If you’re after a phone on the Telstra network for using in Australia’s more remote territories, what you need is a Blue Tick certified device.
Telstra’s Blue Tick signifies that the telco has tested a given device thoroughly for service in remote rural areas. This is performed as both a lab test under controlled conditions and in actual rural areas on the Telstra network to ensure that what happens in the lab also happens in the real world. The practical upshot of this are phones that should be able to provide you with phone service even on the very fringes of the phone network itself.
If you’re curious about how Telstra checks phones to see if they’re Blue Tick suitable, you can watch this video which runs through the scientific testing process:
If you’re an old school phone user you might think that a Blue Tick phone would have to be one with an ugly stubby antennae or similar, but the reality is that a lot of current mobile phones, including an increasing number of high-end premium phones are available with Blue Tick certification. That means you’ve got a choice of styles, prices and features to consider when choosing a Blue Tick certified phone.
It's worth noting that phones that don't have a Blue Tick certification may still work in remote locations, so devices like the iPhone 7 or the Google Pixel XL might still be worth considering. However, if you want peace of mind with your purchase, Telstra's certification is designed to ensure best in class connectivity.
At the time of writing, Telstra’s Blue Tick phone range covers the following phones:
Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung’s Galaxy S7 smartphone offers premium performance, Samsung’s own applications including Samsung Pay for contactless payments and Blue Tick certification for the best possible reception in rural areas. It’s also waterproof to better handle Australia’s more rugged terrain.
Compare Samsung Galaxy S7 plans.
Apple iPhone 6s
If you’re an iPhone fan of old, just because you’re in a regional area doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Apple’s iPhone 6s has passed Blue Tick certification. The iPhone 6s is a slender and stylish phone running Apple’s iOS operating system, including compatibility with the contactless Apple Pay system.
Compare Apple iPhone 6s plans.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Galaxy S7’s bigger cousin, the S7 Edge features a powerful internal processor, expandable storage via microSD and a clever curved edge screen giving quick access to contacts and heavily used applications. Its battery life is excellent too, which alongside Blue Tick certification makes it a good match for users taking long rural road trips.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung’s Note series is focused squarely on the productivity focused mobile user with its unique S-Pen stylus that lets you jot down notes or capture screen images in a jiffy. It’s also a larger mobile, which means that battery life is excellent, making it a good option again for rural users who want a Blue Tick certified phone that will last the distance.
Compare Samsung Galaxy Note 5 plans.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 was once the crown jewel of its premium phone line, but while it’s an older phone, that premium status means that it’s available at a lower cost while still offering a very solid smartphone experience. Like the S7 and S7 Edge it’s waterproof and can take expandable memory, but its relative age means that it’s a great budget-centric option.
Compare Samsung Galaxy S5 plans.
Telstra Tough Max
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a Telstra-branded phone would pass Blue Tick certification, and the Tough Max certainly does. As the name suggests, the core selling point of this phone is that it’s a rugged device built with IP67 resistance for dust and water ingress. That doesn’t mean that tough is all it does, as it also offers a decent camera and wireless charging to boot.
Telstra Signature Enhanced
Telstra’s mid-range self-branded phone is a rebadged LG design with a unique "second screen", a serious 2300mAh battery and a highly affordable price point for Blue Tick users who want a good phone at a reasonable asking price, even on lower end plans. It's currently the lowest cost Blue Tick-certified phone you can buy.
Blue Tick Phones: Specifications comparison
If you want to see how these devices compare from a specification perspective, we've run down the different specs below
|Blue Tick Phone Specifications||Apple iPhone 6s||Samsung Galaxy S7||Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge||Samsung Galaxy Note 5||Samsung Galaxy S5||Telstra Tough Max||Telstra Signature Enhanced|
|Processor||Apple A9||Octa Core (2.3Ghz Quad+1.6Ghz Quad)||Octa Core (2.3Ghz Quad+1.6Ghz Quad)||Octa-Core 1.5/2.1GHz Exynos||Quad Core Snapdragon 801||1.2GHz Quad-Core||1.2.GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410|
|Resolution||1334 x 750||2560 X 1440||2560 X 1440||2560 X 1440||1080x1920||1280x720||1280x720|