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 and to make it more accessible for the rest of us. Whether you're looking for the best deals on your mobile phone or information about mobile networks and smartphones, we're here to help.

If you're looking for a specific article, please use our search function or view the full list of articles.

Your Mobile Phone Contract & Annual ‘Retail Price Index’ (RPI) Price Changes

September 30th, 2014

Some UK mobile networks will increase the price of your contract by RPI every year. Other networks instead promise a fixed monthly price throughout your whole contract. We look at the major UK networks and compare their policies on annual price rises.

In the UK, some mobile networks raise the price of Pay Monthly contracts for existing customers every year. Mid-contract price rises on EE and O2 are carried out every spring in line with RPI (the Retail Prices Index, a measure of inflation). In contrast, other networks have instead promised to keep a fixed monthly price throughout the length of your contract. Networks such as Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone won’t impose a mid-contract price rise.

Mobile Network Will prices increase during my contract?
EE Yes, prices rise by RPI (a fixed price option is available).
O2 Yes, prices rise by RPI (only the airtime plan increases on Refresh).
Tesco Mobile No, prices are fixed.
Three No, prices are fixed.
Vodafone No, prices are fixed.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at mid-contract price rises on UK mobile networks. We’ll explain the meaning of RPI inflation and we’ll discover how each individual network is able to change their prices mid-contract. We’ll also look at how you can minimise the effect of mid-contract price rises and how much difference they’re expected to actually make.

Continue Reading »

What Should I Do With An Old iPhone? Your Options Explained

September 25th, 2014

If you’ve changed smartphone or upgraded to a new handset, it’s worth having a think about what to do with your old iPhone. In this article, we explain the key options including getting a SIM only contract or selling your old iPhone.

iPhone 5s and iPhone 5cEarlier this month, Apple released two new smartphones: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. With a larger display measuring 4.7-inches on the normal iPhone 6 and 5.5-inches on the iPhone 6 Plus, more than 10 million users have already upgraded (the iPhone 5 had a 4-inch display whilst even earlier handsets had a 3.5-inch display).

If you’ve recently upgraded to one of the new iPhones, you may be wondering what to do with your old handset. Your options will broadly fit into two categories. The first option is keeping the your old iPhone (or giving it to friends or family) whilst changing over to a super-cheap SIM only deal. The second option is getting rid of the phone (either by selling it or recycling it). This article will explore the two options.

Continue Reading »

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

September 23rd, 2014

If you already have a smartphone, you can save £200/year by switching over to a SIM only deal. We compare across the UK networks to find the best value SIM card.

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 handset. This requires taking out another 24 month contract. You’ll be able to upgrade to the latest handset such as the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus or the Galaxy S5. You can expect to pay around £35/month. Typically, there will also be an upfront charge for the handset.

The second option is switching over to a SIM Only deal. This is a great choice if you’re happy with your current smartphone: you simply pick up a new low-cost SIM card which slots into your handset and gives you much lower rates. As the SIM card is an “airtime only” contract, it’s much cheaper than normal Pay Monthly. You can normally expect to save between £15 and £20 ever month. Over a year, the savings can add up to more than £200.

Continue Reading »

The UK’s Cheapest iPhone 6 Plus: EE, O2, Three & Vodafone Compared

September 17th, 2014

The iPhone 6 Plus is available to buy from four UK networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. In this article, we’ll list and compare the UK’s best value deals for the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 Plus (left) side-by-side with the normal iPhone 6 (right).

The iPhone 6 Plus is a larger version of Apple’s latest flagship smartphone: the Apple iPhone 6. With a 5.5-inch Retina HD display, the iPhone 6 Plus is substantially larger than both the normal iPhone 6 and previous models of the iPhone. Part way between a smartphone and a tablet, the iPhone 6 Plus will compete directly against rival phablets such as the Galaxy Note 4.

Like the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus has an 8 megapixel iSight camera, Apple’s 64-bit A8 processor and NFC connectivity for making payments on your phone. There’s also been a couple of significant upgrades from the normal iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 Plus gains optical image stabilisation on its 8 megapixel camera. This gives clearer and sharper photos in low-light conditions. There’s also a substantially larger battery within the device (you can get up to 24 hours talk time from a single charge compared to 14 hours on the normal iPhone 6).

At launch, the iPhone 6 Plus will be available on four UK networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Between them, they have the handset on almost 80 different tariffs. With varying amounts of minutes, texts and data, it can sometimes be difficult to find the best deal. This article will try and make it easy for you to find the best deal: we’ve compared all the tariffs from each UK network in one easy-to-read table. We’ve also highlighted the best value deals for light, medium and high users.

Continue Reading »

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

September 16th, 2014

The Moto G is one of the best value Android phones currently available. It has many of the specifications normally reserved for higher-end smartphones and starts from only £125 SIM-free and unlocked.

Moto G 5-inchIf you’re looking for a great value and affordable smartphone, my current recommendation is to buy a handset from the Moto G family. The Moto G 5-inch and Moto G 4G have fantastic specifications at an even better price point.

Both handsets have a HD display (720p resolution) and a quad-core processor which should easily keep pace with the latest Android apps. There’s a high-resolution 8 megapixel camera (5 megapixels on the 4G version) with a LED flash for taking photos indoors. Finally, both handsets in the Moto G family run on the latest version of Android: Android 4.4 Kit Kat. You’ll have full access to the Google Play store with more than 1 million applications available for download.

What’s particularly notable about the Moto G handsets is the incredibly low cost compared to rival devices. The Moto G 5-inch starts from £145 SIM-free and unlocked. Meanwhile, the Moto G with 4G connectivity starts from £129 on Pay As You Go. With the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S5 normally retailing for more than £500, the Moto G handsets are totally unrivalled in terms of value for money.

In this article, we’ll look at the 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 cheapest deals in the UK for both the Moto G 5-inch and the Moto G 4G. We’ll also look at the first-generation original Moto G from 2013.

Continue Reading »

The UK’s Cheapest iPhone 6: EE, O2, Three & Vodafone Tariffs Compared

September 13th, 2014

In the UK, the iPhone 6 is available on four networks: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. In this article, we’ll compare the prices on each network and find the UK’s cheapest deal for buying a new iPhone 6.

Apple_iPhone_6The iPhone 6 is Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone: it’s currently available for pre-order and will be released in the UK on September 19th.

Compared to last year’s iPhone 5s, the new iPhone 6 has a larger display. The 4.7-inch Retina HD display is 38% bigger than on last year’s model. The larger screen should give you a better multimedia experience (for instance, when you’re browsing the web or watching videos on your phone).

The iPhone 6 also has a brand new design, Apple’s A8 processor for even faster performance and NFC connectivity for payments on your phone. Apple have also upgraded the 8 megapixel iSight camera. There’s a brand new sensor and faster auto-focus so your images should look clearer and better than ever before.

At launch, the Apple iPhone 6 will be available on four networks in the UK: EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Combined, the four mobile networks offer the iPhone on nearly 80 different tariffs. Each tariff comes with varying amounts of calls, texts and internet. This article will try and help you to find the best deal: we’ve compared the tariffs from each network in one easy-to-read table. We’ve also highlighted the UK’s best deals, the tariffs to go for and the tariffs to avoid.

Continue Reading »

EE Wednesdays: 2-for-1 Cinema Tickets & Pizza Every Wednesday

September 10th, 2014

Customers on EE get 2-for-1 cinema tickets and pizza every Wednesday. The offer is open to customers on a Pay Monthly contract, Pay As You Go tariff or EE broadband tariff.

EE WednesdayEE is currently offering 2-for-1 cinema tickets to customers every Wednesday. The ‘EE Wednesdays’ promotion is available to customers on both Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go tariffs. It replaces the ‘Orange Wednesday’ promotion which has been running in the UK since 2003. Until the end of September, the promotion also gives customers 2-for-1 at Pizza Express every Wednesday.

In this article, we review the EE Wednesdays offer. We’ll discuss the tariffs which you can use EE Wednesdays on and we’ll show you how to obtain an EE Wednesdays code. We’ll look at participating cinema chains and where you’re able to use the offer. Finally, we’ll discuss switching over to EE and how you’re able to keep your existing phone number.

Continue Reading »

Your Smartphone SIM Type: Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM?

September 5th, 2014

Find out the type of SIM card required by your new smartphone: Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM.

SIM cardIf you’re getting a new smartphone, you’ll need to have a SIM card that fits in your device. You’ll also need to choose the right size of SIM card when ordering a SIM Only contract or a Pay As You Go SIM card. Depending on the smartphone you have, there are three sizes of SIM card that could be appropriate for your handset: Standard SIM, Micro SIM or Nano SIM.

In this article, we look at the differences between the three types of SIM card. We’ll find out the size of SIM card required by different handsets and look at how you can order a SIM card of the right size. Finally, we’ll look at changing the size of your existing SIM card (e.g. switching to a Micro SIM or Nano SIM).

Continue Reading »

EE’s Pay As You Go Packs From £1/week: Bundles With A Quarterly ‘Free Boost’

September 3rd, 2014

EE now offers 3 types of Pay As You Go bundle: the Everything Pack, the Talk & Text Pack and the EE Data Pack. The bundles start from £1/week and include a ‘free boost’ every quarter.

EEEE has today announced a new bundle line-up for their Pay As You Go service. They’re now offering three types of bundle catering for different users. The most popular bundle (known as the EE Everything Pack) starts from £10/month with calls, texts and internet included in the plan. 4G connectivity is included in every bundle and there’s a free quarterly boost where you’ll gain 50 extra minutes or 250MB of additional free data.

For non-smartphone users, EE now also offers the Talk & Text Pack from £1/week. Finally, for users who only need the internet occasionally, EE now has a low-cost 4G Data Pack. £1 per week will get you 100MB of 4G internet: it’s advertised by EE as the UK’s cheapest 4G tariff.

In this article, we review the new Pay As You Go tariff as offered by EE. We’ll look at how you can buy one of the bundles and how the new bundles compare against rival offerings (e.g. giffgaff, O2, Three and Vodafone). Finally, we’ll look at the handsets you can use with the offer, the level of coverage available on EE and how you can keep your old phone number when moving to the service.

Continue Reading »

Best SIM Cards for Using Your Smartphone in the USA

August 29th, 2014

If you’re travelling to the United States, using 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

Every year, more than 5 million Brits visit the USA. Whether you’re visiting New York to do a bit of shopping, visiting 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 abroad.

Having a smartphone in America makes it much easier to stay in touch with friends and family in the UK. A smartphone can also be helpful in finding nearby restaurants and attractions and can help you to navigate around the country (e.g. using 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 using your UK SIM card or you can buy a US SIM card upon your arrival in the States. In this article, we review and compare the best SIM cards for using your smartphone in the US. We’ll look at pricing as well as network compatibility with UK handsets.

Continue Reading »

Next »