Are Dick Smith's post-paid plans good value?

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Dick Smith (the store chain, not the entrepreneur) has announced that it’s going to start selling a range of post-paid mobile phone plans through its stores, using either Telstra or Vodafone networks. Are they worth your while?
The plans themselves are being serviced through ThinkMobile, but Dick Smith will do the actual contract signup and fullfillment of handset devices. It’s offering two tiers of postpaid plans
[table]
“Plan Name”,”Cost”,”Calls”,”Data”,”Network”,”Available Phones”
“Swift 3G Ultimate”,”$59.95/Month”,”Unlimited”,”up to 4GB”,”Vodafone”,”Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active or Samsung Galaxy Note II or Samsung Galaxy S III or Nokia Lumia 925 or Sony XperiaTM Z or HTC One”
“Classic 3G”,”$50/Month”,”$500 worth of calls/text”,”1.5GB”,”Telstra”,”Motorola Razr HD or Samsung GALAXY Express or LG Optimus L7 II Dual SIM or Samsung ATIV S or Huawei Ascend P6″
[/table]
Straight away it should be clear that the Ultimate plans offer much better and newer phones than the Classic. Dick Smith’s press release doesn’t specify networks, but checking Swift Mobile’s site suggests that the Classic Plan is the Telstra one. It also notes that it uses “parts of” the Telstra network, which usually means it’ll have the same kinds of coverage as Aldi Mobile and the late Kogan Mobile did. That also means no 4G coverage if that’s important to you?
So how does that compare with what you could get going direct to each telco? I’ll grab a sample phone from each offering to compare.
[table]
“Provider”,”Device”,”Minimum monthly cost”,”Included calls”,”Included texts”,”Included data”,”Minimum 24 month cost”
“Dick Smith”,”Samsung Galaxy S4 Active“,$59.95,”Unlimited”,”Unlimited”,”Up to 4GB”,”$1,438.80″
“Vodafone”,”Samsung Galaxy S4 Active“,”$60 ($50 plan + $10 device cost)”,”$500 worth of calls, 98c/min plus 40c flagfall”,”Unlimited”,”1GB”,”$1,440.00″
[/table]
Now to be fair to Vodafone, you can get the S4 Active a bit cheaper than that, as I noted in my review; for the purposes of comparison I’ve chosen the nearest price to Dick Smith’s to see what you get for your money.

What about on the Telstra side of the fence? It’s actually much trickier there to get a like-for-like comparison from Telstra, as while it still offers, for example, the RAZR HD, it’s an in-store only offering, with no details available online; none of the phones listed are available currently through Telstra’s online consumer store. The RAZR HD is available via its business store, however, (http://www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise/business-products/mobiles/motorola/motorola-razr-hd/) so I’ll use those figures for comparative purposes.
[table]
“Provider”,”Device”,”Minimum monthly cost”,”Included calls”,”Included texts”,”Included data”,”Minimum 24 month cost”
“Dick Smith”,”Motorola RAZR HD”,$50.00,”$500 worth of standard calls and texts”,”$500 worth of standard calls and texts”,”1.5GB”,”$1,200.00″
“Telstra”,”Motorola RAZR HD”,$65.00,”$600 worth of calls”,”Unlimited”,”1GB”,”$1,560.00″
[/table]
There are some savings to be made with the Dick Smith approach, although I don’t envy those putting a very nice phone like the RAZR HD on a speed-limited 3G network. As always, it’s a matter of matching your actual usage to what’s available across a variety of plans.

Author: Alex

Alex Kidman is a multi-award winning Australian technology writer, former editor at Gizmodo, CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet, PC Mag, APC, Finder and as a contributor to the ABC, SMH, AFR, Courier Mail, GadgetGuy, PC & Tech Authority, Atomic and many more. He's been writing professionally since 1998, and his passions include technology, social issues, education, retro gaming and professional wrestling.

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