Our Most Popular Pay As You Go Phones
What is a pay as you go phone?
There are three ways to pick up a new mobile phone: get a mobile contract deal; buy a handset outright and a SIM-only plan; or buy a pay-as-you go (PAYG) handset.
When you buy a pay-as-you go handset, you are buying the phone outright, and a pay as you go SIM to go with it. Instead of getting a set allowance of call minutes, texts and data each month as you do with a mobile contract deal, with pay as you go you will only pay for the minutes, texts and data you use.
It's generally seen as the most flexible arrangement and good for light phone users, but if you're a heavy data user or make a lot of calls, it won't be the best value option.
Use our price comparison table to find and compare the best pay as you go handset deals. You can search by handset, filter by network and retailer and click through to grab a deal.
Some pay-as-you go handset deals require you to buy a top-up during purchase. If so, this top-up cost is included in the price we quote.
What are the benefits of buying a pay as you go phones?
A pay as you go handset deal means you can forget about being tied into a lengthy mobile phone contract. With pay as you go, once you've paid the initial handset cost, you only pay for what you use. So you top up your phone with credit as and when you run out of minutes, texts and data. It's a good way to save money.
Pay as you go also gives you greater flexibility as there is no monthly charge and there is no credit check either, as with a monthly contract.
It's a great arrangement if you are a light mobile phone user - particularly if you're not bothered about data and are mainly concerned with call minutes and texts. Also, a pay as you go handset makes for a great back-up phone, if you're a little protective of that brand-new iPhone.
What are the drawbacks of buying a pay as you go phone?
A pay as you go handset deal works best when you're a light-to-moderate phone user. If you use a lot of data - streaming music, watching videos and using social media - you should probably consider a mobile contract deal that has a decent or unlimited data allowance, as pay as you go will work out expensive.
If you're looking to spread your costs, you should probably consider other options, as pay as you go handsets can come with a sizeable cost up front, as you are buying the handset outright. This is particularly true for top-of-the-range handsets, though the upfront cost will be lower for older models.
Also, you will generally pay slightly higher call and text charges with a pay as you go deal - and there's always the chance you will run out of credit, which means you won't be able to make any calls or send texts until you top up.
Find a cheap Apple iPhone 8 Plus 256GB pay as you go phone deal
On the PAYG Phones page you can search for a range of handsets from a specific manufacturer. If you're looking for a Apple iPhone 8 Plus 256GB handset, then check our price comparison tool to find the best PAYG handset deals.
Find a pay as you go phone by manufacturer
You can also filter by retailer and network to find a pay as you go deal that works for you. If you are interested in a phone by a particular manufacturer, then head up to the top of the deals table, click on the dropdown box labelled 'Handset' and scroll down to your chosen manufacturer e.g. Samsung, and select '--- all Samsung ---' to see all models by that manufacturer. Same goes for pay as you go Apple phones, pay as you go Huawei phones and any other brand of phone.
Compare and search SIM-only deals
If you decide to buy a pay as you go phone, you may also consider a separate SIM-only deal to go with it. Here are your SIM-only deal options:
- Pay as you go SIMs - If you're heavy phone user Pay as you go (PAYG) SIMs can be pricey, where you top up with credit and are charged per minute. It's cheaper to opt for a PAYG bundle - which includes a quota of minutes, texts and data with your credit once you've topped up. Find the best pay as you go SIM-only deals
- Short-term SIM deals - A rolling 30-day SIM-only contract is a great option if you're looking for a flexible mobile plan. You can use your SIM card in any unlocked phone and you're only tied in for one month. Find Short-term SIM-only deals
- SIM-only deals with cashback - If you're after a little extra with your mobile deal, compare SIM-only deals that include a cashback bonus. You can filter by network and select your minutes, texts and data requirements. Find SIM-only deals with cashback
Use the price comparison table to compare SIM-only deals. You can search by network, contract length and set your minutes, texts and data requirements to find the best SIM-only deals available.
Can pay as you go Apple iPhone 8 Plus 256GB phones be used on any network?
If you go for a network bundle with your new pay-as-you go handset, you are tied to that network but have the flexibility to move onto another network after 30 days. Alternatively, if you decide on a SIM-only deal with an unlocked handset, this means you are free to use any network.
Networks that offer pay as you go handsets include EE, O2, Three, Vodafone, Virgin and giffgaff.
Find refurbished Apple iPhone 8 Plus 256GB phones
One way to reduce your costs is with a refurbished handset of last year's model - it's a significantly cheaper option than paying the full price of a new release handset from, say, Apple or Samsung. A refurbished phone is basically one that used to belong to someone else and has since been overhauled, tested and had its settings reset. Find refurbished phone deals
Unlocked pay as you go phones
Regardless of the deal you go for, an unlocked refurbished phone is a handset that can be used on any network. Whether you opt for a new phone or a refurbished one, you can buy a pay as you go handset that is SIM-free, which means it is not locked to a specific network. You're free to mix and match your handset with any network provider - with one exception. An Apple device will lock to the first SIM provider inserted, so it's important you always check the small print.
Can I keep my number?
Yes, it's easy to keep your number. Once you've decided on your new mobile contract, you'll need to ask your existing network for a PAC code (Porting Authorisation Code). It's usually three letters and six numbers long and won't cost you a thing. You now have 30 days to pass this code to your new network.