You may not want to pay top dollar for the latest mobile phone, but that doesn't mean you'll go without some of the latest features. In 2010, features like touchscreens, QWERTY keyboards and HSDPA web browsing are all available for under AU$300.
There are two good rules to follow when buying a budget-priced handset. Firstly, keep an eye out for phones that are progressing through their life cycle from post-paid plans to outright prepaid purchases. These phones are originally priced at twice as much or more than you'll pick it up for prepaid and will often include features excluded from most budget-conscious handsets.
Also, you really do get what you pay for when it comes to this end of the pricing spectrum. We've drawn the line at phones sold for AU$299 or less at the time of writing, but the closer you can get to that AU$300 mark the more advanced the features will be in the phone you choose.
Also note that the RRPs listed are the manufacturer's price when the phone was originally launched, and that the street price for these handsets will be significantly lower now.