Telstra’s mobile plans are the most expensive on the market, but Telstra’s wide-reaching coverage can be worth the steeper price of entry for some people, particularly if you’re living in a regional or remote area of Australia.
However, Telstra’s cost alone makes it difficult to recommend, and to make matters worse, Telstra increased the cost of its mobile plans by as much as AU$6 a month in July 2023. Now, the most ‘affordable’ plan you can get from Telstra will cost you AU$62 a month, which is much higher than Optus and Vodafone’s cheapest offerings.
If you want to sign up or stay with Telstra because of its network coverage, we strongly suggest checking out our guide to cheap plans on the Telstra network. You’ll find a range of options from Telstra mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) such as Boost Mobile, Belong and Mate, all of which offer Telstra coverage at a cheaper price.
We’ll be taking a look at various phones on this page, and seeing how they stack up on the Telstra network. If you’d like, you can jump ahead to our plan recommendations below:
• Best SIM-only option – AU$62p/m for Telstra Basic plan
• Best overall phone + plan combos – AU$120.29p/m for iPhone 14 | AU$118.20p/m for Samsung Galaxy S23
• Best cheap phone + plan combos – AU$91.95p/m for iPhone SE | AU$93.20p/m for Google Pixel 7a
• Best premium phone + plan combos – AU$134.87p/m for iPhone 14 Pro | AU$143.20p/m for Samsung S23 Ultra
Noteworthy Telstra deals
Before we get stuck into our phone and plan recommendations, you should know about Telstra’s current phone deals:
Best Telstra mobile plans: our picks
Best SIM-only option
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Telstra’s mobile plans have just got more expensive, as the telco increased its prices across the board at the beginning of July. Telstra’s cheapest plan now costs AU$62 a month (up from AU$58), and this is what we’d recommend as the best Telstra mobile plan. It now gets you 50GB of data a month (up from 40GB) and it offers capped data speeds of 250Mbps, on Telstra’s 4G and 5G network.
Total minimum cost is AU$62
Best overall phone + plan combos
Best overall iPhone + plan combo: our pick
The iPhone 15 is likely a few months away, but if you want a new iPhone now, we think this is your best option from Telstra. We suggest pairing the iPhone 14 with the Basic 50GB plan, which will see you pay AU$120.29 each billing. We only recommend picking up this device from Telstra if you absolutely have to, because you can get it from Optus or Vodafone for at least AU$20 cheaper per month.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$2,886.96
Best overall Android + plan combo: our pick
The Galaxy S23 is the latest from Samsung, and if you buy it from Telstra, the Basic 50GB plan is your cheapest way of getting it. We’d suggest getting the S23 on a 24-month contract, which will cost you AU$118.20 a month with Telstra. As you might expect, you can get this phone on a cheaper plan with either Optus or Vodafone, so we strongly suggest you consider these telcos as well.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$2,836.80
Best cheap phone + plan combos
Best cheap iPhone + plan combo: our pick
The iPhone SE 2022 is Apple’s 'budget' iPhone, with a starting price of AU$719. For the 'cheapest' iPhone plan from Telstra, we recommend pairing the Basic 50GB plan with the 64GB iPhone SE in black, red or white, which will see you pay AU$91.95 a month. You’ll get 50GB of data to play with each month, unlimited talk and text to standard numbers in Australia and 5G access.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$2,206.80
Best cheap Android phone + plan combo: our pick
The Google Pixel 7a is an affordable phone at AU$749, but fair warning, Telstra’s got the most expensive plan (Optus is your cheapest option). If you need to go with Telstra, we recommend the Basic 50GB plan – it’ll cost you AU$93.20 each billing period if you pay it off over 24 months. Telstra’s plan is AU$13 more a month than you’d pay over at Optus, but you might be swayed by Telstra’s wider coverage.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$2,236.80
Best premium phone + plan combos
Best premium iPhone + plan combo: our pick
For the best premium iPhone currently available, you’ll want to go with either the 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max, depending on your size preference. The Pro has the same 6.1-inch screen size as the regular iPhone 14, while the Pro Max stretches out to 6.7 inches. Whichever you go with, we think Telstra’s Basic plan on a 24-month contract is best, as it’ll get you 50GB of data from AU$134.87 a month.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$3,236.88
Best premium Android + plan combo: our pick
We’d argue the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best Android phone out there, and its new 200MP main camera is particularly noteworthy. If you must buy it from Telstra, pair it with the Basic 50GB plan, which will see you pay AU$143.20 a month on a 24-month contract. Optus and Vodafone both offer cheaper monthly plans, so consider signing up with either of them if you want to pay less each billing period.
Total cost over 24 months is AU$3,436.80
- Looking for something cheaper, or have your own phone? Check out the best-value Australian SIM-only plans
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Jasmine Gearie is an ecommerce editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers cut through the jargon to find the best mobile and internet plans for their needs. She crunches the numbers to maintain dedicated guides to the latest phones, NBN and broadband plans of all types, and covers the important telco industry news. She also hunts down tech deals on laptops, phones, gaming consoles and more, so readers know where to buy the products they want for the cheapest prices.