Top prepaid phones under $200 from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone
Find out the best affordable phones and the prepaid plans that work best for them
If you like to stay on top of your finances (and keep things simple), a prepaid plan offers peace of mind: there’s no surprise overages, no late payment fees, and no contracts. And if you pair your prepaid plan with a lower-priced smartphone, you can save hundreds (or thousands!) over the typical two-year plan cycle. Obviously, these devices can’t match the high-end quality found in a $1,500 iPhone — but they are a great way to save some money.
WhistleOut has rounded up some of the best prepaid phone options from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – none of which will cost you more than $180 outright, and all of which are available on prepaid plans.
Alcatel A3 – $149 from Optus
Available from Optus, Alcatel’s 5-inch, budget-friendly Android smartphone offers standard front and rear cameras, good battery life, plus a fingerprint reader for added security. The A3 is compatible with Optus’ 4G Plus network and includes 16GB of memory, but can take a 32GB microSD card for extra storage.
Huawei Y5 2017 4G – $149 from Vodafone
Chinese manufacturer Huawei is breaking ground in the high-end smartphone game, but also offers cheaper handsets ideal for prepaid users. The Vodafone-exclusive Y5 2017 includes a larger-than-usual battery, expandable memory (up to 128GB), a bright rear camera with autofocus and digital zoom, a selfie-ready front camera, and 4G connectivity – perfect for your average phone user.
LG K4 – $139 from Telstra
LG’s 5-inch K4 is suited to prepaid customers wanting simple but effective front and rear cameras, good battery life, and access to Telstra’s ultra-fast 4GX network. It’s ideal for everyday web browsing and social media, but could be a little slow if you’re into graphics-intensive gaming or apps.
Nokia 3310 3G – $79 from Optus and Vodafone
The ultimate old-school novelty phone for nostalgia lovers, Nokia’s reissued 3310 is a cheap alternative to the touchscreen smartphone, and is a good first device for kids and tweens. Aside from calling and texting, users can only access very basic web browsing and camera features – so if you’re looking to wean yourself (or your child) off Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, this is the phone for you.
Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro – $179 from Optus, $189 from Vodafone
Samsung’s J2 Pro is an affordable, entry-level option for users impressed with the Galaxy range of smartphones. While it’s no Galaxy S9 or Note8, you’ll get a bright 5-inch display, better-than-average processor, good cameras in both front and back, and up to 256GB of expandable storage. The J2 Pro is compatible with Optus’ 4G Plus network, and is also available on Vodafone prepaid.
Telstra 4GX Premium – $149 from Telstra
Another 4GX-capable Telstra device, the 4GX Premium is Blue Tick certified, so it’s worth a look if you’re in a rural or regional area and good coverage is your priority. With 8GB of memory, standard rear and front cameras, and an average battery life, the 5.5-inch 4GX is a hardy device that will get the job done and keep you connected, even outside city limits.
Prepaid plan picks
Once you’ve decided on a phone, you’ll need to pick a prepaid plan. If you’re buying any of the above phones directly from one of the major telcos, you’ll need to pair it with a compatible plan – below are some of the prepaid options available from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.
Telstra prepaid plans
Optus prepaid plans
Vodafone prepaid plans
Bring your own phone to prepaid
If none of the above phones are for you – or you’ve already got an unlocked phone you love – you can bring your own device to a SIM-only prepaid plan. As long as your phone isn’t locked to its original network (and is fully paid off), you’re free to sign up for any of the below plans with your existing handset.
Below are some of the cheapest plans available, some of the best big-data options, and plans that are ideal for average data use, including our Editor’s Picks.