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Compare smartphones from Apple, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, OPPO, Samsung, Sony and ZTE on their user friendliness, battery life, camera quality, speed, appearance & style, value for money & overall customer satisfaction with Canstar Blue’s 2017 review & ratings.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | OPPO

Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 1,800 smartphone users across Australia to find out which brand is rated highest by the people who know best. OPPO was the standout performer this year, earning five stars for battery life, camera quality, value for money and overall satisfaction.

OPPO beats the opposition in smartphones review

For many of us, our smartphones are almost an extension of ourselves – they’re often the first thing we look at before going to sleep at night and the first thing we reach for when we wake up in the morning, so it’s understandable that we want the best that money can buy. But with the cost of new, high-end smartphones going up every year, many of us are looking for cheaper, yet equally capable, alternatives. .

While some people will struggle to see past the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones, if you’re willing to do a little research you’ll realise there are many other, great-value phones out there. Don’t believe us? Just look at our customer ratings! We’ve surveyed more than 1,800 smartphone users across Australia, and recorded their feedback on their smartphone of choice. Our surveys cover important factors like user-friendliness, camera quality, battery life and value for money – and as you can see, OPPO has been rated highest of the lot.

Smartphone Plans & Prices: Contract or Buy Outright?

Before you’ve picked your new smartphone, you’ll need to decide how you want to pay for it. An ongoing debate in the smartphone world is the question of whether to bundle your new phone with a plan (usually over 2 years), or purchase the phone outright and pick a good SIM-only deal.

  • 54% of users surveyed elected to buy their new phone outright, while 45% elected to sign up to a contract. The rest took another route.

While purchasing a phone outright gives you much better flexibility, buying on a contract often provides the most convenience, plus access to special deals with telcos that are not provided elsewhere. The most popular telcos for on-contract phones are (unsurprisingly) Telstra, Optus and Vodafone; you can also pick up devices from low-cost telco Southern Phone (which offers Samsung and Motorola phones on plans).

Below are selected  published deals, listed in order of price, from the providers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are sponsored products, but you can use our comparison tool to view more providers and plans.

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

Green 50

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $600 over 12 Months

23GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$59 Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1416 over 24 month plan period

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

$60 Red Unlimited

  • Unlimited Data (capped to 1.5Mbps after 40GB)
  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 10,000 Frequent Flyer 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 Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

OPPO: future iPhone killer?

A Chinese brand, OPPO has risen through the ranks to establish itself as a smartphone ‘giant killer’, and in our 2017 review it has proven to deliver the most satisfied customers in Australia. That’s an incredible result, considering OPPO’s new phones cost considerably less than the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S8.

  • OPPO dominated this year’s ratings with five stars on value for money, battery life, camera quality and overall satisfaction.
  • Other five-star ratings were few and far between, but Apple and its iPhone range did get top marks for user friendliness, speed and appearance & style.
  • Apple, Samsung, HTC and Motorola rated four stars overall, with Huawei, Sony and ZTE scoring three stars.

You may not have heard of OPPO before, but chances are you’ve seen one of its phones in the street and perhaps mistaken it for an iPhone – they do look quite similar. OPPO uses the Android operating platform, and its high-end flagship model, the OPPO Find X, costs just under $1,100 – definitely not cheap, but still more affordable than premium devices from Samsung or Apple. Lower-end OPPO phones retail from around $300, with mid-range options of between $600-$700 also available.

OPPO is a great option for buyers looking for an alternative to Samsung or Apple, but don’t let us make your mind up for you. Read on for a guide to the eight smartphone brands in this year’s review to help you decide for yourself, as well as a selection of plans for each device.

OPPO R15 Pro

In Australia, OPPO’s most-wanted smartphone is the R15 Pro, which boasts a 20-megapixel, AI-enhanced dual rear camera for next-level photography, plus a powerful processor and all-day battery. This phone can be bought outright for around $780, but is also available on plans from Vodafone, Optus, Telstra, and Woolworths Mobile:

  • Vodafone: From $53.13 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)
  • Woolworths Mobile: From $41.63 per month (with $20 X-Small Plan, over 36 months)

Below are some of the other postpaid plans you can pair with your OPPO R15 Pro; 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

Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Unlimited International SMS
  • 5GB bonus data

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

10GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$60 Red Plus Plan

  • Unlimited Data(Capped at 1.5Mbps after 40GB)
  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 10,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $720.00 over 12 month billing period

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

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Apple iPhone X

Next to OPPO, Apple was the only other smartphone brand to register a five-star rating in any research category, getting top marks for user friendliness and speed. The newest Apple flagship phones, the iPhone 9 and X Plus, are due to be released in September, but the 2017 iPhone 8 and iPhone X are still available from Vodafone, Optus, and Telstra, with starting prices listed below.

  • Vodafone: From $78.86 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Optus: From $110 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 X 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 X 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 40GB)
  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 10,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $720.00 over 12 month billing period

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

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

HTC U Series

Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has been making inroads throughout the West over the last few years, although in recent times has been outshone by Chinese competitors such as OPPO and Huawei. HTC’s flagship phone comes in the ‘U’ series, particularly the U11, which features HTC’S Sense Companion, Edge Sense quick app launch, and a high-rated camera. The popular HTC U11 retails for $999 full-price, but is currently available on two-year plans from Optus.

  • Optus: From $45 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)

You can pair your U11 with any Optus My Plan Plus postpaid option, including the plan on the below table; be aware that the following prices don’t include what you may pay for your HTC phone each month.

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

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Motorola C Series

Motorola was rated four stars for overall satisfaction and for most other categories. Despite consumer attention turning to the likes of Samsung and Apple over the last decade, Motorola still makes exciting, great-value smartphones, including the stylish and affordable Moto C. Available now on plans from Southern Phone, the Moto C gives you all the smartphone essentials, plus a fast performance and dual SIM capabilities.

  • Southern Phone: From $16.90 per month (with $9.90 Green Plan, over 24 months)

Below are some of the plan options available from Southern Phone (not including any device payments).

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

Green 22

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $528 over 24 Months + any device repayments

7GBMax Data**/billing period $22Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 35

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $840 over 24 Months + any device repayments

18GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Samsung Galaxy S9+

Samsung has slipped a bit in this year’s ratings, but still achieved four stars for overall satisfaction (and for every other category). Under the ‘Galaxy’ line, Samsung has produced dozens of fan-favourite handsets; low-cost Galaxy releases can be picked up for around $300, while the flagship Note 9 and Galaxy S9+ cost around $1,500 to buy outright. This is where bundling has merit, with hot offers and lots of incentives available from big and small telcos; the Galaxy S9+ is available from the below brands, on 12, 24, or 36-month plans.

  • Southern Phone: From $81 per month (with $22 Green 22 Plan, over 24 months)
  • Vodafone: From $72 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)
  • Optus: From $74 per month (with $59 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)
  • Telstra: From $99 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)
  • Woolworths Mobile: From $57.47 per month (with $20 X-Small Plan, over 36 months)

As with the iPhone, big data bonuses are on offer on Samsung plans, as well as data-free music streaming, streaming subscriptions and international credit. You can also pick up the S9+ (as well as the standard S9 and the Galaxy Note 9) on lease plans from Telstra and Optus, to be rented over 24 months.

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

Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Unlimited International SMS
  • 5GB bonus data

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

10GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Students get Double Data

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 50

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $600 over 12 Months

23GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Flex

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Huawei Mate 10

Huawei is another Chinese phone manufacturer, offering a range of high-quality Android devices at various price points. One of the more popular smartphones in the Huawei line-up is the Mate 10, available now from Vodafone. This device features a camera developed in conjunction with Leica – one of the world’s most revered optics companies.

  • Vodafone: From $59.97 per month (with $35 Red Plan, over 36 months)

The premium Mate 10 Pro is also available from Optus, with prices beginning at $60 per month for both plan and phone. Huawei was rated three stars for overall satisfaction in our review, but did score four stars for battery life and value for money.

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

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Students get Double Data

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Sony Xperia Series

Sony was rated three stars for overall satisfaction, but did rate four stars for value for money and camera quality. The company is a household name in electronics, and under its ‘Xperia’ brand, it produces some exciting mid-to-high-range smartphones. The flagship model is the Xperia XZ Premium, which is priced at $999 outright and features the world’s first 4K HDR smartphone display. Currently, only Telstra and Optus offer the XZ Premium on plans, with starting prices below.

  • Optus: From $55 per month (with $45 My Plan Plus, over 24 months)
  • Telstra: From $89 per month (with $59 Small Plan, over 24 months)

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

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport & Nat Geo data free
  • Stream Music data free
  • Double Data

min. cost $1560 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

ZTE

You may not have heard of ZTE, but the Chinese company is one of the top five smartphone manufacturers in its home market. Outside of China, ZTE is still overshadowed by big-name brands, but offers a range of Android phones to suit all budgets, including the flagship Axon 7.  There’s also the more affordable Axon Mini and ZTE Blade models,; however, it seems Australian customers want more than just low prices when it comes to smartphones, with ZTE rating just three stars for overall satisfaction in our review.

Currently, no Australian telco offers ZTE devices on prepaid or postpaid contracts, but you can buy your choice of phone outright and pair it with your favourite SIM-only plan.

Is the hottest smartphone a smart option?

High-end smartphones commonly cost more than $1,000 these days, with some even priced closer to $2,000. This is a huge amount of money for most of us, but that doesn’t stop people from upgrading every year.

  • 59% of respondents to our survey who upgrade every year said they do it because they like having the newest handset.
  • 13% also said they upgrade because they feel pressured to, or to keep up with trends and their friends.

With that said, it’s also tempting to take up your provider’s offer of upgrading every year. If you’ve bundled your smartphone with one of the big telcos, they make it very easy to upgrade your phone every 12 months, so you always get the latest and greatest while they get to secure your custom for another year. Before automatically upgrading, it’s worth considering your options, including seeing out your contract and going SIM-only.

Tribalism is also a thing in the smartphone world, with most of the battle being done in the Samsung versus iPhone debate. More than half of survey respondents (56%) always buy the same brand, with familiarity the main reason, though plenty are also just convinced they have the best phone going.

In any case, no matter which smartphone you buy, it pays to do your research. Also consider the fact that the most expensive smartphone brand does not necessarily produce the most satisfied customers. OPPO is known as a cheap smartphone manufacturer yet achieved five stars overall and for many other categories. The smartphone world is more than just Apple and Samsung – if you weigh up your options, you’ll realise there is a lot of choice out there.

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 bought a brand new smartphone in the last 2 years – in this case, 1,826 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 alphabetically. 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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