Best Australian phone deals compared (updated March 2019)

The smartphone market has gotten to be a pretty intimidating place, and when you bundle in the added choice of all the various plans and contracts, it can be a real doozy to choose between them. Don't worry, we're here to help!

On this page, we've covered everything there is to know about making your choice and deciding on your new phone or plan. Whether you're looking for SIM-only plans and outright phones, or phone contracts with the major carriers like Telstra and Optus, this page has you covered.

If you already have an idea of what phone you're chasing, check lower down the page for specific phone deals for the best plans to grab them on. If, on the other hand, you're dead keen on a certain carrier, we've tracked down the best Telstra plans and the best Optus plans available as well.

Below, we have a live tracker that compares some of the best available phones and plans, spanning the full range of telcos and networks, and updates as they change.

Compare mobile phone deals

The top mobile phone deals right now:

Our team of editors scan through all of the available prices and offers for the top smartphones every week, leaving no mobile phone offer undiscovered. In this section, we've picked out the best phone deals in Australia available right now for the most popular handsets.

If you can't find the device you were looking for below, then try searching for it using our custom made comparison chart above. Just refine your search and pick the device you want to see all of the possible contracts available. 

Best iPhone deals

iphone xr

Apple iPhone XR

We're big fans of the iPhone XR, there's no doubt about that. The device came in as a competing option with the prices of Apple's other new, pretty expensive devices and despite the price drop it still seriously delivers. This is one of our favourite devices going into 2019.

Discover more iPhone XR deals

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iphone xs

Apple iPhone XS

The iPhone X was a massive leap for Apple, so the the iPhone XS didn't have to change much to impress. It made tweaks to the camera technology, added an extra 1GB of RAM and introduces a mighty 512GB storage model. Perhaps the 6.5-inch Max model is more exciting this year.

We've found the best iPhone XS deals and iPhone XS Max deals

iphone x

Apple iPhone X

For a company that has a tendency to not change much between devices, Apple really went all out on the innovation with the iPhone X and it's safe to say we were impressed. Even now going into 2019, this is still a brilliant device and a great alternative to the pricey realms of the newer iPhone XS and XS Max. 

We've found the best iPhone X deals

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iphone 8

Apple iPhone 8

It's really the iPhone 7S by another name, as it's little more than an incremental upgrade on the iPhone 7. And it has had its thunder stolen by newer devices like the iPhone X and iPhone XR  somewhat. That said, this is still a great phone and wireless charging is the big new feature – the first time on an Apple phone.

Here are the best iPhone 8 deals and iPhone 8 Plus deals

Best Samsung deals

Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung's newest release, the S10 is a powerhouse of a phone that removes all the bezels to create a flawless screen and makes this a device that really stands out. With this handset you're getting three impressive cameras, a big battery and speedy processor – and an understandably high price tag.  

See more Samsung Galaxy S10 deals and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus deals

Smartphone deals

Samsung Galaxy S10e

Were you hoping to get Samsung's newest device, the S10, but we're put off by the price? This is Samsung's direct answer to that issue, a more wallet-friendly device that still has high-end specs. While you won't get quite as many features as the S10 or S10 Plus and it has a slightly smaller screen, you're really not losing a whole lot for the reduced price.

See more Samsung Galaxy S10e deals

Smartphone deals

samsung galaxy s9

Samsung Galaxy S9

Samsung really has got its devices figured out now, and every new handset they release impresses us more. Although the S9 didn't make many big changes on the S8 we're still big fans of the design, features and swift biometric security – not to mention the price of this device has dropped considerably since its release back in 2018.

See more Samsung Galaxy S9 deals and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus deals

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung's latest phablet-sized addition to the Note series is a total powerhouse, but thanks to the arrival of the S10 line, we're finally starting to see prices on this monolith reduced, alongside some sweet plan offers. 

See more Samsung Galaxy Note 9 deals

Best Google Pixel deals

Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL

The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL can be summed up in one quick line: Absolutely brilliant cameras. Google managed to grab the title of best camera phone with its first Pixel device and ever since then it has continued to win over hearts with impressive camera features. The phone is powerful all around, but is really worth getting if you're a bit of a photography buff.

See today's best Google Pixel 3 deals and Google Pixel 3 XL deals

The best SIM-only deals

SIM only

Want to hold on to your current phone for a little bit longer? Or feel like a SIM-free contract is the way to go? We understand, and that's why grabbing a SIM-only deal can be a great way to go. If you have a little bit of spare cash lying around, you may even find that teaming up a cheap SIM-only deal with a new handset is a cheaper way of getting your new smartphone, with some plans on offer costing less than $10 a month.

Visit our dedicated round-up of the best SIM only deals

Mobile phone deals FAQ

What you need to know about buying your new phone

Of course you want to find the cheapest price for your new smartphone – and our comparison chart at the top of the page will narrow that down for you – but we know there are likely to be dozens more questions you'll want answering. Keep reading below, where we answer some of the key commonly asked questions about buying a new mobile.

What phone network is the best?

Each phone network has its own advantages and disadvantages. There isn't necessarily a wrong choice – it just depends on what's most important to you. Whether that's sweet inclusions, solid coverage, cheap prices or good global-roaming options. While loyalty may be an admirable trait, it's essentially useless in the realm of phone providers, so we highly recommend shopping around once your contract has finished.

While Telstra may be better known for its coverage, Optus has the lead in almost every other area possible. Ever since Virgin Mobile was absorbed into the Optus name, the telco has become a good degree more affordable than its main competitor, and can often provide equivalent plans for less than half the price of Telstra. Optus also has a swathe of included extras that help your data go further, such as mobile TV and certain music streaming services not counting towards your cap. 

Check out our editor-recommended Optus mobile plans

As mentioned above, Telstra has earned a name for itself for being Australia's leading telco when it comes to network coverage, and that's still the case. It's also on the cutting edge when it comes to new technologies, such as 5G, and, while its phone plans tend to be on the expensive side, they do have some exclusive benefits – there is no other carrier offering truly unlimited plans, for instance.

Check out our selection of the best-value Telstra plans

While Vodafone is undeniably the third major player in Australian networks, arguably, it doesn't really come close to either Telstra or Optus as it doesn't particularly excel at coverage, value, or included extras. The major benefit of going with this telco is its option for month-to-month plans, which only require you to pay off the remaining value of the phone if you do decide to leave.

An unsuspecting entry into the race for Australian phone users, Woolworths Mobile is actually doing really well so far. Operating on the Telstra network and offering plans at ridiculously low prices (some of which even include top-tier Android handsets, like the latest range of Samsung Galaxy devices), this is quickly shaping up to look like a compelling competitor to the big guns. The main catch is that it doesn't have nearly the same range of plans as Telstra or Optus, and often won't get some of the latest flagships at launch.

What is an MVNO?

An MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, is a company that utilises a larger carrier's network – i.e. Telstra, Optus or Vodafone – to run their service. These carriers are typically much smaller in size and popularity, but can still offer some exceptional deals.

For instance, Vaya, Amaysim, and Woolworths Mobile all run their service via either the Optus or Telstra network, which gives them similar advantages and disadvantages when it comes to coverage as the major telcos themselves. 

The bigger providers may charge a little more, but they come with the usual advantages of bigger businesses, which can include better customer care resources, the ability to bundle other products and services and a guarantee that they'll always have the latest flagship handsets.

Are lease contracts worth it?

For most users, we're of the opinion that the cons associated with lease plans outweigh the potential benefits – but there are a few cases in which they can make sense. Typically, leasing a phone on a contract still requires you to be locked in for a 24-month period, but the catch is that you'll need to hand your phone back to the telco in decent condition at the end of this contract.

The upside of this is that you'll be saving, on average, $10 per month, which tends to be the difference in price between buy or lease contracts. Considering that this amounts to $240 saved over the two year period (considerably less than the cost of today's handsets), it's arguably going to be much better value for you to stick with a traditional plan and, once your contract is up, either sell it second-hand, pass it on to another family member, or keep using it but switch to a cheaper SIM-only plan.

The main argument for lease plans is that it's handy for people who know they want to swap phones as regularly as every one or two years, and that can't be bothered selling them each time they do so.

Should I go for a contract or get a SIM-free phone?

When trying to find a new phone contract, it essentially boils down to two options. A phone on a 12- or 24-month contract, or purchasing a handset outright and combining that with a SIM-only plan.

Most of the plans offered by major Aussie telcos are on a contract. These allow you to bundle the cost of both the phone and the service together for one monthly fee. These are quite a popular option in Australia, perhaps because they tend to be easier to manage and the cost of your device is spread out over 12-24 months. 

Alternatively, if you've got the cash up front, it can sometimes be more sensible to purchase the phone you're after and pair it with on of the excellent SIM-only plans available, which are getting much more compelling as time goes on – offering exponentially more data at lower prices than they have in the past.

How much data do I need on my phone?

  • 1-4GB If you like to scroll through your social media feeds and emails while out and about but aren't using your handset for much else, then this option will be enough for you.
  • 5-10GB The likes of Spotify and Apple Music have promised us all our favourite tunes wherever we roam. Kit yourself out with a bit more data and you'll have plenty for music streaming and the occasional video, too.
  • 11-30GB This should be more than enough for most users. Loads of data for streaming music, downloading podcasts and enjoying social media videos. Because there's no such thing as too many cats falling into bins.
  • 30-1000GB Big data for the big phone user. Perfect for watching Netflix videos, downloading content and streaming loads of music. And these plans often have extra freebies thrown in, too.
  • Unlimited Telstra is still the only one network to offer truly unlimited data, although Optus' 200GB plans are rather close. It can be really pricey though ($199 per month in almost every case), so think long and hard whether you really need it.

How much memory do I need on my phone?

You're likely to be one of two kinds of person:

Person 1: You like all your photos, music, downloads and other media to be saved directly on to your phone. If that sounds like you, 32GB or 64GB handsets may not be enough and you should use our comparison chart to find the most affordable 128GB, 256GB, or even 512GB models.

Person 2: You're a stream demon. You've got subscriptions to Spotify and Netflix and you save all your Word docs and snaps into the cloud. Save your money and go for a cheaper, lower memory handset.

OK person 3, calm down - you fall somewhere between the two, right? If you can afford to get a smartphone with more memory, that is probably safest. But don't forget that most phones do allow you to insert an additional SD card if you run out of space.