The Best Phones on Telstra Plans

Summary: Telstra has some fantastic phones on its plans, here's a list of the best ones and what makes them so good.

By at WhistleOut |

So you've chosen your carrier. Great, now it's time to choose a new phone. We've compiled a list of our favourite handsets available right now on Telstra plans.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Pros: Cons:
  • Beautiful screen
  • New, premium design
  • Fantastic camera
  • Not water resistant
  • Expensive
  • Glass design can be fragile

The two S6 phones are identical in almost every way, except for their obviously disparate screens and a slight variance in battery size. Both devices are very powerful, boast cameras that are proving popular with reviewers, and represent a new direction for smartphone design from Samsung.

Both phones' displays measure 5.1 inches diagonally, which is the same size as last year's Galaxy S5, but now with a significantly improved resolution of 2560 x 1440. Unlike the S5, neither is water-resistant, although that particular feature surprisingly didn't prove attractive to consumers so its omission this time around is understandable.

Instead of its traditional plastic designs, Samsung has gone with an entirely glass and metal build. This does mean that you'll have to take more care of it, as the back panel is now prone to shattering just like the front. However, thanks to new hardened glass technologies (specifically Gorilla Glass 4) it's harder than ever to damage those glass areas.

Galaxy S6
$55 Telstra Plan
Galaxy S6
$70 Telstra Plan
Galaxy S6
$95 Telstra Plan
Galaxy S6
$130 Telstra Plan

HTC One M9

Pros: Cons:
  • Beautiful design
  • Minimalist user interface
  • Very fast and smoth
  • Expensive
  • Lacklustre rear camera
  • Can get warm during use

The One M9, more than anything, stands out for its physical qualities. It's beautiful, is made primarily from brushed aluminium, and in the hand feels like the most solid phone on the market. HTC isn't too far off when it talks about the M9 being like a piece of jewellery.

As a phone it's fast, smooth and sports a relaxing minimalist user interface (UI). This, combined with the visual aesthetics, makes for a phone that lets you feel special every time you pick it up.

One downside is the rear camera. It's fine for the average user, but it's not the best of the shooters on this list. Camera-lovers will want to look elsewhere, but if photos aren't a huge concern for you then there's little reason to pass up the market's most-stylish device.

HTC One M9
$55 Telstra Plan
HTC One M9
$70 Telstra Plan
HTC One M9
$95 Telstra Plan
HTC One M9
$130 Telstra Plan

iPhone 6

Pros: Cons:
  • Bright, colourful display
  • Touch ID button
  • Fantastic camera
  • Not water resistant
  • Expensive

The iPhone 6 is quite a bit bigger than its predecessors. The 4.7 inch display represents a roughly 17% increase in size over the 5s. Don't worry, the number of pixels has been adjusted to account for the larger area. The new 750 x 1334 resolution gives you 326 pixels per inch, which is precisely what the Retina display on the iPhone 5 and 5s gave you.

Everything else has been improved, too. The most notable addition is Apple Pay. While it's not available Down Under just yet, Apple Pay is an NFC-powered payment system, whereby you can tap your phone just like you would a pay-wave credit card. Not only is this easy to use, but it's actually more-secure than a card because you have to have your finger on the Touch ID button in order to use it. Anyone without fingerprint access to your phone will be unable to make any payments.

iPhone 6
$55 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6
$70 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6
$95 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6
$130 Telstra Plan

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Pros: Cons:
  • Big, beautiful screen
  • S-Pen Stylus
  • Partially metal design
  • Great camera
  • Not water resistant
  • Expensive
  • Touchwiz UI is a little bulky
  • Large size can be unwieldy

Samsung's 'big' contender from Telstra right now is the Galaxy Note 4. It's the front-running flagship for Samsung's 'phablet' line, complete with 5.7 inch display and quad-HD resolution. That gives it around 75% more pixels than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Continuing the comparison, despite having a larger screen, the Note 4 is the same height as the 6 Plus and is quite similar in its other dimensions. Samsung has done well to cut back on size wherever it could.

Gone are the days of plasticy Samsung phones. The Note 4 is rimmed with actual metal; a first for a Samsung flagship. This gives it the premium feel and build quality that you'd expect from a top-end device. A word of warning, however: this is not a water-resistant handset. Don't go dropping it in the sink like you would its smaller sibling.

It also sports a fantastic camera, second only to the ones on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. At the very least, it's the best shooter we've yet used on an Android phone.

Galaxy Note 4
$55 Telstra Plan
Galaxy Note 4
$70 Telstra Plan
Galaxy Note 4
$95 Telstra Plan
Galaxy Note 4
$130 Telstra Plan

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Pros: Cons:
  • Small and light-weight
  • Heavy water resistance
  • 20.7MP camera
  • Spartan UI aesthetic
  • Camera suffers in low light
  • 720p resolution

The 4.6 inch Xperia Z3 Compact is the 'mini' version of Sony's current flagship: the Xperia Z3. Unlike other shrunk-down handsets, the X3 Compact doesn't make huge sacrifices on hardware in order to accommodate its smaller size and reduced price. As such it's more expensive than a Galaxy S5 mini or HTC One mini 2, but that's fine when you consider that this is the only high end Android phone that caters to folks who want a smaller handset, but a premium experience.

The only area where the Z3 Compact may fall short for you are its screen resolution. The screen is 720p, a spec that isn't going to turn heads nowadays. However, that still gives it around the same pixel density as an iPhone 6. None too shabby.

Like its bigger sibbling, the Z3 Compact rocks a 20.7 megapixel camera, heavy water resistance and a powerful quad-core 2.5GHz CPU.

Xperia Z3 Compact
$55 Telstra Plan
Xperia Z3 Compact
$70 Telstra Plan
Xperia Z3 Compact
$95 Telstra Plan
Xperia Z3 Compact
$130 Telstra Plan

iPhone 6 Plus

Pros: Cons:
  • First iPhone with 1080p HD
  • Big, 5.5 inch screen
  • GREAT camera, even in low light
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Not water resistant
  • Expensive
  • Large size can be unwieldy

The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch display, but the phone itself is about 1.2cm taller and .3cm wider than the LG G3 with the same-sized screen. Still, if you want the biggest iPhone experience available it's your go-to gadget.

Unlike on the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus has actually upped its pixel density from 326 pixels per inch (ppi) to 400ppi. Apple might have told you that Retina display is the best resolution for the human eye, but non-iPhone devices have demonstrated time and again that cramming in more pixels can be a very good thing. Get ready for the sharpest iPhone yet.

The camera is also a bit improved over the iPhone 6 with optical image stablisation (OIS). OIS means that the lens within the camera actually moves around to counter any shakiness on your part, giving you a clearer, better-defined image.

iPhone 6 Plus
$55 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6 Plus
$70 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6 Plus
$95 Telstra Plan
iPhone 6 Plus
$130 Telstra Plan


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