Sadly, smartphone innovation isn’t cheap – which is why most of it is reserved for high-end, contracted handsets. There is, however, such a thing as a good cheap smartphone – and we’re seeing some of the amazing features from flagship devices starting to trickle their way down into these lines. In the list below, we’ve taken a closer look at the best budget options in Australia:

  1. Apple iPhone 5Siphone 5s
    It’s difficult to fit these smartphones on a list of budget models, but somehow we’ve done it! The cheapest smartphone in the Apple range, purchasing the 16GB option puts you in the mid-range. The handset comes in a choice of grey or silver, has Touch ID, an impressive 8 megapixel camera and runs iOS 10. The battery, however, could be better.
  2. Huawei Y7huawei-y7
    Whilst this budget handset does have some lower-level hardware (only 2GB of RAM and a 720 pixel display), it out performed every other option in terms of processing power, graphics grunt and battery life. The display is surprisingly sharp and the lack of RAM doesn’t seem to slow it down when it comes to everyday operation.
  3. LG Q6lg-q6
    Unofficially known as the LG G6 Mini, this handset has taken the G6 design and shrunk it down to make it more attractive than its lower-level price point would suggest. It features a 13 megapixel rear camera, 18:9 FullVision display and dual SIM support. It doesn’t, however, come with a fingerprint scanner and is slightly less powerful than other options.
  4. Motorola Moto G5s
    Motorola Moto G5s
    Essentially the same as the G5, the G5 plus offers a higher resolution camera, an all-metal unibody design, a slightly larger display and a slightly bigger battery. The smartphone does have somewhat of an awkward shape but the aluminium body helps give it a more premium appearance, and it comes with a fingerprint scanner.
  5. Oppo A57oppo-a57
    With a look and feel that is almost indistinguishable from Oppo’s higher-end handsets, the A57 offers premium styling without costing an arm and a leg. It has a magnificent camera (with Beauty Mode for the most flattering selfies), front-facing fingerprint sensor, microSD for expandable storage and a 720 pixel display.
  6. Sony Xperia XA1
    A handset that looks and feels slick, you get ample storage at 32GB and aSony Xperia XA1 super-bright display of 720 pixels. The camera has been noted as being of flagship quality – in fact, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see this whole device in a flagship line a few years ago. Again, the battery could have been bigger to improve its usage.

Keep in mind that this is a list of our favourite budget and mid-range smartphones. If you’re looking to pick up a decent handset but don’t want to spend a lot, these are the top cheap options available in Australia at the moment. Before making a purchase, however, why not pay a visit to one of your local teleco providers to give these devices a whirl for yourself and see if they’ll suit?