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to ask whether MN can help me decide about mobile phones

(37 Posts)
Hippee Mon 16-Oct-17 06:32:23

I am absolutely hopeless with mobile phones - I usually go into Carphone Warehouse and get whatever is on the best offer at the time. At the moment I have a Nokia (Windows) phone with EE. My husband is slightly, but not much more, on the ball - he has some sort of Android phone with EE. We have been talking about getting a joint contract for ages, and now 11-year old DS1 is in the mix. We promised that if he behaved well enough he could get a phone, and the time has now come.

I know IABU for not having prepared for this better and done more research, but I am hoping you lovely Mumsnetters would give me the benefit of your experience. I would be quite happy to go to Carphone Warehouse together and see what they suggest for the three of us. DH is keen to move to Windows like me and thinks that we should all be on the same platform. He thinks we shoud research on the Internet for better deals/contracts but has had no time to do it. DS wants an iPhone7 or Samsung Galaxy 8, which isn't going to happen (sadly some of his friends do have these - very wealthy area/parents upgrading and passing on phones) but one of his best friends has a Cubot, which he is also quite keen on (but which isn't a Windows phone). We want to be able to make sure that he can't exceed any limits on his phone and land us with a huge bill (friend's son ran up £300 recently).

I guess that my questions are:

Should we go with my original Carphone Warehouse suggestion, as there will be someone there to talk to and explain our needs to and get all three of us new phones.

Order a Cubot for him and take it with us to get a SIM-only contract at Carphone Warehouse, while getting new phones there ourselves.

Go with another company that has a good family package (if so, which one)? Sky is definitely out and we'd prefer not to go with BT unless everyone agrees it's the best. Was I right in thinking that Tesco Mobile has had reaasonable reviews?

Any advice really? Thank you!

P.S. We are on Plusnet for phone and internet at home.

Kpo58 Mon 16-Oct-17 06:41:14

Tesco and 3 can be very reasonable.

How much data are you looking for on each contract?

Are you willing to buy phones separately and then have a cheap SIM only contact?

Are you willing to switch from EE (you can still keep your old number)?

I'm not sure that you need to all be on the same platform. Windows is very limited with regards to apps and your son will find that he won't be able to get the same apps as his friends on it.

MrsJamin Mon 16-Oct-17 06:46:16

Don't whatever you do get any more windows phones, they are dying and people are not making apps for them much anymore.
I would recommend buying smartphones outright and getting a sim separately, e.g. Giffgaff is excellent. Android is the best value for money, iPhones are overpriced for the features you get. We like the OnePlus handsets.

MongerTruffle Mon 16-Oct-17 06:47:09

I recommend Mobiles.co.uk. It’s owned by Dixons Carphone but is much cheaper. I recently got an iPhone 7 on O2 with 3GB data, unlimited texts and minutes for £27 a month, £75 upfront. Techradar (make

MongerTruffle Mon 16-Oct-17 06:48:09

sure you are on the UK site) have some great advice and deals.

MongerTruffle Mon 16-Oct-17 06:49:53

Bear in mind also that Apple products are not good value for money. I’m just an Apple sheep.smile

Hippee Mon 16-Oct-17 06:52:30

Thanks Kpo - it's useful to know about Windows being poor for apps (obviously I'm not bothered about that but DS1 would be). Ditto for data - I currently have very little, DH has unlimited and DS1 would want unlimited (which would hopefully solve the problem of exceeding his allowance). Happy to buy phones and go for SIM only - just adds more decisions to be made though. Not wedded to EE - in fact coverage is patchy in this area, though I'm not sure any other network is much better.

Does anyone have experience of Tesco or 3 for family packages?

Hippee Mon 16-Oct-17 06:55:14

Just seen MrsJamin's comment about Windows phones sad.

Pickleypickles Mon 16-Oct-17 06:56:46

I agree stay as far away from windowss phones as you can, i had one last time (after having many before than as well) and it was the worst experience with a phone ever. After arguing crying and begging EE they took it back after 5 months it was that crap.

Petalbird Mon 16-Oct-17 06:58:08

Go with android phones if you want the same platform much more choice for your ds. If you are really clueless about makes models and contracts try a few phone shops see what they say and offer (and to let your ds play on the phones he may find something cheaper he likes)

speakout Mon 16-Oct-17 06:58:22

I hate Apple, Both my kids have iphone 7s.

Pickleypickles Mon 16-Oct-17 06:58:57

Samsungs are good your DS would probably like a samsung.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 16-Oct-17 07:04:52

I know I’m a sheep... but Apple is great for the Family Sharing and Find My Friends. I can track DS so I can give him a bit more freedom and I can see exactly what he’s got apps wise.

Jessicabrassica Mon 16-Oct-17 07:08:05

We got a good deal with BT. Sim only but 2 phones almost unlimited data £30 a month. It's not much more to add a third sim iirc.

Hippee Mon 16-Oct-17 07:09:13

Thanks so much for everyone's replies so far - does anyone have any family contract suggestions?

TwatteryFlowers Mon 16-Oct-17 07:11:42

My sister had a windows phone and hated it for the reason described above. She found it so frustrating every time there wasn't specific app she wanted and it wasn't available.
I think that there are more free apps in the Android playstore. You're also able to swap & change phones and devices on Android so you don't all have to have the same thing; for example I have an HTC and dh has a Google Pixel but we're able to swap info between us easily.

MistressDeeCee Mon 16-Oct-17 07:11:51

I didn't get on well with Windows phone I found it limiting. Just bought a Moto E4plus for £140 its a good phone, DCs have Samsung Galaxy S7, no difference in performance to mine except mine has much longer battery life. Look on 1 site for phone reviews you don't need to look at loads, Tech Radar is good. I have Sky sim only contract which suits well. If I didn't, Id go with 3 as they have some good deals

MyOtherProfile Mon 16-Oct-17 07:13:40

Our kids have our hand me down phones or reconditioned androids and Giff gaff. Cheap and efficient.

cornerstoned Mon 16-Oct-17 07:25:11

what do you use the phone for? if it is just the usual stuff like calling, WhatsApp, some surfing and taking pics, then I would never ever spend ££££ on s Samsung etc plus get into an expensive contract.

I have currently a BLU (for just over £100 from Amazon). works just as well as my friends branded phones and I am on £7.50 monthly with giffgaff.

ethelfleda Mon 16-Oct-17 07:37:18

Can definitely recommend 3 mobile. They are fantastic

A year ago I switched from Apple to android in the form of a Samsung s7. It's a bloody awful phone, I hate it!! And another year to go until I can go back to Apple!

ShakeShakeTheMuffin Mon 16-Oct-17 08:20:33

OnePlus user here too. They are very good value phones. The new models cost around £400 which isn't cheap but the specs are amazing for the price.

TwoBlueFish Mon 16-Oct-17 09:13:47

Giffgaff doesn’t have a family plan but you do get free calls to other giffgaff users.

My DH has recently bought a WileyFox phone, it’s Android with all the bells and whistles of a more expensive big brand phone and he’s really happy with it (he’s techie and did loads of research).

GiffGaff runs in the O2 network.

Doing pay as you go sim only for your son means you shouldn’t have unexpected extra bills.

Hippee Mon 16-Oct-17 23:20:48

Thanks everyone - you've given us plenty to think about.

Flaming Mon 16-Oct-17 23:25:43

I have tesco mobile contracts for the whole family, you choose your tariff and then you can cap it so they can’t go over it. My eldest 2 would have us eating beans on toast for a month with their data usage and no cap. Agree with above, stick with android or iPhone for best apps smile

amicissimma Mon 16-Oct-17 23:32:31

DH and I have Samsungs of various numbers and have always loved them.

After an unfortunate incident involving a toilet DS now has a Moto G5, which seems to be a Lenovo. He's quite geeky but says it compares well with previous Samsungs.

We buy upfront (from GiffGaff) and then use GiffGaff. The thing to do is try to guage how much access you want and thus how much you will spend per month on Goodybags. Then divide the cost of the phone by 24, add the Goodybag cost and see how that compares with the monthly cost on contract for the amount of data/calls/texts you want (having 'lots' that you'll never use is a waste of money; no point in 'just in case' because you can top up Goodybags early should you use more one month). Bear in mind that if you mostly use your phone to contact each other and you're all on GiffGaff, the calls will be free.

I think Plusnet have recently introduced a mobile service. You could see if that's a good deal if you're already a customer.

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