The Student Room Group

Phone contract or buy outright ?

My phone broke last night, its 3 years old and a piece of trash really, needed to get a new one and taking it to a shop to get repaired will cost more than the phone value.

Whats the best way to go about buying a new phone and can anyone give me recommendations on phone companies which offer contracts. Looking at getting an I phone 11. I have always had 24 month contracts paying the phone off and for the data bundle etc, however this works out more expensive.

Anything will be appreciated !!!
Reply 1
I've switched to buying my phones outright or with 0% interest payments separate + sim only contract. Better value. This time I opted to use the 0% Barclay's financing over 24 months and bought direct from Apple (credit check and I'm an apprentice, so employed). Amazon have the iPhone 12 available with 12 monthly Amazon payments, so 0% and no credit check. It's more expensive than the 11 but payments are about £55/month. Compare the cost of that + sim to a 2-3 year contract. You could look at using Klarna for a pay in 3 and then look for refurbished option. Giffgaff sell refurbished phones with a 12 month warranty, but the only Klarna they offer is 12 months at 14.9%, but if you can pay in 3 then you can go to Klarna and get a one-time card to make the purchase and pay in 3. This way you aren't overpaying and you can get a sim only contract. I can't justify phone contracts anymore. I even spent several years using the Pixel 3a because it was a phone I could buy outright (thankful to be back on an iPhone again). Hope you can find something in your budget!

As for contracts, that comes down to your location. Go with a provider that has good service there. I've been with all of them at some point. Right now with BT/EE and that's because I switched before the pandemic and use the BT hotspots a lot. Recently moved and considering switching to O2 now because better service and we will be travelling again and they are still including EU roaming in their plans.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 2
That's absolutely amazing! Thank-you for that, went into apple and due to being a uni student not working 16 hours a week they said credit check may not come through however I do have good score overall but will work something out. Refurbished phones are definitely an option and a definite no to contracts no more!!

I never knew that about location but will definitely look into that more before making the purchase.
Reply 3
Three is the one with biggest location issues as they don't support 2G. Service was so patchy on the train journey to work that I got rid of them. Others it was more indoor service that sucked, which is what I'm finding with BT now since the move. I switched from Vodafone previously because of indoor service, as out locally with friends I was the only one with no service in the pub and noticed the same in most shops when I was living in one area of SE London. It really depends. Upside to sim only is that you can go with month-to-month or just a 12 month contract (I do the latter as best deals).

Amazon payments and Klarna have been useful. I use them sparingly, but they've come in handy for some big purchases. I wish Amazon offered payments on more items, but it's quite limited. Both can be dangerous if you overuse them, like with any credit, but are handy when it's just easier to spread the cost over a few months.

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