Phone upgrades - Contract or buy?


I am due an upgrade on my phone but already pay a huge amount for my iPhone 7 plus.

My dad recently bought the new iPhone for around £500 because they had a deal and he traded in his old phone which was in perfect condition for an even bigger discount.

Do you guys buy your phone outright and pay for a cheap contract or do you just take out a contract? If you are on a contract, who is your contract with?

I’ve been with EE for about 10 years but I’m wondering whether I am getting the best deal…

Any advice would be much appreciated! :smile:

@lilli good morning Lilli and hope all is good.
Personally, we have always bought phones and had sim only pay as you go. We have just bought (from Amazon) Huawei 8x for £190 each. Our sim only is Asda £7 a month contract free (gives 600 minuts, 3gb data) this might be bettered by TalkTalk o2 offer. The new phones are amazing!! The old phones are Samsung S5 Galaxy which cost £150 second hand 3 years ago and are now worth about £50. I will possibly keep the old Samsung S5 and leave it in the car or pass it round the family to my niece.
Happy days
(I wouldn’t worry about Huawei = the trade war won’t last for ever and its good for a bargain! in humble view.

Hey @Hans

I am good thanks, hope you are well too!

I am thinking do I just buy a phone, the only problem is I am so used to using iPhones and they are much more expensive than androids :sweat_smile:

When I hear people who have £7 contracts I think why on earth am I spending 43 pounds a month!

I suppose you have to weigh up spending a large amount in one go or over the space of two years. You always end up spending so much more than the phone worth over 24 months though…

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Hi again
yea - most of my colleagues have IPhones but never update them now due to cost. They all like my new phone for size and speed and convenience. If you youtube my Huawei 8x you will see that its a near clone of the latest IPhone.
Our old Samsung S5 we bought three years ago so if EMMA did the sums = she would be pleased with us!!! At home we have the internets and for a outgoing home phone use a Google Mini which gives free calls to mobiles and landlines. We have had this for well over a year now.

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Up until now I’ve been one of these people who have bought a new phone each. I’ve always taken good care of the old one and sold it for a pretty good profit and have therefore been able to eat the loss pretty easily. However, I’ve heard friends say pretty good things about the Apple Upgrade program, so I might check that one out this fall.


I buy a new iPhone every 2/3 years and have a sim only contract with EE. Currently paying £10 for 10GB data and unlimited calls/texts. This was a retention deal, and only offered when I requested my PAC code to move to Three.

So if you want a better deal, I’d say ask for your PAC code and tell them you’re leaving.

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Thanks for the tip!

I just got an email from Apple yesterday saying I can buy a new iPhone and get £275 off if I trade in my 7 plus… which would make it like £49 if I trade in…so tempting

Apparently, they also do 0% interest for 24 months if you don’t want to pay up front.


Sounds tempting to me. I am reminded of my mums advice ~ the baby who cries the most = gets the most!! I did that with talk talk and an amazing deal!
Good luck
Happy days

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I’ve been SIM-only for years. I’m with EE (who I like as a network) and pay £10/month for unlimited calls/texts and 4GB data. Similar to @Logan09 this was a retention deal offered after I requested my PAC code.

I use iPhone but am quite happy not to have the latest and greatest model, and tend to buy iPhone models a couple of years after initial release (often in a used/refurb condition). I’m happy to do this with iPhones as Apple are so good at keeping updates going for several years (in comparison to most Android phone makers). At the moment I’m still using an iPhone 6S and have no immediate desire to upgrade it.

One problem with buying used/refurb phones is if you want to insure your phone. Most insurers seem to restrict insurance to phones you have purchased in a new condition. This is partly why I don’t buy slightly more recent (and therefore costlier) models of used iPhones. Am interested if anyone knows of insurers who are happy to insure used phones?


Personally ~ having done my second hand buy thing ~I rootless buy new now. I would go the best £200 phone I could find ~ currently Huawei 8x or a Nokia 3b ~ and update phones every three years. My friends moved from iPhones to androids a couple of years ago and now like them. So the way I do it costs abt £12 a month. But as @o99 says not able to insure.

I think the general consensus is that getting a phone on contract is a waste of money and it’s best to commit to buying and then trade in when I want a new one.

I have to say I like EE as a provider apart from the fact I get a terrible signal in my flat…

Having to get boosters fitted for my internet because the signal is so bad!

If you have decent Wifi in your flat just turn on Wi-Fi calling:
iPhone settings > Mobile Data > Wi-Fi Calling

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That’s what I have had to start doing! haha

They told me there was a mast down in the area for the last month and gave me 50% off my bill.

I tried to get the whole bill cleared and the guy was like you have still used 1000 minute lol…I was like ah okay!

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@lilli have a look at Vodaphone - they are cheap and tend to have a good signal - and o2. I would be tempted to get a £5 prepaid sim card (Amazon) and try a couple of systems before you commit - you can easily transfer your number over to it. Good luck Lilli = I was wondering what you were thinking of doing. I don’t think you will look back after getting out of contracts. Equally, you can get get a cheap laptop from Facebook Market and get some one in your office to load linux on it and get it to fly.
Have a lovely weekend

I used to pay for the phone outright direct from Apple and then get a SIM-only contract from a network. I think network contracts that have devices together with them are expensive in the long term and hard to escape from.

However starting with the XS Max, I’m on the iPhone upgrade programme. It’s a 0% interest way to pay monthly for the device plus insurance, and the option to trade in and get the latest phone after 11 months. I still use the same SIM-only contract from EE.

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I’ve been told Vodafone is good for signal! My landlord had it and when he was at my flat he had full bars haha typical!

I’m sure I will end up buying a phone to save myself from having an expensive contract .

What do you mean by getting a laptop?

Thanks @Hans

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Yeah I was looking into this at the weekend!

Are the monthly payments very high with the 0% interest payment option?

Also, how does the trade in work? Do you have to pay off the old iPhone and then start paying for the new one or do you just trade in and start paying for the new one?

Yes good morning. Glad it’s all coming together. We followed the amazon recommendations and ticks for the phones.
Iaptops oh its just that they are so cheap on Facebook market and I have 2 old ones ~ one for writing my essays and one for googling and it’s much better than just having one. If you get someone to install Linux on it = then it’s virus proof and easy to use. New batteries are available on amazon. Just a thought xx
Is busy in the supermarket this morning.

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Ahhh I love facebook marketplace, I sold so much furniture on there when I moved from my flat it was amazing!

I recently bought a MacBook pro from john lewis with 0% interest which made me very happy. Then I started working at Emma and they got me one too :eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Can’t believe it’s busy on a monday morning!

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It’s a small up front fee (I think £69) and then I pay £61.45 per month for an XS Max 64gb which shows up as committed spending in my Emma budget :wink:

The monthly fee includes AppleCare+ insurance.

After 11 monthly payments you can hand in the phone for a different one (such as the latest model), and you pay the same one off fee and the respective monthly price (so say you want to downgrade - you’d pay a lower monthly fee!) from there. Or you can continue to pay off the phone each month until you own it outright. So essentially, it’s like having a guaranteed trade in value when you hand the phone back. Probably less than you’d get selling it privately, but not bad for the convenience. And you only have to hand the phone itself back in working condition, so I don’t care about scratch protection, and I have a stash of accessories I can keep every year :wink: