Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Note 8 smartphones have been met with much praise, and are generally considered a return to form for Samsung. So what do you do if you want to get your hands on one? Australia’s big telcos have some competitive deals, and they’re generally much cheaper than the latest iPhone plans.
After plenty of bad press around the Galaxy S7 Series – with phones banned from aircraft due to the risk of fire – Samsung has well and truly moved on, and customers seem to be back on board with the S8 and Note 8 series. Think bigger screens on tinier bodies, new colours and features, and upgraded specs. Bought outright, the phones cost:
- The 5.8 inch S8 will set you back $1,199 unlocked, while the 6.2 inch S8+ will cost $1,349.
- The Note 8 will cost $1,499 outright
However, if you think more than $1,000 is a bit much to swallow for a new smartphone upfront, the big guys Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin have all released what plans you can bundle with the Galaxy S8 to pay month to month. Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone also have a range of plans available to be bundled with the fancy new smartphone, standing as a solid alternative to the ‘Big 4’. Hit the links below to see what’s available:
- Telstra S8 Plans
- Telstra Note 8 Plans
- Optus S8 Plans
- Optus Note 8 Plans
- Vodafone S8 Plans
- Vodafone Note 8 Plans
- Virgin Mobile S8 Plans
- Virgin Mobile Note 8 Plans
- Woolworths Mobile S8 Plans
- Woolworths Note 8 Plans
- Southern Phone S8 Plans
Samsung Galaxy S8 Phone Plans
The Samsung Galaxy S8 can be yours from as little as $35 per month with Woolworths Mobile, though the included features are limited. With upwards of 2GB of data or more, plus unlimited calls and texts, you’ll be looking at around $40-50 per month. Let’s get a breakdown of what each telco offers.
Telstra Galaxy S8 Plans
Any of Telstra’s bundled plans are available on the Galaxy S8. Like with the S7, there will be a ‘trickle-down’ where cheaper plans are available, but you will pay an extra monthly fee for the phone.
- Currently the cheapest bundled plan is $59, and you won’t get much for your money in the grand scheme of things.
- Lease plans may work out cheaper, or may contain extra data and other goodies with the proviso you return your phone in good working order.
International countries included in the phone plan include popular ones like the US and UK. Monthly costs for the phone lessen when you buy a more expensive phone plan. Telstra’s relatively expensive plans are boosted in value by extra perks like Apple Music membership, data bonuses and included Foxtel Now packs. Here’s how these plans look with the regular Galaxy S8 bundled in:
Optus Galaxy S8 Plans
Optus has outlined that the cheapest plan you can expect to get with the S8 will be $45, and with that you’ll get unlimited calls and texts with 2GB of data.
- The handset will cost an extra $17 a month for the regular S8 though, bringing the total to $62 a month.
- The biggest bonus with Optus is that all of its plans come with unlimited calls and texts, instead of having to put up with dollar-limited credit.
- Data-free music streaming and Optus Sport come standard on most plans.
Plus there are various extra data perks if you sign up online. With the two dearest plans you’ll also get some generous roaming inclusions in ‘Zone 1’ countries, which is a huge zone encompassing over 30 countries including the US and UK. The two dearest Optus plans don’t attract any extra fees for the phone. Here’s a snippet of what you can expect to pay for the S8 with Optus:
Vodafone Galaxy S8 Plans
Vodafone has recently rejigged its plans with a mobile phone bundled in, and they now start from just $30 a month. All of these plans come on a month-to-month basis, and this means you can change around your plan as you like, and the only thing you’re tied into for a certain period of time is your phone repayment.
- The Galaxy S8 repayment starts at an extra $27.75 per month for a 36 month contract. Repayment fees are higher if you opt for a 12 or 24 month contract
- With most plans you have two paths to take; you can either get more data, OR for the same price, sacrifice some data for international minutes as well as Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
Unlike Telstra, you won’t get the phone for ‘free’, but Vodafone’s plans on the whole are cheaper and come with a lot more data. Here’s a snippet of what you can expect to pay with the ‘big red’ telco:
Virgin Mobile Galaxy S8 Plans
Virgin Mobile has announced that the cheapest plan available will be $40 a month, which includes unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data. While Virgin Mobile is an MVNO operating on the Optus 4G network, it can generally be considered one of the big players and its bundled plans demonstrate this.
Unlimited calls and texts go for all of Virgin’s plans, too. The S8 handset repayment on the cheapest plan will then cost $40 a month, bringing the total to $70 a month.
- The cheapest phone repayment comes in at $0 a month, but this is on the $100 plan in which you get 24GB of data and international credit.
- International calling rates are available here – Canada is available from 40c a minute, for example.
Virgin Mobile looks to be one of the cheapest Galaxy S8 plan providers out there, and as an extra kicker, if you’re a Velocity member, expect discounts on your phone plan to the tune of 10 per cent as well as two Velocity points for every dollar spent. You’ll also get handy data-free music streaming on a variety of services such as Spotify and iHeartRadio. Here’s a snippet of what’s on offer:
Woolworths Mobile Galaxy S8 Plans
Woolworths Mobile is an MVNO that uses the Telstra 4G network, and offers three easy-to-follow plans that can be bundled with the Galaxy S8.
- Plans start at $30 a month and for that you’ll get unlimited calls and texts as well as 5GB of data.
- 24 and 36 month contracts are available, with 3 year plans obviously much cheaper but over a longer term
Apart from international minutes or texts, as well as Woolworths Reward Points accruing, there are no gimmicky bonus offers, and pretty much what you see is what you get.
Southern Phone Galaxy 8 Plans
You may not have heard of Southern Phone but it operating on both the Optus and Telstra Networks depending on what plan you choose, and gives some profits back to regional or rural councils throughout Australia.
- Plans start at $10 for the plan, and $52 for the phone repayment, bringing the minimum total to $62 a month.
- Plans upwards of $100 a month are available, containing up to 30GB data.
As it stands, Southern Phone offers very little in the way of bonuses or other perks, instead relying on cheaper prices to get it across the line. An Aussie call centre is available from 8am-8pm 7 days a week, however.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Phone Plans
After a lot of hype, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin and Woolworths have all released pricing for their Note 8 plans, some coming with lots of extra tasty bonuses and a competitive rate.
Optus Note 8 Plans
Optus has some of the more competitive Note 8 plans out there, with plans starting at about $85 a month for both the plan and phone.
- Optus also has a range of perks including Optus Sport, data-free music streaming and international credit.
- Massive data limits are available, up to 100GB.
There are two plan options to choose here – either a ‘Flex’ plan or a ‘Plus’ plan. With Flex plans you lease the phone, and in return for this you usually receive hefty data bonuses. Once again, Optus is arguably one of the more exciting providers out there to offer mobile phones on a plan.
Vodafone Note 8 Plans
With Vodafone’s separation of phone repayment and monthly plan cost, it’s now easier to find out how much you are actually paying. With the Note 8, plans start at:
- 12 Months: $156.58
- 24 Months: $88.29
- 36 Months: $78.96
There is no real cost advantage choosing a shorter contract, with only a few dollars’ total difference between the three contract lengths. The usual $30, $40, $50, $60, $80 and $100 phone plans then apply, making it really simple and easy to choose your plan every month. Vodafone also announced a ‘buy back’ credit program where if customers trade in their S5, S6 or S7 they stand to receive credit on their Vodafone account. Up to $200 may be applied to customers trading in any Note series.
Virgin Mobile Note 8 Plans
Virgin Mobile has released its Galaxy Note 8 plans and the good news is they are pretty competitive. Plans start at $40 like with most other handset plans and work their way up to $100. As usual you can expect the phone repayment to get cheaper if you buy a more expensive plan.
- The $40 plan attracts a $40 phone repayment, and if you spend $100 on your plan your phone repayment is only $10, for example.
- As expected with Virgin Mobile you get extra perks to send you on your way, like data rollover, data-free music streaming and Velocity Points.
You also get data gifting, meaning if your friend is low on data you can elect to send them some of yours – pay it forward!
Telstra Note 8 Plans
Telstra has recently rejigged its phone plans to offer more competitive options with a lot more packed in. Plans start at about $60, bringing the total cost of a bundled Note 8 plan to cost about $80 a month. Keep in mind that the cheapest plans are usually ‘lease’ plans, meaning you have to hand your phone back at the end of your contract.
- Other plans cost in excess of $100 a month, but for this amount you get plenty in return.
Expect unlimited Telstra Air data, Foxtel inclusions, Apple Music memberships and so on. Lease plans are labelled ‘Swap Plans’, and you can see the difference between lease and ‘keep’ phone plans below:
Woolworths Mobile Note 8 Plans
Humble Woolies has also come to the game with some competitive Note 8 plans. Woolworths has once again gone the way of Vodafone and offers variable contract plans, with 24 or 36 month terms.
- Plans start at just under $72 a month, while 24 month plans start at about $92 a month.
As usual with Woolworths plans, bonuses are minimal, but customers can receive Woolworths Rewards Points, international texts and so on. The next time you’re in the local Woolies, it may pay to look at upgrading your phone.
Is a bundled Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8 plan good value?
On a bundled plan you save having to pay for the upfront cost of the Galaxy S8 or Note 8, which saves you paying over $1,000. However, what you may find is that the total cost over 24 months for a bundled plan costs more than if you bought the phone outright and found your own mobile plan. While this requires a bit more running around on your behalf, you may find yourself saving a few bucks long-term.
Overall it’s important to look at the 24 month total cost of plan + phone and consider the fact that you can probably get a SIM Only postpaid plan with a smaller MVNO for much cheaper. Take, for example, some cheap unlimited providers such as Jeenee Mobile, Amaysim and Moose Mobile.
- All three are MVNOs operating off the Optus network and start at under $15 for the month, which is generally half the price of equivalent plans found with the ‘Big 4’ and Woolworths.
While the upfront cost of the fancy new smartphone may be prohibitive, it could actually be cheaper in the long run to purchase the handset outright and use your own mobile phone plan. There is a large range of MVNOs out there that pack a lot in for relatively low prices, so if you can pay over $1,000 upfront then it could work out to be more cost effective purchasing outright. Nevertheless, it pays to shop round, and it may be more convenient to go with bigger telcos that likely offer more accessible customer service, as well as extra perks, not to mention brick-and-mortar shopfronts.