In this post, we will be discussing the best Cheap Sim Only Phones and top pay as you go phones. More and more people are taking back control of their mobile phone bills – by shopping for the best SIM only deals. With many of us now working at home, or stuck in self-isolation, it is a good to to reassess how much you are paying, and how much you are now using your phone.
With a SIM only deal, rather than paying for a contract, where you are tied to a provider for a year or two, you are not paying extra for the cost of the phone. You pay for the handset (or make do with a phone from a previous contract) – and then negotiate the airtime separately – by taking a SIM only deal (or SIMO, as it is known in the trade).
The advantages of going SIM only are that you can make huge savings on your monthly running costs…. and/or get much more data, texts and calls than you have previously got. Prices currently start at £4 per month… with unlimited data deals starting at £18/m.
pay as you go phones
Plus you can even shop around to find a deal that allows you to just pay month-by-month, without being tied in to a long-term agreement.
There are lots of great SIM-only deals around now… and our comprehensive table of offers will allow you to see exactly what is available. The table allows you to order the available offers by the monthly cost, the network used, or the amount of data that you get included as standard – making it the perfect tool for finding the deal that is perfect for you.
Choosing a SIM only deal
As ever, with mobile phones, you should work out what you need before you start – so as not to get a nasty shock later on. Seven key things to consider are:
Make sure the network you choose has the coverage that need. There are coverage maps available, but it is usually more reliable to ask neighbors, colleagues and visiting friends to ask about their experiences with their phones in the areas where you spend the majority of your time.
2: Virtual mobile networks:
There are a number of providers available now that don’t have their own network – but just resell coverage from other networks. In the UK, for instance, there are dozens of these… and this Wikipedia list is a great place to find out who uses what network. Smarty, Superdrug and iD mobile for instance use Three. Tesco and Talk Talk, meanwhile, use the O2 network.
3: How much data?
Data is the key differentiator between different mobile phone tariffs, and this is still true with SIM only. Take a look at how much data you are using at the moment to surf the internet, stream video, use satnav and more with your current provider… and then factor in that most of us will use more data next year than we have used this!
4: Text and talk
You should also, of course, check that you get enough SMS text messages and calls in your plan.
5: Roaming and more
Watch out for the cost of extras. Don’t assume the cost of roaming (using your phone in another country), as it may be much cheaper or much more expensive than you expect!
6: SIM size
Phones uses one of three different SIM sizes nowadays – Standard, Micro, and Nano. You need to make sure you get the right size for your handset (although many are supplied in a peel-away form, so that they can be adapted to fit all three card slot sizes)
7: Take your number with you
Transferring (or porting) your number from your existing to a new one is a piece of cake in the UK nowadays. You simply get what is known as a PAC code (Porting Authorisation Code) from your network, and pass this to your new provider.
Best cheap sim only phones
24 months£10/mthVIEWat SuperdrugLEARN MORESIM Only
24 months£15/mthVIEWat SuperdrugLEARN MORESIM Only
24 months£18/mthVIEWat SuperdrugLEARN MORESIM Only
24 months£20/mthVIEWat Superdrug
BEST SIM-FREE AND UNLOCKED SMARTPHONES:
1. Samsung Galaxy S20
The 2020 Samsung ‘S’ series is here
Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3200 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 12 + 64 + 12MP | Front camera: 10MP120Hz refresh rateExtremely high-definition screenstrong camera performancePretty pricey
Samsung’s latest, the Galaxy S20 is offering some top-notch specs in pretty much every area. Strong camera, impressive internal power, a large battery – it’s all here with this device and if you choose the more expensive version, you’ll even get 5G capabilities.
And in the typical nature of Samsung, it has also launched two other new handsets – the S20 Ultra and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. Both cost a fair bit more than the S20 but offer some of the best specs on the market.Today’s best Samsung Galaxy S20 deals
€849.99VIEWDeal endsSun, 22 NovSHOW MORE DEALSWe check over 130 million products every day for the best prices
2. iPhone 11
Apple’s best device at a surprisingly affordable price
Screen size: 6.1-inches | Resolution: 828 x 1792 | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front Camera: 12MP | Weight: 194g | OS: iOS 13 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | External storage: No | Battery: 3110mAhPowerful Battery iOS 12 is looking goodA range of colour options Specs not as high as the other recent iPhones
Ever since the iPhone 12 came out, we’ve seen the price of the iPhone 11 come way down. Now, it is a good £100+ cheaper making it the perfect iPhone for most people.
While it doesn’t offer Apple’s latest specs anymore, it really isn’t far off, offering a similar camera performance to the 12, a still very high powered processor and a bunch more top notch features.Today’s best iPhone 11 dealsApple iPhone 11 [64GB, Green]…AmazonPrimeUS$599VIEWApple iPhone 11 [64GB,…AmazonPrimeUS$599VIEWREDUCED PRICEApple iPhone 11 [64GB,…AmazonPrime
US$699US$599VIEWREDUCED PRICEApple iPhone 11 (128GB) -…AmazonPrime US$849US$677.09VIEWSHOW MORE DEALSWe check over 130 million products every day for the best prices
3. Google Pixel 5
Yet another excellent camera phone from Google
Weight: 151g | Dimensions: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm | OS: Android 11 (Pie) | Screen size: 6-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 765G | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4080mAh | Rear camera: 12.2MP + 16MP | Front camera: 8MPExcellent cameraAffordable pricingClean Android interfaceNo telephoto lens
The Google Pixel 5 a number of factors Google has always been good at with a few areas it usually struggles at. Like normal, it has a truly excellent camera performance, the UI is intuitive and the leading option in Android thanks to its leading position as the first to get updates and unique features and even the price tag is Google’s usual trend of affordable.
Where Google normally struggles in RAM and battery, improvements have clearly been made to make it a top-tier option.Today’s best Huawei P30 ProHuawei P30 Pro 128GB+8GB RAM…AmazonPrimeUS$629.99VIEWLOW STOCKHuawei P30 Pro Single-SIM…AmazonUS$1,043.38VIEWHuawei P30 Pro 8 Stunning…AmazonPrimeUS$1,599VIEW
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Master the ‘S’ pen for the ultimate phone experience
Screen size: 6.7-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP | Weight: 192g | OS: Android 10 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4300mAhInnovative S pen Powerful processorStrong triple camera set-upNot the best screen quality
Samsung’s 2020 venture into the world of Note devices and S pens is a promising option for most Android fans. Not only does it come with a lower RRP than the previous Samsung Galaxy Note 10, but it also saw a number of jumps in specs.
The latency of the S pen dropped right down to reduce any major lag, the cameras saw a major improvement and even the battery got a major bump. While you could go for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with market-leading specs, the price tag attached will be pretty off-putting.Today’s best Galaxy Note 20 deals
No price informationCHECK AMAZONWe check over 130 million products every day for the best prices
5. OnePlus 8
A spec heavy phone at a surprisingly low price
Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.55-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4300mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP5G at an affordable price tagImpressive specsHefty battery sizeNo wireless charging
The OnePlus 8 is a phone many likely don’t consider and yet it is the perfect option to compete with Samsung and Apple flagships. It offers similar designs, specs and features to the Samsung S20, while dropping the price down a decent amount.
You’re getting 5G specs, an impressive battery cap and even a powerful processor.