What are My Low Cost Mobile Phone Options?

If you’re trying to save money but you need a new mobile phone, then you might think that you don’t have many options. With new mobiles costing hundreds of pounds, they’re not an investment to be made lightly. However, there are some great low priced options out there. Today we’re talking about your best choices for a decent mobile phone that’s not going to break the bank. So, if you need a phone but want to save some cash, here are our recommendations for what to go for…

Low Cost Incentive Contract Phones: Anything Mid-Market…
If you don’t have any cash to put down on a mobile phone an option that many people turn to is a mobile service operator’s incentive contract. This kind of contract is going to get you a SIM card and calling plan as well as a cheap or free mobile phone. You will end up paying full price for your phone, maybe even more than full price, but since you’ll be paying for your phone in instalments with each monthly phone bill the initial outlay is usually nothing. You’ll have to be in a position to sign a new mobile contract if you want one of these phones, but as long as you can do that then anyone can get a free phone. Your best bet for an incentive contract phone is something mid-market, think a Samsung Galaxy S II or Sony Xperia T. These phones usually have no money up front, so you get the phone for free. Top end mobiles usually have hefty down payments, even with incentive contracts, whilst budget phones just aren’t worth buying on incentive plans since you’ll end up paying a lot more than market worth.

Refurbished Phones: The iPhone 4S…
A great option for a low cost mobile is to go for a refurbished deal. What happens is that someone buys a phone, changes his or her mind, and then returns is. But retailers can’t just sell the phone on to someone else. So the phone is returned to the manufacturer. There it will be cleaned and rebooted, and then it will have a complete technical inspection to make sure that there are no faults with the phone itself. You shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a refurbished phone and a brand new one, and it will even come with at least a ninety day warranty attached. The combination of the technical inspection and the warranty mean that a refurbished phone isn’t as risky a buy as a second hand phone is. And you’ll get a significant discount on a phone that really is new. You should go straight to the manufacturer’s web site to find refurbished deals. The best deal on the market right now is going to be a refurbished iPhone 4 bought direct from Apple. Not only do you get substantial savings, but you also get a full two year Apple warranty on your new iPhone.
Second Hand Deals: The HTC Desire HD…

Buying second hand does represent more of a risk since the phone probably won’t have been inspected by a professional. Try to avoid buying second hand phones online, since you won’t be able to get a look at what you’re buying before you have to pay for it. But if you can see the phone in person, you can give it a brief inspection to make sure that it’s in good working order before putting down your cash. You’ll want to look at the screen for scratches, as well as the outer casing for dents and scrapes. Taking your SIM card shopping with you is essential, because you’ll want to turn the phone on and make a call, send a message and connect to the internet to make sure that everything works as it should. Also, take a picture with the camera. If a phone is dropped the fragile camera lens generally breaks, and this will be visible on any photo taken by the phone. If you’re looking for a great second hand deal, we recommend the HTC Desire HD. This was a popular phone on release, meaning that you’ll have plenty of second hand models to choose from. It also has good build quality and is a solid device, so there’s less chance of internal or external damage. Plus, despite being a couple of years old the HTC Desire HD is still a good phone, with enough processing power and RAM to do everyday tasks without lagging, and a nice, big screen. Chosen carefully, a second hand phone can be a great deal, and is your best option for getting the cheapest phone that you can.

Budget Deals: The Huawei Ascend W1
If you have a little cash, but you’re on a budget, then there are a few new budget smart phones on the market. Budget devices do tend to sacrifice a lot of features to keep prices down. They tend to have small screens that are impractical for video watching and on screen typing, as well as slow processors and small internal memories. This means that many budget models are going to be disappointing for you as a user. You’ll find the screen too small, and the device will often lag or freeze. It may also be unsuitable for running the latest versions of operating systems or downloaded games, which can be frustrating. However, there is one budget model that makes a pretty good buy. For around a hundred pounds you can get your hands on the Huawei Ascend W1. This has the biggest screen on any budget smart phone. It also has a fair amount of processing power and RAM so you’re likely to be able to run the software and games that you want, and unlikely to experience too much lagging or freezing. There are a couple of down sides. The battery power isn’t up to much, and you might find yourself charging it more than once a day if you’re a heavy phone user. There’s also not too much internal memory. But for the price, the Huawei Ascend W1 is a great little phone.

uSwitch.com and other price comparison sites had some great offers on the HTC Desire HD handset. Sam Jones chose one with his favourite network and saved some money each month

 

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