Whether you're in the market for a budget-friendly smartphone or the new iPhone 12, you should always be in search of the best possible deal. You might believe that you have found a great value offer, but is it actually the best one available for your circumstances?
When it comes to finding the best mobile phone deal, there are various different factors to consider. Here are some of the main ones which will assist with securing the right phone - and deal - for you.
Firstly, do you need a new phone?
Now you might think this deserves an obvious 'Yes' - you have landed on this article because you're searching for deal advice after all - but it's still a question that warrants being asked.
Look at your current handset. Does it fail to do anything you require from a mobile phone? If it is still in excellent order, where the battery life and processer are still functioning as expected, and it can do everything needed, is it necessary to upgrade?
Ultimately, the latest handsets are ones which are typically on much more expensive contracts. If the difference in features is negligible, and you're not bothered about being seen with the latest technology, your best bet might be to simply skip upgrading your phone for now.
Deciding on the right phone package
Once you have settled on the idea of picking a new mobile phone, it's time to look around for the right phone package. To do this, you will first have to understand the type of minutes, text, and data that you require.
If you check your bill or ask your current network provider, you will be able to gather details about your past mobile usage. Look at this information to see how many texts you're sending out, how many phone calls are being made, and the amount of data being used.
Generally, minutes and texts will not be much of a factor. The deals provided will either offer unlimited texts and minutes, or they will provide so much of each that very few people would come close to surpassing the set figures. The big difference maker is the amount of data supplied by a network. People use differing amounts of data, but in general: the more data provided, the better.
Ultimately, you need to select a phone package which hits the sweet spot. Your allowance amount needs to be enough to cover your usage. However, you also don't want to go overboard with the allowance - why pay for something you're not going to use?
When searching for the right phone deal, ensure you use a price comparison website like Uswitch and Compare the Market. As they will compare all of the different offers and mobile retailers available, this means you will land the best possible price on the phone and deal you seek.
Switching networks: yes or no?
Have you stuck with the same phone network for an extended period? If so, it might be time to explore the different available options. It can be somewhat fiddly to do this, especially if you want to swap your current number to a new network.
However, the savings can be worth the effort. Other networks want your custom, so they will provide enticing prices to undercut your current provider. With that said, price isn't the solitary discussion point when pondering a new network. You also have to check if it delivers the same level of coverage and features.
This isn't the only switch to examine, either. Could you save extra money by swapping from a monthly contract to pay-as-you-go? The latter also means you don't have to keep up with a set contract, which means you have greater control over your phone expenditure.
The freebie temptation
These days, you will often find numerous mobile phone packages that also include complimentary perks. This can range from receiving BT Sport free with EE, to a whole range of courtesy items such as smartwatches and video game consoles.
These types of freebies can be hard to avoid. This is particularly the case if it is something like a gaming console, which has a relatively high price tag. Yet before you sign on the dotted line for a mobile phone bundle, there are two main points to contemplate.
Firstly, are these freebies disguising what is actually a poor phone contract? You might feel that you're saving, say, £200 by receiving a free tablet computer. Yet this is far from the case if the phone contract price is ramped up to compensate for the 'free' gift. Analyse the difference, and see if it would be cheaper to purchase both separately.
Also, is the freebie actually something you need? They can be a nice bonus, obviously, but it should never be the deciding factor in selecting a network. If it is not required, skip on the deal - you will find the phone, freebie-less, at a lower price elsewhere.
The power of haggling
If you're looking for the single best way to land the best possible deal for your new phone, you're going to have to test your negotiating skills. Haggling is a fantastic way of cutting potentially hundreds from your yearly bill.
To begin your bargaining efforts, simply phone up your current provider and say that you're contemplating the possibility of jumping ship. Say you are unhappy with your current tariff, and that you have spotted much better deals elsewhere. More often than not, your provider will respond with an attractive counteroffer, one that is much better than what you are currently on.
Why will they place a more favourable deal on the table? Simply put, customer retention is imperative for networks. With the various different networks supplying their services, competition is fierce. As a result, each network will bend over backwards to maintain strong relationships with their customers. Even if they are reducing their profit margins by providing cut-price deals, this is more ideal than seeing you leave to join another network.