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Phone cost over cycle

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
edited 8 February in The cake stop
Quick question. I need a new phone. Don't need any advice on what to buy, but off the top of anyone's head:

Are phones you buy outright and then purchase a sim-only contract usually cheaper over the entire 24 month cycle or are the contracts usually cheaper overall?
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  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,704
    A bit of depends on the phone and deals available but as a rule sim only is cheaper especially if you go longer than 24 months
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
    The bastards are making me work it out for each contract and i cba.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,204
    edited 8 February
    What SC said. I keep phones for about 5 years since 2016 as there's not really much difference these days.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
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  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,867
    We used to get our new phones on contract but stopped a couple of years ago. Most contracts are now over 3yrs and not 2. Unless you want the very latest Iphone or Samsung 5G phone its easier to shop around and buy outright. I currently pay a tenner for 10GB data with free minutes and unlimited txts, cheaper available if you look around. I tend to go for the previous generation model to the one coming in or even below that as there the cheapest and just as good.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,235
    If it weren't more profitable contract phones woudn't be so heavily promoted against sim only deals. Olus there's the "bait and switch" annual upgrade.

    Buy a decent 5G phone, get a sim only deal.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,704

    The bastards are making me work it out for each contract and i cba.

    Go on Vodafone it makes life very simple

    The sim only content will be the same as all in contracts and you can see the price of the phone

    If you are finding it too complicated you are doing something wrong
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,785
    edited 8 February
    I've always found sim only deals significantly cheaper - even when a headline figure jumps out, I add up the cost, and on a 24 month contract, it's more expensive than just buying the handset in half the time.

    I tend to keep my phones for 3-4 years.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,189

    The bastards are making me work it out for each contract and i cba.


    Excel.
    Ben

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  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 12,704
    The likes of Carphone Warehouse are seeing their business model collapse as the crushed avocado brigade have figured out that being defined by your mobile phone is more fascile than wearing glasses with no lenses
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,221

    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?

    giff gaff is super cheap for data and I've had no more issues with questionable cornish coverage than Vodaphone or o2.

    Check out the 'budget' phones around 3 or 400 squids too (Pixel 4a my fave) as they're more than enough for speaking, texting or twitter browsing sort of use.
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  • wilberforcewilberforce Posts: 210
    ddraver said:



    giff gaff is super cheap for data and I've had no more issues with questionable cornish coverage than Vodaphone or o2.

    giff gaff is owned by and uses same network as O2

    I think Tesco also still uses the O2 network (or at least it used to)
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,867
    The obscur networks tend to piggyback off the mainstream providers. A quick search on Google will tell you who. Around my area its O2 or EE as Vodafone is pants. Check your area coverage.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 4,147
    ddraver said:

    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?

    giff gaff is super cheap for data and I've had no more issues with questionable cornish coverage than Vodaphone or o2.

    Check out the 'budget' phones around 3 or 400 squids too (Pixel 4a my fave) as they're more than enough for speaking, texting or twitter browsing sort of use.
    That's because Giff Gaff uses the o2 network, it doesn't have its own.
    Felt F1 2014
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    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
    elbowloh said:

    ddraver said:

    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?

    giff gaff is super cheap for data and I've had no more issues with questionable cornish coverage than Vodaphone or o2.

    Check out the 'budget' phones around 3 or 400 squids too (Pixel 4a my fave) as they're more than enough for speaking, texting or twitter browsing sort of use.
    That's because Giff Gaff uses the o2 network, it doesn't have its own.
    Yeah I don't understand the model - why pay the premium for o2 when it's the same antennae?
  • wilberforcewilberforce Posts: 210
    Giff Gaff is just the low cost option - all service and communication is on line, push is for sim-only so no need for handset logistics and repair, no shop presence etc.
    Great option if all you want is the connectivity.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,643

    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?

    I'm with ID, but I'd already bought the phone and got a PAYG sim card off them.
    Calls etc. have cost me £165 over the last 4 years (half of that was in 2019 for some reason) but I'm a light user.

    I think ID piggyback on the 3 network and coverage has been fine around here. Much better than O2 was.
    No idea how good support etc. is because I've never needed to use them.
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 7,571
    I did use giffgaff. 'Kin useless when started getting fraudulent 'premium rate' texts at £4.50 per, even though account settings forbade such. Company unable to stop fraudsters filching money. Customer service level = zero unless one counts online chatter.

    Xxxxed off to a PAYG deal with O2, ironically. Currently using a Galaxy S7 from my daughter's pile of cast offs post upgrades. Works fine for me, think I've spent a mahoosive £15 this past year 😎
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 6,473
    Family are with smarty. £7 gets unlimited everything plusx2GB of data. If you don't use all the data you get money back prorata at £1 per GB. If you run outcits £1 per GB on top. No contract. We also get a family discount on top. For a new phone the xiaomi mi 10 lite is 5G with acceptable bells and whistles for about £180. Look as good as phone costing a grand.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 4,147

    Family are with smarty. £7 gets unlimited everything plusx2GB of data. If you don't use all the data you get money back prorata at £1 per GB. If you run outcits £1 per GB on top. No contract. We also get a family discount on top. For a new phone the xiaomi mi 10 lite is 5G with acceptable bells and whistles for about £180. Look as good as phone costing a grand.

    Plus you get some sweet treats
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,508
    It's going to depend massively on the phone choice surely? The iPhone 12 64mb is £800 and I just looked at contracts which started at £56 per month (unlimited calls, texts and data) with £30 up front. So you're paying £1374 over 24 months. Therefore if you can get all your needs from Giff Gaff or similar for £23 you're winning.
  • When you can get a Three unlimited calls/text/data SIM for ~£16pcm and get ~£55+ Topcashback, making it effectively under £12pcm, buying the mobile SIM free has to be the cheapest option...

    If Three reception/speeds are acceptable in your normal area.
    ================
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  • super_davosuper_davo Posts: 579
    Never going back to a pay monthly phone deal, it will always be sim only plus phone for me from now on.

    I'm on on ID, 2gb data, unlimited minutes and text at £5 a month. Whilst that is fairly low data in the scheme of things, it is fine for my needs. However I could spend a tenner and get 30gb (as long as you have Wifi at home, that would effectively be unlimited). On any sort of phone bundled deal, to go from basic "I can manage" to "I couldn't possibly use it" ramps costs up way more than £5. So my ID contract would save you over £230 in the iPhone example above - and there may be others that fit your needs better. Think of the phone contract as an outrageously high APR finance deal and you wouldn't be far from the truth.

    As long as you can afford the phone outright - and there really is no excuse not to be able to with Xiaomi, Samsung A series, Oppo, Realme etc. all doing "all the phone you really need" for under £250 - it will always make sense to go SIM only.
  • piker2piker2 Posts: 45
    edited 9 February

    OK helpful - and anyone have a view on the weird networks like ID, etc?

    I am on ID. No problems with coverage at all. Unlimited calls and texts 10mb data for £6 a month. I have been on it for about 2 years now.

    If you need anew phone and have some Tesco clubcard vouchers Tesco is the place to go. Vouchers are worth 3x face value there.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 5,454
    Well we could all "cope" with a Nokia 6310, if this thread is a "who has the most frugal phone package" competition.

    Mobile providers make most money from out of contract phones, where people stay on the same deal.

    Unless risk a hypothetical signal from Three, there is not a lot in it with the likes of EE or Vodafone during the contract. Providing, that is, you go sim only for the 30 days or so between your conract ending and finding mysterious upgrade inducing battery drain on you handset.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
    Ok thanks guys.

    Bought a 'perfect' condition refurbed phone. Worked out around £150 cheaper over 24 months for the cheaper contracts (weird networks) and around £250 over the long term contracts, plus the flexibity to chop and change whatever data contract I am on so I can save more in theory.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,785
    edited 9 February
    I had been with Voda for years, partly as I used to work for them.

    Finally made the change last week - transferred my mobile across to three on Friday, went nice and smoothly, and my partners mobile is due to transfer today.

    £30 cashback for each 24 month through TCB, and only £8 a month for 12GB - they did offer me 30GB for £11 a month, but we simply don't use the data, especially currently.

    With regards to unfashionable but decent handsets, I've had success with Huaweaeiieieie - both with their Honor 7, and more recently the Honor 10.
    IIRC the 7 was £200, and the 10 was £280 (From Argos of all places!)

    With the Honor 7 the battery ended up draining really quickly, at 3 years of age.
    I subscribed to a new charging method with this one, re an article I read.

    It said never to use it whilst on charge, and never to leave it charging overnight, and also never to let it drop down to 0%.
    It suggested charging as soon as it dropped to 40%, and only charging up to around 90%.

    So far so good, battery life seems just as good as when it was new, and with the fast charger you can pop 50% in to it in less than an hour.
    The phone is 27 months old, so will be interested to see if it lasts beyond 3 years.
    That's my only complaint with the modern phones, the bloomin soldered & bonded in battery\sealed case. I know you can change them if you're really keen & have a heat gun.

    My old Samsung galaxy S2 I was simply able to buy a new battery for not very much to double it's life span.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,508
    I suppose the other thing to possibly consider again now is roaming costs if you are likely to travel quite a bit (present circumstances excepted).
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,736 Lives Here
    Pross said:

    I suppose the other thing to possibly consider again now is roaming costs if you are likely to travel quite a bit (present circumstances excepted).

    Have seen some sim only offers that won't charge EU roaming, and worst case I will just use my work phone...
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 13,906
    I know giffgaff don't charge EU roaming, and I've just gone across to Virgin, they don't charge for EU roaming either, for data, calls or texts. Might change though.

    Calls to the EU from giffgaff are ridiculously cheap - 2p a minute to Netherlands land lines, 5p for Netherlands mobiles. Virgin charge 19p a minute for the same thing.

    Calling to the USA from giffgaff is 2p a minute, Virgin charge £1.20 a minute.
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