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Best mobile phone and Sim-only deals 2023

See our pick of the best mobile phone deals on contract and Sim-only to find out how to bag a bargain on an Android handset or iPhone
Which?Editorial team
Mobile phone deals

We've rounded up great deals on popular mobile phones to help you find and compare the best prices.

With new smartphones launching every week, and stiff competition between the biggest manufacturers and contract providers, there are often deals to be had on the most expensive handsets (including ones from Samsung and iPhone). Whether you choose a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) or a Sim-free deal, or you want a cheap contract to buy a handset now, we'll show you some of the top deals around.

Read our guide to the best smartphones for 2023 to see which handsets impressed in our tests, or read about the best and worst mobile providers

Best mobile phone and contract deals in the sales

When looking for the best mobile phone deal, you need to decide whether to buy a new phone on contract, or pay for the phone outright and buy a Sim separately (and then navigate the deals from Sky, Tesco, Vodafone and more). Our mobile phone deals service does all the hard work for you. 

Find out more: head to Which? Mobile Switch to compare phones and Sim-only contracts.

Best iPhone deals

Get an iPhone 12 at a decent discount, or pick up an older model at a bargain price.

Our pick: Apple iPhone 12 (original price £799)

Apple iPhone 12
  • 6.1in Super Retina XDR OLED display
  • 5G compatibility
  • IP68 certified waterproofing

We like: Lovely display

We don’t like: No micro-SD slot

It's rare to find a discount on an iPhone, but following the release of the iPhone 13 and 14 series, you can now get money off this model. It has some fancy features, including waterproofing and wireless charging, plus it's the first iPhone range to come with 5G compatibility. See if it matches up to its impressive specs by reading our Apple iPhone 12 review.

Buy it now using the links below, or browse for the best contract deals on the Apple iPhone 12.

More Apple iPhone deals to consider:

Apple iPhone 13 (original price £799)

This Apple iPhone 13 has a number of improvements from the iPhone 12 if you're happy to spend a bit more. It features an updated processor, a bigger battery and upgraded cameras. The camera on this iPhone 13 has sensor-shift image stabilisation and a new cinematic mode, as well as sought-after photographic styles.

Check prices below or you can also read our Apple iPhone 13 review. Or compare contract deals on the iPhone 13.

Apple iPhone 11 (original price £729)

The iPhone 11 has the same two rear cameras as the iPhone 12 and a high-resolution 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display, but it doesn't have 5G.

 See below for the latest discounts, or read our Apple iPhone 11 review to get the full scoop on this device. Or check contract deals on the iPhone 11.

Apple iPhone SE 2022 (current price £449)

The iPhone SE 2022 is worth considering if you're after a cheaper iPhone. The 2022 version is Apple's third-generation SE, and while it's currently hard to find a discount, it's still significantly cheaper than other iPhones. It comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD screen, a single rear camera lens that can film in 4K, and the same processor as the iPhone 13. 

Find retailers and their prices below, compare contract deals or read our iPhone SE 2022 review to get the full scoop.

Best Android phone deals

Android phones have a number of attractive discounts on handsets, proving you don't need to spend a fortune on a big brand.

Our pick: Oppo Find X5 Lite (original price £419)

  • 6.43-inch (2,400 x 1,080) OLED display
  • Triple rear camera including a 64Mp main lens
  • 4K video recording

We like: Long battery life

We don’t like: Weaker front-facing camera

The Oppo Find X5 Lite, released in March 2022, is the most basic phone in Oppo's Find X5 flagship range, but it still has plenty of features to enjoy. It has a high-spec screen, 5G connectivity and a huge 256GB of internal storage. It's fairly slim and light for a premium feel.

You can see prices below, or compare contract deals of the Oppo Find X5 Lite. To find out if it lives up to its promises, check out our Oppo Find X5 Lite review.

More Android deals to consider:

Google Pixel 6 Pro (original price £849)

The 2021 Google Pixel 6 range has seen some pretty hefty discounts recently, which makes them even more appealing. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is the largest model in the range with the most premium camera specs and all-round high specification. The 6.7-inch screen high resolution is spacious, and the phone is fuelled by a large 5,003mAh battery. 

You can see prices below, or check out the contract deals of Google Pixel 6 Pro. To find out its battery life and how powerful the cameras really are, check out our Google Pixel 6 Pro review

Google Pixel 6 (original price £599)

The 'standard' sized phone from Google's 2021 range, the Pixel 6 ticks a lot of boxes, with superb display specifications and an impressive Google Tensor processor. It is recognised for its high-end cameras too.

Check deals below or compare contract deals. Also make sure to read the full review of the Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6a (original price £399)

Rounding off Google's Pixel 6 range, even the cheapest 6a is currently available with a nice discount. It's not as powerful as the 6 or 6 Pro, but it's still well equipped with a bright display, quick processor and 4K video recording. 

Check deals below or compare contract deals. You can also read our review of the Google Pixel 6a

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G (original price £289)

Samsung's popular A-range screams 'value', and the A23 shows just how much you can pack into a phone that's a fraction of the price of flagships. Four cameras on the back of the phone - including ultra-wide and macro, even make it a versatile snapper. 

Check deals below or compare contract deals. Also make sure to read our review of the Galaxy A23 5G.

Best second-hand phone deals

To get the best savings on a smartphone, turn to the second-hand and refurbished market. Below, we've picked out some great deals on second-hand phones that can save you serious money.

Or check our mobile phone reviews for popular handsets now only available second-hand, and read our guide on how to buy a second-hand or refurbished phone.

Samsung Galaxy A72 (original price £419, now around £235 second-hand)

If you're looking to save even more on your next smartphone, consider buying one second-hand. We've noticed that the Samsung Galaxy A72 is popping up in second-hand retailers from around £195 to £235 for an unlocked device, depending on the phone's condition. The mid-range device is equipped with a large 6.7-inch screen and four rear cameras for versatile shots, but it doesn't have 5G. It was released in March 2021, and you can keep it secure until March 2025 with regular security updates from Samsung. 

The cheapest deal we've found for one in a 'good' or grade B condition is from CEX in black for £235, which comes with a two-year warranty. Find out the full story of this phone in our Samsung Galaxy A72 review.

Also consider these popular phones that can now be found for cheaper at multiple second-hand retailers:

  • Apple iPhone 12 (original price £799, now £349.99 second-hand) With the recent release of the iPhone 14, more and more iPhone 12s are appearing on the second-hand market. You should find them for around £340 to £575, depending on the phone's condition, and the cheapest one in good or grade B condition we found is at iOutlet for £349.99.
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro (original price £1,149, now under £500 second-hand) The iPhone 12 Pro is an upgrade from the 12 with better cameras. It currently goes for less than half its original price in 'good' second-hand condition. We've seen it for one of the cheapest at Music Magpie.
  • Apple iPhone 12 mini (original price £699, now £320 second-hand) The iPhone 12 mini is now going for under half its launch price on the Amazon Renewed Store in "excellent condition". It will suit anyone who prefers a smaller screen but wants some premium cameras. Check it out on the Amazon Renewed store for £320.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (original price £699, now £335 second-hand) This is Samsung's toned-down version of the Samsung Galaxy S21 with excellent specs. It was released in January 2022 but is already prominent on the second-hand market for £320-£520. It's available in good or grade B condition in olive at CEX for £335.

Find out more on how to make big savings on a second-hand phone.

Best Sim-only deals

If you're buying a phone outright, you'll need a Sim card. Here's our pick of some of the best low-, medium- and high-data deals in the sales.

Best low-data Sim-only deals 

You shouldn't pay for data you don't need, so if you're a particularly light user, opt for a cheap monthly contract that gives you the ability to switch around as circumstances change. Here are some highlights:

Talkmobile (Vodafone's network)  4GB of data for £4.95 a month. A low-data deal with unlimited minutes on a one-month contract. Note that not all customers were satisfied with Talkmobile's service. Read our Talkmobile review if you want to see how customers rate it. 

Virgin Mobile (O2's network) – 5GB of data for £6 a month. This is a good deal on a rolling one-month contract.

Smarty (Three's network) 12GB of 5G data for £7 a month. Smarty is including EU roaming in this low-cost Sim deal. It's on a one-month contract too, so it won't tie you down. 

Best medium-data Sim-only deals

These deals could be suitable if you use mobile data fairly frequently but don't require large amounts for activities such as HD downloading or streaming. Here are some highlights:

iD Mobile (Three's network) – 20GB of 5G data for £7 a month. You have to sign up for a 12-month contract to get this deal, but if you're looking for 15GB, it's a good price. 

Talkmobile (Vodafone's network) – 30GB of data for £7.95 a month. This is an excellent price if you are looking at the higher end of medium-data deals. It's on a one-month contract too, so it won't tie you down. Note that not all customers were satisfied with Talkmobile's service. Read our Talkmobile review if you want to see how customers rate it. 

Virgin Mobile (O2's network)  25GB of 5G data for £8 a month. Another excellent medium data deal on a flexible one month contract.

Best high-data Sim-only deals

High-data deals are ideal for those who need them for continuous connectivity, downloading, streaming and hotspot use. These types of deals may require a 12-month contract, so consider how committed you are and how much data you're likely to use. These are some highlights:

Talkmobile (Vodafone's network) – 100GB of data for £11.95 a month. This is a decent high-data deal, on a one month contract. Note that not all customers were satisfied with Talkmobile's service. Read our Talkmobile review if you want to see how customers rate it. 

iD Mobile (Three's network) – 200GB of 5G data for £15 a month. You have to sign up for a 12-month contract to get this deal, but if you're looking for lots of data, it's a good price.

Smarty (Three's network) – Unlimited data for £16 a month. A great deal that includes unlimited minutes and texts with superfast 5G data, on a rolling monthly contract. 

Not found one that's quite right for you? Browse all the best Sim-only deals on Which? Mobile Switch.

Best mobile phone contract calculator

A key question will be whether you buy outright or on contract. How much each will cost overall can be difficult to work out, so use our calculator below to discover the best deal for you.


Pros and cons of pay-monthly contract mobile phones

With a traditional pay-monthly contract, you pay a fixed minimum monthly fee by direct debit, which is made up of paying for the phone (usually through a credit agreement, meaning you get credit-checked) and the Sim itself, with an allowance of calls, texts and data. You'll have to commit to a period of time, typically two years. Depending on your plan, there may also be an upfront fee, which is something worth considering if you're set on a contract. 

What are the advantages of monthly contracts? 

  • Free/cheap phones With a monthly contract, you'll get a wide choice of free or subsidised handsets, which is ideal if you fancy an upgrade. 
  • Good value Paying in advance for a fixed amount of minutes, texts and data can be much cheaper than topping up a pay-as-you-go phone. 
  • Hassle free You’ll never get cut off because you’ve forgotten to top up your credit. 
  • Can build your credit score Paying off a mobile phone contract monthly can be a good way to build your credit score. Bear in mind that missed payments or defaulting can make your credit score drop. 

Are there any drawbacks with pay-monthly contracts?

There are a few. As mentioned, you may end up paying more overall, so you'll need to weigh this up against the appeal of a lower upfront cost.  

Pay attention to the length of the contract. Most last two years, but some can last three, in order to keep the monthly cost looking attractive. You should also make a note of when your contract ends. Some providers continue to charge you the full monthly cost, even after your contract has been paid off. 

If you exceed the minutes, messages or data in your bundle, additional charges can be significant. It's especially important to be aware of this while roaming. Most providers now set a default 'cap' to prevent this, but if you remove it in order to continue using your phone, costs can quickly spiral out of control. For more, read our guide on how to keep track of your minutes and data, and our guide on EU roaming and international calls. 

Consider network reception with a great mobile phone deal

Signal is another consideration. If you know a particular network is good for your area, you may want to stick with it but move to a different provider. If it isn't, it could be time to move. 

Here are the core networks the virtual providers use:

  • O2 Giffgaff, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile
  • Vodafone Asda Mobile, Lebara, TalkTalk, Voxi
  • EE BT, Plusnet, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Mobile
  • Three iD Mobile, Smarty Mobile

When it's time to switch mobile phone provider

If all else fails, it might be time to switch. Outside the big four – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – a wide range of operators are now competing for your business, and some offer great-value Sim-only deals. Switching is easy and you should be able to keep your old number.

Arming yourself with a price you could get elsewhere is an important haggling tactic. Compare mobile phone contracts and Sim-only deals to find out how much you could be paying.

Smaller mobile networks consistently do better than the big four (EE, O2,Three and Vodafone) in our mobile networks survey. Read our guide to the best and worst UK mobile networks to find out more.

Best mobiles

How to get the best mobile phone deal on popular brands

Generally, you'll find the best deals on mobile phones at retailers such as Amazon, Currys and John Lewis, rather than on the manufacturer's website. However, knowing when sales are on for specific mobile phone brands can be useful if you're trying to find the best deal on a specific model you want. 

iPhone deals

It's notoriously tricky to bag an iPhone on a budget – even older iPhones don't tend to see too many discounts. They hold their value better than older Androids, so you often see them on the second-hand market.

However, if you look in the right place at the right time, you can get some money off. Retailers such as Amazon and Argos occasionally bring their prices down, although you should make sure you're buying a new rather than refurbished handset.

New iPhones usually launch in September, so the end of the year is a good time to look for the previous models, particularly as the Black Friday and Christmas sales roll in.

Apple also offers a trade-in scheme, so you can knock down the price of a new handset slightly if you're upgrading from an older iPhone.

Browse all our iPhone reviews to see how all of Apple's handsets scored in our lab tests.

Google mobile phone deals

Google launches its flagship phones in October, so it's worth putting a Pixel on your shortlist late in the year.

You'll see the biggest bargains on older handsets, but even more recent phones can get some early discounts at major retailers such as Carphone Warehouse and Laptops Direct.

See if it's worth investing in a Pixel by reading our Google Pixel reviews.

Samsung mobile phone deals

If you're after a Samsung Galaxy on a budget, you might be tempted by some of its reasonably priced handsets from its A, J and M ranges. Mid-range models have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and spending £300-£400 can get you a slim, stylish, powerful model that may not look too different from a high-end version.

If you have your eyes on the premium prize, though, it could be worth holding out for a top-of-the-range Galaxy S or Note series. The Samsung S series usually launch in the first quarter of the year, with the first discounts on the latest handsets beginning in the summer. It's worth keeping an eye out on Amazon Prime Day in July.

Phones in the Note range tend to launch in August, so new models are ripe for a decent discount when Black Friday rolls around. If you miss out, the Boxing Day sales are a good time to buy, too.

We've reviewed more than 40 Galaxy phones. Pick your perfect model in all our Samsung phone reviews.

Mobile phones and security updates

Deals on phones are more common when they've been out for a little while, but depending on the brand and handset, this could mean they won't be receiving security updates for much longer. Check our security update calculator for models you're interested in buying. See our guide to mobile phone security  for more.

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