Best prepaid phones

The last time we updated our prepaid phones list it was a list of trade offs. You got a very different experience when you spent just a couple of hundred dollars on your phone up front. With some serious power now available for just a few hundred dollars it's an amazing time for those looking to buy a new phone outright.

The fact we can even include Google's latest flagship Nexus 5, which comes in under AU$400, shows just how far we have come. We'd say that pushes the upper limit a little for the truly budget conscious, but for something so powerful it's a steal for a an outright phone.

So here is our current list of all of the handsets we've reviewed that are currently available at great prices outright. Do note that some of these reviews are older than others, so the RRPs listed will be higher than the price the phone is sold for now.

Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5


CNET Editors' Rating: 4 stars

Average User Rating: 4.5 stars

Strong performance, high-end specs and an ultra-affordable price make the Google Nexus 5 not just the best unlocked phone on the market, but the best Nexus phone by far. more »

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Latest comments (Add your comment)

Selling mobile phones is my job, This list is of no use to anyone with the Nexus 5 being the only exception. The prices are ludicrously wrong and anyone that puts the Samsung galaxy ace on a list of "Best Prepaid Phones" shouldn't be working on a tech site.
Posted by EvanP
Must be a typo. $799 for this ancient device. I'm fairly certain you can pick this model up for under $300 now if you shop around on-line.
Posted by The Stav
The Motorola defy+ is avalable much cheaper than $299. Its $99 on Telstra prepaid. This is a great phone for kids and tradies as it relatively tuff and the battery lasts ok. I think based on the price its worth moving up your list to the the top.

Its also a good phone as a spare to take to the beach or use if you break your phone mid contract.
Posted by ecky
when you update these you should take out the old phones and update prices. i got confused with the 3GS price, and confused when i saw android 2.2 as a good feature
Posted by zi ggy
Which of the 2 Samsung models, Ace and Gio, is the closest to Galxay Fit?
Posted by Tackler
I also agree with Will1505. I own an Xperia U (as a temporary phone until the Xperia SX comes out internationally - fingers crossed!) and apart from the fact that it has no expansion slot (wish I had bought the Xperia Go for $60 more) it is a great little phone. Runs very smoothly, fits nicely in the hand and isn't harsh on the pocket.
Posted by VeronicaB
I would have liked to have seen the sony xperia U on this list, 199 on telatra prepaid. Also jb-hifi have a zte running pretty much straight ICS and a 4inch screen for 149 at the moment
Posted by Will1505
Totally agree about the Xperia U, very good price. It has slipped through my review to-dos list, but it is something I'm hoping to knock over soon.
Posted by Joseph Hanlon
The U Is easily the best low end phone on the market. The display is decent, the processor is great for the price (Dual core!) enough RAM, and some *actual* storage space, which i find to be constantly lacking in the cheaper phones.

- HTC wildfire s owner

actually, one more thing:
Posted by PeteL

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