Anticipation is high for Samsung’s upcoming flagship duo. The Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge have gone on pre-sale and will be in stores on 10 April. Australia’s four largest carriers have announced pricing and are bundling video-on-demand services of all sorts with generous 'bonus data' allowances.
This feature will serve as a cheat sheet to the plans on offer from Vodafone, Optus, Virgin and Telstra. It studies both the Hero plans and the cheapest plans being championed by all four telcos. We crunch the numbers on handset instalments, charges for excess data usage and list what bonuses are on offer.
Our comparisons focus on the 32GB variants of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge over 24 month contracts. Pricing tends to fluctuate by $5-$10 for the 64GB version, and another $5-$10 for the 128GB version.
Be sure to check network coverage before committing to any carrier. A great deal will be wasted if the coverage at your home and work is sub-par.
And double check all offers before committing to any carrier. Pricing and offers constantly change. Feel free to post updates in the 'comments' section below.
Read more: Families can pool data with Optus' aggressively priced smartphone plans
Telstra is championing its Large plan, which will cost $95 per month with a Galaxy S6 and $99 per month for the S6 Edge.
The plan comes with:
• $950 of national calls and MMS
• Unlimited texts
• 5GB of data — this is a limited time offer with no end date set yet. The allowance will revert back to 2.5GB
• And the choice of either $1000 extra credit to be used on national calls and MMS messages, or an additional 1GB of data per month.
What happens if I go over my data allowance? Every megabyte in excess of your data allowance is charged at 3 cents, which works out to cost $30.75 for every additional gigabyte.
Telstra is in the middle of revising these charges and, as of 12 May, its customers can choose to be charged $10 for every additional gigabyte.
Bonuses: Bundled is a six month subscription to the video on demand service Presto. Note that using Presto will come out of your data allowance and, if you go over the allowance, you will incur additional charges.
The red telco is waging its $80 Red plan, with the Galaxy S6 costing an additional $3, and its Edge variant costing an additional $8. This pushes the monthly totals up to $83 and $88 respectively.
Vodafone is throwing in an extra 2 gigabytes of data on its $80 Red plan, pushing the total to 6GB per month, though the offer ends on 5 May, 2015
Inclusions in the $80 Red plan are:
• Infinite national calls, SMS and MMS
• 6GB of data — though it reverts to 4GB after 5 May
• 300 minutes to be used on calls to overseas countries
How much does extra data cost? Vodafone charges $10 extra for every gigabyte of data over your allowance. This works out to cost one cent ($0.01) for every megabyte you go over.
Read more: How do Globalgig’s mobile broadband plans compare against Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone roaming plans?
• The carrier is offering another 1GB of extra data on all Red plans if you order online. Do this before the 5 May and you can have a monthly data allowance of 7GB.
• 12 month free Spotify Premium access or smh.com.au access. Using these services will come out of your data allowance and can result in excess charges.
Optus’ hero pricing of the Galaxy S6 is arguably the most aggressive as the carrier is not charging a handset repayment on its $80 My Plan Plus. Keen S6 Edge owners will have to pay a $5 instalment pushing their monthly total up to $85.
The plan proves exceptionally competitive because it comes with 6GB of data, though this offer ends ahead of the smartphones in-store launch on 6 April, 2015. The data allowance thereafter reverts to 3GB.
• Unlimited national calls, SMS and MMS
• 6GB of data — though it reverts to 3GB after 6 April
• 300 minutes to be used on calls to select overseas countries
How much does extra data cost? Optus charges $10 extra for every gigabyte of data over your allowance. This works out to cost one cent ($0.01) for every megabyte you go over.
Bonuses: Sign up to Optus’ $60 My Plan Plus and above and Optus will bundle six months of free access to Netflix. Using Netflix comes out of your data allowance, and if you’re not careful, the data intensive service will result in extra data charges.
Boasting noteworthy value-for-money is Virgin's $80 plan. There’s no handset repayment for the S6 on this plan, though the S6 Edge is an extra $5 per month.
Plan inclusions are:
• Unlimited standard national calls and text
• $300 of international calls and text
• 4GB of data
How much does extra data cost? Virgin’s excess data charges are outrageous compared to its rivals. The telco charges five cents ($0.052) per megabyte, which works out to be $53.25 per gigabyte.
Bonuses: Separating Virgin from the big three Australian telcos is its data rollover policy. Any data you don’t use will be added to your data allowance in the coming month. This is a first in the Australian telco market and it ensures the data you’re paying for gets used.
Check out the cheapest plans on the next page