Our Samsung comparison tool helps find the right model and tariff for your usage and budget. If you're looking for an iPhone, use the iPhone comparison tool. Or, if you're a true MoneySaver, see Cheap Mobiles, which covers all handsets.
Warning! This table is automatically generated. Please double check prices before signing up – email us with any problems, suggestions or missing tariffs.
Warning! The results table is automatically generated. Please double check prices before signing up – email us with any problems, suggestions or missing tariffs.
Want a top end smartphone, but don't have a budget that stretches to an Apple iPhone? Samsung's range of Galaxy phones offers similar technology at a massively cheaper price.
Our Samsung comparison tool and guide will help you find the right phone and tariff for your usage and budget. If you do want an iPhone, use our iPhone comparison tool to find the cheapest deal.
If you're not bothered about having the latest smartphone, and you want a MoneySaving mobile, read the Cheap Mobiles guide for tips on how to minimise your bills.
Ask yourself what you really want from your phone, and what features are important to you. Below we've compared the features for each model.
Though only just released, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is already being dubbed the new king of smartphones by techy review sites such as Tech Radar and GSM Arena.
It comes with the latest Android operating system (Jelly Bean), and a 5in screen, an inch bigger than the screen of its rival, the iPhone 5.
Though it's an upgrade of its predecessor, the S3, in a few aspects (bigger screen, better camera), Samsung has kept the plastic body and many of the other features of the S3. It's expected S3 prices will drop drastically in the next few weeks, so if you're not bothered about having the latest tech, stick with the slightly more MoneySaving S3.
Who would this phone suit? If you're an early adopter who must have the latest technology as soon as it's available, then you'll have to cough up a lot of cash to get the handset, as the best deals will be offered to those who can pay more upfront.Galaxy S4 top picks Compare all Galaxy S4 deals
According to BillMonitor, 74% of people are on the wrong contract. Use too few minutes, data or texts and you'll overpay for the contract each month. Yet go over your allowance and the extra charges are costly.
Analyse how many minutes, texts and how much data you're likely to use to get the right tariff. If you're new to smartphones, expect to use much more data than before. Here's a rough guide, based on figures from BillMonitor, to help you determine which kind of user you are:
- Low user. Uses about 100 mins, 100 texts and 100MB of data per month
- Average user. Uses about 200 mins, 200 texts and 500MB of data per month
- High user. Uses about 500 mins, 1,000 texts and 1GB of data per month
For info on how to calculate your exact usage, read the Cheap Mobiles guide.
Unless you're a heavy user, a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) handset with a Sim-only deal is usually the cheapest option. There are many one-month rolling contract Sim-only deals available, so you're not tied in - you only pay for what you use. See Sim-only deals for the best.
Already have a Sim-only deal from an old phone? Unless you buy a handset for that network, to put it in a new PAYG handset you'll need to "unlock" the handset from its pre-set network provider. For some phones this can be free, or it could cost up to £30 - for more info, see Mobile Unlocking.
There's no contract (where the networks make their money) attached to PAYG handsets. So the difference in price between networks and retailers is pretty slim. Below is a table of PAYG Samsung phones from each of the six big networks:
|PAYG Samsung phones|
|S4||S3||S3 Mini||S2||Note 2||Note||Ace 2||Ace||Nexus|
|Tesco||N/A||N/A||£279*||£378*||N/A||N/A||N/A||£94*||N/A||Compare other retailers||Compare S4 prices||Compare S3 prices||Compare S3 Mini prices||Compare S2 prices||Compare Note 2 prices||Compare Note prices||Compare Ace 2 prices||Compare Ace prices||Compare Nexus prices|
The PAYG handsets may also be cheaper from other retailers, like Argos or Play.com. Use the MegaShopBot to quickly compare prices.
4G, also know as LTE or Long Term Evolution, is a lightning-quick internet connection for mobile devices, which will allow you to surf the net on your phone at expected speeds of up to 20Mb (up to five times faster than 3G).
Samsung offers three phones that are 4G-ready: the LTE Note 2, the LTE S3 and the LTE S4. However, at the moment, the 4G service can only be used if you have a contract on the EE network (formerly Everything Everywhere, the parent company of T-Mobile and Orange).
Therefore, unless you're an early adopter who must have 4G access as soon as it's available, it's probably wise to hold off switching to an EE tariff when it launches. You may find yourself locked into a long tariff that isn't the cheapest on the market.
For full info, read the MSE News story on EE tariff prices.
More 4G tariffs are expected to arrive this summer from rival mobile providers. When they become available, we'll let you know in the free weekly email.
All Samsung Galaxy phones bar the S4, S3 and the Note 2 take a normal size Sim card. The S4, S3 and Note 2 take a micro-Sim (like Apple iPhones). The S2 has slots for both a normal and a micro-Sim, so you can choose.
If you've already got your perfect Sim-only deal and want to put your Sim card into a phone that takes a micro-Sim, speak to your network provider. It should give you a new micro-Sim for free.
12-month contracts usually work out cheapest overall, even though they often come with bigger upfront costs. But there are not many short contracts for high usage tariffs - you'll have to go for an 18- or 24-month contract.
12-month contracts also give you the flexibility to switch sooner, so if you want to upgrade your phone, you won't have to wait so long.
It's important to be aware that 12-month contracts usually come with an upfront cost. If you haven't got the cash to pay upfront for the phone, consider taking a longer contract with a "free" phone. See the spread the handset cost section below for more info.
What about high users? Unfortunately the majority of cheap contracts with a higher allowance have a longer contract attached, usually 24 months.
Paying more upfront for your new phone usually means a cheaper monthly contract. If you haven't got the ready cash though, a longer, 24-month contract may mean no initial outlay.
But look at overall value. Contracts with no upfront cost often mean paying more overall.
For example, an average user could get the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for just £17/mth if they pay £210 upfront for the phone (a total of £618 over the 24-month contract). But, with no upfront cost, the same deal is £27/month on a 24-month contract, making it £30 more overall.
The big plus is Sim-only contracts are usually cheaper, and shorter. Also, you won't pay a hidden extra monthly cost for the handset, so your tariff price and overall costs drop significantly. There may be a large initial outlay, though Samsung handsets are a lot cheaper than their Apple counterparts.
Below are the networks' best Sim-only offerings. Remember, if you're getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 or S4, you'll need a micro-Sim.
Our top pick Sim-only deal, Giffgaff*, offers a £15/mth pay-as-you-go option with 400 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited mobile data. Tethering is not allowed, however.
Giffgaff uses O2's network, so is available in most of the UK, but Sims will only work in phones that are unlocked or on O2. So if your phone is locked to Vodafone for example, you will need to get it unlocked to get Giffgaff to work in it.
Giffgaff Sim cards now come as "snappable" dual Sims, so they will work in phones which require a micro-Sim (the Galaxy S2 and the S3), as well as mobiles which just require a standard Sim.
Tesco Mobile's basic Sim-only deal costs £12.50/month on a 12-month contract. You get 250 mins to UK landlines and mobiles, 5,000 texts and 1GB of mobile data to use each month. Use over the monthly data allowance and you'll be charged 60p/MB.
Like Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile uses O2's network, so is available in most of the UK, but Sims will only work in phones that are unlocked or on O2. Read the Mobile Unlocking guide to find out how to unlock your phone.
Sims are available in standard and micro sizes.
If you want unlimited texting and surfing, Virgin Mobile's Sim-only* deal is worth a look. For £12/month on a 30-day rolling contract you get 1200 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB mobile data.
Although Virgin says it doesn't support tethering on this deal (ie, technical support) there's nothing to stop you from setting this up independently, providing you have a suitable handset.
Read more about tethering
Tethering effectively turns your mobile phone into a wireless mobile router. It uses the 3G signal on your phone to power the web on your laptop, tablet or e-book reader.
You'll need to have a 3G handset and mobile tariff that supports tethering. You can set your phone up to create a wi-fi hotspot, which you can then use with other wi-fi devices to get online wherever you are.
Once set up, any data you use will come out of your phone's monthly mobile data allowance.
Smartphones are fast becoming the norm and if you use your phone to constantly search the web, you need to watch the amount of data you use. As more data-hungry apps are released, it's fair to question whether you'll chomp through your data allowance quickly each month and wind up paying a wedge for more.
In reality though, you'll use far less than you think. BillMonitor research found that the average smartphone user managed to get through less than 500MB per month.
For checking emails, looking at Facebook and watching the odd YouTube video, 500MB should be more than enough.
To give you a rough idea, one of our techies, MSE Joe, has an iPhone 4 on Orange with a data allowance of 750MB/month. He doesn't use even half of this, averaging about 350MB of data a month using Spotify, Twitter, Facebook and email apps. He doesn't watch any videos, though.
Downloading videos, TV shows or other web-heavy apps may take you over your limit and incur heavy charges.
If you're worried about data use, try using the free Onavo app mentioned below.
Though there is an increasing number of tariffs offering 1GB+ and "unlimited" data, if you're an average user it's unlikely you'll really get through this much. Especially as free wi-fi hotspots are now just about everywhere.
Vodafone suggests a data allowance of 500MB will let you read and reply to approximately 100 emails, view 92 BBC News stories, AND browse around 44 mobile web pages every day.
However, heavy downloaders could end up paying out BIG if you exceed your download allowance. Some providers charge as much as 60p/MB if you go over your inclusive data limit.
Try the free app Onavo, which says it compresses data when web-browsing and using other apps such as Facebook and Twitter. This means the same amount of surfing will only use a fraction of your data allowance, avoiding any hefty fees.
More info about Onavo
Onavo says it can reduce data usage by 80% (we've not been able to verify this yet, but please leave your feedback in the Onavo forum discussion) and is secure as it doesn't store any of your info. It works in 90 countries, so can help minimise expensive roaming rates too.
What does it do? It can compress data for the following, meaning you should use less MB:
What does it not do? There are a number of things Onavo cannot compress, crucially:
How much does it cost? It's available free for Android, but Onavo says it will eventually start charging a fee for new and existing users. It will notify you before it decides to do this though.
Selling your old mobile could help you recoup some of the cost of your new one. There are two ways you can do this:
Flog your mobile for more
There's huge demand for second-hand mobiles, so it's very much a seller's market. Therefore, perhaps unsurprisingly, eBay* should be your first port of call if you're willing to put in a bit of (virtual) legwork. At the time of writing, an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 in decent nick could fetch around £250.
Flog your mobile in a hurry
If you want a guaranteed amount of cash to put towards your next handset (or something else entirely), mobile recycling sites are an easy option.
To save you the hassle of going door-to-door, our MobileValuer tool compares how much each of the big players will offer for your old phone, whether it's working or broken. Usually you'll get a bit less than what you'd get if you listed the phone on eBay. For example, the most you'd get for recycling a Galaxy S3 is £211.
Here are links to some of the most popular phones recycled for cash using the MobileValuer:
Accidents can and do happen. Because mobiles are worth so much more to us these days (and they cost a lot more), if you lose 'em, break 'em or have 'em nicked, it can be costly to replace them.
Insurers play on this fear with hefty prices and unnecessary cover. Yet you can get cheap insurance for your Samsung phone from £5/month.
Read the full Mobile Insurance guide for full info and best buys.
It's often possible to grab extra cashback on top when you sign up for a mobile phone contract. To get it, you need to sign up via a specialist cashback website rather than directly with the network provider. Cashback websites use affiliate links to generate revenue, so if they get paid when you sign up, you'll get paid.
Unfortunately this cash is never guaranteed, as sometimes cashback sites don't track deals in progress, so it's generally best to pick the right tariff first and view any cashback as an added extra. To find out more about how these sites can pay you, and how you can make the most of them, read the full Cashback Sites guide.
Retailer redemption cashback. Don't confuse cashback sites with cashback you can get directly through a retailer, through redemption. This kind of cashback isn't straightforward, and can often require you to send several copies of your monthly bills on certain days.
We rarely include these kinds of deals, unless they're super-cheap. If we do include them, they'll be mentioned in the free MoneySavingExpert.com weekly email.
Don't forget to check out second-hand models on eBay* and refurbished ones directly from your network. Make sure it's unlocked (see Mobile Unlocking for full info) though, so you can take advantage of super-cheap Sim-only tariffs.
Be warned though, you'll miss out on manufacturer warranties.
Some retailers, including Buy Mobile Phones and One Stop Phone Shop, automatically add insurance to a mobile phone contract when you sign up online, regardless of whether you want it or not.
This has stung quite a few MSE users, so be sure to read all the small print, thoroughly, before clicking the 'buy' button.
These insurance policies are normally more expensive than standard insurance, and as there's not usually an 'opt out' option, you must remember to cancel it as soon as you get your phone.
If you cancel over the phone, ask the company to email you with confirmation of the cancellation, so you have it in writing too.
Losing your mobile phone can be a nightmare of lost data, photos and contacts. Yet there are a number of easy ways to protect your mobile and data, many of which are free.
Regardless of how expensive your phone is, the info you've got stored on can also be mega-valuable, and it's a nightmare (and probably a lost cause) to retrieve contacts, photos, apps, games, messages and more back after losing a handset.
To beat this, free services exist to back up this crucial info before you lose it.
This type of back-up is becoming increasingly common. Plug in your phone to your computer and data is synced with a server, effectively saving it to be retrieved at a button push. Always check you know exactly which info is being stored, and if anything important is missed use a different route to save that.
Take a look at this step-by-step guide on Samsung's site for how to back up data.
Most modern phones will be supplied with a cable and some software to connect them to your computer. This software is usually designed to sync calendars and address books, but you can use it to store numbers too.
All smart phones now have a dedicated back up service, but these usually store stuff on the PC, not online, which could be a worry if your system crashes.
Samsung phones use KIES.
Orange also offers a backup service, called Memory Mate, but it charges you a one-off fee of £2.99 for the privilege (unless you are upgrading in store). Three Mobile and T-Mobile users should check the web-based options above.
Rather than using up your monthly download allowance, when you're out and about, find a free wi-fi hotspot to use instead.
McDonald's, Starbucks and Wetherspoon pubs all offer free wi-fi access, plus check My Hotspots, Free Hotspot, and Hotspot Locations for more. There are thousands of free, legal wireless hotspots around the UK. See the Free Wireless Internet guide for more info.
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