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Smarty vs Three

25th January 2024

Smarty vs Three

Smarty and Three have more in common than most networks in the sense that Smarty is actually owned by Three. That also means the two networks have identical coverage.

However, when you get down to each network’s plans and extras, they’re actually quite different. Below, we’ve highlighted the main differences between Smarty and Three, so you can see which of these networks is likely to be a better fit for you.

Smarty is cheaper

The main reason you might be considering Smarty over Three is simply that Smarty is usually cheaper than Three.

For example, right now the standard price of Smarty’s top plan (a 30-day SIM Only plan with unlimited data) is £20, and it’s sometimes discounted below that. The equivalent plan on Three currently costs £30.

Prices can fluctuate and that’s just one example, but in general you’re getting much better value with Smarty.

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Smarty doesn’t have long contracts

Smarty’s plans are all just 30 days long, so you can cancel or change your plan at any time. Three also offers 30-day plans, but the majority of its plans tie you into much longer contracts, and you have to choose one of these longer plans to access Three’s lowest monthly prices.

Smarty lets you roam at no extra cost

While standard Three plans charge you £2 per day to use your allowances in Europe or £5 per day in select global locations, Smarty offers EU roaming at no extra cost, up to a fair use limit of 12GB of data.

If you choose a Value or Complete plan on Three then you can get inclusive roaming, but these plans cost more, so free roaming doesn’t come as standard. On the other hand, you can roam further afield on these plans than Smarty’s inclusive roaming allows for.

Three’s Value and Complete plans let you roam in 71 destinations at no extra cost, including places beyond Europe like the US and Australia, while Smarty limits you to EU destinations.

Smarty won’t credit check you

As Smarty’s plans are all just 30-day SIM Only ones, the network doesn’t credit check you. So it’s a good choice for anyone with a poor credit rating. Three on the other hand will credit check you unless you choose a Pay As You Go plan.

Smarty offers data discounts

As well as being typically cheaper than Three, Smarty also has some extras that you won’t get with Three, including special data discount plans.

These refund you for any unused data each month, so you won’t be charged for more than you use. However, these also top out at just 3GB of data, so they’re only good for light users.

Three sells phones

Smarty just offers SIM Only plans, so the network doesn’t sell phones either outright or phones on contract. As such, if you want a new handset with your plan then of the two networks, Three is the only option.

Being a major network, Three stocks a vast selection of phones, covering all sorts of price points.

Three has a wider variety of plans

We’ve touched on this elsewhere, but Three simply offers a much wider variety of plans than Smarty. With Smarty there’s just a handful of 30-day SIM Only plans and data-only plans.

Three offers those too, but you can also get plans with longer durations, and plans that include a smartphone, tablet, or mobile broadband device. Three even offers home broadband plans and smartwatches, as well as Pay As You Go.

So for sheer selection, Three has a big lead. Price aside, you’re sure to be able to find an ideal plan on Three, while you might not on Smarty.

Three gives you access to Three+

One major perk you get with Three is access to the Three+ app. This is a loyalty rewards app, which gives Three customers access to various discounts and offers from other companies, such as reduced cinema tickets, discounts at stores, free subscriptions to things, and access to competitions.

It’s a nice extra, and is the sort of premium perk that cheaper networks like Smarty don’t generally have access to.

Most other things are the same

We’ve covered most of the differences between Three and Smarty above, and it’s worth noting that a lot of things are the same or similar on both networks.

They have the same coverage, both offer 5G as standard, both offer plans with unlimited data, and both support Wi-Fi Calling, 4G Calling, and tethering.

So while there are lots of things to choose between these two networks, they have plenty of similarities too.

Editorial Manager

James has been writing for us for over 10 years. Currently, he is Editorial Manager for our group of companies ( 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk) and sub-editor at TechRadar. He specialises in smartphones, mobile networks/ technology, tablets, and wearables.

In the past, James has also written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media, Smart TV Radar, and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV. He has a film studies degree from the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has over a decade’s worth of professional writing experience.

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