Devices |

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ score Blue Tick for regional use

By Luke Hopewell February 2, 2021

The new Galaxy range from Samsung is more than just a pretty face. Right out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21+ are certified as Blue Tick devices. This means they’re part of our device range that is designed for use in regional areas. Here’s what that means.

The Telstra Blue Tick is the mark we give phones that have been thoroughly tested and deliver superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas. This means the devices were rigorously tested by our technicians and engineers for the best voice call performance in these regional and rural areas.

If you’re on the farm, out in the sticks or just want to make sure you have the best opportunity for coverage you can get, look for the Blue Tick from Telstra.

Which phones have Telstra Blue Tick?

As of January 2021, here is the list of Blue Tick certified phones on Telstra.

This month’s additions include the new Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21+ 5G devices.

Samsung Galaxy A21s Telstra Essential
Samsung Galaxy A51 Telstra Essential Plus 3
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Telstra Essential Pro 2 (A5 2020)
Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G Telstra Essential Smart 3
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G Telstra Evoke Plus 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Telstra Evoke Pro 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Telstra Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Telstra Tough Max 3
Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G (new)
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro Samsung Galaxy S21 5G (new)
Telstra EasyCall 5

What is the Telstra Blue Tick?

In 2007, when we shut down our CDMA network, we wanted to make sure we could recommend the right handsets to our customers in regional and rural areas. The new “NextG” network operated in a different way, and as a result, we needed to know which phones were best.

Since then, we’ve tested hundreds of devices for their performance on the 3G 850MHz and 4G 700MHz bands to determine their voice call performance

The best performers are awarded a Blue Tick.

How do we test phones for Blue Tick?

When Blue Tick first started, a crack team of Telstra technicians and engineers went bush with a range of devices to test exactly how they performed. While they were out there, they discovered a testing regimen that is still used today.

A Blue Tick comes down to how a phone performs on a voice call when you’re holding it in your hand to your ear. It’s the most common way we use a phone to make a call. For that reason, we used the same bloke’s hand to test the performance of a phone for a period of over a decade.

We now have more staffers whose hands are used for signal benchmarking. These hands work hard to run phones through a range of coverage tests to ensure you get the best coverage possible.

And now that we’ve been at this for a while, device manufacturers are working with our technicians to figure out how to maximise their coverage on networks like ours.

How to make sure you’re getting the best coverage in the bush

If you want to get every bit of coverage you can, there are a few tips to follow, straight out of our labs.

Covering the antenna in your phone can lead to reduced coverage in any area, let alone rural or regional. These tips are all about ways to not hold your phone in order to maximise coverage.

When you hold your phone, your hand doesn’t so much block the antenna. Instead, the antenna and the stuff in your body – we’re talking blood, sweat and bones – work to cancel each other out. Technicians call it a “detuning” effect that can reduce your overall coverage.

Therefore, it’s a no brainer to want to hold your phone better to get access to as much coverage as possible.

First and foremost, get yourself a Blue Tick certified device from Telstra to maximise your coverage opportunity.

Second, try using a wired or wireless headset so you don’t have to hold your device in your hand when taking a call.

And if you must hold your device, try and use as light a grip as you can to ensure your antenna can get as much exposure as possible.

We’ve put together a guide on how to get the best coverage in rural areas for you to read more.

Devices |

Shooting with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: how you can take the best shots

By Andrew Zhao February 2, 2021

As smartphones score more and more awesome camera tech, it’s getting easier and easier to snap a great shot. I’ve been shooting with the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G for the last couple of weeks, and I’ve already got some tips you can use to make your shots look their best.

The gear

This year’s Galaxy S21 is great for photographers. There are three models available to cater for all your screen-loving needs. And all the devices – from the Galaxy S21 5G through to the Galaxy S21+ 5G, right up to the flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

The top-of-the-range Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is what I have my hands on, and it’s a pretty sweet bit of kit.

@andyescapes

Cheers for the hook up, @telstra ! The camera on the @samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is 🔥 ##Telstra ##Collab ##phone ##video ##sydney ##xgamesmode

♬ original sound – Andrew

Here are some tips to make the most out of it, and the awesome shots I got.

Turn on the grid lines

Turning on grid lines on your phone camera splits the screen into a 3×3 grid perfect for you to use the rule of thirds for your photos!

Try positioning points of interest in your scene on the intersections of the grid which will make your photo more balanced and aesthetically pleasing. The grid can give you a better idea if your subject is actually centred or not.

But, keep in mind rules are meant to be broken, so feel free to experiment outside of the grid to create interesting results.

Use the right camera for the right occasion

Nowadays smartphones have many different cameras which can be utilised for many purposes!

In general, landscapes look more grand when using a wide-angle camera on your phone. On the S21 Ultra 5G, you also get a macro camera so you can capture small details in focus and truly up close.

Portraits look great when using the Telephoto or Zoom lenses and will create some beautiful background blur (or bokeh) from this as well. Additionally zoom cameras will yield some amazing results on distant landscapes, for example mountains!

Take advantage of Pro Mode

If your camera has a pro mode where you can manually adjust settings, this can be very powerful and work to level up your photography skills.

When you’re shooting an awesome set of pics, it’s important to preserve as much detail as possible. For this reason, I shoot in RAW whenever I can. RAW is a file format that keeps more of the photo’s visual information intact when compared to shooting in JPG. That way you can edit the photo later and have far more to work with. This is the power of Pro Mode on the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Pro Mode also allows you to manipulate just about every shooting setting possible for your photo. ISO; exposure; white balance; manual focus pulling, and more.

Additionally, by being able to control the shutter speed, when pairing your phone with a phone tripod you have the power to capture more light from a scene, and even take shots of the Milky Way for amazing astrophotography!

Using pro mode can almost transform your phone to an DSLR-like camera.

Make the most out of Panorama modes

Although people often use panorama modes for horizontal landscapes, try taking a panorama horizontally and then panning up to capture an even wider shot in a portrait orientation, perfect for the ‘gram! If there are tall trees, or if you just want to capture more of the scene this can create some impossible looking shots that you can create so easily on your phone!

Know your zooms

The last tip is just to be understand how you are using zoom on your phone. For example, the Samsung S21 Ultra 5G offers pre-set zoom lengths of 0.6x, 1x, 3x and 10x optical zoom.

@telstra

A super-handy transition tutorial from the magician @andyescapes , captured on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G using the upgraded Space Zoom feature

♬ original sound – Telstra

What you need to know is that anything inbetween the zoom lengths (eg. 5x) will all be digitally rather than optically zoomed. What this means is if I take a photo that is zoomed 5x it is actually just zooming in digitally from the 3x camera. This can lead to images that may introduce some digital distortion.

To maximise quality, you simply stick to the default zooms on the camera such as 0.6x, 1x, 3x and 10x as you retain maximum quality of your images. You can zoom in digitally for yourself later!

Telstra News |

What we love about the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

By Luke Hopewell January 22, 2021

Samsung’s 2021 flagship is here. The Galaxy S21 range demands attention with its bold new design. We’ve spent some time with the top of the range Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, and there’s a lot to love.

A camera that continues to impress…

The 108-megapixel, five camera shooter on the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G takes photos that boggle the mind.

And with 8K video recording at 24 frames per second to boot, this smartphone is ready for the future of screens. You’ll need an 8K screen to watch 8K content on playback

Samsung also takes close note of how its customers actually use their phones, and design new modes in a bid to make life easier.

The Single Shot mode is perfect for anyone with kids or pets. With other cameras, there’s a solid chance you’ll miss a precious memory because your shutter finger isn’t as fast as you’d like it to be. And countering your own shutter speed with burst mode delivers a blurry result overall. The S21 Ultra 5G makes up for it with Single Shot: press one button and 15 seconds of video and photo rolls. Then the clever software figures out the significant moments and creates a slew of photos, collages, videos, boomerangs and effect shots for you to choose from. It takes the guesswork out of capturing a great memory that will truly last forever.

And then there’s the zoom performance.

…with a zoom lens that delivers the goods…

Putting a solid zoom lens into a smartphone is tricky. You have to get around the need to pack it full of glass, keep it as thin as possible but still deliver an incredible experience. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G delivers a crisp and seamless zoom experience thanks to a clever new zoom system.

There’s a difference between optical and digital zoom. Optical zoom uses lenses to get you closer to your subject, delivering a beautiful image without distortion. Digital zoom crops the image itself to bring you closer to the subject which can lead to some image distortion.

Samsung has cleverly put a 10x optical zoom into the S21 Ultra 5G, while simultaneously reducing the size of the camera bump. Samsung has cleverly put a 10x optical zoom into the S21 Ultra 5G, while simultaneously reducing the size of the camera bump. The Note 20 Ultra offers 5x optical zoom but the S21 Ultra manages to fit double the zoom into a slimmer design.

The experience with the optical zoom is truly phenomenal. You can get really close to a subject without losing quality on your image. It’s a technical masterclass.

And for when you need to get really close, there’s the 100x Space Zoom. Zoom levels above 10x rely on digital zoom rather than optical. That’s when you may experience some image distortion. You notice the distortion as you get closer to 100x on the S21 Ultra 5G, but even at a wild zoom of 30x it’s a beautiful balance between a crisp shot and a tight zoom.

That being said, however, you’ll get such a good level of detail and user experience out of a cropped photo at 10x optical zoom, it’s rare you’ll need to venture beyond it.

The S21 Ultra 5G is more than just its camera, however. It’s a great tool for getting stuff done.

…and S Pen support for the best of both worlds…

For the first time on a Galaxy S device, the S Pen is here to play.

The S Pen is Samsung’s stylus that – until now – was exclusively reserved for the Galaxy Note range. One of the Note’s best features now plays well on the S21 Ultra 5G so you can get more stuff done.

The S Pen accessory for the S21 Ultra 5G relies on the technology in the screen to recognise the device. If you’re looking for all the features offered by a Bluetooth S Pen experience, the Note 20 range is still your best bet.

The S Pen on the S21 Ultra 5G can handwrite notes; edit excel documents; annotate images and screenshots and so much more on the go.

It’s a larger S Pen than we’re used to, which feels great in the hand.

And, if you’re upgrading from an older compatible Note model, it reduces the e-waste as you can reuse your S Pen again!

…all on Telstra’s massive 5G network

5G is here to stay, and the Galaxy S21 range really cements it with an extensive 5G lineup. Don’t worry if you’re not in a 5G area, either: the device still features 4G/3G connectivity also.

We’re now in more places than ever with Telstra 5G, so you can experience the true power of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra 5G out of the box5. Check our website for coverage, and to find out more about when this awesome tech will be available near you.

Pricing and bonus offers

We’re excited to carry the Samsung Galaxy S21 range on our incredible network.

We’ll be stocking:

Outright MRO 12-months MRO 24-months
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 128GB $1248 $104 $52
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 256GB $1344 $112 $56
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 128GB $1536 $128 $64
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 256GB $1632 $136 $68
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 128GB $1848 $154 $77
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 256GB $1944 $162 $81

Pre-orders open from 8am (AEST) on 15 Jan 2021. The devices will hit the shelves at 9am (AEST) on 28 January 2021.

To the pre-orders go the spoils! If you pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G or Galaxy S21+ 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST), you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in Mystic White included (RRP $319). Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST) and you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro in Phantom Silver (RRP $349).

Those who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 series handset our flexible XL Plan will save big too. If you take up a $115 XL plan, you’ll receive a $50 bill credit for 12 months. That’s a saving of $600, and a whopping $180GB of included data per month for $65.

And if you trade-in your old eligible Samsung device, you can get up to $600 credit on your bill when traded in at Telstra6.

Finally, if you find a better deal on your Samsung Galaxy S21 series device, let us know within 7 days and we’ll credit the difference back to your bill. That’s our 7-Day Price Match at work! Find out more about Price Match on Telstra.com.

Telstra News |

Samsung Galaxy S21 range: the next-gen Galaxy is here

By Luke Hopewell January 15, 2021

The Samsung Galaxy S21 range has landed. It takes the Galaxy experience to new heights, and we’ve got all the details; pricing and special deals you need to make it great.

Next-level specs

This year’s Galaxy S21 is bigger and better than ever. There are three models available to cater for all your screen-loving needs. And all the devices – from the Galaxy S21 5G through to the Galaxy S21+ 5G, right up to the flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G feel great in the hand.

Each device in the range is powered by the fastest processor ever in a Galaxy for a supercharged 5G experience, and a choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage1.

The range starts with the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, with a 6.2-inch Infinity-O display. Don’t be fooled, though: just because it’s the smallest in the range doesn’t mean it skimps on the awesome features. The Galaxy S21 5G display features an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate for incredibly smooth streaming and gaming on the go, and a massive 4000mAh battery2 complete with 25W super fast charging (25W charger sold separately) and wireless powershare.

The Galaxy S21 5G also features a triple rear camera with Night Mode and gorgeous 8K video recording3. You even get 3x optical zoom and 30x Space Zoom 2.04 so you don’t miss a thing.

The Galaxy S21+ 5G is slightly larger, with its 6.7-inch Infinity-O display complete with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate for that all-important smoothness. It packs in the same triple rear camera with Night Mode and 8K video recording3, but beefs up the battery to 4800mAh2.

At the top of the range is the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, with all the trimmings.

It features a camera with the highest resolution on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone at a whopping 108-megapixels. It also features four lenses, advanced Night Mode and that brilliant 8K Video Recording3. There’s also a dual-zoom system with a 10x optical zoom, and the incredible 100x Space Zoom 2.04 system alongside it.

Optical zoom looks great on the gorgeous screens, and the Galaxy S21 range really puts the “pro” in Pro-Grade Cameras. The impressive hardware gives way to some awesome software, designed to help photographers and creators at all levels get the shot. From smart modes that take the guesswork out of shooting, through to Director’s Mode which activates an on-device multi-cam setup that makes creating vlogs easy. Along with multiple microphone support and Telstra’s fast 5G5 network for faster uploads, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is a new standard for content creators.

All that tech fits under a 6.8-inch screen with the adaptive 120Hz display, and it’s powered by a 5000mAh battery2 to keep you going and going.

Security across the range is taken care of with improved ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint readers directly built in, Facial Recognition and Samsung KNOX and each model comes in a range of new colours.

But what’s really awesome is the addition of an old favourite into the Galaxy S line-up.

Meet the S Pen, all over again

That’s right: the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first model to support Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The S Pen, typically a hallmark of the Samsung Galaxy Note range, is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you express yourself creatively and get more done on the go.

The S Pen (sold separately to the Galaxy S21 Ultra) features a smooth writing experience features a smoother writing experience and allows you to really make the most out of your device.

You can handwrite notes; edit excel documents; annotate images and screenshots and so much more on the go.

It’s a larger S Pen than we’re used to, which feels great in the hand.

And, if you’re upgrading from an older compatible Note model, it reduces the e-waste as you can reuse your S Pen again!

Fast 5G right out of the box

5G is here to stay, and the Galaxy S21 range really cements it with an all-5G lineup. Don’t worry if you’re not in a 5G area, either: the device still features 4G/3G connectivity also.

We’re now in more places than ever with Telstra 5G, so you can experience the true power of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra 5G out of the box5. Check our website for coverage, and to find out more about when this awesome tech will be available near you.

Availability and special offers

We’re excited to carry the Samsung Galaxy S21 range on our incredible network.

We’ll be stocking:

Outright MRO 12-months MRO 24-months
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 128GB $1248 $104 $52
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 256GB $1344 $112 $56
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 128GB $1536 $128 $64
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 256GB $1632 $136 $68
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 128GB $1848 $154 $77
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 256GB $1944 $162 $81

Pre-orders open from 8am (AEST) on 15 Jan 2021. The devices will hit the shelves at 9am (AEST) on 28 January 2021.

To the pre-orders go the spoils! If you pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G or Galaxy S21+ 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST), you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in Mystic White included (RRP $319). Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST) and you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro in Phantom Silver (RRP $349).

Those who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 series handset our flexible XL Plan will save big too. If you take up a $115 XL plan, you’ll receive a $50 bill credit for 12 months. That’s a saving of $600, and a whopping $180GB of included data per month for $65.

And if you trade-in your old eligible Samsung device, you can get up to $600 credit on your bill when traded in at Telstra6.

Finally, if you find a better deal on your Samsung Galaxy S21 series device, let us know within 7 days and we’ll credit the difference back to your bill. That’s our 7-Day Price Match at work! Find out more about Price Match on Telstra.com.

Things you need to know:

  1. User cannot access entire memory capacity due to pre-installed content.
  2. Rated (i.e. minimum) battery capacity. Actual battery capacity value may vary. 25W charger required and is sold separately.
  3. To view videos in 8K quality, a compatible 8K device is required (sold separately)
  4. Space Zoom includes digital zoom which may cause image deterioration​
  5. 5G: Telstra currently offers 5G in selected areas and is progressively rolling it out to other areas. To find out more about Telstra 5G, check here or ask in store.
  6. Trade-in: To be eligible for the trade-in program, you must be aged 18+, with a Telstra consumer or small business billing account starting with 2000.
Female hospital patient with digital tablet, smiling
Devices |

Keeping hospital patients connected to their loved ones

By Michael Ackland September 18, 2020

We’ve all had to adapt to new circumstances during the age of COVID-19, especially in Victorian healthcare facilities. Patients being treated for COVID-19 are often isolated from their loved ones to prevent the spread of the virus. We want to make sure that these patients have the contact with their families they need, which is why we’re teaming up with Samsung to donate tablet devices to local hospitals.

This week, in conjunction with our partners at Samsung, we’ll be rolling a delivery of tablets and SIM cards to 20 hospitals in Victoria so elderly and vulnerable patients in isolation can feel connected to the outside world again.

Hospitals will receive shipments of the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro, a great tablet that has been specifically chosen for its rugged design, allowing the tablets to be cleaned regularly between use. This is important to ensure that patients remain connected while limiting the spread of infection between wards. The tablets are also ready to go with SIM cards from Telstra.

We know how important it is for patients to stay connected with their family and friends, especially when they’re going through such a difficult time. Hospitals and health staff have told us how important it is on the frontline, and we’re happy to do anything we can to help.

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and while we wait on a COVID-19 vaccine, sharing a laugh with friends and family is so important to help these patients feel connected. It’s not a warm hug and a held hand by the bedside, but it’s solace to those cut off for an extended period of time during treatment.

Royal Melbourne Hospital, Austin Hospital, Alfred Hospital, Dandenong Hospital, Eastern Health including Box Hill, Maroondah and Wantirna, Northern Hospital, Western Hospital, Geelong Hospital, Monash Health including Monash Medical Centre, Dandenong Hospital and Casey Hospital, Mercy Health including Werribee and Heidelberg, St Vincent’s Hospital and La Trobe Regional Hospital will all receive devices.

At least two devices will be given to each hospital in the program, ranging up to 25 devices depending on the need, the number of patients and the number of COVID-19 wards.

We’d like to thank our partners at Samsung for helping us get vital connectivity to patients who need it most during these challenging times.