When can I upgrade my device?

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Smartphones are an almost essential part of our lives these days. So changing or upgrading to a new handset can get stressful, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. There is a lot to consider; from your contract date and fees, to what to do with the old handset, and even how to get data from the old phone to the new one.

So we’ve put together this checklist, so that you can swap to a new handset with confidence!

First of all let’s take a look at when you can upgrade.


The Contract stuff


I’m on a post-paid plan. When can I upgrade to a new handset/plan?

The short answer is: whenever you want! You just need to be aware that, depending on the plan you originally agreed to, there may be some associated costs to do so.

If you are on a SIM only plan, you can recontract without being charged. If you have an Accessory Repayment Option, you will need to pay the remaining cost of your accessories.

If you are on one of our older contracted plans, such as a Telstra Mobile Lease plan, or you're already paying off a handset, there are a couple of variables. If you’re upgrading after 12 months, rather than paying an ETC (Early Termination Charge), you instead can pay a $99 upgrade fee, or $0 after 18 months. You just need to also ensure your handset is returned, in good working order, within 14 days of entering into your new eligible handset and mobile service plan. If your handset is not in good working order, you may be charged additional fees.

If you’re upgrading before 12 months has passed, you must pay a fee based on the device’s recommended retail price, as well as an ETC. The difference here is that you’ll get to keep the leased handset.


When you’re considering making a change, it’s a good idea to check your contract details, and what charges would be generated, on our Account Services page


I’m returning my handset, what do I need to do?

If you ordered your new handset online, you’ll receive a device return satchel when your new handset arrives. If you made the change in-store, you can leave the handset with the team there.

In both cases you’ll need to ensure that the phone is in good working order. A phone in good working order functions normally, has all genuine parts, no physical or liquid damage and its security features disabled.

You’ll also need to make sure that your SIM card has been removed, and that you’ve reset the phone to factory settings, so that none of your personal information remains on the device.

Ensure Find My iPhone has been turned off prior to factory resetting the phone, as you may be charged full ETCs if Find My iPhone hasn’t been deactivated.


Before you return your handset, make sure you’ve backed it up at home, so that you don’t lose any important data.

The Phone stuff

I’ve got my new phone! How do I get all the stuff from my old one on to it?

First of all, congrats! Now to copy all of your contacts and data to your new gadget.

If you’ve backed your device up to the cloud, and your new device has access to that same cloud, you can set it up without even needing to plug it in to a computer. But it’s a good idea to make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi first. Most smartphones will step you through this upon setup where possible (i.e. an Android handset may ask if you want to restore your phone from a Google Drive backup, or an Apple handset from an iCloud backup).

Or if you’ve stuck with the same brand of handset, you can use their software client to restore a handset. iTunes is an example of this.


But if you’re unsure where you backed up your handset, or you’re crossing over from one operating system to another, you can use the Telstra Device Care App to facilitate the transfer.


If you're a Telstra Platinum customer, you can head in store where a consultant at the Tech bar can assist with the data transfer.



Great! The new phone is all set up. What should I do with my old handset?

If you’re planning on returning that old handset make sure you’ve followed the steps outlined above.


If you’re not returning it and have no other use for the device, you can trade in your old phone for credit on Telstra bill or you can look into recycling your handset through Mobile Muster to help make a positive impact on our environment.


And there you go!

If you’ve got any other tips for making that new phone transition a little smoother, let us know in the comments.

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Just Registered

Comment deleted 

Just Registered

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Level 1: Cadet

I was on a plan which included the cost of the mobile. That contract had well and truly ended as far as paying for the phone was concerned. When I switched to the nbn the accesses I had on my mobile were taken away. I want them back, and I don't think I should have to pay any extra for them. I want my internet access back, and I'd like access to email back on my phone.

Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Mobile and landline plans are not linked (except to provide a single bill), so changing to the NBN shouldn't have any affect on your mobile service. Start a new post here and we'll try and figure out what is going on.

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Hi @nsamad


It is not good to read of your nbn connection issues, I apologise for the frustration and inconvenience caused.


We have a great information page regarding nbn speeds at and troubleshooting can be found at which may help resolve the issues.


If you would like further investigation into your service issue, please call our nbn Technical Support team on 1800 834 273.


Don't hesitate to let us know how you go or contact us about any other matter.   

Level 1: Cadet

Hi Dani39

NBN considers this as ISP providers problem, not them,  as they have give the connection to the wholesaler not to any Australian household. So the onus is on the service provider to provide the best possible connection to their customer. They mention if they respond to complains individually there will be few thousand every day. Let us start the blame game and the customer suffer. Maybe, Telstra is content with their market share, while other telecom are investing heavily in system upgrades and technical capability to bring the best for their customers, while Telstra is thinking let the customer suffer, it is all my fault, is it not Telstra? The latest modem is a gem of a thing, has Telstra scoured the market for the best? Things will change with fast advancement of the technology. For sure Telstra will be the last one to join the upgrade in technology by then there will be many front runners. Telstra customers will be eating the crumbs as the abandoned technology will the next in line of upgrade. 

Just Registered

It’s a Samsung tablet - not a phone

Support Team
Support Team

Thanks. Tablets work very similarly. You can check for any Early termination charges here - - Please let us know if there's anything specific we can clarify. - Matthew.