Australia's Top 5 phones available now
Summary: Take a look at the best phones available in Australian phone stores right now.
Now is a great time to be hunting about for a smartphone, with many of this year's best models already in phone shops around the country.
We take a look at our five favourite phones, highlighting the pros and cons of each.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Note 4 is the latest in Samsung's big-phone tech. It rocks a huge 5.7 inch quad-HD resolution of 2560 x 1440. Compare that to the similarly-sized 5.5 inch 1080p iPhone 6 Plus and you get 28% more pixels per inch (ppi) on the Samsung.
Korea's favourite phone maker has ditched its plasticy ways and opted for a real metal rim this time around. As a result the Note 4 is not only beautiful to look at, it feels like a premium phone the moment you pick it up.
Lastly, it's the first Cat 6 LTE phone to be released in Australia. Telstra has recently launched this super-fast 4G technology on its on network in select locations. If you're lucky enough to be in a Cat 6 area, you'll have access to what are likely the fastest 4G speeds in Australia.
- Big, beautiful screen
- S-Pen stylus
- Metal design
- Not water-resistant (the smaller GS5 is)
The LG G3 was the first quad-HD display to hit Aussie shores. Its 2560 x 1440 resolution gives it about 75% more pixels than a 1080p panel, and around 3x more than an iPhone 5s' Retina display. Sufficed to say this is a crisp, beautiful screen.
- Highly customisable, down to the default on-screen buttons
- Amazing display
- Great camera with fast laser-assisted auto-focus
- A beautiful and fun user interface
- Prone to bouts of lag
- Some app instability
- Not water-resistant
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Choosing between the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Z3 Compact is a tricky business. Both phones are very similar, but we went with the Compact for two reasons: price and size.
If you want a smaller Android smartphone at the moment, but you don't want to compromise your user experience, then the Z3 Compact is your only option. True, its 4.7 inch display is only 720p, but at this reduced size it's not eminently obvious. Speed-wise it can keep up with the big players.
It's very waterproof, measuring in with both IP65 and IP68 water-resistance ratings (better than the GS5). It's also a great option for PS4 owners. Both the Z3 Compact and Z3 -- as well as the Z3 Tablet Compact -- can act as an emergency screen for your PlayStation in those times when someone else is utilising the TV.
- Compact yet capable
- PlayStation Remote Play
- Advertised "2 day" battery life is a bit optimistic. Expect one day
- 720p panel
- Camera is good, but suffers from light bleeding at night
HTC One M8
HTC's current flagship came out early in the year, but it's held up well. Not only can it still keep up with the best of them, no other phone to come out in 2014 has been able to compare with its build quality and class. The way things are going, the One M8 is a shoe-in for best-looking phone of the year.
- Probably the world's most beautiful phone and very comfortable to hold.
- Great user experience.
- Display is not as bright as on other phones, like the Galaxy S5.
- The camera is good, but not among the best.
The iPhone 6 is about 17% bigger than its predecessor, with its new 4.7 inch display. The resolution has essentially remained the same in terms of image quality at 326 pixel per inch (ppi).
The most notable other addition is near field communication (NFC). This is what powers the Apple Pay service has been introduced in the US with Australia hopefully close on its heels. Apple Pay let's you securely use your phone instead of a credit card.
Finally we have the camera. With the exception of the bigger iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 rocks the best camera on the market. It's truly an astounding piece of imaging technology.
- User experience is well designed and easy-to-use.
- Outstanding camera
- Millions of apps to install
- Design focuses on looks over ergonomics
- Expensive when compared to similarly-sized phones
Choosing a top 5 is difficult, in many ways it is like choosing a favourite child (they are all special in their own way). If you didn't find what you were looking for in the list above, here are a few more excellent phones to consider.
If you're looking for an in-depth opinion on any of these handsets, check out our comprehensive Reviews.
Or, if you want to jump straight into a price comparison for any of these models, head over to our
Mobile Phone Finder tool.
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