Many of us say we can’t live without them, but paying the price for having wifi at your fingertips can be significant, even if we very rarely take a closer look at those phone bills. For most people, there are three options available when the opportunity comes to replace an old phone handset – renew your contract and upgrade, get a Pay As You Go (PAYG) package, or buy an handset outright and get a SIM-only plan.
Phone contracts are often advertised as a way to get a ‘free’ handset, but of course we all know this isn’t the case at all. With a minimum 18-month period, the cost of your phone is very much included in your monthly bill and it’s fairly standard to end up paying for that phone nearly twice over once your contract comes to an end. However, because of the ease and convenience of spreading the costs, this is by far the most popular option.
Buying a handset outright can be more affordable when looking at basic costs, but is it really that simple? Depending on what type of consumer you are and what deals are available, the matter of cost might not be as straightforward as it seems.
Gadget Junkie or Penny Pincher?
If cost is your main priority then buying a phone outright is often cheaper, whether you want the latest handset or a basic model – remember, a new phone doesn’t have to mean one featuring the latest tech. But for the purposes of this post, we’re going to work on the assumption you are trying to save money whilst buying/signing up for the latest handset.
The first obvious question you have to ask yourself is, if you want an up-to-the-minute phone, are you the sort of person who will be happy sticking with it for two years or more? The whole point of buying a handset in order to save money means using that handset until it breathes its last digital breath and if you’re going to be tempted by a shiny new version in six months’ time, well perhaps this blog post isn’t for you.
The Google Pixel
To take a look at what is really the cheapest option, we’ve picked out the new Google Pixel handset that’s been getting a lot of buzz recently and the various prices and deals available with Carphone Warehouse voucher codes right now. Obviously there are a number of different packages and prices offered by other retailers and suppliers including Affordable Mobiles, but the examples below best illustrate what you should be looking out for in the simplest way possible.
Carphone Warehouse are selling the Google Pixel 32GB handset for £599.99, but to use this you are going to need a SIM card. When looking at the monthly options, an example of a good value SIM only deal is the Vodafone £8.50 a month plan with a 12-month contract that gets you 5GB a month. Over a 24-month period, these two options combined will set you back £803.99 (providing you stay within the limits of your monthly plan).
New monthly Pixel plans (not including discounts – we’ll come to them in a bit) start from £43.49 a month with a ‘free’ handset. Over two years, this will end up costing you £1043.76. Not the most economical choice we think you’ll agree.
However, there is another way. When looking into a new plan, you should always take into account any current offers on My Favourite Voucher Codes. For example, Carphone Warehouse have a deal that will cost you £30.99 a month with an upfront cost of £59.99 for the Pixel handset. Over the 24 months, this will set you back a total of £683.77, by far the best value option of the three, and one that appreciates not everyone has nearly £600 available to spend on a new phone in one purchase.
Remember these quotes very much depend on the plans chosen, and going for the cheapest monthly contract isn’t always the best value. Take an honest look at how much time you spend on your calls and data, and if your phone is costing you more than it should every month, then change your plan specifications.
Although PAYG is now considered a bit old-fashioned, don’t dismiss it out of hand, especially if you don’t make too many calls. In this instance, it would mean paying for the handset outright and using a PAYG SIM, so some calculations and estimates about your own phone usage are required.
There’s no getting around it – to save the most money on your phone costs, a bit of time is required to work out exactly what plan or package is suited to your own circumstances. But if you remain sceptical about the claims of ‘free’ handsets and think honestly about the time you spend on your phone, the best value option for you is within reach.
By Anna Scott, 23rd January 2017