Correct as of September 2023.
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 mobile networks, 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 monthly contract and SIM only deals, and find the right one for you.
Mobile phone contract, PAYG or SIM only?
You have three choices when it comes to mobile phone contracts:
- Monthly contract.
With a monthly contract, 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.
- Pay as you go (PAYG). 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.
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, but only outside of the European Union. Although the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the free roaming rules that apply within the EU, should continue to apply to UK citizens - at least until the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December, 2020.
But outside of the EU, roaming charges apply to calls, texts and data. The amount you’ll have to pay depends on what country you’re in, and what plan you’re on.
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.
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 do I choose the right handset for me?
When it comes to choosing a handset, 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 for me?
Switch when it’s cheaper: If you’re outside your contract, you won’t need to pay any cancellation fee.
Work out what you need: How much data do you use every month? How many texts and minutes? You don’t want to pay for more than you’ll use, but remember that going over your data limit could be expensive. That’s because you could be charged more for using extra data.
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.
How do I compare mobile phone deals with Comparethemarket?
We have a huge range of mobile networks, handset deals and contracts to choose from. Compare by:
- SIM-only deal
You can also shop by network, including deals from EE, O2 and giffgaff.
Once the quotes come in, you can filter the results by data limit, text and minutes allowance, or phone tech spec – until you find the deal that suits your needs.
Why use Compare the Market?
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 Correct as of September 2023.
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.”
- Sajni Shah, Utilities expert