Australia's top 5 phones you can buy today


WhistleOut
28 April 2017

There's never been a better time to be on the hunt for a new smartphone; the first wave of 2017's big releases are now out, 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 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, or the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

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. Samsung Galaxy S8 & 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

2. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Overview:
Don't let the lack of a big redesign put you off, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are more exciting than they first seem. Both devices are faster, offer improved battery life, and have stunning cameras. Optical zoom through iPhone 7 Plus' dual camera configuration is far more than a gimmick, and water-resistance on both devices is a very welcome addition. The only potential red flag is the lack of a headphone jack, 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 camera
  • Water-resistant
  • Snappy performance
  • iOS 10 is the most polished iPhone software release to date

Dislike:

  • iPhone 7 Plus is a bit bulky
  • iPhone 7 has a smaller battery than iPhone 7 Plus
  • No headphone jack 
  •  

Score:

Outright: From $1,079

3. Google Pixel & Pixel XL

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

4. LG G6

Overview:
The G6 is a return to form for LG's smartphone ambitions, and is an excellent value, gimmick free flagship that just so happens to look hot as hell. Or alternatively, one might even say it's fly …much like a G6.

Like:

  • Gorgeous design
  • Water-resistance
  • Both rear-facing cameras are great
  • Solid battery life

Dislike:

  • Slight fisheye effect on wide-angle camera
  • Selfie camera isn't great
  • Screen corners aren't perfectly round
  • Default app launcher is clunky, some bloatware out of the box

Score:

Outright: From $1,008

5. OPPO R9s and OPPO R9s Plus

Overview:
OPPO is a smartphone manufacturer specialising in bang-for-buck devices, and has certainly delivered on that promise with its latest pair of smartphones. While the R9s' cameras aren't quite as good as what you'd find in an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S8, you're getting a whole lot of phone for almost half of what you'd pay for a flagship device.

Like:

  • Excellent value
  • Premium design
  • Good battery life
  • Fast fingerprint reader

Dislike:

  • Bloated user interface
  • Runs an old version of Android
  • Camera could be better
  •  

Score:

Outright: From $599

Smartphone collection image via Shutterstock


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