Australia's Top 5 phones available now

Summary: Take a look at the best phones available in Australian phone stores right now.

By at WhistleOut |

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. Where applicable, we're grouped two phones together as one. After all, there's not too much difference between the two current iPhones, or the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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.

Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge

Pros: Cons:
  • User experience is well designed, easy-to-use
  • Outstanding camera
  • Great new design
  • Edge display adds little
  • Expensive, especially the S6 Edge
  • Glass design can crack if dropped

Samsung has released a duo of phones this year: the S6 and S6 Edge. Aside from the obvious fact that the S6 Edge has a curved-edge screen and the S6 does not, the two phones are all but identical with the same screen size, 2560 x 1440 resolution and 1-day battery life.

This year the Korean Giant has finally ditched its plastic ways and opted for a glass front and rear panel with metal trim. The end result is something between a familiar Samsung design and the direction Apple took with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Aside from general speed, smoothness and power, the stand-out feature is the camera. The S6 phones may just have what it takes to topple Apple's throne and claim it for themselves. At the very least, there seems little enough difference to matter if you're behind the lens.

Samsung Galaxy S6
Telstra plans
Samsung Galaxy S6
Optus plans
Samsung Galaxy S6
Vodafone plans
Samsung Galaxy S6
Virgin plans

iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

Pros: Cons:
  • User experience is well designed, easy-to-use.
  • Outstanding camera
  • Millions of apps to install
  • Design focuses on looks over ergonomics
  • Expensive when compared to similarly-sized flagships

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 6 Plus sports a big, hulking boost all the way up to 5.5 inches. Unlike its smaller sibling, its resolution has been upgraded to full 1080p, giving it around 400ppi. That means a clearer image over a wider area.

The most notable addition other than size is near field communication (NFC). This is what powers the Apple Pay service has been introduced in the US, although Australian release is still TBA. Apple Pay let's you securely use your phone instead of a PayPal credit card.

Finally we have the camera. Both phones rock some of the best cameras on the market, with the 6 Plus taking the cake with its optical image stabilisation (OIS). Whichever you pick, you'll end up with a truly astounding piece of imaging technology.

iPhone 6
Telstra Plans
iPhone 6
Optus Plans
iPhone 6
Vodafone Plans
iPhone 6
Virgin Plans

HTC One M9

The One M9 is hands-down the most gorgeous phone on the market. We wouldn't have thought a splash of gold could ever make a phone look this classy, but HTC made it happen.

As a phone it works well. It's powerful, smooth and the UI has a stress-free minimalist feel. Thanks to the aluminium construction, it does have a tendency to get warm when pushed. This isn't because it's overheating, but because aluminium is far better at transferring heat than other materials.

The only let-down of the whole affair is the rear camera. Despite its huge 20.7MP, the One M9's shooter is a bit lacklustre. If you're accustomed to a camera from two years ago then it's still going to be an improvement, but avid photo-takers should look towards Samsung or Apple in the current market.

HTC One M9
Telstra Plans
HTC One M9
Optus Plans
HTC One M9
Vodafone Plans
HTC One M9
Virgin Plans

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Pros: Cons:
  • Big, beautiful screen
  • S-Pen Stylus
  • Partially metal design
  • Great camera
  • Not water resistant
  • Expensive
  • Touchwiz UI is a little bulky

The Note 4 is your go-to phone if you want a big-screened Android. It rocks a huge 5.7 inch screen with 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. Subsequently, the Note 4 is not only beautiful to look at; it feels like a premium phone the moment you pick it up.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Telstra Plans
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Optus Plans
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Vodafone Plans
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Virgin Plans

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Pros: Cons:
  • Waterproof
  • Compact yet capable
  • Less-expensive
  • PlayStation Remote Play
  • "2 day" battery is optimistic. Expect one day
  • 720p panel
  • Camera is good, but suffers light bleeding at night

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. It's also just different enough from its big brother for us to want to avoid including both simultaneously.

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 highly 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.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Telstra Plans
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Optus Plans

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