5G is here. Yes, the coverage footprint is currently very limited, you can still experience the faster speeds on offer if you have the right handset and access to Telstra’s network.
So, what’s the cheapest way to get onto the 5G bandwagon? Let’s look at the available options.
Where can you get 5G coverage?
The rollout of 5G is progressing but coverage is still limited to small pockets around major cities including most state capitals, the Gold Coast, Launceston and Toowoomba.
Telstra regularly updates its 5G coverage maps. You can get an indication of where 5G will roll out next at the aforementioned link.
The number of 5G handsets on offer at the moment is quite limited. The LG V50 ThinQ 5G was released most recently and has an RRP of $1728.
There’s the Samsung Galaxy 5G with a sticker price of around $1900 and the Oppo Reno 5G is priced at $1499.
So, the clear winner on price – if you’re looking to purchase a handset outright, at least – is the Oppo Reno 5G. Based on initial tests, it was also the fastest. And it comes with a set of Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones that have an RRP of $499.95 if you pre-order.
On the other hand, the dual-screened LG V50 ThinQ 5G may be appealing to many potential buyers who like the idea of having a pair of displays. And the Galaxy S10 5G is the only one of the three to get Telstra’s Blue Tick.
But what about the plans?
Telstra has locked up exclusive rights to all the current 5G handsets on the market and offers a bunch of different plans. Unsurprisingly, the Oppo Reno 5G is the least expensive, starting at under $100 a month with 50GB of data and unlimited talk on a two year contract.
LG’s option comes in at $135 a month with Samsung costing another $5 a month on top. They also have the same data and call allowances.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G 256GB plans
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G 512GB plans
Oppo Reno 5G plans
LG V50 ThinQ 5G plans
So what the cheapest way to experience Telstra’s 5G network?
The clear winner on price is the Oppo Reno 5G. By contrast, the Samsung phone will set you back an extra $40 a month. Given that over most of the two-year contract, you’ll be on 4G in any case, it’s tough to argue that the extra dollars are worth it even if the Samsung was faster. (Which is apparently isn’t.)
My only caveat on that is that the LG V50 ThinQ 5G could be a great handset for power users given it’s dual display set up.