Mobile Network

Use this comparison site to pick the best and cheapest mobile phone network in the UK

09 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Top 5 smartphones February 2015

top 5 smartphones feb 2015

Everyone knows about the latest and greatest superpowered smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Apple iPhone 5S and the HTC One M8. They pack in the latest technology and the most features and are really at the cutting edge of modern industrial design. However, despite the high performance, they have a price tag to match.

Not everyone can afford £1000+ on a new mobile phone and commitment to a contract of two years or more. Furthermore, anyone following technology knows that early adopters pay over the odds and sometimes even subsidise other consumers for the right to boast that they a device at the bleeding edge of tech.

Smarter customers often look for bargains instead of obsessing over the very best. By going for a phone that’s a generation or two behind the curve, you not only get a product with amazing performance but you also save a lot of money. Simply, it’s the best way to maximise the bang for your buck. And it’s pretty clear that nowadays, even a phone that came out two years ago offers a blisteringly fast user experience, the same solid build quality and more features than you’d probably ever use. If you want better value for money, you can still get amazing performance – after all, most phones today offer better tech specs than laptops and digital cameras from just a few years ago.

We now have bargain smartphones available that refuse to compromise on performance. Today we’re rounding up the top five phones that offer the best value. These handsets are all less than half the price of a new Galaxy S5 or iPhone 5S but still keep up with the latest games and apps. In our opinion, they are easily the best value for money smartphones you can currently get. Have a look for yourself!

Sony Xperia Z2

Was £559.99 Now only £309.99

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Boasting a well-proportioned 5.2-inch 1080p display and a beautiful form-factor, the new Sony Xperia Z2 is a stunning choice. It claims 18 hours of talktime and a massive month of standby as well as one of the best-specced cameras going – a 20.7 megapixel monster with a 4K video capture and a huge sensor for the crispest photos and gorgeous depth of field with its F2.0 aperture.

Believe it or not, but this phone is also rated to be submersed underwater for half an hour with its IP55/IP58 rating. Our favourite aspect of this phone is the phenomenal battery life which is usually something we whine and drone about for other smartphones. Not only does it look great but it’s got plenty of power backing it up. While the included headphones are, as usual, uniformly crap, overall it’s an incredible handset for any money and with a bloat-free OS and the stunning display, the Z2 excels.

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Motorola Moto G

Only £169.99

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This second-generation Motorola Moto G offers incredible value compared to its rivals. Where else can you get this much phone for so little money?

And don’t think you’ll be skimping on specs or quality – it has an 8 megapixel camera and a brilliantly-clear 5-inch HD display all powered by the Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU running at 1.2 Ghz.

Hardly any crapware, Gorilla Glass screen, great build-quality, a decent battery and – best of all – dual SIM! Hurrah! For the price, surely this is still the best bargain around?

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HTC One M8

Was £532.00 Now only £379.99

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Most people are familiar with the HTC One line by now but if you’re not, check out the design of this phone which just oozes quality and class. The HTC One M8 has a 5-inch display with practically no bezel running at 1080p resolution and a 4 megapixel camera which includes HTC’s “Duo” multi-layer feature.

The speakers sound great and have more than enough punch especially for such a small device. Which, by the way, we have to praise again for its build quality as well as its sleek all-metal body and eye-catching curves. Battery life is merely better than average but that doesn’t stop this being one of the fastest and overall best handsets currently available.

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Google Nexus 6

Was 499.99 Only £490.00

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Google Nexus does it again. The all new 6-inch model is manufactured by Motorola and features a quad-HD display, dual stereo speakers and an amazing 13 megapixel camera.

It really looks and feels like a premium product and it’s a real treat to have stock Android Lollipop without gimmicky features and mountains of bloat.

Sure, the form factor may not be for everyone with the 6-inch screen just a tad too big for those with smaller hands, but it’s a sensational phone. Battery life impresses as does the screen and all aspects of the hardware due to the exceptional build quality. What’s not to like about easily one of the best phones on the market?

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Only £329.00

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Wow! That’s what most people say when they see the LG G3 handset in person. The edge-to-edge 5.5” screen is not only a near-perfect size but it really does pop. Not content with just a premium screen, this offers an industry-leading quad-HD beast stuffed with pixels at a density of a might 538ppi. You won’t believe how crisp it is.

In fact, the overall industrial design is lush from all angles with a lightweight metallic body and a fingerprint-free matt finish. We love the fact it has a removable battery and the 13 megapixel laser-focussed camera is a joy to use and produces exquisite shots.

There’s a reason this is the flagship phone from LG and that’s because it’s quality in every respect. Treat yourself!

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28 January 2015 ~ 3 Comments

O2 acquired by Three Mobile

three o2 merger

Hutchinson Whampoa has been in talks to buy O2 for the last few weeks. It has been said by industry experts that the asking price is going to be about £9 billion. Some insiders have expressed surprise at the fact the smallest network in the UK is going to buy O2 who were whether pioneers of mobile telephony since its inception.

However, Telefonica – the owners of O2, are laden with outrageous amounts of debt and recently have been struggling as they are increasingly-desperate to raise some liquid funds. O2 currently has about twenty three million customers and the deal, if and when it’s completed, would be the largest consolidation merger in europe.

It has being an open secret in the industry that Telefonica have been trying to sell the UK branch of O2. The deal makes even more sense as it would give Three a much needed 2G capacity and also combine both networks’ 800 2 has traditionally struggled with having the capable and widespread 3G and 4G network and by combining his resources with Three hopefully will be up to provide this in the future.

Recently, there’s also been another massive acquisition in the mobile network market in the UK. The country’s biggest mobile operator, EE, is going to be purchased by BT in a £12.5 billion deal. This additional pressure on their rivals has probably led to this merger as it will be beneficial and allow better competition with the new mega network that would be formed. Indeed, analysts find it completely unsurprising in light of the new BT/EE partnership which would hold a combined share of over a third of the consumer mobile market.

There are risks that consolidating the amount of options available to the general public will result in decreased competition and as a result prices could rise. Additionally, Hutchison Whampoa owner Li Ka-Shing has a personal wealth of over £25 billion as well as a humongous property empire – it remains to be seen how committed he is to providing a quality service rather than simply making a return on his investments. It’s easy to argue that fewer players in the telecoms market is unlikely to be a positive development for consumers.

However, the poor quality and speed of O2‘s data network has been a bane for users for several years now. In comparison, Three has one of the best mobile data services available and also is much more generous with its bandwidth allowances.

Currently, Three only has a few very small virtual networks hosted such as Shebang and VWF. In comparison, O2 provides infrastructure for large offering such as Giffgaff, Tesco, Lyca and GT Mobile so the increase in MVNOs under the Three umbrella could be a positive development for their users. Having said that, it remains to be seen whether Three will have the same opinions about these virtual networks especially seeing as Giffgaff alone has trading losses of about £70 million since its inception (although it has become more profitable in recent trading years).

The deal has only been confirmed recently (subject to standard due diligence processes), but it has been announced that the total payment will be over £10 billion including initial an initial injection of more than £9 billion in liquid cash. Once finalised, the merger will create the UK’s biggest mobile network with almost 50% share of the market. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like there’s any resistance from the regulator, so it’s very likely that it will eventually go through.

So O2 have finally been bought out after finding a serious buyer. What’s your thoughts on the merger? Are you a customer of Three or O2? What is in the future is for existing customers of both networks and do you think you’ll be a positive or negative outcome? Please let us know your thoughts and the comments below :)

23 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Co-operative Mobile interview (part 2)

cooperative mobile

Last time we chatted about Fairphone, solar panels and a Living Wage – what’s the discussion going to include this time? Continuing on from part 1, we bring you the rest of our exclusive interview with The Co-operative Mobile:

You’re running on EE through Transatel. What is Transatel, how does it work and how did you decide to go with EE?

Transatel is an MVNA or “MVNO enabler”. It was awarded “Best MVNA at the MVNO World Congress 2014” in Rome. Transatel have the platform already set up with EE so we are able to launch the service quickly and efficiently.

There are other MVNOs offering better value on their monthly bundles. How can they afford this and why is your offering superior?

We are not convinced that some of the other networks can afford the prices they’re offering. For pay monthly, the market expects handset inclusive bundles however handset costs are high if you do not have the volume of the large networks. We actively promote SIM only at the point of purchase so that customers can choose whether they need buy a handset or not and are transparent about the cost of the handset.

Most of our pay monthly sales are from our existing fixed line base and we offer additional benefits including free calls from landline to mobile and calls between customer mobiles don’t use up bundle minutes.

Our Pay As You Go offer benefits from per second billing and decent rates with adaptable bundles that our customers can tailor for their own requirements saving themselves money and enabling our customers to make the right choice for their usage patterns.

Members will also benefit from the dividend which last financial year amounted 2.5% of purchases (exclusive of VAT).

Our UK based and award winning customer services are always mentioned as one of our assets as per the posts entered here. An example is posted below.

“Once you are a customer, they are happy to review your account at any time and ensure you are on the cheapest tariff for your usage. I am proud to be a customer and would thoroughly recommend them”. Angela Wright, Sheffield 2nd March 2014.

Some good points… What’s your target market and what’s the uptake been like so far? What are the plans to grow?

Our target market is the “ethically conscious consumer”. We were recently ranked “Best Buy” by Ethical Consumer Magazine for mobile, broadband, line rental and e-mail provision, which makes us the choice for this type of consumer concerned with making their money work hard. The ethical share of the retail market is around 5% and sales of ethical products have grown dramatically from £9.6bn in 2009 to £54.4bn in 2012, according to Ethical Consumer Magazine’s statistics.

The pay monthly product was introduced in 2010 and was aimed at our existing customer base on fixed line. This product has been steadily growing as our customers take up the service. We have seen great interest in the Fairphone which has been recently launched.

It is early days still for Pay As You Go and we have some plans for more promotion in the Co-operative stores, which is where 85% of our SIM activations have come from. There will be fixed position display racks within most of the 2,800 stores of the Co-operative Group, giving us precedence on the racks which will be branded with our logo. We also expect uplift on our other services through promotion of our home phone & broadband packages on these racks. These display racks are expected to be installed by December of this year.

Another strand to our plan for growth is to provide a 10% credit on each PAYG top up to all holders of an NUS Extra card. This will be run in conjunction with the 10% discount offered by Co-operative Food, which in terms of revenue, is the best performing of the benefits available to NUS Extra cardholders. This ties in with our sponsorship of the “Student for Co-operation” conference and our support for student ‘housing co-ops’. There are other plans to draw on the benefits of lower rates for texts and calls between Co-operative Mobiles through “Refer a Friend” schemes.

Historically, our customer base has been predominantly older (45 and above). According to a survey conducted on our behalf by Deloitte in 2013 as part of their social innovation pioneers programme, these people have been attracted to us and retained by us due to our customer service excellence. Younger customers are attracted more by product range. We are working hard to improve this aspect of our service as explained earlier, working to bring 4G and to increase data allowances on our mobile network.

Thanks for chatting to us! For our final question, was there a specific point when you realised the network would definitely be a success or has this not come yet?

The pay monthly service has shown steady growth from the beginning so we have always had confidence in it being a viable product. We believe that with the launch of the new display stands in-store, together with NUS Extra and other initiatives that our PAYG service will become profitable and add to our portfolio of successful services Early in the New Year.