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 Places to Buy A Lumia Smartphone: The UK’s Cheapest Deals

December 10th, 2014

Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones are some of the best value handsets available today. Previously known as Nokia Lumia, the devices run on Windows Phone 8.1 and start from either £64 SIM-free and unlocked or £49 on Pay As You Go.

Microsoft Lumia SmartphonesIf you’re looking for a low-cost smartphone, the Lumia line-up of handsets made by Microsoft and Nokia are hard to beat in terms of pricing and features.

Running on Windows Phone 8.1, the Lumia handsets are able to access more than 300,000 apps through the Windows Phone Store. They include big-name applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Instagram and Twitter. There’s also a built-in virtual assistant known as Cortana which works in a similar way to Siri and Google Now.

Although the Lumia Windows Phone handsets aren’t able to access quite as many apps as Android-based rivals (e.g. the Moto G and the Moto E) they have an easy-to-use interface which is both fast and effective.

In this article, we review the cheapest ways of buying a Lumia smartphone. We’ll look at the Lumia 530, the Lumia 635 and the Lumia 735. For each of the three handsets, we’ll find and review the cheapest deals available in the UK. Whether you’re looking to buy the handsets SIM-free and unlocked, on a Pay As You Go tariff or on a Pay Monthly contract, we hope this guide will help you find the best deal.

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Pay As You Go Networks: Compare Minimum Call Charges, Per-Minute & Per-Second Billing

December 5th, 2014

Pay As You Go mobile networks differ in the method they use to charge customers for a call. Techniques such a minimum call charge and per-minute billing can add substantially to the cost of your service.

Top UpIn the UK, it’s estimated that half of all phone calls last for under one minute. With most Pay As You Go networks now imposing a minimum call charge, you could be stung up to 35p when your phone call connects and when you hang up immediately (e.g. after reaching someone’s voicemail). Many mobile networks have also switched to using per-minute billing where the length of all phone calls is rounded up to a full minute before your account gets charged. These two techniques can add fairly substantially to the overall cost of your Pay As You Go service.

In this article, we’ll compare the UK’s Pay As You Go mobile networks and how much they charge for outgoing calls on their network. We’ll look at minimum call charges and which billing method is employed on each network (per-minute billing or per-second billing).

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How to replace your SIM Card with a Micro SIM or Nano SIM Card

December 2nd, 2014

If you’re upgrading to a new smartphone, you may also need to change the size of your SIM card. Newer devices typically require a Micro SIM or Nano SIM.

If you’ve recently purchased a new smartphone, there’s a good chance it’ll require you to use a smaller version of the traditional SIM card. Before upgrading and switching to the new handset, you may first need to change the size of your SIM card. This might involve swapping your current SIM card for a new Micro SIM or Nano SIM.

Micro SIMs measure 12mm x 15mm and are approximately half the size of traditional standard SIM cards. Key devices using a Micro SIM include the Moto G 5-inch, the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S4, the HTC One (M7), the Xperia Z2 and the iPhone 4S. Before using one of these devices, you’ll first need to exchange your SIM card for a Micro SIM.

Nano SIMs measure 8.8mm x 12.3mm and are used on the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 5s, the Xperia Z3 and the HTC One (M8). Before using your SIM card in one of these handsets, you’ll first need to exchange it for a nano-sized SIM card.

In this article, we’ll explain how to change your SIM card for a Micro SIM or Nano SIM. We’ll discuss how to change your SIM card type on each of the UK’s mobile networks. We’ll also look at cutting your own SIM card and using a SIM card adapter so your new smaller SIM card will work in an old handset.

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Tesco Mobile Review: Pay As You Go With Free ‘Triple Credit’ & Top-Up Bundles

November 26th, 2014

Tesco Mobile offers free ‘Triple Credit’ from £10/month and free ‘top-up bundles’ from £15/month. We review Tesco’s Pay As You Go tariff.

Tesco MobileTesco Mobile is one of the UK’s most popular Pay As You Go networks. Developed as a joint venture between Tesco and O2, Tesco Mobile offers a tariff where you get additional free allowances with every top-up of £10/month or more. Customers topping up by £10 will get £20 of free airtime which lasts for a month. Customers topping up by £15/month or more will also receive a ‘free top-up bundle’. 4G internet is available on the network for no extra charge.

In this article, we’ll review Tesco Mobile’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll look at the ‘Triple Credit’ offer and at the range of the bundles available on Tesco Mobile. We’ll also discuss the ‘Pay As You Go Lite’ tariff and how it compares to rivals such as giffgaff and Three. Finally, we’ll look at the handsets and the level of coverage available on Tesco Mobile.

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

November 25th, 2014

The Moto E is a low-cost Android smartphone available for £79 SIM-free and unlocked. It’s also available from £75 on Pay As You Go and from £7.50/month on a Pay Monthly contract.

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

Starting from only £79 SIM-free and unlocked and £75 on Pay As You Go, the Moto E is an ideal gift for friends and family this Christmas. Unlike many other smartphones, the Moto E doesn’t have a huge lot of fancy bells and whistles. Gone is the eye tracking, the fingerprint recognition and the heart rate monitor found on fancier handsets. Instead, the modern smartphone experience has been distilled back to basics: good performance, a good display and all-day battery life.

Amongst its 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 sold at the same price point. There’s also a dual-core processor for running your apps and games and a 5 megapixel camera for taking photos and recording videos. Added to that, there’s a built-in MP3 player, a FM radio tuner and GPS navigation included for free. There’s also a slot for micro-SD cards allowing you to store an extra 32GB of photos, music and video. The Moto E handset ships with Android 4.4 Kit Kat and will soon receive an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

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

November 18th, 2014

How to get a free SIM card for your phone: Pay As You Go offerings compared from 18 UK mobile networks.

Pay As You Go SIM CardWhether you’re a smartphone fanatic or someone who only uses their phone on a very occasional basis, 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 often rivalling those on a Pay Monthly tariff. If you’d like to take advantage of the best offers currently available, simply order a free SIM card below and slot it into the back of your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks and there’s no need to set up a direct debit: simply top-up your phone when you need extra credit.

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Compare Pay As You Go Networks: Prices & Coverage

November 12th, 2014

Looking for a Pay As You Go mobile network with which to use your handset? Our interactive comparison table allows you to compare by price and by coverage.

Top UpConsumers looking for a Pay As You Go mobile tariff are spoilt for choice here in the UK. With nearly 20 networks you’re able to choose from, the UK has one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world for mobile communication.

When choosing a Pay As You Go mobile network, there are two primary considerations: price and coverage. It’s vitally important to get the best deal and not to pay any more than is required. You’ll also want a mobile network that offers good and reliable coverage.

The table below is intended to help you with navigating the UK’s mobile market. For each Pay As You Go network, we’ve listed the charges for accessing the internet, for making a phone call and for sending a text message. We’ve also listed the coverage provider for each mobile network. You can use the table in conjunction with our other guides when choosing a new network.

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Giffgaff launches 4G Goodybags from £12/month on Pay As You Go

November 8th, 2014

giffgaff is launching their 4G service on the 12th November. 4G goodybags will start from £12/month with 500 minutes and 1GB of 4G internet.

Giffgaff Logogiffgaff, the low-cost people-powered network which uses coverage from O2, is due to launch their 4G service on the 12th November 2014. Members wanting to use the new service will need a 4G-ready smartphone and one of giffgaff’s new 4G-ready goodybags. The 4G-ready goodybags start from £12/month with 500 minutes, unlimited text messages and 1GB of internet.

Compared to the normal 3G service, members using 4G on giffgaff can expect download speeds around five times faster. They’ll also benefit from a more reliable connection as giffgaff is using O2’s 800MHz spectrum in order to provide their 4G service. The low-frequency spectrum at 800MHz means better indoor coverage (the existing 3G service runs on the relatively high-frequency 2100MHz spectrum).

In this article, we’ll review giffgaff’s line-up of 4G-ready goodybags. We’ll compare the new 4G goodybags to giffgaff’s existing line-up of 3G-only goodybags. We’ll also compare giffgaff’s 4G offering to rival 4G offerings on Pay As You Go including those from EE, O2 and Vodafone. Finally, we’ll look at the 4G coverage offered by giffgaff and how you’re able to keep an existing number when moving your phone over to giffgaff.

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Vodafone’s Freedom Freebees: Pay As You Go Bundles From £10/month

November 5th, 2014

Vodafone’s Freedom Freebees start from £10/month on Pay As You Go. 4G internet is available from £20/month and 4G Entertainment from £30/month.

vodafoneVodafone’s most popular Pay As You Go tariff is their Freedom Freebees which start from £10 per month. The Freedom Freebees tariff will automatically convert your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day bundle. The £10 per month bundle gives you 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 3G internet. For 4G connectivity, you’ll need a bundle of £20 per month or more. For £30/month, there’s also 4G Entertainment included in the plan (a Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV subscription).

The Freedom Freebee bundles are in direct competition with giffgaff’s goodybags, EE’s Everything Packs and O2’s Big Bundles.

In this article, we’ll review Vodafone’s Freedom Freebee bundles. We’ll look at how to buy a Freedom Freebee on Vodafone Pay As You Go and we’ll compare the Freedom Freebees to rival offerings from other mobile networks. Finally, we’ll look at the handsets available on Vodafone Pay As You Go, the level of coverage available on the tariff and how you’re able to keep your existing phone number when moving to the tariff.

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

November 4th, 2014

With a Pay As You Go bundle, you convert your credit into a better value allowance of calls, texts and internet. We compare the UK’s cheapest 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 Pay As You Go tariffs from 19 different networks. The strong competition in Pay As You Go means the best value deals now sometimes rival the best value deals found on Pay Monthly.

To get the best value on a Pay As You Go tariff, you’ll normally need to convert your airtime into a one-month Pay As You Go bundle. Buying a bundle is a little bit like paying for your usage in bulk. Instead of paying for usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you buy a bundle which lasts for one month and comes with calls, texts and internet included in the bundle. For frequent mobile users, the overall cost of using your phone should be much lower when buying a bundle.

At present, there’s a wide range of bundles to choose from in the UK. This article compares across the market and showcases some of the best value deals available in the UK.

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