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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Smarty Review: SIM-Only Plans With Unused Data Discount, 3 Coverage

August 12th, 2017

Smarty is a new SIM-only mobile network offering 1-month plans with a discount for unused data.

In the UK, Three is about to launch a new low-cost sub-brand called Smarty. Operating under a separate brand that promises “simple, honest mobile”, the new mobile network will offer 1-month plans on a pre-paid basis. Uniquely, customers will receive a “discount for unused data”. This will bring down the cost of their plan in the following month.

The Smarty service is still yet to launch to the public so some of the finer details are still yet to be confirmed. However, in this first look, we’ll review what we already know about the Smarty service. We’ll also compare Smarty to alternative mobile networks and will look at the level of coverage you can expect when using the service.

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O2’s Big Bundles Reviewed: Pay As You Go Packages from £10/month

August 5th, 2017

O2 offers Big Bundle packages from £10/month on Pay As You Go. The bundles come with a one-month allowance of 4G internet, minutes and texts.

O2 Big BundlesIn the UK, customers on O2 Pay As You Go can convert their Pay As You Go credit into a Big Bundle package. This gives you a one-month allowance of calls, texts and mobile internet, with bundles ranging in price from £10 to £30 per month.

The most popular Big Bundle packages cost £10/month. For £10/month, O2’s Data Big Bundle comes with 100 minutes, 100 texts and 1GB of 4G internet. Alternatively, customers wanting more minutes and texts can get the regular £10 Big Bundle with 250 minutes, 1000 texts and 500MB of data.

In this article, we’ll review O2’s Big Bundles tariff. We’ll look at the bundles available on O2 and how they compare to the bundles available on rival mobile networks. We’ll also look at the level of coverage you can expect on O2 and how to keep your existing phone number when moving to the network.

Stop Press: giffgaff is a low-cost sub-brand of O2, offering much larger allowances for a lower monthly price (e.g. 500 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data for £10/month). If you’re a customer of O2 Pay As You Go, you can save money switching to giffgaff whilst getting the exact same coverage.

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Visiting Or Moving To the UK: Using Your Cellphone & Best SIM Cards

July 29th, 2017

Find out how to use your cellphone in the UK if you’re visiting or moving to the United Kingdom.

Whether you’re visiting the UK on a short-term trip, or moving there longer-term for study or for work, it’s easy to use your existing cell phone on the cellular networks within the United Kingdom.

In this article, we’ll discuss cell phone compatibility on UK cellular mobile networks. We’ll also compare the two different ways of using your phone in the UK: roaming on your domestic SIM card or getting a local SIM card in the UK. Finally, we’ll compare the best value pre-paid SIM cards for both visitors and for people moving to the UK.

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How To Check & Compare UK Mobile Coverage: Networks & MVNOs

July 27th, 2017

Coverage should be your top consideration when choosing a new mobile network. Find out how to compare mobile phone coverage in your area.

Mobile phone coverage is provided by mastsIf you’re choosing a new mobile network, the level and quality of coverage should be the first thing you consider.

If your mobile network has poor coverage, potential problems can include missed phone calls, delayed text messages and web pages failing to load. It can also result in substantially poorer battery life as your handset will need to work harder to maintain a connection.

At first glance, it seems like a daunting challenge to find the mobile network offering the best coverage in your area. This is because there are about 30 different brands of mobile network to choose from in the UK. In reality, however, things are much simpler as all of the 30 different mobile networks use one of four underlying coverage providers.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about mobile coverage in the UK. We’ll start by showing you how to check and compare coverage on different networks. We’ll also discuss the UK’s system of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs): understanding this will make it much easier to compare coverage on different networks. Finally, we’ll discuss the factors that can influence your coverage and we’ll present some apps & accessories for improving your coverage.

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Best Place To Buy A Moto G5 & Moto G5 Plus: UK’s Cheapest Deals

July 23rd, 2017

The fifth-generation Moto G5 is available to buy from £159 unlocked. We compare the UK’s cheapest deals for the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus.

If you’re looking for an affordable mid-range smartphone, my current recommendation is to buy a handset from the Moto G family. With a solid design and fantastic specifications, the Moto G handsets are priced at just a fraction of the cost of an iPhone 7 or Galaxy S8.

Motorola’s latest-generation handsets in the Moto G family are the newly-released Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. Constructed from high-grade aluminium, the new handsets have a premium design along with full-HD displays and a 64-bit octa-core processor. Of the two devices, the Moto G5 Plus is slightly better specced with a Dual Autofocus Pixel camera and a more powerful Snapdragon 617 processor. The Moto G5 Plus also benefits from a larger screen and additional storage.

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 G5 and Moto G5 Plus. We’ll then go on to compare the best value deals on Pay As You Go and on a Pay Monthly contract.

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Giffgaff Review: Pay As You Go With O2 Coverage & Flexible Goodybags

July 18th, 2017

giffgaff is a low-cost mobile network with coverage from O2. Goodybags start from £5/month and are fully flexible with no credit check required.

In the UK, giffgaff is a low-cost mobile network using coverage from O2. The network, which is a fully-owned sub-brand of O2, offers members the choice of one-month goodybags from £5/month. It’s also possible to use giffgaff on a purely Pay As You Go basis with no monthly minimum spend and with no credit check required.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the giffgaff service including the tariffs available and including the key features of giffgaff (such as free calls to other giffgaff members, online community-driven support and Always-On data). We’ll also compare the prices on giffgaff to other major mobile networks before looking at the level of coverage available and how to keep your existing phone number.

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Three’s Go Binge: Unlimited Data For Netflix, TV Player, Deezer & SoundCloud

July 14th, 2017

Three’s Go Binge gives you unlimited data for streaming on Netflix, TV Player, Deezer and SoundCloud.

In the UK, Three is now offering Go Binge on Advanced Pay Monthly contracts with at least 4GB of data per month. With the offer, customers will get unlimited data for streaming in standard-definition on four selected services: Netflix, TV Player, Deezer and SoundCloud. These services will not count count towards your normal data allowance and are therefore deemed to be “zero-rated”.

In this article, we’ll review Three’s Go Binge offer. We’ll look at the services included in the offer and at the plans on which you’re able to get Go Binge. We’ll also look at criticisms of the offer and the implications on net neutrality and all-you-can-eat data. Finally, we’ll discuss how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to Three to take advantage of the offer.

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Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles Review: Pay As You Go From £10/month

July 7th, 2017

Vodafone offers a choice of Big Value Bundles from £5/month on Pay As You Go.

On Vodafone Pay As You Go, the most popular tariff is currently Big Value Bundles which start from £5 per month. Previously known as Freedom Freebees, a Big Value Bundle will convert your Pay As You Go credit into a 30-day allowance of calls, texts and internet.

Vodafone’s popular £10 bundle comes with 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of internet. Customers requiring a larger allowance can choose from higher-priced bundles costing £20 or £30 per month. Light users can choose a £5 bundle or customers who don’t want to top-up every month can choose a Freebie tariff which works more like traditional Pay As You Go. Freebie tariffs have a range of top-up offers from £10.

In this article, we’ll review Vodafone’s Pay As You Go service. We’ll look at Vodafone’s Big Value Bundles and also at the alternative Freebie tariffs offered on Vodafone. We’ll also compare Vodafone’s Pay As You Go service to rival networks before looking at the Vodafone Rewards scheme and at the coverage you can expect on Vodafone. Finally, we’ll discuss how you can keep an existing phone number when moving from your current mobile network to Vodafone.

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

July 4th, 2017

EE offers three types of Pay Monthly plan: 4GEE Max, 4GEE and 4GEE Essential. Find out how the three types of plan compare.

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

EE’s flagship 4G tariff is known as 4GEE Max. Starting from £27.99/month, it gives you uncapped download speeds and up to 40GB of data per month. Customers with 4GEE Max living in London can access 4G+ coverage on a compatible handset. Customers will also get access to BT Sport for the duration of their contract and can use their phone at no extra charge in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the USA.

For most people, it will be better value choosing a normal 4GEE plan, which starts from £22.99/month. You’ll get access to double-speed 4G (up to 60Mbps download speeds) and a download allowance of up to 10GB per month. You’ll also get free roaming when travelling in Europe and will be able to access 3 months of the BT Sport app.

Finally, on selected handsets, an even cheaper tariff is available called 4GEE Essential. 4GEE Essential starts from £14.99/month and gives you up to 2GB of data to use each month. You’ll also get an inclusive allowance of minutes and texts, and will be able to use your phone in Europe at no extra charge.

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

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Three Feel At Home: Free Roaming in 60 Destinations Inc. Europe, US & Australia

July 2nd, 2017

Three has scrapped international roaming charges in 60 destinations including in most of Europe, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Singapore and others.

ThreeIn the UK, Three offers a mobile roaming package known as Feel At Home. Asking customers to ‘Go Roam’, the charges for using a mobile phone abroad in 60 destinations have been removed on eligible Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go plans. This means you’re able to use your normal UK allowances including your minutes, texts and mobile internet at no additional charge.

The offer makes Feel At Home a great package for anyone who wants to continue using their smartphone when abroad. You’ll be able to continue using 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 full Feel At Home offer is available to customers on both Pay Monthly Advanced plans and Pay As You Go. It’s also available on mobile broadband tariffs for your mi-fi 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. Customers with a Pay Monthly Essential price plan have access to a cut-down version of the offer called ‘Feel At Home In Europe’.

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 mobile network can benefit from the offer. Finally, we’ll discuss alternative roaming offers that are also available on the market.

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