You can buy your mobile phone from or the Carphone Warehouse, as an alternative to buying direct. Find out how it compares.

In the UK, both 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 and Carphone Warehouse websites. We’ll also look at how their plans compare to when you buy directly from the mobile network.

What is

In the 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, there are often cashback deals that can reduce the prices even further. In many cases, 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, 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 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.

You can compare Vodafone prices on the, Carphone Warehouse and Vodafone official website.

iD Mobile

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.

You can compare iD Mobile prices on the, Carphone Warehouse and official iD Mobile websites.

Other Networks

At present, you won’t find deals from any other mobile network (including EE, giffgaff, O2, Sky Mobile, Three and Virgin Mobile) through 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.

More Information

For more information, please see the and Carphone Warehouse websites.

Your Comments 33 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 33 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hello. Need some help please. A company called called me offering Me great offers only for three customers and I am a Three customer.
    Don’t know how they knew that of how they got my number. I thought it was scam. Anyway. They asked if I was thinking of upgrade and if I had any phones in mind. I told them iPhone 13 Pro or sumsung S22 ultra both of which they had and said yes they have offers on that. The offer was too good to be true. Under £50 a month. I didn’t take it up because I didn’t to do research if this moblies is legit. How does it work. I rang three myself they say they never heard of them said its a scam no one offers unlimited everything with these phones for that price.

    So please advise?

    How can offer me same number same network provider of Three at such good prices. But when I called Three why would they say that they don’t even know who is? I am confused
    Any advise and is it legit this company ?

    • Hi Sheba,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe it probably was a scam call that you received as I don’t believe offer any deals from Three. However, they are a legit company and they’re part of Carphone Warehouse/Currys.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the guide and tips. I’m thinking to get a new vodafone (I’m with them now) contract via as they’re much cheaper. I’m thinking to get an iphone 7, and will need to have wifi calling to work. Would the wifi calling function work from an unlocked phone from (You said phones from there are unlocked right?)


  • Hi,

    I’m due an upgrade and currently had 30% friends and family discount with EE that I’ve had since it was Orange. If I upgraded through Carphone Warehouse and stayed with EE would I lose my 30% f&f discount because I’ve upgraded through a 3rd party I.E Carphone Warehouse?

    • Hi Ric,
      Thanks for your comment, and a very good question! I’m not actually sure the answer to that – it really depends on the terms of the discount and whether you’d be able to re-apply it to a new account. It might be worth checking with EE to see whether that’s possible before deciding whether to buy from the Carphone Warehouse.

  • Christine Joyce said:

    I am on EE through the carphone warehouse, I would like to get a 4g smart watch, can I get a plan as an add on through EE direct? I did have my last contract directly with EE but it was seriously more expensive this time round, so went with Carphone Warehouse

    • Hi Christine,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think it should be possible to add a Smart Watch plan directly through EE at a later date.

  • I’ve been discouraged from using by my current provider Vodafone by saying the Iphones supplied by such companies are sourced from Asia and are not to the standard of European Apple products as they do not need to meet the same strict quality control checks. This is why 3rd party retailers are able to offer such cheap deals. Is there any truth in this or is it a tactic by the network provider?

    • Hi Janette,
      Thanks for your comment. No, the iPhones supplied by & the Carphone Warehouse are the same European stock provided directly by the networks. The mobile networks will normally pay out fairly hefty commission to retailers like for introducing new customers to their network. Some of that comes back to you in terms of discounted rates or cashback.

    • Hi Ian,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the Carphone Warehouse will not match deals when in store 🙁

    • Hi Jason,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure there’s an official way to get Wi-Fi Calling on Android devices from a third-party retailer such as the Carphone Warehouse. I think some people have a bit of success changing the firmware on their phone (e.g. to use the mobile network’s firmware), but this isn’t guaranteed to work and may void the warranty on your phone.

  • if i buy a iphone xr from carphone warehouse on ee package
    will i be able to take it into an ee shop to transfer all my data from my old phone to the new one????

    • Hi Pete,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t believe EE retail stores will officially provide support for an iPhone that’s purchased from the Carphone Warehouse. However, they might be nice and may just do this for you anyway (otherwise, you can try your nearest Carphone Warehouse or Apple retail store).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken

    EE retentions have just told me that if I buy a new IPhone XR on EE through it will be an ‘old ‘ Essentials plan with 4G speeds capped at 20 Mbps and no wifi calling – can this be true?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Andrew,
      Many thanks for your comment. I don’t believe the 20Mbps download speed cap applies any longer to EE Essential price plans. It’s been several years since they did this. Similarly, an iPhone purchased from should work fine with Wi-Fi Calling on EE (the same isn’t true for Android devices).
      Hope this helps,

  • Jim Collins said:

    If I buy a phone from would my local Car Phone Warehouse set it up and transfer all my data from my current phone which I bought from CPW originally.

    • Hi Jim,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t believe Carphone Warehouse retail stores will provide support for handsets purchased from However, if you were to ask nicely and they weren’t too busy, it’s possible they might do this for you!

  • Hi ken

    I’m considering buying a new phone from online resellers like affordable mobiles or buy mobiles. Net. I’ve seen a good deal I’d like to go for on buy mobiles. Net. I’ve read a lot on their reliability and legitimacy. I wanted to know from you what you think about such websites. Also, if I trade in my phone with Apple and get money from the sim free plan. Once I’ve paid of the reminder- is the phone then line? E.g. my current iPhone 7 is worth £220 on trade in value. The iPhone 8 Plus is £699. So il have £499 to pay for the phone— can I do this monthly?


    • Hi Bowale,
      Thanks for your comment. I haven’t had any personal experience with Affordable Mobiles or Buy Mobiles so the reviews you’ve read online will probably be a more reliable indicator than anything I can say!
      With regards to the trade-in, I believe this is normally processed as a discount on the upfront price. You can also look into is recycling your mobile phone elsewhere as you’ll sometimes get a bit more for it by comparing different providers.
      With regards to paying monthly for a SIM-free handset, some retailers provide the option of finance so you can split up the cost of your handset over multiple months. You could also use a credit card for a very similar outcome (especially if you have an interest-free period that you’re able to make the most of).

  • Caroline Stones said:


    I have just had a conversation with EE as I am thinking of leaving them and purchasing my next contract through the Carphone Warehouse. However, they have said that the signal and coverage will not be as good as I am going through a third party. When I questioned them on this they just kept saying “it’s because you’re going through a third party” – even though I will be using EE masts etc. Can you shed some light as to whether this is true or what they mean exactly please? Thank you

    • Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for your comment. If you’re buying an EE plan through the Carphone Warehouse, you’ll have access to the exact same coverage as if you were purchasing an plan directly from EE! So I’m also not really sure what they’re talking about here! One valid difference is you might not have access to 4G Calling or Wi-Fi Calling, but this is a separate and different matter to the signal & coverage you receive.
      Hope this helps,

  • Good article. Another thing you could add is the update situation on Android. If you buy direct via the network you get a phone running the network branded firmware, this is why WiFi calling etc will work. However it also means updates are controlled by the network, usually adding delays or in some cases not pushing them out at all/dropping support earlier.

    Carphone warehouse phones being unbranded will get updates straight from the manufacturer.

    • Hi Pete,
      Thanks for the feedback! This is a great idea, and something I’ll definitely bear in mind for the future!
      Hope you’re well 🙂

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