job of covering the bases that previous models missed and offering premium perks like wireless charging and water resistance. 

In our review of the Google Pixel 3 XL, we said that “The Pixel 3 XL will sate your hunger for a clean and modern smartphone experience with solid hardware, exceptional software and little fat to speak of.”

You can read our full review of the Google Pixel 3 XL here.

Pros

  • Incredible camera

  • Wireless charging and water resistance

Cons

  • No headphone jack

  • No expandable storage

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Google Pixel 3 XL  through the following:

TheGoogle Pixel 3 XLisn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Related: Best Samsung Phone Cases

Related: Best Unlimited Internet Deals

Related: Cheap NBN plans

Related: Cheap mobile plans

Related: What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?

Related: The fastest NBN plans according to the ACCC

Related: Everything you need to know before you buy a 5G phone in Australia

Related: Best budget smartphones of 2019

Related: Best Phones of 2019

Related: Best mid-tier 2018 smartphones

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonessonylgsamsungOppoSony XperiaOnePlusGalaxy Note 8Essential

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Fergus Halliday
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?