Your New Phone: Buying Outright vs a Contract


So, you’ve decided it’s time for a new phone. Maybe your old one has seen better days, or perhaps you just fancy a change, whatever the reason, making the right choice is important. We rely on our phones, they’re our number one companion and are at our fingertips for just about everything we do.

What are my options?

When it comes to getting a brand sparkling new handset you have the option of taking out a contract or buying outright. Wondering what’s best? Let’s take a look at the differences in terms of prices because everyone wants to save where they can…

Buying outright

While it may seem like a hefty chunk to dish out all at once, buying your new handset outright comes with its perks. First of all the phone belongs to you as soon as you pay and it's handed over to you, good right? You can then choose to compliment your new handset with a pay-as-you-go sim or, get a sim only deal which major phone network providers in the U.K can advise you on.


A contract also comes with perks, however, the phone does NOT belong to you until you’ve paid for it fully over the duration of your contract deal this could be a pay weekly phone or a pay monthly deal. You’ll spread the payments of the handset in monthly instalments which is generally a period between 12 and 24 months. Contracts also include a phone network plan which will include calls, texts and data. Note that if you do opt for a contract you cannot change mobile provider during the time that you’ve agreed upon in terms of your contract length.

What You Should Do To Save Money On Your New Phone

 Buying a new phone doesn’t always have to break the bank. There are a number of reasons why we recommend ditching the contract and instead of buying your handset outright where possible:

  • Telecommunication companies profit from your contract. When you choose a contract you’re not only being sold the handset but also products and services which means you’ll have to pay a flat out fee if you decide to terminate the contract before agreed with the provider. You’ll also be liable to pay for any existing payments on the contract too (Ouch!).
  • Expect to pay fees if you switch to a different carrier. Choosing to go with another carrier part way through your contract will cost you. This is particularly true if you’re not too far into your contract… For this reason among others, you should carefully scrutinise the terms and conditions of any phone contract prior to signing on that line.

Buying A Phone Outright

Though it’s not for everyone, there are a number of pros that come with buying your phone upfront with the main one being how much money you’ll save.

Savings will vary depending on the model you go for, however, you could realistically snag yourself a saving of between £200-300 on the latest handset, not bad!

SIM Only Plans

You’ll need a new sim for your phone if you choose to buy it outright and many providers offer a sim only plan for these needs as briefly mentioned. You can connect a sim to your new handset and be able to call, text and use data as soon as this is done. You’ll have to ensure that your phone isn’t locked to a specific network, however. Sim only plans function in the same way as a standard contract, in the sense that you’ll sign to pay a fixed rate (unless you go over your allowance) each month. They’re a great way of saving further money since you will already own the phone that your new sim will pair with.

Why Choose A SIM Only Plan?

You’ll have a set allowance in terms of minutes, texts and data that you will be billed for each month. This will prevent you from racking up any unwanted costs, that may come as a surprise when you’ve set aside your budget for the month!

You should now be adequately clued up to confidently go forward and choose what works best for your needs when it comes to buying outright VS contracts…

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