Best Budget Smartphone (Under $300) in 2019

Moderators at OzBargain are now running yearly polls to decide the best products in popular categories that get asked repeatedly in the forum. Our aim is to have a central thread where users can vote on the items, suggest options and also change their vote throughout the year. For more information on how these polls work, or if you want to suggest a new poll that isn't covered already, please refer to our announcement thread here.


What is the best budget smartphone under $300 in 2019?

Once again we'll discuss options and recommendations for smartphones in the budget category. Last year, the clear winner of the poll was the value-oriented Xiaomi Mi A1. It'll be interesting to see what is trending this year in 2019. Place your votes or suggest a product by commenting below.

Remember: You can change your votes at anytime, and suggest more than 1 product over the course of the poll.

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  • +5

    How do you define 'best' tho? In terms of specs, nothing comes close to Xiaomi budget phones, but a large amount of buyers dont buy phones because of specs.

    • +3

      but a large amount of buyers dont buy phones because of specs.

      They're called Apple fanboys!

    • Yep, I think in a couple of months' time this list will look quite different as phones like the Redmi Note 7 drop into and become available in the sub-300 price bracket (could probably snag an alixepress or eBay coupon deal that would get you one under that now). That thing is subjectively better than most of these phones but not for all mostly due to lack of B28 (not a huge deal if you're already compromising on performance) and no Australian release I guess.

      • Aliexpress: just cancelled my Umidigi F1 phone because the Chinese seller took my $308 and then that's the last I heard for a month. After a month and no answers to my questions about when they will ship, I cancelled. Got an email that said "sorry you cancelled. We will credit your credit card in 15 days". Buyer beware!

        EBay? Check the phone network specs for these grey imports (if they are actually listed, which is rare). Almost all of them lack B28, which means they are not suitable for Australia, especially rural Australia.

  • -2

    Second hand s8 for roughly $300

    • I don't think this is a half bad answer - it might be more like $400 though. I'd say refurbished S8 would be worth considering if you can afford slightly over 300.

  • Can I assume that all those phones have B28 and NFC? Checking Oppo a3s- no. Any of them got B28 and NFC?

    • +1

      Xiaomi 'Redmi' phones generally lack NFC, since in China they don't really use it much but mostly rely on QR codes that are read by cameras. You will only see them on pricier 'Mi' models.

      You can search the phone models on GSM arena for specifications.

    • No, most lack B28. Or instead, they have B28 in /some/ version of the phone, but the sellers invariably put the specs for /all/ models in their listings (copy-paste from manufacturer's sites). Useless

    • Can you enlighten me please, what's the significance of B28

    • Can you enlighten me please, what's the significance of B28

  • +1
    Suggested Xiaomi Redmi 7

    Redmi 7 coming out on March 18.
    Features a 6.2-inch HD+ LCD display, a Snapdragon 632, up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 64 GB of storage, a 3900 mAh battery, a 12 MP + 5 MP dual rear camera setup, and an 8 MP selfie shooter. Prices are expected to start around US$135.

    • Band 28?

      • In some markets only. Good luck guessing if the phone you buy has B28. The listings often don't make it clear.

        That's why I am shying away from aliexpress and eBay as sources. Also, many sellers (e.g. qa_au) actually sell refurbed phones as new. Most people are fooled.

  • +4
    Suggested Asus Zenfone Max Pro

    I suggest the Asus Max Pro M1 (I have the HK Variant). I'm using it right now and it's pretty much a Redmi Note 5 but with a 5000mAh battery, Band 28 and NFC (just minus Wifi 5ghz[if that's important for you]). It is also well support with custom roms hence I'm running Pie right now.

    • +1

      Ooh thanks Mibo, always interested to learn about new budget phone's with awesome specs that support custom ROMs :).

    • Where do you buy them?

      • +1

        It hasn't been released in Australia, you can only get grey imports. E.g.
        It gets a little bit confusing about which variant has NFC and Band 28. I have ZB602KL 4GB/64GB but it's still a bit muddle as you can see in the comments section of the OzBargain post.

        • OK- thanks.

        • So was yours from DWI then? Must be the B version if you have B28 and NFC as the poster stated?

          • +1

            @ozhunter68: Nah, I bought it when I was in Hong Kong and it must have been the B version. I'm not sure how to differentiate the two though.

            • @Mibo: Thanks for info. Sounds a bit like a lucky dip then. Maybe to be sure it's the B model, people should question the specs before they order to at least have some come back if wrong.

    • I can't find anything under $300…

      • There was a post a couple of months ago where it went for $270.
        I got mine for $1620 hkd which is around $290 aud.

        • I don't think it has ever been under $300 posted here. The 4/64 only comes in A version.

          • @dasher86: But mine is the 4/64 and it has nfc and b28.

  • Suggested Telstra Essential Plus (Alcatel 1)

    Telstra Essential Plus for free. Best only because it is free. The mobile itself is an entry-level rubbish.

    • It lags as hell but is still usable for basic tasks.

    • what is the link or where can you get it?

      might be cool to have as a data hotspot mobile or if it cant do that as a receive calls and texts only mobile

      • Use the search box. The deal was auto expired after 90 days but it still worked last week. It works as a mobile hotspot.

  • Some private sellers on eBay are selling brand new in sealed box HTC U11 for under $300. You can even use the 10% off code to reduce the price further.

  • Motorola??… Wh-wh-why?! I only had bad experiences with Motorola in the past.

  • +3
    Suggested Sharp Aquos S3

    Can anything else offer all this for $206? NFC, B28, USB-C, 6" FHD+ SDM630 4GB + 64GB Dual Sim Oreo8.0.

  • Suggested UMIDIGI F1 Play

    AU$290 UMIDIGI F1 Play 6GB/64GB - 6.3", NFC, USB-C, dual-SIM Pie9.0. Just sneaks under $300 if buy on special at DX that doesn't charge GST:

  • Suggested Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 3GB/32GB is available from many ebay sellers under 300$. The 4GB/64GB is north of 325$ though.

  • +4

    Ebay budget, under $160 delivered: Asus Zenfone 4, SD630, AU$135+GST (3Gb/32Gb) version. Band 28 and NFC. Updates to Oreo 8.0, latest security patch 01.03.19. DHL delivery from Taiwan in 3-5 days. Sealed box. Seems a quality device so far. Seller:

  • Suggested Motorola Z2 Force

    Motorola Z2 Force
    * Band 28 *
    Snapdragon SD835 CPU, high res AMOLED screen, light weight 143g, Android 8.0, and currently USD $190 at coolicool, just scrape in under $300 after GST added

  • Suggested Xiaomi Mi A2

    Get the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Not The Lite)

    • Why not the lite? The non-lite one has no 3.5mm audio jack. And the lite's battery lasts 50% longer!

      • The battery life is long enough IMO and it has a SD 660 vs 625
        However if I were to buy one I would spend $50 more for the Xiaomi Mi A3 with the SD 710

  • What are people’s thoughts on the Samsung A20 . ?

  • Nice to find this thread, been considering a new phone for while.

    Save from searching the specs for each phone in the above list, does anyone know if the are any phones around $200-$300 with a screen size around 4.7-5inch??

    I have an iphone 5s with a 4inch screen which still gets the job done but is getting a little long in the tooth. Before that I had a OnePlus One with a 5.5inch screen. After using both extremes in screen size I would like something in between… A slimmer bezel would be nice too.


  • +1

    Huawei y5 2018… $99 at coles woolies

  • ZTE A125 otherwise know as the Telstra Essential Smart. I haven't seen any of those others work next to my A125 at my place 30 min south of Ballarat in true fringe conditions. Actually the flagship devices don't work at my place unless you are outside standing in a certain location facing west…But the A125 works inside my house which is metal clad like all my buildings on my property. Hard to say a phone is a phone if it can't make a basic call…

    Last I looked the A125 was available as a Boost and Telstra variants and the highest price is $79. It is not for the gamers or serious app boys, but if you need the phone functionality then it is hard to beat based on my personal experience.

    I love watching my friends have to head outside in the cold to check their messages and call people back…Especially when it is them using their approx $2000 device….




    Samsung Galaxy A20 Vodafone $169

    Band 28, NFC, and Australian waranty

  • Suggested Samsung Galaxy A20

    A20 added by mokr.

  • How about Samsung Galaxy M20. I can see sellers like Kogan/Dick Smith are selling it within the price range but no Band 28 if I am not wrong.
    Very impressive specs if a different model of Samsung Galaxy M20 has Band 28.
    Anyone can shed some lights and thoughts.

  • Looking for new phone for son, under $200 and basing choice on this website (thanks all) and I like the look of the A20, G6 or nokia 6. Now just to get for <$200 from an Oz website (oz stock) with taxinvoice. Unreasonable expectations or directions to where I can find these phones at this price range.

  • Suggested Huawei Y8 2018

    I scored the Huawei Y8 (2018) for 99$ at a post office, quite happy with it

    • Most likely a Y6 or Y7 as no Y8's sold in AU. Was it prepaid locked or unlocked?

  • Suggested LG K50

    lg k50 could be added

  • +3

    Can we get the same thread but for different price brackets here are some examples:

    • best phone under $100

    • best phone under $200

    • best phone under $400

    • best phone under $500

    And so on until we reach flagship pricing territory.

    I feel like the under $100 and under $200 categories would be most well received since we are all mostly shopping on a low budget and looking for great value here.

    But great work so far with what you have done so far maybe trial it or lock it in for next year?

    Thanks scrimshaw for everything you have done you are the best!

  • Samsung A30 can be bought for just a tad over 300.

  • +2
    Suggested Motorola G7 Power

    Moto store website does not show out of stock for Moto G7 Power from last deal. You can still add the phone to cart for $299 with AU warranty and phone case is included. I bought it last month. New 2019 phone with NFC, band 28, dual sim card + memory card slot (not hybrid), 3.5mm headphone jack, usb c with turbo charging, 5000 mah battery, 6.2 inch screen (94.0 cm ~77.6% screen-to-body ratio), 64 GB 4 GB RAM, notch display can be changed/hidden from developer options setting. You can install google camera to improve the camera, better with night sight mode, etc.

  • +1

    Very happy with my G6. As a tradie I'm always dropping it, getting dust and dirt and cracked the screen cover innumerable times but it just does the job comes with practically no bloatware and with turbocharge it's just a really practical ph for me.
    In the bush as well so the N28 is needed.

  • +1

    UMIDIGI F1 Play 6GB 64GB Octa Core Dual SIM Stock Android 9 Waterdrop Full Screen FHD+Display 8MP+8MP Battery:5150mAh Feature:48MP Super Camera,Global Version,Dual 4G LTE, OTG,NFC,FHD+1080 x 2340,18W Fast Charge, Face Unlock, Frigerprint

    nothing can beat it at $300

  • +2
    Suggested UMIDIGI F2

    UMIDGI F2: 6Gb 128Gb (UFS 2.1), Android 10 (stock), B28, 48Mb AI Quad rear cameras (48Mb quad pixel, 5MP macro, 120 degrees 13MP wide & 5MP depth), 32Mb AI 4.5mm inscreen punch hole front camera, NFC supporting Google Pay, MediaTek Helio P70 processor, 6.53" FDH+ display, 18W USB-C charging, side mounted fingerprint sensor power button, Face Unlock, 3 slots for two sims and a micro SD card up to 256Mb, pre-applied screen protector and case included, 3.5mm headphone jack, 5150mAh battery. NEGATIVES: No Wireless Charging, Only available on presale for October 14 launch, No Australian warranty.

  • Xiaomi Mi Mi5s 5S Plus Global Version 5.7'' 64GB+4 13MP Quad-Core 4G Smartphone. Lots of features, 4Gb/64Gb, twin rear cameras, fingerprint reader, metal case. Admittedly released three years ago but still competitive. Under $200 delivered on eBay. Fast delivery from Australia.

  • Suggested Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

    Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 64GB 4GB RAM
    Price started from $240 on AliExpress, $264 on eBay

  • Was Pocophone last year

    • Poco is still way better than all of these phones

      • oof

      • Talking about the phone which was $500 on release and still being sold above $300, and this is for sub $300.

    • If pocophone was under $300, you might have a point, but in this case it's still being sold above $300 mark.

  • +1

    what do you think of redmi note 8t? it looks good to me specswise.

  • We have owned many of the Nexus lineup over the years. The Pixel 4 is by far the most complete handset for only $199.

  • Suggested Samsung Galaxy A30

    Samsung a30 is a great phone especially if you can get it for $179 again ( )
    was around $6 to unlock it from optus, fantastic phone

  • @scrimshaw Unable to find 2020 thread for budget phones. If not published yet, care to post one. Thanks.

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