Awesome phones for students on a budget


WhistleOut
03 January 2017

Just because you need to be careful with your cash doesn’t mean you have to settle for a third-rate phone. There are plenty of good, affordable devices on the market. You just need to know which ones to pay attention to.

Best of all, cheaper phones are easier to buy outright, meaning you don't need to sign up to a contact. Then you can save even more by going with a cheaper SIM-only plan.

Phones obviously change price depending on the vendor, so be sure to check out multiple sources if one of these babies catches your eye.

Optus X Sleek

The Optus X Sleek is far better a phone than you'd expect for $149. The device itself feels premium thanks a glass and aluminium build, performance is fine, and the camera is respectable. The catch? The screen is hard to read in bright light, and the phone is locked to Optus.

$149

Samsung Galaxy J3

Samsung's Galaxy J3 is a fine example of an entry-level Android smartphone. The battery is good (and removable), you get expandable storage, and the camera does well enough when you're shooting outdoors. All in all, a good option for a basic phone.

$249

OPPO F1s

After a phone that looks like an iPhone that isn't an iPhone? Look no further than OPPO's F1s. The F1s is a solid budget offering with a nice 5.5-inch display, lighting fast fingerprint reader, and a (little too) familiar user interface. If you're happy to sign up for Optus Prepaid, you can get the F1s at an even cheaper price: $259.

$348

Alcatel Go Play

The Alcatel Go Play is a bit underpowered, but makes up for the slightly sluggish performance with a rough and tough build that will survive almost any punishment you can inflict. The Go Play is rated IP67 for water-resistance (can be submerged as deep as one metre, for up to 30 minutes, but you need to ensure the headphone jack and charging port are sealed), and is drop-proof to heights of 1.5m. When testing the Go Play, we tried our best to break it, and while multiple drops on concrete banged the phone up, it's still working.

$299

Moto G4 Plus

The Moto G4 Plus is another solid budget-to-midrange Android smartphone that doesn't make too many compromises. There's a lovely 5.5-inch 1080p display, mostly zippy performance, and an unmodified version of Android Marshmallow.  If you’re after a no-frills, no-nonsense Android handset, the Moto G4 Plus is a great choice.

$399

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE isn't exactly an affordable smartphone, but it's nonetheless the cheapest way to get a new iPhone. It's got the same processor and camera found in the iPhone 6s, just in a smaller form factor. Topped off with a lovely display and solid battery life, the iPhone SE is a great all-rounder.

From $679

If you're happy to take out a 24-month contract, there's also plenty of great iPhone SE plans available.

Samsung Galaxy S7

As last year's flagship, Samsung's Galaxy S7 is starting to come down in price. Outright it's still a bit pricey - officially retailing for around $949 - but it's getting a lot more affordable on contracts.

Given its flagship status, the S7 is top notch phone: there's IP68 water-resistance, a 5.1-inch Quad HD display, and a stunning camera.


Comments

Compare phones and plans from the following carriers...

Personal

Business

Featured Deals

Samsung Galaxy S8 - compare plans & prices

Compare plans & prices for the new Samsung Galaxy S8 here including any special promotions being offered...

Bonus LG Smart TV!

Fancy a new TV with your new phone? Buy the LG G6 on selected Telstra Mobile plans you can claim a bonus 43" LG Smart TV. Hurry Offer ends 9th May...

Unlimited International calling

Need to call overseas regularly? amaysim's UNLIMITED plans all include unlimited international calls from Australia to 10 countries...

15GB data for $50/month!

The $50 12-month SIM plan from Virgin Mobile includes 15GB data + $300 standard international calls & text. Min total cost over 12 months is $600.

Sites that use our comparison technology

Our comparison technology is used by many publishers to evaluate products and services. You can find our technology and service on:


About this Service

WhistleOut maintains a broad list of service providers and we endeavour to include at least the top ten service providers in every category so that you can make a transparent choice. When you see a 'promoted product' or a product with a 'go to site' button it means that WhistleOut is earning a transaction click fee for the referral. We audit the prices in our database regularly and we don't alter the ranking of products in our organic search based on any commercial relationship. Find out more here