Compare mobile phone deals
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Why should you compare mobile phones with us?
If you’re one of the 94% of UK adults who own a mobile phone, and you’re in the market for a new contract, we can help. We have a huge range of leading networks, mobile phone deals and contracts for you to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for the latest iPhone, Samsung, or Android device, or you’ve already got a handset you love, compare phone deals, including monthly contract and SIM only deals, and find the right one for you.
Mobile phone contract, SIM only or SIM free?
You have three choices when it comes to mobile phone contracts:
- Monthly contract
Monthly contract mobile phone deals see you pay a monthly fee in return for a new phone and an allowance of calls, texts and data. You'll be tied to a network provider by a contract that typically ranges from 12-24 months. It can be a good option if you use your phone a lot, or if you want to spread the cost of buying the latest phone.
- SIM-only deals
This is typically either a one-month rolling contract or a 12-month contract that doesn't include a new phone. SIM-only contracts are useful if you already have a phone you want to keep, but want a better price for data, texts and minutes. Find out more about the pros and cons of a SIM-only deal.
- SIM-free deals
Here you only pay for what you use. It’s a good option if you don’t use your phone very often and prefer not to be tied to a contract, or if you can’t get a contract due to a poor credit rating. You have to top up your credit when you run out, otherwise you won’t be able to make or send any more calls or texts.
How do I compare mobile phone deals with Compare the Market?
We have a huge range of mobile networks, handset deals and contracts to choose from. Our comparison service allows you to find the right phone with the right package for your needs. You’ll first choose whether you want a phone deal or a SIM-only package, and from there, you’ll be able to filter and choose from a variety of options to find the best fit for you. You can compare by:
- Phone contract vs. SIM only
- Phone model – including storage options and colour
- Monthly cost
- Data, minutes and text limits
- 4G vs. 5G
- Contract length
- Option to include phone resellers – you can specify which resellers you can choose from, as well as the second-hand phone’s condition (new, nearly new or refurbished)
- Free gifts
With all of these filtering options, you can quickly find the right deals for you after ticking the relevant boxes. From there, you can compare deals and choose the one that fits you best at the cheapest price.Compare now
Compare mobile phone networks
At Compare the Market, we help you compare the latest deals from a wide range of phone providers. This includes the big four of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, as well as medium and smaller suppliers such as BT and Tesco mobile.
We’ve included some information on some of our biggest partners, but you can a full guide to mobile network operators that we compare here.
BT Mobile, powered by EE, provides some of the best coverage in the UK, more than 99% of the country. BT Mobile are also among the first networks to adopt 5G.
The UK’s largest mobile network provides coverage for over 99% of the UK. They were also the first network to support 5G in the UK. They also offer some of the best mobile rewards, including free access to a range of media and content apps.
Giffgaff has established itself as one of the UK’s largest mobile operators outside of the big four. They offer phones to either buy outright or on a monthly contract, as well as SIM-only deals. Phones also include pre-owned options, which can be great for saving some extra money. Giffgaff’s flexibility is highlighted by their monthly rolling plans.
The second largest mobile network in the UK, O2 provides coverage to 99% of the UK. They were also among the first networks to adopt 5G.
They are famous for their ‘priority’ offers, which include a huge range of benefits, such as free trials, discounts and competitions, as well as priority access for tickets to concerts and events at O2 venues.
Three are one of the UK’s ‘big four’ mobile networks. They offer some of the most widespread 5G coverage in the UK, while their 4G coverage spans almost the entire country.
They specialise in ‘all you can eat’ data plans, for unlimited browsing, while other plans include a ‘go binge’ feature, which allows you to stream content from a range of apps, including Netflix and Apple Music, without eating into your data limit.
The final ‘big four’ network, Vodafone offers 5G coverage in selected locations, as well as 4G coverage across 99% of the UK.
They also offer a wide-ranging rewards scheme. ‘VeryMe’ provides weekly benefits and freebies, including small gifts such as free food and drink at selected partners, but can stretch further to exclusive ticket access for live events.
As the mobile network who promises “endless social media”, Voxi is big on data. This includes massive data plans, all the way up to unlimited, but also offers the ability to browse specific social media apps, without eating into your data limit at all. These apps are Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.Compare mobile phone networks
Compare mobile phone manufacturers
There are a lot of phone brands out there, so, to help you out, we’ve put together a summary of all of the different brands that you can compare with Compare the Market.
With the launch of its new iPhone 12 range, the Apple iPhone remains one of the most recognisable phone brands in the world. Originally launched in 2007, the iPhone series has seen many iterations, introducing features such as Apple Pay, Facetime, Face ID and more. Apple iPhones are popular because of their simplicity and compatibility, allowing you to seamlessly integrate apps and features with other Apple devices you own. With the new iPhone 12 range, Apple’s premium phones now support 5G for lightning fast internet, and are boasting the “fastest chip in a smartphone” with the A14 Bionic.
As the leader of the international smartphone market, Samsung offers some of the most popular phones in the world. Their Galaxy series offers a range of models to suit your needs, with ultra-high specs that push phone technology to new heights. They’ve even embraced the new foldable touch screen trend with their Galaxy Z Flip. Most recently, their Samsung Galaxy S21 range offers their fastest ever chip, along with key features including a 108MP camera, 8K video support and a super smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
Google entered the smartphone market in 2013, making it one of the newer brands on our list. Their Pixel series offer top quality specs, as well as integration into a number of Google’s other systems, including Google Stadia for gaming, and infinite cloud storage through Google Photos and Google Drive. Pixel phones also often offer a cheaper alternative to the more expensive Apple and Samsung models.
Their latest Pixel 5 model boasts a 48-hour battery life, and also offers wireless charging and “Battery Share”, which allows you to charge your phone using another friend’s Pixel. And, with Google Assistant, you can manage your daily tasks and take control of your phone, even when you can’t get your hands to it.
While it may have appeared as though they came out of nowhere to overtake Apple as the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, Huawei have been around for decades. Founded in 1987, this Chinese telecoms firm has extended its reach throughout the western market in recent years to become a major player. Their P40 range has very impressive specs that rival other market leaders such as the latest Samsung Galaxy and iPhone models.
HTC are a popular phone brand who are always looking to innovate. They were the first to integrate hands-free Amazon Alexa support, and their Edge Sense feature is the first of its kind. Edge Sense allows you to interact with your phone, simply by squeezing it, creating new ways to interact with your device. They also boast special technologies for both their screen and speakers.
Alcatel offers a wide-range of phone models, so you can pick up a model with the latest specs, such as a 13MP camera with HDR and an HD screen, to basic models that are convenient for younger or older members of the family, those who like no fuss or simply need a back up phone.
Since taking the market by storm in the early 2000s with their RAZR model, Motorola have established themselves in the international phone market. In 2020, the RAZR was relaunched in a big way, with the famous flip design being reworked to include a foldable touch screen, embracing the new wave of phone technology, with impressive specs to match.
Phones have come a long way since Nokia’s first model launched in 1987. Most famous perhaps for their famous Nokia 3310 series, which took the world by storm in 2000, Nokia are well-known for their reliability and excellent construction. You can get top-of-the-range smartphone models that boast some of the latest features and technology, as well as basic models that act as an excellent back up phone, boasting fantastic battery life and durable design.
Sony’s smartphone offering provides something for pretty much everyone, with their Xperia series offering ultra-fast phones with the latest specs, as well as much more budget friendly models that still perform really well. Their new Xperia 1 II is 5G ready, and includes camera features which take phones to a new level.
Frequently asked questions
What do mobile phone tariffs include?
Mobile phone contracts vary by network, but typically include:
Inclusive minutes: You'll get to choose from a set number of inclusive call minutes. This is where finding the right deal is really important, as you'll be charged if you exceed your limit. Be aware that not all types of calls will be covered by your inclusive minutes.
International calls from the UK: If you call overseas frequently, then look for a plan that offers a good deal on international calls. If there's one country you call often, see how different providers' charges vary for that location.
Travelling abroad: If you travel overseas often, you'll have to pay roaming charges. Since Britain left the European Union on 1 January 2021, those charges could now also apply when travelling in the EU and the European Economic Area, up to a limit of £45 per month. You’ll be prevented from exceeding that amount in any monthly billing period when using your phone within the EU and EEA, unless you “actively” decide to continue spending.
Government advice is to check the roaming policies of your mobile operator, before you go abroad, so you’re aware of what you may, or may not, be charged.
You can visit GOV.UK for more information.
Data: Most deals come with a data allowance, so it’s important to know how much data you’ll need. 1GB of data lets you send around 10,000 emails and allows you to stream about eight hours of high-quality music. Some mobile phone providers do offer unlimited data deals, so you won’t need to ever worry about running out.
4G vs 5G: This is a decision more and more phone users are facing. As 5G begins rolling out further, phone deals with 5G are becoming increasingly common. 5G is a new generation of mobile network which, while not available everywhere yet, makes previous data speeds look slow. Find out more about 5G.
Inclusive texts: Most packages come with a number of inclusive texts but, just as with inclusive minutes, you could be charged if you go over your limit.
How to compare mobile phones
When it comes to choosing a mobile phone deal, you might want to think about things like:
Operating system: Android, Windows and Apple operating systems each have their own unique features, so it's largely a matter of what you prefer. But you also need to think about whether you want to integrate your phone with other devices.
Camera quality: If you're a keen photographer, this will be a real deciding factor, particularly if you often shoot in poor light conditions.
Screen size and image quality: This will be important, especially if you're planning to watch video on your phone.
3G /4G capability: 4G phones are faster than 3G phones when it comes to browsing the internet and streaming video.
Data storage capability: If you want to store games, videos and images on your phone, you'll need to consider how much storage capacity you’ll need.
Extra storage may be useful if you keep lots of photos and video clips on your phone, and have a lot of apps. Then you’ll probably need a phone with at least 64GB.
Alternatively, you may be happy to have a smaller amount of storage capacity on your phone and use Cloud storage instead.
Battery life: You'll want a phone that will last for a reasonable amount of time after being charged.
How do I find the best mobile phone deal?
Switch when it’s cheaper: If you’re outside your contract, you won’t need to pay any cancellation fee.
Work out how much data, texts and minutes you need: You don’t want to pay for more than you’ll use, but remember that going over your limits could be expensive, as you’ll be charged for using extra.
Get the right length of contract: Don’t get tied into a long contract if you think that you’ll want to switch deals soon.
Look for add-ons: If you make a lot of international calls or think you’ll need to top up your data, look for add-ons that can save you money. For example, you may be able to add on an international call bundle.
Check the network: Make sure there’s good reception in your area for the network you’ve chosen.
Make your old handset pay: Getting a new handset? See if you could make money by recycling the old one. There are many online-based companies that take old mobile phones in exchange for cash.
From the Digital team
What our expert says..
“The mobile phone market is very competitive. With so much variety out there, it’s always worth shopping around for mobile phone deals and seeing if you can save. When you compare with us, you can tailor your deal to exactly what suits you – contract, SIM only and the right amount of data, texts and minutes for your needs.”