Top 10 Apple and Android smartphones you can buy for under $800

OnePlus 5 Smartphone

OnePlus 5 Smartphone

Although it’s entirely possible to get a surprisingly decent smartphone for $600 or $700 these days, you don’t have to spend that much more to end up with something that’s not far off a flagship proposition. There are plenty of premium smartphones that started out around $1000, only to fall in price and end up closer to $800 or even $700.

If our compilation of the best Apple and Android phones you can get for under $600 and our round-up of the best Apple and Android phones for under $700 weren’t good enough, this list ups the ante.

Here are the Top 10 Apple and Android smartphones you can buy for under $800.

Note - we use real-world prices sourced from Shopbot and, as such, some of the entries in our roundup may surprise you.

1. Oppo R15 Pro ($779 RRP, $770 Actual)

Credit: Oppo

For several years now, Oppo have continued to offer a fun and appealing blend of Apple and Android. The latest installment in their mainline R-series of devices, the R15 Pro, continues that trend. The Oppo R15 Pro features  a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 6.3-inch display, AI-enhanced dual-lens camera and 128GB of on-board storage (expandable via MicroSD). It’s not quite as innovative as the new Find X but if you’re after value, there’s plenty to be found here.

As put in our review of the Oppo R15 Pro, “The R15 Pro sees Oppo bring more of that flagship experience to the sub-$800 smartphone space than ever before to generous effect. It won’t placate tech-savvy users looking for the best Android smartphone out there but if you’re looking for a good Android smartphone, it’s an easy sell over a lot of the other options.”

2. Essential PH-1 ($699 RRP, $649 Actual)

Credit: Essential

The Essential PH-1 definitely didn’t catch on in the way that some might have expected. However, the device still has its fans - and it’s easy to see why. The Essential PH-1 is a really unique handset. Sure, it’s got the same Snapdragon 835 processor you’d find in plenty of other 2017 flagships but it’s unique notch and ceramic body set it apart in other ways.

Unfortunately, the Essential PH-1 is not officially sold in Australia. Like the OnePlus 5T or OnePlus 6, you’ll have to import it - but if you’re looking for a phone that’s a little different, it’s definitely worth consideration. Essential also have a strong track-record for rolling out major Android software upgrades faster than other vendors. The PH-1 got this year’s Android Pie upgrade on the same days as Google’s own Pixel devices did.

3. Samsung Galaxy S8 ($1199 RRP, $634 Actual)

Credit: Samsung Galaxy S8

Even if it’s not the best option out there, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is far from outdated. The Galaxy S8 might not have the variable aperture found in this year’s Galaxy S9 but that’s actually one of the few major differences between the two. You still get a gorgeous Infinity Display, the latest Samsung Exynos processor, IP68 water resistance and support for both wired and fast charging.

As we said in our review of the Galaxy S8 at launch, “the phone’s failings are negligible at the end of the day. The screen and handling are generally excellent. Battery life is adequate. It’s super-fast and its camera is one of the very best on show.”

4. Huawei Mate 10 Pro ($1099 RRP, $599 Actual)

Credit: Huawei

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro might not win any awards for originality when it comes to design. But, once you’ve seen the device in action, it’s difficult not to respect and appreciate the solid specs and raw performance at work. The Mate 10 Pro features a FullVision HDR display, AI-empowered Leica dual-lens camera and a Kirin 970 CPU.

As we said in our review of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, “if you’re not swayed by Samsung’s return to form, Apple’s ultra-expensive iPhone X or Google’s funky Pixel 2, then the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a pretty solid alternative.”

5. LG G7 ThinQ ($1099 RRP, $789 actual)

Credit: LG

While we did find the LG G7 ThinQ to be a little vanilla when it came to this year’s flagship crowd, a few months of depreciation when it comes to the price of the thing has served it well. The device still boasts a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and a Quad-DAC. It also features one of the cleanest implementations of Android available in a 2018 flagship.

In our review of the LG G7 ThinQ, we said “there are probably consumers out there who might dig the G7 ThinQ’s tidy combination of hardware and software but I'm just not convinced those people are going to be the ones looking at buying $1099 smartphones.” Regardless, with some recent discounts pushing the price of the G7 ThinQ below $800, it begins to look a whole lot more tempting.

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6. Huawei P20 ($999 RRP, $719 Actual)

Credit: Huawei

This year, Huawei redefined the standards of mobile photography with the P20 Pro. However, if you’re looking to save a little money, the mainline Huawei P20 still holds up as a compelling option. The primary difference here is the camera. Rather than the revolutionary triple-lens configuration found in the Pro variant, the standard P20 opts for a dual-lens configuration.

Beyond that, the 5.8-inch handset comes with most of the same flagship features found in the Pro model: including a 3400 mAh battery and IP67 waterproofing.

7. OnePlus 6 ($899 RRP, AU$672 Actual)

Credit: OnePlus

If the older aspect ratio on display and by the numbers design of the OnePlus 5 put you off picking it up, the OnePlus 6 is probably going to prove itself a solid option. It’s a little more expensive but opts for a gorgeous all-glass design similar to that of Samsung Galaxy smartphones. It also comes with this year’s Snapdragon 845 processor and a significantly better dual-lens camera.

You’ll have to import it, since OnePlus isn’t officially sold in Australia. But, if you do, rest assured that you’re in for a solid value-driven alternatives to the most expensive flagships out there.

8. Galaxy Note 8 ($1499 RRP, $799 Actual)

Credit: Samsung

Though Samsung did put up a big song and dance around the improvements that came to the Galaxy Note experience with this year’s redesigned S-Pen, the differences between the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Note 8 aren’t realistically all that huge. Not that they needed to be. Last year’s Note 8 is still a powerhouse of a phablet.

As we said in our review at the time, “if you’re the kind of phablet power-user that the device is surely aimed towards appeasing - make no mistake - Samsung are back on track with the Note 8. “

9. LG V30+ ($1199 RRP, $654 Actual)

Credit: LG

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.”

10. Xperia XZ Premium ($904 RRP, $569 actual)

Credit: Sony Mobile

When you factor in the raw discounts that this past calendar year has incurred, it’s hard to look past Sony’s ultra-premium flagship from last year: the Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

Armed with last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, an IP68 rating against water damage, a 4K HDR display and a Sony MotionEye camera, it’s far from out of date. It even supports the same super slow-motion video you can find in this year’s Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.

As we said in our review of the device, “It’s not an outright winner, but it’s another great all-rounder with no real weak point which makes it even more attractive if you’re bothered by any of the failings and foibles of the competition.”

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