For many Australians, mobile phones aren't sold to us, so much as given away. The telcos have been very clever in selling the idea of the free phone to us over the past decade, so that most Aussies happily sign a two-year service contract when the lure of a shiny new smartphone dangles at the end of the line.
These phones are not free, of course, and if you're looking for a commitment-free way to buy the latest phones, then shopping around for unlocked models is the way to go. New online stores are popping up all the time, and older tech stores, like Harvey Norman and Dick Smith, are now getting in on the act, too.
Below is the best unlocked phone bargains we've spotted lately, shopping from some of the online stores we're familiar with, plus a few bricks-and-mortar stores, too. Keep in mind that the prices of these phones will change frequently, and while we'll try to keep this article up to date, the information is only intended as a guide. Also, if you spot an awesome phone bargain, be sure to let us know in the comments below.
If you want more information about unlocked phones and the things you need to consider before buying one, check out our guide here.
The most sought-after phone next to Apple's upcoming iPhone 5, the GS3 is still holding its price in most of the stores we've checked, sitting at around the AU$760 mark. Kogan has it for far cheaper, though, and offers a 12-month warranty.
Older phones are obviously a good idea for bargain hunters. We spotted that Dick Smith is currently selling last year's Xperia Play gaming phone at a heavy discount, and it can be had for even cheaper through online stores.
We gave the Lumia 900 only an average review score, based on the fact that it can't be updated to Windows Phone 8. If you can look past this fact, you'll get a good smartphone, and at a decent price, too.