23 May 2017 ~ 2 Comments

TPO leads the pack for monthly bundles

With 4G finally becoming ubiquitous in the UK and smartphone-ownership at a new high, we thought it was time to take a look at the best value rolling bundles currently available on the market. We’ve always been a site that aims to save you money and PAYG rates simply don’t offer the value of SIM-only monthly bundles for the majority of users’ needs any more. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the best priced monthly packages currently available on the UK market.

We’ll be rounding up the offers with at least 2GB of data per month. Why this size of bundle? 2GB of monthly data is plenty for the average customer’s browsing habits and, we think, is also at the price point that offers the best ratio of allowance to hard-earned cash.

It’s almost the weekend, so we’ll start off right away with the good stuff. In our opinion, the best choice for almost everyone is the TPO 2GB Goodness Plan which comes in at a bargain £6.99. For this, you get a generous 600 any-network minutes and completely unlimited texts too.

TPO have been featured on this site a few times before and we’ve seen them consistently offer some of the most competitive monthly bundles on the market. Since they launched 4G last year, we’ve been happy to recommend them as an ethical and price-conscious choice.

TPO operates on the Three network (rated most reliable in the UK) and boasts 98.5% coverage and they also have great in-house customer support so you’re not compromising on service. They save money by avoiding flashy billboards — this also means that 10% of everything you spend with them goes to any cause or charity you choose, at no additional cost to you. Grab it while it’s hot!

Another offer that is worth mentioning in this round-up comes from iD Mobile. While it is a new network and doesn’t have the greatest of reputations, they do have well-priced deals with a £7.50 bundle that lasts 30 days and gives you 2GB of 4G data, 500 mins and 5000 texts which is as good as unlimited for all but the most dedicated finger-tappers. They also run on Three and allow data rollover which is a plus.

If you don’t have Three signal where you live, you might have no choice to go with an alternative MVNO. The next best offering is Giffgaff and, surprisingly, they are really not competitive at all. While price hikes have been a trend over at Giffgaff over the last two years, it is quite a shock how far off the rest of the top end of the market they are. If you want a monthly data allowance of 2GB you’ll get unlimited texts but will only have 500 included minutes. Worst of all, the goodybag costs over 40% more than TPO coming in at a pricey £10/month.

But, to summarise, TPO offers by far the best price and comes with strong credentials and customer feedback. For just £6.99 a month, 2GB of data, 600 minutes, unlimited texts and knowing that you’re supporting an ethical network is about as good as it gets. TPO also love it when you spread the goodness. When you refer a friend to their service, you and your friend get £5 credit, completely free. That means they not only get to enjoy all the great TPO perks you do but you both get to support good causes with your phone together. You can find out more about this and other rewards when you sign up.

So if you want the cheapest 2GB rolling bundle and the feel-good factor of helping some great causes, what are you waiting for?

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09 May 2017 ~ 1 Comment

Samsung S8 Pros and Cons

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is not cheap. It is one of the most expensive phones on the market. However, as soon as you start using the phone you know that it is in a different class. It probably has the best screen on the market today. It is clear, sharp, and has a stunning colour resolution. The entire package just works incredibly well, although there are a few flaws which we will discuss later.

According to Gareth Beavis of Techradar “Biometric issues aside, the Galaxy S8 is a brilliant phone“.

It is the premier phone which stands apart from all the top offerings from other manufacturers as a unique and special smartphone. It is very good looking and the phone merges into a single integrated whole without any extraneous or visually discordant elements. The curves on the edge are more subtle that on the Galaxy S7 Edge and it is an extremely comfortable phone to use.

However, there is one exception to this: the placement of the fingerprint-reading Home button which is located on the back, next to the camera. The placement is an obvious design compromise and it is not a good compromise. Most reviewers of this phone are unanimous in their disapproval of the physical position of the fingerprint sensor. In our experience too, it is a complete pain and an inexcusable one too.

We found that it is hard to reach, high up on the back of the phone, it is too small so it often does not recognise the fingerprint when used and often leads to smudging of the camera lens which is right alongside the sensor. As a result, many are using the iris scanner as an easier to use alternative to the fingerprint scanner.

The other irritation offered by the S8 is the integrated Samsung Bixby Personal Assistant which is an Apple Siri wanna-be, but at this stage is not delivering what Google and Apple provide with their personal smartphone assistants. There is a dedicated button to launch Bixby, which indicates that Samsung is determined to make this product work well, but at this stage, it is not really there yet. At the moment, it’s a waste of a physical button.

As one would expect, the S8 has a full-house of top features. These include the superb 5.8 inch quad HD Infinity Display, 4:gb; of RAM and 64GB storage which is expandable to 256GB with the addition of a microSD card. As with previous models, the battery life is good although not spectacular but wireless and quick charging is available. The excellent rear and front cameras are 12 and 8 megapixel, which both delivers exceptional images.

With a starting price of £689.99, the new Samsung Galaxy S8 is the only choice, at the moment, for the buyer who wants the best.

Would you buy the S8?

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06 August 2015 ~ 13 Comments

Giffgaff upgrade all goodbags to 4G

giffgaff goodybags 2015

Giffgaff announced another set of changes do their range of goodybag monthly bundles this week. Some of the major changes include the phasing out of cheaper 3G only goodybags and the introduction of a new £20 goodybag will unlimited minutes, texts and slightly less unlimited “Always On” 4G data. The new goodybags will be available for purchase from 2 September 2015.

The changes are being implemented following a large market-research campaign that gathered opinions from their whole customer base about the most important aspects of the popular goodybags.

Among the results of this user survey, Giffgaff recorded strong preferences for high-speed data and not having to pay a premium for 4G access. Heavy users also were pleased with the new ability to buy additional goodybags before the end of the month once the allowance for one had been used up but also requested options with more minutes included from the start.

Another change Giffgaff have implemented in response to the
feedback they received is the introduction of what they have termed “Always On” data. It’s not quite as good as the truly unlimited packages from days past, but it appears to be a reasonable compromise.

Users who opt for the most expensive goodybag which cost £20 per month will get completely unlimited UK minutes and UK texts as well as 6GB of 4G data. Once that allowance has been used up, you won’t be cut off from mobile internet – instead you’ll have unlimited usage from midnight to 8am but at peak times, any bandwidth in excess of that 6GB allowance will be throttled back to a snail-paced 256Kb/s. Of course, you can always purchase extra allowance and, best of all, you can still tether your phone’s data connection at any time.

The existing goodybags will be phased out over the coming months in preparation for the launch of the new range at the beginning of September. As well as changing the regular goodybags which bundle together an allowance of minutes, texts and data, Giffgaff are also converting all their gigabags – data only bundles – to the faster 4G standard.

Are you a Giffgaff user? Do you user the regular PAYG option or do you regularly buy a goodybag? And do these changes affect you – what are your thoughts on them? What do you think is good about them and what would you have preferred?

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