Expert Picks: Best Value Mobile Phone Plans (July 2020)

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When it’s time to upgrade to a new smartphone, buying on a telco plan is a simple way to spread out your payments and avoid dropping hundreds on a device upfront. But with more providers offering handset plans than ever before – including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, TeleChoice, Woolworths Mobile, and Southern Phone – finding the best deal on your desired device can be a challenge.

If you’re looking to take home a new phone, we’ve picked out some of the highest-rated two-year contract options for some of Australia’s most-wanted devices. Whether you’re after a new iPhone, the latest Samsung Galaxy release, or something from Huawei, OPPO or Google, here’s where to find the best value phone plans.

How we help you find the best plan

Using Canstar Blue’s unique Value Score, we’ve singled out several plans that combine great features with competitive monthly pricing. This ranking is determined by looking at each plan’s average monthly cost compared with similar plans on the market, as well as functionality and features such as plan inclusions, provider customer service and support, and billing and payment options. Overall, if a plan has a lower cost but better features and inclusions, it’s likely to receive a higher Value Score than a more expensive plan, or one with less features.

The Value Scores for mobile products are displayed on Canstar Blue’s comparison tool, and are the default sort method when searching for mobile plans. Each included plan is given a Value Score of between 0 and 10, with a higher number indicating a better value product. More information on how Canstar Blue’s Value Rank works can be found here.

Best Value Phone Plans July 2020

Best Value iPhone Plan

Optus $39 Small Choice Plan

Value score: 7.2

If you’re looking for a simple plan with above-average data inclusions, Optus’ $39 Small Choice plan features unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, as well as 10GB of monthly data. International features aren’t included, but you do have the option of adding an Optus Roaming pass when needed.

Combined with the 64GB iPhone 11 on a 24-month payment plan, you’ll pay $88.95 per month (or $2,134.80 over two years). This price includes your $39 monthly plan cost, plus a $49.95 device payment per month.

The following table shows Optus’ $39 Small Choice Plan for the 64GB iPhone 11 on a 24-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a product from a referral partner.

What’s good about this plan:

  • Separate from your phone payments, so you can change between Optus plans without affecting your repayments.
  • Data pooling available – share data across eligible plans on a single account.
  • Build-your-own-plan options available if you decide to upgrade – customers can add or subtract international features and save on monthly fees.

What to look out for:

  • Doesn’t include features found on other Optus Choice plans, including Optus Sport and free Apple Music subscriptions.
  • International calls and texts not included.
  • Heavy data users may prefer to upgrade to a larger plan with more monthly gigabytes.

Best Value Samsung Plan

Woolworths $25 Extra Small Plan

Value score: 8.2

Woolworths Mobile offers a great selection of mobile plans on Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, including phone-on-a-plan options for a variety of Samsung and OPPO phones. The telco’s entry-level plan is priced at $25 per month, and includes unlimited standard talk and text in Australia plus 5GB of monthly data.

Paired with a 128GB Samsung Galaxy S20 on a 24-month payment plan, and you’ll pay $71.58 per month ($1,717.92 over 24 months). This pricing includes $25 per month for the plan itself, and a $57 monthly device payment with a $10.42 monthly discount.

Here is Woolworths Mobile’s Extra Small plan, paired with the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S20 on a 24-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a product from a referral partner.

What’s good about this plan:

  • Can bank up to 100GB of unused data, provided your account is up-to-date.
  • Bonus 10GB of data every three months.
  • Woolworths’ Zero Bill Shock Promise means you won’t pay excess usage fees when you hit your data limit: customers can choose from buying extra data, or ceasing data service until their plan resets.

What to look out for:

  • International extras aren’t included, but are available as optional add-ons.
  • Users with heavy data needs may prefer a plan with more included full-speed gigabytes.
  • Your plan and phone are combined, so you’re limited to one plan option for the whole 24-month or 36-month payment term.

Best Value OPPO Plan

Optus $39 Small Choice Plan

Value score: 9.8

Canstar Blue’s number-one rated smartphone brand of 2019, OPPO, offers several phones on plans from Telstra, Optus., Vodafone, TeleChoice and Woolworths Mobile. If you’re looking for a solid mid-level device on a 24-month plan, OPPO’S Reno Z is available on Optus’ $39 Choice plan, with unlimited standard talk and text in Australia and 10GB of data per month.

Combined with your monthly Reno Z payment, you’ll pay $54 per month over 24 months – $39 for your plan, and $15 per month for your phone ($1,296 over two years).

Here is Optus’ $39 Small Choice Plan for the 128GB Reno Z on a 24-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a product from a referral partner.

What’s good about this plan:

  • Separate from your phone payments, so you can change between Optus plans without affecting your repayments.
  • Data pooling available – share data across eligible plans on a single account.
  • Build-your-own-plan options available if you decide to upgrade – customers can add or subtract international features and save on monthly fees.

What to look out for:

  • Doesn’t include features found on other Optus Choice plans, including Optus Sport and free Apple Music subscriptions.
  • International calls and texts not included.
  • Heavy data users may prefer to upgrade to a larger plan with more monthly gigabytes.

Best Value Google Pixel Plan

Telstra $29.95 Small Plan

Value score: 9.2

Right now Telstra is the only telco offering the Google Pixel 4 on plans.

On a 45-month plan, you’ll pay $69.97 per month, for both the plan and the phone. This comes out to a total of $2518.92.

 

The following table shows Telstra’s $29.95 Small plan for the 64GB Google Pixel 4 on a 24-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a product from a referral partner.

What’s good about this plan:

  • You get extras like live sport and entertainment
  • Your month-to-month plan comes without a lock-in contract

Best Value Huawei Plan

Optus $39 Small Choice Plan

Value score: 9.2

Optus has recently given its postpaid plans a makeover, and now offers all mobile service separate from your phone payments. Its $39 Small Choice Plan includes unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, plus 10GB of data each month and the option of pooling data across multiple plans on a single account.

Optus offers the 128GB Huawei P30 for $37.50 per month over 24 months. Combined with the telco’s $39 Small Choice plan, you’ll pay $76.50 per month on a two-year device contract – that’s $1,836 over two years.

The following table shows Optus’ $39 Small Choice Plan for the 128GB Huawei P30 on a 24-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.

What’s good about this plan:

  • Separate from your phone payments, so you can change between Optus plans without affecting your repayments.
  • Data pooling available – share data across eligible plans on a single account.
  • Build-your-own-plan options available if you decide to upgrade – customers can add or subtract international features and save on monthly fees.

What to look out for:

  • Doesn’t include features found on other Optus Choice plans, including Optus Sport and free Apple Music subscriptions.
  • International calls and texts not included.
  • Heavy data users may prefer to upgrade to a larger plan with more monthly gigabytes.

Best Value 5G Phone Plan

Vodafone $40 Red Plus Plan (with the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G)

Value score: 8.7

If you’re looking for a 5G-capable phone, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone now offer devices that are compatible with their respective 5G networks. It might be early days for 5G coverage, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+and S20 Ultra 5G and Samsung Galaxy A90 5G, and the OPPO Find X2 Pro and Neo are available on plans from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and some are even available from Woolworths Mobile. Device availability differs from telco to telco.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is available from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Woolworths Mobile, however Woolworths Mobile currently doesn’t operate on a 5G network. For the sake of this comparison, we’ll look at the best value phone plan with access to a 5G network. Vodafone has the best value 36-month plan at $79.13 per month ($40 plan + $39.13 device payment). Over 36 months, you’ll pay $‭‭2,849‬ for your device and plan‬.

The following table shows Vodafone’s $40 Red Plus Plan for the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G on a 36-month device contract. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.

What’s good about this plan:

  • Vodafone plans are seperate from phone repayments and without contract, meaning you can swap out the plan and upgrade it.
  • You’ll get access to unlimited capped-speed data once you use up your 10GB, so no need to worry about excess data charges.

Our Value Score & Methodology Explained

While pricing is always a major concern for consumers, there’s more to finding a great phone plan than simply looking for the cheapest deal. In addition to comparing on pricing alone, Canstar Blue also gives readers the opportunity to sort and search for plans based on our unique Value Score.

As mentioned above, Value Scores range from 1 to 10, with a higher score indicating a better value product. The Value Score consists of a Price Score and Feature Score: the Price Score accounts for 70% of Canstar Blue’s overall ranking, with the Feature Score contributing to 30%.

Phone Plan Value

Price Score

Price Scores are calculated by comparing a plan’s average monthly cost to the price of other plans available in the Aussie market. Canstar Blue uses a plan’s average cost, rather than advertised prices, to account for plans that don’t renew on a standard monthly basis – for example, prepaid plans that expire every 10, 14, or 28 days. Using a plan’s average monthly cost, mean average monthly cost, and the standard deviation of the average monthly cost, Canstar Blue calculates and assigns a Price Score between 0 and 100.

Feature Score

The Feature Score compares over 100 features found on mobile plans, which are grouped into the following three categories:

  • Customer Service and Support (40% of score): Application channels, website functionality, online help/support, call centres, etc.
  • Inclusions (35% of score): Call, data, and SMS allowances, additional plan inclusions such as international calls or data free streaming.
  • Billing and Payments (25% of score): Payment, statement, and billing frequency and options.

The Value Score, Pricing Score and Feature Scores of plans and products are re-calculated daily, with changes then reflected on Canstar Blue’s comparison tool.

For a better understanding of how Canstar Blue’s Value Score works, view our Phone Methodology Document here.

How we pick the best value plans

  1. Best Value iPhone Plan: The best-ranked 24-month 64GB iPhone 11 plan, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score.
  2. Best Value Samsung Plan: The best-ranked 24-month 128GB Samsung Galaxy S10 plan, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score.
  3. Best Value OPPO Plan: The best-ranked 24-month OPPO Reno Z plan, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score.
  4. Best Value Google Plan: The best-ranked 24-month 64GB Google Pixel 4 plan, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score.
  5. Best Value Huawei SIM Plan: The best-ranked 24-month Huawei P30 plan, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score.
  6. Best Value 5G Phone Plan: The best-ranked 24-month plan for a 5G device from Optus and Telstra, as determined by Canstar Blue’s Value Score. 

In the event that two or more plans have the same value score in any given category, the cheapest option will be featured.

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