Don’t just upgrade. It takes seconds to get a better deal.

Fancy getting the Samsung Galaxy S8 this weekend? Perhaps you just want a better deal on your contract?

Well, as we always say here at Coolsmartphone, don’t just upgrade with your current provider. That’s bonkers.

Go armed.

Doing a straight upgrade, just because you want the latest shiny thing, isn’t a good move. You need to do a bit of research first, and it really doesn’t take long. If you’re signing up for a 24-month contract then, by perhaps only paying £5 too much per month, you’re throwing £120 in the bin. So first, remember…

  1. Check how much data you’re REALLY using. On Android, go to “Mobile data” in the settings and you can check your data usage over the month. For the iPhone, head to settings, then “Cellular” and “Cellular Data Usage”. You could be paying for 10GB per month but actually only using 5GB. Why waste cash on something you don’t need?
  2. Do some comparisons based on your requirements. Sites like TotalPhoneDeals have sliders letting you set the amount of data and minutes you need. It takes just seconds to compare plans.
  3. Check for a good deal. As an example, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S8 on Vodafone for £32 per month with £25 upfront. That’ll get you 4GB of data. Or you can pay £75 upfront and then £29 per month for 3GB of data with O2.
  4. Happy with your current phone? Want to go SIM-only and save a load of cash? Want to sell it because it’s in really good condition and you want to get more money for it?Check if your phone is already unlocked. You can find this out by getting one of those 99p SIM cards you see at the checkout in supermarkets. Get one from a different provider, stick it into your phone. If your phone is locked, it’ll tell you. Boom. Easy. That cost 99p.

Want to unlock your phone? Remember, networks are no longer allowed to charge unlocking fees to pay monthly customers who are out of contract. They may charge a bit if you’re still in contract, but check. It’s worth it, believe me. Remember, Unlocking is totally legal.

Once you’ve done, just head to a SIM-only comparison tool and get your monthly cost down. Save money, get the same (or better) calls, texts and internet. It’s a no-brainer.

Finding a better deal is important, because even if you really don’t want to move away from your current network, you can use these deals as bargaining chips. Tell your current network that you’ve seen a better deal elsewhere and you’re planning to move unless they match it.

Some networks may not budge – they’ll continue to offer you a more expensive deal and instead will tell you how much better their network is. Don’t fall for it. Stick to your guns.

Also, if you’re looking for a better deal, don’t forget that the virtual networks are a good way of getting a better deal AND sometimes actually staying on the same masts you’ve always used before. As an example, iD Mobile have a 4GB offer on the Galaxy S8 for £35.99 per month (£49.99 upfront). They use the Three network, so if you’re already with Three and like their coverage, you’re not really moving, but you could get a better deal.

Either way, the popularity of mobile comparison sites mean that you can get yourself a better deal, whether you move or not.