Hello and welcome to Ken's Tech Tips, one of the UK's largest independent mobile technology websites. Our mission is to demystify the world of mobile technology. We're doing that by providing a no-nonsense guide on smartphones & mobile technology here in the UK. Whether you're looking to understand mobile technology, to compare the best deals available on the market, for a full review of the tariffs on each network or for information about changing your network or handset, we're here to help.

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Double Speed 4G and 4G+: Worth The Upgrade For Higher Speeds?

September 27th, 2016

EE currently offers three tiers of download speed: standard 4G (up to 20Mbps), double-speed 4G (up to 60Mbps) and 4G+ (up to 90Mbps, their fastest 4G).

EEIf you’re joining EE on a Pay Monthly contract, you now have three different types of tariff to choose from.

Their basic 4G offering is available on 4GEE Essential and starts from £16.99/month with up to a 20Mbps download speed. This is about four times faster than a standard 3G connection (in the real world, typical download speeds will be more like 12-15Mbps).

Customers on the more expensive 4GEE will get access to EE’s faster double-speed 4G network. Download speeds on double-speed 4G can go up to 60Mbps, but are more typically between 24-30Mbps (this is about eight times faster than standard 3G).

Finally, customers on the most expensive 4GEE Max will get access to EE’s fastest 4G+ service (also known as 4.5G or LTE-Advanced). This gives maximum download speeds of up to 90Mbps. You’ll need a compatible smartphone supporting the service (with Category 6 LTE or higher) and you’ll need to be living in a 4G+ coverage area (at the moment, the service is only available in London).

In this article, we’ll review and compare the three different levels of 4G coverage. We’ll also find out how much difference double-speed 4G and 4G+ make in reality, and whether it’s worthwhile to upgrade your handset and tariff.

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4GEE Max, 4GEE & 4GEE Essentials: EE’s Pay Monthly Tariffs Compared

September 21st, 2016

EE has split their Pay Monthly line-up into three types of tariff: 4GEE Max (with their fastest 4G), 4GEE (up to 60Mbps) and 4GEE Essentials (up to 20Mbps).

EEIf you’re looking to buy a new Pay Monthly handset from EE, there are now three types of tariff you’re able to choose from.

EE’s flagship 4G tariff is known as 4GEE Max. Starting from £25.99/month, it gives you the fastest speeds available and up to 40GB of monthly data. For customers living in London, this includes 4G+ (also known as 4.5G or LTE-Advanced). 4GEE Max also comes with inclusive EU roaming and inclusive BT Sport for the duration of your contract.

For many, the standard 4GEE tariff will offer better value with prices starting from £20.99/month. 4GEE tariffs offer double-speed 4G (maximum download speeds of 60Mbps). You’ll be able to choose a UK data allowance between 1GB and 20GB per month. There’s also 500MB of EU roaming and 6 months of BT Sport included in the tariff.

Finally, if you’re looking at certain handsets, there will also be an entry-level tariff called 4GEE Essential. This will give you up to 2GB of data per month with standard 4G speeds (up to 20Mbps). EU roaming is excluded from 4GEE Essential.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the three tariffs and we’ll compare the features available on each one.

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Getting Itemised Bills, Call Logs & VAT Invoices From UK Mobile Networks

September 16th, 2016

If you’re claiming the cost of your mobile phone bill from a company or employer, it might be necessary to obtain an itemised bill or VAT receipt.

Phone CallIn the UK, if you’d like to claim the cost of your mobile phone bill from a company or employer, it will often be necessary to provide an itemised bill or VAT receipt. This documentation will also often be required when you’re running your own business (e.g. for your company tax returns, expenses and VAT).

If you’re looking for an itemised bill, most Pay Monthly mobile networks will offer this. However, it sometimes won’t include your in-bundle usage so it could be meaningless if you have lots of minutes and texts. Sometimes, an additional charge will be made for you to get a fully-itemised bill. Meanwhile, most Pay As You Go networks unfortunately do not provide an itemised bill.

If you’re looking for a VAT invoice, all mobile networks are legally obliged to provide you with one on request. The difficulty of getting a VAT invoice will depend on your mobile network: it’ll sometimes be as easy as downloading a receipt from your online account but occasionally you’ll need to call up or e-mail to request one. Some mobile networks will insist you change to a business tariff before they issue you with a VAT receipt.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to get an itemised bill and VAT receipt from mobile networks in the UK.

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UK’s Cheapest iPhone 7 Plus: Deals Compared From Major UK Networks

September 14th, 2016

We compare the cheapest deals for an iPhone 7 Plus on the UK’s major mobile networks.

iPhone 7 Plus ColoursThe iPhone 7 Plus is a larger version of Apple’s latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 7. With a 5.5-inch full-HD display, this year’s iPhone 7 Plus is the first iPhone to have dual-camera technology. There’s one wide-angle camera and another telephoto camera, giving 2x optical zoom with any loss of quality in your images. The iPhone 7 Plus also features a faster Apple A10 processor and is the first large-screen iPhone to be waterproof and splash-proof.

In the UK, the iPhone 7 Plus is currently available to buy from BT Mobile, EE, giffgaff, iD Mobile, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone. In this article, we’ll compare the cost of buying an iPhone 7 on each of the eight UK mobile networks. We’ll also review the features available on each mobile network.

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UK’s Cheapest iPhone 7: Deals Compared From Major UK Networks

September 13th, 2016

We compare the cheapest iPhone 7 deals across the UK’s major mobile networks.

Apple iPhone 7The iPhone 7 is Apple’s latest flagship smartphone. Building upon the success of last year’s iPhone 6s, Apple has introduced a number of upgrades this year including a brand new 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation and a quad-LED True Tone flash. The iPhone 7 also features a faster A10 Fusion processor and is the first iPhone to be waterproof and splash-proof.

In the UK, the iPhone 7 is currently available to buy from BT Mobile, EE, giffgaff, iD Mobile, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone. In this article, we’ll compare the cost of buying an iPhone 7 on each of the eight UK mobile networks. We’ll also review the features available on each network.

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Best Place To Buy A Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus & Moto G Play: UK’s Cheapest Deals

September 6th, 2016

The fourth-generation Moto G4 is now available to buy from £120 unlocked. We compare the UK’s cheapest deals for SIM-free, Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly.

Moto G4 DesignIf you’re looking for an affordable mid-range smartphone, my current recommendation is to buy a Moto G4. It has some fantastic specifications, including a 5.5-inch full HD display, and is a fraction of the price of an iPhone 6s or Galaxy S7.

Motorola’s two mid-range handsets are the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. Both handsets have a 5.5-inch full HD display and a 64-bit octa-core processor. Of the two devices, the Moto G4 Plus is slightly more premium. It has a higher-resolution 16 megapixel camera with phase-detection and laser auto-focus (whereas the Moto G4 only has a 13 megapixel camera). The Moto G4 Plus also features a fingerprint sensor and gives you the option of having extra storage and RAM.

For a lower-cost alternative, the Moto G4 Play is available from £120 unlocked (the handset is sometimes referred to simply as the Moto G Play). It has a 5.0-inch HD display, a 64-bit quad-core processor and a 8 megapixel camera. All three handsets have 4G connectivity and run on the Android 6.0 operating system from Google.

In this article, we’ll look at the best value deals for buying a Moto G smartphone in the UK. We’ll start by looking at the best deals for an unlocked Moto G. We’ll then go on to find the best value deals on Pay As You Go and on a Pay Monthly contract.

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How to unlock your iPhone from EE, O2, Tesco, Three and Vodafone

September 4th, 2016

You may need to unlock your iPhone before you’re able to use it on other mobile networks. Find out how to unlock an iPhone from UK mobile networks.

iPhone 6If your iPhone was bought in the UK, there’s a good chance it’ll locked to your mobile network operator. To use the iPhone on another mobile network (either in the UK or abroad), you may therefore first need to unlock your iPhone. If you don’t unlock your iPhone before attempting to use it on another network, you’ll receive an error message saying “SIM Not Valid”.

A key benefit of unlocking your iPhone is the ability to access cheaper tariffs in the UK. You can also use your iPhone abroad with a different SIM card when you’re travelling, drastically reducing your mobile roaming rates. Finally, unlocking your iPhone will allow you to pass it on to others and will boost the resale value of your handset on eBay and on other websites.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of unlocking an iPhone. We’ll show you to how to check whether your iPhone needs to be unlocked. We’ll also show you how to find your iPhone’s IMEI number and how to request an unlock from your network (including the costs and the timeframe for unlocking). We’ll also discuss SIM-free iPhones bought from a third-party retailer like the Carphone Warehouse.

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Three Feel At Home: Free Roaming in 42 Countries Inc. Europe, US & Australia

September 1st, 2016

Three has scrapped international roaming charges in 42 countries including Spain, the USA, France, Italy, Portugal, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

ThreeIn the UK, Three offers a mobile roaming package known as Feel At Home. For customers on an eligible plan travelling to 42 selected countries, the charges for using your mobile phone abroad have been removed. This means you’re able to use your normal UK allowances including your minutes, texts and mobile internet at no additional charge.

This makes Feel At Home a great package for anyone who wants to continue using their smartphone when abroad. You’ll be able to use all your normal smartphone applications including social media, instant messaging and maps. You’ll also be able to stay in touch with friends and family without the need to worry about how much phone calls will cost.

The Feel At Home offer is available to customers on both Pay Monthly (Advanced plans only) and Pay As You Go. It’s also available on mobile broadband tariffs for your dongle or tablet. If you aren’t currently a customer of Three, you can pick up a Pay As You Go SIM card to take advantage of the offer.

In this article, we review the Feel At Home offer, including the countries it’s available in and the limitations of the offer. We’ll also look at the level of coverage you can expect in each country and at how customers of another network can benefit from the offer. Finally, we’ll look at alternative roaming offers that are also available on the market.

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Tethering on UK Networks: Which Mobile Networks Allow You To Tether?

August 9th, 2016

In the UK, only certain mobile networks allow you to tether. Find out the tethering policy on each UK network.

Personal Hotspot on iPhoneTethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device. It’s often used as a convenient way to get your laptop or tablet connected to the internet on-the-go.

Almost all smartphones today have the functionality for you to tether to another device or to enable a personal hotspot. This includes iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices. However, there is a limitation in that only certain mobile networks will allow you to tether (it’ll sometimes be restricted in your mobile network’s terms and conditions). For this reason, it’s important to find out the tethering policy for your mobile network.

In this article, we’ll review and compare the tethering policy on each UK mobile network. We’ll also highlight some of the best value deals currently available with support for tethering.

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BT Mobile Review: 4G Handsets & SIM Cards With Coverage From EE

August 3rd, 2016

BT Mobile is a 4G mobile service using coverage from EE. Customers living in a BT Broadband household get a £5 monthly discount.

BT

In the UK, BT Mobile offers a 4G mobile service using 99% population coverage from EE. Customers living in a BT Broadband household receive a £5/month discount, meaning the entry-level tariff costs just £5/month. Customers also receive access to BT Wi-Fi and BT Sport.

In this article, we review the BT Mobile network. We’ll start by looking at their range of 4G price plans, available either on a SIM-only basis or with a new handset included. We’ll then look at the key features of BT Mobile and we’ll see how it compares to rival mobile networks. Finally, we’ll look at the coverage you can expect on BT Mobile and how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to the network.

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