Best budget mobile phones

We round up the best cheap mobile phones that provide great bang for your buck.

Paying less for a mobile phone doesn't mean you should be forced to skimp on features, and the good news is, many budget phones now have capabilities well beyond what you would expect given their price tags.

Whether it's accessing your social network profiles, downloading apps, or sending and receiving e-mails, many mobile phones with entry-level price points offer great features — even some prepaid handsets. Keep in mind that the main trade offs when it comes to cheaper, entry-level phones come in the form of a smaller screen with a low resolution, or a plastic body rather than metal.

If you're buying your mobile phone outright, we've limited our selection to phones that retail for $500 or under. And if you're purchasing it on a plan, we've opted for phones that are available for $0 upfront on $29 plans and under. Note that some phones in our list may list an RRP higher than $500 — in this case, these are definitely available on $29 plans and under through one or more Australian telcos: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3 or Virgin Mobile.

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Item:
5 / 11
Nokia N97 mini

Nokia's N97 mini is an improvement over the highly disappointing original, but this is merely what the original N97 should have been in the first place. There are no real groundbreaking or innovative features, but the mini remains a solid, if unspectacular smartphone.

  • Review Date:
  • Reviewer:
  • Manufacturer:
  • 8th March, 2010
  • Ross Catanzariti
  • Nokia
  • Rating:
  • Price:
  • 3.50
  • $ 749.00
  • Pros:
  • Smaller design is an improvement, solid keyboard, responsive UI, live widgets on home screen, Ovi Maps navigation
  • Cons:
  • No innovative or groundbreaking improvements, no FM transmitter, poorly designed power button, resistive touch screen
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