The best mobile phones in Australia May 2024

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This guide was last updated on 27 May 2024. See more

Choosing the best mobile phone can be a daunting prospect in a world where multiple brands release dozens of models every year.

So suddenly you have to ask yourself: Is it more important to choose the latest model, with its fancy new cameras, shiny new processor and eye-waveringly high price tag?

Or should you keep an eye on your wallet and opt for a less premium model?

With this guide, we’re here to help. We’ve reviewed the latest iPhones, Android phones, and if you’re on a budget, we have a guide to the best cheap phones in Australia as well.

We’ve also rounded up the best brand phones:

These are the best mobile phones we’ve tested:

1

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung’s 2024 flagship smartphone is the best phone the company has ever produced, and is impressive in its performance.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra on a sandstone step with the BTTR Hall of Fame badge
10
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra AI Smartphone, 12GB RAM 256GB, Titanium Black Hall of Fame

We review the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, an incredible smartphone and easily one of the best phones you can buy in …
AU $1,665.00 AU $2,199.00 Buy now
Read full review
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor
  • 200 MP + 50MP zoom + 12MP ultra-wide + 10MP zoom
  • 6.8-inch AMOLED display

It’s has only been available for a couple of months, but the S24 Ultra has moved to the top of this list, just like its predecessor did.

In our review of the phone, we found it to be an exceptional device, with lightning fast responsiveness and a brilliant camera system.

Its AI features can be a little difficult to uncover within various menus, but when you find them they typically work quite well. Being able to colourise old black and white photos is a lot of fun.

In any case, expect to see this handset climb higher up the list in the coming months. It’s fantastic.


Positive
  • Lightning fast performance
  • Truly magnificent camera
  • Best screen on a phone
  • Strong battery life
Negatives
  • AI functionality is typically buried in menus
  • Quite heavy
  • Pricey

Where to buy


2

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

This phone is powerful enough to play console-level games, has exceptional cameras and the Action Button adds a whole new dimension. It’s as good a phone as you can buy right now.
iPhone 15 Pro with the Hall of Fame badge
10
Apple iPhone 15 Pro review

Apple iPhone 15 Pro – 256GB – Blue Titanium (Unlocked) Hall of Fame

BTTR Review: The Apple iPhone 15 Pro is an exceptional phone with a brilliant camera, intelligent software and the most …
  • A17 Pro chipset
  • 48MP + 12MP ultra-wide + 12MP 3x telephoto cameras
  • USB-C connector

The iPhone 15 Pro is a fantastic device and was only the second phone to be awarded a Hall of Fame award in 2023.

Its camera array offers spectacular photos for a mobile device, and the inclusion of the Action button offers a huge amount of customisation for phone shortcuts.

With iOS 17, you also get features like Standby mode, that turn the device into the best bedside clock you could hope for.

It offers great battery life too, making this a brilliant option for anyone married to the Apple ecosystem.

Positive
  • Looks and feels great
  • Exceptional camera
  • Action button works well
  • Incredible performance
Negatives
  • USB-C shift will take time to adjust
  • Battery life is good, but not great
  • Action button can only do one thing

Where to buy


3

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

With its larger screen, bigger battery and extra RAM, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus has an edge over the Galaxy S24 for performance.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus on red gravel
9.5
Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus review: More!

Samsung Galaxy S24+ AI Smartphone, 12GB RAM 256GB, Cobalt Violet Editor choice

With its larger screen, bigger battery and extra RAM, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus has an edge over the Galaxy S24 for …
  • Exynos 2400 processor
  • 50MP + 12MP + 10MP telephoto
  • 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display

While previous generations of the Plus-sized Galaxy S models didn’t really offer much of a difference between the standard model and the Plus sized, this year Samsung upped the screen resolution and added a bit more RAM.

That extra RAM helps with the Exynos 2400 processor Samsung used for its standard models, reserving the SnapDragon 8 Gen 3 for the Ultra variant at the top of the list.

But the S24 is significantly cheaper than the S24 Ultra, and while it doesn’t offer features like the S-Pen, it does have a strong camera array, plenty of battery life and Samsung’s Galaxy AI features.

Overall it’s an impressive smartphone with a strong performance.

Positive
  • Stylish design with stunning screen
  • Quick and responsive
  • Great battery life
Negatives
  • AI is hit and miss
  • Exynos rather than Snapdragon processor

Where to buy


4

Apple iPhone 15 Plus

With its larger screen size, the iPhone 15 Plus offers a clear viewing experience with plenty of power and the advantage of USB-C connectivity.
The Apple iPhone 15 Plus
9.5
Apple iPhone 15 Plus review

Apple iPhone 15 Plus 128GB Black Editor choice

If you like big phones and you cannot lie, we cannot deny that the Apple iPhone 15 Plus is a great option in our review.
  • A16 Bionic chip
  • 48MP Main + 12MP Ultra-wide cameras
  • USB-C Connector

Apple is one of the leading smartphone manufacturers for a reason. The iPhone 15 Plus is a stunning device, with brilliant battery life, a gorgeous screen and a strong camera offering.

Its biggest challenge is price, which is a bit too close to the iPhone 15 Pro, which is an objectively better device.

But if you want a larger screen, and are on a tighter budget, you won’t be too disappointed by the iPhone 15 Plus. It does everything you need it to do with style, even if the iPhone Pro would be better for many people.

Positive
  • Solid, well-made hardware
  • Good battery life
  • Camera takes really nice photos
Negatives
  • Can get the better iPhone 15 Pro for just a little bit more
  • USB-C transition can be a little frustrating

Where to buy


5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a wonder of modern technology, but its design has usability issues.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 half folded sitting on grass
9.3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 256GB Cream Editor choice

In our review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, we discover a phone that is a wonder of modern technology, but has design …
  • SnapDragon 8 Gen 2 processor
  • 50MP + 12MP + 10MP 
  • 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen inside, 6.2-inch external screen

It’s getting a little long in the tooth now, but the fifth generation Galaxy FOld is stilla. worthy inclusion in this list.

You get strong battery life, a great camera array and a processor that can tackel pretty much you can throw at it.

Oh, plus a dual screen design that opens up to create a tablet device.

The aspect ratios are a bit off, making it awkward to do some tasks, but it’s still a much more versatile device than anything else on this list.

Positive
  • Spectacular battery life
  • Robust gap-free hinge
  • Powerful performance
Negatives
  • Aspect ratios make it hard to use
  • S-Pen case is an additional purchase
  • It is very expensive

Where to buy


6

Google Pixel 8

The Google Pixel 8 may be the middle child of the Pixel family, but it performs remarkably well.
Back of the Pixel 8 in a block of wood in the sun
9
Google Pixel 8 review

Google Pixel 8 5G (Dual Sim, 128GB/8GB, 6.2'') – Obsidian Editor choice

The Google Pixel 8 may be the middle child of the Pixel family, but it performs remarkably well as noted in our review.
  • Google Tensor G3 processor
  • 50MP + 12MP ultra-wide cameras
  • 6.2-inch Actua display

While the Google Pixel 8 Pro may be a better device on paper, I didn’t get the chance to review it. Instead, I got my hands on the Pixel 8, which is a strong device in its own right.

It offers great camera performance with intelligent software editing powered by AI. The camera isn’t as powerful as the Pixel 8 Pro, but still offers plenty to like at a more affordable price.

The 6.2in 120Hz OLED screen is wonderful to look at, though for my mind not as impressive as the S24 series.

But the real winner is selling point is seven years of software updates, meaning this is an investment that will see your kids through high school.

Positive
  • Impressive camera performance
  • 7 years of software updates
  • Compact, stylish design
Negatives
  • Camera bar isn’t for everybody
  • No manual camera controls
  • Max of 256GB storage

Where to buy


7

Samsung Galaxy Flip 5

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 shows just how stylish a foldable phone can be, though it’s far from a perfect phone.
Samsung. Galaxy Z Flip 5 review folded
9
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 5G (Dual Sim, 512GB/8GB, 6.7'') – Lavender Editor choice

We review the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, an iconic smartphone with a folding screen and a larger external display.
AU $1,107.00 AU $1,849.00 Buy now
Read full review
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • 12MP + 12MP cameras
  • 6.7-inch internal screen +3.4-inch external widget display

In many ways the Galaxy Flip 5 is the better folding deice from Samsung, despite the Fold 5 offering a larger battery and more versatile screen layout.

It has the same processor as the Fold 5, and its internal folding screen looks fantastic. The external screen is much larger than previous generations, though it is limited to only work with selected widgets.

The camera didn’t get an update this year though, which is part of the reason this is a bit further down the list.

But in any case this is one of the best foldable phones you can get right now.

Positive
  • Really stylish design
  • Screen folds flat
  • Plenty of power
Negatives
  • Battery life is a little underwhelming
  • No real improvements to camera
  • Limited support for widgets on external screen

Where to buy


8

Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is a comfortably compact smartphone that feels good in the hand and delivers stellar performance.
blank
9.3
Samsung Galaxy S24 review

Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB Black/Grey/Violet/Yellow SM-S921B (Unlocked) AU Stock Editor choice

The Samsung Galaxy S24 may not have all the bells and whistles of the S24 Ultra, but it’s still a great handset for …
  • Exynos 2400 processor
  • 50MP + 12MP + 10MP telephoto
  • 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display

While the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is the flagship with all the bells and whistles that sits at the top of this list, the entry-level S24 model is no slouch.

While it uses Samsung’s own Exynos processor rather than the SnapDragon found in the Ultra model, it still performs incredibly responsively and fast.

Plus, it’s smaller design makes it better suited to smaller hand sizes, though it does also mean a smaller battery capacity.

But you still get a great camera array and a brilliant screen, at a fraction of the price. If you are looking for a premium handset without a flagship price, this is a really good option.

Positive
  • Sleek, comfortable design
  • Responsive and fast
  • Strong camera, gorgeous display
Negatives
  • AI functionaility seems a little lost
  • Smaller battery capacity
  • Exynos chip rather than SnapDragon

Where to buy


Also consider:

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 15 Pro lineup

For many people, bigger is better, particularly when it comes to their smartphone. The iPhone 15 Pro Max takes everything good about the iPhone 15 Pro, and puts it into a larger body.

That larger body means two key advantages. Firstly you get a whopping 6.7-inch screen to look at.

Secondly, the battery gets a big boost, making it a powerhouse of longevity when partnered with the powerful A17 Pro processor.

The Pro Max also offers a slightly superior camera over the standard Pro model thanks to a 5x optical zoom setting only found in the larger model.

Where to buy


Google Pixel 8 Pro

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The Pixel 8 Pro is the best smartphone Google has ever produced, though it hasn’t quite made its way across all the sites we reference for this guide.

Google has implemented some significant upgrades in this year’s Pro model. You get the Tensor G3 processor to handle the intense computational requests needed for the machine learning photo editing tools.

There’s a gorgeous 6.7-inch OLED display with a 2992 x 1344 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate that’s brighter than last year’s model.

And Google has committed to seven years of software updates. That’s a real commitment, and future proofs your purchase nicely.

Where to buy


Google Pixel 7a

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Google’s more price-friendly model of the Pixel 7 has recently hit store shelves around the country, and it hasn’t taken long for the phone to land in this list of the best phones in Australia.

With its stunning 6.1-inch FHD+ display capable of 90Hz, the Pixel 7a is a joy to use, with an impressive camera array and all of Google’s intelligent software inclusions.

It’s a compact and IP67 water resistant smartphone, capable of doing pretty much anything a flagship can do.

It does lack a good zoom option like the flagships, and battery life is a little light, but this is still an exceptional device for the price.

Where to buy


Apple iPhone 15

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The introduction of the dynamic island feature, which adapts a window around the front face ID cameras, was a revelation for Apple last year. So much so that it’s now found in the iPhone 15.

While the camera doesn’t offer the same versatility as the Pro models, the dual lens system is still a great option for most people.

Plus, you get features like Standby mode and Siri all out of the box with iOS 17. It may not be the best iPhone on the market at the moment, but it’s still a great option for budget-savvy iPhone users.

Where to buy


How we chose the best mobile phones

I’ve reviewed hundreds of phones over my career, and more than 20 since I launched BTTR. In that time I learned that review sites – including this one – are subjective by nature. Everybody has a different opinion of what is best.

So for this guide, I’ve recommended my top phone choices from the models I have tested. But also done extensive research to identify the top devices I may not have tested yet.

This research involved combining the products recommended by leading review sites across Australia, and consolidating those recommendations. You’ll find them in the “Also consider” section.

As I continue to test more smartphones, I’ll update this guide to ensure it is regularly up to date.


What to look for when choosing the best mobile phones

A close up of one of the best mobile phone camera systems

Whether you’re after one of the models listed above or something completely different, the decision factors you need to consider when buying a new phone are the same.

iOS or Android

For better or worse, there are two options for mobile phone software when you are looking to buy a new smartphone.

That means the first decision you need to make is whether you want to buy an Apple phone running iOS, or a different brand running Android.

Both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Understanding which you prefer will go a long way in helping you decide what phone you should buy.

Design

More than any other piece of technology, the smartphone reflects who you are.

It is your central hub, connecting all the important parts of your life in one place, from messaging or calling friends to playing mobile games when you are bored.

But design isn’t just about the look of the phone important to note that design isn’t just about colours either. It’s also about comfort. So if you have small hands, an extremely large device is going to be hard to use, and you should consider a device that is comfortable to hold.

Camera requirements

The best mobile phones are now so good they effectively replace the entire compact digital camera market.

But not every phone camera is equal. In fact, camera technology is one of the key differentiators between the best mobile phones today.

Look for multiple lenses for different functions like zoom or wide-angle shots. Consider the phone’s ability to take wonderful photos in low light.

Battery life

For the vast majority of smartphones, you will get between 1-2 days worth of use before the battery runs out.

There are a few things you can do to maximise your phone’s battery. Firstly, choosing a device with a larger battery can help. A 4,000mAh battery is more likely to last longer than a 2,800mAh battery, for example.

You can also choose a smartphone with an effective low-power mode. This mode will switch off a bunch of features when the battery starts to run low. This lets you prioritise battery over functionality.

Additionally, devices with fast charging can be plugged in for just a few minutes to recover a decent amount of battery power.

Display

Display size is important because it will impact the comfort of the phone. Not just in the hand, but also for your eyes.

But also look at things like the resolution of the screen and its refresh rate. Resolution refers to the number of pixels that make up the screen. The more pixels there are, the clearer the picture will be in most cases.

Refresh rate could be important if you plan on using the handset to play games or stream sports. Typically a higher refresh rate the better the phone will be at displaying fast moving objects.

Performance

Your new phone needs to do whatever you ask of it. The processors that power your phone can vary dramatically in performance.

If your phone is mostly for browsing Facebook or sending text messages, then you probably won’t need a powerful processor. If you want to edit photos or play high-quality video games, you are going to need a processor built for performance.

Benchmark scores are an easy way to understand how good a processor is at doing its job. It’s not foolproof though. Plenty of manufacturers have cheated to make their benchmark scores look better than they really are.

Price

Price is always an important decision factor. You may want one of the best mobile phones in the world, but your budget may not support that desire.

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to get a great bargain on your next phone. Older models or mid-range phones offer a lot of the performance for a fraction of the price.

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Update history
  • 6 December 2022 – First Published
  • 11 January 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Added iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14. Removed iPhone 13.
  • 6 February 2023 – Updated the number of sites recommending products. Added a comparison table.
  • 3 March 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Added Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, and OnePlus 11. Removed the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and Apple iPhone 14.
  • 3 April 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Added the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
  • 1 May 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Lowered the minimum number of recommendations to 4. Added iPhone 14, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone SE (2022).
  • 2 June 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products
  • 3 July 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products. Removed the Google Pixel 6a. Added the Google Pixel 7a.
  • 2 August 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations for products.
  • 5 September 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed Google Pixel 7, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, Apple iPhone SE and Apple iPhone 14. Added Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.
  • 10 October 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations. Added the Apple iPhone 15 Pro.
  • 6 November 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations. Added Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max, Google Pixel 8 Pro and Apple iPhone 15. Removed Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and Apple iPhone 14 Pro.
  • 8 December 2023 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed Google Pixel 7 Pro.
  • 8 January 2024 – Updated the number of recommendations.
  • 5 February 2024 – Updated the number of recommendations.
  • 8 March 2024 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed OnePlus 11. Added Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
  • 8 April 2024 – Updated the number of recommendations. Removed Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy Z Flip 5.
  • 27 May 2024 – Updated methodology to be based on first-hand reviews, rather than external recommendations.

Author

  • Nick Broughall

    Nick is the founder and editor of BTTR. He is an award winning product reviewer, who has spent the last 20 years writing, editing and publishing technology and consumer content for brands like Finder, Gizmodo and TechRadar.

    View all posts
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