Picking a mobile phone and contract is a nightmare. Should you go for a contract? What about PAYG? What about a rolling contract? An Apple? Or an Android? See total ‘mare!
I’m going to break it down, so you can decide on what you need, and then get the best possible deal.
When deciding if you want a contract there are three things you need to think about.
Minutes – How often will you be chatting on the phone? It’s a toughie, because you don’t want to underestimate the amount of minutes you’ll use (because if you go over, it will be expensive), but you don’t want to be paying for minutes you never use. Before committing to anything, work out what you’re currently using. The minutes you use should be on your bill, if not, call up your current provider and find out.
Texts – For most people, this matters the least because let’s think about it, when was the last time you sent 5000 texts? (Probably 2007 for me). Sure, you may message a lot, but it’s probably on Whatsapp or Facebook messenger and for that, you need WIFI.
DATA – Data = internet. In my opinion, this is what really counts. The bigger the better (in fact, I know people who don’t have home broadband, and just tether off their phone). If you’re online a lot (browsing Facebook, reading emails, the odd video and now then), I’d suggest you get at least 3GB of data.
Alright, don’t write it off without hearing me out. PAYG phones aren’t what they were like 5-10 years ago (anyone else remember trudging to the shop in the rain to top-up so you can text your mates?).
If you have the cash to buy the handset upfront, you can usually get yourself a better deal. And the best bit – there’s no contract, so you can leave whenever you like.
SIM only deals
If you already have a phone, but want a contract – here’s where you can get some real deals. If you are changing networks and want to keep your number, you’ll need to request a PAC number from your network. (Slight side note, every now and then it is worth calling and asking for your PAC code, because it means that intend to leave, so they’ll often try and convince you to stay by reducing the cost of your contract. Its risk free, because you don’t have to do anything once you have the code).
What I have
Me? I’m a girl of simple tastes. I’m a big fan of Android phones and love my Nexus 6, which I got on offer for £230 a few months ago. I honestly couldn’t fork out £700 for a phone (mostly because I drop them a lot).
I am also a big fan of Giffgaff, as there’s no contract (well… it’s a rolling one you can cancel whenever you want), and I have all the minutes, texts and data I need (and I use my phone all the time), for £12 a month.
How to get the cheapest deal
The best tool out there is Mobilephonechecker (trust me, I know the guy who built it, and he’s a genius!). You can compare deals on mobile phones and SIM cards, so you can easily see which is the best deal for you. Have a play, and let me know what you think.