Can you upgrade your phone on a SIM only contract? Watch

Scratchyjam
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So i'm looking into getting a new phone and am one of those people who has a phone for a long time. I therefore want to buy a phone unlocked and put in a contract SIM as it would be much cheaper/get a better deal in the long run. Looking namely at a Virgin Mobile deal or possibly a Giffgaff one.

I just want to know whether there is a possibility of upgrading your phone after a certain amount of time on a contract, or do you have to be in a locked in contract to do so? I had a read of the this and apparently you can upgrade just after 30 days on Virgin. Is this true or is there some kind of catch?

Also, does upgrading your phone mean you get a free handset of any choice providing you extend your contract? I've never done it before and so am a bit confused on the matter.
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Professor Oak
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Sort of. You can upgrade by switching to a non-SIM only contract, and many companies will be happy to do that as these latter contracts are worth more to them. Alternatively if you're on a 30 day rolling SIM-only you can upgrade any time.

ALWAYS shop around being signing a contract. Check:

https://www.affordablemobiles.co.uk/
https://www.carphonewarehouse.com/
https://www.mobiles.co.uk/
https://www.buymobiles.net/

As they may have better deals than your upgrade.
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Scratchyjam
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bump de bump
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AdampskiB
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No, you have a misconception. A sim-only strictly means sim-only and no handset involved. The virgin deal you've mentioned, refers to what you call a "rolling contract". As you can see, O2 want a minimum of six months worth of monthly payments from you, whereas virgin are happy to only keep you for 30 days. This provides you with the ability to change your tariff on a monthly basis, instead of being fixed with the same amount of minutes and texts for a whole six months.

(Original post by Scratchyjam)
Also, does upgrading your phone mean you get a free handset of any choice providing you extend your contract? I've never done it before and so am a bit confused on the matter.
Not always. It depends on the value of the handset you want. If the phone 5S has just been released (which it has), then they'll likely want an upfront payment for the handset (typically [around] £100, all depends on the handset and length of time you want your contract to be) and and a new contract starting for another 12/18/24 months. Hence why it's cheaper to buy a handset and get a sim-only deal. Whereas if you still want a new phone at the end of your contract, the only way to get one free is choose one of their older/low-end ones that are available. Which in your case, may be ideal if you are happy with a standard phone.

Some networks allow you to get a new phone [around] 3 months prior to your actual contract end date, which always adds a bit of excitement!
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Scratchyjam
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(Original post by AdampskiB)
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So what you're saying is that if I buy a SIM free phone and then a rolling contract from Virgin, I would not be eligible at any point for a discounted/free phone?
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AdampskiB
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(Original post by Scratchyjam)
So what you're saying is that if I buy a SIM free phone and then a rolling contract from Virgin, I would not be eligible at any point for a discounted/free phone?
I don't know the policy inside out - but I will answer your question with "you're correct".

My assumption being that most sim-only deals have that answer, and with the Virgin deal, you're only tied to them for 30 days. Therefore there's no guarantee from them that you'll have to keep paying them for x amount of months, whereas you would do with a long-term fixed contract, like on EE for example with £40pm for 2 years. EE would see see about £1000 from you, so they can afford to give you a discounted or free handset, and still make profit. Whereas Virgin would obviously be at a loss if they did this, because you could simply walk away a month later after you've got your discounted or free handset.
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Gofre
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(Original post by Scratchyjam)
So what you're saying is that if I buy a SIM free phone and then a rolling contract from Virgin, I would not be eligible at any point for a discounted/free phone?
Correct.
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Scratchyjam
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Ah, mare. Suppose it's fair enough. Cheers
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Scratchyjam
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Would you guys say it's typically better to buy an unlocked, SIM free phone and then get a SIM only rolling contract?
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AdampskiB
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(Original post by Scratchyjam)
Would you guys say it's typically better to buy an unlocked, SIM free phone and then get a SIM only rolling contract?
Even if you get a SIM only rolling contract, you'd still have to buy a handset to put it in. So what's the comparison?
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Scratchyjam
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(Original post by AdampskiB)
Even if you get a SIM only rolling contract, you'd still have to buy a handset to put it in. So what's the comparison?
Well you usually get cheaper/better deals when you buy the phone SIM free, but obviously you don't get an upgrade, which is the dilemma i'm facing
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AdampskiB
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(Original post by Scratchyjam)
Well you usually get cheaper/better deals when you buy the phone SIM free, but obviously you don't get an upgrade, which is the dilemma i'm facing
Apples and oranges, my friend :rolleyes:
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kevink9971
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you have to wait for 6 payments then you could up grade
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