Compare the best mobile phone deals

Start comparing
  • Monthly contract
  • Sim Only
  • Pay as you go
3000+ reviews

We at Free Price Compare, compare the UK mobile market to find better deals for you. Simply use our mobile comparison tool and search 1000’s of mobile handset and contracts available as per your requirement.

Compare best networks for 4G phones

There are many choices when it comes to selecting a mobile network. We compare the big and well known networks such as EE, BT, Three, Vodafone and O2 as well as small ones which can offer some better mobile deals.

What do we compare?

We search 2 options, contract phone deals and SIM only contract deals.

Contract phone deals

You get a new handset and a SIM card as part of this deal. This is the more expensive option but that is because you are physically getting the phone as part of the contract and the cost of the phone is spread over the duration of the contract. The more expensive the handset is the higher the monthly contract amount will be compared to a cheaper phone with the same inclusive minutes, data and text. Just be sure to get a new contract or switch to SIM only at the end of your contract otherwise you are still paying for the higher monthly price for the handset even though you have paid it off. There will be a credit check carried out on you when you take out a phone contract.

SIM only deals

As the name suggests, you are getting a SIM only deal but you are still tied to a contract (we offer 1 month and 12 month SIM only options). The monthly contract is auto rollover so you will need to cancel the contract to avoid being charged again. You will still get great call, text and data bundles when you compare SIM only deals but the prices are reduced because you are not receiving a new handset as part of the contract so if you are happy with your existing handset this offers great value. The majority of providers will still carry out a credit check on you for a SIM only contract, at the moment the operators who do not are SMARTY and giffgaff.

How to get the best mobile phone deal?

Buy the mobile phone outright

If you do need a new phone, it normally works out cheaper for you to buy the phone outright and get a sim only plan from your preferred network provider, this obviously has a larger up front cost but you can save yourself between 10% and 25% over the duration of a contract when comparing the very latest phone with an unlimited data, calls and texts package.


Sim Only Contract (SIMO)

If you are happy with your existing mobile handset then avoid getting a new phone and just get a sim only plan or buy the phone outright and take advantage of SIM only deals. The cheaper deals are available if you are willing to show more commitment, so you will get a better monthly price on a 12 month contract compared to a rolling 30 day contract. You will still get the same great benefits as phone contract in terms of the minutes, texts and data and also a lot of the promotions offered by the network provider through their apps


Compare mobile network options

By comparing you can easily decide which network is offering better deals for you. Before agreeing a contract, you should also consider: network signal, their customer service and contract length.


Consider and compare mobile contract length

Check how much the mobile phone contract prices differ per contract terms and decide whether you can afford 2 to 3 years’ commitments or you would prefer 12 months mobile contract only. Some of the newer phone costs are in excess of £1000 and the network providers can offer a 3-year contract to spread the cost of the handset, but think if this is right for you. Also consider the durability of the phones and the battery life after the 2nd year and if the manufacturer’s warranty covers you in the final year of the contract should anything break in the phone (that is not accidental damage or wear and tear)


Stay within your data allowance

At the start of your contract you should think how much data you usually a month, and then think should you increase that with a new contract (are you going to be streaming more music or films). When you purchase extra data it is at a inflated price to your contracted data. To avoid getting over charged, stay within your data allowance usages. Use Wi-Fi where you can to avoid exceeding your mobile data allowance. If you are consistently going over your allowance then contact your supplier to get more data added to your contract as many will do add-ons or uplifts. Remember it is always easier to increase than decrease your contract with suppliers. Category


Avoid mobile roaming charges

You should also check with your network provider whether you can use your phone abroad and what are the charges for using data and minutes. European roaming charges have fallen in cost lately and in many cases are included in your contract now, some plans on 3 and Vodafone will also include roaming in USA and Australia, this is something to consider if you travel a lot to avoid expensive daily charges or roaming charges. It is also possible to get a local sim card when you are abroad to minimise the costs and this can be more cost effective if you will be away for a longer period of time

What should you consider when buying a new mobile phone?

It can be very confusing buying a new phone now a days and with different features and specifications on each phone you might just be tempted to look at the cost, but if you are going to be paying for your contract each month we have made it easier for you find the features that benefit you. Click on the key features link next to the phone you like and we will tell you what the battery life is like, whether it is waterproof, is the camera good enough for you!

Screen Size

The screen size requirement will depend on your primary use of the handset, if it is to do work or watch films then a larger screen could be better, if it is just to do light internet browsing and call and text then a smaller screen could be better because they are easier to hold and are more comfortable, you should also think of storage, if the phone will always be kept in your pocket then a smaller size would also be better.

Price

The latest phones are now seemingly to all come in at well over £1000 which can add a substantial amount to your monthly contract (around £45 of your monthly bill can be the handset repayment cost), so an easy way to lower the cost is to look for a phone that was released 12 months earlier or refurbished phones. Another thing to consider on top of your monthly contract cost is the amount it would cost to replace your handset or to insure it. The latest phones are typically £9.99 a month to insure so this can add significantly to your monthly price.

Battery Life

Because of the screen resolution and internal power the latest phones use a lot of battery power, if you are a heavy user or you are away from a charging plug for a long period then look at the battery power and how many hours you will get out of a charge. It seems outrageous that you can spend upwards of £1000 on a handset that will not last a full day if it is being used, but this is a very real problem, so make sure you compare battery life before selecting your phone for 2 years (a full day is typically classed as 10 hours use).

Memory

The amount of content we store on phones mean the memory on phones has to be a lot larger than a few years. Because cameras on the phone are so much better now the file size is considerably larger and like wise for any music or movies you download the quality is a lot better which again uses a lot of memory. Anything under 32MB could leave you frustrated at having to delete files or apps to take a picture. Some phones offer external storage, these phones have a Micro SD card slot so you can simply expand whenever you need.

Processor Speed

Phones are typically banded into 3 ranges, high, mid and low range phones. The low range phones are budget phones that typically have a lower specification of everything (screen, memory, processor speed), this means that loading web pages, watching films or using some apps can have a lag on them and the user experience isn’t great. Mid and high-end phones will have good processors, but there is a noticeable difference from an average processor to the market leading.

Quality of Camera

In recent times photos are viewed on phones and shared online compared to the traditional way of developing the photos, therefore the megapixels are largely redundant if you do not print the pictures, most phones (even the basic ones) have a better camera compared to the traditional point and shoot from the 2000’s when they were used, so you want to look at the additional features about the camera, the number of lenses, AI capabilities, low light performance and also the zoom

SIM only (SIMO), Pay as You Go (PAYG) or Mobile Phone Contract?

There are there main choices when it comes to comparing and choosing phone contracts:

  • 1. SIM only - SIM only contract means you are agreeing a contract with mobile network which doesn’t include a handset. Typically, SIM only contract can range from a single month to more traditionally 12 months.
  • 2. PAYG (pay as you go) – Pay as you go option is good for those who don’t use mobile phone very often. Pay as you go means you are not tied into a contract and can change network as you wish. If you have bad credit then PAYG would an option for you.
  • 3. Mobile phone contract – Mobile phone contract means you pay a monthly fee in order to get new phone and an allowance of data, text and calls. Monthly phone contract lengths can range from 12 to 36 months contract. Typically, people go for 2-year contract, this option would be good for you if you use lots of mobile data and minutes and like to have a reasonable new phone.

What are the mobile operating systems available?

There are two main operating systems commonly being used by mobile handset manufacturer.

  • 1. Android - is open source mobile software which is designed to use for touch screen mobile phones. You can find android software on Samsung, LG, Huawei and Google phones. You can download all the apps you need from the Play Store
  • 2. IOS – Apple operating system used by exclusively by Apple iPhone’s, iPad’s and iPod Touch. You can download all the apps you need from the Apple App Store

Who do you compare?

We compare all of the largest mobile phone operators in the UK as well as some of the smaller ones, here is an overview of those we compare:

Vodafone

Way back in 1985 Vodafone made the first mobile phone call in the UK and since then they have gone from strength to strength, Vodafone claim to have 99% 4G coverage by population and over 20m customers it is one of the largest in the UK.

They have a large choice of plans that offer some great incentives such as free entertainment subscriptions and on their larger plans you can roam for free in 77 countries including the USA and Australia.


EE

EE are the UK’s biggest mobile network so it is unsurprising that they are another that claims to have 99% 4G coverage by population, they are pioneers of ‘superfast’4G (4GEE) which offers mobile download speeds similar to what you’d expect with home broadband.

EE come with a large suite of benefits with their mobile contract and if you also take their broadband. EE’s parent company is BT so you can get exclusive BT Sport offers like free BT Sport App access or 5GB extra data if you take EE Broadband.


O2

O2 has a long legacy too, and whilst the name has changed, it’s history is almost as long as Vodafone’s. From its beginnings as Cellnet it changed to O2 in 2001 to being the exclusive launch partner of the iPhone in 2007 it has been offering Priority to its customers all the time. It too claims 99% 4G reach by population and O2 Refresh means you can split the handset element and SIM element of your contract to allow you to change your contract around easier.

O2 is also synonymous with entertainment sponsoring a number of venues and because of this you can get exclusive Priority tickets which are released up to 48 hours before general admission on many of the performances.


BT

BT owns EE and runs on EE’s mobile network so you will be getting 99% 4G coverage by population, you can also get a lot of extra features from BT such as the Family Plan where up to 5 SIMs can be on the same plan to get bigger discounts.

BT are very strong in the SIM only bundles so they are definitely worth checking out if that option is for you. There are also some very good offers for existing BT broadband customers.


Three

Three is all about data and enjoying it wherever you are, they were the first network to let you roam free in Europe and they claim to carry more data than any other UK network and their customers use 3.5 times more data than the average person. In fact they handle 36% of all of the UK’s mobile traffic.

Three offer the largest number of unlimited data contracts on a standard contract and SIM only contracts which is why it is loved by the data hungry consumers.


giffgaff

This is the best for a short term contract, mainly because giffgaff don’t do contracts. You are sent a Pas As You Go (PAYG) SIM card that you add a GoodyBag to create a 30 day rolling contract that includes data, minutes and texts. giffgaff offer an unlimited GoodyBag that gives you unlimited data so you have no restrictions at all. Also, because these only last 30 days, you can switch up the GoodyBag each month depending on your needs.

It uses the O2 network for coverage so you can be confident of great signal too.


iD Mobile

Maybe not a familiar name, but when we tell you it is run by Carphone Warehouse you can ease any fears. The phone seller giants entered the market in 2015 using the Three network so coverage is strong and their prices are some of the lowest tariffs in the market.

iD Mobile pride themselves on simplicity and competitive pricing and therefore you don’t get any rewards or incentives like other networks but what you do get is jargon free explanations and honest pricing.

You don’t mention Pay As You Go (PAYG) deals - why?

We don’t offer Pay As You Go SIM deals because these are very limited and you can pick up a PAYG SIM card at a local supermarket for £1 and the cost for calls, data and texts are set.

What is the difference between PAYG and SIM only?

With both of these options you will just be receiving a SIM card but with PAYG you have no commitment at all, you top up and then the credit is reduced each time you use a service (data, calls or text) but with SIM only you are agreeing a 30 day or 12 month contract that gives you inclusive minutes, text and data as part of the monthly cost. With both options you do not receive a handset

What are the upfront costs?

On some phone contracts there is an upfront cost, this tends to be on the newer higher end mobiles. The upfront cost reduces the monthly contract price because you are paying a percentage of the handset cost upfront. The upfront costs are never hidden and will always be shown on the main overview of the contract.

What are refurbished handsets?

Refurbished phones are second hand phones but have been refurbished by the manufacturer to a very high standard. The phones might have previously had a fault or was sold by the previous owner. If there was a fault, it would have been fixed and you would never know there had been one. The phone will still come with a warranty for your own piece of mind.

Mobile Frequently asked questions

You should consider: Price, operating system, battery life, screen size, screen resolution, screen quality, camera quality, processor speed and network availability.

There are there main choices when it comes to comparing and choosing phone contracts:

  • 1. SIM only - SIM only contract means you are agreeing a contract with mobile network which doesn’t include a handset. Typically, SIM only contract can range from a single month to more traditionally 12 months.
  • 2. PAYG (pay as you go) – Pay as you go option is good for those who don’t use mobile phone very often. Pay as you go means you are not tied into a contract and can change network as you wish. If you have bad credit then PAYG would an option for you.
  • 3. Mobile phone contract – Mobile phone contract means you pay a monthly fee in order to get new phone and an allowance of data, text and calls. Monthly phone contract lengths can range from 12 to 36 months contract. Typically, people go for 2-year contract, this option would be good for you if you use lots of mobile data and minutes and like to have a reasonable new phone.

There are two main operating systems commonly being used by mobile handset manufacturer.

  • 1. Android - is open source mobile software which is designed to use for touch screen mobile phones. You can find android software on Samsung, LG, Huawei and Google phones. You can download all the apps you need from the Play Store
  • 2. IOS - Apple operating system used by exclusively by Apple iPhone’s, iPad’s and iPod Touch. You can download all the apps you need from the Apple App Store

We compare wide range of mobile networks, mobile contracts and handset deals to find better mobile deals for you.

You can easily filter your results based on your requirements and preferences.

Looking for something else?