For a long time, I wasn’t that interested in mobile telephony but a recent switch of job meant that having access to the web from a mobile became desirable so I ended up with a BlackBerry Curve 8520 and it has been doing useful work for me since I got it. With that in mind, I started the list of online mobile phone retailers that you find here.
One thing that you’ll see from many a high street in the U.K. is the profusion of shops operated by mobile phone network operators. They’ll sell you their wares online too and that is why they are listed in their own section at the bottom. Before them, I have collected whatever retailers there are that are not attached to any network and there didn’t seem to be that many of them when I set up the list but it’s grown a good bit since then due to my perusing the occasional mobile phone magazine. If I find any more of these, I’ll add them on here.
These are the people with whom I have had the most dealings since I got my first ever mobile phone from them, a Motorola that I kept using until it battery kept losing its charge quickly on me. More recently, I picked up a Nokia 1661 from them that needed a look at the manual to get its call volume set properly.
Like Carphone Warehouse, you’ll see shops from this chain in many towns too. While most probably will not buy them, it is interesting that no SIM-free phones were on sale through the website unlike the others that I have listed here.
If these didn’t sponsor the Buyer’s Guide in Smartphone Essentials magazine, I never would have heard of them; Derby County FC supporters should have seen their logo on the player’s shirts but I cannot say that I am a football fan. A look at the website confirms the presence of a comprehensive selection of phones for sale, contracted or otherwise.
A look through the Best Deals section of Mobile Choice was what brought this phone reseller to my notice. All the options of which you can think are available, both in terms of tariffs (even SIM-free phones are on sale) and hardware.
Here’s another purveyor of contracted, pay-as-you-go and SIM-only deals with no SIM-free phones on offer. Might be worth a look when it comes to shopping around to see what’s available.
There are no SIM-free phones on sale here but you can get them elsewhere so that’s not an issue. What you get are phones on pay-monthly and pay-as-you-go tariffs and there seems to be plenty of choice with even upgrades included.
These people sell phones alongside their other technology wares such as laptop computers and digital cameras but there’s a full range of options available. These include contracted, pay-as-you-go and SIM-free so there’s plenty to browse.
Compared to the others, this outlet is unusual in offering only phones without contracts or pay-as-you-go arrangements. In other words, it is a place for someone running the gauntlet of the cost of going for a SIM-free phone. Saying that, they have their place and many tariffs are puffed up to pay for the more expensive device that is provided to you as part of the contract; that’s why you are tied in for a certain length of time too, so as ensure that the cost of the phone is recovered.
When the smartphone label was but a twinkle in someone’s eye, the term PDA was extant, meaning Personal Digital Assistant. These days, we talk about such things because the newer kid on the block has taken their place or the older device type has gone and evolved with Palm struggling to find its place in the brave new world. So this website will sell hand-held devices coming under both umbrellas and they seem to offer them SIM-free too, something that brings a cost penalty for the privilege.
Haven’t had much to do with these people apart from poking around their website looking at what SIM-only deals that they have; I have to say that they look tempting too.
I have been with this bunch since they were part of BT and known as Cellnet. The transformation to O2 and subsequent incorporation into the Telefonica group has not meant any disruption. Their BT origins and being part of the first wave of operators has meant that network coverage is good too.
From my experience, Orange seems to have better network coverage than its partner in Everything Everywhere, T-Mobile. Now, if only I could convince my BlackBerry to connect to the combined network all the time and not in fits and starts.
Not being in the initial wave of mobile phone network operators has meant that they are operating in a part of the spectrum that is not as good as penetrating buildings. Also, their network isn’t as extensive and that’s what makes the tie up with Orange (who were in that first wave) interesting though I only felt the benefit with my BlackBerry for a few short weeks; I am contemplating moving to someone else.
These are the people with whom I have pay-as-you-go mobile broadband and their network seems extensive too, as befits a global operator of their size.