Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Telstra adds headphones, watches for folks on contract

Not sure if you want to spend an upfront sum on a pair of headphones or that new smartwatch? Telstra may have the answer.

A new pair of wireless headphones can cost as much as $600 or $700, and sometimes more, making better sound not necessarily in the reach of everyone. Smartwatches have a similar issue, and if you’ve been tempted by either the new Apple Watch Series 4 or Samsung’s Galaxy Watch and the price has put you off, you’re probably not alone.

Our phones can be expensive enough at the best of times, but the extras we want to add to them can increase the cost significantly, making us less likely to buy those things that we want.

Telstra may have an answer, though, adding gadgets that aren’t phones to its contract services. That means if you presently have a Telstra phone plan on contract — or are thinking of getting on one — Telstra will add a pair of headphones, a smartwatch, or something else to the deal, attaching a monthly price for two years to pay off that gadget.

For folks keen on buying one of the gadgets in Telstra’s list, that’ll mean you can forgo the upfront cost, and instead pay for it over 24 months, getting your hands on devices like an Apple Watch, a Samsung Galaxy Watch, a pair of Beats Studio3 wireless noise cancelling headphones, or even Apple’s AirPods, lowering the initial cost to something that might be a little easier to come to grips with.

Over the time, the amount you’ll pay will still be comparable, with the Apple AirPods costing $240 over the life of the monthly plan and Beats’ Studio3 fetching $456 through that two year period, while the Apple Watch 40mm Series 4 will cost $768 and the Series 4 44mm will cost $840 over two years.

Comparatively, that’s a little over the $749 and $799 the Apple Watch with 4G normally fetches, while the AirPods normally hit $229 outright and Beats’ Studio3 sit at $450 outright.

While the most obvious point here is that Telstra’s contract gadgets does ease the blow that a new device cost can have, there’s also another thing worth pointing out: these prices are based off recommended retail pricing, and you can typically get some of these listed on products at battery street pricing.

Beats’ Studio3 is a good example, and these tend to hit around $379 in retailers today, while other stores may list Telstra’s gadgets for less money, too.

Apple devices tend to usually stay pretty close to the recommended retail price, occasionally getting discounted at 10 percent less, so that at least keeps Telstra’s contract Apple Watch and AirPods logic flowing, but for some of the other devices on the list, shopping around and paying upfront could well save you some cash.

About the only way Telstra’s contract gadgets make sense is if the initial cost is frustrating, and potentially difficult to commit to. If you can’t see yourself spending the big money up front, we can see the logic, even if the value may not be as sound.

That said, if you’re considering this approach, we’d suggest thinking about your current Telstra contract and working out whether the extra monthly cost for a device is worth it, or if you can find something else. While Telstra has said it will add more devices to the list by the end of the year, the list it presently has is small, and the prices are valued by suggested retail pricing which isn’t always realistic retail pricing.

There are a lot of gadgets out there, and if you look around, you may be able to beat Telstra’s pricing if you just look. You might even find something better.

Telstra's contract gadgets
We’re not sure we get the point of an Apple Pencil on contract. The Apple Watch we could kinda see… maybe the AirPods… but the Pencil? That’s getting a little crazy.
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