For the past few years Ive always looked forward to renewing my phone contract, and getting a nice shiney new handset. This year was a little different. Things have not gone well work wise (I lost my job) and I dont have much money to spare.
Also, not much excited me in the smartphone world, frankly I think manufacturers are starting to run out of ideas. All the “big wins” seem to have already been done. Samsung are a case in point. They lead the way in the Android world (at the moment) but if you look at their recent innovations, they are not really things that help you. For example, the S3 had a few tricks on the camera to help you “find the best picture”, but I would rather be the judge of that.
Rumoured for the Galaxy S4 is eye tracking, so the screen will auto scroll down, saving you a swipe of your finger, clever, but not particularly useful unless you have arthritus or some other injury. You still have to hold your phone after all!
Also, I am finding my Samsung Galaxy S2 is holding up just fine, its still a great phone, in fact, its just as good as it was when I got it, and still does more than I need. I havent used all of the features on it, so the idea of paying more money to even more features I wont use doesnt really make sense.
Also, it seems silly to get rid of such a capable phone, even though I could sell it for a reasonable amount it just seems silly to do so.
So, my solution this time around is not to get another upgrade, I wont be going for the Galaxy S3, the iPhone 5 or holding out for the S4, Im sticking with the S2 and found I can save a lot of money by doing so.
I started looking at Sim Only Deals, which are increasingly popular. Sim Only Deals are exactly what they say they are… Sim Cards with no phone. No phone means less cost (phones are not free, networks have to pay for them), and savings can be passed on to you (me!).
The other thing with a Sim Only is that there is less tie in. Wheras an affordable phone contract with a top handset will most likely lock you in for two years, an equivalent Sim Only Deal will only lock you in for 1 month. Thats right, 1 Month, which when you think about it is about the same level of commitment you make when buying a topup for a Pay As You Go Phone.
On that note, Sim Only works out a lot cheaper than almost all Pay As You Go phones to, there are some real bargains to be had!
Comparing deals is really easy too as you are freed from the complexity of choosing a handset. A great website I found to shop for these offers is mobilephonedeals.me and they have some useful info on sim only deals here. They have a riduclous number of deals to choose from, well worth checking out if you are looking for the best offer.
Another point made on mobilephonedeals.me is that Sim Only Deals are a great option if you have bad credit because you are not asking anyone to give you a £300 phone up front in the hope you will pay your bills on time.
So, I think this has been one of my best phone contract renewals ever, and I havent even got a new phone to show for it!