Why choose a phone with no upfront cost?
Choosing a phone with no upfront cost can make getting a new handset a lot more affordable, as you don’t have a big initial charge.
In fact, there will be nothing to pay until your first monthly bill, so if cash is tight or you’re simply looking to fully spread the cost of a handset, then a phone with no upfront cost is ideal, especially since some phones are very expensive – and some upfront costs can also therefore be very high.
Which networks offer no upfront cost phones?
The networks that offer no upfront cost phones will vary over time, but they include the main four UK ones, namely Three, EE, Vodafone, and O2, along with a number of others, as you can see above, so there’s loads to choose from.
Which networks offer unlimited data with a no upfront cost phone?
At the time of writing you can get a phone with unlimited data and no upfront cost on EE, O2, Vodafone, or Tesco Mobile. However, the selection of networks offering this is likely to change over time, so check the listings above for all the latest options – just select ‘Unlimited data’ in the data dropdown to see all the available deals.
Which networks offer 5G with a no upfront cost phone?
As with unlimited data, the networks that offer 5G with a no upfront cost phone will change over time, so for the latest and best deals check the listings above – just tick the ‘Only show 5G phones’ box to see all the options.
However, at the time of writing, EE, Three, Vodafone, and Sky Mobile all offer 5G phones with no upfront cost.
Which SIM card size do I need?
You don’t need to worry about choosing a SIM card size as the correct size will be sent with the phone you order. In fact, in many cases networks send out trio SIMs, combi SIMs, or multi SIMs, which are all different names for a SIM card that contains all three possible sizes.
If you’re supplied with one of these then just check the documentation for your phone to see which size you need (or compare the SIM card slot size to the three options) and pop out the relevant one.
Which networks have the best coverage?
Every UK network now has over 99% population coverage with 4G and a similar amount with 3G, so you should be able to get coverage in most places whichever network you opt for. For 5G things are different, with coverage being a lot more limited at the time of writing, but it’s improving rapidly.
In all cases we’d recommend checking a full network coverage map though to ensure you have coverage where you need it.
Which network should I choose?
That entirely depends on what you need from your network, but the biggest concern should be coverage – if a network doesn’t offer any in your home or work, then it’s probably not a good choice.
Beyond that, consider price, whether they have the phone you want, what allowances they offer, and any extras that you might care about, such as where free roaming is offered.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a no upfront cost phone?
A no upfront cost phone is a phone that you purchase on contract with no upfront cost – instead, you simply pay a monthly fee to cover the cost of the phone and your allowances. This can make the initial cost of a handset much more affordable.
Can I keep my number with a no upfront cost phone?
Absolutely. If you’re sticking with the same network then your number should be transferred automatically. If not, just text ‘PAC’ to 65075 from the number that you want to keep, to get your PAC code, and then give that to your now network. For full instructions, check out our how to get a PAC code from your network guide.
Should I get a phone with no upfront cost?
That depends on whether you mind an upfront cost. Opting for a phone with no upfront cost can initially save you money, but won’t necessarily do so over the life of the contract, since the cost of the allowances and handset still need to be covered, so you may end up with a higher monthly cost, or simply not have the same selection of phones and allowances to choose from.
If you’re happy with the no upfront cost deals available though, then there’s no reason not to go for one.
Which no upfront cost phone should I choose?
That depends on what you want from your smartphone. The good news is that there are many phones to choose from that can come with no upfront cost. These include everything from budget handsets to top-end flagships.
So consider the features you most care about – such as price, 5G, camera capability, battery life, etc, and pick a phone accordingly.