Get the best deal on iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy SII, Blackberry Bold, Nokia Lumia and HTC Explorer
Whatever smarthphone you're after, we've found the top tariffs.
Cheap smartphones will be everywhere by the end of the year.
That’s the view of Deloitte’s Techonology, Media and Telecommunications division, anyway, which has predicted there will be more than 500 million owners of smartphones costing less than $100 (about £65) by the end of 2012.
It highlighted that the market is currently dominated by high-end smartphones, like the iPhone, which cost around £500.
The thing is, many people who own an iPhone don’t pay anything like £500 for the handset, as they get it free on a contract from their mobile network. So if you fancy getting your hands on an expensive smartphone, without shelling out a fortune on it, which are the best deals around at the moment? I’ve got together with the guys at mobile phone comparison site Recombu to pick out a few worth a look.
The Apple iPhone 4S
When you think of a smartphone, most of us will think immediately of the iPhone. The latest model comes with an eight megapixel camera, a dual-core A5 chip offering more power and faster graphics than previous models, as well as the Siri functionality, which allows users to send messages, schedule meetings and make calls, all by simply using their voice!
Looking at the 16GB version, there are loads of different packages which are incredibly competitive. With Vodafone, for example, you can get 500 minutes a month, with unlimited texts, for £33.50 on a two-year contract. Or with O2 you can get 900 minutes and unlimited texts for £42 a month, again over 24 months.
The Samsung Galaxy SII
The iPhone may be old hat though, with the Samsung Galaxy SII seemingly the top smartphone these days.
For starters, it’s the world’s thinnest phone, yet it still boasts an eight megapixel camera capable of HD video recording. It too comes with a dual-core processor, so everything zips along apace. One bonus it also has over the iPhone is the in-built FM radio.
If you’re a heavy user, then perhaps this deal from Tesco Mobile will appeal – 750 minutes, 5,000 texts on a 24-month contract, all for £25 a month. However, you will need to shell out £50 for the handset.
Personally, I prefer the deal from T-Mobile (via the Tesco Phone Shop) which gives you 300 minutes, 300 texts and the handset free of charge, all for just £20.42 a month on a two-year contract. That’s a bargain!
BlackBerry Bold 9900
If you’re always working on the go then a BlackBerry may well be your smartphone of choice. The Blackberry Bold 9900 comes with its own operating system and buttons that cater even for those with larger fingers (a selling point to me, anyway!). It also has a five megapixel camera.
There’s a host of attractive deals for all sorts of different users with this phone. If you’re a big talker and texter, and don’t fancy signing up for two years, then Vodafone is offering 1,200 minutes, unlimited texts and a free handset for £46 a month on an 18-month contract.
However, my favourite deal is the 24-month contract from Orange, offering 600 minutes, unlimited texts and a free handset, for just £31 a month. Awesome!
Nokia Lumia 800
The Lumia 800 is Nokia’s first Windows Phone, and boasts an eight megapixel camera (though the folks at Recombu aren't fans of the camera), 16GB of internal memory and quirky little features like Nokia Drive, offering turn-by-turn navigation and the choice of 2D and 3D maps.
One deal worth a mention comes from 3, on a 24-month contract. You get 500 minutes, 5,000 texts, a free handset and 1GB data, all for £28 a month.
Alternatively, Vodafone is offering 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data for £31 a month on an 18-month contract. And what’s more, the first four months are absolutely free!
According to Recombu, the Explorer is a great entry-level phone, as it’s very easy to use and customise, and is extremely affordable. What’s more, it’s incredibly small!
That said, the lack of flash and a slightly basic camera may put some off.
T-Mobile has a popular tariff on this phone, offering 100 minutes and 100 texts, on a 18-month contract, for just £15.32 a month.
However, I reckon it’s worth spending an extra 18p a month with a 24-month contract from Vodafone, as you’ll enjoy 300 free minutes and unlimited texts!