iPhone 6 - First Time buying in UK

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by beatledud, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. beatledud macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2006
    Hello All,

    I moved to the UK a year ago and have been using my iPhone 5 from the states on PAYG (and 3G only). I was hoping to replace with an iPhone 6 and preorder this Friday.

    I did some research about 5s plans the past few months and I now understand that its much more transparent here on what your monthly bill is (one portion is for the service, another is for the phone). It seemed that the amount you truly paid on the phone varied quite a bit per carrier, but maybe that was because the 5s was old and some discounted it more than others. Does all the carriers tend to have the same options for upfront cost and payment over a contract? Historically what are those amounts?

    I'm also curious what most people recommend for carriers in London. Theoretically it should be the hot spot for all of them. I tried Three for the first couple months here. I found that their 3G network was just too slow. I've since been on Tmobile 3G via EE. At the time they wouldn't even give me a 30 day contract due to my lack of UK credit history, that may have changed now. But I find quite often that even with full bars I consistently have little to no internet connection on a daily basis at my office in central London and sometimes at home in East London, even on weekends when there's no one around. Perhaps it would be like going from AT&T where 3G was overloaded but 4G ran like a dream everywhere anytime.
  2. RTWG macrumors regular


    Sep 12, 2008
    I think the cost for the phone can vary depending on which plan you take with which carrier, but ultimately they're all going to be relatively similar.

    As for networks, I thoroughly recommend Three. I moved from O2 to Three two years ago and I have found Three to be so much faster. They also don't charge a premium for 4G.
  3. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    Ok, having dealt with all of the major networks I would recommend them thusly

    EE - NO. They have bad customer service, expensive tariffs and are just a bit awful.
    Tmobile and Orange - No 4g, part of EE
    Vodaphone - Pay a bit more, get little more, good 4G, friendly CS
    Three - Cheapest, slowest, 2nd to worst CS, will give a contract (or two) to literally anyone
    O2 - Average price, good 4g, friendly enough CS.

    If you don’t know which to choose, choose O2. However, if you had credit issues, O2 may be your only choice unfortunately.
  4. solosdk macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    I second this.

    Also Three are the cheapest network as well as the only network offering truly unlimited 4G data. All other networks have GB limits.

    Three have ALWAYS provided me with good customer service. They don't have bad CS at all.
  5. anthdci macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2009
    :rolleyes: apart from they offered the fastest 3G network out of them all. My iPhone5 on 3G (HSDPA) from three is nearly as fast as my iPad mini on EE (LTE) according to speedtest

    I regret getting my iPad on EE, it was the cheapest way to do it but I wish it was on three like my phone. They have been brilliant.
  6. allistera macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    I have been using EE/T-Mobile for 8 years, the past year, with moving to EE has been terrible! Phoned them a few times to change minute details of my contract only to be passed around and even hung up on from call centres in India. Like most companies these days they are only nice to you if they are trying to get a sale.

    There contracts seem to also be overpriced, I was first to jump onto the 4G bandwagon and only got 500mb @ 41£ a month. My own fault there though.

    They do have good points; their outdoor coverage is good. Online account portal is also fine.

    But hello vodafone.
  7. Tom8 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
    I've been on Tesco mobile, have been for 4 years now. £20 a month, unlimited data, texts and 250 minutes along with tethering. I have no complaints, doesn't include 4G but my area isn't particularly well covered at the minute so it's a non-issue
  8. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I was under the impression 3 stopped offering unlimited data a while ago now, also they have the worst coverage in the area in which the Op lived East London. Believe me I live there and tried them and could not wait to ditch them the data rates were less than 200Kbps most of the time.

    I use EE 4G personally and have great service from them I get five bars at home and get data rates of 20 meg up and down most of the time. I get tethering included in my plan but my plan only includes 3 Gig of data, unlimited voice and unlimited text sim only for £25.

    I never had a problem with their customer service and their call centre is in England with people that speak English. Spoke to them as recently as yesterday regarding travelling with my phone.
  9. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    I’m basing my statement of “slowest” on user experience, it may well be fastest on paper, but that was one of the most common user complaints I heard.
  10. solosdk macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    £25 is a lot of money for just SIM-only. I'm paying only £10 a month. With the cheaper price, I can deal with certain signal problems (I only get low signal sometimes). £25 is way too much. I have 2GB of 4G tetherable data, ultd texts, 200 any UK mins, 300 3-to-3 mins for only £10. Don't know how you can justify paying £15 p/m more for just 1 gigabyte and unltd minutes.
  11. brandscill macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    Three UK gets a vote for central London from me. 4G always gives a good speed everywhere I go.
  12. oVerboost macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2013
    United Kingdom
    Three is very good, £15 per month unlimited data (no fair usage rubbish), unlimited texts and a fair amount of calls included too. That's on a one month rolling contract. 4G at no extra cost and the fastest 3G speeds around usually. They have good CS, easy to deal with and easy to get a contract too.
  13. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    It depends where your priority lies. I could not use a contract with only 200 minutes. Also EE has the most extensive 4G network in the UK and also offer double speed 4G. While 3 will offer the upgrade to 4G for free they have very little 4G.

    My one year SIM only deal ends in 30 days and I will be looking for a new deal but recently saw EE offering 5G of data, unlimited voice and unlimited text for £21 and if still available will probably go that way. Price often depends on when you sign up I got my deal 11 months ago and prices have come down.

    Also as I said earlier I tried 3 and they were rubbish in the areas in which I wanted to use them. It is pointless to get a cheap contract with a carrier that does not work for you.
  14. solosdk macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    True dat
  15. quickcalibre macrumors regular


    Sep 20, 2013
    O2 has best signal coverage and speed but in my opinion 3 is best due to price.
  16. d123 macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2009
    Don't know where or who that user experience was, in my experience of usage between the Scottish Borders and London and most of the country inbetween on the east coast main line, Three is excellent, I often find their 3G to be quicker than 4G on other networks (>20Mbps), I've also found their customer service to be good enough, better than that offered by EE, that's for sure.

    It helps that I'm only paying £15 a month for 2000 minutes, 5000 texts and truly unlimited data that I can tether with no fair use limit.
  17. Lostanddamned macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2009
    London, UK
    Oh yeah, price wise they are unbeatable. I’d recommend O2 or 3.
  18. beatledud thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2006
    This is where I'm kind of leaning. The fact that EE has "double" 4G speeds available are nice, but who knows if you actually get it and is it worth their higher tariffs and the fact I may not get a contract with them.

    For the record, I'm looking at 4G speeds and not 3G. I've tried 3G on both and found both to be rubbish. But that could all change when you switch to 4G as the network infrastructure/back end tends to be different. Also when I had Three 3G I also had no home internet, making the knowledge of it not working at home that much frustrating. I do know that EE doesn't work in Aldgate standing outside with full bars on 3G network, but again 4G could change that.

    I do also know that EE 3G throughout rest of London just gets stuck and sucks my battery dry sometimes.

    As for phone pricing and what that might add to your monthly bill, I'm still interested. I realize that it would be cheaper to buy outright but not sure I have the cash on hand to give them that much. Guess I could check to see if my credit card interest rate is better than what the network ends up charging me of course.

Share This Page