​Top 10 best Android and Apple smartphones for $700

SIM-free and unlocked phones, smartfones and iPhones which you can buy right now in 2018 compared and reviewed

Credit: Samsung

In 2019, it’s all too easy to spend too much money on a smartphone - especially if you’re only looking at the most popular brands 

Apple’s top-end iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max can cost you thousands, and Samsung’s own high-spec Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 aren’t that much cheaper.

Thankfully, it’s much easier to find a cheaper and more budget-friendly alternative to these flagship devices than ever before. The amount of overlap in features for mid-tier devices and premium ones continues to grow while the gap in quality continues to shrink. 

Nowadays, $700 can buy you a pretty good smartphone. Here are our picks for the top 10 best Android and Apple phones you can find for around $700.

Google Pixel 3a 

Google Pixel 3aCredit: Google
Google Pixel 3a

The Google Pixel 3a doesn’t have anything particularly revolutionary inside it but, for the AU$599 asking price, it pretty much blows every other mid-ranger out of the water. You’re getting the same slick, clean and expansive version of Android found in the flagship Pixel plus a camera that’s almost just as good. 

In our review, we came away impressed and said that “if you have $650 to spend, and can live without things like wireless charging, water resistance and the ability to take photos of the moon, there are almost zero reasons to look at buying anything other than the Pixel 3a.”

You can read our full review here.

Pros:

  • Incredible camera

  • Clean software

  • OLED screen

Cons:

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

  • Physical fingerprint sensor & no Face Unlock

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Google Pixel 3a outright through the following retailers:

The Google Pixel 3a is also available on any postpaid mobile plans via Vodafone. Check out the widget below for more.

Reno Z

oppo-reno-z.jpg
oppo-reno-z.jpg

A learner, cheaper companion to Oppo’s 5G-ready Reno, the Reno Z successfully replicates most of what makes its bigger brother the Chinese company’s most compelling flagship yet. Although lacking in flagship perks like wireless charging, water-resistance or the Reno’s famed 10x lossless zoom, it does offer up an in-screen fingerprint sensor, solid performance and a surprisingly-capable camera for the price point.

In our review, we concluded that “the Reno Z subtracts much of what makes the mainline Reno such an exceptional device. However, for less than half the price, it manages to carve out a compelling balance between nailing the essentials and being good enough at everything else that you rarely think about what you’re missing out on.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Sleek design

  • In-display fingerprint sensor

  • Great performance

Cons

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

  • ColorOS can be an acquired taste

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Oppo Reno Z outright at the following retailers:

The Oppo Reno Z is also available on any postpaid mobile plans via Woolworths and Vodafone. Check out the widget below for more.

Samsung Galaxy A70

Credit: Samsung

Even if the waterproofing is a conspicuous omission, the Samsung Galaxy A70 still manages to hold up as an impressively adept mid-ranger that hits a surprising amount of the same notes as its flagship inspirations. Equipped with a triple-lens rear camera, an Exynos processor and an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the Galaxy A70 excels at far more than just the fundamentals. 

In our review, we said that “The Samsung Galaxy A70 is more than the smartphone you can get away with, it's one that most people will probably be you’ll be happy with.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Great performance

  • Outstanding camera

  • In-display fingerprint sensor

Cons

  • “Glastic” feel-factor can be off-putting

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

Where to buy

In Australia, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy A70 outright at the following retailers:

You can also purchase the Galaxy A70 on a post-paid mobile plan (see below):

Motorola One Vision

Credit: Motorola

If you’ve used any of Motorola’s G-series phones before, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Motorola’s One Vision offers up great battery life and a smooth-as-all-get-out software experience that’s a sneeze away from stock Android. However, if you’ve used any of Motorola’s G-series phones before, you’ll probably end up impressed by just how powerful the camera on the One Vision is and how much slicker the device looks compared to what’s come before it.

In our review of the One Vision, we said that “The Motorola One Vision is a mid-tier smartphone that swings above its weight when it comes to look and feel. It combines many of Motorola’s more-established strengths with a penchant for aesthetics and design that you might not expect from the brand.”

You can read our full review here

Pros

  • Striking design

  • Clean software

  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Camera falls short of the hype

  • No water resistance 

  • No wireless charging

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the Motorola One Vision outright at the following retailers:

The Motorola One Vision isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Huawei Mate 20

mate-20-mate-20-pro-100776762-orig.jpgCredit: Adam Patrick Murray/IDG
mate-20-mate-20-pro-100776762-orig.jpg

The regular Huawei Mate 20 lacks the 3D face unlock and IP68 water resistance found in its more expensive cousin but gains a headphone jack in return. And it does still maintain two of the key things that have made Huawei’s recent Mate-series devices so compelling: a high-end Kirin processor and a triple-lens camera. 

The Mate 20 is armed with a 12-megapixel wide angle (f/18) lens,  a 16-megapixel ultra wide angle (f.2/2) lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto (f/2.4) lens. Then, under the hood, it rocks Huawei’s latest Kirin 980 CPU. 

Pros

  • Fast processor

  • Triple lens camera

Cons

  • EMUI

  • No water resistance or wireless charging

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Huawei Mate 20 through the following:

The Huawei Mate 20 isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Oppo R15 Pro

Oppo R15Credit: Oppo
Oppo R15

If you’ve ever spent any time with an Oppo phone before, the pitch for the R15 Pro is going to sound a little familiar. It’s got the looks of an iPhone and the tech of an Android. 

Powered by the Chinese-brand’s Color OS Android skin, the R15 Pro features a powerful dual-lens camera on the back and a 20-megapixel selfie-shooter on the front. It’s also got 6GB of RAM, IP67 water resistance, a 3430mAh battery and the headphone jack you’ll find missing from more modern flagships.

In our review, we said that “The R15 Pro sees Oppo bring more of that flagship experience to the sub-$800 smartphone space than ever before to generous effect.”

Pros

  • Sharp-looking design

  • Headphone jack

  • VOOC fast Charging

Cons

  • Camera is a little dated by today’s standards

  • Still uses Micro USB for charging

  • No wireless charging

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Oppo R15 Pro through the following:

The Oppo R15 Pro is available on postpaid mobile plans via Optus:

Galaxy S8

galaxy-s8-primary2-resized-100744925-orig.jpgCredit: Jason Cross/IDG
galaxy-s8-primary2-resized-100744925-orig.jpg

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 was once the king of the smartphone jungle. These days, it’s fallen some ways down the list. That being said, the things that this device excelled at back in 2017 still count for something. 

Buying a Samsung Galaxy S8 these days still gets you a pretty powerful Exynos processor, a pretty decent single lens rear camera and a gorgeous Infinity Display. You even get access to the new One UI Android skin that Samsung debuted alongside the Galaxy S10 earlier this year.

Pros

  • Great display & design

  • Water resistance & wireless charging

  • Still has a headphone jack

Cons

  • Camera hasn’t aged as well as it should have

  • Kind of small by modern standards

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Samsung Galaxy S8 through the following:

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is available on postpaid mobile plans via Telstra:

OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6Credit: OnePlus
OnePlus 6

Even if they aren't *officially* available in Australia, there's a good chance you might have seen the name OnePlus around the place in recent years. This boutique brand has quickly made a name for themselves by combining razor sharp specs and flagship features with a price-tag that’s perhaps a little more reasonable than you’ll get from the Samsungs and Apples of the smartphone world. 

The OnePlus 6 features a 6.3-inch AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM plus 256GB of on-board storage. There’s an iPhone X style notch on the front and a powerful dual-lens (16-megapixel + 20-megapixel) camera on the back.

Pros

  • Premium specs

  • Crisp display

Cons

  • No wireless charging

  • No water resistance

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can buy the OnePlus 6 through the following:

The OnePlus 6 isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Xiaomi Mi 9T

Xiaomi are a relative newcomer to the Australian smartphone market but devices like the Mi 9T suggest they’re looking challenge even heavyweights like Huawei and Samsung. 

The Xiaomi Mi 9T features a Snapdragon 730 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 6.39-inch AMOLED FHD+ Display with an in-display fingerprint sensor plus triple-lens rear camera “situation” that touts a 48-megapixel sensor and AI enhanced image processing. 

There’s also a 4000mAh battery, which suggests it’ll deliver some pretty decent battery performance, and a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie cam that banishes the notch to the shadow realm.

We haven’t had the chance to go hands-on with the Xiaomi Mi 9T ourselves yet but look for our review in the future. 

Pros

  • No notch!

  • Triple-lens camera

Cons

  • Only FHD+

  • That 700-series processor ain’t an 800-series processor

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the Xiaomi Mi 9T through the following:

The Xiaomi Mi 9T isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).


LG V30+

LG V30+Credit: LG Electronics
LG V30+

On paper, LG’s V30+ is feels like the quiet achiever of the 2018 flagship line-up. It’s got everything you’d expect: IP68 waterproofing, a Snapdragon 835 processor, a powerful dual-lens camera, face unlock, an always-on display and support for wireless charging. It’s also got some stuff you might not expect, like dedicated videography capabilities.

As we said in our review of the LG V30+, “If you’re a sucker for a good snap (or selfie), LG’s V30+ is probably not going to cut it for you. However, if you’re willing to live with photos that are only good rather than great, it’s got the makings of the best Android phones of the year. It ticks (almost) all the right boxes and does so at a price that neatly undercuts the competition.”

Pros

  • Flagship feature set

  • Videography shortcuts

Cons

  • Plain design

  • Underwhelming camera

Where to buy?

In Australia, you can find the LG V30+ through the following:

The LG V30+ ThinQ isn’t available on any postpaid mobile plans via Telstra, Optus or Vodafone but you can always pair the device up with a SIM-only plan (see below).

Related: Best Samsung Phone Cases

Related: Best Unlimited Internet Deals

Related: Cheap NBN plans

Related: Cheap mobile plans

Related: What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?

Related: The fastest NBN plans according to the ACCC

Related: Everything you need to know before you buy a 5G phone in Australia

Related: Best budget smartphones of 2019

Related: Best Phones of 2019

Related: Best mid-tier 2018 smartphones

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesApplesonyhtcmobile phonessmartphonelgsamsungHuaweiLeicamobile phonemobile phone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Fergus Halliday
Show Comments

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?