Very high allowances are available from O2 for quite low prices, so getting enough for your use should be easy. Contract length - With SIM plans, you usually have a choice between day or month contracts. Longer contracts generally have lower monthly costs, while a day one can be changed at any time. It's worth going for a month deal if you're happy to commit for a full year - though if you want a bit of flexibility, so you can change your monthly allowance or switch networks entirely whenever you like, go for a one-month SIM instead.
Price - On a budget?
Best SIM only deals in June from £ p/m | TechRadar
Set a maximum monthly price using the filter at the side, or sort all the deals by cost to see the lowest-priced ones first. See the section below if you need a bit of help finding the cheapest possible deal. Most networks these days offer 'combi-SIMs' that can fit any device, so go for one of those if you're not sure.
The cheapest SIM deals have lower allowances, are often on longer contract terms, and may be missing some of the features and extras of a more premium SIM plan. Existing customers can sometimes snag even better deals too. To find the cheapest O2 SIM option that suits you, just use our comparison table.
Pay Monthly sim deals
Narrow the deals down with the filters, then use the 'sort by' toggle to order them by monthly cost. This will push the cheapest deals up to the top so you can see them first. Yes, in most cases it's cheaper to go SIM-only than to take out a handset contract - partly because it means you won't be paying any interest or extra costs on the phone itself. As an extra price-saving bonus, SIM-only contracts usually last a much shorter length of time than ones with a phone… meaning you can switch to a new, even cheaper SIM as soon as you find one. Unfortunately, unlimited data SIMs aren't available from O2.
For unlimited data, you may have to go for a different provider. See our guide to unlimited data deals for more info on how to find a deal. You can, however, get an O2 SIM-only deal with a high allowance.
Best contract SIM-only deals
Just sort the comparison grid by data allowance to see the heaviest plans at the top - or choose a minimum monthly allowance in the filters. Yep, you can keep your phone number when you switch mobile networks, regardless of which network you're switching to or from. It's surprisingly hassle-free to sort out, too. All you need to do is sign up to a new deal, then contact your current network and ask for a PAC - a porting authorisation code. Give it to O2 once you have your SIM, and the number should port across within a matter of days.
If you bought your phone outright from a retailer, it should already be unlocked and you have nothing to worry about. However, if you're using an old phone that you got on a contract, it may be locked to your former network. In that case, you'll need to get it unlocked - but don't worry, as this is easy enough to do.
All you have to do is contact the network it's locked to, and they'll sort it out - sometimes free of charge. They may give you a code to enter, or might be able to it remotely. Your phone will be unlocked and ready for a new SIM in a few days' time.
- The cheapest deals if you want to go for SIM only with O2;
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To find out what size SIM you need to get, take a look at your device's manual, or check the manufacturer's website. You can compare offerings on the biggest networks like EE, O2 and Vodafone, as well as budget brands such as Plusnet and Giffgaff. If you're unsure what we mean by 'SIM only', here's a quick explainer. Going SIMO to use the common parlance has become a growing force in the UK mobile industry in the last couple of years, providing a cheap way of running your mobile phone once your contract has run out.
They include data, texts and minutes but don't bundle in a new handset. That means SIM deals are far cheaper than standard phone deals and offer immense flexibility to anyone who doesn't want or need a new device. And considering that millions of Brits overspend on their mobile once they're contract has finished - effectively paying for something they've already paid for - SIM only deals are well worth a look.
They can even provide a cost effective alternative to traditional contract plans if you team a new plan with buying a SIM-free phone outright like the iPhone XS. We've run the figures and plucked out the very best tariffs available this month. If you just need to keep a phone up and running for occasional use, this is the least you can pay.
You'd be advised to either keep mobile data switched off or be careful what apps are updating in the background. Or just pay a little extra for more data There's no contract either so you can cancel at any time, and there are a few extra little perks like the ability to roll over unused data to the next month.
View this deal at iD Mobile. But Smarty has another trick up its sleeve. For 1GB chunks you have of unused data, Smarty will actually give you money back. Ideal if you have a few weeks out of the country or just don't use your phone away from the Wi-Fi as much as normal one month. See this great value deal at Smarty Mobile. And if you happen to be among the number that has BT Broadband as well, then another fiver comes straight off.
It will give you loads of freedom to use your phone away from the Wi-Fi in comfort, without having to check the settings to see how much you've used every five minutes. Get this fantastic big data O2 offer from Mobiles. View this affordable all-you-can-eat deal at Three. Loads of data and the UK's fastest 4G connection speeds.
We really like this effort from the usually-overpriced EE although we liked it even more when it came with a free pair of Beats headphones a short time ago. It's just really well balanced for a SIM plan at the lower end of the data spectrum. Unlimited calls and texts, too. Lovely stuff. The network is just so smart at knowing how to pitch their tariffs, and this is no exception. And yet you still get the Go Binge and Go Roam. View this deal at Three. If you a want to save some money; b don't want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c both of the above, then SIM only is well worth considering.
In fact, you're probably one of two people if your thoughts are indeed turning to SIM only:. It can be.
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It's usually the case when a flagship phone hits the market and contracts are made deliberately expensive. Not all the savings you can make are as extravagant, and on big data it's frequently more cost effective to dive into a contract instead. But if you can afford to splash a few hundred pounds up front then the savings over the next couple of years could well be worth it. The times have passed since most phones were locked to a network and you had to pay a dodgy backstreet 'engineer' to unlock it. Nowadays, it's standard practice for networks to let you use whatever SIM you want in the phone as soon as you've paid up the original contract or earlier if you pay them a fee - and Three ships all its handsets unlocked from the outset.
The exception, alas, is Apple iPhones. They're generally sold locked to the original network that you purchase them with for the life of the handset. Very frustrating if you're looking for a tasty SIM deal once your 24 month sentence is up. The good news is that your iPhone or any other mobile before the end of your contract can be unlocked - the bad news is that most networks make you pay for the privilege. Insert a friend or family member's SIM into your phone to see whether it's already unlocked and, if it isn't, look for your network below to see how to cut ties with them:.
There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset.
It's been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM 15x25mm has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you've bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro 12x15mm or nano 8. Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer's website to see what size you require. And if you're simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you'll get one of each size. Ever heard of PAC codes and wondered what a classic 80s arcade game had to do with telephone numbers? It actually stands for Porting Authorisation Code, and it's the set of digits that you need to grab from your old network to let you transfer over your existing mobile number.
If you're on one of the major networks, you can see what phone number you can contact them on here:. If you want to grab a bargain SIM only plan above, but it's on your existing network then your network won't release a PAC code and you'll be forced to take a new phone number. At least you would have, if it wasn't for this clever if convoluted work-around.
You have to order a free pay-as-you-go SIM from another network. Once you have it, you can tell your old network that you're moving and they'll give you that precious PAC code.