TalkTalk launches Britain's cheapest smartphone deal
Filed under: Mobile
Smartphones are expensive and for most top-of-the range models, even if you manage to secure a good-value deal, you'll probably have to cough up for the phone or lock yourself into at least a two-year contract.
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Is a £5 a month smartphone contract too good to be true?
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The TalkTalk deal
TalkTalk, which has partnered with Vodafone for these new deals, says it wants to shake up the smartphone market by stripping out unnecessary costs. Customers can buy over the phone or online – but those using the online version will get double the data allowance in their package, for exactly the same price.
All of its main contracts are available for 24-months, though there's also the option of a monthly rolling sim-only contract. And there are several handsets to choose from including the Samsung Galaxy Y, BlackBerry 9320, HTC One X, HTC Desire C and Samsung Galaxy S III.
How is it any different?
The key selling point is that you don't have to pay out any extra for the handset. However, despite it being cheapest in terms of cost, it doesn't offer as much in terms of minutes, texts and data as other contracts.
Therefore, it would be best suited to 'light' smartphone users. So before you sign up, make sure you're not going to go over the allowance as this will lead to higher monthly bills.
The contracts available
Depending on how much data, calls and texts you need you can choose from a small, medium or large plan. Prices for each vary depending on what handset you go for, but the 'small' packages start at £5.
Before you head over to sign up to the deal, remember that as with any offer that seems too good to be true, there are catches involved. For starters, it's only available to existing TalkTalk phone and broadband customers.
It's also worth remembering that there has been a lot of negative press around the company in the past year and it topped Ofcom's broadband complaints list again this summer. Although mobile is a brand new thing for the company, its previous record could prove a barrier to the number of new customers who may sign up.
The TalkTalk deal is also not available on all handsets - popular models such as the iPhone are left out.
And all of the contracts last for 24 months, a really long time in a dynamic market like mobile phones. If you want to leave earlier there will be a penalty charge.
How does it compare to the rest of the market?
Obviously the amount you pay will depend firstly on how many minutes, texts and data you use and secondly the kind of handset you want. The cheapest 'small' package with TalkTalk doesn't give you a lot of leg room and if you go over your allowance the costs of calls are 30p a minute while data is a hefty 5p per MB.
Our comparison tables will give you a full review of the market. But when looking at the available contract deals for the Samsung Galaxy S2, for example, TalkTalk's offering looks favourable - based on cost alone it is one of the cheapest deals.
In fact the only deal to beat it in cost comes from T-Mobile, but you need to stump up £260 for the handset at the start to qualify.
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