Whether you want the latest smartphone or a SIM-only deal, MoneySuperMarket has a huge range of leading networks, mobile phones and contracts for you to choose from.
EXPERT TIP: If you’re coming to the end of your contract, and you don’t hate the network you’re with, it would be a mistake not speak to your current provider before you make a switch.
Do your research and find a mobile phone deal you’re tempted by, call up your provider and tell them you want to leave. Then be as cheeky as you dare to see what they will offer you. Often, they’ll match or beat it. – Charlotte Burns
How to compare mobile phone deals with MoneySuperMarket
Whichever type of mobile phone deal you’re looking for, our comparison service allows you to find the right phone and package for your needs.
When you compare mobile phone deals with MoneySuperMarket, you can search and filter for the exact phone and plan that you want. The following search criteria will help you compare:
- Plan type: pay-monthly phone contract or SIM-only
- Phone model
- Data, minutes and text allowances
- Features – phone condition, storage, colour
- Network provider
- Contract length
- Freebies and incentives
After filtering your search, you’ll be presented with a selection of deals that best fit your needs. You can compare the features and decide which deal you’d like to go ahead with.
Compare mobile phone deals by brand
Here at MoneySuperMarket.com, we let you compare mobile phone deals on some of the most popular handsets around, including:
Apple iPhone – One of the most popular mobile brands around, Apple iPhones offer seamless integration and optimisation with other Apple devices and apps. Moreover, iPhones come with a plethora of new features each year, including updated cameras and more powerful chipsets.
Samsung Galaxy – Running on Android, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones are also some of the best on the market. Like Apple, the Korean tech giant brings out a new flagship handset each year, boasting brilliant screens and impressive zoom photography. Moreover, it also releases a selection of mid-range and low-cost models, as well as experimental foldable handsets.
Google Pixel – Google’s Pixel phones run Google’s Android operating system, and because Google makes both the hardware as well as the software, it’s the purest Android experience money can buy (most other companies add their own ‘skin’ to Android).
Despite boasting flagship specs, Pixel phones are also some of the more affordable around. At launch, the Pixel 7 started from £599 SIM-free, while the slightly lower-spec Pixel 7a was just £449. Top of the range is the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a bigger screen, bigger battery and more power.
Which is best? Samsung or iPhone?
The main difference is the operating system – iPhones run on Apple iOS, while Samsung uses Google’s Android operating system.
iPhones use Face ID and Apple Pay, while Samsung phones incorporate Touch ID and Google Pay. Apple offers iMessage, while Samsung doesn’t have an equivalent.
iPhones make use of iCloud to sync with other Apple devices you may have, while Samsung Cloud lets you access your data across your Samsung phone, tablet or computer.
Hardware-wise, Samsung uses USB-C charging, while Apple still uses its Lightning charger.
There are some smaller, more subjective differences – for example, Apple is usually classed as the best for video, while Samsung produces more saturated pictures and better zoom photos.
But it ultimately boils down to which operating system you prefer, and whether you have other devices already in the ‘ecosystem’.
What phone brand is the cheapest?
Phones can run pretty pricey, but you don’t have to break the bank to get a great device.
If you’re set on Samsung, you’re in luck. Although its flagship S series is on the pricier side, Samsung also offers some mid-range, more affordable options. Look out for phones in the A series (such as the Samsung Galaxy A54) or the FE range (like the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE).
Even Apple has a couple of more budget-friendly phones. You could consider its pared-down yet powerful offering, the iPhone SE (2022).
Compare mobile phone deals by network
There are many networks that offer phone contracts and/or SIM-only deals, including:
As you’d expect, each network has something a little different to offer. For example, O2 is known for its wide array of impressive perks.
Conversely, the likes of Smarty, giffgaff and iD Mobile specialise in budget-friendly contracts without any frills, to help keep their prices low.
Whether you’re looking for a plan with extra features and incentives, or something simple and sweet, it’s important to choose a network that works for you.
What are the best value phone deals?
Wanting to keep costs down? There are plenty of budget phones you can opt for.
Apple iPhones are known to be expensive, but if you’re set on iOS, the iPhone SE models are a more affordable option.
There’s also a handful of Android alternatives, such as Oppo and OnePlus.
What are the best cheap mobile phone deals?
As we say above, there are still many options available if you’re on a budget.
Even big phone companies Apple and Samsung have more affordable models, with the iPhone SE series and the Galaxy A-series and FE-series, respectively. These can run a couple of hundred pounds cheaper than standard flagship models – and in some cases, can be half the price of the top-end phones.
You can also consider getting a refurbished handset. This way, you can get the same model of phone for a cheaper price than if it were brand new.
Another option is to get the previous year’s flagship, rather than the latest release. Phones always drop in price when a newer model is released – and a phone that’s one year older will still serve you well.
How to get a cheaper mobile phone deal
First, think about how much data you use. While you don’t want to pay for more than you’ll use, you also want to avoid being charged extra for going over your data allowance.
Next, consider the handset you want to get. Deals for older phones and mid-range phones will cost less than ones for the most recent releases.
If you’re not too bothered about owning the very latest handset with the newest features, and you opt for a lower data allowance, you’ll save money overall.
It pays to look out for limited-time promotions and flash sales. For example, Black Friday is a great time to search for a new mobile phone deal. Remember, it's always best to switch phones outside your contract, to avoid paying an early cancellation fee.
Finally, if you've settled on a mobile deal, it may be worth getting some money for your old handset. There are many online-based companies that take old mobile phones in exchange for cash – plus, you'll be doing your bit for the environment.
What should I look for in a mobile phone contract?
First, consider how you use your phone right now. For example, are you a power user who needs a lot of data when you’re out and about, or are you usually connected to Wi-Fi? Do you stream music and TV on the go, or do you just check emails and messages?
It’s also important to think about how much you’re willing to pay. That’s the monthly cost of your contract, plus any upfront costs you might have to pay for your handset.
You can adjust the filters in our comparison tool. That way, you’ll only see deals that meet your criteria. To find the best mobile phone deals, consider:
- Data, text, and calls allowances
- Upfront and monthly costs
- Your favourite networks
- 5G-only deals
New contract deals vs upgrades
If you’re unhappy with your current network, a new contract with a new provider may be the best option for you. So if you see a deal you like, go for it – it’s easy to carry your number across.
Conversely, if you’re happy with your current provider, you’re probably better off staying with them and upgrading to a new model on the same network.
Should I get a mobile phone deal with unlimited data?
If you often use your phone to watch videos and stream music on the go, or if you prefer WhatsApp over texting, an unlimited data plan might be the best option for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer to call or text and are normally connected to Wi-Fi, then a data bundle with a set allowance will do the job just fine.
Compare phone cashback offers and free gifts
Although plenty of networks offer cashbacks and free gifts, these types of deals might not always be worth it. It might be the case that you’re tied to a longer contract, or you get a smaller data allowance. And, in some cases, the cost of the ‘free’ gift is simply spread over the length of your contract, resulting in higher monthly payments.
Of course, if you spot a reward you particularly like the look of, then go for it. Just keep in mind this might not necessarily be as good as it initially appears.
What are the main benefits of a pay monthly mobile phone contract?
The main advantage of signing up to a pay-monthly mobile contract is that it lets you spread the cost of a new handset over the course of your contract.
New phones, especially flagships, are a huge upfront cost. While a pay-monthly handset contract will normally work out as more expensive in the long term, the important thing is that they break down that large cost into smaller monthly payments – which, for most people, is a lot more manageable.
It’s also very convenient, too. You just need to set up a direct debit, and your payments will then come out automatically every month – no more worrying about forgetting to top up your phone.
Plus, pay-monthly mobile phone contracts from big networks often come with a plethora of incentives and free gifts.
Pay-monthly contract vs SIM-free
With a pay-monthly phone contract, as well as paying for a monthly allowance of calls, texts and data, you’re paying off a new phone in instalments.
But when you buy a phone SIM-free, you’re buying it outright and off-contract with a lump sum. As you now own the phone, you’ll just need a SIM-only deal with a monthly allowance of calls, texts and data.
Buying a phone SIM-free and then getting a separate SIM to go with it almost always works out much cheaper than buying a phone on a pay monthly contract. We’ve calculated that savings are generally about £150-£300 over the course of a two-year contract.
The catch is that you’ll need a big lump sum to pay for the phone outright. And with prices for the latest flagship phones hovering around the £1,000 mark, it’s fair to say that not many of us have that sort of money to splash in one go. In that case, getting a contract and spreading out monthly payments will help make the price easier to manage.
Is pay monthly better than pay-as-you-go?
Pay monthly comes in two forms: SIM-free and contract. SIM-free usually operates on a month-by-month basis, so you can switch provider – or phone – with just 30 days’ notice. But contract ties you in for a lot longer – usually 12 or 24 months.
Pay-as-you-go, however, doesn’t tie you in at all. Which is one big advantage. You also only pay for what you use, as and when you need it. So if you have a quiet month, only using Wi-Fi hotspots and not making many calls or texts, you could have a very low bill that month.
But pay-as-you-go has plenty of downsides. You have to supply your own phone, which means buying one outright (contracts include the price of the handset, so you spread out the cost over the course of the deal).
Calls, texts and data also cost more than on contract. Depending on your pay-as-you-go deal, you might have to pay for every text, call and MB of data used. If your pay-as-you-go deal has a set allowance of text, calls and data, it's usually lower and/or more expensive than if you were to sign up to a pay-monthly contract.
With pay-as-you-go deals where you pay for exactly what you use, you'll have less of an idea of what your bill will be each month. This makes it harder to budget, and you could even find yourself stranded with no data, calls or texts. If you’re somewhere remote and/or unable to top up, that could spell trouble.
Pay-monthly deals come with larger allowances for calls, data and texts, too, and you don’t have to bother topping up. And some pay-monthly contracts come with free gifts, like a free trial of a streaming service.
Mobile phone guides
If you want to do some more research before getting a mobile phone deal, we have plenty of guides to look through. For example:
- SIM-only vs pay monthly
- How to keep your current mobile phone number
- How to activate your new SIM card
Mobile phone reviews
Not sure which network to go with, or what mobile phone to pick? We’ve got you covered, with our comprehensive phone and network reviews:
How do I know when my contract has come to an end?
When you take out a deal, you should make a note of when the contract ends so you can shop around for the best mobile phone deal. You should be able to check this information in your phone provider’s mobile app, on correspondence you’ve had with them, by checking a bill, or by giving them a call. You can also text INFO to 85075 using your current phone to find out.
You should start looking around for a new deal well before your end date so you can switch to a lower tariff as soon as possible.
What’s the difference between a contract phone and SIM-only plan?
There are three choices when it comes to mobile phone contracts:
- Monthly contract: You pay a monthly fee for a new phone and an allowance of calls, texts and data. With a monthly contract mobile phone deal, you’ll be tied to a network by a contract that usually lasts between 12 and 24 months
- SIM-only deals: As the name suggests, a SIM-only deal gets you a new SIM card with a monthly allowance of calls, texts and data – but not a new phone. These are typically on a one-month rolling contract, though you can sign up to a 12-month or 24-month contract
- SIM-free deals: With a SIM-free deal, you only pay for what you use – so, you pay for every minute, text and MB of data used. You must top up your credit when you run out, or you won’t be able to make or send any calls or texts, nor use any data
What phone contract is best for me?
The type of phone that’ll be most suited to you will depend on a few factors, but as a rough guide, you’ll be more suited to a monthly contract if:
- You use your mobile phone a lot
- You want to spread the cost of buying the latest phone
However, you might be better off with a SIM-only deal if you have a phone you want to keep, but want a better price on your monthly allowance of calls, texts and data.
You might also consider a SIM-free deal if:
- You don’t use your mobile phone very often
- You don’t want to be tied to a contract
- You can’t get a contract due to a poor credit rating
Do I have to pay an upfront cost for a contract phone?
That depends on the phone you pick. With some contracts, you may be required to pay anything from £50 to £250 upfront. For example, newer flagship phones will likely come with an upfront payment in addition to the pay-monthly phone contract.
Don’t worry, though – if you can’t afford a large lump sum, you can get contracts with no upfront cost.
Do I own my phone after contract?
If you have a contract phone and the contract ends, it means you've paid off your handset and it now belongs to you. So, you can choose what to do with it.
This gives you the flexibility to choose a SIM-only or pay-as-you-go deal to continue using your phone. Or you could choose to sell your phone and upgrade to a newer handset with another pay-monthly contract.
Do you have to turn in your old phone when you get an upgrade?
You choose whether you keep your old phone or not. It could be a good idea to keep your old device as a back-up phone in case something happens to your new one. Alternatively, you could recycle your old handset.
Is it better to pay upfront or monthly for a phone?
If you can afford it, buying a handset outright and pairing it with a cheap SIM-only deal is a great option. It usually works out cheaper than getting a contract with a network, and gives you flexibility to choose which network and plan suits you best.
All that said, we appreciate that it’s difficult to pay the entire cost upfront – especially for the latest flagship phones. To that end, paying monthly will help make your bill more manageable.
Can I keep my old phone number?
Absolutely – if you’re moving to a new phone contract with another network, it’s easy to port your current number to your new network.
Our guide goes through how to transfer your mobile phone number.
Can I get a phone contract with bad credit?
When you take out a new phone contract your credit score will be checked by the contract provider. There’s no minimum credit score required to get a mobile phone, as each network operator will score you differently. There's a possibility you could be rejected for a contract if you have a bad credit score.
To check your credit score, use our free and easy credit monitor.
What happens if I’m rejected for a phone contract?
If you’ve been turned down for a mobile phone contract, you might be wondering what your options are.
It’s best not to apply for another phone contract straight away, as this can negatively impact your credit rating. Instead, you should check your credit record, and take steps to improve your credit score.
If you need a phone in the meantime, you’ll have better luck buying a phone outright – either an older, refurbished or mid-range model, if you’re on a budget – and getting a pay-as-you-go or SIM-only deal with it.
You’ll rarely have to pass any credit checks. What’s more, if you’ve signed up for a monthly SIM-only deal, you can improve your credit rating by paying your bill on time.
For more information, read our guide on what to do if you’ve been turned down for a mobile contract.
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