Mobile and SIM-only deals
If you’re struggling to decide between the huge amount of mobile phone deals on the market, you’re not alone.
With so many models, tariffs and contract options, it's important to find one that floats your boat.
You don’t want to fork out on pay as you go bills if it’s costing you more than a contract would and you also need to make sure you don’t commit to a two-year contract which doesn’t give you the mobile data you need.
Contract lengths will vary depending on the type of phone and pricing plan you've chosen.
Usually there are 12 or 24-month options and you'll pay a fixed price monthly for the duration of the contract length.
However, if you go over your monthly data allowance or purchase apps, charges will be added to your bill.
Watch out for a minimum contract term and if you cancel before this ends you could be charged an early cancellation fee.
To make the right choice, you need to know what mobile phone deals are available.
SIM-only contracts offer minutes, texts and data to use with your existing phone and can be cheaper than contract deals as they don’t have to include the cost of the handset.
Pay as you go phones
Pay as you go is where you buy the handset and SIM, paying for calls and texts by topping up as you need to.
However, you have to pay for the handset upfront and can’t use the phone for texts or phone calls without credit on it.
You’ll pay a set amount each month for a predetermined number of call minutes, text messages and mobile data, with any extra usage added to your monthly bill. Handsets are subsidised by the operator, but you are tied into the contract.
We’ve got a few tips to get those costs down
If you can, buy your handset outright and get a cheap SIM-only deal
Don’t pay more for storage, simply move your videos or photos online to free up your phone
Check coverage of the network in your area before you commit to a contract
Don’t commit to two years of payments if you can’t afford to and avoid high contract cancellation fees
Your old handset could be worth hundreds if it’s in good condition
Use wi-fi where possible as going over your data allowance will cost you
Don't be afraid to haggle over price, minutes, data, or any other part of the deal
Be aware of how using your phone abroad could cost you
First decide whether you’re looking to buy a new phone or just a SIM-only deal
Check out popular networks, contract phones, SIM deals and more
If you want options, click ‘search everything’ to compare all the deals available
Narrow down your options by make and model, monthly cost and data
Click on a deal you like the look of and you’re on your way to purchasing your next phone
Contacts vary by network but generally include inclusive minutes, data, texts, and international calls from the UK.
Have a think about what you will use it for. Look at camera quality, battery life, screen size, data storage ability, whether it has 3G or 4G capability, and whether you need it to integrate with your other devices.
It really depends on how much you use the internet while on the go. Emails, social media activity, and downloading or streaming music will eat into your data allowance, so if you do these things regularly, it's worth opting for at least 2GB.
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