Three launch UK’s cheapest HTC Desire contract – free from £17/month

May 4th, 2010

Three have released the HTC Desire Android smartphone on a £17/month contract – and best of all, it’s free.

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, 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. 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 »

Huge HTC Desire “The One Plan” Tariff: Three are offering the HTC Desire on an essentially “unlimited everything” tariff. For £35/month, you’ll get a huge 2000 cross-network minutes, 5000 3-to-3 minutes, 5000 texts and a healthy 1GB internet. There’s also a 6 month Spotify Premium subscription included (worth £10/month). This costs the same as the “Internet Texter 900” plan so we strongly recommend opting for “The One Plan”.

As with all of 3’s tariffs, the tariffs come with free 3-to-3 calls, Skype calls, Windows Live Messenger, free voicemail and more.

The following HTC Desire tariffs are still available on 3:

Tariff Monthly Cost Phone Cost Minutes Texts Data (MB) Total Cost
Internet Texter 500 £30.00 Free 500 3000 1000 £720.00
More info »
Internet Texter 900 £33.00 Free 900 3000 1000 £792.00
More info »
The One Plan £35.00 Free 2000 5000 1000 £840.00
More info »

If you’re looking for a HTC Desire on another network, see our price comparison page.

Original Post follows…

We’ve been keeping a close eye on HTC Desire tariffs over the last few weeks here at Ken’s Tech Tips. The headline development today is that Three have released the HTC Desire for free on all of their tariffs ranging from £17/month to £33/month.

The new £17/month “Internet Talker 100” contract provides by far the cheapest way in the UK to obtain a HTC Desire and 3G internet access for 24 months. Over 24 months the “total cost of ownership” is £408 – less than the cost of buying a SIM-free HTC Desire outright (currently £425 on Amazon). The contract provides 100 minutes or texts (you can mix-and-match between minutes and texts) and 500MB internet. As well as that, you’ll get 2 months Spotify Premium included (24 months on the top contract), free Skype calls, 3-to-3 calls and voicemail (standard for all customers on the 3 network).

For an extra fiver a month, you’ll get unlimited texts and unlimited internet (with a fair usage of 500MB). We strongly recommend this upgrade if you regularly text.

This means it is possible to get 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB internet for £22/month.

What’s so special about the HTC Desire?

We’ve written in length about the HTC Desire in a previous article. In short, the key specifications are:

  • 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)

What tariffs are available?

The £17/month Three tariff has been removed for sale. However (a branch of the Carphone Warehouse) are offering a HTC Desire on Orange for £25/month with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB internet. You’ll get 12 months at half price so the effective monthly cost is £18.75/month. An additional benefit of buying the HTC Desire through is that the phone is unlocked.

Three have 3 tariffs available. In order of price:

Tariff Monthly Cost Phone Cost Minutes Texts Data (MB) Total Cost
Internet Texter 500 £30.00 Free 500 3000 1000 £720.00
More info »
Internet Texter 900 £33.00 Free 900 3000 1000 £792.00
More info »
The One Plan £35.00 Free 2000 5000 1000 £840.00
More info »

All tariffs include:

  • Unlimited 3-to-3 minutes
  • Unlimited Skype calls
  • Unlimited Windows Live Messenger
  • Unlimited Twitter
  • 2 months free Spotify Premium or 6 months if you opt for “The One Plan” (worth £60).

All of the these tariffs are 24 months.

How does this compare to the other networks?

These are definitely some of the most competitive HTC Desire deals out on the market. For most people, the Three deals will probably be the best value as most networks only give out the HTC Desire for free on tariffs from £30/month or £35/month.

On the whole, we think 3 provides the best deal if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • you text a lot but you use less than 500 minutes per month
  • you rarely text and you use less than 900 minutes or texts per month

If it looks like you would exceed the airtime allowance on these tariffs (i.e. if you make 1200 minutes of calls per month), we would strongly recommend having a look at other networks such as T-Mobile’s contract with 1200 minutes.

How do I get this deal?

Go to the 3 website.

Can I keep my existing number?

Yes, you need to request a PAC code from your existing network and then to provide this to Three.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 8 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. AndyC said:

    Hi Lewis

    I am having the same issue with the spotify premium and HTC desire. Three tell me that Spotify is only free for two months but I am insisting I was offered the deal for 24 months.

    Can you let me have that screen shot by email. I am in a prolonged battle with their customer (non) service. Email address I will let you know how it turns out.



  2. Lewis said:


    Recently started a contract with 3 for the HTC Desire at £33 a month and it said in the contract this included 24 months free spotify premium. The first bill said £33 paid and it was fine. However I recently got a text saying thanks for continuing to subscribe to spotify premium and on my bill it says i've spent £9.99 extra this month. I know I haven't gone over my limits on anything as it says so. This charge can only be for spotify premium. I don't know what to do as from past experience their 'helplines' are far from helpful. If anyone would like to see the offer I have a print screen i can email.

    and to answer your question faisal, there isn't windows live messenger for the desire but i use ebuddy which is free and it works well.

  3. faisal said:

    hi there!

    i just wanna ask that does the 3 offering htc desire include windows live messenger application in to the mobile or you have to purchase it from andriod market??

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:


      I think they either pre-install it on the device or it would be available as a free download from Planet 3.


  4. Ken Lo
    Ken said:

    Unfortunately the £17/month deal has disappeared now… only the £30/month and £33/month plans remain. Post updated.

  5. Jeremy said:

    3 may be a smaller network however they do have the uk’s largest 3g network and if using the htc desire you are going to want to have that extra 3g coverage as it is a internet thirsty handset.. I am using three and have no issue at all with reception where I am living and the places I go to often. As for the tarrifs although it is only 500mb apparently you can pay an extra 5pounds a month and get 2.5 gb which is great if you are using a lot of internet. I also have seen a brand new advert on tv from three which mentions that the network expansion is there biggest focus at the moment. Plus no other network gives you unlimited skype for free! =o)

  6. Mark said:

    This is a great deal. 3 have the best deals on phones and tarrifs + you can phone other 3 users for free. The problem is: their network is not as extensive as the bigger carriers. It’s probably worth spending an additional 5 quid to ensure you actually have a signal to make phone calls.

  7. Peter said:

    Reading the T&C for the pricing plans, the data allowance appears to be 500MB for all phone plans, and I can find no mention of 1GB allowances anywhere. It may be there on the 500/900 plans, but definitely not on the 100/300 ones!

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