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Smartphone Christmas: The Transition to New Devices

Posted by wicked February - 16 - 2016 - Tuesday Comments Off

droids

While getting a new device is always exciting, it can also be a very daunting experience. All in all, it’s a hassle, and doubly so if you aren’t entirely sure of what brand or features to go for, and – for me at least – it involves a lot of anguishing over what to pick, weighing pros and cons, and general indecision.

The Decision

ezgif-3232333837Your contract is up and you’re ready to move on to something new and shiny. There’s a plethora of aspects take into account when deciding. First, are there any “deal breakers”? Do you absolutely have to have expandable storage? Perhaps you have an unusual knack for dropping your phone into the toilet and need waterproofing? Or perhaps being able to go for two full days of intense usage without having to even look at the charger?

Not that it stops there. If you desperately want timely updates, a Nexus device is the best route to go. If solid multi-windows support is your niche, Samsung climbs higher in the rankings. If you’re a flashaholic, you’ll want to ensure there’s a decent development scene for whatever device you end up with. Tap to wake is another feature that often becomes so ingrained into your habits that once you’ve had it, it’s hard to go back. Wanting a superb camera also limits the choices available, however endless they may seem.

The Preparation

1455643604871So you’ve decided to pull the trigger on the purchase. You’re set to either drop some cash, or tie yourself up in a contract. Great. First, however, there’s some preparation needed. After all, who can be bothered setting everything up from scratch again? There are steps to take to facilitate the transition; grease the gears, as it were. Much like “location, location, location” is the adage to live by in certain scenarios, “back-ups, back-ups, back-ups” is what we’re following here.

Nowadays, it’s usually quite easy to get everything “just right” as soon as you boot up your new device, as long as you take a few steps before making the move. Google itself takes care of many issues, and gone are the days of hours of boredom trying to add all your contacts manually. Google Photos (or Drive, OneDrive, or whatever you prefer for cloud storage) makes sure your pictures and videos aren’t lost, but rather kept easily accessible. Many launchers also have a function that will allow you to save a back-up, so your home screen is back in business as soon as you’ve downloaded the app.

The First Steps

It’s booted, it’s shiny, it’s so pretty! How could I ever have used that old lump of junk? But… What to do now? Download apps! Way too many, experience intense regret for filling it up with unnecessary apps, delete, then go ahead. Personally, I start by downloading a launcher, then moving on from there. Restoring photos, adding the absolutely crucial apps I’ve come to – in my head – regard as “stock” Android by using them on a daily basis. Fiddling with customization is always a given the first weeks as well, trying to keep it fresh and yet not be a too jarring change from my old device; simply letting the device “find itself”, so to speak.

Now, another option all together is a fresh start. No back-ups, no syncing, no downloading of old pictures and text conversations. Just the absolute minimum required to function as usual, and then taking it from there. It can be particularly nice if your previous setup was incredibly contrived, and there’s almost something cathartic over forsaking your perfectly tuned KLWP and Zooper widgets for a barebones, stock look. Rarely does the simplicity feel so satisfying as when it’s a completely clean, new device making it shine.

The Adaptation Problem

To be honest, most adaptation issues are relatively minor, but can still be a nuisance to your daily habits. It can be anything from moving from a physical home button to an on-screen one, a change in headphone jack positioning, or the lock button might have been moved slightly; it can all impact you to some extent in the beginning. Particularly annoying for me last time was having gesture shortcuts in Nova Launcher set, and forgetting to assign the same shortcut on my new phone. Swipe up to open app drawer? Nope, here’s the camera instead. A clockwise movement of two fingers to open the clock? Nothing happens save a swipe in whichever direction it registers first. All in all, very minor, but seemingly inevitable in the adaptation process. Once promptly dealt with, however, we’re in the black and ready to make the most of new devices.

Profit?

What does your process look like? Tell us in the comments below

Three UK Forcibly End All Remaining Unlimited Tethering Plans

Posted by wicked January - 29 - 2016 - Friday Comments Off

#makeitright

In a move that will surely surprise no one in today’s society, mobile carrier Three UK has now ended all plans that still allowed for unlimited tethering.

 Back in 2010, Three launched the One Plan including 2000 minutes, 5000 same carrier minutes, 5000 texts and All-You-Can-Eat (1TB) of data with unlimited tethering. Over the years other plans have allowed for unlimited tethering and while they still offer several plans to include this incredible amount of data, they no long offer any with unlimited tethering, with a maximum of 12GB on the more expensive plans. Evidently seeking to end the people using their phone in lieu of home broadband. In 2014 they announced all remaining One Plans would be phased out and now any customers still on these plans were transferred on to the closest current plan on January 26.

We reached out to Three UK to ask just how many customers had been affected and were told that 400,000 customers had either had their unlimited tethering removed for just 12GB or transferred on to a different plan entirely.

“If you don’t choose to upgrade or change price plan, we’ll change your plan to one of our one-month SIM plans, which you can change or upgrade at any time. We’ve picked the closest match to your current plan in terms of your allowances …

… We no longer offer plans that support all-you-can-eat personal Hotspot use. If you want to use Personal Hotspot regularly, we recommend our SIM plan with all-you-can-eat phone ddata and an 12GB PH allowance. Our research shows that this is enough for the vast majority of our customers” – Three UK

This of course, does mean that some customers were hit by a large price increase if they originally purchased their plan during a promotional offer. Although all new plans are just 30 day rolling which means you can immediately end or change it. They have offered a support page for people affected which can be found here and includes most of the information regarding the changes and what you can do next.

If you would like to contact them to enquire about your plans status, one of the easiest ways is by sending them a social media contact request from this page

Have you been affected by this change? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 

Best Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P deals in the UK

Posted by wicked October - 19 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off
nexus 6p first 48 (2 of 36)

The new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P handsets are beginning to launch in the UK and while we’ve already looked at the SIM free price for Google’s new smartphones, the UK is one of a few countries where they are also available to buy on postpaid plans.

With four networks and a major retailer, there should be a lot of deals to choose from so which are the best deals for Google’s new smartphones? Here’s a roundup, designed to save you money if you want either the Nexus 5X or the Nexus 6P on a postpaid plan.


nexus 6p first 48 (22 of 36) Nexus 6P unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours27

Carphone Warehouse

We’ll start with the major retailer Carphone Warehouse, who are the only one to have the Nexus 5X in stock at the moment (with the Nexus 6P available later this week). The retailer is offering the Nexus 5X in Black, White or exclusively in Ice while the 6P is available in either Graphite or Silver, with the latter exclusive to Carphone Warehouse in the UK.

The best deal is on O2 at £27.50 per month, offering unlimited minutes and texts with 1GB 4G data each month on a 24-month commitment. For those want more data, the Vodafone deal at £30 per month offers 2GB 4G data while a plan on EE with 5GB 4G data costs just £31.99 per month.

Buy Nexus 5X from Carphone Warehouse

If you want the bigger Nexus 6P, it’s free on plans from £34.99 per month and the best deal is with EE, offering 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB 4G data for £34.99 per month. For those who want more data, an O2 deal at £36 per month offers 3GB data while another deal on EE offers 5GB data for £36.99 per month, with a £9.99 upfront charge.

Buy Nexus 6P from Carphone Warehouse

EE

EE was the first network in the UK to confirm it plans to stock both of Google’s new devices and it has listed them as pre-order, with deliveries expected to start within the next few weeks.

EE is offering the Nexus 5X in Carbon and an expected delivery date of “within 21 days”. The best plan offers 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB 4G data (with inclusive EU roaming) for £34.99 per month with a £59.99 upfront charge. There’s also a range of other plans available, with data allowances up to 20GB double-speed 4G each month.

Buy Nexus 5X from EE

If you’re after the Nexus 6P from EE, the network is offering it with a minimum up-front cost of £9.99 and then a monthly charge from £41.99 per month. This gets you unlimited minutes and texts with 2GB data each month but just £3 per month more, gets you 4G double-speed data along with inclusive EU calls and texts. There’s also a range of plans available, offering up to 20GB data.

Buy Nexus 6P from EE

Vodafone

Vodafone hasn’t listed the Nexus 5X on its website and when we asked the network whether it planned to stock the LG-made handset, it confirmed there were no plans at the moment. However, Nexus lovers don’t despair as Vodafone is offering the Nexus 6P with a free Huawei MediaPad tablet (for the first 1000 pre-orders), with orders despatching from November 2nd.

If you’re after the Nexus 6P on Vodafone, it’ll cost you £35 per month with a £9 upfront charge, which gives you 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB 4G data per month. Other notable plans include 2GB data with inclusive European calls for £40 per month and 4GB data along with inclusive EU calls and a choice of free content bundle for £45 per month.

For more information and all the available plans, head over to Vodafone at the link below.

Buy Nexus 6P from Vodafone

O2

O2 has listed both, the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X as coming soon but is yet to reveal just how much it’ll charge for each handset. Given the other handsets listed, it’s almost certain that the handsets will be available on O2 Refresh, which splits your monthly bill into two payments (device and airtime) and lets you upgrade at any time just by paying off the remainder of your device.

More details: new Nexus at O2

Three

Three has not confirmed if it is planning to stock either of the two new handsets but we’ve reached out to the network and will update when we receive any additional information.


LG Nexus 5X Unboxing-3 Nexus 5X unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours14

Wrap up

There you have it, a quick wrap up of the best deals for the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P in the UK. Of course, if you’d rather, you can always buy the handset SIM free, with a range of places to buy the handset including Carphone Warehouse, Clove or even Google itself.

New Nexus in video:

Have you spotted a deal that you think we should have featured? Is there one of these deals that takes your fancy? Have you ordered either the Nexus 5X or the Nexus 6P? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and check out our Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P videos above!

John Lewis stores to sell mobile phones

Posted by wicked June - 23 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

John Lewis

Retailer John Lewis will enter the highly competitive UK telecoms market for the first time in a bid to fill a void left by the sudden collapse of former incumbent retailer Phones4U last September. Beginning today, customers can go to the John Lewis website to buy 25 mobile phones sans-contracts and from mid-August, two flagship stores – the one on Oxford Street, London and Cheadle Manchester – will begin offering contracts in a store as a pilot. If successful, the plan is to roll out the service to other stores around the country.

The best phones…

John Lewis plans to set itself apart from the competition – and provide a viable challenge to sole independent high street retailer Carphone Warehouse – by offering a standard two year warranty on all handsets and free insurance. The two year warranty also applies to Apple iPhones, which come with one year warranty by default. Given that customers currently opt to buy tablets and other electronics from John Lewis over other suppliers thanks to the additional warranty on offer, it’s hoped that the same offer will appeal to potential contract customers.

The firm will offer two plans on Vodafone in a bid to simplify the often complex search for a mobile phone contract: a low data tariff with unlimited free minutes and texts and a high data tariff, which also comes with unlimited free minutes and texts. The new mobile concessions stores will appear alongside similar concessions currently in place inside John Lewis stores and will be run by both John Lewis and Vodafone staff. For customers who want other plans, John Lewis will also be able to offer phones on any Vodafone contract.

Buying Director Johnathan Marsh said:

‘We’ve got a very strong technology business, and being able to offer customers mobile phones is important.‘

We know from our website traffic and searches that customers are actively looking for mobiles from us, but it’s important we go into this market in a John Lewis way.’

At the moment there are thousands of potential combinations of mobile handsets and tariffs on the market, which can be really daunting for customers.’

Retailer Phones4U suddenly collapsed last September five days before the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, leaving thousands of customers who had pre-ordered, stranded and without any hope of a refund. The move left Carphone Warehouse as the only independent high street retailer able to offer contracts from multiple networks and while John Lewis will only offer plans from Vodafone UK, it will offer some competition for Carphone Warehouse.

Would you buy from John Lewis to get two years’ warranty and free insurance? How important are warranty and damage protection plans to you? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!

Mobile Phones from John Lewis

Best Android Contract Deals in the UK

Posted by wicked June - 3 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
lg-g4-vs-samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-quick-look-aa-2-of-14

Smartphones in general have rapidly become very expensive devices and in most countries, most customers buy their new smartphone as part of a pay monthly contract.

In the UK, picking a new contract often means searching through lots of carriers and retailers to find the best deal and then, you have to deal with different warranty policies, delivery charges and other hidden charges that might increase the cost of your plan.

Related: Best Android smartphones

To help you find the best Android contracts in the UK, we’ve picked a few price points and we’re going to compare the different deals available from the four major networks – EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three – and independent retailer Carphone Warehouse and give you our top pick for a combination of handset and inclusive allowances along with an honourable mention at each price point.

£0 – £25.99 per month

The low end of the mark is where OEMs offer the cheapest possible experience in an attempt to capture first-time smartphone users and those on a budget.

HTC Desire 820-27

Top Pick: HTC Desire 820

Deal details:

  • Network: iD (runs on Three)
  • Price per month: £25.50
  • Upfront cost: £0.00
  • Monthly Minutes: 1200
  • Monthly SMS: 5000
  • Monthly Data: 2GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free roaming in 22 countries around the world
  • Retailer (link): Carphone Warehouse
  • Review (link): HTC Desire 820 review

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Honourable mention: Xperia Z3 Compact

The Xperia Z3 Compact was arguably the best mid-range Android smartphone released last year and nearly a year later, the handset is still one of the best mid-range devices. It borrows most of the specs of its flagship sibling – the Xperia Z3 – and is powered by a quad-core CPU, has a 20MP camera and is dust and water resistant.

sony xperia z3 compact review aa (1 of 21)

Deal details:

  • Network: Three UK
  • Price per month: £24.00
  • Upfront cost: £0.00
  • Monthly Minutes: 600
  • Monthly SMS: unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 1GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free roaming in 18 countries around the world
    • Free 0800/0808/0500 calls in the UK
  • Retailer (link)Three UK
  • Review (link): Xperia Z3 Compact Review

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Honourable mention: Honor 6 Plus

Honor might be Huawei’s e-commerce brand but its handsets are certainly impressive and the Honor 6 Plus is no different. It’s a fantastic device that is packed with premium specs at a very competitive and affordable mid-range price point. This deal only came below the Xperia Z3 Compact deal as it has less inclusive monthly data.

Huawei's Honor line is just one example of where Xiaomi competition has turned to online-only sales models.

Deal details:

  • Network: Three UK
  • Price per month: £24.00
  • Upfront cost: £19.00
  • Monthly Minutes: 600
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 500MB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free roaming in 18 countries around the world
    • Free 0800/0808/0500 calls in the UK
  • Retailer (link)Three UK
  • Review (link): Honor 6 Plus review

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£26 – £39.99 per month

From the entry-level price point to one of the most fiercely contested as flagships are replaced and drop to this very affordable price. Choosing our picks for this category was arguably the hardest choice of this entire feature, especially when handsets such as the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3 are all available at this price point.

Top Pick: LG G4

The LG G4 is without doubt one of the best Android smartphones on the market and despite only landing on the market a few days ago, it’s available at this excellent price (by comparison, the Galaxy S6 started at over £45 per month as did the iPhone 6. It’s one of my favourite devices of the year and delivers the best alternative to Samsung’s flagships at a much more affordable price point.

lg g4 color comparison aa (1 of 11)

Deal details:

  • Network: EE
  • Price per month: £36.99
  • Upfront cost: £39.99
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 5GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free calls and texts while roaming in selected European countries
    • Double-speed LTE-Advanced 4G (up to 300Mbps)
  • Retailer (link): Carphone Warehouse
  • Review (link): LG G4 review

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Honourable mention: HTC One M9

The HTC One M9 may not be the handset for everyoneI’ve already shared my views on HTC’s latest flagship – but it still offers a compelling package and for a handset that has a recommended price in excess of £500 ($750), this deal is rather good value for money.

htc one m9 review aa (34 of 34)

Deal details:

  • Network: Vodafone
  • Price per month: £35.00
  • Upfront cost: £79.99
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 6GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • 3 months unlimited internet (Data Test Drive)
    • £3 per day roaming in European countries (Vodafone EuroTraveller)
  • Retailer (link): Carphone Warehouse
  • Review (link): HTC One M9 review

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£40 – £49.99 per month

From the mid-range to the flagship and this price point is where most modern flagships enter the market at. If you’re willing to spend this much each month, you’ll pretty much get your own pick of which handset you buy.

samsung galaxy s6 review aa (38 of 45)

Top Pick: Galaxy S6 32GB

Choosing any deal at this price point pretty much includes selecting the Galaxy S6, which is why Samsung’s flagship takes top spot at this price point. While there are other handsets available, as mentioned at the beginning, this comparison takes into account the retail price of the handset, which is why the Galaxy S6 offers a more compelling package at this price.

Samsung’s latest flagship is certainly impressive with a metal and glass build, Quad HD Super AMOLED display, octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, 16MP camera and built-in dual wireless charging. It may not have a removable battery and expandable storage like its chief rival – the LG G4 – but it ticks the other boxes and deserves its top billing. The plans at this price point are all rather similar but Three takes top spot as its the only one to offer unlimited 4G data.

Deal details:

  • Network: Three UK
  • Price per month: £48.00
  • Upfront cost: £0.00
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: Unlimited 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free roaming in 18 countries around the world
    • Free 0800/0808/0500 calls in the UK
  • Retailer (link)Three UK
  • Review (link): Galaxy S6 review

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Honourable mention: Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 4 might be a few months old now but Samsung’s phablet still offers one of the best experiences on the market. The premium specs – including a Quad HD display, 16MP camera and quad-core CPU – are coupled with the innovative S-Pen stylus and faux leather cover for a truly impressive handset.

samsung galaxy note 4 s pen aa (2 of 18)

Deal details:

  • Network: EE
  • Price per month: £49.99
  • Upfront cost: £9.99
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 10GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free calls and texts while roaming in selected European countries
    • Double-speed LTE-Advanced 4G (up to 300Mbps)
  • Retailer (link)EE
  • Review (link): Galaxy S6 review

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Honourable mention: Galaxy S6 32GB

EE’s network is the best in the UK for coverage and data speeds and this plan is certainly made for the heavy data user as it offers a large data allowance and super-fast speeds.

samsung galaxy s6 vs s6 edge aa (33 of 39)

Deal details:

  • Network: EE
  • Price per month: £49.99
  • Upfront cost: £9.99
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 10GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free calls and texts while roaming in selected European countries
    • Double-speed LTE-Advanced 4G (up to 300Mbps)
  • Retailer (link)EE
  • Review (link): Galaxy S6 review

£50+ per month

This is the price point where the extremely premium handsets enter the market. Alternatively, this is the price at which you’ll get those insanely large data allowances and just about every package your network provider offers as they tempt you to part with your hard earned money.

Modern smartphones are only increasing in price so it’s only a matter of time before more smartphones enter the market at this price each month. Contracts in the UK a few years ago used to cost this much per month but deals then became affordable and over the past six to twelve months, we’ve seen a trend for monthly prices to increase as smartphone prices increase.

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Like the Galaxy S6 above, this section is dominated by the Galaxy S6 Edge, which is arguably Samsung’s true flagship handset. Choosing a deal at this price point was incredibly tough as all the networks offer large data allowances and it came down to perceived value and our experiences with each network (in terms of coverage, speeds and reliability).

Top Pick: Galaxy S6 Edge 64GB

Picking a top deal was certainly interesting as at this price point, most of the deals are rather similar. However, our top pick comes from EE, who are offering the 64GB Galaxy S6 Edge with a large amount of data and a reliable network at a lower price than the competition.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge-26

Deal details:

  • Network: EE
  • Price per month: £54.99
  • Upfront cost: £69.99
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 20GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 24 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • Free calls and texts while roaming in selected European countries
    • Double-speed LTE-Advanced 4G (up to 300Mbps)
  • Retailer (link)EE
  • Review (link): Galaxy S6 Edge review

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Honourable mention: Galaxy S6 Edge 64GB

Choosing an honourable mention was difficult as there were lots to choose from but we settled on the only 12-month contract on our list (the rest are 24 months). Vodafone still offer 12-month contracts and while they have become relatively expensive, they still offer value for money and the ability to change devices more often.

Deal details:

  • Network: Vodafone UK
  • Price per month: £59.99
  • Upfront cost: £279.00
  • Monthly Minutes: Unlimited
  • Monthly SMS: Unlimited
  • Monthly Data: 4GB 4G
  • Contract Length: 12 months
  • Inclusive Extras:
    • 3 months unlimited internet (Data Test Drive)
    • 5GB BT Openzone Wi-Fi
    • Free Inclusive calls to the UK from European Zone
    • £3 per day roaming in European countries (Vodafone EuroTraveller)
    • 6 months inclusive benefit (Now TV, Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium)
  • Retailer (link)Vodafone UK
  • Review (link): Galaxy S6 Edge review

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Wrapping Up

Choosing a new smartphone is certainly a challenge with a myriad of networks, retailers, handsets, offers, price plans and allowances to choose from. You may have just been looking for some recommendations on what to spend your money on and we hope that you’ve at least gained some insight into what your monthly budget might get you.

Our top picks for Android deals: which will you buy?

It’s worth remembering that there are hundreds – and even thousands – of pay monthly deals available and while we’ve picked the ones we think are top picks, there are probably others that also suit your needs. Some networks – EE and O2 – allow you to customise your package by paying more upfront and less per month and vice versa so the same deals mentioned above may be available at other prices.

Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers

Based in the UK and spotted a deal that you think we’ve missed? Which deal would you choose and why? Have we helped you with our top picks for Android contracts in the UK? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!!

LG G4 now in-stock in the UK

Posted by wicked May - 27 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
lg g4 first look aa (22 of 32)

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has today launched the LG G4 in the UK, two days ahead of its May 29th general release date. The retailer – who has an exclusive on the black leather version – is offering LG’s latest flagship handset on contracts starting at £35 per month.

That deal gets you 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB 4G data on Vodafone each month but if you’re looking for a lower monthly price, the same deal can be had on EE for £31.99 per month with a £49.99 upfront charge. There’s also a range of other deals available, including 4G contracts through O2, EE and Carphone’s own iD network (which runs on Three UK).

The LG G4 is one of the best smartphones on the market at the moment and comes with a curved Quad HD IPS display, a powerful Snapdragon 808 processor and 16MP camera equipped with Optical Image Stabilisation, Color Spectrum Sensor and laser autofocus. At a cost of £35 per month, it’s significantly cheaper than its key rivals, including the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge and offers one of the best Android experiences on the market.

LG G4 in videos:

Are you going to buy the G4? Let us know your views down below guys!

Sprint offers half-bill promo for those switching from Verizon and AT&T

Posted by wicked December - 3 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

sprint logo TheDarkThing

In Japan, mobile carriers are engaged in such a ruthless war of side switching promotions, that the industry itself is no longer creating new long term customers. Rather, it’s all about defecting from one carrier to another while remaining on the same number to receive major discounts every time your contract ends. As America begins to experience a similar trend, Sprint (owned by Japan’s Softbank) is taking things up a notch.

Sprint has unveiled a major boon for current Verizon or AT&T customers willing to switch over to the Now Network. The promotion will begin this Friday. The details are as follows:

1. Current customers on either Verizon or AT&T (not T-Mobile) can receive up to $350 towards Early Termination Fees or device installments. This said device must be surrendered to Sprint upon the onset of the contract.

2. Sprint will find a contract with monthly conditions that cost half of that which current Verizon or AT&T customers are now paying.

3. Customers taking advantage of this promotion must purchase a new device at the time of contract.

4. Customers must bring their current bill to verify the current total.

This could go a long way in helping Sprint to change its rather abysmal reputation and could be enough to lure in customers from other networks. Of course, it is worth noting that the promotion will be available for a limited time only (once you have switched, however, the rate will be fixed.) For all those looking to update their mobile or just save money, this could be a fantastic opportunity.

Show Press Release

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 02, 2014 – In an unprecedented move, Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced it will cut in half the monthly rate plan for Verizon and AT&T customers who switch to Sprint beginning Friday, Dec. 5. With the Cut Your Bill in Half Event, Sprint will provide unlimited talk and text to anywhere in the U.S. while on the Sprint network – regardless of a customer’s current plan – and match the customer’s data allowance for half the cost they are currently paying for their monthly rate plan.1

“The Cut Your Bill in Half Event clearly demonstrates that Sprint delivers the best value in wireless,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO, Sprint. “It’s as simple as this: Bring Sprint your Verizon or AT&T bill along with your phone and we’ll cut your rate plan in half. That’s a 50 percent savings on your rate plan every month. And this great deal is not just a promotion. This will be the customer’s ongoing price.”

Beginning Friday, Dec. 5, Verizon and AT&T customers switching to Sprint need to follow these simple steps to take advantage of this limited-time offer:

1. Visit sprint.com/halfprice to upload a copy of your current bill.2
2. Bring a copy of your latest bill and all of the phones on your Verizon or AT&T account to turn in to your Sprint store.
3. A Sprint representative will select the service plan that most closely matches the data allowance in your current monthly rate plan.3
4. Get your new phone with one of our leasing options, Sprint Easy Pay(SM) installment billing, or pay full retail price for the device.

Customers also may take advantage of the Cut Your Bill in Half Event via Sprint.com. For more information visit www.sprint.com/halfprice.

Additionally through this offer, Verizon and AT&T customers on a contract are eligible to save even more. Sprint will pay up to $350 per line via a Visa® Prepaid Card for their early termination fee or installment bill balance when they switch. Once a customer has received the final bill from the other carrier, he or she may simply register for the Visa Prepaid Card at sprint.com/jointoday.4

The half-off rate from Sprint will be based on the monthly voice, text and data rate plan charge for all lines on the customer’s Verizon or AT&T bill. For example, Verizon customers paying $140/month for four lines of service to share can get four lines of service from Sprint for $70/month. Customers are entitled to the half-off rate as long as they remain on the plan.

Verizon’s new ETF policy: full penalty for the first 7 months

Posted by wicked November - 15 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Verizon logo

Contracts are a binding agreement between you and your service provider. Contracts often have mutual benefits for both parties. Contracts can be broken… for a price. In the world of cellular service, there are two basic options for consumers: (1) spend a large sum of money and procure a new product either SIM-free/carrier unlocked, or (2) opt for a multi-year agreement with a mobile carrier and receive the desired device for a heavily subsidized cost. Recently companies have been offering a third option wherein a handset is $0 down with a monthly installment plan, though in this context the customer is actually paying full price for their smartphone or tablet. Any way you slice it, things are expensive.

Things are about to get even more expensive however, if Verizon Wireless has anything to do with it. Prior to November 14th, contracts worked like this: sign a two-year agreement, and each month the Early Termination Fee (ETF) would decrease by $10. From today onward, however, the ETF won’t begin to decrease for a full 7 months when purchasing so-called advanced devices. To be specific, months 1-7 will see zero reduction of the penalty, months 8-18 will warrant a $10/month decrease, months 19-23 will each garner a reduction of $20. Hit the final 24th and the final $60 will be eliminated.

Phone Verizon Money WGGB

The full legal spiel is as follows:

If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an advanced device on or after November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $350, which will decline by: $10 per month in months 8–18, $20 per month in months 19–23, and $60 in the final month of your contract term. For other contract terms entered into on or after November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $175, which will decline by: $5 per month in months 8–18, $10 per month in months 19–23, and $30 in the final month of your contract term. If your contract results from your purchase of an advanced device prior to November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. For other contract terms entered into prior to November 14, 2014, your early termination fee will be $175 minus $5 for each full month of your contract term that you complete.

Suffice to say this is a rather severe new system, to put it nicely. Clearly Verizon has figured out a way to better monetize its ETF penalty system as customers either switch networks or else seek to upgrade their devices at a faster pace. The disturbing thing is that for a company that actually lost customers earlier this year, this is either a brazen move to try and keep more from leaving in the future, or else just plain bad judgement. Or both.

While T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint have yet to react to this new policy publicly, now that one has instated something of this nature, it’s only a matter of time before the other three try something as well. All-in-all this scenario showcases the benefits of purchasing off-contract, if you can afford it, that is.

Verizon offering low price, contract encumbered Nexus 7 for $49.99

Posted by wicked March - 13 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

verizon_nexus_7_deal

Verizon is making the Nexus 7 tablet from Google available for only $49.99 to users willing to sign-up for a 2-year agreement. That may be a good deal for users short on cash, although it is unclear just how much savings, if any, the deal represents. Verizon is also offering the Nexus 7 for $349.99 off contract, the same price that the device can be purchased from Google Play.

If you really want to go through Verizon or want to take advantage of purchasing a Nexus 7 over time via a 2-year contract, hit the source link.

source: Verizon

Come comment on this article: Verizon offering low price, contract encumbered Nexus 7 for $49.99

T-Mobile pondering more regular smartphone upgrades

Posted by wicked March - 27 - 2013 - Wednesday Comments Off

t-mobile

Waiting for the end of a two year contract before you can ditch that old handset can be a frustrating experience. It’s even more annoying to find out that a better smartphone launched just a few months after you signed a new contract.

Well those days may one day be behind us, as T-Mobile is contemplating a new “anytime upgrade” club.

This new concept could allow customers to upgrade their handsets up to twice a year in exchange for a “very small” membership fee. Nothing is set in stone yet, and it’s not known whether this fee will appear as either a monthly or annual subscription. T-Mobile is also thinking about throwing in some insurance for your smartphone with the optional club membership, so it could be a phenomenal deal for smartphone enthusiasts.

I can see the “anytime upgrade” club being a hugely popular option for consumers who are really into their tech, especially considering how many high end handsets are released each year these days. But swapping handsets every six months certainly isn’t for everyone.

Hats off to T-Mobile though, first introducing simplified data plans this month, and now trying to offer consumers more choice when it comes to handsets. T-Mobile is certainly trying to become more consumer friendly, and I can’t fault the company for attempting to innovate.

Like I said though T-Mobile hasn’t finalised anything yet, and this concept may never actually be implemented. Never the less, I’m interested to hear your opinions on the idea. Would you happily pay a little extra each year on your contact in exchange for more regular handset upgrades?

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