In an attempt to feed the dynamic demands and expectations of the users to have latest of mobile phones with unprecedented features, top mobile manufacturing companies relentlessly keep coming out with latest of handsets with best of features.
Then, choosing from so much of options is again confusing. Use of evolving technology also creates a fix, so detailed information on mobile phones, mobile phone deals and other related topics are always handy. However, choosing a device is always based on individual requirements, so a noble guide would not of any harm.
With this Mobile Phone Guide, we put in our effort to explain all that seems confusing while going in for a mobile phone deal, so that you can make informed decision with us at directphoneshop.co.uk.
Top Mobile Phone Guides
What These Offers
• New Phones – What these offers?
Mobile phones as a telecommunication device evolved and underwent the process of ‘convergence’ becoming a piece of equipment that packs almost everything from a full QWERTY keyboard, a camera, a touchscreen display, a email client to a web browser.
Then, this evolution is very much called for as mobiles turned out to be necessity from being an article of utility. Adding to the necessity, the urge to experience the latest of technical advancements also makes a valid reason to go for a new handset.
With amazing technical features like 4G, GPS, NFC and high resolution camera over a handset, it is imperative to feel spoilt for choices. Other utilities like apps for myriad purposes only add to the usefulness of the new phones. With fast browsing and internet, new phones offer you the power to carry your world with you.
• Need to go for a new Phone
The need to go for a new phone may arise out of different reasons. It is just not that you wish to use the latest of high end features and so you decide to buy a new phone. Your old mobile getting almost unusable can also be a reason.
Then, of course the latest of the handsets with so much to offer do tempt us to grab them. And so, the need to go for a new phone necessarily varies according to the needs and the circumstances of the individual.
Then, the undeniable potential of the latest of the functions and apps to make your life and work so simple is also a valid reason to go for a new phone. Other than the apps and inbuilt features, the QWERTY keyboard, high quality touchscreen display also adds to the reasons to go for a new handset.
• Price factor of a New Phone
New phones, due to all they wrap are undoubtedly costlier than what you paid for your earlier gadget. However, technical advancement which helped mobile phones evolve into smartphones could not prove to be of much help in bringing down the cost of the phones.
Then, you can always bank on the mobile phone deals. Among these offers, contract deals not only allow you to grab the latest of phone for almost no substantial implication but also have its own inherent benefits, bringing gaiety to your purchase of a new mobile phone.
In general, we can also say that if price factor of a new phone is a hindrance then the mobile phone deals are the way out to grab your vied handset without worrying about financial implications.
Choosing your phone
Choosing your next phone is not so tricky. Well of course, sometimes you feel trapped due to whole lot of options that are spread around. The best way out is to think of the usage in respect to the features you need and then think of a device suiting your individual needs and requirements.
Then, while considering mobile phone deals do take in account your monthly usage as well. So do not feel daunted with so much of options from numerous manufacturers just take some cue from our guide and make an informed decision.
Calls and texts
The most basic use of a phone is to make and receive calls and to text. So, even if you are going for a feature phone or for a smartphone, you for sure will care the most about the capability of handset to make and receive calls with ease and to text without any hassle.
Adding to it, if you are not so much concerned about the internet over your handset and those high quality cameras to snap as you go, then you can very well choose from the range of feature phones. In all the other cases, you have the advantage to choose from a bounty of smartphones, which invariably come loaded with lots of high end features.
Features of the handset
Going for a new handset just for the sake of latest features is not a sin. Then, deciding what to try and what to leave out is invariably tough. Some of the common features that the modern smartphones have includes camera, touchscreen, full QWERTY keyboard or on screen full QWERTY keypad, fast processors and intelligent skin aka the user interface.
However, the factor which largely affects our buying decision is not the feature or the number of apps a handset support, but the operating platform on which it is based. The aforesaid common features are of course a must, but what appeals to us the most is the efficiency, with which these features are utilized by the handset, and is useful to us or serves us, and this efficiency depends upon the operating software on which the device is based. So, in plain terms understanding of the operating platforms are a must to pick the handset which is actually going to make you feel a winner.
Distinctions based on Operating Software (OS)
iOS – This is the operating software from Apple and is certainly one of the most obvious reason behind so much popular iPhones and the iPads. So very popular for its multitasking abilities this platform also allows the user the benefit of using the Apple App store, which is loaded with not less than 350000 apps.
Writing down the cons, the rigidity to change (unless the device is jailbroken) is one factor which surely annoys all those who have used the Android based devices. But the regular updates take care of the rigidity; however, you never know when the next upgrade is due.
Android – This operating software has the parentage of Google and so is one of the best. This OS is so very customizable and flexible, that different handset manufacturers have the ability to customize the software and create skins aka the trademark user interface.
The Android app store is also plush but the best part is that over the handsets using Android base you can use apps from the open market as well. The latest of the updates from this operating platform also enables the devices to run the flash videos, which is almost like an exclusive feature that you find only over an Android device (the jailbroken Apple gadgets too have the ability to run flash, but that is not considered ethical).
Symbian – This operating software seems to be the platonic beloved of Nokia. Though several other popular brands also use this OS over their devices, but Nokia phones use this software as an essential element.
This platform is blamed to be rigid and not very much adaptable to change but Nokia happens to use it with proficiency. The apps that can be used over devices using the OS are also growing rapidly and are only second to that of the Apple app store.
Slow to change and slow to process as blamed by the competitors is not at all true as the latest of the smartphones featuring Symbian OS happens to be one of the most sold in the modern day.
BlackBerry OS – Developed by Research in Motion, this operating software is used only over the BlackBerry handset. So very famous for the powerful emailing heart, this is the operating platform behind rising success of the BlackBerry Phones.
This operating Platform has its own pace and upgrades cycle, which of course seems dependent upon inclusion of new handset from the manufacturer. Boasting an app store, which is second only to Apple app store in term of revenue generation, this OS also boast of a mix view towards flexibility. The handsets based on this platform are quite smooth in functional capacity if not as efficient as Apple devices in terms of multitasking.
Windows Phone – This operating software for mobile phones is developed by Microsoft and is proving to be a spoilt kid. The handsets running on Windows Phone 7 are quite smooth in navigation and also support whole lot of apps and widgets.
Then, the Windows Phone app store is not so plush in comparison to the app stores of Android and Apple. However, the latest investments in developing Windows Phone OS and a noble collaboration with Nokia is certainly reaping benefits, as the handsets which are still to see the daylight and are based on this operating platform are to have features and qualities which might be more than enough to prove this spoilt kid more worthy than what it was a year ago.
Web OS – This operating platform is developed by HP. Though there are not many handsets in the market which are based on this operating platform, then, this OS is truly remarkable. With some handsets based on it and almost same number of tablet deices running on it, Web OS is only the third operating software after Android and iOS, which is good enough, both for tablets as well as for smartphones. Though not as flexible as Android platform as far as flexibility is concerned, then, Web OS is not as rigid as the iOS is. Some of the upcoming devices which are to feature this operating software seems promising and hopefully push Web OS to new heights.
Other OS – BADA and MeeGo essentially fit in the category of other OS, as not much of devices are based on these two platforms. BADA has been used by Smasung while MeeGo seems to be the new muse of Nokia.
BADA OS however has proved its mettle and it is quite surprising that we do not see more of handsets based on this operating software. Then, MeeGo is yet to come in the open market as is to make its debut over the Nokia N9.
Related to work
Work, of course is a major concern and what better than your new mobile phone which is capable to ease your work. For instance, the full QWERTY keyboard is definitely a hit among all those who need to type mail for work.
The BlackBerry handset makes another fine example as its email dedicated core is perfect for all those who need to remain stringed to their work. Other handsets with fast browsing and internet capabilities also make a good pick when your work acts as a deciding factor while you are out buying a mobile phone.
Then, there still remains a category who does not just want a mobile phone to serve any singular purpose, but wishes for a smartphone which is really smart and can fit in diverse scheme of things.
A combination of mobile phone with factors such as high tech features, lot of usability and availability with affordable mobile phone deals certainly make a complete package to suit your needs.
So, with this consideration, choosing a mobile phone also relies on the deals over which it is available. Thus, we further need to investigate into mobile phone deals to complete the picture of choosing a new handset.
Hitting on a cheap mobile phone deal
Searching for the perfect bargain which suits your finances as well as is with the handset which meets your requirement is not as easy as it sounds. Moreover, a perfect cheap mobile phone deal happens to be the perfect mix of all your needs, over the handset which you wish to go with, along with the benefit of least possible budgetary implication.
So, a very clear understanding of all the available option is a must, so that you pick the best bargain. And so saving your valuable pounds by assisting you in making informed buying decision is the sole purpose of this mobile phone guide.
Then, there are several tariff plans and various types of deals to choose from. All of the deals have their own advantageous but all cannot suit to your needs, so a closer look to each of them is almost mandatory.
• Different Tariffs and Plans
Under this head we will go through different tariffs and plans which is available to the user while hunting for a cheap mobile phone deals.
Mobile phone contract Mobile phone contract deals, which generally are on all the latest handsets of top manufacturers, are considered one of the best and most economical. There are several reasons behind the towering popularity of the contract deals. Getting a free handset or getting it at minimal cost is obviously one of the reasons of its towering popularity. Expensive free gifts and freebies along with the advantage of free text, free calls and half line rentals also make to the list of reasons for the popularity of the mobile phone contract deals.
What are contract deals? Contract deals are pay monthly plans, which are contractual in nature and stretch up to a pre-defined term. This term period is pre-agreed and can be of 12 months to 36 months. Then, there are some short term mobile phone contract deals as well. These short term contracts are for tenure of 6 to 12 months.
Regardless of the duration of the contract, these bargains are so very remunerative and you get lot of free gifts and freebies along with a chance of getting your desired handset even for free.
However, you need to be very clear about the term period of contract which you are willing to get into with the network service provider. To avail these plans you need to have a valid account with a bank along with a credit or debit card for the credit check to be positive. The contract deals are binding and you are almost in an obligation to serve the pre-agreed contract term unless you are ready to breach the contract by paying a penalty.
• Why to choose a contract deal? Free mobile phone
Choosing a contract deal generally comes with the advantage of a free handset. Though you do not always get the device completely free, however, a heavy discount on the price of the hardware is almost certain.
• Latest handset
The latest of the handset that are launched from the top of the manufacturers, are available with the contract deals. Over other format of the deals you need to wait for some time, but with contract deals, you generally get the most recent inclusions.
• Reduced monthly mobile bills
The call and text tariff over the contract deals are cheaper in comparison to tariff of other format of mobile phone deals. Adding to the benefits the fixed monthly line rentals, which in some cases are either free for some months or you need to pay just half of rental, are also major attraction of the contract deals, which ultimately reduce the monthly bills that you need to pay.
• Half/Free Line rentals
Half/Free line rentals are for sure one of the best advantage as line rentals are very high and so getting concession over the line rentals make things look easier. Then, as end user it seems like a deterrent to keep on paying hefty monthly line rentals and so a line rental discount is always beneficial.
• Free Gifts and Freebies
Free gifts and freebies associated with the contract deals are another advantage to look for. Over these deals you get lot of expensive items like LCD TVs, Laptops and Digital Cameras. As freebies you get to enjoy free texts and free calling minutes, and all of these advantages are available with us on directphoneshop.co.uk over the contract deals.
• Pay As You Go mobile phones
Pay As You Go mobile phones are the handsets which are offered to the users with the pay as you go deals. With these deals the user gets a handset which is locked for a particular network, but can be unlocked for all the networks on small fees. The users have the choice to change and choose the operator according to individual needs.
• What are Pay as you go deals?
The pay as you go deals are undoubtedly one of the most popular mobile phone deals. Involving a handset in the bargain, it remunerates the consumer with an initial discount over the price of the device. The tariffs on these deals are also very low. Some of the PAYG plans even have the benefit of some gifts and freebies. With added benefit of liberty to choose and change the service provider, user group like students and frequent travelers find the pay as you go deals as their favourite.
• Sim free mobile phones
Completely unlocked handsets which you get without any string attached to any of the network operator is the sim free mobile phones. There is hardly any sort of discount over the price of the hardware, then, the prices on the comparison portals are really competitive so that you get these handsets with the some monetary benefits. The sim free mobile phones can be used with connection from any of the network service provider which comes out as a big advantage to the users who do not wish to be glued to long term commitments.
• What are Sim Free deals?
Over the sim free mobile phone deals, you get a handset from the merchant. This handset is unlocked completely and for all the networks so that you use whatever connection you wish to. Sim free deals are however, not as rich as the contract deals, in terms of gifts and freebies, but these deals have their own set of distinct advantages.
• What are Sim only deals?
Sim only deals are not a part of the mobile phone deal, as these deals do not include any handset. However, the sim only deals are very much popular as with these deals you get the sim card which can be used with the sim free phones. More importantly, you can also use the handset that you have got with the pay as you go deals along with the sim only deals. Pay as you go sim only deals and sim only contract deals are the two variants of the sim only deals. With the former you get the short term connection, which is free of any sort of obligation, however, the later deals are of fixed long term tenure. But the sim only contracts can be terminated by notifying the service provider.
• What are mobile phone Upgrades?
On an existing contract you can avail mobile phone upgrade deals. Then, to be eligible for the upgrade you need to complete the minimum term with the existing operator. While going for the upgrade you need to talk to the operator to make sure whether or not you plan can be upgraded. Best advantage of these upgrade deals are that you can keep your old number and as a bonus can get the latest handset at a discounted rate.
• What are Clearance deals?
Clearance deals are the mobile phone deals which include the handsets which are new but not first hand. Generally these handsets are the devices which were returned by the users after trying out. Though these handsets are in perfect condition, however some minor issues, if any, are also taken care of. So the handsets that are offered with the clearance deals are perfectly alright in every aspect. These devices on the contract are much cheaper than their counterpart on the simple contract plans. So, in a way, clearance deals are the best way to grab the latest of handset at lowest of possible rates.
Comparison: Contract vs PAYG deals
Mobile phone deals are simpler to understand when you are actually searching a remunerative bargain to grab the latest of handsets. There are all sorts of plans and deals with their own version of advantages. However there is a tug of war in considering between the Contract and Pay as you go deals.
Basically both of these deals are way different than one another but then comes the question of which is better out of two. Which of course has a simple answer, that is, both are good and have their own merits and so it actually depends upon the need of the individual, which actually acts as the decisive factor in choosing between contract and pay as you go deals.
Contract deals do have all sort of gifts and freebies attached to it, even have the benefit of remunerating the user with latest of handset either on a very low price or even for free, but still have its own share of limitations. As over the contract deals you are glued to a particular network for a fixed tenure.
Whereas with the pay as you go deals you get the handset either at the face value or with some initial discount, but has the element of liberty to choose and change your network player as per your wish. Then, the pay as you go deals have other benefits like empowering the user to control their spending on the mobile phones.
In case of contract deals, you are allowed to use the services throughout the month and with some plans you even get the benefit of half line rentals on the monthly bill. In form of freebies, free texts and free calling minutes are also given to the users. Whereas with the pay as you go deals you just get the benefit of initial discount and low tariff. Then, with the PAYG you are also allowed to change your network operator. Using these phones you can talk only till you have credit left in your account after which you need to recharge your account to use it further.
As a comparison of these two deals, there is almost nothing that one can write as verdict. It is better to leave the comparison open, as out of these two deals, it is ultimately the individual who can decide the best. Then as a personal choice, contract deals have an edge over the pay as you go deals.
Mobile Phone Jargon
• Contract deals
These are the long term mobile phone deals, which are contractual in nature and generally remunerate the users with free handset.
Pay as you Go or the PAYG mobile phone deals are other popular format of the bargains, where the user is free to choose and change the network operator.
• Sim only
With this type of deal, user only gets a sim card from the operator, which can be used with any of the unlocked devices. There are two types of sim only deals, namely, sim only pay as you go deals and sim only contracts.
• Sim free
With sim free deals, user gets a mobile phone, which is unlocked and so can be used with connection of any of the network.
• Free gifts
The merchants who offer the mobile phone deals also offer the free gifts to promote their product. With some of the deals, expensive free gifts like Laptops and LCD TVs are also offered along with free mobile phone.
This is a type of freebie offered by the merchants to promote the deals. With these freebies, either you get one time cashback benefit or this benefit is redeemed in form of discounts over the fixed monthly rentals.
These deals allow the user to keep their old number even after the expiration of the contract term. Some operators even allow additional benefit over the upgrade deals.
While buying a product online, you do not get to feel the actual product. So to compensate this limitation, the consumer is empowered with right to return the delivered goods within a specified period of time, provided the product does not come out to his expectations. So, all the returned handsets, which do or not have any visible wear and tear of usage, undergo a severe check. After which these handsets, which are no less than new, are offered to the consumers as the refurbished phones, bearing a relatively reduced price tag.
This term refers to the third generation of mobile communication system. It is one of the most popular and most preferred mobile systems as well. Supporting data, voice and videos at high speed 3G in true sense serves the modern generation’s needs of communication.
This channel of communication has the potential to change the face of the communication system. 4G, however, waits to see the expansion, which is going to amaze the users. This channel is faster better and more capable in transferring data and voice, in comparison to 3G.
• Air time
Number of minutes that you talk is generally referred to as the Air Time, then, some times this term also includes the free talking minutes that you get from your network service providers.
• Air time provider
The network service provider, which your are subscribed to or the network player which provides services while on roaming is generally called the Air Time Provider.
To exchange data wirelessly between devices which are placed with in short distances, Bluetooth, acts as a perfect technology.
• Caller display
The display area of your mobile phone screen which shows the name and the number, even photos and other related data of the caller is called the Caller Display.
• Camera phone
The mobile phones and the smartphones which are integrated with camera are called the camera-phones. These handsets are capable of taking snaps and recording videos.
• Cell broadcast
Your mobile network occasionally provide you with useful information via text messaging using this feature.
The specific area, under which you get the network services from the company you are subscribed to. You can make/receive calls, text and access other resources allowed, only when you are in coverage.
• Desk-top charger
It is a mobile accessory which keeps your device upright on your desk, while on charge.
• Dual band
This term refers to mobiles that can switch between two frequencies. All new UK mobiles are dual band.
This is a shortened term for electronic mail. Emails are mostly composed on a computer and sent via the Internet but with new developments in mobile phone technology; you can now send and receive emails using a mobile phone just like you can with a computer.
GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service and in simpler terms is an enhanced version of 2G network. The additive benefit is of speed at which you can transfer data using GPRS. •
Using your handset to talk, necessarily engages one of your hands, then, a hands-free, enable you to talk without holding the device. Holding a phone while driving is not advisable as well as is illegal, so, it is better to use the hands-free, which can be either wired or Bluetooth capable.
• MP3 Player
The utility which allows a device to playback audio files is generally referred to as a MP3 Player. The play can be hardware, software or both.
• Multimedia messaging
When we send a video clip, image or video as a message then these type of messages are generally referred to as Multimedia messaging.
Time period over which the network service providers allow you services at reduced or subsidized rate.
Oftel is an independent body which is better known as The office of telecommunication. This body keeps an eye on the telecommunication industry of UK.
• Is there any age limitation for purchasing a contract phone deal?
Mobile phones as a telecommunication device evolved and underwent the process of ‘convergence’ becoming a piece of equipment that packs almost everything from a full QWERTY keyboard, a camera, a touchscreen display, a email client to a web browser.
• Am I eligible for a mobile phone deal?
If you are of 18 years or above then you can apply for a contract mobile phone deal. However, you need to hold a bank account with a debit card to your name, so that the credit check procedure could be completed. A credit card also serves the purpose of a debit card. However, for PAYG and other deals there is no such age limitation.
• Which is the best deal?
There cannot be anything such as the best deal as a deal can only be gauzed as per specific needs of the users. So, it is imperative to search out for a deal which suits you best.
• How about experimenting with a new OS?
There are some popular operating systems that are prevalent today. We have discussed each of operating system in detail, then, switching over to a renowned operating platform is always a cool idea, only if it has the potential to meet to your needs.
• Which OS is better?
Among different OS that are in trend, you specifically need to examine each one, so as to gauze which one is better. More importantly, as an answer to this question, we can better suggest you to go through the section where we have discussed different OS in detail.
• Which mobile phone brand has the best of customer loyalty?
Likes of Apple, Nokia, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola along with several other popular brands share the customer loyalty. Though brands like Nokia and Motorola does have an edge over other recent manufacturers.
• Am nearing end of a contract, should I opt for an Upgrade deal?
For an Upgrade deal, it is always better to get in touch with your service provider. So, firstly check out with your operator, if there is any upgrade scheme available on your plan or on your handset.