Mobile Phones Guide

HardwareZone's Smartphone Buying Guide Essentials

HardwareZone's Smartphone Buying Guide Essentials



Telco Plans

Choosing Your Plan Wisely

Right before deciding which device to splurge your hard-earned cash on, the imperative thing to do is to evaluate your current telco plan. This is especially if your needs have changed since the last time your contract's renewed; if you don't have an existing line, you have to decide on a telco plan which suits your needs.

The golden rule of thumb when it comes to the smartphone is to pair it up with a data- and messaging-heavy plan. The former is especially important given the very nature of communicating via today's modern smartphone - WhatsApp, emails, social media and so forth. Voice services in comparison seem to be less prevalent these days, unless it's a necessity required in your day-to-day job. Hence, in our plan recommendation chart below, we focused heavily on plans with data.

Thankfully, Singapore is pretty much a small island so coverage is relatively on par, if not slightly differentiating, across the three telcos available. For the extra cautious user who wants a better picture of what sort of experience (including customer service) each telco entails, your best bet is to ask friends or families on different carriers. Nonetheless, the main concerns here will primarily be about costs and finding a suitable data-centric plan for your usage patterns.

Tip: Some companies offer special corporate rates with these providers, so check with your company and the individual providers for these rates. Students and NSF personnel usually get unlimited SMS/MMS perks on top of other perks with most plans.

So how do you choose between the price plans? Simply put, there are three specific tiers you can look at:

  • Starting from the more affordable plans that are slightly below S$40, this is for those who aren't too worried about busting their voice, SMS and even data limits. In fact, with 12GB of data bundled, the chances of exceeding the data limit is still quite rare, though it could happen.
     
  • Moving onto the next level, you are looking at monthly subscriptions between the range of S$50 to S$100, with a moderately high amount of voice and SMS tossed in. This will be for users who don't have a fixed pattern to their voice and SMS limits, which could see seasonal peaks or low periods in between.
     
  • Finally, if you see a heavy usage for your voice and SMS, and you rely heavily on your cellular connection to get onto the internet, the premium plans, which could see a price range of above S$100 to the S$200 range, will be well-suited.

So what will you get out of these three price plan tiers? Here's a basic breakdown amongst the three telcos for your reference, accurate at the time of publishing:

Type of Plan SingTel M1 StarHub
Cheapest Data Plan

3G Flexi Lite

  • $39.90
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 100 mins Outgoing
  • 550 Local SMS/MMS

ValueSurf

  •  $39
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 120 mins Outgoing
  • Free 500 Local SMS/MMS

    3G SmartSurf 100

  • $38
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 100 mins Outgoing
  • 500 Local SMS/MMS
Mid-range Data Plan

3G Flexi Value

  • $59.90
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 200 mins Outgoing
  • 650 Local SMS/MMS

LiteSurf

  • $55
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 250 mins Outgoing
  • Free 500 Local SMS/MMS

    3G SmartSurf 300

  • $58
  • Bundled 12GB Data
  • Free 300 mins Outgoing
  • 500 Local SMS/MMS
Largest Data Plan

3G Flexi Premium

  • $205
  • Bundled 30GB Data
  • Free 2000 mins Outgoing
  • Free 2000 Local SMS/MMS

Extreme Surf

  • $95
  • Bundled Unlimited Data
  • Free 600 mins Outgoing
  • Free 500 Local SMS/MMS

3G SmartSurf Unlimited

  • $205
  • Bundled Unlimited Data
  • Free 2000 mins Outgoing
  • Free 2000 Local SMS/MMS

*All plans consist of free local incoming calls all day.