How do Australian HTCU11 plans compare?
You can now order an HTC U11 on contract through Virgin Mobile and Optus, but whose plan pricing is the most tempting?
The HTC U11 genuinely surprised us when we reviewed it recently, mostly because HTC's own-branded handsets have, in recent times been decent without being spectacular. Excluding the HTC-produced Google Pixel phones, it's been a long while since there was a truly stellar HTC phone. The HTC U11 isn't perfect -- no phone is -- but it does offer a great premium phone experience at a lower outright price point than many flagship phones.
What if you can't afford to or don't want to buy the HTC U11 outright? Then you'll need a carrier contract plan. At launch, Optus and Virgin Mobile are offering the HTC U11 on 24 month contracts, with Telstra due to follow on 4 July 2017.
Optus will offer the black and silver variants of the HTC U11, while Virgin Mobile will offer only the black version. Telstra too will only range the black HTC U11, with no sign in Australia of the more ostentatious red, blue or white finishes.
So how do the plans compare?
Virgin Mobile's $30 plan is usually the cheapest way to score most handsets, with the notable caveat that it only includes 500MB of data, but parent Optus is actually outdoing it with its $40 plan. That's because Virgin Mobile charges a $30 per month handset repayment, meaning you pay a total minimum of $60 per month on Virgin Mobile's lowest cost tier. Optus' lowest cost tier only charges $19 per month for the handset for a total of $59 per month. What's more, you also get 1GB of data and unlimited standard national calls and texts on that plan, compared to 500MB and $300 of call credit on the lowest cost Virgin tier.
Virgin Mobile still has a sweet spot for just a few more dollars, however. Its $40 plan drops the handset repayment cost to $25, for a total minimum of $65 per month with unlimited standard national calls and texts, $50 of international call credit and 2GB of data
As is usually the case, if you want the absolute cheapest HTC U11 on a contract, you'd be looking at Virgin Mobile's $30 plan, which includes the handset with monthly payments of $30. Optus' next highest tier jumps to $77, although that does up the ante in data terms with 3.5GB of included data.
If you're after an HTC U11 with no handset repayments, the lowest cost Virgin Mobile tier that doesn't charge extra for the handset is the $80 plan, which comes with unlimited standard national calls and texts, $300 worth of international call credit and 11GB of data. On the Optus side of the fence, that's an $85 plan with unlimited standard national calls and texts, up to 300 international call minutes and 10GB of data, as well as an Optus Sport subscription.