Do you remember the good old days when phone plans came with a free phone to use with them? A belt holster too, if you were lucky.
Well, if you were born after 1990 then you may not remember this. It’s been a while since we didn’t have to pay an extra handset fee on top of the plan price. Though if you look hard enough, there are still a few handsets you can nab for no extra payments on a two-year plan.
The caveat is that these are not the most popular handsets. If you’ve come here to find out how to get a new iPhone X for cheap, you’re in the wrong place. In fact, you’re in the wrong dimension; those things are never cheap.
But with advancements in budget and mid-range smartphones, it can be hard to argue that these phones won’t do exactly what you need them to, and more.
Samsung Galaxy S8
If you act quickly, you can get last year’s Galaxy S8 for pretty cheap right now. Especially with that incredible Optus deal (which expires at the end of February).
Samsung Galaxy S7
It’s yesterday’s hero, but still a great phone. The Galaxy S7 is a standout if you’re bargain hunting but you’d still love a phone with a decent camera. It is still available through all the major carriers, including Woolworth’s, but Optus and Virgin Mobile will throw it in for no extra repayments on a number of plans.
iPhone 6 32GB
As we know, Apples tend to hold their value longer than other phones, so you have to go back to the iPhone 6 to find a freebie. Remarkably it is still in stick with a couple of suppliers.
iPhone SE 32GB
If you’re after an iOS device, but the iPhone 6 seems a bit old, then an iPhone SE is probably your best bet. You get a faster processor, in a smaller package, which some people love and others don’t.
If there was one phone that didn’t get the credit it deserved last year, it was the HTC U11. It was easy to get caught up wondering whether there is merit in a squeezable phone, but the core the U11 is a great Android phone with an awesome camera.
Oppo is the king of the cheap phone, and the R9s is a great example. It’s not the latest from Oppo, but it is a solid phone, with great battery life and a big 64GB of storage.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.