The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Mobile Phone

We’ve gathered the most up to date and relevant information for Australians when it comes to buying a mobile phone. We have the top tips for buyers.


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Whether you are on the hunt for a great everyday mobile phone or the latest cutting-edge smartphone, there are many options at your fingertips when you’re looking for a new phone.

However, buying a mobile phone requires more than just research and knowledge of the phone itself. Buyers must take into account factors including how they wish to pay for their mobile service, how they will use the phone, the functionality they require, and – sometimes most importantly – where they live in relation to mobile phone coverage areas, as standard mobile service does not reach some remote locations in Australia.

Buying Mobile Phones on Gumtree

There are many ways to get the ideal phone for a great price, especially when browsing listings for mobile phones and accessories on Gumtree. The heady combination of Gumtree’s vast selection of new and used phones and low prices are competitive.

To get a broad overview of all the mobile phones on Gumtree, you simply type ‘mobile phones‘ into the search box that is at the top of every Gumtree page.

If you want to browse to look over the listings of a particular phone type, or if you are looking for a specific model, just use more specific search terms such as ‘Android phones‘ or ‘iPhone 6‘.  Additionally login to Gumtree to utilise the save search feature to send yourself weekly/daily/fortnightly alerts on any models that have been listed, that you are looking to purchase.

If you need some mobile phone accessories so your phone is exactly how you like it, you can simply click through the category navigation at the top of the screen or just type ‘mobile phone accessories‘ into the search box below them.

And once you’ve purchased your new phone, you can download the Gumtree mobile app to make shopping for all your favourite items even easier than ever.

Getting a Good Deal on a Mobile Phone

Getting the best deal possible on a mobile phone purchase comes down to one thing: research. Gumtree is an incredible resource, not just for finding both new and used phones and unlocked versions of top sellers such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, but also for gaining tons of information on the wide variety of features and benefits to compare what is available.

Local pickup also helps save on shipping costs and gets new phones into buyers’ hands even faster. Easy online transactions with services such as PayPal simplify the process even further, making for secure shopping.

Budgeting for a Phone

Remember that the costs of mobile phone ownership do not end with the phone purchase. Take into account the plans that are available for various use levels of any phone to get a more accurate idea of the true monthly costs of using them. Smartphones that consume large amounts of data can be expensive to operate on a monthly basis if you are not on a plan that covers your amount of data usage.

Be sure also to include the cost of any necessary mobile phone accessories you need, especially when buying a used phone. Mobile phone chargers and similar accessories can be expensive, especially when it comes to devices such as the iPhone, though you typically can find accessories at deeply discounted prices on Gumtree.

Mobile phones are an important part of daily life for most individuals, and sometimes a major investment. However, that doesn’t mean owning a mobile phone needs to be an expensive endeavour.  Browse through the Gumtree mobile phone price comparison to compare mobile phone models and pricing.

Types of Mobile Phones

As a starting point, buyers should first consider which type of mobile phone best suits their needs. Most mobile phones can be divided into one of three categories: conventional mobile phones, smartphones, and new mobile phone/tablet hybrids known as “phablets.”  Naturally, each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Type of Mobile Phone Example Pros Cons
Conventional Mobile Phone mobile 2
  • Affordability
  • Pre-paid plan availability
  • Small size
  • Simplicity
  • Limited Internet access
  • Fewer additional features
Smartphone mobile 3
  • Broad functionality
  • High connectivity
  • Numerous options
  • Higher costs
  • Less availability on pre-paid plans
Phablet (large screen smartphone) mobile 4
  • Replaces both phone and tablet
  • Comfortable typing
  • Easy to read
  • Higher resolution
  •  Larger size
  • Heavier
  • Large size next to ear not ideal for phone calls
  • Shorter battery life


It is important to note that not all types of mobile phones fit into just one category. Some smartphones can be found on pre-paid plans, and there are some conventional “flip” style mobile phones that provide more connectivity than others to games, apps, and even satnav.

With a little searching and a willingness to concede certain points, most buyers can easily find phones they prefer that offer them the things they need in a mobile device.

Mobile Phone Features

There is such a large variety of mobile phones that models can come with any of a number of features. While some features are simply a luxury, some may be a necessity in terms of functionality for some users.

Some standard options in mobile phones include:

  • Touch screens
  • Keyboards
  • Cameras
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Internet browsing
  • Voice recognition
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Fingerprint scanners
  • Waterproofing
  • Gyroscopic sensors


While shopping, mobile phone buyers are advised to think about their needs and how they will use the phone day-to-day to know what they want in terms of functionality, as well as which design features (such as a standard keyboard) are musts and which ones are luxuries. See the Gumtree mobile phone prices comparison to compare which models are suitable for you.

Smartphone Operating Systems

If buying a smartphone, one of the biggest decisions buyers must make is choosing the operating system they prefer. Most smartphones on the market run on one of four platforms: iOS (Apple-based), Android (Google), Windows (Microsoft), or Blackberry (RIM – Research in Motion).

For fans of specific types of phones, such as the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, the choice will be easy. But most buyers may want to compare and contrast the different operating systems to determine which is best for their needs. Each system has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Operating System Example Pros Cons
iOS mobile 5 iPhone 6 Plus
  • Simple to use
  • Does almost everything well
  • Many apps
  • Not highly customisable
Android mobile 6
  • Customisable
  • Personalisation through Google account
  • Many apps
  • Less beginner friendly for some
  • Fewer operating system updates
Windows mobile 7
  • Powerful
  • Attractive designs
  • Poor app support
  • Less user friendly
Blackberry mobile 8
  • Business oriented
  • Strong security
  • Strong on email
  • Not as many features as other operating systems
  • Not nearly as many apps as iOS or Android operating systems

Pre-Paid Phones Versus Contracts

Often, buyers enter into a contract with a mobile carrier for a set time period. There are benefits to these types of contracts, one major one being that in return for signing a contract the buyer often gets their mobile phone at a vastly reduced price.

For buyers who will be using larger amounts of data (texting, accessing the Internet, using apps, etc.), purchasing a phone on a contract arranged with a mobile carrier can be a good option.

Typically, all that needs to be done to switch from an old phone to a new mobile phone is to switch the SIM card from the old phone to the newly purchased one. (This can also be done with pre-paid and monthly plan SIM cards.)

When buying used mobile phones, a better option for many is to opt for a pre-paid plan or a monthly plan, which can help reduce the overall costs of mobile phone use and ownership. This is especially true for those who need only limited usage from their mobile phone and will not be using a lot of data.

Regardless of the option chosen, it is important to ensure that the mobile phone the buyer purchases will work with their plan of choice. Buyers should double-check to find out if the mobile phones they are interested in are available on their plan, or if they have been unlocked for use on any mobile plan.

Mobile Network Availability

Research is always beneficial when purchasing any mobile phone or investing in any phone service plan. There are several mandatory consideration buyers must bear in mind while shopping for mobile devices:

  • Will the device work on a network that covers the area they live in?
  • Does the network provide broad coverage for areas the buyer will travel in?
  • Will a mobile antenna be required to use the phone properly?


Satellite Mobile Phones

Those who live in remote locations or who do not receive standard coverage will likely need to shop for an alternative to the standard mobile phone, such as a satellite mobile phone. Current generations of satellite mobile phones can accomplish many of the same tasks as standard mobile phones, including the sending and receiving of texts. They can be a valuable option for those not covered within the standard range of Australia’s primary mobile networks.

Buying Unlocked Phones

Unlocked phones are available from many of the biggest brands, including Apple’s line of iPhones, Samsung’s line of Galaxy devices, and Nokia, among others.

The benefits of opting for an unlocked mobile phone are numerous, regardless of the type of phone and the type of contract a buyer opts for. For example, people who have unlocked phones can change their mobile network and plan of choice by simply removing their old SIM card from one mobile phone service company and replacing it with one from another.

When purchasing a mobile phone, regardless of whether it is new or used, buyers should be aware of whether of the phone is unlocked.

Mobile Phone Accessories

While shopping for mobile phones, many buyers may want to take the time to search for the mobile phone accessories available for their phones to get fuller functionality from their devices.

When purchasing mobile phones, especially used phones from private sellers, the phone may come with any of a variety of accessories. Buyers should consider these options to get the most out of their device:

  • Chargers, cables, and adapters
  • Headsets
  • Covers and Cases
  • Screen Protectors
  • Styluses
  • Car mounts