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.
All below phones on a plan are Telstra Blue Tick certified.
Best Blue Tick phone breakdown
At finder.com.au we review all the biggest phones launched in Australia to compare their features and capabilities. We think the best phone you can buy on the market right now is the Samsung Galaxy S9+, based on our comprehensive reviewing process.
SPECS: Screen: 6.2in | Storage: 64GB/256GB | Weight: 189g | Processor: Exynos 9810 | Rear cam: Dual 12MP (f/1.2 & f/2.4) | Front cam: 12MP | Battery: 3,500mAh | Screen res: 2,960 × 1,440
Last year's Galaxy S8 was a solid phone in its own right, but devices from Apple and Google managed to out-perform it to claim the top spot in this list. But Samsung has struck back in a big way, with an absolute smartphone with an incredible camera and battery life.
SPECS: Screen: 6.3in | Storage: 64GB | Weight: 195g | Processor: Octo-Core Exynos 8995 | Rear cam: Dual 12MP | Front cam: 8MP | Battery: 3,300mAh | Screen res: 2,960 x 1,440
After the explosive disaster of the Galaxy Note 7, some were surprised that Samsung kept the Note brand alive. Fortunately it did, because the Note 8 is a fantastic device with plenty of power and impressive battery life (and no explosions). Unless you're desperate for a stylus, the price premium over the last year's Galaxy S8 held it back though it has been superceded by this year's Galaxy S9.
The performance and battery efficiency of the iPhone 8 was a bit of a surprise, but it is a testament to Apple's engineering team in their ability to manage such solid performance despite shrinking the battery capacity of last year's models. The fact that the 8 doesn't have the same dual-camera and portrait functionality as the 8 Plus sees it slide down to the bottom half of the top 10, but it's still an impressive device for iOS users.
Back to top
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Back to top
Full list of Telstra Blue Tick phones
- Alcatel Pixi Vibe
- Alcatel Quatro 4.5
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 8
- HTC Desire 510
- HTC Desire 530
- Huawei Y5
- Telstra Signature 2
- Samsung Galaxy A5
- Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
- Samsung Galaxy J1 & J1 Mini
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8+
- Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+
- Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Telstra Tough Max 2
- Telstra Flip 2
What is the Telstra Blue Tick certification process?
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.
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 A5||Samsung Galaxy S5||Telstra Tough Max||Telstra Signature Enhanced||Telstra Flip 2|
|Processor||Apple A9||Octa Core (2.3Ghz Quad+1.6Ghz Quad)||Octa Core (2.3Ghz Quad+1.6Ghz Quad)||Octa Core Exynos 7880||Quad Core Snapdragon 801||1.2GHz Quad-Core||1.2.GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 410||1.1GHz Quad Core Qualcomm MSM8909|
|Resolution||1334 x 750||2560 X 1440||2560 X 1440||1080 x 1920||1080x1920||1280x720||1280x720||240 x 320|
|Display density||326ppi||577ppi||534ppi||424ppi||432ppi||312ppi||297ppi||Not stated|
Latest Telstra news
The service uses small wireless tags and the Internet of Things to keep track of your most important possessions, wherever they might be. Read more…
5G promises vastly increased speed and reliability, and it will be in Australia from 2019. Read more…
Hurry to score up to $120 off a 12-month SIM-only plan through Telstra. Read more…
The Telstra Superior isn't really superior to all that many phones, but at its price point, it does offer superior value. Read more…
The Telstra Essentials Plus covers the essentials and not much more, but at its asking price it's undeniably good value. Read more…
You can now pre-order the less-expensive iPhone XR on a 24-month contract through Telstra. Read more…