Get a new phone each year with Telstra’s New Phone Feeling

The Telstra New Phone Feeling allows you to swap out your handset annually, but be aware of the catches involved.

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    Telstra has offered the New Phone Feeling package since 2014, with the alluring promise of a new phone after only twelve months on a 24-month contract or after 24 months on a 36-month contract.

    Don’t like the phone you signed up for, or tempted by a better model that’s emerged since you signed on the bottom line? No problem – or at least that’s the theory.

    Before you sign up, it’s worth knowing the full details of how the service works.

    How much does the Telstra New Phone Feeling cost?

    When it originally launched New Phone Feeling, Telstra charged $10 per month to add the service to its mobile plans. Now, Telstra's New Phone Feeling is included automatically on all 24-month and 36-month contract plans at no extra cost.

    If you choose to take up Telstra’s New Phone Feeling offer, you'll need to pay a one-off charge of $149 in exchange for your new phone. You'll also need to sign up for a fresh 24-month or 36-month contract.

    What happens to my existing phone on a Telstra contract?

    The other part of redeeming against the New Phone Feeling offer is that you have to hand back your original handset in "working order". Telstra defines "working order" as a device that:

    • Turns on and off
    • Is not IMEI blocked
    • Has a fully functioning battery
    • Does not have any missing, disassembled, customised or non-original parts
    • Has all activation and device locking features disabled (eg. Find My iPhone on iOS 7 devices)
    • Functions normally (for example, it is capable of making and receiving calls and connecting to the internet and any touchscreen functions as intended)
    • Is free from physical damage except normal wear and tear (for example, it does not have liquid damage, a cracked or discoloured screen or casing, connector damage, or a faulty or broken SIM reader)

    What if my phone has been replaced under warranty?

    Telstra will accept phones replaced under an insurance policy (its own or others) or under warranty as being the same thing as your original phone for the purposes of the New Phone Feeling offer.

    What if my phone has been lost?

    Telstra will allow customers to use the New Phone Feeling offer without you handing in the original handset, but in that case you’ll need to pay off the entire handset cost of the device remaining under contract before doing so.

    What happens to my contract if I switch?

    New Phone Feeling works by effectively "cancelling" your existing contract. After paying the $149 fee, you need to sign up for a new 24-month or 36-month handset contract. This new contract comes with its own New Phone Feeling service, so you'll be able to upgrade again in the final 12 months of your new contract.

    In effect, taking advantage of New Phone Feeling means committing to an extra 12 or 24 months on top of your original contract.

    Is the Telstra New Phone Feeling worth it?

    As always, that’s dependent upon your circumstances, but there are some situations under which it could be very appealing. If you find the handset you’ve signed up for unsuitable for your purposes, whether you don’t like the size or the camera or storage or any other factor, switching out to a phone that more closely matches your needs could well make good sense.

    Equally, because you’re signing up for a completely new contract when you take up the New Phone Feeling offer, you can also reassess your actual usage over the year. If you’re not using all the inclusions on your plan, notably data, you can opt to switch down to a lower cost plan. You will most likely pay more in handset costs that way, so it’s a delicate balance. Equally, if you constantly run out of data and end up buying lots of $10/GB extra data blocks, jumping up plans might make good financial sense.

    If you're interested in Telstra's New Phone Feeling program, you'll want to check out our comparison of Telstra's mobile contract plans to find the one that fits your needs and budget.

    Do any other Telcos offer similar services?

    Optus has a fundamentally identical scheme, launched in 2016 which it calls "New Phone Trade Up" with much the same 12-month phone-swap feature built in.


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