Smarty mobile might not be a household name, but you know the people behind it - it’s a no-frills mobile network powered by Three, one of the UK’s leading mobile networks, and it's raining the stakes when it comes to SIM only deals.
Smarty (we're not going to kowtow to its style and write it in all caps) has already attracted a lot of attention thanks to its affordable SIM plans, and it has a unique selling point that no other network has yet been able to match. It will buy back any data you don’t use, so you’re not paying for a service you haven’t accessed. It offers 3G and 4G, EU roaming and Pay as You Go (PAYG) deals, and it’s well worth considering if you don’t fancy expensive phone contracts. So if you were thinking about SIMO, it may be time to get Smarty.
Does Smarty mobile do cheap SIM only plans?
It does, very. Smarty is laser-focused on affordability, so while it only offers a small selection of products – you won’t find subsidised iPhones, laptop dongles or home broadband here – its products have been pared down to the bare necessities to make them as cheap as possible.
In fact, there are just three products, which are reasonably priced SIM only plans with small, medium or large data plans. If you don’t use all you data you get a discount the following month. More on that below...
Smarty mobile: frequently asked questions
Not yet heard of Smarty? Then let us fill you in...
How does Smarty's credit back offer work?
If you don’t use all your data in one monthly period, then you get a discount on the next. That’s currently £1.25 per GB, so if you end up with 3GB of unused data at month end then your next month will be £3.75 cheaper. Plus, it’s calculated per megabyte, not rounded down to the nearest gigabyte.
Other networks have data rollover, but Smarty is the first we've seen that actually gives you money back.
Smarty is an MVNO...what does that mean?
Smarty is what the phone trade calls an MVNO - a mobile virtual network operator.
The brand is Smarty, but the network it uses is Three – in exactly the same way Giffgaff is powered by O2 and Voxi by Vodafone. They’re no-frills versions of their more famous stablemates, and that means their SIMO deals are often much more affordable.
How wide is Smarty's coverage?
As you’d probably expect, Smarty's coverage is as good as Three’s. It uses the same network and covers 93% of the UK population. You can find full coverage details on Smarty’s coverage checker, which shows 3G and 4G coverage.
A word of warning though: Smarty isn’t compatible with 2G handsets, tin cans connected by string, or smoke signals!
Is data roaming available with Smarty?
Yes. Until Brexit happens (and maybe even beyond) you can roam merrily around the EU without worrying about roaming charges. If you’re travelling further afield or want to call international number, you’ll need to top up your balance first.
Can I use my phone as a hotspot with Smarty?
Will Smarty let me keep my old mobile number?
Yes. Once you’ve activated your Smarty SIM it’s just a matter of calling your existing network to get what’s called a PAC code (it stands for Porting Authorisation Code, so that extra code is redundant like 'number' after 'PIN').
Porting your number is free and shouldn’t take more than one working day.