Best Place To Buy An iPhone 5s: UK Mobile Networks & Tariffs Compared
June 8th, 2014
The iPhone 5s is available to buy from five UK networks: EE, O2, Tesco, Three and Vodafone. We compare prices on each of the five networks to find the UK’s cheapest deal for the iPhone 5s.
Apple’s iPhone 5s is currently the most popular smartphone available in the UK. The iPhone 5s has a thin and lightweight design and contains the latest hardware from Apple including a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, a 64-bit A7 processor and an 8 megapixel Apple iSight camera.
In the UK, the iPhone 5s is currently available to buy from five different networks. Combined, there’s nearly a hundred tariff options across the five networks with varying amounts of minutes, texts and data. In this article, we’ve compared the price of the iPhone across the UK’s major networks. We’ll highlight the UK’s cheapest deals, the tariffs to go for and the tariffs to avoid.
Cheapest Deals: At A Glance
At a glance, here’s the cheapest tariff on each of the five networks:
The cheapest available tariffs for the 16GB iPhone 5s. All tariffs are 24 months in length and include at least 1GB of data (in 2014 we wouldn’t recommend choosing a tariff with less than 1GB of data). The total cost is how much you’d pay over the 24 month period. It’s calculated from: total cost = upfront cost + (24 x monthly cost). The monthly line rental may increase in line with inflation.
Our Recommended Network: Three
Three is our recommended network for buying the iPhone 5s. For £35/month plus £19.66 upfront, you’ll get 600 minutes, unlimited texting and 2GB of 4G internet. You also get unlimited free calls to 0800 numbers and access to the Feel At Home offer (no extra charges for using your iPhone abroad in 11 other countries such as the USA, Italy and Australia). The total cost of ownership is £859.66 over 24 months.
According to figures published by EE, the average smartphone user consumes 1.4GB of data every month. It’s partly for this reason we recommend Three’s tariff with 2GB of data included. Whilst cheaper deals are available on EE and Tesco, they only include limited amounts of data.
If you normally talk more than you browse, an alternative option gives you unlimited calls and 1GB of internet at the exact same price. For heavy downloaders, all-you-can-eat data is available on the tariff for £3/month extra (£38/month plus £19.66 upfront).
To check Three’s coverage for your area, please use the coverage checker on their website. If you’re switching to Three, you may also find it helpful to consult our guide on transferring your phone number to Three.
- Tesco Mobile. For 1GB of data and no upfront cost, Tesco currently has a deal at £34/month.
- EE. For unlimited calls and 2GB of internet, EE currently charges £23.99/month plus £299.99 upfront. Compared to the 2GB tariff on Three, the total cost of ownership is only £16 more over the 24 months. The main disadvantages are a higher upfront cost (£299.99 on EE rather than £19.66 on Three) and higher charges for using your phone abroad. The added advantages of choosing EE are 2-for-1 cinema tickets every Wednesday and free wi-fi when you’re on the London Underground.
16GB iPhone 5s: Full Tariff Listing
The following table shows all available tariffs for the iPhone 5s (16GB version):
All tariffs are 24 months in length. The total cost is how much you’d pay over the 24 months of the contract. It’s calculated from: total cost = upfront cost + (24 x monthly cost). The monthly line rental may increase in line with inflation.
If you’re changing network and want to keep your old phone number, see our guide to using a PAC Code.
Before ordering, you should consult an online coverage checker. Choose your network to see their online coverage map:
About the iPhone 5s
The iPhone 5s is Apple’s latest flagship smartphone. Released in September last year, it remains the UK’s best selling handset despite heavy competition from Android-based rivals such as the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8.
Key features of the iPhone 5s include its slim and lightweight design, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, the 64-bit Apple A7 processor and the 8 megapixel iSight camera with dual-LED flash. The iPhone 5s comes with version 7 of the iOS operating system. iWork and iLife are included on the handset and there’s over a million other apps available for download in the App Store.
|Apple iPhone 5s||Samsung Galaxy S5||HTC One M8|
|Release Date||2013, High End||2014, High End||2014, High End|
|Software||Apple iOS 7.0||Google Android 4.4||Google Android 4.4|
|Size||4.0-inch display||5.1-inch display||5.0-inch display|
|Resolution||1136x640 pixels||1920x1080 pixels||1920x1080 pixels|
|Pixel Density||326 pixels per inch||432 pixels per inch||441 pixels per inch|
|Rear Camera||8 megapixels||16 megapixels||4 megapixels|
|Front Camera||1.2 megapixels||2.0 megapixels||5.0 megapixels|
|Processor||1.7GHz dual-core||2.5GHz quad-core||2.3GHz quad-core|
|External Storage||✘||✔ Up to 128GB micro-SD||✔ Up to 128GB micro-SD|
|Battery||1,560mAh (10 hours talktime)||2,800mAh (21 hours talktime)||2,600mAh (20 hours talktime)|
|3G Networks||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s||✔ Up to 42Mbit/s|
|SIM Card Type||Nano SIM||Micro SIM||Nano SIM|
I'm a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005 with the aim of demystifying mobile technology for the rest of us.
Before writing about mobile technology, my background was in space & atmospheric physics. I have also worked in software development. Nowadays, I help companies to explain mobile technology to their customers. Please check out my portfolio or get in touch for more information. I'm also on Google+.