Circles.Life’s new Samsung Galaxy S21 phone plans: How do they compare?

Posted: 25 May 2021 4:39 pm
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You'll get a Samsung Galaxy S21 phone for cheaper, but be prepared to sign up for a brand new credit card to get it.

Circles.Life is a retailer of top-of-the-line handsets, including the newer Samsung Galaxy S21.

Normally, brand new high-end phones are purchased on plans from bigger telcos like Optus, Telstra or Vodafone. But the tides are changing and smaller providers like Circles.Life and Woolworths Mobile are now offering cheaper deals. You can purchase the S21 (plus cheaper models like the A12 and A32) upfront or by instalments with a Circles.Life mobile plan.

However, buying an S21 from Circles.Life on a repayment plan comes with a catch. You'll be required to create a Latitude Interest Free account, which is basically a new credit card with conditions, fees and interest of its own.

How does it work?

To get a new Samsung phone with Circles.Life, you'll need to pick a model and either choose a plan with a repayment period (between 12 and 36 months) or buy it outright and get a mobile plan separately.

The break down of your total monthly bill on a repayment plan will consist of the following:

  • Plan costs: The regular monthly cost of a Circles.Life phone plan
  • Handset instalments: The regular retail price of your handset, divided into equal instalments over your repayment period

If you cancel your Circles.Life plan before the repayment period is over, you'll still be required to make monthly instalments via your Latitude card until the handset is paid in full.

All four Latitude Interest Free cards Circles.Life accepts are credit cards, with fees and terms of use.

For example, the Latitude Gem Visa card has a $99 annual handling fee, while the CreditLine card has a $25 establishment fee and a $6.95 monthly handling fee.

Please review your financial situation before signing up for a Latitude card.

How do Circles.Life's Samsung Galaxy S21 plans compare?

Circles.Life burst into the mobile plan scene last year with its 100GB plan, even winning the 2020 Finder Awards for the Best Postpaid SIM. It's still one of the best-value mobile plans on the market, regularly topping our picks for the best mobile plans of the month.

As an example, we've compared getting the 128GB S21 from Circles.Life on a plan with buying it outright. We've placed both beside Vodafone, which is currently the only major provider with a 100GB mobile plan.

The costs below include a 20% discount on the first year of your plan with Circles.Life, which is its current promotional offer.

Circles.Life (outright)Circles.Life (36 month contract)Vodafone (36 month contract)
Mobile planN/A100GB Monthly planSIM-only Super plan
Monthly dataN/A100GB100GB (60GB regular data + 40GB bonus)
Plan costN/A$30/month (first 12 months) + $38/month (next 24 months) = $1,272$45/month (over 36 months) = $1,620
Handset cost$1,249$34.69/month (over 36 months) = $1,249$34.69/month (over 36 months) = $1,249
Total cost over 36 months$1,249 (handset)$1,272 (plan) + $1,249 (handset) = $2,521$1,620 (plan) + $1,249 (handset) = $2,869
Other feesNoneLatitude card fees (e.g. $99 yearly fee on Gem Visa card)None

As you can see, the handset costs exactly the same amount no matter how you buy it. All that changes are the plan fees.

Because Circles.Life has a cheaper monthly plan fee than Vodafone for a similar amount of data, you'll save around $350 over 36 months based on that difference alone.

However, Vodafone doesn't require you to get a new credit card. If you get a Latitude Gem Visa for this promotion, you'll pay at least an extra $300 over the 3 years in fees, erasing the savings.

If you want to avoid a tricky new credit card and get the Galaxy outright, there's no compelling reason to buy it from Circles.Life over your local tech store. It'll cost the same either way.

Does Circles.Life offer 5G?

While Circles.Life does sell the 5G-capable version of the Samsung Galaxy S21, you can't actually get 5G on a Circles.Life plan at the moment.

It may be available in the future, though, since Optus has already opened its 5G network to smaller providers under its umbrella, such as SpinTel and Aussie Broadband. Circles.Life is also on the Optus network.

Whatever the case, compare your options carefully to decide if picking up a handset on a plan from Circles.Life makes sense for you.

Compare Circles.Life's Samsung plans below

Looking for a new mobile phone plan? Whether you're after an iPhone 12, a Samsung S21 or just a SIM-only plan, you can compare hundreds of plans in one place with Finder.

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