There are plenty of reasons to be an Optus customer at the moment. Not only is the telco building out its new 1800MHz 4G network, but it is greatly improving the reach of its 3.5G coverage too.

The Optus handset range is a curious mixture of old and new. There is the best and brightest from the big names, most of which are listed below; plus a number of yesterday's heroes on lower cost plans.

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5
If you can afford it, the iPhone is a great choice

Is it fair to describe the iPhone as an "oldie but a goodie"? After talking about the iPhone for as many years as we have, it is the first thing to pop into our heads.

Of course, the iPhone 5 is the latest and greatest in Apple's arsenal, and is among the best phones in the Optus catalogue. It's 4-inch display may struggle to impress the way bigger screens do on Android-powered phones, but its Retina screen technology is super-crisp, and the 8-megapixel camera is one of the best in the business.

If you'd prefer to save a few dollars a month, but still want an iOS device, Optus still offers an 8GB iPhone 4S. It is about AU$10 less than the iPhone 5 per month, which adds up to quite a saving over the course of a contract.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

With two successful Galaxy S phone launches under its belt, Samsung is seen as the Android phone maker to beat in 2013, and the Galaxy S4 is its flagship.

Design-wise, the S4 doesn't diverge from the aesthetic of the S3, in fact, you'd be hard pressed to spot the differences from a distance. But it does bring a few neat new features to the Galaxy range, with all-new geatures for navigation, camera settings and a health monitoring tool.

But it is the phone's 1080p HD screen that is the real showstopper. This display is among the best we've ever seen and definitely worth the price of the handset on its own. It's just a shame that its plastic chassis doesn't feel so premium in quality.

If you don't feel like you need the latest and greatest, Optus still offers both the Galaxy S2 and S3 on considerably cheaper plans.

HTC One

HTC One

It may not be priced like one, but the HTC One truly is the Porsche of the smartphone world. The handset is crafted from a single piece of aluminium machined in such a way that all of its hardware fits snugly under the metal cover.

Gone is HTC's colourful, and increasingly complex, user interface, and in its place you find a new, simplier UI with a minimalist design. This fresh new face looks outstanding on the phone's 5-inch 1080p HD screen, too.

After a couple of years of just missing the mark with its releases, the HTC One feel's like the company's best phone. It also looks and feels a lot like this year's best phone.

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z

Despite being a household name, Sony is still struggling to find its feet in the smartphone and tablet landscape. This has nothing to do with the quality of its phones, though, and the Xperia Z is proof.

Fronted by a 5-inch 1080p HD screen, with a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, the Z has everything its competitors from Samsung and HTC are offering in terms of hardware. It is also dust and water resistant, making it better for the outdoors type.

Unlike the Galaxy S4, the Xperia Z is a relatively gimmick-free zone. There is no eye-control or finger-hovering navigation, and for some people this will be more of a drawcard than a reason to avoid it.

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry is back in 2013, and its first new phone is definitely worth more than a passing glance.

Aimed at people who prioritise communication over other smartphone tasks, the Z10's 'Hub' is a tool that social networking junkies will love as much as heavy business users.

But it is not a one trick pony. The Z10 also has an excellent web browser, best-in-class multitasking, a great 8-megapixel camera and access to an app store which is filling up with new apps daily. You might still find you prefer an iPhone, but you should definitely play with a Z10 first.