Times are hard, how do you buy your next smartphone?

Times are hard, how do you buy your next smartphone?Money. It’s increasingly hard to come by. The recent Budget yet again showed that the country is really stretched. But, in the middle of it all, we’re still finding ways of affording phones that cost around £500. It is, if we’re honest, a lot of cash. If you get a phone through a contract then you’ll usually sign up to a two year deal.

Things are changing, but slowly.

The standard two year contract is what a lot of people still go for. I think this is mainly because it’s easy. You shop around, you get the phone you want, then it’s a little drip-drip-drip charge each month for 24 months. People also tend to go for this deal because the phone is “free” on a lot of deals. It’s not of course, and although most people realise this it’s chopping the cost down into comfortable chunks is what most people prefer.

It is, however, a loan if you think about it. Let’s look at the average £36 per month deal. It works out at £864 of the two years. Based on these rough sums, and the phone being £500, there’s £364 for the network, or about £15.17 per month.

Times are hard, how do you buy your next smartphone?

That, to be honest, is actually a pretty good deal, but people are seeing new phones appearing almost monthly and there’s an increasing “want” for those flashy new handsets. For those, there’s now a definite increase in Pas As you Go and Pay Monthly offers. People get the phone they want, they sign up to a monthly contract, and get a good deal on a rolling monthly plan. You can also port your number too. Still, you have to buy that expensive handset, and that’s always a bit of a problem. To raise cash you could always sell your existing phone on eBay but, as we’ve mentioned recently, the fees can be pretty hefty when you get the final listing fee. Especially if your phone sells for several hundred pounds. You can perhaps try mobile phone recycling and get cash that way, but you will have to ensure that your existing handset is in good condition.

Another way is to try a finance deal. Although this instantly scares people it’s not really much different to entering into a contract. There’s good kit for under £40 per month at Expansys and you only only tie yourself into a 10 month agreement. When you add a Pay Monthly plan (for let’s say another £10) you can see that the initial few months are going to be expensive, but after month 10 you’re going to be paying a lot less than other people with similar handsets on contracts.

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  • phil

    I bought a Nexus 4 after saving the money, traded in Galaxy S2 and am now on Giffgaff at £10 per month. For me a cheap and cheerful deal.

  • Bob

    As I’m a tight b@$tard anyway, i’m happy with my bargain choices. Wife has a Nexus 4 & I’m running an EVO 3D. We’re on giffgaff (free calls & text’s to each other) Together, still a fraction of the cost of an iPhone. Bargain.

  • Martin

    Currently I am running a secondhand Xperia Ray (my first touchscreen phone), I got it about a year ago now, cost £130, practically mint, really pleased with it, popped in a Tesco payg sim. I would top up £15 and it would last me two months. I’ve recently moved to a Virgin one month PayM deal. £7, 150 mins, 500meg and unlimited texts.
    I would love a top-o-the range Android but I refuse to stump up the ~£500 to buy one, or spend in excess of £37 a month on a contract I wouldn’t use to its fullest to get one for nowt.
    My wife and daughter both ‘have’ to have a new phone every 2 years, the missus has a iPhone 4s and the daughter a SGSII, these cost me £37 and £39 (since the new O2 and Orange price rises) so I cannot afford to lumber myself with a similar contract, I’m the only one earning a crust in the house!

    When they upgrade this year I’ll sell the iPhone and the Ray and use the SGSII with my Virgin Sim. I don’t mind having the cast offs, especially as the SGSII was replaced under warrantly on Sunday :)

  • Who needs a £500 phone when the N4 costs £249, then get a £12.90 AYCE deal from 3 (for example)?

    OK, OK, I know there’s an army of people out there aching to spend £550 on an iPhone, but if you buy a premium phone like that and chop it in for the next latest thing
    three months later then you’re only loosing a small amount on the old phone and spending that small amount to upgrade. That way there’s one big expenditure, but relatively small ones thereafter when you fancy a change.

  • Bobby

    I got the LG 4xhd for £300 and a evo 3d for the wife. Both great cheep phones and with giffgaff cheap monthly bills

  • Snitch

    Most mid range handsets will do what the flagships do in the real world. The GS2 is not a bad phone overnight neither is the IP4S. I can see this becoming a problem for the manufacturers because the limit has been reached and very few have the money to follow this hobby anymore. I now always go for the mid range phones(previous years tech) and get the phone for free and a good contract.