How to compare mobile phone deals
These days, the humble landline is used by hardly anyone except cold callers. We’ve all joined the mobile revolution and our smartphones now act as everything from personal computers to remote controls for our TVs . They’re a modern essential – so no surprise that an increasing number of us insure them on our contents insurance. But there’s a bewildering range of makes and models available and many broadband companies also bundle their packages to include phone, TV and mobile so it can seem daunting. However, there are also plenty of excellent deals to be had. Here’s our handy guide on where to start.
Switch your mobile tariff and get 2 for 1 cinema tickets*
Everyone likes a chat but some people like to talk more than others and barely come up for O2, which is why finding the right mobile tariff should be EEveryone’s priority regardless of the type of Vodafone they’ve got (ok, we’ll stop with the name dropping).
But there’s lots to think about when you compare mobile phone deals – like how much data, texts and minutes you’ll need. Plus, if you’ve ever wondered how the magic happens and who holds the giant aerial that makes your mobile work, read our network operators guide.
Why compare mobile phones with comparethemarket.com?
We have a huge range of leading mobile networks, handset deals and contracts to choose from.
You can filter your results by data limit, texts and minute’s allowance, or phone tech spec.
And if you switch mobile tariff through comparethemarket.com you can get MEERKAT MOVIES. Which will give you 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Tuesday or Wednesday, every week for a whole year.*
Should I get a contract or go SIM-only?
A mobile phone contract usually allows you to get a new handset, with a SIM included where you will pay monthly for an agreed contract length.
A SIM only deal offers a package of minutes, texts and mobile data for a monthly cost, much the same as a traditional mobile phone contract. The difference is that you don’t get a new handset – you only get the SIM.
SIM only deals can be useful, if you’ve finished paying for your current phone contract, want to keep the phone you already have, but have the freedom to change the tariff you’re on. This can be useful if you want to compare prices for minutes, text or data.
Just make sure you check which SIMs your phone is compatible with, as some phones take specific SIM types and can be locked to a certain network. Also if you haven’t yet finished your current phone contract, you will have to pay off the remaining contract, you might also be charged an exit fee.
Which tariff should I choose?
Ultimately, the tariff you choose will depend on how you want to use your phone. Some aspects to consider:
Minutes: This is how much call time is included. Some tariffs may offer free calls to others on the same network, or bonus deals for businesses.
Texts: Much like inclusive minutes, most tariffs will offer a number of free texts for you to use each month. Some providers will let you change this flexibly, with add-on bundles.
Data: Data refers to the amount of content (e.g. music, video) or information (such as web pages) you can access on your phone each month. If you enjoy apps, video calls, streaming music and cloud services, or check your emails and work documents regularly, you’ll probably be looking for a tariff with a generous amount of data included.
Contract length: If you think you’ll want to upgrade your phone handset regularly, it’s probably sensible to choose a shorter contract. Most contracts tend to last 18 to 24 months. These longer contracts may also have a lower monthly cost and you’ll pay less upfront for the handset itself (some may even offer it free).
What handset is right for me?
With so much choice, it’s difficult to know whether to go with an Apple iPhone, an Android from Samsung, Sony or HTC, or a Windows Phone from Nokia.
Your best bet is to think about what you’re going to be using your phone for on a daily basis.
Basic phones: If apps, the web, music and pictures aren’t your thing, perhaps something a little more utilitarian would be up your street. Basic phones make it easy to call or text. Beyond this, they typically only have a few key functions, such as a diary, a calculator or an alarm clock.
Smartphones: Increasingly the most popular choice, smartphones are essentially a computer in your pocket. With hundreds of apps and features at your fingertips, they are a personal organiser, digital camera and music/video player rolled into one.
If you’re looking at smartphones, you’ll need to consider whether you prefer an Android, Windows Phone or Apple operating systems. This decision might come down to the type of devices you already own. If you have a Windows laptop already, then a Windows phone might integrate better with it. Own an Apple iPad? It’ll play nicer with an Apple iPhone.
Smartphones are usually more expensive than basic phones, but there are increasing numbers of highly capable low-cost smartphones on the market these days. So it always pays to shop around.