Best phones in Australia 2023: top smartphones tested and ranked

Deciding on, and buying, the best phone for your needs gets increasingly more difficult with each passing year, as new options consistently emerge. The top flagship handsets from Apple, Samsung and Google are all excellent handheld marvels with imposing power, but they often also carry a price tag to match, so knowing where to invest your money is super important.

With this in mind, we’ve put all manner of phones to the test – assessing their price, design, display, performance, cameras and more – in order to determine how they stack up to the rest of the smartphone competition in Australia. 

Whatever your needs, desires and budget, there’s guaranteed to be an option right for you in our list of the ten best phones in Australia below.

The best phones in Australia: quick list

The best phones in Australia 2023

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Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best phones in our list. TechRadar's team of phone experts has tested each on extensively, which allows us to say categorically which ones are genuinely worthy of your attention. 

The best phone overall

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung)
2023's first premium smartphone release is a worthy upgrade


Release date: February 2023
Weight: 234g
Dimensions: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 3088 x 1440
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2
RAM: 8GB, 12GB
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 200MP (wide) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 10MP (telephoto) + 10MP (periscope telephoto)
Front camera: 12MP

Reasons to buy

New processor is more powerful and efficient
Impressive camera updates and quality
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

No change in design

Mimicking the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s physical design in essentially every way, the S23 Ultra does very little to catch the eye at first glance, but in doing so hides what are some seriously impressive updates to Samsung’s premium flagship.

To start, the S23 Ultra has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 2 at its core, and this already impressive processor gets a further boost thanks to a collaboration between Samsung and Qualcomm for the former’s new device. The result, which Samsung calls the 'Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy', tweaks this processor’s Cortex-X3 core to clock at 3.6GHz rather than the usual 3.2GHz. 

According to Samsung, this allows the S23 Ultra’s processor to offer the handset 51% better neural processing unit performance, 41% better GPU performance and 33% greater CPU performance than before – on top of a 20% boost to efficiency for superior battery performance. It’s hard to argue with the evidence, as the S23 Ultra’s 1Hz to 120Hz adaptive Dynamic AMOLED 2X display is genuinely gorgeous and every function performs at true premium speeds with equally impressive consistency. And that increase to the S23 Ultra’s efficiency and its impact on battery life was easily observable in our time with the handset.

These improvements are all before getting to the S23 Ultra’s cameras. Following on from the likes of the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra (below), the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s main camera sensor is dialled up to a whopping 200MP, with a trio of sensors joining it at the rear. Yet the number attached to the S23 Ultra’s primary camera isn’t the full story, as the ISOCELL HP2 sensor powering it grants photos and videos taken with the Samsung flagship superior colour reproduction, better light absorption and superior performance in low-light conditions (to name just a few of the benefits). Samsung’s focus on the S23 Ultra’s video capabilities in particular are enough to see it dethrone the iPhone 14 Pro / iPhone 14 Pro Max (below) as the best smartphone for video recording – which is no mean feat.

Naturally, such upgrades found in one of the top premium smartphone options comes at a price, and the S23 Ultra is more expensive than its predecessor at launch. Thankfully, the S23 Ultra’s price hike isn’t quite as severe as some had feared, though will regardless set you back a bundle.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review