Does your head start to spin when you look at the range of mobile phones now on offer? Have you made the mistake of talking to a mobile store salesperson in the hope that it would clarify your thinking, only to find that you are getting the hard sell on something you are really not sure that you want or need? So, before you go and spend the best part of a thousand pounds or lock yourself into a contract that’s going to last two years, take a little time to think about exactly what you are after. That means you need to spend some time to do some research and compare your options. Here are some key points that you need to consider.
What features are important to you?
Design – For most people a phone is far more than just a utility object, it’s an important personal accessory and like the car you drive, the clothes you wear, it says something about you. The look of a phone may be important to you, but you should also consider how sturdy it is and how easy it is to use.
Screen size – Is bigger always better? If you intend to watch a lot of movies and play games then maybe, but if you’ve got small hands and want something that slips into your pocket easily, then maybe not.
Headphone jack – Apple caused outrage when they ditched the headphone jack. Is it a deal-breaker for you?
Battery life – Maybe it’s not important to you but it’s something you should check in to.
What kind of phone deal would suit you best?
Contract, pay as you go or sim only? With contract deals, you get a new phone, an allowance of calls, texts and data and you are tied to a specific network provider for 18-24 months. Check out if your inclusive minutes include international calls. With PAYG you only pay for what you use, which is a good way to keep control of your budget and if you can’t get a contract because of your credit rating it’s a good option. A cheaper option than buying a phone on contract is to buy an unlocked phone, not tied to any particular operator and then get a 12-18-month sim only deal.
Which operating system?
Android dominates the market but if you want to integrate with other Apple devices then you’ll have to go with an iPhone.
Research operator coverage
There are four big network providers in the UK and a bunch of other providers piggy-back on them.
EE – Asda, BT, Plusnet, Virgin
O2 – GiffGaff, Tesco, Sky
Three – iDmobile
Vodaphone -Talk mobile
O2 won Best Network Coverage Award in 2018, but that doesn’t mean that they would necessarily give you the best coverage in your particular area and you don’t want to fork out hundreds of pounds on a phone deal to discover afterwards that there’s very poor coverage. You can check out your coverage prospects at Ofcom’s coverage checker.