Some rural areas don't have the best mobile phone coverage , so check how your chosen provider fares before signing up for a pay monthly contract that could tie you in for as much as two years.
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Confused about coverage? We take a look at each of the main networks. The most important thing to consider when picking a pay monthly tariff is how you use your phone. If you make a lot of calls, of course you'll want a tariff with a generous calls allowance.
By the same token, if you text a lot, you'll want a hefty allowance of texts. The good news is these days even cheap contracts give generous calls and texts allowances. And many actually offer unlimited calls and texts. But arguably the most important thing to consider is how much you think you'll use your phone for mobile-internet applications, such as streaming video and music, social media, email and browsing websites. Networks are much less generous with data allowances and unlimited data contracts are harder to come by.
If you want a large data allowance, you'll have to pay quite a bit to get one. How much data do you need? We take a close look at data allowances for our guide. Generally contracts last 24 months or 12 months.
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But the overwhelming majority of people choose a month contract. And with good reason. When you sign up for a month contract you're spreading the cost over a longer term, so you won't have to find as much money every month to pay for your phone. The downside is that if you do choose a month contract over a month term, you'll pay more in the long run. It's also worth noting that on month contracts, you'll usually have to pay quite a bit upfront to help cover the cost of the phone. Mobiles Home. Our best contract phone deals Looking for a new phone?
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Unlimited minutes. See deal. Can't find what you're looking for? A mobile contract with a handset, for example, may vary how much you pay up-front, which will alter the monthly cost. Let's take a quick overview, though, of the various types of deal available. Hopefully we can narrow things down a bit so you have a better idea of where to start. Choosing a specific phone can be hard. To be fair, it's probably a lot easier if you're crazy about one particular brand.
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If you have to have an Apple or a Samsung obsession specifically, it narrows the field and simplifies things considerably. But what if you're completely undecided? All those shiny, rectangular things look much the same as one another to a layperson.
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So how do you decide? We reckon you should start by considering some of these factors. While there are a number of mostly budget brands that few of us have heard of as well as branded phones from the likes of EE and Vodafone out there, most of us will end up choosing one of the following brands. It's a good idea, then, for us to briefly explore what separates each from the rest, and list of few of the most popular, current models.
Let's not confuse manufacturer or brand above with provider. While you can buy an Apple phone, you can't get an Apple mobile deal that offers minutes, data and texts. For that you need a mobile provider. Let's run through the most popular providers and offer a brief description of what each of them offers. Bear in mind that the links in this section will take you to the SIM only comparison tool for each individual provider. If you want to compare mobile phones you're already on the right page. Those providers run their own networks, where all other providers piggyback on one of the four.
The main ways the four networks differentiate themselves beyond coverage is in the speed of their 4G data. Let's take a look at each. EE claims the best 4G coverage.
According to crowdsourced speed data from insight organisation Tutela, in January EE provided the fastest average data speeds of the four network providers with average 4G download speeds of around 27Mbps. Tutela measured its average 4G download speed as around 21Mbps. Tutela measured its average 4G download speed as around 11Mbps, the slowest of the four. Tutela measured its average 4G download speed as around 16Mbps.
How long is a piece of string? It really depends on what you're looking for. But there is never a 'best' deal — only one that suits you the most at a price you can afford. Unfortunately, to find that you're going to have to do a little of the work yourself. Interesting question. If you're truly after the cheapest out there irrespective of any other factor, you need only sort the results on this page by price.
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Of course, cheapest doesn't always mean best value for money, so it's a good idea to know how much you're willing to spend before you start browsing and comparing. Most of the time.
PAYG handsets are always at the budget end of the scale, so don't expect a great phone, unless you're willing to pay big bucks. However, most PAYG phones are perfectly serviceable so long as you don't absolutely need the shiny, deluxe experience of some of the top-end models. Both offer only a SIM, which you will need to put into an existing phone you already own.