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Getting a new phone in England when one comes from abroad Watch

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    Hello!

    I'm not used to the rules of this site (I discovered it by chance) so I don't really know if this topic is relevant in that type of forum...
    I'm willing to study at the Imperial next year, and I currently live in France. As I will soon get a new phone, I wondered if it's better to buy a new phone with a contract directly in England, or to buy a phone in France and get an English sim card or whatever.
    Could you please help me to understand the system and give me some advice qbout the best offers at the lowest prices? (I want unlimited text messages and internet access...)

    Again I apologize if the matter seems weird or silly, but I don't know wherelse I can get any valuable help
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    (Original post by Pey)
    Hello!

    I'm not used to the rules of this site (I discovered it by chance) so I don't really know if this topic is relevant in that type of forum...
    I'm willing to study at the Imperial next year, and I currently live in France. As I will soon get a new phone, I wondered if it's better to buy a new phone with a contract directly in England, or to buy a phone in France and get an English sim card or whatever.
    Could you please help me to understand the system and give me some advice qbout the best offers at the lowest prices? (I want unlimited text messages and internet access...)

    Again I apologize if the matter seems weird or silly, but I don't know wherelse I can get any valuable help

    Hi, I've moved this to the "Mobile phone" forum in the Tech area where you'll get some decent replies.

    Do you have a set budget per month? Are you willing to pay for the handset upfront?
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    Hi, third year at Imperial

    As for where to buy the device, it shouldn't matter if it's here or France. Just be aware that if you buy it from a network it will probably be locked, and you will need to request an unlock to use it with a different SIM card.

    Edit: Alternatively just buy the device unlocked straight from the manufacturer and get a SIM-only deal from the network. Quite often this is actually cheaper over the duration of the contract, it just means you're paying a lot up-front.

    As for networks to use here, there are a lot of providers. For unlimited internet I would really recommend Three. They do SIM-only contracts for £12.50 a month with unlimited internet and some calls/texts or £15 a month for unlimited everything (including tethering). The have 4G all over Central London and there is no extra charge or special tariff for that. I've been with Three for my entire time at Imperial and it's been great.
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    (Original post by Curtailment)
    Hi, third year at Imperial

    As for where to buy the device, it shouldn't matter if it's here or France. Just be aware that if you buy it from a network it will probably be locked, and you will need to request an unlock to use it with a different SIM card.

    Edit: Alternatively just buy the device unlocked straight from the manufacturer and get a SIM-only deal from the network. Quite often this is actually cheaper over the duration of the contract, it just means you're paying a lot up-front.

    As for networks to use here, there are a lot of providers. For unlimited internet I would really recommend Three. They do SIM-only contracts for £12.50 a month with unlimited internet and some calls/texts or £15 a month for unlimited everything (including tethering). The have 4G all over Central London and there is no extra charge or special tariff for that. I've been with Three for my entire time at Imperial and it's been great.
    Thank your for your help! I went on the site of Three and I saw there were two types of contracts : SIM plans for phones, and mobile broadband plans. This means that the first are related to "SIM only" contracts, and the latter refers to the rest of the available contracts, am I right?


    By the way, I never found any contracts with unlimited texts but I guess 5000 texts per month is enough? :s (I usually send a really high number of texts...)
    And when it comes to the duration of the contract, does the "1 month" mention mean that at the end of the month it is necessary to buy another contract?
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    Motorbiker: thank you very much, I didn't know where to ask for help ^^'
    I can't say what my budget will be for the moment, and I don't mind paying upfront.
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    (Original post by Pey)
    Thank your for your help! I went on the site of Three and I saw there were two types of contracts : SIM plans for phones, and mobile broadband plans. This means that the first are related to "SIM only" contracts, and the latter refers to the rest of the available contracts, am I right?


    By the way, I never found any contracts with unlimited texts but I guess 5000 texts per month is enough? :s (I usually send a really high number of texts...)
    And when it comes to the duration of the contract, does the "1 month" mention mean that at the end of the month it is necessary to buy another contract?
    Yeah that's right. So there are packages of phone + SIM contract, or just the SIM contract without the phone, or a "mobile broadband". The last one is intended for 3G/4G dongles for your laptop, so it has internet but no calls or text.

    I think most " unlimited texts" deals in the UK are limited to 5000/month to prevent people using some kind if script to spam messages constantly. The contract I'm on says that I have an allowance of 5000 but I never get close because I use Facebook Messenger / WhatsApp much more. I guess you can check the terms & conditions to see what happens if you go over 5000.
    The contract length is the minimum that you have to keep paying the monthly fee. After that it will keep going each month until you cancel it. So a "one month contract" or "rolling one month contract" means you have to pay for the first month but can cancel at any time after that, or you can do nothing and it will renew each month with the same allowance and price.
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    (Original post by Pey)
    Thank your for your help! I went on the site of Three and I saw there were two types of contracts : SIM plans for phones, and mobile broadband plans. This means that the first are related to "SIM only" contracts, and the latter refers to the rest of the available contracts, am I right?


    By the way, I never found any contracts with unlimited texts but I guess 5000 texts per month is enough? :s (I usually send a really high number of texts...)
    And when it comes to the duration of the contract, does the "1 month" mention mean that at the end of the month it is necessary to buy another contract?
    Most people in the UK tend to use messaging systems like facebook messenger or Whatsapp to send messages to each other so that just uses small amounts of data and not your text allowance.



    (Original post by Pey)
    Motorbiker: thank you very much, I didn't know where to ask for help ^^'
    I can't say what my budget will be for the moment, and I don't mind paying upfront.
    No worries. It's in the right place now.
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    Thank you both very much for clarifying things for me! I've been quite busy lately so that's why I didn't reply...
    I didn't know you used Facebook and Whatsapp a lot, I guess the latter is not as popular as in the UK yet! Anyway if I get the same habits when living in London, 5000 texts a month should be enough
    Now the next step for me will be to choose the phone I want and decide whether I should buy it with a contract or not (by the way, if you have some advice to give regarding the latest smartphones, I would be glad to read them!)
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    If your looking for a budget phone the moto g is support to be good... (And it may be cheaper to buy sim only and get the phone off contract). Other than that, the iPhone 5s, HTC one x m8 and galaxy S 5 are all supposed to be good
 
 
 
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