Tested by Teenagers

Contributed by Stuart Goodman- L2MC

We reduced our monthly company mobile phone bill from £180 to £51 and got 3 impressive new Smartphones at no cost.

It is widely accepted that the best value is to be had on a SIM only deal.

All our O2 SIM only contracts are from Carphone Warehouse Business, are 24 months and have unlimited UK calls and texts.  The monthly cost depends on how much data you need.  1GB data costs £14 monthly, 3GB £17 (this is the one I recommend for most people), 5GB £20, 10GB £25 and 20GB £32.  I have no idea how you get through 20GB, but I ain’t no teenager!!

The cunning SIM only plan often falls apart when you buy the handset, as the latest Apple or Samsung Smartphone will cost north of £600.  Even though you still save overall, it’s a lot to pay upfront.

However there are a number of prominent smartphone manufacturers in China, that produce phones of a very high quality at a third of the price or even less.  The reason you may not have heard of them, is up until recently they have mainly supplied the local market.  Names like Xiaomi (pronounced Show Mee), Cubot, and Doogee (not to be pronounced dodgy!).  Xiaomi are the 3rdlargest manufacturer on smatphones globally and are worth $45B.

We have been using online reviews and buying phones to test under strict laboratory conditions.  OK, I ‘ve had my 15 year old son try each one.  Some of you may have read my recent blogs on Linked In Pulse “Tested by Teenagers”.  In true teenage style, we are giving a grunt rating.  One grunt for good and two for go away!  So far we have found all phones have performed very well.  They also look and feel very similar to all main brands.  As the handsets are far cheaper, we can afford to supply a free phone with every SIM only contract.  This way you get the best of both worlds, keen rates and no upfront cost.

The next potential risk is what happens if it goes wrong?  I was on an Xiaomi group on Facebook and found an expert firm.  I was expecting to need a Chinese translator, but his name was James from Devon.  His firm have agreed to fix any phones that are out of 12 months warranty.  The ones that are still in warranty, we will send back to the company in China to fix and supply a loan phone while the phone is being fixed.

Lastly, you need to protect yourself from hackers and viruses.  We recommend McAfee for £3 monthly (covers up to 5 phones).

I am always available to talk things through on 0800 833 599.

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