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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The UK’s Best Value Smartphone SIM Only Tariffs with Internet

September 2nd, 2015

If you already have a smartphone, you can save more than £200/year by switching over to a SIM only deal. We compare across the UK networks to find the best value SIM card for your 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 requires taking out another 24 month contract. You can upgrade to the latest handset such as an iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6. However, you’ll pay for the privilege: often about £40/month on your new contract. Typically, there’s also an upfront charge to buy your 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’ll pick up a new low-cost SIM card that slots into your handset and gives you much lower rates. As the SIM card is on an airtime-only contract, it’ll be much cheaper than a standard Pay Monthly contract. You can normally expect to save around £15 to £20 per month with a SIM only deal. Over one year, the savings can easily add up to more than £200.

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Compare Pay As You Go Networks: Prices & Coverage

August 12th, 2015

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 mobile network in the UK, you’re spoilt for choice with almost 20 networks to choose from. Indeed, the UK is one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world for mobile telecoms. There are lots of great deals to be had on the market: just order a free SIM card and you can start taking advantage of lower rates for calling and browsing.

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

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 and provided a link to where you can check the network coverage. You can use the table in conjunction with our other guides when choosing a new network.

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Best Places To Buy A Moto G (3rd Generation): The UK’s Cheapest Deals

July 31st, 2015

The third-generation Moto G smartphone is now available to buy in the UK. In this article, we compare the best value deals on SIM-free, Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly contracts.

Moto G 3rd Generation

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

The latest Moto G smartphone (the 3rd Generation edition) was released at the end of July 2015. It has IPX7 waterproof protection and some other top specifications including a 13-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, a 720p high-definition display, 4G connectivity and the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 5.1 Lollipop.

The most notable feature about the Moto G smartphone is its incredibly low price compared to other devices. The Moto G (3rd Generation) starts from only £140 unlocked and without a contract. In contrast, the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 typically cost around £500 SIM-free and unlocked. For the average user, this makes the Moto G totally unrivalled in terms of value for money.

In this article, we 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 G. We’ll then go on to find the best value deals on Pay As You Go and on Pay Monthly contracts.

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Lebara Mobile Review: Low Cost International Calling & ‘UK Plus’ Bundles

July 24th, 2015

In the UK, Lebara Mobile is a specialist provider of low-cost international phone calls (from 1p/minute). They also offer ‘UK Plus’ bundles for your smartphone.

Lebara MobileLebara Mobile is a specialist provider of low-cost SIM cards for international calling. Whereas the mainstream mobile networks can sometimes charge you up to £1.50/minute for calling another country, the rates on Lebara Mobile start from only 1p/minute. Lebara also has a range of UK Plus bundles with inclusive UK calls, texts and internet.

In this article, we review the Lebara Mobile service. We’ll look at the prices on Lebara and we’ll see how they compare to those on rival networks (EE, giffgaff, O2, Lycamobile and Vodafone). We’ll also look at how to use an existing handset on Lebara, the level of coverage to expect and how to keep an existing phone number when moving to the network.

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

July 21st, 2015

With a bundle, you’re able to convert your Pay As You Go 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. At present, there are more than 40 tariffs you’re able to choose from on 20 different mobile networks. The strong competition on Pay As You Go means the best value deals can now sometimes rival those found on Pay Monthly.

To get the best value from a Pay As You Go tariff, you’ll normally need to convert your airtime into a 30-day bundle. Buying a bundle is a little bit like paying for your airtime in bulk. Instead of paying for usage on a per-minute, per-text and per-megabyte basis, you buy a bundle which lasts for 30 days and which comes with a certain amount of calls, texts and internet. For frequent mobile users, the overall cost of buying a bundle should 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 compare the Pay As You Go bundles available on the market and we showcase some of the best value deals currently available.

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Unlimited Mobile Data Plans: The UK’s Cheapest Deals For Your Smartphone

July 15th, 2015

In the UK, unlimited data is available on your smartphone from £12/month on a Pay Monthly contract and from £15/month on a Pay As You Go bundle.

data-binaryIn the last few months, unlimited data plans have seen a resurgence in the UK. Now available from three different networks, an unlimited data plan is perfect for heavy users. There’s no longer any need to worry about how much data you’re actually using and there’s no risk of your data connection being cut off mid-month. It’s perfect for download apps and games, for watching videos on-the-go and for streaming music from the internet.

At present, unlimited data plans for your mobile start from £12/month on a Pay Monthly contract and from £15/month on a Pay As You Go tariff. Unlimited data plans are currently available from giffgaff, TalkTalk and Three (it’s also available for the first three months when joining Vodafone).

In this article, we review and compare the best unlimited data plans available in the UK.

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The UK’s Cheapest Mobile Network For International Phone Calls

July 10th, 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 each country.

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

With a normal SIM card on the major mobile 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, 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 vary depending on the country you’re calling and whether it’s a landline or a mobile). International text messages can also be substantially cheaper when using a specialist network (from only 8p/message when using a SIM card on 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 and family located 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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Mobile By Sainsbury’s: The Low Cost Mobile Network With Bonus Nectar Points

July 7th, 2015

Mobile by Sainsbury’s is a low-cost network with 3G coverage from Vodafone. Customers can earn bonus Nectar points on their shopping and fuel purchases from Sainsbury’s.

Mobile By Sainsburys LogoIn the UK, Mobile by Sainsbury’s is a low-cost mobile network from Sainsbury’s, the UK’s third largest supermarket. Following in the footsteps of Tesco Mobile and ASDA Mobile, Mobile by Sainsbury’s first launched in July 2013 with coverage from Vodafone. Along with lower rates for calling, the key selling point of Mobile by Sainsbury’s is the ability to earn more Nectar points when shopping at Sainsbury’s.

For £10/month (or £8/month when you buy a rolling bundle), customers on the Pay As You Go service get 300 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB of internet. For occasional users without a monthly bundle, the rates charged on Mobile by Sainsbury’s are currently 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB of internet.

In this article, we review Mobile by Sainsbury’s. We’ll look at their pricing and tariffs: both on Pay As You Go and on Pay Monthly contracts. We’ll look at the Nectar points reward scheme and whether it actually provides good value to the user. We’ll also compare Mobile by Sainsbury’s to rival offerings from other networks before looking at handsets, coverage and how to keep your current phone number.

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Competition: Win an iPhone 6 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

July 4th, 2015

Fill in a short survey about phone contracts and unlocking to be in with a chance of winning either an iPhone 6 Plus or a Galaxy S6 Edge.

iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S6 EdgeIn the UK, there are several ways of buying a new smartphone. You can buy your handset on a Pay Monthly contract, on a Pay As You Go tariff or on a SIM-free basis. The folks over at giffgaff are running a short survey to find out how we choose to buy our smartphones in the UK. The survey also looks at unlocking and how we choose to unlock our handsets when our contract finishes.

The survey should only take around 2 minutes to fill in and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win either an iPhone 6 Plus or a Galaxy S6 Edge.

Take The Survey »

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08, 09 and 118 Phone Numbers: The Cost Of Calling From Your Mobile

July 1st, 2015

Find out how much it’ll cost to call special phone numbers from your UK mobile. Includes 08, 09 and 118 phone numbers.

UK Calling LogoFrom July 1st 2015, the cost of calling special phone numbers is changing in the UK. Special phone numbers, which beginning with 08, 09 and 118, are often used by companies in the UK. They’re also used for premium rate services, for TV show voting and for directory enquiries.

On all UK mobile networks, it’s now totally free of charge to call an 0800 or 0808 phone number.

For 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone numbers, the cost of your phone call is now divided into two parts. There’s an access charge from your mobile network operator (this varies from 8p/minute to 45p/minute). There’s also a separate service charge which goes to the company or organisation running the phone number.

Calls to an 084, 087, 09 or 118 phone number are not normally included in your monthly allowances. Pay Monthly customers will see a charge for the phone call appearing on their next bill. Meanwhile, Pay As You Go customers will see credit being taken from their account. Customers with a Pay As You Go monthly bundle will need to top-up extra money to pay for 084, 087, 09 and 118 phone calls.

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