Planhacker: Great Phones On Cheap Plans

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2017 is the year smartphones got really expensive. It's not like they were cheap before, but the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Pixel 2 XL will all set you back around $1500 - if not more. The top tier iPhone X configuration retails for a massive $1829.

Smartphone prices this high would have been hard to imagine a couple of years ago, and to be honest, I'm still pinching myself.

While these top of the line phones might seem a little more palatable on a plan, you're looking at well over $100 per month in most cases - especially if you want a decent amount of data.

If you can't imagine spending that much on a phone, we've picked out a couple of cheaper alternatives that that won't break the bank outright, and will set you back as little as $40 per month on a plan.

OPPO R11

OPPO's made a name for itself manufacturing bang-for-buck smartphones, and the R11 is its most polished device yet. While you're only paying around $649 outright, you still get a premium aluminium build, a two-day battery, 64GB of storage out of the box, and a solid dual rear-facing camera setup.

If you're looking at making the jump from iPhone to Android, OPPO's launcher is heavily inspired by iOS. At the very least, it's a little more familiar than Android tends to be for new converts.

If you'd prefer to get the R11 on a plan, it's available from $40 per month.

Samsung Galaxy S7

If you're wanting to save a bit of money on your smartphone, last year's models can be a great place to start; Samsung's Galaxy S7 is still a top-notch device.

It might not have the Galaxy S8's newfangled "Infinity Display", but it's water-resistant, has expandable storage, takes great photos, and most importantly, has a fingerprint reader that isn't right next to the camera.

You're looking at around $699-$799 for an outright Galaxy S7, or from $55 per month on a plan.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung's Galaxy A5 (2017) is essentially a midrange version of the Galaxy S7. The hardware and camera are a little less beefy, but you still get traditionally high-end features like IP68 water-resistance and a glass-and-metal build.

The Galaxy A5 retails for around $599 outright, and unlike many cheaper phones, it's ranged by pretty much every telco that does phones on a contract. Plans start at $40 per month.

iPhone SE 32GB / 128GB

Wanting an iPhone doesn't mean you need to pay top dollar; the pint-sized iPhone SE is still an option, and was refreshed earlier this year with twice as much storage.

While the iPhone SE is the cheapest iPhone around, it's still a very capable device; the main feature you miss out on is water-resistance, but hey, it has a headphone jack.

Thanks to a recent price-cut, the 32GB iPhone SE now sells for $549 outright, while the 128GB model will set you back $699. You can also snap it up slightly cheaper on eBay. Plans start at $40 per month and $55 per month, respectively.


Alex Choros is Associate Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. All his useful knowledge has been replaced with fun facts about mobile and broadband plans.

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