Inexpensive mobile phones and plans in Australia

With the ever growing need for supplying phones to our family members (including our kids), finding the best option for mobile phone plans that work but don't break the bank is difficult.

After much trial and error, I believe these are the best choices for phone plans and phones in Australia for most people:

Mobile Plan

Boost Mobile (Pre-Paid)

Boost is the "budget" pre-paid company that is owned and run by Telstra. It uses the Telstra 3G network (giving it some of the best coverage available) and is easy to manage. They have also just enabled auto-recharge (visit their Care Site from your mobile using Boost)

The best all around plan is the $40 per month. This gives you:

  • Unlimited calls to any mobile network day or night, as well as local & STD.
  • Unlimited SMS to any mobile network
  • 2GB of data

Phone - the curse of the contract...

Most people would normally gravitate to getting the latest iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or HTC phone on contract. It is time to break this addiction - you are paying more. Buy your phone outright. You won't regret it.

If your phone becomes spare after you upgrade to the latest and greatest, give that to your child (making sure it is network unlocked first, and supports Telstra's 3G frequencies).

So which phone?

Instead of the iPhone, Samsung or HTC, I would recommend you look at the excellent range of Motorola handsets; which are feature rich, easy to use and extremely cost effective.

The Moto G is an amazing budget phone without feeling budget, and the user experience is on par with the best of them, and it's size isn't much bigger than an iPhone 5S while giving you a larger more vibrant screen. It's currently $243 outright at JB HiFi.

If that is still too expensive for you, the Moto E is also available. You lose the front "selfie camera" but it is still a premium phone at the current budget price of $177 at JB HiFi.

For a flagship device, Motorola have just launched the 2014 Moto X, which looks amazing.

The previous Moto X was a fantastic phone, and can still be found for less than $400 in some JB HiFi stores. It's the first phone I've personally held onto for longer than 12 months, and if you know me that's saying something (I'm phone fickle).

Whatever you do - run the numbers. Phone contracts that include a new phone rarely work out in your favour - I know friends who on an $80 per month plan, hit over $600 in bill shock over a 3 month window. They could have bought the phone outright with the savings if they had instead gone with Boost Mobile.

But I call Internationally a lot, or Travel Overseas

If you call internationally a lot, or travel overseas and need to keep your phone roaming, Boost may not be for you - that is unless you can get your overseas relatives using Facetime, Skype, Viber etc. for your international calls. This uses data (either WiFi, or part of your 2GB per month).

If travelling overseas, the best option is to not use your number at all. Setup a voicemail message redirecting people to call the number of an international SIM.

You may not realise this; but with an unlocked phone you can buy a local SIM for the country you are visiting via a site like travelgear.com.au - they'll even ship it to you before you leave so you know the number before you get on the plane.

Hope this helps. Enjoy!

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