Compare mobile phone deals
- Contract, pay as you go and sim-only tariffs are available
- Cancelling your contract early may result in a charge
- Choose a tariff based on the amount of call minutes, mobile data and texts you need
Choosing the right mobile phone deal can be confusing - find out what you need to look out for including models, tariffs and sim-only plans.
According to Ofcom, 93% of people used a mobile phone in 2016, an extraordinarily high percentage of the population.
With nearly everyone reachable no matter where they are in the world, it's important to find the mobile phone deal that floats your boat.
Of course it completely depends on what you intend to use your phone for.
Comparing mobile phone deals
Choosing the right mobile phone deal can be a little overwhelming - there's just so much choice.
Luckily you can compare all the different options available to you with Gocompare.com, whether you're looking for a contract, a particular type of mobile handset or a sim-only tariff, you can find what you're looking for.
Simply click the 'Get prices' button and seach by handset or tariff until you find the perfect fit for you.
Mobile internet data
All smartphones have access to the internet, which means you can browse the web, check your emails, do some online shopping and watch those all-important cat videos on YouTube.
If you want to watch films or TV programmes on the (extremely) small screen, you'll need a package with enough mobile data to allow this without going over your data threshold.
Using more than your allotted mobile internet data could result in being charged a princely sum for the privilege. Or you may see the internet function on your phone get a lot slower or certain apps not opening.
However, making sure that you use free wi-fi wherever possible - as long as you keep your device adequately protected in public places - can help you avoid using up your data.
Before choosing a mobile phone tariff, take into account how much mobile data you'll actually be using, because there's no point in splashing out on 10gb of data if you only use your phone to send emails.
You can also turn off mobile data on your phone manually, which can come in useful when taking your phone abroad.
Most providers will have an online service which permits you to see how much available data you have left, they may even send you a text or email when you're getting close to the predetermined limit.
Mobile phone handsets
Another factor to take into account when choosing your mobile phone deal is the type of handset that you want.
Most of the big hitters in the mobile phone industry also manufacture other smart devices including tablets and smart watches. If you already have anything like this from a certain brand, you may want to consider choosing a handset from them too.
For instance, an Apple watch won't have much functionality without an iPhone to connect to, whereas if you use them in conjunction with each other, you could conquer the world… or receive texts and emails on your watch - which is the same thing really.
It can be possible to get an unlimited number of calls and texts in your tariff, but if you don't need it, try not to fork out for an unlimited plan
Mobile operating systems
Smartphones use an operating system which is basically the software that enables them to run programs and apps.
This will differ depending on the type of phone you have and it will needed to be updated regularly.
Common operating systems are:
- Android - for use on devices using Google
- iOS - for use on Apple devices
- Windows Phone - for use on Microsoft devices
Updating your mobile operating system can help fix any bugs or glitches currently plaguing your device, as well as improving the software that you use every day.
It may take a while to complete but it's not to be ignored.
Mobile phone tariff
If you choose a mobile phone contract (rather than a pay as you go option) - your mobile phone tariff is essentially a breakdown of the different charges included in your monthly bill.
It will state how many minutes and texts make up your package, as well as the amount of mobile data available to you monthly.
It can be possible to get an unlimited number of calls and texts in your tariff, but if you don't need it, try not to fork out for an unlimited plan. Be warned that you'll be charged for going over what's detailed in your tariff though.
Upfront handset cost
You can choose whether to pay an upfront cost for your handset, or to choose a tariff with a free handset.
Do bear in mind that tariffs with 'free' handsets are likely to factor the cost of the phone into what you 'll pay each month, meaning it's really more like spreading the cost than getting it free.
Check the total cost to see which deal works out better for you, whether that's paying a lump sum at the start for lower monthly costs, or a free handset with nothing to pay up front.
Contract lengths will vary depending on the type of phone you've chosen and the pricing plan you've decided on.
Usually there are 12 or 24-month options and you'll pay a fixed price monthly for the duration of the contract length.
Note that your contract may have a minimum contract term and if you cancel before this ends you could be charged an early termination fee.
You'll have a monthly contract - which is a package of how many call minutes, texts and mobile data you've paid for, however you won't receive the handset as you do with normal mobile phone contracts.
You'll only get the SIM, which you can then use in a phone that you already have. This can be useful if you want to change the tariff you're on but are attached to the handset you already own.
Maybe you're not keen on an upgrade and your current tariff has more call minutes and texts than you know what to do with.
Pay as you go mobile phone
The alternative to contract options are pay as you go (PAYG) mobile phones and they do exactly what they say on the tin.
Simply top up your phone and use it until the credit runs out. After which you'll no longer be able to make phone calls, texts or access the internet.
Pay as you go choices don't tend to be as economical as the contract alternative for people who frequently use their mobile. However, it can be a good budgeting tool for parents if their child needs a phone, but they don't want to be landed with a huge unexpected bill.