Australia's top 5 phones you can buy today


WhistleOut
20 September 2017

There's never been a better time to be on the hunt for a new smartphone; 2017's big releases keep on coming, and there's a whole bunch of nifty devices to pick from. 

Below we've got a quick look five of the best phones you can currently buy on a plan. Where applicable, we've grouped phones with two similar models together as one entry. In most cases, there's not too much of a difference between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, or the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Or, if you want to jump straight into a price comparison for any of these models, head over to our Mobile Phone Finder tool.

1. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus

Overview:
Don't let the lack of a big redesign put you off, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more exciting than they first seem. Both devices are faster, offer wireless charging, better displays, and have stunning cameras. Optical zoom through iPhone 8 Plus' dual camera configuration is far more than a gimmick, and water-resistance on both devices is a very welcome addition. The headphone jack is still missing,  but there's a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in the box, making it easy to keep using your favourite pair of earbuds. 

Like:

  • Great cameras
  • Water-resistant
  • Snappy performance
  • Wireless charging

Dislike:

  • iPhone 8 Plus is a bit bulky
  • iPhone 8 has a smaller battery than iPhone 8 Plus
  • No headphone jack 
  •  

Score:

Outright: From $1,079

iPhone 8 64GB Plans

With at least 10GB data | Filters
iPhone 8 64GB
Carrier Inclusions  
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $50 Red Data Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $79.97/mth
  • Min. cost $1,128.92
Optus
Optus
  • $85 My Plan Flex
  • 16GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $90/mth
  • Min. cost $2,160
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $80 Phone Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $93/mth
  • Min. cost $2,232
Telstra
Telstra
  • $99 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 20GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $99/mth
  • Min. cost $2,376

2. Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8

Overview:
Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are simply superb devices. Touting a stunning infinity display, they're pretty much the closest we've gotten to the sci-fi ideal of "glass as a computer". Sure, they're a little expensive, and there's a few small quirks like an awkward fingerprint scanner and an undercooked personal assistant, but none of these overshadow the quality of Samsung's latest and greatest.

Like:

  • Still one of the market's best cameras
  • State of the art 'Infinity' screen
  • Layered biometric security
  • A superb smartphone for daily duties

Dislike:

  • Bixby personal assistant is seriously undercooked
  • Fingerprint scanner is in an awkward location
  • Battery life could be better
  • Pricey

Score:

Outright: From $1,199

Carrier Inclusions  
Bendigo Bank Telco
Bendigo Bank Telco
  • Smart 10GB Handset Plan
  • 10GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $79.50/mth
  • Min. cost $1,908
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $50 Red Data Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $83.30/mth
  • Min. cost $1,248.80
Optus
Optus
  • $85 My Plan Flex
  • 16GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $85/mth
  • Min. cost $2,040
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $80 Phone Plan
  • 16GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $85/mth
  • Min. cost $2,040
Southern Phone
Southern Phone
  • 12-month Green 35 Mobile Plan
  • 10GB Data
  • Interest Free (24 mths)
  • $87/mth
  • Min. cost $1,668
Woolworths
Woolworths
  • $70 Large Phone Plan
  • 10GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $88/mth
  • Min. cost $2,112
Telstra
Telstra
  • $99 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 20GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $99/mth
  • Min. cost $2,376

3. Google Pixel & Pixel XL

Google Pixel

Overview:
They aren't going to make having a conversation with your smartphone mainstream, but Google's Pixel and Pixel XL is an otherwise compelling entry in the premium handset arena. A lovely display, fantastic camera, and solid battery life all make what's ostensibly the "Android iPhone" a fantastic buy. And of course, guaranteed software updates are the icing on an already delicious cake.

Like:

Dislike:

  • Tight integration between hardware and software 
  • Fantastic camera
  • Good battery life
  • Zippy performance
  • No water-resistance
  • Expensive
  • Design is a little bland
  • Google Assistant feels like a first generation product

Score: 90/100

Outright Cost: From $1269

Carrier Inclusions  
Telstra
Telstra
  • $59 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 2GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $91/mth
  • Min. cost $2,184
Telstra
Telstra
  • $99 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 20GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $99/mth
  • Min. cost $2,376
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $99/mth
  • Min. cost $2,376

4. HTC U11

Overview:
HTC's U11 is a device that checks almost all of the boxes: you get one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, 64GB of expandable storage, lighting fast performance, great battery life, and water-resistance. All without breaking the bank. The front could be a little prettier, but the only feature that's really missing is a headphone jack.

Like:

  • Great camera with stunning low-light performance
  • Water-resistance
  • Excellent performance
  • Good

Dislike:

  • Boxy design
  • Rear glass is a fingerprint magnet
  • Squeezable frame feels like a gimmick
  • No headphone jack

Score:

Outright: From $999

HTC U11 Plans

With at least 4GB data | Filters
HTC U11
Carrier Inclusions  
Optus
Optus
  • $65 My Plan Plus
  • 7GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $75/mth
  • Min. cost $1,800
Telstra
Telstra
  • $79 Go Mobile Swap Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Lease (24 mths) + Upgrade
  • $91/mth
  • Min. cost $2,184

5. OPPO R11

OPPO R11

Overview:
OPPO is a smartphone manufacturer specialising in bang-for-buck devices, and has certainly delivered on that promise with its latest. OPPO's handsets might keep looking more and more like iPhones, but they also keep getting better and better. A couple of small issues don't detract from the value proposition made by the R11, and dual rear-facing cameras are the icing on the cake.

Like:

  • Two-day battery life
  • Premium design and compact for a 5.5-inch phone
  • Versatile cameras
  • Great value

Dislike:

  • OPPO's take on Android is very different
  • Lowlight camera performance is hit and miss 
  • No smudge-resistance coating 
  •  

Score:

Outright: From $649

OPPO R11 Plans

With at least 4GB data | Filters
OPPO R11
Carrier Inclusions  
Virgin Mobile
Virgin Mobile
  • $55 Phone Plan
  • 5GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $1,320
Woolworths
Woolworths
  • $50 Medium Phone Plan
  • 4GB Data
  • Contract (24 mths)
  • $55/mth
  • Min. cost $1,320
Vodafone
Vodafone
  • $40 Red Plan
  • 6GB Data
  • Interest Free (36 mths)
  • $58.02/mth
  • Min. cost $688.72

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