Compare our best mobile phone deals
Is there anything you own that you spend more time holding, using and interacting with than your mobile phone?
You spend so much time with your mobile phone that it’s so important that you get the right handset on the right contract for you.
Don’t forget about those frustrations you are trying to avoid:
- Being out and about and you find no signal.
- Battery running out before you can find somewhere to charge it.
- Running out of data on the go.
- Feeling like you are being overcharged compared to other customers.
We will help you answer all your questions on mobile phone deals and find the perfect phone and contract for you.
How to compare mobile phone deals
You can use our comparison engine at the top of this page. It allows you to filter by the factors that matter most to you.
- Type - select whether you want to see Mobile Phone deals (those that include a phone with the contract) or SIM only (where you just get a SIM card and have to provide your own phone).
- Brand - filter down by manufacturers of phones you are interested in e.g. Apple.
- Models - filter down by individual phones you are interested in e.g. iPhone 14.
- Networks - filter down by the networks you are interested in e.g. Vodafone.
- Monthly Cost - filter out deals that cost more than you want to spend per month
- Upfront Cost - filter out deals that cost more in upfront costs than you want to spend.
- Data - filter deals by the amount of monthly data allowance they include.
- Contract Length - filter deals by the length of the contract you are willing to sign up for.
- Postcode - enter your postcode to only show deals that have the best mobile coverage in your area.
Play around with filters and see what deals it shows you until it finds you a deal that hits your own personal sweet spot.
Compare phones by brand
If you prefer one brand over another, or have a few favorites, we have a selection of almost 20 brands we can find you deals on.
These include the ever popular (yet pricey) Apple iPhone Mobile Deals, from the most up to date models to better priced legacy models.
Probably Apple’s strongest rival is Samsung with the very popular and very well manufactured Samsung Galaxy range.
What to look out for in phone contracts
What to look out for depends on what type of user you are. While for many people a phone is almost an extension of themselves, for others it is really just something they just use for making the occasional call (yes, those people still exist!).
For people who are out of home more than they are at home then data allowance on the contract and battery life on the phone will be more important than it is to those who spend the majority of their time at home and mainly use their home wifi connection.
So think about what’s most important to you and then use our comparison tables and filter based on your most important criteria first.
How to get a cheaper mobile phone deal
You can get a cheaper mobile phone deal if you are out of contract by comparing the options available to you with our mobile phone deal comparison at the top of this page.
Some way to get a cheaper deal:
- If you have a phone already then look for a SIM only deal, you won’t be paying for the cost of buying a new phone, all you pay for is call time and data.
- Ask yourself if you can get away with having less data allowance or call time, a lower spec deal can save you money.
- Call up your current provider and ask if they can offer you a better deal. Be sure to know what other providers' deals are available and ask your current supplier to match them. Haggling doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a try, you have nothing to lose.
All the most frequently asked questions on mobile phone deals
What’s best, Android, iOS or something else?
Android and iOS are the two dominant mobile phone operating systems out there.
Between them they account for almost 99% market share of mobile operating systems around the world.
Android is the most widely used with around 86% of phones being powered by it.
Apple’s iOS has a share of around 13% and is only available on Apple manufactured products.
Is there anything else to consider? Well not really, unless you are going for something like the retro pre-smartphone phones like those from Nokia in which case you probably won’t be worrying about what the operating system is.
So at the end of the day, if you want an iPhone you will be getting iOS, if you get any other type of smartphone you’ll almost guaranteed to be getting Android.
What are the most popular mobile networks?
There are two types of network, the four actual mobile networks which own and maintain their own infrastructure, and virtual networks which rent airtime from the actual mobile networks.
The four actual physical networks:
Virtual networks include:
- Tesco Mobile
- iD Mobile
- Sky Mobile
- Virgin Mobile
- BT Mobile
- Asda Mobile
- Plusnet Mobile
You aren’t disadvantaged by going with a virtual network instead of a physical network, they often have some very good deals, especially for SIM only and Pay as you go.
Can I compare phones by network?
It’s easy to compare phones by network, just use the comparison engine at the top of this page and select the network you want to see phone deals for in the filter section.
Can I get a mobile phone plan with unlimited data?
Yes you can get unlimited data mobile phone deals from almost all the mobile networks.
Some of them do have fair usage policies so they can prevent the small number of users who may abuse this facility and use contracts that are designed for personal use for commercial use instead.
Fair usage may be a limit on the amount of data per month, this is usually very high, like 1000GB. Other providers may start to throttle the download speed you get once you hit a high amount of downloads in a month.
However, you really need to be going for it to hit these kinds of fair usage caps.
The one exception to fair use is Three Mobile who offer truly unlimited data on their unlimited deals, with no caps on usage.
What is a SIM free phone?
A SIM free phone is one that can be used with any network. Often when you buy a phone as part of a mobile phone deal the network you are buying it from will lock the phone to that network so you can’t easily use a SIM card from another network with it.
When you buy a SIM free phone you have to pay for the phone upfront, which for some of the latest phones can be over £1000. However, it’s the cheapest overall way to buy a phone as paying for one monthly as part of a contract usually costs more for the phone over time compared to buying outright, but not everyone can afford to buy upfront all in one go.
If you have an existing mobile phone deal that you are locked in to, but you want a new phone, you can buy a SIM free phone and put your contracted SIM in and it will work just fine.
A SIM free phone is also a great option if you’ve lost or damaged beyond repair a phone you have under contract and need to get back up and running.
What is a SIM only plan?
A SIM only plan is where you already have a mobile phone which you are happy with and you just need a network connection and package.
In this case all the network needs to provide you is the SIM card that you slot into your phone. This means that the deals are much cheaper as you aren’t also paying for the cost of a phone over time.
You can check out all the latest SIM only deals that we’ve discovered for you.
Can I unlock a phone that’s locked to a single mobile network?
Yes you can, you need to find an independent mobile phone shop who can usually do it for a small fee (around £15-£20) while you wait.
The other option is to contact your mobile network who will also be able to do it, sometimes for a small fee, but it can take longer this way.
Contract phone vs SIM only?
A contract phone is one you pay for over time as part of a mobile phone deal. As the latest high spec phones can cost upwards of £1000 then such a cost spread over a 24 month contract will be adding around £40 a month to your price (but you will get a very nice phone!).
With SIM only there is no phone cost you are paying for, so the deals are much cheaper on a monthly basis, but you do need to have a phone already.
So if you have a phone you already own that you are happy with, or if you’d rather buy a new phone yourself upfront, then go for a SIM only deal.
If you want a brand new phone, but can’t (or don’t want to) pay for it upfront then go for a contract phone deal.
What are the benefits of a pay monthly contract?
A pay monthly contract will come with a phone, usually a very good one, without having to fork out upfront for it, which is great for your cash flow. You simply pay for the phone in installments over the lifetime of the contract as part of the deal.
Pay monthly deals usually are better value than Pay as You Go (PAYG), so if you are a big user of your phone and calls and data then think about this.
You might also find you get nice little extras with a monthly contract such as streaming TV packages thrown in.
What mobile phone contract should I choose?
Put simply you should choose the one that works best for you and your circumstances.
If your credit is good, you can afford it and you need a new phone then go for a pay monthly contract phone deal.
If you have a phone already then go for a SIM only deal.
If you have bad credit, or don’t want to commit to a long term deal then look at pay as you go deals.
With a contract phone do I have to pay an upfront cost?
The answer to this one is “sometimes”.
The newer the phone model is the more likely there is to be an upfront charge. Older cheaper models will have less of an upfront charge.
You can usually find a deal for almost any phone with no upfront charge, but they will have higher monthly charges.
At the end of the day the mobile network will need to get back the cost of the phone over the lifetime of the contract, so the higher the upfront cost the lower the monthly payments you need to make and vice-versa.
Who owns my phone when my contract ends?
You do, you’ve paid for it over the lifetime of the contract and now it is yours. You can keep it, sell it or give it away.
You may find that the phone is locked to the network you purchased it from. However you can get it unlocked so it can be used on any network.
If I upgrade my phone can I keep my old one?
Yes you can keep your old phone when you upgrade your phone.
You might find that you get offered a trade in price from your provider, but we find that it’s usually better to keep your old phone as a spare in case you lose or damage your new phone.
If you want to get the most value for your old phone then selling it privately usually gets the best price.
I have bad credit, can I still get a phone contract?
It can be tricky to get a phone contract if you have bad credit as all providers who supply a phone as part of the deal will do a credit check.
If your credit history is awful then you might be a bit stuck, but if it’s bad rather than awful then maybe going for a cheaper phone rather than one of the very newest models might get you through.
Otherwise look at SIM only contracts where the risk is much lower, or shorter term rolling SIM only deals where in many cases there isn’t a need for a credit check.
There is always pay as you go where you pay in advance, no risk to the supplier then so no need for checks.
Help, I’ve been rejected for a phone contract! What can I do?
Ok, don’t panic!
First of all, don’t apply for another phone contract until you have checked your credit record with Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. This will help you discover why you were rejected and you can then see what your options are for fixing this.
If you apply for another contract without checking this first then you will most likely get rejected again and might just make the situation harder to fix in the long run.
In the meantime look at SIM only deals, particularly pay monthly ones where there is no credit check which will allow you to start building your credit score by showing you can pay this regularly (make sure you do and don’t miss any payments!).
There are also Pay as you go options if all else fails that don’t require a credit check.
Can I change my mind once I’ve received my phone or SIM?
As long as you signed up online or over the phone then you are protected by consumer contracts regulations for distance selling and can cancel for any reason you like within 14 days. This is known as the ‘cooling off’ period.
Simply contact the provider you signed up with and tell them that you want to cancel the contract and they will arrange the return of the phone with you and your contract will be canceled.
Can I switch providers and keep my mobile phone number?
Yes you can switch providers and keep your mobile phone number.
You just need your PAC code from your current supplier to give to your new supplier who will then arrange for your number to move over for you.
To get your PAC code, just text ‘PAC’ to 65075 on your handset and your supplier will reply within 1 minute.
We have a full guide on how to switch mobile networks and keep your mobile phone number.
How do I find out if I am still in contract?
It’s really simple and quick, just text ‘INFO’ to 85075 on your current phone to find out.
Your current supplier will text you back within a minute with details of if you are still in your minimum contract period or not.
Can an 18 year old get a mobile contract?
Yes, as soon as you're 18 you can sign up for contracts.
You might find you are a little limited on some of your options as you won’t have much (or any) credit history.
It should be easy enough to get SIM only contracts and you should find at least some contract phone options are available.
If you are worried about your options it can often be best to call up the network you are interested in and discuss what’s suitable for you.
Can I get a phone contract at 18 with no credit history?
It can be a challenge, but not impossible.
Make sure you are registered to vote so you will appear on the electoral roll, this can really help.
Find if you have anyone who could maybe be a guarantor for you, such as parents or other relatives.
Another option is to buy the new phone outright (or get a second hand or refurbished mobile) and get a SIM only contract which will help start to build a positive credit rating.
What are the requirements for a phone contract?
You generally only require a debit or credit card to apply for a phone contract. The phone network will use this as proof of identity.
They will however in most cases then also do a credit check, requirements vary, but you will have to meet the minimum standard they require for the deal you are applying for.
How long do pay monthly contracts last?
Pay monthly contracts last on average between 12 and 36 months.
Usually a 24 month contract is the best balance to spread the cost of the phone over time enough to make the monthly payments manageable without tying you in too long.
How do I find the best phone with a low price?
To find the best phone with a low price you need to compare prices and shop around.
Our comparison tool at the top of this page will allow you to filter by what’s important to you until you’ve narrowed down the best phone for you at the lowest price.