recommend prepaid cell phone for UK?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Macky-Mac, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I'm going to be in London for a bit and I'm thinking of getting a pre-paid cell phone to use while I'm in Los Angeles I use Virgin Mobile for my modest cell phone needs, and it's been just fine......what do you UK people think? any recommendations? Is Virgin Mobile a good choice in the UK? or are there others I should consider?
  2. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    I've used Virgin for about four years now, and I've no complaints at all about them. Good service and coverage. Plus, loads of shops sell the pay-as-you-go Virgin vouchers so finding somewhere to get your phone topped up wouldn't be difficult.
  3. MacDonaldsd macrumors 65816


    Sep 8, 2005
    London , UK
    Virgin or 02 are the best in the UK ,IMO

    I have used both on pre-pay and had no problems with ether.
  4. R.Youden macrumors 68020


    Apr 1, 2005
    Another vote for O2, great offers and great customer service.
  5. XIII macrumors 68040


    Aug 15, 2004
  6. zami macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2003
    South London
    T-Mobile (or Virgin) for London, best reception. Orange for international calls (the cheapest).
  7. Lau Guest

    Ive used Orange and Vodafone without any problems. From what other people have said above, it looks as if any major provider is going to be fine, so you might want to look for the cheapest handset.

    Having said that, the only provider you do want to steer clear of is "3". I'm not sure if they do prepaid, but just in case - do not use them! I have known numerous people have huge problems with them, and they have been terrible at sorting problems out.
  8. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Yeah, avoid 3 if you want to actually enjoy your stay ;) That said, they have some extremely cheap handsets (as in -0.01p) that you buy with a £30 topup... a price they offer by glueing the SIM cards into the handsets!

    I'd personally recommend Vodafone. They're our oldest network and are known for having the widest and most robust coverage. I wouldn't discount T-Mobile (or Virgin) in London though, as their use of the 1800MHz frequency over Vodafone's majority 900MHz use gives them higher capacity in built-up areas.

    You can't go too far wrong, but I'd advise one of the cheap Nokia's if you want a hassle-free experience. This one should do you just fine!
  9. Lau Guest

    Heh heh - that's my phone! :D It's been good - reliable and was dirt cheap.
  10. captainbeefheat macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2006
    I switched from Orange to O2 during the summer and they seem good. Orange always seemed on the expensive side and didn't offer the services that O2 do. Most people I know seem to be on O2 .
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I'm from Los Angeles too.

    I'm living in Manchester at the moment. When I came over I got a cheap Vodaphone, and just put money on it as I go. The pre-paid phone is a good way to go. I don't use my phone that much, and for calling home I use iChat, it works great.

    Most people here use pre-paid, and they text alll the time. Quite different from America.
  12. captainbeefheat macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2006
    I don't know most people I know are on contract, seems a better deal to me anyway. With pay as you go you got to buy the phone which is usually 100-200 and then you got to pay for your calls. With contract you get a free phone worth around 200 or 300, then 15 plus each month including free calls and txt. Plus you get a brand spanking new phone with all the new stuff each year. if your here for a year I'd go for a contract.
  13. Lau Guest

    I think it depends on what you want. My phone cost £20 and I usually top up about £10, sometimes £15, a month. If you want a really flashy phone and expect to make a lot of calls, a contract might be a good idea, but if you just want a phone that's cheap and that phones and texts people, and aren't going to be making loads of calls and sending loads of texts, I would advise pay-as-you-go (prepaid).
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    I got my phone for 30 quid. Brand new at a Vodaphone store. Basic Nokia. I still say pre-paid.

    I would say go with the contract thing too if he is gonna be in the UK for more than a year or two. I wouldn't get a contract for only being in the UK for a year or less.
  15. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    If you buy an O2 genie simcard, you get 300 free txts ev every month if you top up by £10 or more.
    NOTE: The free texts run out after 31 days
  16. captainbeefheat macrumors regular

    Jan 21, 2006
    ok yeah if you are going for a basic phone then I will aggree. I guess I just like everything but the kitchen sink in my phone! But stuff like bluetooth and being able to download java stuff on your phone I see as esstiental items, can you get that with a 30 quid phone yet? Plus a camera phone is so so useful i think they all have that now don't they, even the dirt cheap ones?

    Speaking of which i need to get myself a new phone, currently have the samsang D500, excellent phone baring it is probably the only phone that doesn't work with isync :mad: so that was a great choice...
  17. alienex macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2005
    I used Orange and Vodafone and Orange in my opinion had MORE reception and was easier and cheaper. Vodafone had strong reception but not everywhere like Orange.

    Tangent. I love London. Oh how I miss it.
  18. JMGvtec03 macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Does vodaphone work in Switzerland aswell... I will be going to europe next week and and going to be mainly in switzerland but will be traveling all over and want to make calls back to US what is the best place for me to get the phone... I will be there for 2.5 weeks...


  19. Bbusyb macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2009
    Notts, UK / Alex, Egypt
    Depend on what you want the phone for

    If its mainly to make calls locally then Any company will do though I've had good experiences on Prepaid with T-Mobile, Orange, O2 and 3 (Never used Vodafone as their plans were always more expensive for what I wanted)

    If you plan to make a lot of calls back to the US then you need to consider you choices more carefully. Orange Offers a plan which offers Direct calls back to the US starting at 5 Pence a minute and prices to other destinations are competitive. T-Mobile offers you the choice of buying a bundle of minutes where the cost is similar but if you don't have th bundle the cost is quiet high. O2 offers a international caller plan which gives you a number of international minutes depending on the amount of Topup you put in as well as aaddon which is monthly charge (Think £5) but gives you discounted international calls on any international calls you make on any plan.

    While other have had problems with 3, I've used a 3 Skypephone extensively over the last year and a half and found service was pretty good. The advantage of going with Three is that you can get free Skype calls anywhere you have a phone signal, and can be reached by Friends and family anywhere you are (Add in a Skype in number and you should just be a local number for your friends and family back home). International calls are also Dirt cheap as you can Skype Out for international calls, and it's proved to be areal boon as I often need to make a lot of international calls.

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