HTC Desire Android Smartphone: £15/month on T-Mobile with unlimited texts, internet

March 23rd, 2010

The HTC Desire “iPhone Killer” Android smartphone is available with 100 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited internet for £15/month and £157.

T-Mobile £15/month deal expired… but here one for £18.75/month with more minutes…

Unfortunately, the T-Mobile HTC Desire £15/month tariff originally described here has now expired. However, Mobiles.co.uk is offering a free HTC Desire on the Orange network with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB internet for £25/month and 12 months half price. This works out as an effective price of £18.75/month.

Mobiles.co.uk is an online-only branch of the Carphone Warehouse. The version of the HTC Desire they sell is unbranded and unlocked for use on any network.

View tariff information »

T-Mobile have just launched the brand new “HTC Desire” Android smartphone on tariffs from £15/month. It’s a cutting edge phone and the price is great – it’s half of the price of an iPhone.

What is the HTC Desire?

The HTC Desire is a smartphone running Google’s Android operating system. Key specifications include:

  • 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen
  • Google’s Android 2.1 mobile operating system – the most recent version and access to Android App Store
  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • HTC Sense interface which displays information from Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, face detection, flash and geotagging
  • GPS antenna with Google Maps and free GPS navigation
  • Supports external microSD cards up to 32GB (4GB micro SD card included)

See the full specifications at the HTC website.

Here’s a promo video from HTC:

Why are we so excited about this?

This offer on T-Mobile has now finished. However, Three are offering a free HTC Desire on tariffs from £17/month. Although the monthly cost is higher than the old T-Mobile offer, the phone is free so the total cost works out to be cheaper.

The cheapest contract is £15/month (24 month contract) with 100 minutes, 100 texts, unlimited internet (3GB fair usage) and one free flexible booster. There are several options with the flexible booster: for example you can have unlimited texts, unlimited landline calls or an inclusive allowance of international calls. Unfortunately, the HTC Desire itself will set you back £157 but this isn’t too bad – it’s only slightly more than you’d pay for a feature phone (a phone which is not a smartphone) on Pay As You Go.

To summarise, using the “unlimited texts” flexible booster, it is possible to have the following for a total cost of £517 after 24 months:

  • HTC Desire
  • 100 minutes
  • Unlimited texts
  • Unlimited internet

For those who want 300 minutes per month, pay an extra £34 upfront and you’ll get 300 minutes per month (meaning you pay £191 for the phone). The total cost of this plan is £551 over 24 months. More minutes are available on higher priced plans.

* Please note that this article has been updated since it’s original publication. See the footnote of the article for more information.

How does the price compare to the iPhone?

iPhone

Creative Commons License photo: William Hook

According to our iPhone price calculator, a comparable tariff with the 8GB iPhone 3G (which is now 2 years old) would set you back at least £749 over 24 months, or £709 using the loophole we discovered. Opt for the more modern 16GB iPhone 3G S and you’re looking at £809. You’re looking at a saving of about £300 with the HTC Desire.

What if I don’t want to sign up for 24 months?

T-Mobile also offer the HTC Desire on an equivalent 18 month tariff. You’ll have to pay £226 upfront for the phone (an extra £69 above the price on the 24 month tariff). The total price comes down to £496 for 18 months compared to £517 for the 24 month contract. Given that you can get an extra 6 months of airtime for just £21, we recommend going for the 24 month option.

Typically we advise readers to avoid locking themselves into a long contract – however we can’t forsee a tariff which would be significantly cheaper than this being available on the market any time soon.

What should I look out for?

Once you exceed your allowance of minutes, you’ll pay 30p/minute. It may be better value to go for a more expensive contract if this means you would not exceed your allowance.

How do I get a HTC Desire from T-Mobile?

You can order this from the T-Mobile website.

Can I keep my number from my existing network?

Yes; you will have to request a PAC code from your existing network and provide this code to T-Mobile customer services once you have received your phone.

What are the alternative ways of obtaining a HTC Desire?

Amazon are offering the HTC Desire SIM-free for £459.

The HTC Desire is also available on the other major networks. We’ve got all the available tariffs listed on our price comparison webpage.

Drop us a comment if you spot an even cheaper deal on the market.

* Full disclosure: This post originally referred to a £10/month contract. On the 12th April, T-Mobile raised the price of the tariff to £15/month and decreased the cost of the HTC Desire from £164 to £157. Although the price has now increased, we still find this tariff is by far the cheapest in the market.

    

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About Ken

Ken Lo

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+.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 20 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Greg said:

    Seems all reasonably priced deals with tmobile have now gone for the Desire.
    As a follow on to people who have gone and bought a Desire I for one would be interested to know what protective casing or screen protectors people have bought to help keep their Desire in as good a condition for as long as possible.

  2. Greg said:

    nice! (GPS directions)… as a follow up to my previous posts I actually ended up biting the bullet and purchasing the Desire with TMobile on the 300 mins/300 texts plan for £15/month over 24 months on Tuesday just past.
    (that plan being ‘only’ £30 more on upfront phone cost to £191 seemed like a good idea for an extra 200 texts/200 mins each month).
    Going to be a week or two before get it delivered though in part due to volcano ash flight delays according to t-mobile support (there were alot of issues with the tmobile website on that Tuesday I ordered – after I entered in my ‘verified by visa’ password, the next web page was an infamous 404 error! Thus calling tmobile sales to ensure my payment had actually gone through). Fortunately it had. ;-)

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Great! Hope you enjoy your new phone Greg! :)

  3. Ken Lo
    Ken said:
  4. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Updated with details of free GPS directions

  5. Greg said:

    Found out that a friend was able to still get the special deal “£10/month (24 month contract)” on 14 April by calling up tmobile sales and asking to get the 10/month plan which they actually got! Obviously I didn’t get the same sales rep (or maybe the fact my friend is female? lol). I rang and asked tmobile today and they said it might have happened but they could still not offer it to me. Worth trying to get same deal as my friend got!

    I really thought that the plan was originally £97 then £10 per month for 24 months. Maybe I got that mixed up?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Greg,

      Afraid not! If it was £97 I think I would have bought three of them! It was £164 for the phone plus £10/month. They’ve cut the upfront price a little bit and it’s gone up by a fiver a month. However it still seems to be the cheapest deal on the market by quite a long way.

      Ken

  6. Greg said:

    I think I have missed out on the ‘deal of the year’ with the original “£10/month (24 month contract)” for the HTC Desire :-(

  7. Horace said:

    The “£10/month (24 month contract)” with T-Mobile seems to be gone.

  8. Alex said:

    Hello,
    For Android Phones the Fair Usage is 3GB/month on T-Mobile,

    http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/services/uk/fairuse/?WT.mc_id=fup#fup2

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Great! Thanks for the info Alex; I’ve updated the original article.

  9. brian said:

    Hi Ken,

    I’m thinking about joining the 21st century and replacing my 8yr old phone with a HTC Desire. I’m currently on a virgin pay-as-you-go tariff and top up about 5£/month- so getting the plan you mentioned for 10£/month with 100 minutes looks like more than enough for me. If you can answer a few questions I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m a complete novice with mobile phones.

    – Is Desire the best of the HTC phones out? I’m not certain, but it looks like Legend is slightly lower spec… but will cost the same price as Desire on various networks. Does this make sense to you?

    – Do you know if I can run skype on this phone over the internet (essentially make calls for free in this way)?

    – Do you know if there is a widget for reading PDF files on the android platform. A big motivation for me to get this is to be able to read/store papers for work.

    – Are word and excel documents readable on this device?

    Thanks again for any advice you can provide (and I’ll be sure to click through from your website for the deal when I buy the phone).

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Brian,

      Of course, no problem :)

      – The HTC Desire is the flagship HTC Android device. It would be considered to be high-end whilst Legend could be considered to be a mid-range phone. You should certainly go for the Desire if it is the same price as the Legend (the Desire has a 1GHz processor and 3.7″ screen whilst Legend has a 600MHz processor and 3.2″ screen). Personally, I’d go for the Desire even if it’s more expensive than the Legend simply to future-proof my phone. I don’t think HTC Legend is available on any networks yet though.

      – Technically, yes you can using a programme called Fring but I don’t know the networks would be happy with you using VoIP to avoid making expensive phone calls through their networks!

      – Yes, there are a wealth of programmes for Word/Excel/Powerpoint/PDF (you can find these through Android marketplace or Google searching “android pdf”, “android excel”, etc.

      Hope this helps!

      Ken

  10. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Added information about T-Mobile fair usage of 1GB/month.

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