You can buy your mobile phone from Mobiles.co.uk or the Carphone Warehouse, as an alternative to buying direct. Find out how it compares.
In the UK, both Mobiles.co.uk and the Carphone Warehouse are part of the Currys group. They offer mobile phone deals on contract from Vodafone and iD Mobile, often with a significant discount compared to buying directly from the network. You’ll get an unlocked phone, along with a SIM card that gives you the exact same coverage as if you were buying direct from the network.
In this article, we’ll review the Mobiles.co.uk and Carphone Warehouse websites. We’ll also look at how their plans compare to when you buy directly from the mobile network.
What is Mobiles.co.uk?
In the UK, Mobiles.co.uk has sold mobile phones online since 1995 (it’s also been a part of the Carphone Warehouse since 2007). As an online-only retailer, they’re able to keep their prices lower than other retailers that also operate on the high street.
In addition to the lower prices that are available on Mobiles.co.uk, there are often cashback deals that can reduce the prices even further. In many cases, Mobiles.co.uk offers ‘cashback by redemption’ deals. On these deals, you’re able to get some cashback paid into your account when you upload a copy of your bill to their online portal.
You can choose from a wide range of handsets on Mobiles.co.uk, including the latest devices from Apple, Samsung, Google, OPPO and more. All of their devices are supplied unlocked, with a SIM card from your chosen network (either Vodafone or iD Mobile). You’ll also get free next-day delivery in most areas, as long as you order before 8pm on a weekday (or 6pm on the weekend).
What is the Carphone Warehouse?
The Carphone Warehouse has operated as an independent mobile phone retailer since 1989. Now part of the Currys group, you can find them online and inside many high-street branches of Currys.
When you buy a mobile phone from the Carphone Warehouse, you’ll get an unlocked smartphone together with a SIM card from either Vodafone or iD Mobile. The prices will often be lower than if you were going direct to the network. There’s free next-day delivery when you order before 9pm on a weekday or before 6pm on the weekend. It can be delivered to either your home address or your nearest Currys store.
Deals By Network
When you sign up as a Vodafone customer through Mobiles.co.uk or the Carphone Warehouse, you’ll get access to Vodafone’s normal customer benefits, including 5G coverage and VeryMe Rewards. You’ll also get the exact same coverage as customers who buy directly from Vodafone.
The main difference is you’re getting a standard Pay Monthly plan from Vodafone, as opposed to a Vodafone EVO plan. This means you won’t get Xtra plan benefits like unlimited picture messages (MMS) or a discount of Smartwatch Connectivity. You also won’t get the battery health checks in a Vodafone store. However, the prices can often be substantially lower – particularly if you’re able to take advantage of a discount or cashback deal.
As iD Mobile is the own-brand network from the Carphone Warehouse, it doesn’t make a huge amount of difference where you buy your plan (you’ll get access to the exact same features and coverage). However, it’s still worth comparing prices across the three different websites as you can sometimes get cheaper deals that are not available on the official iD Mobile website.
At present, you won’t find deals from any other mobile network (including EE, giffgaff, O2, Sky Mobile, Three and Virgin Mobile) through Mobiles.co.uk and the Carphone Warehouse. If you’re looking for a deal on any other network, you’ll need to go direct to their website.
In the past, the Carphone Warehouse also offered mobile phone deals from EE and O2. However, these were withdrawn from sale in 2020.