Best High End Smartphone ($500$800) in 2021

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 your favourite high end smartphone, (priced between $500 to $800) in 2021?

The Winner of last year's poll for high end phone was the iPhone SE (2020) followed by the Google Pixel 4a and Huawei P30 Pro.

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

How do I suggest products to What Should I Buy polls?

If you have a product that you would like to suggest for the poll (that is currently not in the Poll Options), you'll need to make a top-level comment (i.e. not replying someone else's comment) and fill up "Suggestions" text box just above your comment:

Suggestion box

Do try to make a sensible suggestion (e.g make sure the phone is still available to purchase) and include a brief argument as to why you would recommend the product. You can only suggest 1 product at a time.

Poll Options Sat, 01/01/2022 - 00:00

  • 75
    Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  • 36
    Google Pixel 5
  • 7
    Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • 6
    iPhone SE (2nd Gen)
    Suggested by derk on 03/05/2021 - 09:03
  • 4
    Huawei P30 Pro
  • 3
    Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
  • 3
    OnePlus 8T
  • 1
    Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
  • 1
    Samsung Galaxy A72
  • 1
    Poco F3 5G
    Suggested by DisabledUser58080 on 30/05/2021 - 18:38
  • 0
    Oppo Find X2 Neo
  • 0
    OPPO Find X3 Lite
  • 0
    Xiaomi Black Shark 4
  • 0
    OnePlus 7T
    Suggested by dmac on 12/05/2021 - 09:12


  • +3 votes

    Honestly i'd rather spend $49 more and get a Samsung Galaxy S21 than any of those phones.
    But if i had to pick based on specification the S20 FE 5G seems with the Pixel 5 close second imo.

    • What puts the S20 FE over the Pixel 5,in your opinion?


        The specifications, 120hz vs 90hz, snapdragon 865 vs 765g

        Pixel 5 is still amazing phone i have one here as well as the new S21+ (used to have the S20+).
        120hz not only feels a quite a bit better the snapdragon 865 is a decent amount more powerful than the pixel 5's 765g which i do notice can be slow at times.

    • Do you mean S20 rather than S21?

      • +2 votes

        No, i'd never recommend the S20 series at all absolutely terrible battery life.

  • iPhone SE (2nd Gen)

  • Suggested iPhone SE (2nd Gen)

    clearly I can't figure out how to add a poll item - but i got an iPhone SE in this price range and very happy with it

    • +2 votes

      oh wait, i did it. look at me go

    • Could use a bit more battery capacity.

      • agreed

      • Maybe. Mine lasts 2 full days and I pick it up all the time and probably do a couple of hours of screen time each day. I don't watch videos and stuff though. But use it for calls a fair bit too. I have location services and Bluetooth turned off usually, and turn off a lot of the background data for most apps I don't see have a need for it.

        I think these days 2 days is acceptable.

  • Interesting early results… I'm looking into the Pixel 5 vs Samsung A52 5G.

    I was originally dead set on getting the 5 (my trusty Pixel 2 has easily been the best phone I've ever had), but have just discovered there are apparently annoying sound issues… Considering I can get the A52 form the education store for $600, I'm tempted to sway from the Pixel.


      I have a Pixel 5 and have not had any sound issues or any issues at all tbh.
      What sound issue are you talking about?

      • Design issue rather than software/hardware, from what I can tell. A recent thread people were saying it's a speaker under the screen (so it works kinda like using the screen as the speaker itself) , and it can be difficult to hear people in louder environments…

  • Perhaps this should be split to 2 subcategories non5G vs 5G phones

  • Why is the Pixel 5 in this list, it's a $999 phone, so well above the price threshold?

  • Suggested OnePlus 7T

    Very similar to 8T but about $200 cheaper.
    8T has slightly bigger battery ~ 8h SoT vs 6h, 865 vs 855 cpu and 5g.
    I have the 7T and am very happy with it.

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, if can be purchased in the $500-$800 price range. (Not sure if the recent voucher stacking deals can make it eligible.)

    • Voucher stacking put it in the sub-$500 range, so eligible for the mid-range category :-)
      Wins my vote at that price!

  • S20 FE is rubbish, do not buy or risk getting a defective touch digitiser and Samsung Australia dodging Australian Consumer Law. 5 software updates to address the issue proves it's a manufacturing defect.