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

OnePlus 5 Smartphone

OnePlus 5 Smartphone

Credit: OnePlus

Although it’s entirely possible to get a surprisingly decent smartphone for $600 or $700 these days, you don’t have to spend that much more to end up with something that’s not far off a flagship proposition. There are plenty of premium smartphones that started out around $1000, only to fall in price and end up closer to $800 or even $700.

If our compilation of the best Apple and Android phones you can get for under $600 and our round-up of the best Apple and Android phones for under $700 weren’t good enough, this list ups the ante.

Here are the Top 10 Apple and Android smartphones you can buy for under $800.

Note - we use real-world prices sourced from Shopbot and, as such, some of the entries in our roundup may surprise you.

1. Oppo R15 Pro ($779 RRP, $770 Actual)

Credit: Oppo

For several years now, Oppo have continued to offer a fun and appealing blend of Apple and Android. The latest installment in their mainline R-series of devices, the R15 Pro, continues that trend. The Oppo R15 Pro features  a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 6.3-inch display, AI-enhanced dual-lens camera and 128GB of on-board storage (expandable via MicroSD). It’s not quite as innovative as the new Find X but if you’re after value, there’s plenty to be found here.

As put in our review of the Oppo R15 Pro, “The R15 Pro sees Oppo bring more of that flagship experience to the sub-$800 smartphone space than ever before to generous effect. It won’t placate tech-savvy users looking for the best Android smartphone out there but if you’re looking for a good Android smartphone, it’s an easy sell over a lot of the other options.”

2. Essential PH-1 ($699 RRP, $649 Actual)

Credit: Essential

The Essential PH-1 definitely didn’t catch on in the way that some might have expected. However, the device still has its fans - and it’s easy to see why. The Essential PH-1 is a really unique handset. Sure, it’s got the same Snapdragon 835 processor you’d find in plenty of other 2017 flagships but it’s unique notch and ceramic body set it apart in other ways.

Unfortunately, the Essential PH-1 is not officially sold in Australia. Like the OnePlus 5T or OnePlus 6, you’ll have to import it - but if you’re looking for a phone that’s a little different, it’s definitely worth consideration. Essential also have a strong track-record for rolling out major Android software upgrades faster than other vendors. The PH-1 got this year’s Android Pie upgrade on the same days as Google’s own Pixel devices did.

3. Samsung Galaxy S8 ($1199 RRP, $634 Actual)

Credit: Samsung Galaxy S8

Even if it’s not the best option out there, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is far from outdated. The Galaxy S8 might not have the variable aperture found in this year’s Galaxy S9 but that’s actually one of the few major differences between the two. You still get a gorgeous Infinity Display, the latest Samsung Exynos processor, IP68 water resistance and support for both wired and fast charging.

As we said in our review of the Galaxy S8 at launch, “the phone’s failings are negligible at the end of the day. The screen and handling are generally excellent. Battery life is adequate. It’s super-fast and its camera is one of the very best on show.”

4. Huawei Mate 10 Pro ($1099 RRP, $599 Actual)

Credit: Huawei

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro might not win any awards for originality when it comes to design. But, once you’ve seen the device in action, it’s difficult not to respect and appreciate the solid specs and raw performance at work. The Mate 10 Pro features a FullVision HDR display, AI-empowered Leica dual-lens camera and a Kirin 970 CPU.

As we said in our review of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, “if you’re not swayed by Samsung’s return to form, Apple’s ultra-expensive iPhone X or Google’s funky Pixel 2, then the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a pretty solid alternative.”

5. LG G7 ThinQ ($1099 RRP, $789 actual)

Credit: LG

While we did find the LG G7 ThinQ to be a little vanilla when it came to this year’s flagship crowd, a few months of depreciation when it comes to the price of the thing has served it well. The device still boasts a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and a Quad-DAC. It also features one of the cleanest implementations of Android available in a 2018 flagship.

In our review of the LG G7 ThinQ, we said “there are probably consumers out there who might dig the G7 ThinQ’s tidy combination of hardware and software but I'm just not convinced those people are going to be the ones looking at buying $1099 smartphones.” Regardless, with some recent discounts pushing the price of the G7 ThinQ below $800, it begins to look a whole lot more tempting.

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Fergus Halliday
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