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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Best SIM Cards for Using Your Smartphone in the USA

February 5th, 2016

If you’re travelling to the United States, having the right SIM card can save you a lot of money. We review the best value SIM cards for using your smartphone in the US.

USA Flag

Each year, almost 4 million Brits visit the USA. Whether you’re travelling to New York to do a bit of shopping, touring California to enjoy the beautiful scenery or visiting Florida to enjoy the theme parks with your family, you’ll probably want to use your phone when you’re there.

Having a smartphone in America can make it a lot easier to stay in touch with friends and family who are back in the UK. It can also be useful for navigating around (e.g. finding nearby restaurants and attractions with Google Maps).

The good news is it’s really easy to take a UK smartphone and to use it in the US. You can either roam on your UK SIM card or you can buy a US SIM card upon your arrival in the States. In this article, we’ll review and compare the best SIM cards for using your smartphone in the US. We’ll also look at the cost of using different SIM cards and the network compatibility with your UK handset.

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Mobile Networks Using Coverage From O2 & The Best Value Deals

February 2nd, 2016

You don’t need to be an O2 customer to get coverage from O2. Find out which other mobile networks piggyback on the O2 signal & the best deals currently available with O2 coverage.

O2 Coverage Map 2016

O2 has 99% population coverage. You can also access O2 coverage from giffgaff, Lycamobile and Tesco Mobile.

In the UK, there are only four “real” mobile networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. All other mobile networks piggyback on one of the four coverage providers. This means you can still get fantastic nationwide coverage using a lesser-known mobile network which charges less than the big four.

For anyone wanting coverage from O2, there’s currently a choice of four different mobile networks. The first choice is getting a SIM card directly from O2. The prices will tend to be higher than on average but you’ll get all the bells and whistles like O2 Priority Moments. For a lower-cost alternative, you can instead get a SIM card from giffgaff, Lycamobile or Tesco Mobile. You’ll get exactly the same coverage, including high-speed 4G internet, but often at a much lower price compared to on O2. The drawback is you won’t have access to O2 customer exclusives like the Priority Moments app.

In this article, we’ll find out which mobile networks are using coverage from O2. We’ll then go on to compare the best value SIM cards giving you coverage from O2.

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Mobile Networks Using Coverage From EE & The Best Value SIM Cards

January 27th, 2016

EE claims to have the UK’s “biggest mobile network” with 99% coverage. Find out which mobile networks piggyback on EE and how to get coverage from EE at only a fraction of the price.

EE Coverage Map

EE has 99% population coverage. 11 other mobile networks also share their coverage.

In the UK, there are only four “real” mobile networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. All other mobile networks piggyback on one of the four coverage providers, so you’re still getting a signal from one of the four main networks – only you’re seeing a service that’s been branded by another company.

In the UK, EE claims to be the “biggest mobile network” with 99% population coverage across the UK. Formed in 2010 from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, EE also pioneered 4G internet in the UK.

Today, you can get a Pay Monthly contract or Pay As You Go service directly from EE. Their tariffs start from £9.99/month and you’ll have access to EE’s 4G network as well as 3G and 2G.

For a better value alternative, you can also consider the 11 other companies using coverage from EE. Here, you’ll continue to have 99% population coverage from EE but you’ll potentially get it for a much lower cost. The drawback, however, is you might not always have access to the fastest 4G download speeds (you may only have access to 2G and 3G).

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ASDA Mobile Review: Low Cost Pay As You Go Network With Coverage From EE

January 26th, 2016

ASDA Mobile is a low-cost Pay As You Go network with competitive 30-day bundles for calling, texting and browsing. ASDA Mobile runs on the 2G & 3G networks from EE.

ASDA LogoIn the UK, ASDA Mobile is a low-cost Pay As You Go network with competitive rates for calling, texting and browsing. For occasional mobile users, ASDA Mobile charges just 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB. For regular users, ASDA Mobile also has a range of 30-day bundles from £5/month. Notably, their £10 rollback bundle comes with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of internet per month.

The coverage on ASDA Mobile is provided by EE: there’s 99% population coverage from EE’s 2G and 3G networks. Customers can join ASDA Mobile by ordering a free SIM card from their website. The SIM card will slot inside your existing unlocked smartphone and will give you lower calling rates at the same time as giving you coverage from EE.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at the ASDA Mobile service. We’ll look at the price plans on ASDA Mobile and how they compare to rival mobile networks. We’ll also look at how to use your existing handset on ASDA Mobile, the level of coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.

Order ASDA Mobile SIM Card (free) »

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Compare Pay As You Go Networks: Prices & Coverage

January 20th, 2016

Looking for the best Pay As You Go mobile network in the UK? Our interactive comparison table allows you to compare multiple networks by price and coverage.

Top UpIf you’re looking for a Pay As You Go network, you’re spoilt for choice with almost 20 different networks to choose from in the UK. Indeed, the UK has one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world for mobile communications. There are lots of great deals to be had on the market: just order a free SIM card and start taking advantage of lower rates for calling, texting and browsing.

When choosing a Pay As You Go mobile network, there are two primary considerations you need to think about. Firstly, there’s the price: you’ll want to get the best value deal without paying more than you need to. Secondly, there’s the coverage: you’ll want a mobile network that gives you a good reliable signal.

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Cheapest Pay As You Go Bundles: The Best Value Prepay Packages For Your Phone

January 13th, 2016

With a bundle, you can convert your Pay As You Go credit into a one-month allowance of calls, texts and internet. We compare the UK’s cheapest available Pay As You Go bundles.

Pay As You Go SmartphonesIn the UK, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Pay As You Go deals. There are currently more than 40 tariffs you’re able to choose from on 20 different mobile phone networks. Strong competition in the Pay As You Go arena means the best value deals can now sometimes even rival those found on a Pay Monthly contract.

To get the best value from your Pay As You Go tariff, you’ll normally need to convert your airtime into a 30-day bundle. When you buy a Pay As You Go bundle, it’s a little bit like paying for your airtime in bulk. Rather than paying for your usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you just buy a 30-day bundle which comes with a certain number of minutes, texts and internet. For frequent mobile users, the overall cost of buying a bundle should normally be much lower than using traditional Pay As You Go.

At present, there is a wide range of Pay As You Go bundles to choose from in the UK. In this article, we’ll compare the Pay As You Go bundles available in the UK. We’ll also showcase some of the best value deals currently available on the market.

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

December 29th, 2015

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

Pay As You Go SIM CardWhether you’re a smartphone fanatic or someone who only uses their phone on an occasional basis, there are some great deals to be had when you order a Pay As You Go SIM card in the UK.

The best Pay As You Go SIM cards offer super-low rates: they can even rival a Pay Monthly SIM card in terms of value for money. To take advantage of the best offers currently available, simply order a free SIM card below and slot it inside your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks or upfront fees. There’s also no need to set up a direct debit: simply top-up your SIM card when you need extra credit to pay for your airtime.

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Google Nexus 6P: In-Depth Review & Price Comparison

December 27th, 2015

The Nexus 6P is Google’s latest flagship smartphone. In this article, I review the handset and the best value deals available in the UK.

Nexus 6P - Front and BackEach year, Google teams up with a major smartphone manufacturer to release an own-brand Android smartphone as part of the Nexus device family. Now in its fifth year, Google has this year chosen to team up with Huawei and LG. There are two new devices including a new flagship smartphone in the form of the Nexus 6P and a new mid-range handset in the form of the Nexus 5X.

I’ve been trying out the Nexus 6P over the past month and I can confidently say it’s my favourite smartphone to date. The Nexus 6P has a really solid aluminium construction and is well-built using the latest technology and components. It also has a fantastic camera and a super-smooth interface. It comes with some highly impressive apps from Google; most notably the Google Photos service. Finally, it’s about £250 cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 6s Plus. This makes it a really good choice if you want the latest cutting-edge technology at a highly reasonable price point.

In this article, I’ll share my experiences of using the Nexus 6P. I’ll also look at the best value deals available in the UK on major mobile networks like EE, giffgaff, iD Mobile and O2.

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The UK’s Cheapest Mobile Network For International Phone Calls

December 24th, 2015

In the UK, several mobile networks currently provide a low-cost SIM card for making international phone calls. In this article, we compare the best value mobile networks for calling another country.

EarthIf you’re calling a phone number in another country, having the right SIM card for your mobile phone can save you significant amounts of money.

With a normal SIM card on the major UK networks, it can sometimes cost you up to £1.50/minute when calling another country. By opting in to the special offers available, you can sometimes reduce this to only a fraction of the cost (special offers are currently available on EE, Lycamobile, O2 and Vodafone). It’s free to opt-in to the offers when you’re using Pay As You Go.

With a specialist mobile network for international calling (giffgaff, Lebara Mobile or Lycamobile), you can sometimes reduce the rates even further. With a free SIM card from one of the low-cost international calling providers, you can sometimes call abroad from as little as 1p/minute (the exact rates will vary depending on the country and whether it’s a landline or a mobile you’re calling). International text messages can also be substantially cheaper when using a specialist network (from only 8p/message when using a SIM card from giffgaff).

In this article, we compare the cost of international phone calls on giffgaff, EE, O2, Vodafone, Lebara Mobile and Lycamobile. We’ve done this for 79 countries across 6 different continents so you can find the best value SIM card for calling friends in each country. We’ll also discuss the costs of sending a text message abroad and the rates for calling and texting within the UK.

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SIM Only Deals: The UK’s Best Value SIM Cards For Your Smartphone

December 22nd, 2015

By keeping your current smartphone, you can save more than £200/year by switching to a SIM only deal. We compare across the UK networks to find the best value SIM card for use in a smartphone.

SIM card for SIM Only tariffNowadays, many of us already have a smartphone that we’re happy to keep. When your 24-month contract comes to an end, there are normally two options you’re able to choose from.

The first option is buying a new smartphone. This normally requires taking out another 24 month contract. You can upgrade to the latest handset such as an iPhone 6s or Galaxy S6. You’ll normally pay around £40/month on a new contract and there could also be an upfront charge for the new handset.

The second option is switching over to a SIM Only deal. This is a much better option if you’re happy to keep your current smartphone. You can get a new low-cost SIM card that slots into your handset and that saves you money on your contract every month. SIM-only deals start from only £5/month: as they’re airtime-only contracts, they’re substantially cheaper. You can normally expect to save around £20 per month with a SIM only deal. Over a year, the savings can easily add up to more than £200.

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