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Mobile phone help - aaargh!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by amica, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. amica

    amica New commenter

    Hello lovely Tessers, my ancient mobile phone has finally given up the ghost and I need another one fast! However having spent most of yesterday Googling, I can't get my head round all the products available and what I actually need to buy. I don't want a monthly contract so do I need to buy a SIM-free phone and separate SIM? Then again, some SIMs also seem to be on contract! I am also considering buying refurbished but not sure if this is advisable. Any recommendations for make and model also welcome (android only, not i-phone). I don't use much data, just texting and calling.

    Extremely grateful for any guidance as I feel I am entering a minefield!
  2. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Can't help, but I am in a similar position.
    Just been given an old smart phone by a friend, and would prefer no contract, just PAYG.
    I thought Giffgaff goody bags would fit the bill, but not sure now......
    So, I shall look forward to knowledgeable TESsers' replies.
  3. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    You can get a Sim free Nokia smart phone on Amazon for £80 and pay monthly no contract sim from £5 a month.
    This is a budget option. Better phones and unlimited data are available for considerably more on or off contract.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    Keep your SIm - no need to change that.
    Look for a SIM free or unlocked phone on Amazon/ebay or sometimes in argos and the supermarkets.

    If it has a smaller SIM slot that the one you currently have you can ask your phone company to send you a new one WITH THE SAME NUMBER!!
    EmanuelShadrack and agathamorse like this.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    About a month ago, both Mr Mothorchid and I were in this position. We went to the EE concession in our local Argos and spent an hour with a wonderful man who explained everything very clearly, but not patronising. We ended up with two phones, both sim only, both on monthly plans. Mine is a bit more than Mr Mothorchid's, but the phone also does more because I am out and about much more. I kept my old number as many of my work contacts use that one, but Mr Mothorchid got a new one.
    I won't say that our lives have been revolutionised but we now have reliable phones and can do stuff we couldn't do before.
    Our best move was going to see an expert and being honest about our own ignorance.
    Other experts than lovely Will are available...
    Alice K likes this.
  6. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    mothorchid likes this.
  7. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Just occurred to me that posting a specific commercial link is probably against the rules - apologies if so - was just trying to be helpful in showing the price range available...
  8. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Buy the phone and use the present sim? If the new phone hasn't been locked.
  9. SeanbheanMac

    SeanbheanMac Occasional commenter

    There are some decent PAYG deals going at the moment. Vodafone have one for £10 a month (not contract so renew when you want) which gives 250 mins, unlimited texts and quite a lot of data. I've used it for years and have never gone over the limit.

    As for SIM free handsets, again there are loads depending on your budget and what features you want. I'd recommend looking at brands like Honor or Huawei (I think Huawei actually make Honor but anyway). They're much cheaper than big name android phones with similar specs as you're not paying for the name. You can check on Google for review sites - there's always a fairly recent comparison article looking at different makes and models.

    Other handsets and networks are of course available :D Good luck!
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    GiffGaff has worked for me for some years - I currently pay £6 pcm. (And they sell SIM free phones too).
    strawbs and colpee like this.
  11. amica

    amica New commenter

    Oh thank you so much to all of you for taking the time to reply - that has given me some ideas to think about and you have answered some questions.

    I called my provider Vodafone for advice but I couldn't pass their security checks as my phone will not power on - so they couldn't send me a code, nor could I give them from memory the numbers of the 3 people I call most often!

    I currently have a £5 monthly PAYG bundle from Vodafone which should be £10 but they surprisingly found they could discount it to match the price I would get by moving to Giff Gaff!

    I am about to take Mothorchid's advice and head to my local Tesco mobile department to get further information and will also look at reviews.

    @chelsea2 I will report back later with my findings! :)
    chelsea2 and mothorchid like this.
  12. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Keeping you present number is easy (ish). You ask for a so called PAC code which by law has to be sent to you and quickly (in minutes).

    I think all you need do is text Vodaphone, no need for security checks. Try texting PAC to 65075 on the number you want to keep (it is free)

    That is valid 30 days and so then off you go to Tesco and buy for £1 their PAYG sim card. Put it in any unlocked phone and it will ask if you want to keep your old number. Click yes, it asks for the PAC code...wait 24 hours and you have your number on the new phone.

    Tesco top up any £10 payment with £20 for a month, so you get £30 to blast away for a month. If you use say £15 of it, your balance then goes to £10 - and that stays there until you use it.

    I'd say get a Nokia sim free unlocked phone (about £15) then the Tesco SIM.

  13. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    I really depends on what you want to use your phone for. I have a basic phone which I only use for calls and texts. It is PAYG and is very inexpensive, If you want to do emails or internet then I've no idea. I do know if you want to continue with the same provider they may want to send you a more up to date sim card at no cost.
  14. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    You might not necessarily need a new SIM card if the slot is smaller. With many SIM cards you can push out the inner card, to end up with e.g. a nano from a mini.
    border_walker likes this.
  15. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    That's what I would recommend.

    I've bought all my phones separately from the SIM cards. This whole idea of bundling the two together was always a rip-off, in my opinion.
  16. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I got a Samsung smartphone on a £12 a month contract for 2 years. God knows how much it will cost after that...

    Anyhow, it's just what I need for WhatsApping my daughter who lives abroad.
  17. EmanuelShadrack

    EmanuelShadrack Star commenter

    Yes, you need to be very careful about that.
  18. hplovegame48

    hplovegame48 Occasional commenter

    I'd recommend buying an unlocked second hand phone - mine for a 1/3 of the original price and I bought a pay as you go Sim ; Giff Gaff or Tesco.
    strawbs likes this.
  19. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    The key consideration @amica is how much you want to spend up-front on a new phone (or how much you would not want to spend!).

    Data & sim free is easy - Giffgaff is IMO, the easiest as it has clear monthly prices that can be cancelled or changed at any time, i.e. no lock-ins.

    Then decide what priorities of features you would want - bigger screen? GPS for map use? All day battery life? Decent camera? etc and see what is in your price range.

    I prefer to avoid phones from the big suppliers (ee, vodaphone et al) as I hate branded features and software (bloatware), but that's a personal choice.
    GSMArena is good for comparing phones
    strawbs and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  20. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I would echo above comments re: Giffgaff being good for PAYG - the £6 a month goodybag has unlimited calls and texts and a small amount of data.
    My problem was finding a decent small screen phone, so the last one I bought was 2nd hand - about a year old, in mint condition and significantly cheaper than it was new.
    colpee likes this.

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