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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EE’s Wi-Fi Calling Reviewed: Make & Receive Phone Calls Over Wi-Fi

April 15th, 2015

EE has launched their Wi-Fi Calling service for Pay Monthly customers who have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. It allows you to make and receive phone calls even where a mobile signal isn’t normally available.

EECustomers on EE with a Pay Monthly contract can now take advantage of their Wi-Fi Calling service. Providing you have a handset that’s compatible with the service, you can make and receive phone calls using only a wi-fi internet connection. It’s great news for anyone who has patchy network coverage at their home (e.g if you’re living in a rural area or in a basement flat). It also makes it possible to call from new places: for instance, when you’re on the London Underground in a station or a platform.

Wi-Fi Calling is currently available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S5, Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL. There’s no need for any additional applications but you’ll need to enable the service on your handset. Typically, you’ll also need to buy your handset directly from EE. The Wi-Fi Calling service can only be used when you’re in the UK.

In this article, we review EE’s Wi-Fi Calling service. We’ll discuss how the service works on your phone and we’ll look at the list of compatible handsets on which you’re able to use it. We’ll also look at the drawbacks and limitations and at alternative services you can use on another network.

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

April 14th, 2015

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 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 calling rates which can often rival 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 inside your existing mobile phone. There are no credit checks or upfront payments. There’s also no need to set up a direct debit for the account: simply top-up your SIM card when you need extra credit.

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The People’s Operator: Review of UK’s Ethical Network With Charity Donations

April 14th, 2015

The People’s Operator brands itself as an “ethical mobile network provider”. They’ll donate 10% of your phone bill to charity and have pledged to donate 25% of their future company profits.

The People's Operator - LogoThe People’s Operator is a UK-based mobile network which brands itself as an “ethical” network provider. Running on top of EE’s 2G and 3G networks, the company provides both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go SIM cards. Its unique selling point is an offer to donate 10% of your monthly phone bill to charity. The company also plans to give 25% of its future profits to charity. As of December 2014, The People’s Operator has 14,000 subscribers in the UK.

In this article, we review The People’s Operator network. We’ll look at their price plans and tariffs. We’ll also look at their commitment to charitable causes. Finally, we’ll discuss the level of coverage you can expect on the network and how you can keep an old phone number when switching to The People’s Operator.

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4GEE Extra: Are Double Speed 4G and 4G+ Worth The Upgrade?

April 6th, 2015

Customers joining EE now have a choice between two types of contract: normal 4G and the faster ‘4GEE Extra’. Customers with 4GEE Extra get double-speed 4G internet (4G+ is also rolling out to customers in London).

Double Speed 4GEEIf you’re joining EE on a Pay Monthly contract, you now have two types of tariff to choose from.

The basic 4G offering starts from £16.99/month and gives you download speeds of around 15Mbit/s (around 4 times faster than 3G). Meanwhile, the newer and more premium ‘4GEE Extra’ starts from £18.49/month. Customers on 4GEE Extra get even faster download speeds: around 30Mbit/s (8 times faster than normal 3G). Customers with 4GEE Extra also get inclusive EU roaming (you can call & text from Europe at no extra charge), free calls to 080 numbers and an early upgrade 3 months before your contract ends.

For customers living in London with a compatible LTE-Advanced smartphone, EE is currently rolling out their 4G+ service. 4G+ offers download speeds of around 90Mbit/s (this is 24 times faster than 3G) and is only available to customers who have a ‘4GEE Extra’ tariff. EE is currently aiming to have 4G+ coverage across most of London by the end of June 2015.

Is it worth upgrading to 4GEE Extra? How much difference does double-speed 4G actually make in everyday usage? Is 4G+ and LTE Advanced a worthwhile upgrade for your phone? In this article, we answer your questions about 4GEE Extra, double speed 4G internet and EE’s 4G+ service.

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BT Mobile: 4G SIM Cards with £5/month Discount for BT Broadband Customers

April 1st, 2015

BT has launched their 4G mobile service to consumers in the UK. Customers with BT Broadband get a £5/month discount with price plans starting from £5/month for 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of 4G internet.

BTBT, the UK’s telecoms giant, has just launched their new 4G mobile service to consumers in the UK.

The new service, BT Mobile, offers a choice of low-cost SIM only contracts for anyone who wants to keep their current smartphone. Coverage on BT Mobile is provided by EE with 4G price plans starting at £5/month for customers who have a BT Broadband connection.

In this article, we review the BT Mobile service. We’ll look at their range of 4G price plans and we’ll compare them to rival offerings from other networks. We’ll also look at how you can use your existing smartphone on BT Mobile and how you can determine the level of coverage to expect. Finally, we’ll look at how to keep your existing phone number when switching to BT Mobile.

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Best SIM Cards For Using Your Smartphone in Europe

March 31st, 2015

With the right SIM card, you can use your smartphone in Europe for as little as £10 for 30 days. We review the best value SIM cards for travelling in Europe.

You can use your smartphone abroad in Europe for as little as £10 for 30 days.

Smartphones can be a great asset when you’re travelling abroad. It’s incredibly useful to be able to pull out your 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 from your trip. You can find a lesser-known attraction that’s off the beaten tourist trail or 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 whether you’re sharing photos with friends on Facebook and Instagram, there are numerous ways to stay in touch when using your smartphone abroad.

The good news is for anyone travelling to a European country, the costs of using your smartphone abroad have dropped substantially. Calls now cost a maximum of 18.8p per minute and text messages shouldn’t cost more than 5.9p each. For accessing the internet, costs can still vary widely depending on your network. With the right tariff, you’ll be able to use your smartphone for as little as £10 for 30 days or £1.99/day. In this article, we look at the best SIM cards for using your smartphone in Europe.

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Best Places To Buy A Moto G 5-Inch (3G & 4G): The UK’s Cheapest Deals

March 31st, 2015

The second-generation Moto G smartphone is now available in the UK in both 3G and 4G versions. It starts from £138 SIM-free and unlocked. We compare the UK’s best value deals on SIM-free, Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly contracts.

Motorola_Moto_G_4G_(2015)If you’re looking for a great value, affordable mid-range smartphone, my current recommendation is to buy a Moto G. The Moto G has some fantastic specifications at only a quarter of the price of the iPhone 6 or the Galaxy S6.

The second-generation Moto G smartphone has a 5-inch display at HD resolution (720p). It also has a quad-core processor which should easily keep pace with the latest apps and games. There’s a high-resolution 8 megapixel camera for taking photos and recording videos and there’s the latest version of Google’s smartphone operating system: Android 5.0 Lollipop. Customers buying a Moto G get full access to the Google Play store with more than 1 million apps and games available for download.

The most notable feature about the Moto G handsets is their incredibly low price compared to rival devices. For the second-generation Moto G 5-inch, prices starts from only £138 SIM-free and unlocked (from £150 if you’d like the version with 4G connectivity). For the first-generation version of the phone, prices start from £115 on Pay As You Go. With the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 normally retailing for around £600 unlocked, the Moto G handsets are totally unrivalled in terms of value for money.

In this article, we’ll look at 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 UK’s cheapest deals for the second-generation handset (both 3G and 4G versions). We’ll also look at the first-generation Moto G 4G from 2014.

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UK’s Cheapest Galaxy S6 Edge: EE, O2, Three & Vodafone Compared

March 26th, 2015

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge is now available to buy in the UK. We compare the best value deals on EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edgeAlong with the normal Galaxy S6, Samsung has also launched a new super-premium version of their flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S6 Edge is an enhanced version of the normal Galaxy S6 (the Quad HD Super AMOLED display now gently curves away on both sides of the handset). The curved-edge display greatly enhances the glass and metal design making the Galaxy S6 Edge an eye-catching smartphone that’s bound to turn heads. The Galaxy S6 Edge also has 64GB of storage as standard (the normal Galaxy S6 has only 32GB).

In the UK, the Galaxy S6 Edge is available on Pay Monthly contracts from EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Between them, the four mobile networks are offering the Galaxy S6 Edge on nearly fifty different tariffs at a range of price points.

In this article, we list all the available tariffs for the Galaxy S6 Edge in the UK. We’ll also compare across all of the tariffs to find the best value deal with varying amounts of data.

Looking for the normal Galaxy S6? See our Galaxy S6 price comparison article.

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UK’s Cheapest Samsung Galaxy S6: Deals on EE, O2, Three & Vodafone

March 24th, 2015

The Samsung Galaxy S6 launches in the UK on April 10th. We compare Galaxy S6 tariffs on EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Galaxy S6Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S6, is now available to buy from networks in the UK. With a premium design constructed from glass and aluminium and with cutting-edge specifications such as Quad HD display and octa-core processor, the Galaxy S6 is set to be one of the bestselling smartphones available this year.

The Galaxy S6 is currently available on a Pay Monthly contract from the UK’s four major networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. In total, the four networks are offering the Galaxy S6 on fifty different tariffs at a range of price points.

In this article, we list all the available tariffs for the Galaxy S6 in the UK. We’ll also find the best value deals with different amounts of data.

Looking for the Galaxy S6 Edge? See our Galaxy S6 Edge price comparison article.

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

March 18th, 2015

You’ll probably need to unlock your iPhone before you’re able to use it on other mobile networks. This article shows you how to unlock an iPhone from networks in the UK.

iPhone 6If your iPhone was purchased in the UK, it’ll normally be locked to your mobile network operator. If you’d like to use the iPhone on another mobile network (either in the UK or abroad), you’ll first need to unlock the iPhone from your network. If you don’t unlock your iPhone before using it on other networks, you’ll receive an error message saying “SIM Not Valid”.

Benefits of unlocking your iPhone include the ability to access cheaper tariffs in the UK (you can grab a SIM only contract for a lower monthly bill). You can also use the iPhone abroad with a different SIM card when travelling (this will drastically reduce your mobile roaming rates). Finally, unlocking your iPhone allows you to pass it on and boosts the resale value on eBay and 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 actually 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 from a third-party retailer such as the Carphone Warehouse.

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