Compare the best Blue Tick Telstra phones for the bush

outback

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.

Be sure to use the filters to look for the best plan for your needs.

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.

Samsung Galaxy S9 & S9+

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.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Galaxy Note 8

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Unless you're desperate for a stylus, the price premium over the last year's Galaxy S8 held it back though it has been superceded by this year's Galaxy S9.


Apple iPhone 8

SPECS: Screen: 4.7in | Storage: 64/256GB | Weight: 148g | Processor: Apple A11 Bionic | Rear cam: 12MP | Front cam: 7MP | Battery: 1,821mAh | Screen res: 1,334 x 750
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.


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Samsung Galaxy S7

CP-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

S7EdgeRoseGold_450
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.

Compare Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge plans.


Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsungs5
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

iphone6s-select-2015If 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

TelstraTMax
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

telstrasigen
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.


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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
Screen size 4.7in 5.1in 5.5in 5.2in 5.1in 4.7in 4.93in 2.4in
Storage 16/64/128GB 32/64GB 32/64GB 32GB 16GB 16GB 16GB 4GB
Weight 143g 152g 157g 157g 145g 163g 120g 110g
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
Rear camera 12MP 12MP 12MP 16MP 16MP 13MP 13MP 2MP
Front camera 5MP 5MP 5MP 16MP 2MP 5MP 8MP 0.3MP
Battery 1715mAh 3000mAh 3600mAh 3000mAh 2800mAh 2500mAh 2300mAh 1000mAh
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
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Image: Shutterstock

Alex Kidman

Alex Kidman is a multi-award-winning consumer technology journalist and the Tech & Telco Editor at finder.com.au. He's been writing about consumer technology topics for more than two decades, and enjoys breaking down complex topics into their component parts. He has written for just about every major Australian technology publication, and is a former editor of Gizmodo Australia, PC Mag Australia, and CNET.com.au.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JohnNovember 12, 2018

    I have 2 Samsung A5 phones. Both are not able to maintain a Bluetooth connection in my 2018 Ford Ranger Wildtrak and 2017 Ford Everest. They randomly keep connecting and randomly the car will display Unable to maintain a stable connection. Any Ideas?

    • finder Customer Care
      JohnNovember 13, 2018Staff

      Hi John,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      If your car bluetooth system is on a Ford sync 3, please follow the instructions below:

      Start your Ford vehicle and make sure your phone is turned on.
      Enable and turn on your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
      On the bottom of your SYNC 3 display screen, press Settings.
      Choose Bluetooth, then Add a Bluetooth Device.
      Turn back to your phone’s Bluetooth settings. Your phone should scan for Bluetooth devices.
      Your Ford’s SYNC 3 system should show up in the list of devices. Select it.
      Both the vehicle display screen and your phone should display a PIN. Ensure they match and accept the pairing on both.
      A screen may pop up on the SYNC 3 system asking if you want to “Set as Favorite Phone” and/or “Auto-Download” contacts. You can either accept or deny.
      Press Finish to complete the pairing process.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  2. Default Gravatar
    CollyMarch 25, 2018

    Does the Samsung J5 Pro mobile phone have Telstra’s blue tick for remote service?

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Colly!

      Thanks for your questions and for contacting finder.

      The Samsung J5 Pro is not included in the mobile phones with Blue Tick.

      To read more information, you can look here.

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,

      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    RobbieFebruary 20, 2018

    I purchased a second hand Samsung S7 Edge, purely for the Blue Tick certification, for use in a low signal area. It is actually worse than my old phone, which is a Huawei P8 Lite (that, as far as I know, doesn’t have the Blue Tick). The S7 Edge has great software and is a beautiful phone, but I really can’t recommend it for remote areas.

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMarch 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Robbie, thanks for your insight on the Samsung S7 Edge.

      We have forwarded this to our content team for consideration.

      Best,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    MarkOctober 18, 2017

    Any HTC prepaid phones with blue tick or any other phones

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleOctober 19, 2017

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      On the table, click on modify results—>choose your phone. From there you can select the phone and see if there will be offers populated on the table for that phone.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

  5. Default Gravatar
    leslieSeptember 19, 2017

    Will Apple 8 have a blue tick, so it can get a signal in the bush?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 19, 2017

      Hello Leslie,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Wonderful news is yes! :)

      You can check the Telstra plans offered on this handset through this page.

      Should you need a brief comparison about the recently launched iPhone handsets, you can read this guide as a reference.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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