Best phones on Telstra in 2021

Our expert team tested hundreds of phones to find the top 10 phones you can buy on the Telstra network.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

The best Telstra phones in Australia, ranked

  1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  2. Apple iPhone 12
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
  4. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  6. Google Pixel 4a 5G
  7. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  9. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  10. Oppo Find X3 Pro

How did we pick this list?

Finder's team of experts have tested and reviewed every single phone featured in this guide to come up with our list of the best smartphones. For each phone, we assess and test the design, cameras, performance, battery life, and overall value for money.

Our editorial team selected the phones on this list based on their overall quality and value compared to other phones on the market.

Read more detail on our methodology below.


1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
6.8-inch display | 128GB, 256GB, 512GB storage options | 12MP + 108MP + 10MP rear camera
  • Flexible and capable cameras
  • Good battery life
  • S-Pen isn't standard
  • Australia gets the weaker Exynos model (again)
RRP From $1,849

Why we chose it

Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G combines the best of everything that Samsung can do, from its exceptional cameras, fast processor, S-Pen stylus support along with a genuinely refined design.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review.


    2. Apple iPhone 12

    Apple iPhone 12
    6.1-inch display | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP rear camera
    • Camera gives better low-light shots
    • Apple A14 Bionic runs ludicrously fast
    • Dual cameras on a flagship is a little odd
    • No charger or headphones included
    RRP From $1,349

    Why we chose it

    Apple has truly been dominating in the smartphone power stakes of late, but we reckon the best model to buy is the iPhone 12, because it includes the power of Apple's mighty A14 Bionic processor, tough ceramic shield glass and 5G at a more affordable plan price than the Pro series 12 handsets.

    Read our full Apple iPhone 12 review.


      3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

      Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
      6.5-inch display | 128GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 8MP rear camera
      • Great app performance
      • Good low light camera
      • Battery life could be better
      • 5G model carries a stiff price premium
      RRP From $999

      Why we chose it

      Samsung rewrote the rules when it made the Galaxy S20 FE, because it's a premium phone at a price well below other flagship devices, which means that you save serious money without taking on serious compromises in performance, camera or battery life.

      Read our full Galaxy S20 FE review.


        4. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

        Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
        6.7-inch display | 128GB, 256GB, 512GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera
        • Best cameras in any iPhone to date
        • A14 processor is very powerful
        • Very expensive
        • Heavy and large
        RRP From $1,849

        Why we chose it

        If you want the best phone Apple makes and can wear the asking price, there's none better than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, from its A14 Bionic processor to its incredibly capable camera which makes taking pro-grade photos astonishingly easy.

        Read our full Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review.


          5. Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G

          Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G
          6.7-inch display | 128GB, 256GB storage options | 64MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera
          • Great camera
          • S-Pen continues to impress
          • Battery life could be better
          • Space Zoom is still a gimmick
          RRP From $1,499

          Why we chose it

          Fans of Samsung's productivity-focused Note phones are well served by the Galaxy Note 20. Not only do you get the use of the S-Pen stylus with its own storage space in the phone's body, but you also get great 5G network performance on the Telstra network and highly capable cameras with extensive zoom capabilities, at a more affordable plan price than the Note 20 Ultra 5G.

          Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review.


            6. Google Pixel 4a 5G

            Google Pixel 4a 5G
            6.24-inch display | 128GB storage options | 12.2MP + 16MP rear camera
            • 5G compatibility
            • Larger display than any other 2020 Pixel
            • 5G is only sub-6 in Australia
            • Design still feels plain
            RRP $799

            Why we chose it

            Google's Pixel phones used to command premium price points, but it's more recently flexed towards affordable slick devices with guaranteed updates and smart AI-driven cameras. The Pixel 5 is technically the flagship of the line, but the Pixel 4a 5G is the smarter buy thanks to its larger screen and better battery life.

            Read our full Pixel 4a 5G review.


              7. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

              Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
              6.9-inch display | 256GB, 512GB storage options | 12MP + 108MP + 12MP rear camera
              • Camera is fast and accurate
              • S-Pen is a great productivity tool
              • Battery life at 120Hz is sub-par
              • 50x Space Zoom delivers awful pictures
              RRP From $1,999

              Why we chose it

              Samsung's greatest Note phone to date, the Note 20 Ultra 5G provides a lot of phones for your money. That includes an exceptional 6.9 inch 120Hz capable screen, great cameras for low light shooting, and naturally enough, S-Pen support for stylus work and artistic endeavors.

              Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review.


                8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

                Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
                7.6-inch display | 256GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP + 12MP rear camera
                • Front display is much larger now
                • Cameras give pleasing results
                • Expensive
                • No storage expansion
                RRP From $2,999

                Why we chose it

                There's no doubting that a foldable phone is an absolute luxury buy right now, but picking one up on a Telstra plan makes it easier to afford Samsung's exceptional Galaxy Z Fold 2. Naturally, you get great performance and quality cameras to use, but the real appeal here is having a phone in your pocket that expands out into a totally workable Android tablet whenever you need it.

                Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review.


                  9. Apple iPhone 12 mini

                  Apple iPhone 12 mini
                  5.4-inch display | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB storage options | 12MP + 12MP rear camera
                  • Compact size
                  • Same cameras as the iPhone 12
                  • Mediocre battery life
                  • Small display screen for the price
                  RRP From $1,199

                  Why we chose it

                  Not everyone who wants a great phone wants a great big phone. That's where the Apple iPhone 12 Mini comes in. As the name suggests, it's an iPhone 12, only smaller. That does have an effect on the battery life, but you're otherwise facing very few compromises in Apple's smallest and most affordable premium iPhone handset.

                  Read our full Apple iPhone 12 Mini review.


                    10. Oppo Find X3 Pro 5G

                    Oppo Find X3 Pro 5G
                    6.7-inch display | 256GB storage options | 50MP + 50MP + 13MP rear camera
                    • Microscope lens is genuinely new
                    • Great display screen
                    • Lesser zoom than the Find X2 Pro
                    • Uneven battery performance
                    RRP From $1,199

                    Why we chose it

                    Oppo's not afraid to try something different, and for its flagship early 2021 handset, that's with the Find X3 Pro and its microscope camera. Yes, you read that right; alongside standard zoom and ultrawide lenses, the Find X3 Pro lets you see the world in an entirely new way, up really close and personal.

                    Read our full Oppo Find X3 Pro review.


                      Methodology

                      150+
                      Mobile phones reviewed
                      10,000+
                      Hours spent testing
                      10
                      Best Telstra phones ranked
                      • We've spent thousands of hours testing and reviewing mobile phones.
                      • Our editorial team has a combined 60+ years of experience writing about tech and reviewing the latest devices.
                      • The phones on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not based on commercial relationships.

                      More guides on Finder

                      Ask an Expert

                      You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

                      • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
                      • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
                      • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
                      • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

                      Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
                      Go to site