Smartphones Compared

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Review new smartphones from Apple, OPPO, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, and Nokia on their user friendliness, battery life, camera quality, speed, appearance & style, durability/longevity, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction with Canstar Blue’s smartphone ratings.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | OPPO

Forget Apple and Samsung, OPPO has been rated highest by Aussie smartphone users for the second time in as many years, cleaning up with five-star reviews for its durability, battery life, appearance, value for money, and overall smartphone satisfaction.

OPPO retains title as best-rated smartphone brand in Australia

When you think of smartphones, you’ll probably think of the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. And that’s OK. But if you’re willing to look a little further, you may find even better value from one of the ‘challenger’ brands. Many of us simply want the best phone money can buy, but that doesn’t always mean the most expensive phone is the best! So, how do you know which new smartphone you should splash the cash on? That’s where Canstar Blue can help.

Our customer satisfaction ratings are designed to help you decide which smartphone to buy based on the experiences of people just like you. We’ve surveyed more than 1,700 Aussie smartphone users to get their feedback on the device they own. Their reviews are reflected by the star ratings you see above, with brands rated across eight important categories, including camera quality, speed, user friendliness, battery life and value for money – all the things you think about when deciding which phone to buy.

The seven brands included in our latest smartphones review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st OPPO
  • 2nd Samsung
  • 3rd Sony
  • 4th HTC
  • 5th Apple
  • 6th Huawei
  • 7th Nokia

That’s right, Apple is down in fifth place! But more importantly, OPPO has topped the ratings for the second time in as many years – that’s an awesome endorsement of the Chinese brand that is clearly keeping Aussies happy.

Samsung, Sony, HTC, Apple and Huawei all achieved four stars overall. It was just three stars for Nokia, suggesting the latest iterations of the once iconic phones are struggling to replicate the success of their predecessors.

While Apple, Sony and HTC all recorded top marks in some areas, OPPO was a clear winner once again, scoring five-star reviews on durability/longevity, battery life, appearance & style and value for money, in addition to overall satisfaction.

Smartphone Plans & Prices

So, if you want to get your hands on a brand new smartphone, what are your options? You could buy the handset outright and pick up a great SIM-only deal. Or you could sign up to a phone contract with one of Australia’s big telcos – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – or even a smaller provider (such as Southern Phone, TeleChoice or Woolworths Mobile). Here is a selection of plans from our database that are available with various smartphones, listed in order of monthly price.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TeleChoice Mobile

LIVE $40 Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited texts to any country

min. cost $960 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

18GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 50

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $600 over 12 months, plus any device repayments

23GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Woolworths Mobile

Large Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • Special offer: 10GB holiday bonus data every three months, plus 10GB bonus on activation

min. cost $1,200 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

30GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $1,416 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$60 Red Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data (capped to 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Up to 20,000 Qantas points

min. cost $60 per month, plus any device repayments

Unlimited* Max Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Stream mobile TV, Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free
  • Double data

min. cost $1,560 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

20GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

OPPO: The Chinese brand making waves in Australia

For the second year in a row, OPPO has dominated Canstar Blue’s ratings – an impressive achievement for a company that’s frequently out-sold and out-marketed by Apple and Samsung. The manufacturer is already well-established with buyers in its home market of China, but is continuing to make inroads internationally with discerning Western customers who want an alternative to the iPhone.

A variety of OPPO phones are now available in Australia, with outright prices ranging from $279 (for the OPPO A3s) up to $1998 (for the premium OPPO Find X Automobili Lamborghini Edition). If $2000 is a little too steep for your budget, you can pick up the standard flagship Find X for around $899 upfront, or opt for the similarly-priced OPPO R17 Pro series. No matter what your preferred price point, it’s likely that OPPO has a device to suit your needs, including mid-range options of between $300 and $600 upfront.

OPPO’s smartphones run on its own ColorOS version of Android, and the brand is known for its stylish design: if you’re looking to move away from Apple, OPPO’s Find X and R17 releases mirror the iPhone aesthetic and ease-of-use, but offer a lower price tag. The company’s phones are also known for including great cameras and overall impressive performance, although specific results will depend on which model you decide to buy.

Overall, it’s not surprising that OPPO has come out on top once again – it’s a great alternative to Samsung or Apple, and its devices offer excellent customer satisfaction across a range of price points.  But if you’re unsure if OPPO is right for you, read on for a guide to the seven smartphone brands in this year’s review.

OPPO R17 Pro plans and prices

In addition to being available to buy outright, OPPO’s latest phones are also on sale with plans from Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, TeleChoice and Woolworths Mobile. OPPO’s hero product, the R17 Pro, is available on contract from Vodafone and Woolworths Mobile, while last year’s R15 Pro is still offered by all three major networks.

R17 Pro prices:

  • Vodafone: From $59.97 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • TeleChoice: From $59 per month (with 4GB plan, over 24 months)
  • Woolworths Mobile: From $57.45 per month (with $20 X-Small Plan, over 24 months)

R15 Pro prices:

  • Vodafone: From $56.13 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Optus: From $55 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)
  • Telstra: From $74 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)

Below are some of the other postpaid plans you can pair with your OPPO device; prices listed don’t include any device repayments. Plans are listed in order of price.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Woolworths Mobile

Small

  • Unlimited
  • 200 International SMS
  • Special offer: 10GB holiday bonus data every three months

min. cost $720 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
TeleChoice Mobile

LIVE $35 Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited texts to any country

min. cost $840 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

13GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Double data

min. cost $35 per month, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Stream mobile TV, Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free
  • Double data

min. cost $1,080 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $1,416 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Apple iPhone XS plans and prices

Apple continues to nail five-star ratings for user friendliness, explaining why so many Australians are remaining loyal to the iPhone brand. If you’re looking to buy an iPhone on a plan, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all sell this year’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR models, with starting prices for the 64GB XS listed below.

  • Vodafone: From $80.25 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Optus: From $92 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)
  • Telstra: From $114 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)

Telstra and Optus also offer the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR on two-year lease plans. These are usually $10 per month cheaper than the equivalent plan on a standard two-year contract, but you won’t be paying off your phone to own it; rather, you’re simply renting it over 24 months. You do have the option of upgrading to a new phone at the 12-month mark, but you’ll need to hand back your iPhone XS and pay a $99 upgrade fee.

Below are some examples of other plans available from Vodafone, Optus and Telstra – note that these prices don’t include any phone repayment costs. Plans are listed in price order; more plans are available by searching our comparison tool.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$60 Red Plus Plan

  • Unlimited Data (capped at 1.5Mbps after 100GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Up to 20,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $60 per month, plus any device repayments

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Stream mobile TV, Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free
  • Double data

min. cost $1,560 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

20GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period More Details
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Double data

min. cost $1,896 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

20GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 plans and prices

Samsung has again achieved a consistent four-star result in this year’s ratings, ranking in second place overall. There’s a wide range of Samsung phones available both outright and on plans, but its top-rated Galaxy series remains a best-seller. The flagship Galaxy Note 9 is available from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Woolworths Mobile, with starting prices for the 128GB model listed below.

  • Vodafone: From $76.63 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Telstra: From $114 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)
  • Optus: From $95 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)
  • Woolworths Mobile: From $61.63 per month (with $20 X-Small Plan, over 36 months)

Like the iPhone, Samsung’s Note 9 (as well as other premium devices, such as the Galaxy S9 and S9+) are available to lease from both Telstra and Optus. All lease plans are offered on a 24-month basis, with the option to upgrade at 12 months for a $99 fee.

More plan options for your Galaxy phone are listed below, again not including device costs. Plans are listed in price order; more plans are available by searching our comparison tool.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Woolworths Mobile

Small Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 200 international SMS
  • Special offer: 10GB holiday bonus data every three months, plus bonus 10GB at activation

min. cost $720 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red Plan

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Double data

min. cost $35 per month, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
Optus Logo

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Stream mobile TV, Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free
  • Double data

min. cost $1,080 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $1,416 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Huawei Mate20 Pro plans and prices

Like OPPO, Huawei is a Chinese company with a ‘giant killer’ reputation. Huawei’s devices are known for offering great cameras and serious value for money, and you can pick up the brand’s flagship Mate20 Pro on plans from Optus and Vodafone, from the below prices.

  • Vodafone: From $79.41 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Optus: From $75 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)

You can explore more plan options for Huawei devices in the below table, although phone payment costs aren’t included. Plans are listed in price order.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$60 Red Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data (capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Up to 20,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $60 per month, plus any device repayments

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Stream mobile TV, Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream music data free
  • Double data

min. cost $1,560 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

20GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Sony Xperia XZ2 plans and prices

Sony remains one of the most trusted names in electronics, and has ranked third overall in this year’s smartphone ratings. The company’s latest flagship smartphone model is the Xperia XZ2; currently exclusive to Telstra, the XZ2 is available both to buy and lease on a 24-month contract, with buying prices from below.

  • Telstra: From $89 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)

More Telstra plan options for the Sony Xperia X2 are listed below, not including device payments.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $1,416 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Bonus double data

min. cost $1,896 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

20GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$99 Large

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Bonus 20GB of data
  • Unlimited international calls & SMS to 15 countries

min. cost $2,376 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

50GBMax Data**/billing period $99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$129 Extra Large

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 60GB bonus data
  • Unlimited international calls & SMS to 15 countries
  • $10 monthly credit (plan normally $129)

min. cost $3,096 over 24 months, plus any device repayments

120GBMax Data**/billing period $119Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

HTC U12+ plans and prices

HTC has landed solidly in the middle of this year’s ratings, but remains a solid and consistent competitor. The Taiwanese company’s flagship series is its ‘U’ range, and this year’s HTC U12+ is a premium Android device that’s packed with high-end features.

Unfortunately, the U12+ isn’t currently available on Australian telco plans, but you can pick up the high-priced phone (or any other HTC device) directly from the manufacturer’s online store. The U12+ is priced at $1,199 upfront, and can be paired with your choice of SIM-only plan.

Nokia 8 plans and prices

There’s more to Nokia than the classic 3310 – the enduring European company continues to release quality smartphones, albeit slightly under the radar. Its Nokia 8 series is a more-affordable, long-lasting alternative to higher-priced options from Samsung or OPPO, with a $899 outright price tag (or up to $1,199 for the premium Nokia 8 Sirocco).

Nokia offers a great selection of phones across various price tiers, but as with HTC, none of its devices are currently available on Australian telco plans (with the exception of the aforementioned Nokia 3310, which you can pick up from Southern Phone).

Is the hottest smartphone a smart option?

You may be surprised to learn that 58% of survey respondents always buy the same brand of smartphone: and while it makes sense for buyers to stick with what they know, getting stuck in a phone rut could mean you’re missing out on a better option. While Apple loyalists may be reluctant to look elsewhere, there are plenty of comparable (and more affordable) alternatives available.

According to Canstar Blue’s survey, almost half of us (47%) prefer to upgrade only when our current phone plan expires, with a relatively small 14% of participants upgrading each year. Unless there’s a problem with your existing phone, there’s really no practical reason for upgrading every 12 months – and with the average plan user spending around $86 per month on their device, chasing the hottest handset can cost you serious dollars.

Telcos love to encourage customers to upgrade annually, and it’s the logic behind the still-novel leasing plans now on offer from Telstra and Optus. These plans allow customers to lease high-end phones over a 24-month contract: unlike a traditional two-year smartphone plan, a lease deal means you won’t get to keep the phone once your repayments end.

Instead, you’ll need to hand back the device to your telco, but you can upgrade to a new phone after 12 months of payments. But as upgrading requires customers to pay a $99 fee, as well as hand in their leased device, it may not the best option for the average phone user. You will pay around $10 less per month to lease rather than buy, but as you’re not actually paying to own your device, you won’t get the option of making money back by selling your phone later on.

Even if you do buy over a standard 24-month plan, you don’t need to automatically upgrade to a new phone as soon as your contract expires. If you’re still happy with your handset, you can switch to a SIM-only plan and go month-to-month, rather than locking yourself in to another long-term contract. A contract-free, SIM-only plan is a perfect move for when you’re weighing up your options – and with 12% of survey respondents admitting they regret buying their current phone, it pays to shop around before you commit.

Compare Phones on a Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a brand-new smartphone in the last 2 years – in this case, 1,708 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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