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 and to make it more accessible for the rest of us. Whether you're looking for the best deals on your mobile phone or information about mobile networks and smartphones, we're here to help.

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Best Places To Buy A Moto E Smartphone: The UK’s Cheapest Deals

August 1st, 2014

The Moto E is one of the best budget Android phones available today. Prices start at £85 SIM-free, £79 on Pay As You Go or £7.50/month on a Pay Monthly contract.

Moto E

If you’re looking for a great value smartphone at a fraction of the cost of the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy, the Moto E from Motorola should certainly rank amongst your top choices.

Starting from only £84.95 SIM-free and unlocked, the Moto E manages to distill the modern smartphone back to its basics. There’s no fancy bells or whistles on this low-cost device: gone is the eye tracking, the fingerprint security and the heart rate monitor found on flagship handsets. All you’re left with is a good value smartphone that manages all the basics quickly and efficiently.

Amongst the key features, the Moto E has a 4.3-inch display at qHD resolution (960×540 pixels). With 256 pixels per inch, the screen is much sharper than on many rival devices within the same price range. There’s Gorilla Glass protection and a water-resistant splash guard to protect your phone during everyday use.  The handset also includes a long-lasting 1980mAh battery, the latest version of Android (Android 4.4 Kit Kat with more than a million downloadable apps via Google Play) and a micro-SD card slot for your photos, music and videos.

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4GEE Extra: Is “Double Speed 4G” Really Worthwhile?

July 29th, 2014

If you’re joining EE, you now have a choice between two types of contract: the standard 4GEE and the faster double-speed “4GEE Extra”.

Double Speed 4GEECustomers joining EE now have a choice between two types of contract. There’s the normal 4GEE offering which gives download speeds of around 15Mbit/s (around 4 times faster than using 3G). There’s also the newer and more premium “4GEE Extra” which has double-speed 4G with typical download speeds of around 30Mbit/s (around 8 times faster than 3G). Customers on 4GEE Extra will also benefit from inclusive EU roaming (call & text from Europe at no extra charge).

On the regular plans with normal 4G, prices start from £13.99/month for 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. On the more premium 4GEE Extra, you’re looking to pay at least £21.99/month for 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of mobile internet.

Is double-speed 4G a worthwhile upgrade? How much difference does it actually make in everyday usage? Is normal 4G already fast enough? In this article, we’ll answer your questions about 4GEE Extra and double speed 4G internet.

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‘All You Can Eat’ Data Reviewed: Unlimited 4G Internet from Three

July 11th, 2014

With Three’s all-you-can-eat data, you get unlimited 4G internet and no download limits.

ThreeIn the UK, Three is fairly unique in having ‘all you can eat’ data without any download limits. All-you-can-eat data is available on a range of plans including Pay Monthly, SIM Only and Pay As You Go tariffs. You get access to Three’s ultrafast 4G network included with your plan (a 4G handset is required for this service) and there’s up to 4GB of tethering included every month (excludes Pay As You Go plans). There’s also the ability to use your phone abroad in 16 other countries at no extra charge.

In this article, we review Three’s all-you-can-eat data. We’ll look at the pros and cons of the service and review the range of tariffs offering unlimited data. We’ll also compare all-you-can-eat data to rival offerings from other mobile networks (e.g. giffgaff’s unlimited internet on their 3G goodybags).

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Best SIM Cards For Using Your Smartphone in Europe

July 1st, 2014

With the right SIM card, your smartphone can roam in Europe for as little as £1/day. We review the best SIM cards for travelling in Europe.

You can use your smartphone in Europe for as little as £1/day.

Smartphones can be a great asset when you’re travelling abroad. It’s incredibly useful to be able to pull out a smartphone and to use Google Maps to find the directions to your hotel. Likewise, having the ability to access online reviews can help you to get the most out of your trip. You can find a lesser-known attraction that’s off the beaten tourist trail and you can find the restaurant that the locals can’t stop talking about.

As well as providing you with access to online information, smartphones are also a great tool for staying in touch with friends and family. Whether you’re calling home to say you arrived safely or sharing photos with friends on Facebook and Twitter, there are many ways to stay in touch when using your smartphone abroad.

For anyone travelling to Europe later this summer, there’s some good news. As of July 1st 2014, the costs of using your smartphone in Europe have dropped substantially. Calls will now cost a maximum of 18.8p per minute and text messages shouldn’t cost more than 5.9p each. For data, costs vary widely depending on your operator. With the right tariff, you can use your smartphone abroad for as little as £1/day. This article looks at the best SIM cards for using your smartphone in Europe.

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Three’s Feel At Home: No Roaming Charges in the USA, Italy & 14 Other Countries

July 1st, 2014

Three has scrapped international roaming charges in sixteen countries. They include the USA, Italy, France, Australia and Republic of Ireland.

ThreeIt’s normally a hugely expensive affair to use your smartphone abroad. Hefty roaming charges for using your mobile can quickly add up to hundred of pounds. This can be a fairly substantial addition to the cost of your family holiday. At present, many people turn off their smartphones to avoid roaming charges.

Three has launched a new roaming package known as Feel At Home. For customers travelling to 16 selected countries, roaming charges have now been scrapped entirely. You can now use UK allowances including the data that comes with your plan (e.g. all-you-can-eat data). You can also call and text home without paying a penny extra. It’s great for sharing your holiday photos (e.g. Instagram and Facebook), finding your way around using Google Maps and staying in touch with your friends at home.

Feel At Home can be used in sixteen countries including Australia, France, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America. You’ll need to have a SIM card from Three (this could be a Pay Monthly deal, a SIM only plan or a Pay As You Go SIM card with the All-in-One bundle). If your handset isn’t normally on Three, you can pick up a SIM card to benefit from the offer.

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Free Pay As You Go SIM Cards: Listed, Reviewed & Networks Compared

June 11th, 2014

How to get a free mobile SIM card: Pay As You Go offerings compared from 17 UK mobile networks.

Pay As You Go SIM CardWhether you’re a smartphone fanatic or someone who only uses their phone for emergencies, there’s some great deals to be had on Pay As You Go.

The best Pay As You Go tariffs offer super-low calling rates even rivalling those on a Pay Monthly tariff. To take advantage of the offers currently available, simply order a free SIM card below and slot it in the back of your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks and no need to set up a direct debit: simply top-up your phone when you need extra money.

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Best Place To Buy An iPhone 5s: UK Mobile Networks & Tariffs Compared

June 8th, 2014

The iPhone 5s is available to buy from five UK networks: EE, O2, Tesco, Three and Vodafone. We compare prices on each of the five networks to find the UK’s cheapest deal for the iPhone 5s.

iPhone 5SApple’s iPhone 5s is currently the most popular smartphone available in the UK. The iPhone 5s has a thin and lightweight design and contains the latest hardware from Apple including a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a 64-bit A7 processor and an 8 megapixel Apple iSight camera.

In the UK, the iPhone 5s is currently available to buy from five different networks. Combined, there’s nearly a hundred tariff options across the five networks with varying amounts of minutes, texts and data. In this article, we’ve compared the price of the iPhone across the UK’s major networks. We’ll highlight the UK’s cheapest deals, the tariffs to go for and the tariffs to avoid.

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O2 Pay As You Go ‘Big Bundles’ Reviewed: 3G & 4G Packages From £10/month

June 7th, 2014

O2′s Big Bundles on Pay As You Go start at £10/month for 100 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of 3G internet. 4G is available on bundles from £15/month.

O2O2 has updated their range of Pay As You Go tariffs. Their newest Pay As You Go tariff is based around a line-up of monthly “Big Bundle” plans. With the new monthly bundles, your Pay As You Go credit is converted into a set allowance of calls, texts and internet. The entry-level bundle costs £10/month for which you’ll get 100 minutes, 1000 text messages and 500MB of 3G internet. Higher-priced bundles are available at £15 and £20 per month with the allowances doubling for each tariff upgrade. 4G is also available on the Big Bundles of £15/month and more.

In this article, we review the O2 Big Bundles tariff. We’ll discuss the pros & cons of the tariff and we’ll compare it to rival offerings such as giffgaff’s monthly goodybags.

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Google Opinion Rewards: Earn Free Play Store Credit & Paid Android Apps

June 5th, 2014

Google’s Opinion Rewards gives UK-based Android users free Play Store credit in exchange for answering short surveys on their phone.

Android LogoIf you have an Android-based smartphone (e.g. a Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8), you can earn free Play Store credit in exchange for answering surveys through the Google Opinion Rewards app. It’s often possible to earn a couple of pounds every month – enough to get yourself some paid applications for free (and occasionally, also other types of content such as movies and music).

In this article, we review the Opinion Rewards app. We’ll show you how to earn Play Store credit and how you’re able to obtain paid apps for free.

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Best Places To Buy A Moto G & Moto G 4G: The UK’s Cheapest Deals

June 2nd, 2014

The Moto G is one of the best value Android phones currently available. Starting from only £100, it has many of the specifications normally reserved for higher-end smartphones.

Moto G 4GIf you’re looking for a great value and affordable smartphone, my current recommendation is to get a Moto G. It has fantastic specifications at an even better price point (even more so if you buy the Moto G 4G which was released at the end of June 2014).

Featuring a 4.5-inch HD display (720p resolution) and a quad-core processor which should keep pace with the latest Android apps, the Moto G provides almost everything an average smartphone user would ever need. It has a 5 megapixel camera and also runs on the latest version of Android (Android 4.4 Kit Kat). Through the Google Play store, you’re able to access more than 800,000 apps.

What’s particularly notable about the Moto G is its incredibly low cost: it’s available on Pay As You Go from only £100. With the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S5 retailing for more than £500, the Moto G is a more affordable device and presents much better value for money.

In this article, we’ll look at the three different ways of buying a Moto G: either SIM-free and unlocked, on a Pay As You Go tariff or on a Pay Monthly contract. We’ll find and review the cheapest deals in the UK for both the Moto G (original) and the Moto G 4G.

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