Smartphones are a huge part of everyday life; they allow us to stay connected, capture those important moments and keep us entertained. While top-of-the-range models are hugely expensive, there are great budget models available. Canstar Blue breaks down the best cheap smartphones currently on offer.
Samsung Galaxy A05s (RRP $299*)
The Samsung Galaxy A05s – part of the budget-friendly Galaxy A series from Samsung – features a 6.7-inch Infinity-U FHD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate, designed for a wide-viewing display experience with great screen clarity.
Samsung has packed in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage size (with up to 1TB of expandable micro SD storage included). Keep in mind that the A05s doesn’t include 5G network compatibility.
There’s a 5000mAh battery for a long-lasting battery life, but if you do run out of charge, the A05s is 25W fast charging compatible. It also includes up to two generations of OS upgrades, along with four years of security updates for better longevity.
For a budget-friendly device, Samsung hasn’t skimped on the camera specs, with a triple rear camera setup featuring a 50MP main camera, 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth sensor. You’ll also get a 13MP front-facing camera for all your selfie-taking needs.
You can buy the Samsung Galaxy A05s in black or green from select retailers and the Samsung online store, for $299*.
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- Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor
- 6.7-inch Infinity-U FHD+ display
- Up to 90Hz refresh rate
- Triple rear-camera setup (50MP main + 2MP macro + 2MP depth)
- 13MP front-facing camera
- 5,000mAh battery with up to 25W fast charge
- 4GB RAM
- 128GB internal storage + up to 1TB expandable Micro SD storage
- Available in black or green
OPPO A58 (from $399*)
OPPO has really hit its stride in the past couple of years when it comes to developing a signature style, especially for its more budget-friendly devices in the A series and even in the more premium Reno series.
It has well and truly continued down that path with the A58, thanks to the stunning finishes on the back. The Glowing Black version carries that ‘OPPO Glow’ finish which OPPO describes as a “beautiful shimmering crystal effect”, which has been very noticeable in finishes on other phones, such as the OPPO A98 5G and A78 5G. If black’s not your colour, there’s also the Dazzling Green finish, with a silk-like texture.
The OPPO A58 has a 6.72 inch FHD+ Sunlight display, with 680 nits peak brightness to improve display visibility under bright, sunny conditions. The All-Day AI Eye Comfort features help to keep the display comfortable and eye-friendly for extended use.
You’ll get a MediaTek Helio G85 processor with 6GB of RAM. Combined with OPPO’s RAM Expansion Technology, it can essentially double the RAM, plus you’ll get 128GB storage with up to 1TB of expandable MicroSD storage. However, it’s worth noting that 5G network access is not available with the A58.
There’s also a big 5000mAh battery that can last for up to 16 hours of YouTube and five hours of gaming on a single charge, and it also includes up to 33W fast charging (and a charger in the box).
As for cameras, you’ll get a double rear camera setup with 50MP main camera and 2MP portrait camera, along with an 8MP front-facing camera. With the main camera’s AI technology, you’ll also be able to capture clearer high-resolution images, with pixel binning support to preserve more details, especially in lower light conditions.
The OPPO A58 is available to buy for $399* from select retailers and the OPPO online store. The device is also available from select mobile providers such as One.
- MediaTek Helio G85 processor
- 6.72-inch FHD+ Sunlight LCD display
- Up to 180Hz touch sampling rate
- Double rear-camera setup (50MP main + 2MP portrait)
- 8MP front-facing camera
- 5000mAh battery with up to 33W SUPERVOOC fast charge
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB internal storage + up to 1TB expandable Micro SD storage
- ColorOS 13.1
- Available in Glowing Black and Dazzling Green colours
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Nokia C12 (from $149*)
For decades Nokia has been producing durable phones for an affordable price, and the Nokia C12 is no exception.
Starting at just $149, the Nokia C12 is the ideal entry-level phone. And while you’re not getting a huge amount of storage or a tonne of bells and whistles, it’s still a great phone.
Capture memories with powerful Night and Portrait modes on the front and rear cameras, then relive them on the stunning 6.3” HD+ display. Efficient and up-to-date software delivers the latest security features and even saves battery life, mobile data and storage space in the background.
The Nokia C12 is made for modern times – and that includes the design. With its sculpted rear with metallic finish and a 3D pattern for a better grip, it boasts a look that’s modern today and timeless tomorrow. And being a Nokia smartphone, it’s been tested over and over again and comes with better durability against dust, moisture and accidental drops.
The C12 comes with less bloatware to give you more storage for your own things. What’s even better, it also uses less unwanted background data to make your mobile data plan go further.
The Nokia C12 is available to buy from select retailers and mobile provider, Spark.
- Available in three colours: Dark Cyan, Charcoal and Light Mint
- 6.3” HD+ display
- Toughened display glass
- Brightness boost and selfie notch
- Front camera: 5MP, FF | Rear camera: 8MP AF | Rear flash LED
- Internal storage: 64GB | RAM 2GB | Virtual RAM 2GB
- Micro USB connection
- All-day battery life
- Battery saving features
- Android 12 operating system (Go edition)
*Prices sourced from brand’s official webpages. Correct as of 17/11/23.
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About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.