Optus Mobile Plans Review
Whether you’re looking for a phone plan with the latest iPhone, a SIM for your current phone or a prepaid plan, Optus is a solid choice across the spectrum.
Some might be surprised to know that Optus scores highly for data-per-dollar value. As Australia’s second-largest network provider, Optus offers most of the perks, benefits, and customer service channels that Telstra does, but at a more reasonable price.
What we like…
- Good data-per-dollar value
- Great coverage and early 5G impressions
- Optus Perks (cinema tickets)
What could be better…
- Middling customer satisfaction
- Limited bundling options
Premium postpaid, perks and prepaid.
As one of Australia most established telcos, Optus offers the full suite of mobile and broadband plans. On the mobile side, you’ll find phone plans, month-to-month SIM plans, monthly prepaid deals, and long-expiry prepaid. Optus also offers NBN, mobile broadband and 5G home broadband. You can read more about those in our Optus Broadband review.
Optus SIM plans
Bring your own phone with these Optus SIM plans.
In the world of Optus Choice plans, every plan is technically a month-to-month SIM plan. The only thing you’re obligated to pay is the handset repayments, which can be spread out over 12, 24 or 36 months, depending on how much you want to spend per month. The longer your handset commitment, the lower your monthly repayments will be. If you cancel, you simply pay out your remaining handset repayments (rather than the full contracted phone and plan price, as it used to be).
Still, there are some benchmark plans we can use to measure the overall value of the latest range. In our analysis, the $59 Optus Choice Plan came out on top for the best data-per-dollar value with 100GB per month, unlimited calls and text, 2GB of roaming data and unlimited calls and texts to 35 international countries. Second to that was the top-tier $79 Optus Choice Plan which comes with the same call inclusions and 120GB of monthly data and 4GB of roaming data.
Optus mobile phone plans
What handsets are on offer?
At the time of writing, there are 42 different handsets available through Optus (that includes storage variants of the same model). Most of those handsets are Apple or Samsung, but Optus also offers Google, Huawei, Oppo, and Motorola handsets, as well as some branded low to mid-tier handsets on prepaid.
Here are few of the most popular Optus mobile phone plans.
Optus iPhone plans
As one of the big three telcos, you can always count on Optus to be in the mix when the latest and most popular smartphones release. And while Samsung fans are typically best off going with Woolworths Mobile, Apple users can usually find a great deal on iPhone with Optus.
Here are a few of the most popular iPhone plans with Optus.
First, the most popular iPhone 12 64GB plans.
And here’s a look at the popular iPhone 12 Pro 128GB plans.
Optus Samsung Galaxy plans
As with the Apple iPhone, Samsung users can always find the latest Galaxy or Note handsets available through Optus. As we mentioned above, Woolworths Mobile is typically your go-to if Samsung is your brand of choice, but Optus Samsung plans are nothing to sniff at.
At the time of writing, the most popular Samsung handset through Optus is the 5G Galaxy S20 FE 5G 128GB. Here are the most popular plans on Optus with that handset.
And the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G 256GB is the second-most popular Samsung handset through Optus. Here’s a look at the most popular plans customers pair with that handset.
Optus prepaid plans
Optus has several prepaid plan types, but the Epic Data plans are the best for everyday use. The $40 Epic Data plan currently comes with 45GB of data for the first recharges when you sign up. After that, recharges revert to 20GB per 28 days, which is still a decent serving of data on a prepaid plan. Optus also includes a Data Rollover feature so that you can finish off leftover data during your next recharge, so long as you top up your account before the credit expires.
If you’re opting for prepaid to minimise your monthly costs, Optus prepaid plans might not be what you’re looking for. There are other, cheaper MVNOs that use the Optus 4G network. We cover this in more detail on our Best Prepaid Plans page.
What is a build-your-own phone plan?
The gist is simple, add and remove plan features to tailor your monthly cost to your specific needs. Vodafone used to do the same thing before reverting to a more straightforward plan structure.
Need more data for less? You can remove international and roaming inclusions to max out your data while paying a little less. Same goes if you’re a keen traveller but you don’t use too much data. Simply drop the amount of included data per month and increase your international and roaming inclusions to balance out your monthly bill.
Simple in concept, a little confusing to compare. Adding a handset to any of these plans just complicates things even further.
What is Optus One?
Alongside the new build-your-own options Optus is offering, the telco quietly launched another premium plan option, one that’s copped a fair bit of flack since it was announced. The Optus One plan is a single, premium-tier month-to-month plan with a $119 per month price tag.
So what does $119 per month get you in the Optus new world order? Well firstly, you get 500GB of data to use, unlimited standard national calls and text, unlimited international talk and text to 35 countries, 10GB of roaming data for Zone 1 destinations, as well as the usual 12 months of Apple Music free and unlimited access to Optus Sport. All in all, not a bad SIM-only deal for those willing to fork out extra for the luxury of big data and generous roaming inclusions.
There are also two, more controversial, benefits to being an Optus One customer: One-to-One customer care and priority network access. Paying for One-to-One care wouldn’t be much of an issue if the industry’s reputation for customer care wasn’t already in the toilet. But priority network access at a paid premium just isn’t on.
Optus mobile plans: Customer perks
When you compare Optus phone plans to the thousands of other plan choices from the dozens of telcos in Australia, the one thing that clearly differentiates the big brands from the little brands are the bonus perks and services on top of the basics, like calling and internet data.
Most Optus phone plans come with the same suite of content extras. The big one is an Optus Sport subscription which gives you exclusive access to several high profile sport streams, like the English Premier League and the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Also, Optus recently announced that new customers would receive a free 6 or 12-month subscription to Apple Music, depending on the plan you sign up for (the more expensive plans get the longer subscriptions).
On top of streaming entertainment, Optus also has a Perks program that offers cheap movie tickets at Hoyts cinemas, discounts and early access to concert tickets, and other benefits like exclusive prizes and giveaway for members.
In truth, Optus Perks is a strange hodgepodge of different gifts and discounts, but we’re yet to come across anything really compelling in there. Perks are always nice to have, but these perks are not exciting enough to be a reason to sign up for an Optus plan alone.
How’s the coverage for Optus mobile plans?
Coverage is the cornerstone of a good mobile phone plan, and Optus claims to have the second-largest coverage footprint behind Telstra. The network is available across the country and covers 98% of the population.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can get Optus coverage in 98% of Australia. Like the Telstra and Vodafone networks, Optus coverage is like a dense ring around the coastline, with tendrils of signal stretching inland. Most people should find that they can comfortably use an Optus service wherever they live and work.
Opensignal, a company that analyses mobile network performance through apps people install on their phones, claims that Optus customers can get a 4G signal more often than people using either Telstra or Vodafone. In the same report, Telstra is shown to have the fastest average download speeds, with Optus in second place and Vodafone in third.
This is interesting data to take a look at, but ultimately your experience will depend on where you use your phone. You can take a look at the coverage map below as a guide to whether there is an Optus signal around you, but you should still find a way to test the network before you sign a contract, like buying an Optus prepaid SIM card and using it in your phone for a few days.
Optus 5G explained
While Telstra’s 5G network rollout is ahead of Optus, they are both lightyears ahead of Vodafone’s next-gen network rollout. Optus also has one of the healthiest 5G product offerings. All three of the big telcos offer 5G phones, but Optus is one of the few providers offering a solid 5G home modem solution at the time of writing.
It’s always worth pointing out that it’s still early days for Australian 5G, so don’t expect too much (and be sure to check your address in the coverage map above) but we’ve been fairly impressed with what we have experienced with Optus 5G so far.
We’ve managed to get roughly 300Mbps down on average with Optus 5G in the North Sydney area (outdoors, of course). That barely touches what 5G is actually capable of, but it’s still faster than most NBN connections. With that said, indoors coverage for Optus 5G has been almost non-existent in our tests. We know that 5G is weaker indoors but our own experiences aren’t indicative of what every customer should expect. If you’re close enough to a 5G site, with a clear line of sight to the tower, it’s possible you’ll get better indoor Optus 5G coverage than we’ve managed.
What other phone plans are out there?
If you’re not set on any Optus mobile plans, there are still some stellar deals to nab from dozens of carriers. To show you how Optus compares to the rest, here are the most popular postpaid plans with at least 30GB data.