How to get the best mobile phone deal

Mobile and Smartphones have become an integral part of many of our lives and we all love to stay in touch and keep up to date from anywhere around the world whenever we like. However, the reality is, most of us end up paying far too much for our mobile phones and we can save a lot of money by shopping around more carefully before buying a phone. With that in mind I thought I’d share some top tips on getting the best mobile phone deal.

The Phone itself

When you’re looking at mobile phone deals you need to remember that the phone itself is actually going to be the largest cost you have. Most mobile phone deals will factor in the cost of the phone so while an iPhone might be the best phone on the market for you it will also have a much higher price tag – so you can get a similar deal for half the price if you are prepared to have a less flashy phone. This may seem obvious but it’s easy to get shiny thing syndrome and choose the flashiest phone you can afford. Given the prevalence of Apps it doesn’t really matter which phone you get now as they are all fully customisable! If you want a great phone but don’t want to pay as much then look into buying a second hand phone to save yourself a lot of money.

Understand your usage

Second most important is understanding how much you realistically will use your phone. There’s no point in paying for unlimited calls, texts and internet if you don’t need it. Most phone companies now let you check your usage online so see what you are currently using before you buy a new contract. If you tend to text more than phone then look for a contract with lots of texts rather than minutes and you’ll end up saving yourself a considerable amount each month. At the same time look at your internet use as well as most people won’t use more than a few GB of data a month.

Contract length

The best deals on mobile phones all come with fairly long contracts so you really need to pay attention to this if you want to get the best deal. For example I Phone 4s deals are currently the most popular on the market but the cheapest prices start from around £25 a month with a 24 month contract. This means you get a great phone but you will end up paying a lot for it. By comparison a cheaper smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy can get you a 12-18month contract for just £15 a month. By comparing contract lengths you can work out how much you will really pay over time. Some contracts will give you a new phone after a set period (though you’ll then start a new contract) but if this is offered then it can still be seen as a good deal.

Pay as you go versus contract

While contracts give you lots of free minutes and texts etc. you are paying for a phone and a deal more than just what you are using. If you buy your own phone you can save a lot of money and most pay as you go providers now offer plenty of free minutes and data usage. Choosing pay as you go gives you a lot more versatility and you won’t be tied down to any particular contract but you do lose out on having one set monthly payment. Like all things there are swings and roundabouts so it will largely be determined by your usage whether pay as you go works out more cheaply for you than a contract.