A new smartphone release is always cause for excitement, with the cutting-edge tech that offers customers fantastic new features and stunning designs. Whether it’s a shiny iPhone X or a brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S9, lots of people scramble to get their hands on the latest models as soon as they are released.
However, when purchasing a new smartphone, most customers find themselves tied up in lengthy contracts with their chosen network provider – often with commitments lasting up to 24 months. Plus, when they have finally come to the end of their agreement, they are left with a device that is locked to one specific network, often driving down its resale value.
Luckily, that’s where SIM free phones come in. These devices pretty much do exactly what it says on the package. They are mobile phones that are sold without any SIM card or specific network contract. This means that customers can simply buy the phone they want outright and then pick and choose the SIM deal that is right for them.
Pairing a SIM free phone with a SIM only deal
While SIM free mobile phones don’t come tied down by any network commitments, customers will still need a SIM if they want to make texts, calls or use mobile data on their device. Therefore, the most logical thing to do is to pair a SIM free phone with a SIM only contract. For example, if you purchased an iPhone 6S SIM free, then you may choose to pair it with a SIM only deal from EE.
With a SIM only deal, the clue is in the name: this is where a network provider sells a customer just a SIM card, which offers a set package of minutes, texts and mobile data per month. Just like a standard contract, the customer makes a monthly payment for their allowances, but this is usually much more affordable than contracts which also include the cost of a handset. Additionally, compared to the 24-month contracts, SIM only deals can be as short as 30-days, which gives customers the freedom to shop around, change their mobile or swap providers as frequently as they want.
Alternatively, you can choose to pair your SIM free phone with a pay as you go deal if you don’t want to be tied to any contract at all.
Advantages of SIM free phones
We’ve already touched upon one of the biggest advantages that come with SIM free phones, and that’s their flexibility. While standard monthly contracts often do allow early upgrades, SIM free phones let you upgrade whenever you want, without the need to wait for a certain amount of time to pass. For example, if you bought one of the older Samsung phones SIM free, then you could upgrade to a newer model within a month or two if you wanted.
Despite the initial lump sum for the phone, these deals can also work out cheaper overall. Instead of agreeing to a set cost for the contract and handset, you are free to shop around for the most competitive SIM free iPhone or Android devices and pair them with affordable SIM only or PAYG deals. This also means that you’ll likely be paying less each month too.
On top of this, the phone will likely retain a higher resale value, as unlocked SIM free phones are compatible with any network and therefore more valuable to second hand resale sites.
Disadvantages of SIM free phones
Affordability and flexibility are clear bonuses for SIM only customers, but there are a few negatives that you should consider as well. For starters, while standard contracts allow you to spread the cost of a device, a SIM free purchase requires an initial outlay. Therefore, if you wanted an iPhone X SIM free, you would have to pay for the device upfront in one go rather than in smaller monthly instalments.
Another issue that SIM free customers may face is a lack of deals and offers from their preferred network provider. These networks ideally want you to commit to them for a long period of time, so they will likely reserve their best deals and most competitive allowance prices for their long-term customers. Similarly, there may be certain rewards programs, such as exclusive discounts and access to early ticket sales, that you find yourself unable to take advantage with a SIM free phone.
Overall though, there is so much choice out there that everyone should be able to find a device and SIM deal that suits their individual needs.
Whatever your needs you’ll find something that is right for you with the help of Hoppy. Simply enter a few details, register and then browse our site to discover the latest handsets and great deals from the top networks.
Unfortunately, we don't currently offer SIM free deals but why not compare other available deals to see if one of them might be right for you.