Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Series
The Samsung Galaxy Series of devices includes some of the best Android mobile phones in the Australian market. They’re the top of the pile when it comes to premium Android phones. They represent the mainstream competitor to Apple’s smartphone dominance. The Galaxy Series is a collection of mobile electronic devices which run the Android Operating System.
Above : Some screenshots form a Samsung Galaxy Device. You can see Samsung augment the Android operating system with their own user interface software called ‘TouchWiz’.
The best bits of Samsung Galaxy phones
I’ve been lucky enough to use Galaxy phones as my primary phone for the last several years. The Galaxy Range is always at the cutting edge of mobile phone capabilities. Consistently strong elements include :
- Great screens :
Samsung favour AMOLED screens. AMOLED ( or Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode ) screens have strong, bright, brilliant colors. ( In my view ) Side by side, Samsung’s screens out perform HTC and Apple’s screens hands down.
- Expandable Memory :
This provides users with the flexibility of adding their own Micro SD memory card in to their phone. Expandable memory is often cheaper than purchasing it permanently installed in the device. Because the SD cards are portable between devices, it means users can easily take their multimedia ( TV shows, films and music ) between devices and their laptops if they want to. The ability to plug memory cards in to your laptop and transfer them without any software in the middle ( iPhone users have to mess around with iTunes ) is also a benefit.
- Cameras :
Galaxy Cameras have increased in software performance and the number of Megapixels they’ve had available. Our experience is that Galaxy cameras are among the best cameras available on mobile phones these days, with the possible exception of the latest iPhone 5s / 5c and HTC One image processing software which works better in low light conditions.
- TouchWiz :
TouchWiz is Samsung’s Android overlay. This clever UI – or User Interface layer provides software capabilities and applications which differentiate the Samsung Brand and product portfolio within the Android market. For example, Samsung have their own video player installed on the Samsung Galaxy S3 which allows users to see excerpts playing in multiple screens. See image below.
- Waterproofing :
It was really Sony who led the way when it came to waterproofing phones. Samsung followed not long after and their range has included water tight seals since the Galaxy S5 in 2014. Their technology has improved a great deal over that time. With the Galaxy S5, users were constantly reminded that they had to close a physical flap which covered the USB charging port on the bottom of the phone. Imagine having to click ‘OK’ every time you opened your phone ?! It was annoying. Now, with the Galaxy S7, they have moved away from asking the user to do anything – which is always a good way of solving the problem. The entire chassis of the device is waterproof.
- Low light cameras :
Samsung have carved a niche for low light camera performance. In my view, having seen and compared many iPhone and Android devices, there is no better camera in low light than the Galaxy S7’s. The combination of lens and software that Samsung have put together really does make a difference to pictures taken in sub optimal lighting conditions. When you think about it, most pictures are taken in that sort of circumstance.
- Curved screens :
Starting with the Galaxy S7, Samsung offered a device variant with a curved screen. The S7 Edge had some useful features. The sides glowed with light when you received a call as a new way to alert the owner. Also, swiping left from the edge of the curved screen opens a menu of icons for most used apps which gives quicker access to the facilities you used most. Perhaps most exciting though is the possibility in the future as Samsung continues to push forward with curved glass interfaces. Who knows what their next touchscreen will look like.
Together, these capabilities make the Samsung Galaxy range outstanding for multimedia capabilities. For users like me, who watch a lot of video and listen to a lot of audio on their mobiles, the Galaxy range are well worth considering.
The Not So Good Bits about Galaxy Phones
No phone is perfect. The Samsung Galaxy range of devices has it’s flaws :
- They can look a bit Plastic :
The whole series of Galaxy phones used to be constructed out of plastic. It’s subject to scratching or, in extreme cases, denting / cracking, when dropped. Overall, the plasticky feel of the Galaxy series lets it down, particularly against the iPhone and HTC products. Both Apple and HTC have a superior feel when the devices are held in hand. Samsung upgraded their approach to more sturdy materials after feedback on this issue in the Galaxy S5.
- TouchWiz :
Some elements of TouchWiz are renown for being terrible. Kies, the music transfer software is terrible. I much prefer to transfer music as simple files using Microsoft’s file explorer. I let the audio player on the device sort it out. Again, Samsung have moderated their approach to adding ‘bloatware’ on top of Android since the early days. Later versions of the phones do not have nearly as much Samsung interference.
Best SIM Only Plans March 2018
Boost Mobile | Best Prepaid Data Rates On The Full Telstra Network
Prepaid | 28 day expiry | On The Telstra Mobile Network 3G+4G
Boost Mobile are a reliable brand. They are the only phone company other than Telstra to resell the full Telstra ‘Retail’ Network. With Boost you’ll get:
- The full Telstra Mobile Network
Other phone companies resell part of the Telstra Mobile Network. Only Boost and Telstra plans allow you access the whole thing.
- Free streamed audio:
Data free streaming of Apple Music (requires subscription) on top of the data included in your plan.
- A range that includes 7 day and 28 day plans:
Boost offer a selection of plans including 7 and 28 day variants.
- Recharge options from $10 to $50:
Boost have a total of 5 recharge options for their prepaid plans, ranging between $10 and $50.
Boost Mobile Plans For Your Mobile
- Boost $10 Prepaid Recharge = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 1GB of 4G data.
- Boost $10 Starter SIM = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 1GB of 4G data.
- Boost $30 Starter SIM = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 8GB data (4GB + 4GB Bonus on your first two recharges).
- Boost $20 Prepaid Recharge = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 1GB of 4G data.
- Boost $40 Starter SIM = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 16GB data (8GB + 8GB bonus on first two recharges).
- Boost $30 Prepaid Recharge = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 8GB data (4GB + 4GB bonus on first two recharges).
- Boost $40 Prepaid Recharge = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 16GB data (8GB + 8GB Bonus on first two recharges).
- Boost $50 Prepaid Recharge = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 24GB Data (12GB + 12GB Bonus on first two recharges).
All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Boost Mobile review.
Belong Mobile | Fairest For Data
Postpaid | Month to Month agreement | On The Telstra Mobile Network 3G+4G
Belong sell access to the Telstra Mobile Network. They have a simple to understand plan structure with options on data, national ($5 extra) and international calls ($5 extra.) Belong also offer the fairest treatment of data that any phone company in Australia have. a ‘data vault’ feature. Whatever data you buy, is yours, forever. It just keeps rolling over until you use it or leave them.
With Belong, you’ll get:
- Data Vault:
All Belong’s Mobile plans come with ‘data vault’. When you buy your data, it just keeps rolling over until you decide to use it or leave them!
- $5 National Calls:
Belong’s price plans are data first. If you want to add Unlimited Australian National calls, it’ll cost you $5 a month, on top of the price of your data.
- $10 International Calls:
And if you want to make Unlimited International Calls (to 10 selected destinations – or to 23 selected countries’ landlines) just add $10.
Belong Plans For Your Mobile
- Belong Mobile $25 = 15GB of 4G data (5GB plus 10GB welcome gift).
- Belong Mobile $40 =45GB of 4G data (15GB plus 30GB welcome gift).
- Belong Mobile $30 = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 15GB of 4G data (5GB plus 10GB welcome gift).
- Belong Mobile $35 = Unlimited national calls & SMS + 15GB of 4G data (5GB plus 10GB welcome gift) with international calls & SMS to selected countries.
- Belong Mobile $45 = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 40GB of 4G data (15GB plus 30GB welcome gift).
- Belong Mobile $50 = Unlimited National Calls & SMS + 45GB of 4G data (15GB plus 30GB welcome gift) with international calls & SMS to selected countries.
All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Belong Mobile review.
Strong, Simple Plans & A Well Known Brand
Amaysim plans can be bought either Prepaid or Postpaid On The Optus Mobile Network 3G+4G
Amaysim are the 4th biggest phone company in Australia with over 1m customers. They consistently have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry and have a plan range which you can buy as either prepaid (28 day expiry) or postpaid – just select the option you want in their checkout. With Amaysim, you’ll get:
- Strong plan range:
Amaysim have a range starting at $10 per month and rising to $50 per month. Data inclusions are up there with the best available and, with Amaysim, things are nice and simple. You’re just buying voice calls, SMS and data. There are no optional extras.
- New International Inclusions:
Any plan you buy, starting at $30 per month will now include free International Calls to 12 destinations.
- Great Customer Experience:
Amaysim are consistently one of the best performing phone companies when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Amaysim’s plan range:
- Amaysim Unlimited $10 = Unlimited standard national talk and text + 1GB data.
- Amaysim Unlimited $20 = Unlimited standard national talk and text + 2.5GB data.
- Amaysim Unlimited $30 = Unlimited standard national talk and text + 5GB data.
- Amaysim Unlimited $40 = Unlimited standard national talk and text + 15GB data.
- Amaysim Unlimited $50 = Unlimited standard national talk and text + 20GB data.
- Amaysim As You Go $10 = 15c per min voice, 15c per SMS and 15.4c per MB data.
You can find out more about this company in our Amaysim review.
OVO Mobile – Free Video & Radio Content
Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Optus 3G and 4G Network
OVO’s offer a totally new way of looking at a phone company – they’re one of our best selling partners. Their plans are, pretty much on a par for data inclusions with the best in the industry. In addition to talk time, SMS and data, OVO’s plans include exclusive access to exclusive video content. All of OVO’s plans come with ‘OVO Play’ an app which lets you watch their free content on your plan. With OVO, you’ll get:
- Free Video Content – Motorsport, Sailing, Gymnastics & Water Polo :
OVO offer a growing list of free video and audio content. Motorsport fans might like the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series, Australian GT, Formula Drift and other petrol head live streaming. OVO Play also includes other sports like sailing and gymnastics. The price of the content is included in the monthly line rental charge you pay OVO for your prepaid plan. So, importantly: You won’t see your data balance decline while you’re watching them, the streamed content is free.
- Free Streamed Audio:
OVO’s plans also offer FREE radio streaming, also included in your plan offers access to the Tripple M network and other selected stations.
- OVO for Kids:
OVO’s plans come with the offer of free access to Parental Lock software. Buy your child the $9.95 plan from OVO and you’ll be able to monitor what they access on their phone and set times for it to turn off and turn on it’s own connection to the internet.
OVO Plans for your mobile
Picking an OVO plan is simple. All of OVO’s plans include Unlimited talk and SMS in Australia to Australian numbers plus superfast 4G data.
- $9.95 Unlimited = $200 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS + 1GB of 4G data.
- $19.95 Unlimited = $500 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS + 2GB of 4G data.
- $29.95 Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 5GB of 4G data.
- $34.95 Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 10GB of 4G data.
- $49.95 Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 19GB of 4G data.
You can learn more about them and their unique content in our OVO review.
Kogan Mobile – Best Value on the Vodafone Network
Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Vodafone 3G and 4G Network
Kogan Mobile keep it simple. They have some of the most competitive SIM Only / Prepaid plans in Australia, on the much improved Vodafone network. With their multi month recharge options, Kogan add some genuine value and choice to the market.
With Kogan, you’ll get
- Monthly, quarterly or annual options : Do you want a single recharge payment with a 1, 3 or 12 month validity ? With Kogan, you’ll get discounts for multi-month purchases you were going to make anyway. They add the convenience of less frequent running out / topping up. And they keep the total predictability and flexibility of prepaid.
Kogan’s 30 day plan range :
Kogan’s 30 day plans all have Unlimited talk and SMS in Australia to Australian numbers. The difference is the amount of data which is included.
- Kogan EXTRA LARGE $49.9 – 30 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 23GB of data.
- Kogan LARGE $36.9 – 30 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 32GB of data (16GB + 16GB bonus).
- Kogan MEDIUM $29.9 – 30 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 6GB of data
- Kogan SMALL $16.9 – 30 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 2GB of data
- Kogan SMALL $46.90 – 90 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 2GB of data.
- Kogan MEDIUM $79.90 – 90 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 6GB of data.
- Kogan LARGE $99.90 – 90 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 16GB of data
- Kogan EXTRA LARGE $139.90 – 90 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 23GB of data
- Kogan SMALL $179.90 – 365 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 2GB of data
- Kogan MEDIUM $299.90 – 365 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 6GB of data
- Kogan LARGE $399.90 – 365 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 16GB of data
- Kogan EXTRA LARGE $529.90 – 365 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 23GB of data
All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. See all Kogan Plans including 90 day and 365 day plans. You can find out more about this company in our Kogan Mobile review.
Great Value Data & Best For International Calls
Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Vodafone 3G and 4G Network
If you’re after an unlimited plan with incredible data inclusions, or you make calls overseas, in our view, you need look no further than Lebara. Lebara use the much improved Vodafone 3G + 4G network which covers more than 96% of Australians. With Lebara, you’ll get :
- Big Data on the Vodafone 3G + 4G network:
Lebara’s plans include enough data for even the most ravenous data eaters.
- Broad Range Including Plans With International Calls:
Lebara have Unlimited International Call plans at $29.90 and $49.90 price points. Lebara’s cheaper international call rates cover all the major destinations including : UK, USA, Greece, China, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France, South Korea and Switzerland. (Inclusions vary, see our review.)
Lebara have 30 day plans, 180 day plans and 360 day plans. Buy up-front and save.
Lebara’s prepaid plan range:
- Lebara Extra Small Plan $14.90 = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 2GB of data.
- Lebara Mini Mega Plan $24.9 = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz + 2GB of data.
- Lebara National Plan $29.9 = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard call to 12 selected countries + 15GB of data first month (5GB + 10GB bonus).
- Lebara Mega Plan $39.9 = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 12 selected countries + 26GB of data (10GB + 16GB bonus).
- Lebara Unlimited Plan $49.9 = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 50 selected countries + 35GB of data ((15GB + 5GB recharge bonus) plus 15GB activation bonus).
- Lebara National Plan $160 – 180 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 12 selected countries + 5GB of data.
- Lebara Mega Plan $225 – 180 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 15 selected countries + 16GB of data.
- Lebara National Plan $300 – 360 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 12 selected countries + 5GB of data.
- Lebara Mega Plan $420 – 360 Days = Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited standard calls to 15 selected countries + 16GB of data.
You can find out more about this company in our full Lebara Review.
Saving money on your Samsung Galaxy Phone
We recommend that you buy your Samsung Galaxy outright ( that means pay for it upfront, as opposed to getting it under contract ) and then take out a SIM Only plan. Check out this infographic so you can see why.
Buying your Samsung Galaxy Phone outright and adding a SIM Only plan can save you a significant amount of money – compared to a contract plan on the same network
- We recommend Expansys as the best value place to buy your Samsung Galaxy range phones. They are significantly cheaper than buying the same phone from an Australian high street store.
- Here are our recommendations on the top SIM Only plans in Australia.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Samsung Galaxy S Range :
Samsung ‘s marketers are incredibly smart. The Galaxy Range has been designed to have enough range to appeal to everyone. Unlike Apple which have released only a device a year, since their 2007 launch of the iPhone, Samsung go broad.
Together, Samsung have released more than 20 Galaxy device types around the world. Samsung’s approach is to provide appropriate devices for each operator ( in Australia, to Optus, Telstra, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone Australia. ) Galaxy products are targeted to the country and customer type / value. Within the range, the Samsung Galaxy ‘S’ device range is the higher end of the Samsung product portfolio. These products have the best screens, processors, memory allocations and batteries. S stands for ‘Supersmart’ (that’s not a joke).
Other letter ‘types’ in the Samsung Galaxy series include :
- W – their mid range products
- M – their low range products
- Y – which is focused on the Youth Segment
The Galaxy range is forever growing.
What does the competition look like
The primary competition of the Samsung Galaxy Range is the Apple iPhone Series.
In Australia, between them, Samsung and Apple have almost two thirds of the market for new mobile phones. You’ll have noticed in the news that the two companies are consistently taking each other to court. The market for mobile phones is so valuable to them that patents are worth a fortune.
Unfortunately for Samsung, their Galaxy Range was decided by an American court to infringe on Apple patents. At the time of writing, the case is being reviewed. However, Samsung are on the hook for over $1bn for copying Apple’s ideas and imbedding them in their Galaxy range.
Reviews of Galaxy phones
Reviews are a key component of the buying decision for mobile phones. It’s so hard to trust the marketing talk that big companies use, people have come to trust reviews as the most honest version of the truth they’ll get. At Whatphone, we try to provide everything you need to get thorough and accurate reviews of the mobile phones you’re interested in.
Unlike the telcos, we do not have cozy relationships with the device manufacturers. Telcos buy thousands of each product type from manufacturers like Samsung. As a result, they get a very good price per phone ! However, when the companies are tied up like this together, it becomes very hard for the telco to offer an accurate review of one of Samsung’s phones.
If, for example Vodafone didn’t like the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and wrote about it on their website, Samsung would get unhappy ! Not so at Whatphone. Check out our expert reviews on the product pages. If we don’t like a product, we say so. On the product pages, you will also find reviews from real visitors like yourselves and a star rating to help you make up your mind.
The Galaxy range goes further than mobile phones
The Samsung Galaxy suite of products has been around since June 2009. All in all, Samsung have sold more than 30 million Galaxy devices, around the world since they launched.
Originally, the Samsung Galaxy was a single mobile phone, not a group of devices. Since then it’s evolved. Today, the Galaxy family includes devices other than Mobile Phones :
- Tablet computers ( such as the Nexus Tablet which Samsung worked on with Google )
- A camera. A 16 Megapixel, camera with LTE / 4G and which runs Android Jellybean !
- A media player, released in 2010.
See all SIM Only plans
If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )COMPARE ALL SIM ONLY PLANS