SIM Only v Phone Included.

I have been thinking about replacing my phone recently, and normally buy the phone then get a SIM only deal, but can't quite stretch to a new phone at the moment.

Years ago it used to be a lot cheaper to just buy the phone yourself, does this still hold true today?

If I did a deal with Vodaphone (for instance) and had what would usually be a £300 phone as part of the deal, what could I expect to pay them back for the phone?  Are we talking a few quid extra, or would they make a fortune from me?

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I just haven't replaced my phone for a long time!!
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  • pramsay13
    pramsay13 Posts: 1,922
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    Pick a phone you like (or manufacturer if you are not sure of model numbers) and see how much it costs on its own versus included in a monthly contract cost.
    I normally just buy a phone outright and get a sim only deal as it is cheaper.
  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,041
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    To be honest now is probably not the greatest time to be buying a new phone if you
    a) don't have to and
    b) don't have the cash weighing you down

    If your old phone is unreliable or missing features you need maybe look at a credit card with low rate for purchases, otherwise just get a month by month contract or bundle and see the lie of the land going into summer imo.
  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,041
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    But if you have got your heart set on a shiny new model see what it sells for, how much data comes with it and how much that would cost on its own, then check the small print very carefully.
  • My current phone is okay, although many modern apps, like the ones for banking, won't work on it now and it can't take 5g.

    My current providers reception in my area seems to be getting worse and worse, so thought I would switch and replace phone at same time. I tried switching before but there was a problem and I ended up going back to my current SIM.  Hopefully a new phone would eliminate this happening again also. 

    I have the funds available for a new phone, but would rather use them elsewhere.  I'm just interested in how people view contracts that include phones, and if they are considered value for money these days?  Clearly they will make some money out of it, but how much? 
    Think first of your goal, then make it happen!
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,281
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    Personally I think that buying a phone on a contract it foolish but I'm not after a mega £££ iphone or the very latest - just something that works.  So for me it was spend £175 at JL and then pay £7 a month for a sim that gave me more minutes and everything else than I would use in a month.  fyi - I'm on ee but always play them off against plusnet at renewal as it's the same network under a different wrapper.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,030
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    I have never had a phone contract simply because I wouldn't want to be trapped with one company. I would be paying for something I didn't need. 

    You can find plenty of refurbished phones and pick up a monthly sim for peanuts. No contract unlimited calls and texts is the norm 
  • It has been a long time since I bought a phone on contract although other family members have done so as it suits their budgets.

    My 12 month SIM only contract ended over a month ago and I now have a mothly Lebara SIM.

    I was paying just over £10 and now I am paying less than £2 per month for more data. (Thanks MSE)

    On a mad impulse I bought a refurbished phone from Giffgaff recently. Fancied an upgrade.  Unfortunately the battery health was worse than my current phone so it has been sent back.

    I think this made me realise that I don't need to change my phone, it was just a passing phase.  I suspect my phone will last for at least another year, battery wise, maybe longer.

    I use an iphone so the support for the phone, in terms of updates, lasts quite a long time which is a plus point.

    If you are unsure of coverage you can always buy a cheap PAYG SIM from various providers and stick it in the phone to see what the coverage is like in the places you are likely to be.

    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid

  • SandyShores
    SandyShores Posts: 1,440
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    edited 22 February 2023 at 10:58PM
    Have you thought about a refurbished phone?  Its something I hadn't considered, but have heard from a couple of people on here that they are a good deal and can be available with a one year warranty. e.g. Iphone 12 Pro 128gb £400
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  • Some refurbished phones come with a 2 year warranty but from my experience (see above) it can be a gamble.
    Things that are differerent: draw & drawer, brought & bought, loose & lose, dose & does, payed & paid

  • ProDave
    ProDave Posts: 3,614
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    The only benefit I can see of buying phone and calls package as one item, is if something does not work.

    I tried for a long time to get wifi calling working.  The phone manufacturer said it would do wifi calling.  The SIM provider said they supported it and it was enabled.  But it was simply not there (the option to turn it on was missing from the phone which suggests it is not supported by the provider or enabled on the SIM)

    Eventually I solved this by trying a different SIM provider, and as if by magic the wifi calling option appeared in the menu and worked.

    If the phone and SIM had been bought as a package, then the one supplier would have to have fixed the issue.  But because they were not the SIM provider blamed the phone, phone manufacturer blamed the SIM.
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