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Cheap Samsung phones

Comparison & Tips - Samsung S7, S7 Edge, S6 and S6 Edge

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Nick and Weleid | Edited by Steve N

Updated 8 Aug 2016

iPhones Samsung's flagship smartphones aren't Moneysaving but if you've got you heart set on one then have a look at our collection of tips to help you minimise the cost of a handst or contract.

Here we're concentrating on Samsung's top-end smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S7 and their Edge counterparts. The S8 is expected to launch next Spring, and we'll update this guide once it does. If you're after iPhone tips and tricks, check out our Cheap iPhone guide.

The top Samsung mobile need-to-knows

These extra tips could slice £100s more off your mobile bill. Starting with choosing the right tariff and handset, our guide takes you through cheap Sim-only options, plus it'll dial down your mobile insurance costs.

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.

Samsung mobile top picks

Here's a snapshot of the latest Samsung handsets' tariffs available at the time of writing. We've selected tariffs with a minimum of 3GB data and unlimited calls and texts but tariffs can change quickly so it's always worth checking what's out there for yourself. If you're after a different type of package you'll have check out a comparison site like MobilePhoneChecker.

Not sure what Samsung to go for? Take a look at find the right phone for you for some help and full specifications.

Unltd mins and texts, 4GB data: pay £32.99 upfront, £28/mth

Mobilephonesdirect*

EE

If you're looking for a 32GB S7 and can't afford the upfront costs, this may be the deal for you. It's for Three newbies only, via Mobilephonesdirect.co.uk* and comes with unlimited minutes and texts, and 4GB of 4G data on a 24-month contract.

It'll set you back £32.99 upfront and it's £28/mth from there (monthly costs may increase each year in line with inflation). If you use up all your data and need more, you'll need to buy a add-on starting at £2.50 for 250MB.

Unltd mins and texts, 3GB data: pay £100 upfront, £28.50/mth

Mobiles.co.uk*

EE

This tariff for a 32GB S7 Edge is a decent option if you're willing to pay an upfront cost. The deal is as ever for O2 newbies only, going via Mobiles.co.uk*.

It'll cost you £28.50/mth with £100 to pay upfront cost (monthly costs may increase each year in line with inflation). This 24-month contract comes with unlimited minutes and texts, as well as 3GB of 4G data. If you use up all your data and need more, you'll have to buy a bolt-on starting at £3 for 100MB.

Unltd mins and texts, 3GB data: £29.99 upfront, £26.50/mth

Three*

EE

If you don't need the newer S7 you may wish to consider S6. This deal for O2 newbies via Carphone Warehouse* is for the 32GB model of the S6 and is one of the best around for those who want this handset.

There's £29.99 to pay upfront and then it's £26.50/mth (monthly costs may increase each year in line with inflation). It comes with unlimited minutes and texts as well as 3GB of 4G data. If you use up your data and need more, you'll need to buy an add-on starting at £3 for 100MB.

Unltd mins and texts, 3GB data: £10 upfront, £26.50/mth

Mobiles.co.uk*

EE

The newer S7 Edge comes with a high price tag so if you like the Edge but want to pay slightly less, you may want to consider its predecessor, the S6 Edge. And with this deal, there's only £10 to pay upfront.

O2 newbies can get a 32GB S6 Edge via Mobiles.co.uk* for £26.50/mth (monthly costs may increase each year in line with inflation). Minutes and texts are unlimited and you get 3GB of 4G data. If you use up all your data and need more, you'll need to buy a bolt-on starting at £3 for 100MB.

Find the right phone for you

Samsung tends to launch its new flagship hansets around Springtime each year, they're likely to be faster than their predecessors and you can generally expect an upgrade to most of its features too.

However, they are unlikely to be cheap so the decision whether to grab one can be difficult. Below we've got a full round up to help you find the right handset for you.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Watch out for annual inflationary price rises

Under Ofcom's rules, providers are permitted to increase the monthly cost of mobile contracts by as much as the rate of inflation each year, as long as they are upfront about this and warn you before you sign up. All the major networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) now do this.

Adjustments are made in line with figures published in February each year based on the Retail Prices Index (a measure of inflation).

This year the RPI grew by 1.3% and all four major networks put up customers' monthly payments by the full 1.3% - EE in March, O2 in April, Three and Vodafone in May. Any bill you received after those dates will have reflected the increase.

Match your tariff to your usage

According to BillMonitor, 76% 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 type of user you are:

  • Low user. Uses about 250 mins, 250 texts and 250MB of data per month
  • Medium user. Uses about 500 mins, 500 texts and 1GB of data per month
  • High user. Uses about 1,000 mins, 1,000 texts and 3GB of data per month

For info on how to calculate your exact usage, read the Cheap Mobiles guide.

Some deals are only available to 'new customers'

Our top picks and on most deals on comparison sites are geared towards new customers of the relevant network. If you're already with that network, even if your existing contract is up, and you try to get the deal then technically you'll be 'upgrading' rather than taking out a new contract, and you may have to pay more as a result.

Of course, you can still get the deal if you take out a separate new contract. But if you do, frustratingly you won't be able to directly transfer your existing number across to your new phone.

There is one possible way round this, though it's a bit of work. What you can do is get the deal on a separate new contract, and also get yourself a free pay-as-you-go Sim from a different network. Port your existing number across to the free pay-as-you-go Sim, then port it again to the new contract once it's been set up. To port your number over you'll need to request a port authorisation code from your provider.

Buy a handset upfront and save

Unless you're a heavy user, a standalone handset with a Sim-only deal can often be 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 handset you'll need to "unlock" it 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.

You can get cheap handsets from retailers such as Argos or Play.com. Use the MegaShopBot to quickly compare prices.

Do you need 4G?

Most providers now offer 4G but before signing up, remember you'll need to have a 4G-ready handset and live in an area with 4G coverage.

4G offers a lightning-quick internet connection for mobile devices. You’ll be able to browse the web, download music and movies, and play games on your phone at speeds up to five times faster than 3G.

However, you may find it's a bit more expensive than 3G.

If speed isn't important to you, it's not essential. Also keep in mind if you travel around a lot, you'll need coverage in each area you visit.

Make sure you've the right size Sim

Differences in Sim card sizes

The S5, S4, S3 and Note 4 take a micro-Sim (like the Apple iPhone 4 and 4S). The S6 and S7 and the Edge models take a nano.

If you've already got your perfect Sim-only deal and want to put your Sim card into a phone that takes a micro or nano Sim, speak to your network provider. It should give you the right sized one for free.

Spread the handset cost

Paying more upfront for your new phone usually means a cheaper Sim-only 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.

Get a cheap Sim-only deal

If you've already got your Samsung phone, either a new standalone handset or a cheap second-hand one, you'll need a Sim-only tariff.

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 will ususally drop. It does mean a large initial outlay though.

For a full list of the networks' best Sim-only offerings see Sim-only top picks.

Don't overestimate how much data you need

Smartphones are fast becoming the norm. 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.

For checking emails, looking at Facebook and watching the odd YouTube video, 1GB should be more than enough.

To give you a rough idea, MSE's Eesha says: "I have 1GB a month. I tend to use close to this limit but never go over. I generally just use Whatsapp, Facebook, emails, and check deals apps like Groupon, Wowcher, Quidco and the Paypal app."

Downloading videos, TV shows or other web-heavy apps may take you over your limit and cause you to incur heavy charges.

If you're worried about data use, try using the free Onavo app mentioned below.

Sneaky app gets you more from your data allowance

Heavy downloaders could end up paying out BIG if they exceed their download allowance. Some providers charge as much as 20p/MB if you go over your inclusive data limit.

Onavo Android app

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

Sell your old phone to fund your new one

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 S6 in decent nick could fetch around £320.

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 less than what you'd get if you listed the phone on eBay. For example, the most you'd get for recycling a Galaxy S6 is £185.

Don't forget insurance saving

Android phone and tablet insuranceAccidents 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 £70/year.

Read the full Mobile Insurance guide for full info and best buys.

Can you get cashback on top?

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.

Consider a secondhand or refurbished handset

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.

Watch out for auto-insurance

Some retailers automatically try to 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 if there's no '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. Read the full Mobile Insurance guide for how to get the cheapest standalone mobile cover.

Protect your phone and its data

Sim card padlock

Losing your data, photos and contacts is a nightmare. 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 it can also be mega-valuable, and it's a nightmare (and probably a lost cause) to retrieve contacts, photos, apps, games, messages back after losing a handset.

To beat this, free services can back up this crucial info before you lose it.

Back up to the web

Back up your computer

Via your network provider

Old school pen and paper route

Make use of free Wi-fi

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 free Wi-fi for more info.

How to complain about your mobile provider

The mobile industry doesn't have the best customer service reputation and while a provider may be good for some, it can be hell for others. Common problems include limited network coverage, slow data speeds, unexpected charges and more. It's always worth complaining to your provider first, but if you have no success, then…

Free tool if you're having a problem

This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver which we like so much we work with to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, Resolver will escalate it on your behalf to the free Ombudsman Services (or CISAS if you're complaining about Virgin Mobile).

Important: if your issue is about a voucher or incentive that was part of an MSE Blagged deal, then instead just let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com as that's usually quicker.