Optus launched its 4G rollout exclusively in the Newcastle area in 2012, but since then has expanded to every capital city and key regional hubs in Australia. The telco now lays claim to the fact that 95 percent of Australians can use its 4G network.
There are plenty of reasons to be an Optus customer at the moment. Not only has the telco got a strong following thanks to its rollover data plans, it also enables you to pool your mobile data with your nearest and dearest.
The Optus handset range features all of the latest options, and as you'd expect, there are plenty of big hitters in there. Here are our picks of the bunch.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Apart from its premium price tag and the fact that Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby, hasn’t been rolled out to users outside of South Korea yet, the latest flagship from Samsung is a marvellous phone.
Virtual buttons replace the old Home, Back and Recent buttons, giving users plenty of screen real estate and the ability to customise the Back and Recent buttons to suit individual needs.
The new model also introduces the curved screen, meaning the fingerprint sensor had to be moved to the rear of the phone.
It’s also faster than its predecessor and offers a solid 8-hour battery life.
But other than Bixby being AWOL and the awkward fingerprint sensor, we think it’s the best premium smartphone in the market today.
Apple iPhone 7
The iphone 7 may just be an incremental upgrade, but it’s still a great phone.
Dual speakers, a slightly longer battery life as compared to its predecessor, improved camera that’s great in low light, faster A10 processor and double the internal capacity are why this smartphone is a good choice, despite its resemblance to the iPhone 6S.
The loss of the headphone jack might be inconvenient, but the addition of the waterproof chassis ensures the new handset from the Cupertino firm is more robust than their predecessors, allowing it to survive a moderate plunge and a few mishaps.
Optus has iPhone 7 plans starting at $76 a month for the 32GB model and 1GB data, up to $164 per month for the 256GB model and 100GB of data. There are some good options for the 128GB version as well.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 Plus is markedly better than the smaller model, given its longer battery life, thanks to its larger size, and the addition of an innovative dual camera setup that’s easy to use.
It’s a modest update, but there’s enough there to keep us excited. The water-resistant chassis now allows the iPhone to survive a moderate plunge in a metre of water for half an hour as well as making it feel a bit more robust than the previous models.
There’s more RAM under the hood, and if it lost the headphone jack, it gained a new kind of vibrating motor and dual speakers.
It boasts a new chip, improving its performance, and the iOS 10 updates keep adding features that work best on the new iPhone.
These changes have made the iPhone 7 Plus the most expensive iPhone ever.
To grab one of these impressive handsets on an Optus plan, you’ll be paying anywhere between $90 (32GB iPhone, 1GB of data) and $172 a month (256GB iPhone, 100GB of data). You can compare the plan options for the 128GB model here.
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung took what was great about the Galaxy S6 and made improvements that make the S7 great.
The Galaxy S7 might look similar to its predecessor, but there are some differences – rounder corners, a home key that blends seamlessly into the body without the usual metal trim, a gently sloping rear that makes the handset sit snuggly in the hand.
The screen boasts crisp, clear colours and excellent contrast ratios. The auto brightness is ideal for outdoor visibility and Samsung (and also LG on the G5) added an always-on feature that displays a few different things, like time and date and battery level.
A great camera, speedy processor and impressive battery life that can be conserved in the gaming mode are excellent talking points as well.
The microSD slot allows memory expansion up to 200GB, something necessary for a device that’s great for gaming on the go.
Optus has Samsung Galaxy S7 plans starting at $70 per month, up to $160 a month.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung has outdone itself by improving an already excellent, award-winning phone.
Despite its larger size, the Galaxy S7 Edge fits comfortably in the hand, thanks to its slightly curved rear.
A powerful processor inside the chassis makes this phone powerful and quick, and the battery lasts over 24 hours between charges even with heavy use. The charging is lightning quick, too. Samsung claims that 50% charge can be obtained in half an hour, provided you use the charger Samsung provides.
The microSD slot has made a return with larger capacities of the higher-performing UFS 2.0 internal structure that makes everything work faster.
Audio performance and the AMOLED screen’s display capabilities are excellent. Even the gaming experience is one of the best out there, but the Game Launcher could do with some improvements.
The camera might be 12MP, but that makes its autofocus capabilities quick and low-light functionality brilliant.
It’s a five-star phone and can be yours on an Optus plan from anywhere between $77 a month to $160 per month.
Huawei wants to play with the big boys and has launched the P9 to be taken seriously. While it’s not as cheap as similar models from competitors like Oppo, it’s definitely cheaper than Apple’s or Samsung’s flagships.
The P9’s aluminium body makes it comfortable to hold and its gorgeous design is complete with rounded corners and a smaller size as compared to other Android flagship phones.
The phone has a 5.2-inch 1080p display which isn’t as good as the Nexus 6P, but Huawei decided to concentrate on the battery life than come up with a sparkling display – giving you an entire day’s use without needing a charge.
Huawei has used its own HiSilicon Kirin 955 processor in this handset, giving it nearly as much grunt as the Samsung Galaxy S7. With 3GB RAM available for gaming, multitasking is a breeze.
But the highlight is the dual-sensor shooter at the rear. Made in collaboration with Leica, the two 12MP sensors work together to produce images with plenty of details.
The Huawei P9 is one of the best looking and performing phones the company has ever produced, and Optus has plans starting at $45 a month, up to $160 a month.