Best mobile phone deals in April 2024: the latest SIM-free, contract and SIM-only offers

Multiple phones on TechRadar deals text
(Image credit: Future)

Finding the best phone deals across the latest releases of the year or even some of the best cheap phones can be a difficult task. As we enter 2024, the latest iPhone 15 deals and Pixel 8 deals have resulted in new and improved ways to get great value across the now older iPhone 14 and Pixel 7 range, and with the Samsung Galaxy S24 deals only getting better, Samsung Galaxy S23 deals are at some of their lowest ever prices. 

But this isn't the only way you can save, some of the best cheap phone deals and SIM-only deals can be paired to create high-value, reliable mobile experiences, and with great releases in recent months from the likes of Honor, Xiaomi and OnePlus, there are new ways to experience flagship quality devices for much less than you would usually expect to pay. 

Since the phone market is a constantly changing environment for deals, offers, freebies and ways to save, we're constantly looking at the best deals available, and we even have a handy widget which can help you find all the latest offers from big retailers and network providers. Plus, we've answered a number of your key questions to help you make an informed decision if you're taking your next phone deal into your own hands.

Today's best phone deals

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Apple iPhone 14 Pro - 128GB
Unlimiteddata
Unlimited mins
Unlimitedtexts
Verizon Wireless
36 months
Learn More
Apple iPhone 14 Pro - 256GB
Unlimiteddata
Unlimited mins
Unlimitedtexts
Verizon Wireless
36 months
Learn More
Apple iPhone 14 Pro - 512GB
Unlimiteddata
Unlimited mins
Unlimitedtexts
Verizon Wireless
36 months
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Apple iPhone 14 Pro - 1TB
Unlimiteddata
Unlimited mins
Unlimitedtexts
Verizon Wireless
36 months
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Choosing a phone contract:

Factors to consider when choosing a phone contract

mobile phone deals

(Image credit: Apple)

How much data do I need?

You can estimate how much data you will need with your phone deal in a number of ways. The quickest way to find out is through your plan provider's app. Major providers such as EE, Three, and Vodafone all have great applications for your phone which can tell you everything from your billing dates to how much data you use, the latter being more important in this case.

If, for whatever reason, you cannot find out exactly how much data you use, there are two simple factors I recommend considering. Firstly, remember to allow yourself some legroom for if ever you get lost and desperately need to contact someone, or find yourself in some other scenario in which you need to contact someone as a matter of urgency, this doesn't need to be loads, but enough to get you by. Secondly, more often than not, you won't need as much data as you think. According to an Ofcom report from 2022, the average phone user only uses around 5.6GB of data per month, this comes in contrast to the rising popularity of high-data-plan contracts, with data caps exceeding 100GB or even up to unlimited amounts. 

To give you a round guide on what data plan to aim for, find a brief breakdown below. 



- 500MB-4GB:
If you rarely use the internet or many apps while away from the internet, you can get away with a low data cap. The lowest possible data plan you'll find is normally 500MB a month, which will allow for some basic Google and social media usage across a month, as well as maybe some usage of navigation software

Aiming for around 4GB per month allows you an extension of the above, plus some of the added safety we mentioned earlier.

- 5GB-11GB:
Probably the region most people need. As long as your phone isn't being used as a replacement for your TV, and your data, therefore, isn't being eaten up by streaming, this will keep you comfortably capable of staying up to date on social media, navigating from place to place with Google (or an equivalent), and searching to your heart's content. 

Again, it could be worth considering adding some breathing room above what you would usually use in case of adverse circumstances, an alternative to this, however, could be choosing a provider with data rollover services, such as Sky, which allows you to bring unused data from one month to the next.

- 12GB-30GB:
If you think your usage probably sits in the higher end of the 5GB-11GB category, then it might be worth looking at a slightly higher bracket of data plan. 

With a plan between 12GB and 30GB of data, you will be able to comfortably use your phone for all your social, navigational, and search-based needs, as well as be able to use your phone for a reasonable amount of streaming.

- 30GB+
Anything from 30GB up through the 200GB+ caps is going to be plenty for almost anyone. Streaming in HD, gaming on the go, downloading big apps - all of this will be fine.

- Unlimited:
Finally, completely unlimited caps. This is really only going to be for those who tether other devices off their phone, anyone who doesn't have internet where they live or if you really are burning through data.

Here's a full guide to how much data you need for a more detailed breakdown

What's the best network for mobile phone deals?

While most people will think of the main four networks - EE, O2, Vodafone and Three - there is actually loads of networks to choose from, all with their own benefits.

Which network is best for your next mobile phone deals will depend on a number of factors. Do you want something fast? A network with good 5G? Or maybe you just want the cheapest option, even if that means signing on for longer.

Read more: What's the best network?

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EE
The UK's fastest network and also the most popular. EE has carved out a position as a top-tier network. It offers some of the best 5G coverage and EE throws in a huge wealth of free subscriptions when you sign up, including BT Sport, Apple Music, BritBox and more. However, with all of those features, it is also one of the most expensive options.

See all of the best EE phone deals

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O2
The biggest lure to O2 is the network's Priority rewards. From 2-4-1 dinners and free coffees to first refusal on big gig tickets, O2 is the network for regular goodies. Plus, they have 1,000s of Wi-Fi hotspots in shops and cafes that you can connect to. O2 also has a great 5G rollout now.

See all of the best O2 phone deals

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Three
Three's big selling point is that it throws out some fantastic value phone deals and usually with huge masses of data included. Three often has the lowest prices around for big data plans, especially on 100GB or unlimited data plans. It also has one of the best rollouts of 5G so far.

See all of the best Three mobile deals

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Vodafone
VeryMe is Vodafone's secret weapon. It aims to match O2's Priority rewards scheme by offering free coffees, competitions, discount codes, data boosts and a whole lot more. While it won't be quite as fast as EE, Vodafone doesn't fall all too far behind when it comes to ping, download or upload speeds.

See all of the best Vodafone phone deals

What storage size will I need?

Depending on what handset you choose, you'll be presented with a few storage size options. The majority of choices will start at 128GB of storage these days but some do drop as low as 64GB.

If you tend to save things on the cloud and rarely download any music, videos or general large files, 64GB will suffice. However, for most people, a minimum of 128GB will be a necessity.

The bigger question is whether its worth considering the 256 or 512GB options we're seeing these days, and even sometimes a 1TB option! In most cases, it's not worth it.

Unless you're downloading an entire library of Kindle books, hoarding Spotify playlists and trying to have the entirety of Netflix at your fingertips, these larger options just aren't worth the additional costs.

Of course, the easiest way to know is to look at how much storage you're using on your existing phone and work off of that. 

Many Android devices offer expandable storage as well so if you've gone for a storage size too small, you can always remedy it with certain mobile phone deals.

Will my phone be locked to a network?

Phone networks in the UK can no longer lock phones to a specific network. In December 2021, Ofcom announced new regulations which force UK network providers to only provide unlocked phones that can be used with a SIM card of any network. 

This rule came into place due, in part, to the unnecessary complications and costs which surrounded unlocking a mobile device. Many providers had been charging as much as £10 to unlock a device, and due to the process taking a matter of days, it was seen by many as too much hassle and thought to bother switching networks. 

Android or Apple? How to choose a operating system:

One of the biggest questions you'll need to consider when choosing a new phone is whether you want to go for Apple or Android. Realistically, this will entirely come down to your preferred operating system.

Apple is simple and easy to use. Because it is the sole brand using this operating system, the apps tend to be more consistent and there is a higher level of security.

However, there is far more choice with Android and no matter which Android brand you choose, there is more customisation available to you.

Each Android brand offers a slightly different operating system. Samsung's is highly customisable with lots of features, Google's is stripped back and easy to use, much like Apple's, OnePlus' is a simpler version of Samsung's and Huawei...well, Huawei is in a bit of a limbo as it decides what to do without Android.

In essence, if you want something simple and secure, Apple will be a great choice for new mobile phone deals (if you don't mind paying a bit more of course). If you like more choice and like to customise to your exact requirements, Android will be the way to go.

Still unsure? We have a full Android vs iPhone guide to help you out.

Phone brands at a glance

While the two names that will likely come to mind are Apple and Samsung, there is loads available. These mostly fall into the two camps of Apple and Android with a couple of exceptions like Huawei as it separates from Android, and the now dead Windows phones.

But which is best for mobile phone deals? Each brand has its own style, specs and features to make it stand out. While there are loads of brands available, the main competitors are:

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Apple
We all know Apple. The brand that produces the world famous iPhone, Apple is in a unique position to offer its own operating system and one that unlike Huawei, has been incredibly successfully rolled out. It's known for its security, large collection of available apps and clean looking software. Unless you're a die-hard Android fan, Apple will likely be a brand on your considerations list. It is especially great when it comes to cameras and processing power...but it is easily one of the most expensive phone brands.

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Samsung
Worldwide, Samsung is still the most popular phone provider, standing out in all regions as Android's number 1 brand. It produces a lot of phones, giving you a massive amount of choice each year. Samsung is best known for its high screen quality, powerful processors and impressive camera features. However, it has a habit of offering a lot of features. While that sounds good on paper, it can often mean an overwhelming experience - if you're coming from a Google or Apple phone that you liked, this might take some getting used to. See our Samsung promo codes page for the best ways to save at the official Samsung retailer.

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Google
Google is in a unique position as a phone brand and that's because it also makes Android...the operating system used by Google phones and...well, most Android phones. This means Google phones get updates first, and arguably have the cleanest and best designed Android operating system. While Google's design can look a bit dated and it is often lacking in processing power, it makes up for this with its operating system and its incredible camera software, frequently being considered one of the best phone camera brands.

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OnePlus
OnePlus is a brand that is quickly gaining traction in the UK. In many ways it is very similar to Samsung and is arguably it's biggest Android competitor. Great screens, processing power and constantly improving camera quality - OnePlus is easily competing with Apple and Samsung for that top spot right now. One key factor to note with OnePlus, it often joins up with a network to be exclusively offered. Usually this is Three making SIM-free the best way to go.

Alternative brands to look out for:

While the above options are the main choices for mobile phone deals, there are a few other phone brands that are worth keeping an eye out for. Some of these have been around for years and others are ones that have dominated in other regions and are now building a following in the UK.

Nokia:
It's a name we all know and although Nokia is best known for its budget phones, it does actually offer a number of more flagship phones. However, not able to compete with Samsung, Apple or any of the other big names, you'll likely be after Nokia for something more budget.

Xiaomi:
Xiaomi is a massive brand in the Asian market and is building more of a dominance in the UK as time goes on. With Huawei now slightly out of the picture, Xiaomi is set to take its place.

With a number of impressive flagship phones, mid-range devices and budget handsets, Xiaomi is possibly closest to Samsung in its style and features.

Oppo:
Like Xiaomi, Oppo is a Eastern brand with a huge following that is becoming more popular in the UK. Also like Xiaomi, it has a number of excellent flagships and budget phones.

Oppo is consistently developing new and interesting tech and tends to be on the forefront when it comes to new exciting phones. However, also like Xiaomi, Oppo isn't always that readily available in the UK.

Sony:
Sony is a massive brand and while it doesn't have the same dominance in the phone market as it did in the Walkman days, it is still a strong competitor. It's unique selling point is its video cameras and screen ratio, set up perfectly for fans of film.

How to switch mobile phone deals

mobile phone deals

(Image credit: William_Potter)

For the longest time, it has been a massive pain to switch your number. This required calling your network and having a tedious chat about PAC codes. Now, thanks to a new ruling from OFCOM, you can simply text to get your PAC code.

How to switch in easy steps

Step 1. Text 'PAC' to 65075

Step 2. Send the PAC code you receive in that text to your new provider

Step 3.  Put your new SIM into your phone and make sure it is working

The new Text to switch feature means you can simply send a free text with the word 'PAC' to 65075. Your provider will then need to reply within a minute, sending you a PAC code that will last for 30 days.

The response sent to you must also include information about any early termination fees or pay-as-you-go credit balances. You can then give your PAC code to the new network you're joining. 

You can now also text 'INFO' to 85075 to get information about your contract. This includes what charges you might need to pay or if you can end your contract early.

You can now also request your new PAC code via your online account with your network. Like the texting option, your network must respond within a minute. If you have more than one number linked to your account (e.g family accounts) you must request your PAC online. 

Rob Dunne