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Motorola Moto E Review
| By Joseph Hanlon

Motorola Moto E Review

85/100 Motorola is fast becoming the go-to phone brand for high-quality, low-cost handsets. With speedy performance and a decent camera, the dual-SIM Moto E is a great example of this.

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Optus stock clearing with cheaper Apple, Samsung pricing
| By Joseph Hanlon

Optus stock clearing with cheaper Apple, Samsung pricing

Optus has dropped the repayment costs of Apple and Samsung phones on contract, but the discounts might not be as steep as you might expect.

Best iPhone: Which iPhone is for you?
| By Alex Angove

Best iPhone: Which iPhone is for you?

With 4 iPhone models still available from carriers, you might not have to pay top dollar to buy the iPhone that best suits your needs.

View more: News Reviews Guides
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Best Phones on Optus

Best Phones on Optus

Love Optus and need a new phone. Here's their best phones

Best Phones on Vodafone

Best Phones on Vodafone

Love Vodafone and want a new phone? Here's their best devices

SIM Only Plans and Deals/ BYO Mobile Phone

SIM Only Plans and Deals/ BYO Mobile Phone

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Unlimited SIM Only Mobile Plans

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Popular Phones
Apple iPhone 6 64GB
Apple iPhone 6 64GB NEW
Apple's new flagship phone features a 4.7" Retina HD display, Touch ID, and 8MP camera
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Apple iPhone 6 16GB
Apple iPhone 6 16GB NEW
Apple's new flagship phone features a 4.7" Retina HD display, Touch ID, and 8MP camera
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Apple iPhone 6 128GB
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Apple iPhone 6 Plus 64GB
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Apple iPhone 6 Plus 16GB
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How to Choose a Smartphone

It's important to use multiple sources of information when looking for a new smartphone as it is likely that you'll spend two years with this device in your pocket.

Talk to friends, try their phones and read multiple reviews in order to make an educated decision. Salespeople within a physical store can also be helpful, but it's wise to consider them as another source of information among many as they are salespeople and have sales incentives to drive their recommendations.

Warning: A lot of people, including sales staff will have strong opinions over which device is 'best' or 'better than' another. If you are looking for detailed smartphone reviews, take a look at our collection of opinions on the best and worst phones in the market right now.

Screen Size

There are a lot of arguments for and against different screen sizes for smartphones and it's easy to get caught up in the debate. This is an area that is completely subjective and the decision can even come down to the size of your hands and whether the phone will fit comfortably in your pockets.

Factors to consider:

  • Videos (a better viewing experience on a bigger screen with better resolution)
  • Browsing the internet (more of the page on screen, less zooming and scrolling)
  • Is it comfortable for you to hold and use?
  • Will it fit comfortably in your pocket?
  • Battery life (read reviews to find out if this is an issue)
  • Do you need a 3G or 4G phone?

Think how you will usually use your smartphone and whether or not a larger screen would enhance or detract from the experience. Many people spend hours on their phone everyday reading, browsing, gaming, watching videos, with only a few minutes spent on calls.

Mobile Phone Operating Systems & How You Interact

A phone's operating system (OS) is the software platform on which your entire user experience is built. Right now there are three major systems to be aware of: iOS (iPhone), Android OS (many phones) and Windows Phone. The once-iconic BlackBerry OS, which is still well-known, has been losing users for a few years now since the rise of the capacitive touchscreen smartphone away from the physical QWERTY keyboard with which BlackBerry found fame.

In response BlackBerry has rebuilt its OS, naming it BB10, bringing new hopes to the company, but is still to prove itself in the modern market.

Smartphones are no longer just 'phones' but are powerful mini computers with hundreds of thousands of applications to choose from. It important to find a system you are comfortable with, because applications on one platform are not compatible with competing systems, so once you start buying apps you can find yourself locked in.

iPhones – The Hottest Name in Smartphones

You've heard about them, so here's why people love them.

  • The operating system used by iPhones, iOS, is regarded as having the most intuitive user interface (UI). As such, many new users find it to be a great gateway in to the smartphone world.
  • iPhones tend to have fantastic cameras when compared to the rest of the market.
  • Apple controls the iPhone ecosystem, from hardware to software, to buying video, apps and games. The set up, synchronisation and massive App Store are all very easy for a new user to learn how to navigate. Power users on the other hand can find limitations with Apple's tight ecosystem.

Additionally, iOS also boasts the largest selection of applications 'apps' and games to choose from. The Apple App store is currently the largest software store in the world with the largest selection of products to choose from. Check out our Apple iPhone plans and deals.

Google’s Android

Android is an open-source OS from Google that offers a lot more freedom to its manufacturing partners and its users. As a result, Android is now the most used smartphone operating system in the world.

You'll see the Google Android Operating system available on phones from Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG and many more.

Updates to the Android OS usually take months to reach devices, if they ever come at all.

This is because each device has different hardware, a different manufacturer-designed UI and is usually on a different network carrier. Not only does Google have to design the update in a way that will work on as many devices as possible, each manufacturer then has to make it work with their own devices. Telcos then need to test these updates to be sure they operate well on their networks.

This process takes a much longer time than the more tightly controlled ecosystems of iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

Like the Apple App Store, the Google Play store is an Android users one-stop shop for all the apps, movies, music, books and magazines they could ever want. Simply store your credit card details securely with Google, and you will be able to buy anything from this vast catalogue of content. And, if you don’t like what you’ve bought, Google offers a 15-minute refund window for returns.

Windows Phone

Windows Phone (WP) is the newest of the top mobile operating systems. Its stylish and unique interface has been one of the major reasons for its success. Like Android, WP is an OS that is supported by multiple manufacturers, predominantly Nokia. Unlike Android, however, each manufacturer is required to stick to a strict set of software and hardware guidelines.

Manufacturers are also not allowed to create their own UI skins. This means that many WP devices ends up looking very similar at first glance. Fortunately, the lack of design freedom with the UI has led to many Windows Phones handsets sporting bright and unique designs.

In truth, the differences in performance between WP devices is minimal, thanks to the efficient design of the system. Screen size, screen type and processing power are good indicators of which model you should be looking at. External design and camera quality are also key factors.

Microsoft Office is one of the key differentiators for the Windows Phone platform — a must-have for business users. There has also been special attention paid to the photography abilities in Windows Phone devices. Each device has a dedicated camera button to make taking photos as quick and easy as possible.

Music on Windows Phone is fantastic. A user can create an Xbox Music account. Xbox Music is a subscription service run by Microsoft that users can try out for free for 14 days, after which a monthly fee is required.

Before you balk at the price take note that for this sum you gain access to Microsoft's entire Xbox Music library. Every single song on the Xbox Music store is available for you to download and listen to on up to 5 computers and devices.

Comparing Mobile Phone Plans

Figuring out just which phone plan you need can be tricky.That's the whole reason we came up with our comparison algorithm; to make it easier when you need to compare mobile phone plans.

It's important to both consider how often you use your phone for calls, messaging and data as well as how much you think you're willing to spend each month. We've built tools for a basic comparison and a beginners guide to mobile phone plans.

Some phone plans come with a smartphone. This can either cost an amount extra per month, or not put you out another penny depending on the phone and the plan in question.

Most new top-end phones will cost extra on a 24-month plan, but obviously different carriers have varying marketing strategies and each device has its own individual cost. As a result, not every new smartphone will have this pricing and not every carrier will charge the same amount for a plan with a particular device.

It can be hard to figure out just how much value you're getting out of a plan. First there's the cost of the device to consider. Weighing the cost of the device if bought off-plan up against the total minimum cost of the plan itself is one way to get an idea if there is a bargain to be had. When it comes to usage, you’re going to want to get as large an allowance of data, calls and texts as possible for your money. That’s where our comparison tool comes in.

Most commonly, mobile phone plans last for 24 months, during which period you will be required a pre-set monthly minimum. Some plans go for 12 months, but these options are more expensive each month. Once you've signed up that's it. Barring special circumstances the only way to get out of a plan is to pay it out. That means you need to pay your monthly minimum spend multiplied by the number of months left on your plan. If you're having issues with your provider then you can always < a href="/MobilePhones/Guides/how-to-make-a-complaint">call up the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and ask that they look in to your complaint and contact your provider on your behalf.

Visualising the Difference

If you're more of a visual person then we've put our algorithm to work in a mobile phone plan visualiser that really highlights the difference between what certain plans from the major network providers cost and what they offer. You have the option of sorting results by:

The slider to the right allows you to switch up your desired maximum monthly spend so that you can get a more accurate view of the phone plans you're after.

You can get to the plan visualiser by clicking the 'Visualiser' icon in the top left of a standard plan search results screen, or you can just go directly to The Visualiser.

Start by selecting the phone that sounds most like what you want. If you don't see one you're after then you can either find it via a standard search, or you can click any phone and then change to the one you're after in the next step by clicking 'Change' to the left of the phone image.

Choosing a Network Carrier

Choosing the right carrier is an important decision. Unfortunately it's not a particularly simple one, either. Take one look at any web forum on the topic and you'll see widely differing experiences and opinions from customers ranging from happy to downright enraged.

This isn't just because people have different expectations from one-another, rather it's because the personal experience and quality of product that one person may have with a telco might be completely different to that of another with exactly the same provider.

The most important thing to consider when making a decision is reception in your area and the places in which you frequent. You might end up going with a telco that doesn't have acceptable reception in your home or at your work, and then be faced with the task of switching carriers.

The easiest way to test reception is to ask around your friends and family. See what kind of service they get in your area with their telco and you should get a pretty accurate idea of what to expect. Or try the service for yourself with a Monthly SIM-only plan.