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where can i buy DGD a ready to use smartphone tomorrow?

(24 Posts)
mutterphore Wed 15-Apr-15 14:02:39

I am a smartphone novice. My grand-daughter will be 13 next week and I promised her mum I'd buy her a smartphone - but I've only got one day to get out to the shops - tomorrow.

Where can I buy a ready to use smartphone tomorrow? Ideally, her mum (daughter-in-law) wants me to get her a Moto G PAYG and I'm thinking Tescos - but have no idea whether you can just go in a store and buy a phone that is ready to use?

She just needs something that she can top up from time to time but not get caught up in any contract. We've checked the network cover for our area and 4G doesn't work but 2G and to a lesser extent 3G should be OK.

My budget is around £130.00 to £150.00.

Hoping someone more technical than I am can come along and give me some advice please. I just want to be able to hand her a parcel that she can unwrap and then be up and running with her smartphone.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 15-Apr-15 14:03:53

Yes tesco, I'm sure or Argos? That's a good phone btw

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Wed 15-Apr-15 14:05:16

Don't forget to make sure it's a sim free phone and buy her a sim too smile

GlitterTwinkleToes Wed 15-Apr-15 14:05:35

All shops have pay as you go phones available to take away that day.
I would recommend three, they have their own brand of smartphone (roughly about £70) as well as others. I pay £15 a month for 300 mims, unlimited texts and all you can eat data! This is a lot less then what j would pay if I was contracted.
It would be worthwhile finding out what your DGD will be using the phone mostly for, social media, games, music as the sales rep will be able to point you out to a good phone if you tell them your budget smile

Seeline Wed 15-Apr-15 14:06:13

Carphone warehouse have always been really helpful in my experience

WannabeLaraCroft Wed 15-Apr-15 14:11:30

If there is a Carphone Warehouse near you, you can go in there to ask for advice, they've always been pretty helpful to me in the past, and know their stuff.

I recently bought 2 new ones for colleagues to use for work - they were Bush ones from Argos and only £50 each, they do the trick. You also get a free SimCard with them, and you can choose either Vodafone, O2, EE, etc.

Tesco are very good too, if they have a designated phone shop. Just don't be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you aren't paying too much for things that aren't going to be necessary. ie at 13 years old I'm sure she'll want one with a decent camera on it, lots of storage space for apps and pictures etc.

And don't be afraid to research a bit on the internet first. Go onto the tesco mobile website , or the carphone warehouse website and have a look around at PAYG phones there, it might be worth it so that you have something in mind before you hit the shops.

Good luck!

AndWhenYouGetThere Wed 15-Apr-15 14:31:44

I dropped my old phone down the loo, and managed to get one at Tesco that same afternoon - no trouble at all.

I second/third.fifth the recommendation for Tesco.

mutterphore Wed 15-Apr-15 14:32:21

What helpful people you all are. Many thanks. I've had a look at the Tesco website and the Moto G for £139 looks perfect.

Now to reveal my complete ignorance, what is the advantage of buying a SIM free phone or a SIM included phone?

If I buy a phone at Tescos or Carphone warehouse or Vodafone, does this automatically mean that the operating system is the one from that store? Sorry, I'm not even sure if I'm asking the right questions here.

I've got a non-smart tiny Samsung mobile myself from a Vodafone store and the man in the shop just set up the whole thing for me and I was ready to use it. I'm looking for something as simple as this for DGD - but a smartphone - where they can do everything needed in the shop and I can just walk out and wrap it up ready for her to use.

I know we have a Tescos nearby and a Vodafone shop and also a Virgin Media store. Her mum and I have Virgin Media packages (not including mobile phones) and I think we can get a SIM added to that but I think that might be complicated and slow down the process of just buying a smartphone and having it ready to use that same day?

FlaviaAlbia Wed 15-Apr-15 14:38:53

Yep, Tesco are good and I'm pretty sure the phones they sell on their own network aren't locked to that network.

If you buy a Vodafone or EE payg it'll be locked to their networks so you won't be able to use, for example, a giffgaff sim in it. However if you find that you get a better deal by buying one that's locked, you can take it to a local phone shop and get it unlocked for about £10. I've just bought a Samsung galaxy s4 mini handset without a sim from Vodafone for £130 and paid £10 to get it unlocked.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 15-Apr-15 14:40:28

an unlocked phone can be used on any network. giffgaff is great for kids but you have to order their sims

she could start off with a Tesco sim & then switch - either starting again with a new number or keeping the one she got from Tesco

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 15-Apr-15 14:41:47

although Tesco uses O2's network & so does giffgaff so even if you get one locked to Tesco she could still switch to giffgaff

FlaviaAlbia Wed 15-Apr-15 14:49:04

Sorry, it took me so long to type that we cross posted!

The advantage of buying a sim free phone is mainly so you can choose your own network. It can be cheaper to make calls to the same network on payg, so if she's mostly going to be ringing her mum or her friends it might be best to go for the same network that they're on.

I'm guessing that at 13 your DGD is going to be using social media and apps likes what's app to talk to her friends so you'd want to look for a sim deal that has good rates on data allowance.

The operating system is determined by the phone. You've got 2 main ones, ioS which is used by Apple products, and Android which is used by most of the rest (including the motoG). There's also windows but it's not as common.

BertieBotts Wed 15-Apr-15 14:51:40

If you want pay as you go, then it's of no benefit to get a Virgin Media sim card. I'd just go into Tesco and ask for the phone you want on pay as you go and they'll put the sim card in and you're ready to go.

Operating system is the wrong word there - you mean network. For the big four networks - Orange (now EE), O2, Vodafone and 3, if you buy from their stores, the phone will be locked into that network and you won't be able to change the sim card later. All other networks "piggyback" off another network - like if you use a smaller landline phone provider, it often uses the BT phone lines to provide your calls. In fact I'm not entirely sure whether Virgin is a standalone phone network or whether it piggybacks.

General shops like Curry's, Tesco, Argos, and mobile phone shops which offer a selection of networks (carphone warehouse, Phones 4 u) will carry both locked phones and "unlocked" phones which can accept any sim card. But I think that you don't need to worry about whether or not the phone is network locked. In any case, it's possible for any phone sold in the UK to be network unlocked later for a small fee. It's likely that once you've bought the phone, with the sim card, you won't want to be taking it out and changing it anyway, so I'd just go in and ask for the best price.

What you might want to find out from mum is what DGD is likely to use the phone for? The different networks have different deals, so it's whether she wants cheap calls, cheap texts or cheap internet that might sway the decision one way or another. If she plans to travel with school or holidays, you might ask about roaming rates, but I think there won't be a huge difference.

Coverage (signal) on all networks is pretty much similar everywhere in the UK now.

Hope that helps? Anything else? (I used to work in a mobile phone shop smile)

WannabeLaraCroft Wed 15-Apr-15 14:53:28

A Sim free phone would probably be more advantageous as her or her mum can decide what network to go with. Perhaps better to discuss that with her mum first.

If you buy a phone from Tesco it won't necessarily be a Tesco network. Most PAYG phones are similar price regardless of which network, don't be afraid to ask the assistants smile

I think that getting a Sim added on would probably take a few days, as I assume they'd need to send it out. However, you can but ask in the shop.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 15-Apr-15 14:54:36

Giffgaff packages are great value

WannabeLaraCroft Wed 15-Apr-15 14:54:57

Oops X-post.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 15-Apr-15 14:55:45

I'm in a 24-month contract with O2 until next year but once it's done I think I'll be switching to giffgaff!

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 15-Apr-15 14:58:58

If she's going to be wanting to send picture texts, make sure she & her friends all install whatsapp - most (all?) mobile networks charge extra to send a picture message (about 40p a time?) but they're free on whatsapp

BertieBotts Wed 15-Apr-15 15:11:37

Don't worry too much about network, or whatsapp etc - she'll work that out herself really. I'd ask the shop assistant what different networks they have and which one's best and go with that.

BertieBotts Wed 15-Apr-15 15:12:54

No 13 year old sends picture messages anyway smile They use facebook or snapchat!

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Apr-15 16:54:41

BB - Three now does not lock mobiles.

Also, might be worth looking at the Moto E (unlocked from any specific network, available at Argos - item 226/8187). It is about half the price and not quite as large (some people don't get on well with a phone with a 5" screen and an overall size that is big to hold... and that includes adults, not just pre-teens).

It may be a sensible 'starter' phone and then an upgrade can be to the Moto G later on... and if anything happened to it in the first year, not such a large cost to replace.

Sorry if I sound like Scrooge, but have seen chatter on another thread about phones, and the Moto E would still, hopefully, fit the bill, while leaving an upgrade in a year that's still within budget smile

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Apr-15 16:58:21

(s/pre-teens/teens).... my mistake.

OK, Moto G with stereo speakers may be the dream phone, in that price range smile

(I have the XT1068 - the 3G, Dual SIM, 2015 model with 5" screen, and very pleased with it.)

NetworkGuy Wed 15-Apr-15 16:59:40

but I'd still suggest getting an unlocked one (easier to sell later when upgrading, and not be tied to any specific network if a great deal comes up).

markallen09089 Mon 11-May-15 07:41:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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