Best Telstra phone: 5 we recommend

Here's the cream of the crop

Telstra

Telstra may have been busy launching the Telstra TV and pushing the 5G barrier, but it hasn't forgotten to keep its smartphone offering fresh.

With family data plans and the ability to upgrade your smartphone every 12 months when you're on a 24-month plan, it's never a bad time to look at which handset you should choose when you wander into the Telstra shop.

Traditionally, Telstra has been very selective with which OEM partners it works with and it tends only to take on the big name products. But that's just fine, because there's plenty of quality to be found among the big guns.

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5

One for the James Bond fans, and mercifully cheaper than trying to copy him in the wheels department.

The Xperia Z5 is Sony's most dramatic overhaul in years, and it's most welcome. It's still very recognisably a Sony phone, but with a thinner, lighter design, and a very handsome frosted glass back. It's the best we've yet seen from Sony.

A particularly welcome addition is the fingerprint sensor, which is positioned unusually (but cleverly) on the side of the handset. Why didn't anyone put it there before?

Telstra plans start at $81 per month for 1GB of data and $550 worth of talk, and peak at $135 per month for unlimited talk and 15GB of data.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Pound for pound, the Samsung Galaxy S7 is probably the best phone you can buy right now.

Samsung has taken on board a lot of the criticisms the world had with the Galaxy S6, from build quality to bloated, useless features, and streamlined them for the Galaxy S7.

Available in a 32GB model (with the welcome return of expandable storage via microSD), the Galaxy S7 is a powerhouse of a phone with a great camera, amazing screen and a feature list that makes previous Galaxy phones blush from embarrassment. Oh yeah, and it's waterproof.

Telstra's plans for the Samsung Galaxy S7 range from $83 per month for $550 worth of talk and 1GB of data with a 32GB handset to $135 per month for unlimited talk and 15GB of data.

LG G5

LG G5

After the divisive LG G4, which sported a strange, leather-backed design, LG switched gears once again and produced a fully modular, fully metal smartphone in the LG G5.

The G5's screen is one of the best on the market, and it's perfect for showing off the results of the phone's dual lens camera, which takes some unbelievably good wide shots, especially when using its Cam Plus camera module, which gives you added grip, physical buttons and a scroll wheel for zooming.

The G5 has a nicely subtle curve that helps it sit comfortably in the hand – and prevents it from slipping out. There's also a fingerprint reader on the back now, and while the LG had its power and volume buttons on the rear, they've now been moved to the side of the phone, putting it in line with all the other flagship handsets on the market.

Telstra's options for the LG G5 range from $72 per month for $550 worth of talk and 1GB of data to $135 per month with unlimited talk and 15GB of data.

Apple iPhone 6S

Apple iPhone 6S

While the iPhone 6 was certainly good, the iPhone 6S is considerably better.

Apple's latest takes everything that made the iPhone 6 a great handset – larger screen, TouchID and iOS 8 – and runs with it.

iOS 9 is stable and smooth, the camera delivers reliable results, and the phone packs some serious power. The biggest change, however, is the introduction of 3D Touch, which enables you to interact with your phone in different ways by applying a range of pressures to the screen – not too hard, mind, those things can still crack.

While iPhones are always right up the premium end of the scale when it comes to pricing, the 6S is a powerful, but user-friendly handset that's worth the asking price.

Telstra plans start at $83 for 1GB of data and $550 worth of talk with a 16GB handset, and ramp all the way up to $157 for 15GB of data and unlimited talk with a 128GB handset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Samsung's latest S Pen-equipped handset takes styling tips from the Galaxy S6, with some mixed results.

On one hand, the Note 5 is by far the best-looking Note handset Samsung has ever produced. But Note devotees may find themselves missing the expandable memory and removable battery.

Still, the Note 5's 5.7-inch screen is gorgeous, and its record-breaking processor and 4GB of RAM completely outpace Apple's current offering, as does its 16MP camera.

Telstra currently only offers the 32GB handset, with plans ranging from $83 for 1GB of data and $500 of talk to $145 for 10GB of data and unlimited talk.

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