Aside from the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy fanboys, there exists a smaller, but dedicated, group of people who love HTC phones. As a Taiwanese company, HTC used to stand for ‘High Tech Computer’ company but it’s largely done away with this name and now just calls itself HTC. It has produced some interesting smartphones over the years, but has generally always been a brand in Samsung and Apple’s shadows. Can the U11 and U Ultra models change that? Canstar Blue reviews the top phone plans that can be bundled in with these two models.
HTC U11 Phone Plans
Telstra HTC U11 Phone Plans
Plan prices with Telstra start at about $85 a month, which encompasses the $55 plan and a $30 repayment for the handset itself. For this amount you’ll get $550 call value and 1GB data. As an alternative you can ‘lease’ your phone, which means you have to give it back at the end of your contract but you stand to receive hefty data bonuses in return. For example by paying $95 a month you stand to get 8GB as standard, plus other bonuses from time to time like Apple Music memberships as well as NRL or AFL game pass subscriptions. You can compare the differences between ‘lease’ plans and regular plans below.
Optus HTC U11 Phone Plans
All of Optus’ phone plans come with unlimited calls & texts as standard, with varying amounts of data and international calls thrown in for good measure. The cheapest plan comes in at $60 a month, which comprises of a $40 plan and $20 handset repayment. These plans also include some handy extra perks, like data-free music streaming and Optus Sport & National Geographic subscriptions. At the upper end of the spectrum, Optus includes some hefty data inclusions, including a massive 100GB for $160 a month, and as a rule of thumb, the more expensive your plan becomes, the cheaper your phone repayment usually is. More expensive plans also get extra international minutes and the like.
Virgin Mobile HTC U11 Phone Plans
Virgin Mobile operates on the Optus 4G Network, and plans again start at $60 a month. This price comprises of $30 for the plan, and $30 for the phone repayment. For this amount you get a relatively paltry $300 call value and 500mb data. For only $5 extra, you’ll get unlimited calls and texts plus 4GB of data and $100 international credit. Virgin is one of the few phone providers to offer data rollover, which is a handy feature if your data use is sporadic. Other bonuses include things like Velocity Frequent Flyer point discounts and extras, international credit, bonus data and data-free music streaming.
HTC U Ultra Phone Plans
The U Ultra is the big-screen big brother, and ironically is a little bit cheaper than the flagship U11. In another twist, Vodafone is the only provider that bundles the U Ultra, and Vodafone has changed its plans around to offer more flexibility. You can choose any ‘Red’ plan, which comes with no contract, but you will get a choice of contract length for your phone repayment – 12, 24 or 36 months. There are no obvious downsides or extra fees associated with any contract length – it simply comes down to what you can afford and what you’d prefer. Prices start at just under $55 a month, while 12 month plans attract higher monthly fees but you’ll have it paid off sooner.
Vodafone benefits from big data bonuses, generous international inclusions and the choice of either ‘Global’ plans or ‘Data’ plans – Global plans include things like Qantas Points, and Data plans include extra data; pick your poison.
Is it cheaper to buy outright?
The HTC U11 can be found for around $1,000 outright, and the U Ultra can be found for around $800 outright. If you can stump up for these amounts upfront, then you may stand to save in the long run by bundling with a cheap SIM only plan. SIM only plans with unlimited calls & texts and 1GB of data can be found for under $10 these days, and buying your own phone and your own plan could save you a few bucks.
However, the downside is you have to do the legwork yourself and you can’t just walk into a Vodafone, Telstra or Optus store and offload your problems onto the technicians instore. Providers to look out for if you go this route are Jeenee Mobile, Moose Mobile and Bendigo Bank Telco, keeping in mind that you may still have to sign up for 12 months to get the best deals.
Is a HTC phone plan worth signing up for?
HTC phones may not match the hype and fanfare of iPhones and Galaxies but that doesn’t mean they are inferior. Arguably, the U11 is one of the more exciting phones to come out recently, and it’s very tempting to bundle it in with a phone plan – as is the U Ultra. From around $60 a month, you can simply walk into a Telstra, Optus or Virgin store and gain access to a U11 on a phone plan. With Vodafone, you can repay the U Ultra from about $55 a month and swap and change the plan as you like. However, you must ask yourself if going the SIM-only route could be a cheaper option. While the convenience factor isn’t the same, you could stand to save some money in the long run. In any case, HTC’s latest line-up is an exciting one, with some enticing phone plans to match.