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Best Cheap Phones in Australia: Best Budget Phones 2021

It seems like every year, the cost of purchasing a new smartphone keeps going up and in 2021 some of the latest and greatest brands can set you back a cool $2k for a new device. It might feel like the idea of a new phone is out of reach for most, but this is far from the truth. While the newest big-name brands like Apple and Samsung might be offering phones between the $1,000 and $2,000+ range, there are plenty of other smartphones with great features available for any budget. Whether you’re looking to buy a new smartphone for under $200 (yes, it is possible!), or want something a little higher-end without breaking the bank, you can find some of the best budget smartphones and brands, by reading more below.


Best budget smartphone brands

When we imagine smartphones, it’s easy to think of the newest and most expensive models from Apple and Samsung that come out every year. However, did you know that there is a whole world of phone manufacturers that offer high-quality phones at wallet-friendly prices? Below is a list of phone manufacturers that offer cheap smartphones, some of which we will be comparing further along.

  • Huawei
  • Motorola
  • Nokia
  • OPPO
  • Realme
  • Samsung
  • TCL
  • Vivo
  • Xiaomi

Best budget phones

Choosing to purchase a phone outright has its benefits. Namely, when you purchase a phone outright it’s yours. You’re not locked into any one phone provider or mobile network, and so you can compare and switch mobile plans whenever you want. The biggest downside, however, is the cost: paying for a phone outright can put a bit of a dent in your wallet.

If you’re interested in purchasing a mobile phone outright, however, there are many budget options that will reduce the sting of dropping money on a new device. It’s important to note, however, that the prices listed are the RPP for the phone and you might be able to find cheaper deals from resellers or refurbished models for even less. In addition, phones might not be available everywhere, particularly some older models, so always do your own research when shopping around and you might even be able to get a better deal than what is listed below.

Cheap mobile phones under $200

These days, the idea of buying a new smartphone for under $200 seems almost impossible. However, the cost of smartphone technology is decreasing, and both big-name phone companies, and smaller brands, have started offering great smartphones at budget-friendly price points. Below you can find some of the best cheap smartphones available in Australia for under $200.

  • Motorola moto e7 power: $159
  • Nokia 2.3: $179
  • Realme C11: $189
  • Nokia G10: $199
  • Realme C21: $199
  • Vivo Y12: $199

Smartphones priced at under $200 can be a great choice for a child’s first phone or people who want a smartphone but don’t need the highest quality specs. This is because at $200 and under, smartphones tend to lose storage space and camera resolution, but still come with great screen size and display for everyday use.

Budget smartphones under $200
Phone Price (RRP) Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
Motorola moto e7 power $159 6.5” HD+ 32GB Rear: 13MP
Front: Front: 5MP
Nokia 2.3 $179 6.2” HD+ 32GB Rear: 13MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 5MP
Realme C11 $189 6.5” 32GB Rear: 13MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 5MP
Nokia G10 $199 6.5” HD+ 32GB Rear: 13MP Main + 2MP Depth + 2MP Macro
Front: Front: 8MP
Realme C21 $199 6.5" HD+ 64GB Rear: 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 5MP
Vivo Y12 $199 6.35” HD+ 64GB Rear: 13MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 8MP

Source: Manufacturers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Cheap mobile phones under $400

If you can afford to spend a little more on a budget smartphone, jumping up to the under $400 range really opens up your options to more brands and phones. At $400 and under you can start to consider Samsung and Oppo phones, as well as some of the other budget brands mentioned above. Below you can find a selection of some of the best smartphones for under $400, though not every phone from every brand can be compared.

  • Vivo Y20s: $249
  • Motorola G30: $299
  • Nokia 5.4: $299
  • TCL 20 SE: $299
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s: $349
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9: $349
  • OPPO A74 4G: $369
  • Realme 6: $369
  • Huawei Y9 Prime: $399

Budget smartphones priced between $200 and $400 are a great compromise between price and quality. You can often find these mid-tier smartphones with high-resolution cameras comparable to high-end devices (up to 64MP for some rear-facing cameras) and you’re not sacrificing storage space, which tends to happen with less expensive models.

Budget smartphones under $400
Phone Price (RRP) Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
Vivo Y20s $249 6.51” HD+ 128GB Rear: 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
Motorola G30 $299 6.5" HD+ 128GB Rear: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 8MP
Nokia 5.4 $299 6.39” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP Main + 2MP Depth + 5MP Ultrawide + 2MP Macro
Front: 16MP
TCL 20 SE $299 6.82” HD+ 128GB Rear: 16MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front:13MP + 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A21s $349 6.5” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 13MP
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 $349 6.53” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 13MP
OPPO A74 4G $369 6.43” FHD+ AMOLED 128GB Rear: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Realme 6 $369 6.5” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Huawei Y9 Prime $399 6.59” TFT LCD 128GB Rear: 16MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP

Source: Manufacturers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Cheap mobile phones under $600

If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, but still don’t want to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new smartphone, looking at phones under $600 can really open you up to so many possibilities for a mid-range device that doesn’t break the bank. These include fan-favourites from Samsung, OPPO, and Nokia, as well as many other brands.

  • TCL 10L: $449
  • Vivo Y70: $449
  • Samsung Galaxy A32: $499
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: $499
  • Realme X3 SuperZoom: $529
  • Samsung Galaxy A52: $599

Phones priced between $400 and $600 often come with great features, comparable to high-end smartphones just without the high-end name attached. This includes massive storage and crystal-clear screen display, as well as some of the best camera resolutions available for both front and rear lenses.

Budget smartphones under $600
Phone Price (RRP) Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
TCL 10L $449 6.53” LCD 64GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Vivo Y70 $449 6.44” FHD+ AMOLED 128GB Rear: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Samsung Galaxy A32 $499 6.4” FHD+ AMOLED 128GB Rear: 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 5MP
Front: 20MP
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro $499 6.67” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Realme X3 SuperZoom $529 6.6” FHD+ 256GB Rear: 64MP + 8MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: Front: 32MP + 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A52 $599 6.5” FHD+ Super AMOLED 128GB Rear: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 32MP

Source: Manufacturers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Best budget phones on a monthly plan

Sometimes it just isn’t in our budget to purchase a phone outright. While buying a new smartphone outright means it comes unlocked and ready to go, it’s also possible to purchase your phone from one of the biggest telcos in Australia and pay for it monthly over a period of time. If you do decide to go this route, it’s important to remember:

  • Your phone will probably be locked during your repayment period. You won’t be able to switch phone providers.
  • You will need to sign up for a mobile phone plan with the telco you purchased your new smartphone from, which is a monthly cost outside of your phone repayment.
  • If you decide to cancel your mobile plan, you will need to pay the rest of the remaining balance on your smartphone at once.

Clearly, the biggest advantage to a monthly phone repayment plan is that you don’t need to drop hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars at once for a new smartphone. Instead, you can choose the repayment period (usually 6, 12, 24, or 36 months), and can pay under $25 per month for some of the newer, high-end models. But this does come with some limitations, namely, you’re stuck with your provider during the repayment period unless you pay back the remaining phone balance at once.

Budget phones from Optus

For under $25 per month, you can get your hands on some of the latest smartphones with Optus including the iPhone 12 mini and Samsung Galaxy s20 FE 5G, as well as more budget-friendly options for under $10 per month from OPPO and Motorola. All phones listed below are on their 36-month repayment plan (though you can choose 12, or 24 months for a faster repayment plan), and prices don’t include an Optus mobile phone plan.

Cheap phones with Optus
Phone Cost / month
(36 months)
Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
OPPO A54 5G $11.08/month
(min. cost: $392.80)
6.5” FHD+ 64GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 6MP
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G $9.68/month
(min. cost: $348.48)
6.6” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 2MP + 5MP
Front: 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A21s $9.68/month
(min. cost: $348.48)
6.5” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP+ 2MP+ 8MP + 2MP
Front: 13MP
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G $13.86/month
(min. cost: $498.96)
6.5" HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 2MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front: 13MP
Oppo Find X2 Lite 5G $18.02/month
(min. cost: $746.02)
6.44’’ FHD+ OLED 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 32MP
iPhone SE $18.86/month
(min. cost: $678.96)
4.7” Retina HD 64GB Rear: 12MP
Front: 7MP
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G $20.78/month
(min. cost: $991.68)
6.5” Full HD+, Super AMOLED 128GB Rear: 12MP + 8MP + 12MP
Front: 32MP
iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 mini
(min. cost: $1187.68)
5.4” Super Retina XDR 64GB Rear: 12MP
Front: 12MP

Source: Mobile provider's website. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Best budget phones from Telstra

Phone repayment plans with Telstra are only available on 12 or 24 months contracts, meaning you have to pay a little more each month if you purchase your phone through Telstra but you don’t need to pay for as long. If you’re looking to pay under $25 per month for a new phone, Telstra offers several options, including their own Telstra-brand phone (some with the Telstra Blue Tick for regional and rural connectivity), Samsung, Motorola, and OPPO. Below are some of the best budget phones from Telstra, with their monthly cost which does not include a Telstra mobile plan

Cheap phones with Telstra
Phone Cost / month
(24 months)
Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
CAT S42 4GX $18/month
(min. cost: $432)
5.5” LCD 32GB Rear: 1.3MP
Front: 5MP
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G $20/month
(min. cost: $480)
6.5” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 2MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front: 13MP
Telstra Tough Max 3 $20.79/month
(min. cost: $498.96)
5.65” FHD+ 64GB Rear: 16MP + 5MP
Front: 8MP
Motorola G 5G Plus $20.78/month
(min. cost: $498.96)
6.7” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 5MP + 8MP +2MP
Front: 16MP + 8MP
OPPO A94 5G $24.95/month
(min. cost: $598.80)
6.43” FHD+ AMOLED 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP

Source: Mobile provider's individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Best budget phones from Vodafone

Like Optus, Vodafone offers phone repayment plans for up to 36 months, meaning higher quality phones will cost you less every month, but you’ll be paying it back for longer. Vodafone also offers a massive range of new smartphones for under $25 per month, including Motorola, Samsung, and iPhone, and often offer discounts off the RRP so you end up saving even more when you sign up for Vodafone repayment plan, plus monthly mobile phone plan.

Cheap phones with Vodafone
Phone Cost / month
(36 months)
Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
Motorola moto g10 4G $6.91/month
(min. cost: $248.76)
6.5” Max Vision HD+ 64GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A12 4G $6.91/month
(min. cost: $248.76)
6.5” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G $9.69/month
(min. cost: $348.84)
6.6" FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G $13.86/month
(min. cost: $498.96)
6.5” HD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 13MP
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G $18.02/month
(min. cost: $648.72)
6.5” FHD+ Super AMOLED 128GB Rear: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP
Front: 32MP
TCL 20 Pro 5G $22.19/month
(min. cost: $798.84)
6.67” FHD + Curved AMOLED 256GB Rear: 48MP + 16MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 32MP
iPhone XR $23.58/month
(min. cost:$848.88)
6.1” LCD 64GB Rear: 12MP
Front: 7MP
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G $23.58/month
(min. cost:$848.88)
6.5" FHD+ Super AMOLED 128GB Rear: 12MP + 8MP + 12MP
Front: 32MP

Source: Mobile provider's individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Budget 5G smartphones

5G is already here in Australia, though it’s not yet available in every part of the country. If you’re interested in making the upgrade to 5G, you need a 5G-enabled phone and a mobile plan with 5G access. While new technology is usually pretty expensive to start, there are already plenty of budget 5G smartphones available on the market, and as the 5G rollout continues across Australia, you can bet there will soon be even more choices at all price points.

  • Xiaomi Redmi 9T 5G: $249.95
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G: $349
  • OPPO A54 5G: $399
  • Realme 7 5G: $439
  • Nokia X20: $599
  • OPPO Reno 4Z 5G: $599
Budget 5G smartphones
Phone Price (RRP) Screen size Internal storage (ROM) Camera resolution
Xiaomi Redmi 9T 5G $249.95 6.53” FHD+ 6.53” FHD+ Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G $349 6.4” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front: 8MP
OPPO A54 5G $399 6.5” FHD+ 64GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Realme 7 5G $439 6.5” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP
Nokia X20 $599 6.67” FHC+ LCD 128GB Rear: 64MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front: 32MP
OPPO Reno 4Z 5G $599 6.5” FHD+ 128GB Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front: 16MP + 2MP

Source: Manufacturers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Actual costs may vary. Comparison does not include all brands, products, or features. Valid September 2021.

Cheap SIM-only phone plans

If you’ve recently purchased a new budget smartphone, you might want to consider a new mobile plan. There are plenty of cheap mobile phone plans to choose from, at every price-point imaginable. Budget prepaid and postpaid phone plans can start for as little as $10 or less per month, but if you want over 1GB-2GB of data, your best option is to look for a plan in the $20-$30 per month range. With $20 or $30 per month, you can get a great phone plan unlimited standard national talk and text, plus data, and usually some international talk and text or other inclusions. 

Cheapest prepaid mobile plan between $20 and $30
Provider Cost & data allowance Mobile plan features
Amaysim $30 / 28 days
30GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited international talk & text to 28 countries
Boost Mobile $30 / 28 days
20GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited international talk & text to 20 countries
300 minutes to 30 countries
300 texts to any country
Data-free music streaming
Coles Mobile $20 / 30 days
15GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited international talk & text to 15 countries
50GB data rollover
Woolworths Mobile $30 / 30 days
30GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
300GB data banking
Yomojo $29.90 / 30 days
35GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & tex

Source: Provider's website. Comparison does not include all plans or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Postpaid mobile phone plans between $20 and $30

Caption
Provider Cost & data allowance Mobile plan features
Belong $25 / month
20GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited data banking
Dodo $30 / month
36GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited international text
200 international minutes to 35 countries
Southern Phone $25 / month
20GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
$50 international credit
Vaya $24 / month
24GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Mate. $30 / month
30GB of data
Unlimited standard talk & text
Unlimited international talk & text to 15 countries
250GB data banking

Source: Provider's website. Comparison does not include all plans or plan features. Valid August 2021.

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