Best £30 a month mobile phone deals

by , Technology Researcher Phone networks 05/12/2012
Mobile phone best deals

Every month the Which? Tech Daily team trawl through all the available tariffs to find which ones offer the best value. This month we’re looking at phone deals for under £30 a month. And don’t forget to check out our advice on choosing the best mobile phone deal before you head to the shops.

All deals are for 24 months, include a free smartphone and are judged on the number of minutes, text and data allowed. We’ve not looked at incentives or out of bundle costs. If you’re not sure which network to choose, read our best mobile phone network guide for more details.

The best mobile phones deals for £30 a month

Winners – Three and O2

Three and O2 have the best deals at this price.

If you use a lot of data then Three’s The One Plan is fantastic value. For just £25/month you get  2,000 minutes, 5,000 texts and unlimited data – most other networks offer only 1GB or less as standard.

BlackBerry Curve 9320

BlackBerry Curve 9320

If you’re worried about network coverage (a common complaint about Three in the past) then O2′s On & On deal is also attractive.

This gives you unlimited minutes and texts for £25/month and though you don’t get an unlimited data allowance (as you do with Three) the 1GB cap should be enough if you’re a normal or light mobile internet user.

The monthly prices for both of these deals increase if you want the most advanced smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone 5, but you can still get good phones without breaking the bank.

We’ve selected our favourites below – click the links to read our full, lab tested reviews and see how they compare for battery life, screen quality and much more.

Three The One Plan – best phones £30 a month or less

O2 On & On – best phones for £30 a month or less

Best of the rest

Orange, T-Mobile and EE

Orange and T-Mobile have the cheapest deals in our round-up.

For £26/month on Orange you get either 400 free minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data (Dolphin 26) or 200 free minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data (Panther 26).

T-Mobile’s £26/month deals are better value as they come with more free minutes. You can choose 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data (200 minutes more than Dolphin 26) or 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data (100 minutes more than Panther 26).

Parent company EE has special 4G tariffs but none in our price range (the cheapest is £36/month).

Vodafone and Tesco Mobile

Vodafone’s Red plan is more expensive than Orange and T-Mobile’s plans. Prices start at £28/month (the monthly cost increases if you want more advanced phones) but it’s appealing for heavy users as it comes with unlimited calls and texts plus 1GB of data.

Tesco Mobile’s £30/month package fares poorly in comparison. Despite costing £2/month more it includes fewer minutes (750) , texts (5000) and data (500MB).

Virgin Mobile, Utility Warehouse and Giffgaff

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2

Virgin Mobile’s Premiere 08 deal comes with an impressive 2,500 minutes and 500 minutes to 0800, 0845, 0870 and 0808 numbers plus unlimited texts and data.

However although Virgin Media TV and broadband customers can get it for £28/month, most people will pay £33/month so it’s out of the reckoning.

Utility Warehouse’s Value 5000 deal sounds like a bargain at first as it appears to come with 5,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 2GB of data for just £17.50/month.

However you have to add in the cost of the phone so to get a decent smartphone you’ll need to spend £30/month putting it at the top of our price band.

Giffgaff only sells Sim-only deals but its £25 goodybag (1,500 minutes plus unlimited texts and data) is great value if you already have a phone.

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