Best Telstra phone: 5 we recommend

Here's the cream of the crop

It's getting closer to mid-2107, a time when Tesltra said it would have 99% of the country covered with speedy 4G, 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, Telstra's array of flashy new handsets, all supporting its new 4Gx technology, mean it's never a bad time to start looking for an upgrade.

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.

Google Pixel

Sony Xperia Z5

The Google Pixel is an excellent flagship phone. It combines a heap of power and a slick interface with a solid camera and premium design – a combo which will have almost universal appeal.

It doesn’t quite hit the high marks of the Galaxy S7 Edge though, with the Pixel’s battery performance putting it below a number of flagship rivals, but as long as you’ve got a charging cable to hand you won’t be disappointed. 

You are paying top dollar for the Google Pixel, and at this price point the competition is fierce. It’s not the best phone around – that honour stays with the Galaxy S7 Edge for now – but the Pixel offers up something a little different for Android thanks to its simplicity. 

You'll be paying between $91 and $195 for a 24-month contract for the 32GB model, or with a minor and probably worthwhile increase, between $100 and $195 for the 128GB Pixel.

Apple iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Apple has hit its marks with the iPhone 7, delivering upgrades in the right areas and to a decent level at times – it knows the level it needs to hit to make the iPhone seem new, and it's done just enough to achieve that.

The water resistance is mostly there to improve your confidence in the robustness of the phone, and you'll need to be ready to listen to your music on the new phone in a slightly different way.

In short - this is the best iPhone around, and if that's the thing that matters to you, then go straight for the new model.

Like the Pixel, the iPhone 7 is available on plans from $91 - $195 for the 32GB, and $100 - $195 for the 128GB, but is also available in a massive 256GB model from $105 - $195.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

LG G5

Whether it's just rolling the refined chassis around in the hand, taking pictures that look great nine times out of 10, or just enjoying the clarity and sharpness of the screen, the Galaxy S7 Edge manages to delight, and stand out in a world where new smartphones are increasingly being offered with razor-thin differences between them.

We could always want more from our handsets – that seems to be the way we're programmed nowadays – but if you're looking for a well-designed, powerful phone that actually packs some useful day-to-day features, the Galaxy S7 Edge is the one to go for.

The Galaxy S7 Edge is only available in a 32GB model (as it has expandable memory) with a range of 24-month plans, from the $95 contract with 1GB of data and $550 of included talk and text, to the XXL $195 plan with 30GB of data and unlimited local and international calls and texts.

Sony Xperia XZ

Apple iPhone 6S

The Sony Xperia XZ is a great premium handset offering everything you'd expect from a flagship phone. If you own a recent Sony phone though it might not be enough of an improvement to rush out and buy it.

The real highlights of the Xperia XZ come in the form of the new and improved design with waterproofing, as well as little tweaks to the camera. With a top of the range speedy processor, 3GB of RAM and improved software the Xperia XZ will allow you to do whatever you want on your phone with ease.

Sony's Xperia XZ weighs in the lightest on the low-range Telstra contracts, with a 24-month plan starting at $80, although the top-tier package is the same across the board at $195 so it might be worth opting for a different handset if you're looking at a premium plan.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The iPhone 7 Plus is certainly the better of the two new iPhones. It has a bigger battery, dual cameras and more RAM under the hood, providing excellent performance and add to that the water resistance body.

The large screen, enhanced performance and new dual speakers also make the iPhone 7 Plus great for those who like to game or Netflix on the go without the hindrance of headphones.

While this may be the better phone on paper, the iPhone 7 is the one which will likely appeal to a wider demographic with its more manageable form factor and lower price tag.

As is the case with all 24-month contracts from Telstra, the most you'll pay per mont is $195 for the XXL plan, which is the same for the 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB phone, whereas the least you'll pay is either $100, $108, or $113 for each of the differently sized models.