Skip to main content

Best phones in Australia 2020: top 13 smartphones tested and ranked

Best phones in Australia 2020
(Image credit: Samsung, Apple)

UPDATE: The first foldable device to grace our list of the best phones in Australia for 2020 has arrived with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip – our pick for the most impressive folding phone to date. Read on to find out more about it.

Here at TechRadar, we check out almost every phone under the sun, putting the ones that matter through our vigorous testing process to create our in-depth mobile phone reviews.

However, with so many to choose from, we've spent hours whittling them down to a top ten, taking into account power, specs, design and value for money. And we'll always point you in the direction of the latest handsets – after all, nobody wants to be carting around a phone that doesn't get any updates in a year's time, right?

So whether it's one of the many slick Android handsets, the latest iPhone or one from a range of other cool manufacturers, we've extensively tested them all so you don't have to!

Here are our rankings for the best smartphones that are currently available in Australia in 2020. Simply click on the phone you read more about.

Best phone at a glance:

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
3. iPhone 11
4. iPhone 11 Pro / Pro Max
5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
6. iPhone SE (2020)
7. Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus
8. Google Pixel 4 XL
9. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
10. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
11. Huawei P30 Pro
12. Samsung Galaxy S10e
13. LG G7 ThinQ

Image 1 of 4

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)
Image 2 of 4

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)
Image 3 of 4

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)
Image 4 of 4

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus

Samsung raises the bar once again

Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 186g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 3200×1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP

Latest and greatest specs
Great 30x zoom max
120Hz is smooth as silk
Price bump is aggressive
In-screen fingerprint sensor is poor

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the best phone on our list, though the S20 is so similar (and only slightly inferior) that we've lumped them together here. There are minute differences, but mostly in price: the standard S20 starts at AU$1,349, while the S20 Plus starts at AU$1,499. That's a bigger jump than last year, owing mostly to the S20's newly added 5G capabilities.

Of course, you also have the option of picking up Samsung's top-tier model in the range, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, though you may want to consider whether its questionable 100x zoom functionality and inconsistent 108MP camera are really worth the much higher AU$1,999 starting price point.

Screen: The Infinity-O AMOLED displays on both phones - 6.2 inches for the S20, 6.7 inches for the S20 Plus - are gorgeous, with a maximum WQHD+ resolution of 3200 x 1440. Thankfully, the notches are both centralised like the Note 10, and they're much smaller this time around, however, it's worth noting that the S20 Plus only has a single lens. The result: more screen.

Also new this year is a 120Hz maximum refresh rate for silky-smooth media and gaming, though it's likely that you'll mostly notice it while browsing. Admittedly, you will to drop your display resolution down to FHD+ to enjoy it, however, the trade is far less of an issue than you might think – the S20's display still looks incredibly sharp outside of its full QHD+ setting.

Battery Life: The S20 packs a 4,000mAh battery, while the S20 Plus has 4,500mAh of capacity. That is, to put it lightly, a lot, and frequently got us through over a day without the need to recharge. Keep in mind that battery life estimate will dip down if you set the refresh rate at 120Hz, frequently use 5G connectivity or lend juice with the handset's Wireless PowerShare feature, so adapt accordingly if you're looking to keep your phone going longer. 

Camera: The S20 and S20 Plus have truly spectacular cameras. No, not their 12MP main shooters, which are fine - it's the 64MP telephoto that really shines. While it only has 3x optical zoom, it still manages to crop zoom in to a muddy 30x digital zoom - which means the interim intervals are still a good deal more impressive than the competition. The 12MP ultra-wide performs adequately, while the 10MP front-facing camera works just fine. 

Another first-time bonus: 8K 24fps video from the rear camera, allowing for truly cinematic footage. Of course, few people actually own an 8K display this early in the tech's life-cycle, however, the higher resolution does allow video editors to crop in close without losing a whole lot of detail.

Mini verdict: While the Samsung Galaxy S20 is impressive enough, it's the S20 Plus that we vouch for as the best phone right now, even if it's slightly more expensive. The combination of incredible cameras with top-tier specs and a great display makes it an unquestionable winner with more battery life than its smaller sibling. 

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S20
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 telco plans
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus telco plans
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 outright deals
See the best Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus outright deals