5G is officially live in Australia – albeit it in very limited areas. Telstra’s 5G network has been switched on in selected locations in all major cities, while Optus has began offering its own 5G home broadband service to eligible customers.
If you’re lucky enough to live or work in a 5G-enabled area, you’re probably eager to give the next-generation mobile technology a try. However, your existing smartphone, tablet, or broadband device won’t be able to support the frequencies that 5G runs on; instead, you’ll need to upgrade to a 5G-capable model.
Luckily, there are already several 5G smartphone and Wi-Fi devices available to purchase commercially, all of which are available from Telstra. You may have already heard of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, released in late May, but Telstra is also offering the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, the OPPO Reno 5G and the LG V50 ThinQ, as well as the HTC 5G Hub for mobile broadband. Optus is also stocking the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, but customers aren’t yet able to use it with Optus’ 5G network.
To start using Telstra’s 5G network, you’ll need to pick up one of the above devices. Read on for more info on each 5G-capable phone, including pricing and plans.
5G Phones in Australia
To get 5G access in Australia, you’ll need to buy one of the following smartphones:
In this guide we’ll also cover:
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
The newest S10 may well be Samsung’s best-ever smartphone. Larger in size than the standard S10 and S10+, the S10 5G features superfast charging and long-lasting battery life, plus a cinematic display and a next-level quadruple rear camera. You’ll get a 6.7-inch screen with the new Infinity O display, a 4,500Mah battery with Power Share, and the OneUI interface and Android Pie operating system.
If you’re a smartphone photography enthusiast, we can’t stress enough how good the S10 5G’s cameras are, both in front and rear – it’s also incredibly easy to switch between lenses and find the perfect camera mode for any shot. If you do want to test out the S10 5G’s cameras, you can purchase the device on phone plans exclusively from Telstra on both 24-month and 36-month payment options.
Below is a selection of published 24-month Telstra plans for the 256GB Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
If you’re looking for something a little bigger than the Galaxy S10, but with many of the same features (and a next-generation S Pen stylus for easy note-taking and control), Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+ is available in a 5G variant. You can pre-order the Note 10+ 5G from Optus and Telstra through to 23 August, 2019: after this date, the device will be available to buy in stores.
The Note 10+ 5G features a 6.8-inch screen, a massive 512GB of storage, plus a fast-charge capable 4,300mAh battery with PowerShare. You’ll also get a quadruple rear camera setup, similar to the lineup found in the Galaxy S10 5G, plus a 10-megapixel camera in front. Like the S10 5G, the Note 10+ 5G runs Android Pie and includes Samsung’s Infinity display and OneUI interface.
Below is a selection of published 24-month Telstra and Optus plans for the 256GB Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
OPPO Reno 5G
OPPO’S new Reno 5G features a 6.6-inch vibrant AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 6, and fingerprint unlocking built into the screen. The phone also includes an exceptional ‘rising’ camera, with 48MP, 8MP and 13MP lenses combining to give you 10x zoom. Its 4,065mAh battery is large enough to handle the requirements of 5G connectivity, and you’ll also get fast charging capabilities, 256GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot.
The OPPO Reno 5G is now available on plans exclusively through Telstra. The telco offers the Reno 5G on both 24-month and 36-month contracts — both options will see you pay the same total price for your phone, but 36-month plans feature smaller monthly repayments. If you’re looking at buy it outright, currently you can also purchase through JB Hi Fi for $1,499.
Below is a selection of published 24-month Telstra plans for the OPPO Reno 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
LG V50 ThinQ
LG’s V50 ThinQ features a main 6.4-inch QHD+OLED display, and a second clip-on screen measuring 6.2-inches – perfect for mobile gaming and multi-tasking, and without the technical problems currently plaguing new ‘foldable’ smartphones. Camera-wise, you’ll get five in total – three in the rear (including 12-megapixel standard and telephoto lenses, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera), and dual 8-megapixel and 5-megapixel lenses in front. The device also packs a 4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge support, plus fingerprint and facial scanners.
The LG V50 ThinQ will be available to buy outright for $1,728, or you can bundle with a month-to-month postpaid plan from Telstra. You’ll be able to choose between a 24 or 36-month device payment period, and then add on your plan of choice.
Below are the month-to-month Telstra postpaid plans you can pair with the LG V50 ThinQ, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool above to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
5G Phones Coming Soon
Besides the devices listed above – all of which are now available to buy in Australia – there’s a few more potentially 5G-capable smartphones scheduled to hit stores in 2019.
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
- Huawei Mate X
- Moto Z3
HTC 5G Hub
The HTC 5G Hub is a world-first 5G and 4GX mobile hotspot and smart hub, ideal for both at-home use and for connecting while on-the-go. With the ability to support up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices and a one gigabit Ethernet connection, HTC’s Hub offers fast media streaming and low latency, and up to 24 hours of active battery life on a single charge.
As a 5G-compatible device, the Hub will give customers access to the fastest mobile speeds in Australia. This includes 5G coverage where available, as well as access to Telstra’s nationwide 4GX network. The HTC 5G Hub is now available to order online from Telstra on two-year mobile broadband plans, starting from $70 per month for both your device and data.
Below are the month-to-month Telstra mobile broadband plans you can pair with the HTC 5G Hub, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
|Brand||Features||Max Data**/billing period||Advertised Cost^^/billing period|
min. cost $15 over one month
|5GB||$15||Go To Site|
min. cost $25 over one month
|10GB||$25||Go To Site|
min. cost $50 over one month
|50GB||$50||Go To Site|
min. cost $75 over one month
|100GB||$75||Go To Site|
|View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
Using Telstra’s 5G network
Right now, Telstra’s 5G network is free to use on all postpaid phone plans with an accompanying 5G-compatible device. 5G will be included on plans free from now until June 2020, after which customers on Telstra’s $50 Small and $60 Medium plans can switch back to 4G-only, or continue using 5G for an additional $15 per month. If you’re a customer on the $80 Large or $100 Extra Large plans, good news: 5G is included for the life of your plan.
The same applies to 5G home broadband customers using the HTC 5G Hub. 5G is included free on all mobile broadband plans until 30 June, 2020; after this date, customers on the $15 Extra Small and $25 Small plans will need to pay an extra $15 each month for 5G access. However, Telstra’s $50 Medium and $75 Large mobile broadband plans will continue to include 5G service at no extra cost.
Once you’re up and running on Telstra 5G, you can expect speeds significantly faster than the telco’s current 4G network. We’ve personally seen speed test results of more than 1,000 megabits per second with the new Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Sydney, and Telstra has reported up to 1,900 megabits per second with the OPPO Reno 5G.
If you do fall under Telstra’s 5G umbrella, expect a serious boost in speeds and reduction in lag when using your 5G device. If you’re still waiting on 5G — as most of us are — you can still use any of the above devices on Telstra’s fast and efficient 4G and 4GX network, which is available across Australia.
What about 5G iPhones?
Apple hasn’t yet announced plans to launch a 5G iPhone, but industry insiders speculate that this will happen in 2020 – most likely in the second half of the year, as the company traditionally releases new iPhones each September.
While Apple has reportedly been working on 5G products since back in 2018, various issues have caused delays, including former collaborator Intel’s decision to stick with 4G-only modem production. Apple will now work with Qualcomm to develop the first 5G-capable iPhone, with the two companies signing a six-year license agreement earlier this year.
Rumours suggest the first ever 5G iPhones will feature 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch screens, but that the company will still offer a cheaper, 4G-only version in next year’s smartphone range. As with previous iPhone launches, expect the debut 5G iPhones to be available from Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, as well as to buy outright from major retailers.
Optus 5G home broadband
Optus has begun to send its 5G sites live in very selected locations, and has launched the first Australian 5G home broadband plan – although customers can’t access it without a compatible Optus device. Currently, the telco is rolling out 5G broadband into selected areas, with eligible residents now able to ‘register their interest’ before the official launch in mid-2019.
One exception is in the western Sydney suburb of Glendenning. A small group of Optus customers in this area are now officially connected to 5G home broadband, with Optus reporting an average download speed of 100Mbps, and peak speeds of up to 295Mbps. The telco has also confirmed its 5G home broadband will soon be available to registered customers in Bonnyrigg, Minchinbury and Niagara Park (NSW), plus Cook (ACT) and Kenmore (QLD).
Along with an unlimited data plan priced at just $70 per month, Optus will also offer 5G-capable devices, including Nokia’s 5G home hub. Mobile 5G will also be a priority for Optus in 2019, and the company has already tested 5G during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year.