A powerful, cheap smartphone? Set yourself free

Regular readers will know that I’ve ditched my long-standing Orange contract mobe and switched to a rolling monthly deal instead. The benefits are that I’m not hooked into a 2-year deal, I’m spending less because I’m not subsidising that “free” handset, and I can hop to another network easily if my usage patterns change.


You need an unlocked phone. Sure, you could use your old one and get it unlocked but if it’s pretty old everyone will stare and point at you. So, I’ve had a dig around for options.

I’ve already mentioned the rather excellent dual-SIM bargain that is the Acer Liquid E2 Duo. For a nudge over £180 for a quad-core phone, it’s staggeringly good value.

But wait, there’s more. The Archos 53 Platinum is a tad more expensive at £219.99 SIM Free (inc delivery) but has a 5.3″ screen, quad-core 1.2Ghz chip and an 8 megapixel camera. It also has 4GB internal storage, microSD card slot, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPS and dual SIM.

A powerful, cheap smartphone? Set yourself free

Now, you may notice that I’ve picked out a dual SIM handset again. I’m really loving these at the moment because of the intelligence built in. You can choose what SIM to use for texting, calling or browsing or you can tell it to ask you each time. Plus, when a text or call comes in, you can see which SIM it came in on. It’s ideal if you carry a second work phone around or if you have two SIM only deals

Have you seen an offer for a SIM-only plan which is uber-cheap and gives you lots of texts and calls but no data? Have you also spotted a deal which gives you data but not much else? Are the two, when combined, cheaper than other plans or a better fit for your needs?

Get both, get a dual SIM handset, boom.