Cheap iPhone Deals

Find the best iPhone XS, XS Max & XR deals here – plus tips to cut the cost of an Apple iPhone, incl the X, 8 & 8 Plus

Opting for one of Apple's new handsets – the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR – could set you back a small fortune. So while a new iPhone is never MoneySaving, this guide will take you through our top-pick deals and the cheapest ways to get your hands on your preferred model, including the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

We'll help you identify the right iPhone for you, with the best features for the best prices...

21 need-to-knows, including...

Apple's 2018 iPhones – XS, XS Max & XR

Looking for the three latest handsets? Apple's range of flagship phones for 2018 are here and prices are typically hefty. Direct from Apple, the iPhone XS costs from £999, the larger iPhone XS Max from £1,099 and the 'cheaper' iPhone XR from £749. Our top picks of the best deals are below.

The top iPhone need-to-knows

Which phone is best? And should you get one on a contract? Our iPhone need-to-knows should help you decide, as well as giving you some tips on selling your old phone and getting the most out of your current tariff.

  1. iPhone top picks – save £100s on a new contract

    Right now, traditional contracts offer some of the cheapest ways to get the newest handsets – but don't go direct. Via a mobile reseller, the SAME deal is often £100s less overall. Our top-pick deal for the XS is over £500 cheaper than a comparable deal bought direct from O2. Don't get stung by your network, as buying it in the right way can save you a fortune. 

    Tariffs change continually, so it's always worth checking what else is out there. If you're after a different data allowance or prefer a certain network, try checking out a comparison site such as MobilePhoneChecker*.

    MOBILES.CO.UK*

    It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright and pair with a cheap Sim. However, this 24-month deal for the 64GB iPhone XR via Mobiles.co.uk* (part of Carphone Warehouse) is not a bad deal, and has a lower upfront cost.

    You'll still need to find a decent chunk of cash to get this, as it asks for a hefty £405 when you buy. It's then £23/mth for 24 months, which gets you unlimited minutes and texts and 4GB of data, meaning you'll pay a total of £957 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

    You'll have to be a Vodafone newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal.

    MOBILES.CO.UK*

    It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright and pair with a cheap Sim. However, this 24-month deal for the 64GB iPhone XS via Mobiles.co.uk* (part of Carphone Warehouse) works out about £40 cheaper overall than a comparable Sim and handset combo we found.

    You'll still need to find a decent chunk of cash to get this, as it asks for a hefty £430 when you buy. It's then £34/mth for 24 months, which gets you unlimited minutes and texts and 15GB of data, meaning you'll pay a total of £1,246 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

    You'll have to be an O2 newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal.

    MOBILES.CO.UK*

    This 24-month Vodafone deal for the 64GB iPhone XS Max via Mobiles.co.uk* actually works out over £40 cheaper than buying the handset outright and pairing it with an equivalent Sim, which is usually the cheapest way – plus it has a lower upfront cost.

    You'll still need to stump up a hefty £720 upfront, though it's then a more affordable £23/mth for the two-year contract, which gets you unlimited minutes and texts and 4GB of data. You'll pay a total of £1,272 (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

    You'll have to be a Vodafone newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal.

    FONEHOUSE*

    It's usually cheapest to buy your phone outright and pair with a cheap Sim. But this 24-month deal for the 64GB iPhone X via Fonehouse* is a good option with loads of data if you can't afford to pay for it all upfront.

    You'll still need to find a decent chunk of cash to get this, as it asks for a hefty £589 when you buy. It's then £23/mth for 24 months, which gets you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data, meaning you'll pay a total of £1,117 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation).

    You'll have to be an EE newbie or an existing customer who wants a new line to get this deal.

    MOBILES.CO.UK*

    If you want to get the 64GB iPhone 8, it's usually cheapest to buy it outright and pair with a cheap Sim. Yet if you can't afford the full upfront cost, this 24-month contract via Mobiles.co.uk* for Vodafone newbies is a decent deal.

    There's £250 to pay upfront, it's then £23/mth for the 24-month contract which gets you unlimited minutes, unlimited texts as well as 4GB of data. It works out as £802 over the two years (though the monthly cost may increase each year in line with inflation). 

  2. Find the right phone for you

    iPhones are popular and well reviewed, but they aren't cheap – so getting one is a decision you should weigh up carefully.

    Seriously consider whether you really want the latest handset too. Since the launch of the new models, we've seen Apple's prices for the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, 7 and 7 Plus drop by £100, with an iPhone 7 starting at £449 – £550 less than the new XS. We've compiled the features of the latest models below so you can check if they're worth the extra cash.

    Latest 2018 Models

    • iPhone XS

      Apple's latest flagship smartphone

      • Operating system: iOS 12
      • Processor: A12 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 5.8in / 458 ppi
      • Weight: 177g
      • Camera:  12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 64GB, 256GB or 512GB
      • Colours: gold, space grey, silver
      • Price: £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB)

       

    • iPhone XS Max

      Apple's latest flagship 'phablet'

      • Operating system: iOS 12
      • Processor: A12 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 6.5in / 458 ppi
      • Weight: 208g
      • Camera:  12MP (rear), 7MP (front) 
      • Internal Storage: 64GB, 256GB or 512GB
      • Colours: gold, space grey, silver
      • Price: £1,099 (64GB), £1,249 (256GB), £1,449 (512GB) 

       

    • iPhone XR

      Apple's latest 'colourful' smartphone

      • Operating system: iOS 12
      • Processor: A12 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 6.1in / 458 ppi
      • Weight: 194g
      • Camera: 12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
      • Colours: red, yellow, white, coral, black, blue
      • Price: £749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB)

       

    Previous Models

    • Apple's 2017 flagship smartphone

      • Operating system: iOS 11
      • Processor: A11 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 5.8in / 458 ppi
      • Weight: 174g
      • Camera: 12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 64GB/256GB
      • Colours: silver, space grey

      The iPhone X really is the biggest step forward for the Apple range – technology website TechRadar has already dubbed it "the most important iPhone ever launched". See its review here.

      As well as various improvements to its camera, improved battery life (two hours longer than the iPhone 7) and being the first iPhone without a 'home' button, the iPhone X features 'Face ID', where the user looks at the camera to unlock their phone.

      This then replaces everything that 'Touch ID' currently does, including with Apple Pay – which means you'll be able to authorise contactless payments using your face.

      The phone has been withdrawn from sale on the Apple UK website, which says it is now available only through authorised resellers. Where you can get them, they come in two colours – silver or space grey. Each colour comes in 64GB and 256GB models. The 64GB handset would have set you back £999 from Apple, with the 256GB model coming in at £1,149.

    • Apple's 2017 flagship smartphone

      • Operating system: iOS 11
      • Processor: A11 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 4.7in / 326 ppi
      • Weight: 148g
      • Camera: 12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 32GB/128GB/256GB
      • Colours: silver, black, gold

      The iPhone 8 is similar in appearance to the current iPhone 7, but with various upgrades. This model is all glass on the front and back, and microscopically sealed to be dust and water resistant.

      The most innovative feature about this model is its ability to charge wirelessly using the newly introduced AirPower Mat – like the previous removal of the headphone jack, it gets rid of more hardware in the phone, freeing up space for improved features.

      The iPhone 8 has a whole new display with a Retina HD, providing more natural lighting and colour tones than previous Apple phones, for better viewing experience.

      The camera's also been improved – it's still 12 megapixels, but has higher photo/video quality capture.

      The A11 Bionic chip is 80% faster than the previous A10 Fusion chip, providing faster processing, allowing for a better gaming environment and a better capability for augmented-reality apps. There's also an improvement in audio performance, with the introduction of stereo speakers.

      The phone is currently available in three colours – black, silver and gold. Each colour comes in 64GB and 256GB models. The 64GB handset will set you back £699 from Apple, with the 256GB model coming in at £849.

    • Apple's 2017 flagship 'phablet'

      • Operating system: iOS 11
      • Processor: A11 'Bionic' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 5.5 in / 401 ppi
      • Weight: 202g
      • Camera: 12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 32GB/256GB
      • Colours: silver, black, gold

      The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are more reasonably priced and certainly an upgrade from the iPhone 7.

      With its powerful processor and fantastic camera features, the iPhone 8 Plus will make a significant difference in the market.

      Similar to the iPhone 8, the 8 Plus comes with wireless charging, a new display Retina HD and the True Tone display that helps adjust the lighting, to improve the viewer's experience.

      The camera in this model is much more advanced and has more features than both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 7 plus, Apple introduced the portrait mode which allows the user to take studio quality portraits and much more.

      The A11 bionic chip, is what makes both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, one of the most powerful devices in the market. There's a noticeable upgrade in terms of faster processing and power efficiency.

      The phone is currently available in three colours black, silver and gold, with the capacity of 64GB or 256GB.

      The 64GB handset will set you back £799 from Apple, with the 256GB model coming in at £949.

    • Apple's flagship smartphone from 2016

      • Operating system: iOS 10
      • Processor: A10 'Fusion' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 4.7in / 326 ppi
      • Weight: 138g
      • Camera: 12MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 32GB/128GB/256GB
      • Colours: silver, gold, rose gold, black, jet black

      Apple claimed there had been dramatic improvements on the iPhone 6s, though the size, shape and screen resolution of the iPhone 7 remained the same, albeit with a 25% brighter display.

      The 40% faster A10 Fusion chip undoubtedly delivered more oomph and the maximum storage has been increased to 256GB. There's also an improvement in audio performance, with the introduction of stereo speakers.

      Despite staying at 12 megapixels the camera has been given a wider aperture and an upgrade which allows for longer exposures. The front facing camera has also been bumped up to 7MP, allowing for better quality selfies.

      As well as the four colours its predecessor came in, Apple offers matt black and glossy black options, too.

      The most controversial change is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. This means you'll only be able to connect your headphones via the lightning charging port. Apple includes lightning 'earpods' in the box and a lightning-to-3.5mm adapter so you can plug in your traditional headphones, too.

      The 32GB handset will set you back £549 from Apple, with the 128GB model coming in at £649.

    • Apple's 2016 'phablet'

      • Operating system: iOS 10
      • Processor: A10 'Fusion' chip
      • Screen size / sharpness: 5.5in / 401 ppi
      • Weight: 188g
      • Camera: Dual 12 MP (rear), 7MP (front)
      • Internal Storage: 32GB/128GB/256GB
      • Colours: silver, gold, rose gold, black, jet black


      The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple's third foray into the phablet market and much like its smaller sibling, the iPhone 7, it hasn't made great leaps from its predecessor.

      The improvements are similar to the iPhone 7 – namely the A10 chip, increased storage capacity and waterproofing.

      The screen size and resolution is the same as the 6s Plus, although Apple says there's a 25% brighter screen. The phablet will have increased battery life but the improvement is less marked than between the 6s and 6s Plus.

      However, the most notable upgrade with the 7 Plus is the inclusion of two rear cameras. Its additional 2x optical zoom lens will ensure sharper photos. As with the 7 though, there's no room for a 3.5mm headphone jack.

      Buy direct from Apple and it'll cost you £669 for the 32GB handset and £769 for the 128GB model.

  3. Spread the cost of an iPhone XS,  XS Max or XR INTEREST-FREE with Apple

    iPhone Payments is Apple's interest-free financing scheme – it's now available for the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. This allows you to buy the phone for Apple's standard price but pay only a small amount upfront and then the rest in 20 monthly instalments.

    Be careful not to get caught out though. Apple offers another plan – its iPhone Upgrade Programme – which gives you the option to swap handsets and includes AppleCare, its extended warranty and technical support service, but this scheme can usually be beaten by other methods. See our full analysis here (the examples are old but the same principles apply).

    You'll be credit-checked and will need to be accepted for what's technically an interest-free loan. Here's what it costs:

    • iPhone XS – £69 upfront, then £46.50/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£54/mth for 256GB or £64/mth for 512GB)
    • iPhone XS Max – £69 upfront, then £51.50/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£59/mth for 256GB or £69/mth for 512GB)
    • iPhone XR – £69 upfront, then £34/mth for 20 months for the 64GB model (£36.50/mth for 128GB or £41.50/mth for 256GB)

    Here's how to pay this way:

    1. You can ONLY get iPhone Payments in store – first, reserve the model you want. It's best to reserve your iPhone XS, XS Max or XR online before visiting a store. 

    2. When you collect the phone, ensure you opt for iPhone Payments. You'll need to take bank details, a valid photo ID and your current mobile plus other personal info – see Apple's website for a full list. You'll need to be a UK resident aged 18+, have a UK bank account and have lived in the UK for three or more years.

    3. If accepted (it could take up to an hour), you'll pay £69 upfront and the rest in 20 monthly instalments. Your loan will be with Barclays, the finance provider behind the scheme, at 0% APR. Monthly repayments are made by direct debit. If you don't keep up with them, Barclays would take the same action as any other loan provider – it could result in a mark on your credit file, for example.

    Once you've got the phone you'll then need to find a separate cheap Sim only deal.

  4. Watch out for annual inflationary price rises

    Under regulator 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 or March each year based on the Retail Prices Index (a measure of inflation).

    You'll be notified by your network of these changes and any bill you received after that date will reflect the increase. See Inflationary Price Rises for full info.

  5. Match your tariff to your usage

    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. To help you choose the correct tariff, check your actual past usage with an online tool.

    There are two sites accredited by regulator Ofcom to choose from. Both will analyse your bills from the last three months to determine your average usage and suggest deals based on this.

    Billmonitor* works for customers of EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone. It's not the most user-friendly site, but it gives a detailed bill analysis.

    Ctrlio will handily remind you when better deals at your usage become available (monthly or just at the end of your contract). Currently it can read the bills of EE, Giffgaff, O2, Three and Vodafone customers.

  6. Some deals are only available to 'new customers'

    The deals you see here and on most 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 porting authorisation code (PAC) from your provider.

  7. 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. If you can't afford such an upfront payment, consider buying your iPhone on cheap or free finance instead.

    There are many one-month rolling contract Sim-only deals available, so you're not tied in and only pay for what you use – check out our top-pick Sim only deals for the best options.

    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 the Mobile Unlocking guide.

    You can get cheap handsets from retailers such as Argos or Play.com. 

  8. Don't overestimate how much storage you need

    All iPhone models come in different storage sizes – depending on the model they're available with 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. Generally, you'll pay £50-200 to go up a size (if you're buying directly from Apple).

    As a rule of thumb, 32GB can hold 1,000 apps, 800 albums or 6-10 HD films, which is enough for some.

    Unlike most other smartphones, iPhones don't have memory card slots so you can't expand the storage if you decide you want more. However, be careful not to overestimate how much storage you'll need and end up paying for a more expensive model 'just to be safe'.

    Here are our top tips for saving storage space on your phone and paying less overall. For more information, see our How to Increase Phone Storage guide.

    1. Free online storage. Apple gives iPhone users 5GB of storage space on iCloud for free. It isn't much, but the Google Photos app offers unlimited free storage of photos and videos, regardless of device. There are lots of other providers that offer free storage space too – many have mobile apps and enable you to set your photos and videos to upload automatically, after which you can delete them from your phone without losing them. You could sign up to several and assign categories of content to each.

    2. Score an app-trick. If you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, you'll see a breakdown of how much space your apps take up and when you last used them. Go through it and get rid of the larger of the apps you use the least. While you can download them again free if you paid for them, you won't get back your personal data. Also, be aware that if the app is subsequently pulled from iTunes you WON'T be able to download it again, even if you paid for it.

    3. Find hidden downloads. You've probably got more downloads hidden on your iPhone than you think. Screenshots, PDFs, voice memos, gifs – you download them, look at or listen to them, then forget about them, meaning they sit there taking up valuable space. Podcasts are among the worst offenders – 25MB-50MB in size and easily forgotten about once downloaded and listened to. Delete old podcasts by opening the Podcasts app, tapping My Podcasts and then the series you want to delete episodes from. Swipe left on the episodes you want to delete, then tap the red Delete button. If you use another app, like Pocket Casts, the process will be different, but it should be straightforward.

    4. Move your music. Music-streaming services such as Spotify enable you to listen to music on your mobile without having to store it on there. With iTunes Match you can store all your tracks on Apple's servers and access them online for £21.99/year, while Google Play Music lets iPhone users upload 50,000 tracks for free. Be aware that all three services mean using your data allowance to listen to music when not connected to Wi-Fi. Also bear in mind that, if you upload music to iTunes Match or Google Play Music and delete it from your phone, in the event a track or album's pulled from either service, you're unlikely to be able to download it again.

    5. Delete films and TV shows. Video-streaming services like Netflix are now commonplace and remove the need to download TV programmes and movies to your phone. Streaming video is internet-intensive, so do it when connected to free Wi-Fi or it can be costly. If you're streaming via 3G/4G, make sure you get a tariff with a big enough data allowance.

  9. Make sure you've the right size Sim

    Daring to be different, Apple went against the grain with its iPhones, designing them to take a smaller Sim card.

    For the iPhone 4 and 4s, Apple adopted the smaller-than-standard-size 'micro-Sim'. With the launch of the iPhone 5 came the arrival of a yet smaller Sim card – the 'nano-Sim'. This is also used in the iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and later models. Because it's a lot smaller, if you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s you won't be able to simply swap Sim cards.

    If you're upgrading from another handset to a newer iPhone, you could ask your network provider to exchange Sim cards, or try one of their shops, which should have nano-Sims available.

  10. Try haggling for a better deal

    Haggling on monthly mobile phone contracts can slash the price you pay. If you have a contract deal and you're nearing the end of your fixed term, the network will be frantic to keep you, so it's the best time to haggle. Long-term customers have a better chance at success here.

    Our poll showed the best mobile providers to haggle with are Virgin and Vodafone. See our Haggle with Sky, AA & more guide for help with getting a better deal. Bear in mind though it's harder to haggle on a contract for a new phone, especially one in as much demand as new iPhones are.

  11. Get a cheap Sim-only deal

    Already got an iPhone? If you're out of contract, you could stand to make serious savings by switching to a Sim-only tariff.

    The main benefit of switching is that you won't pay an extra monthly cost for a handset – so your tariff price and overall costs will drop significantly.

    Find our up-to-date top picks in the Cheap Sim only Deals guide.

  12. Don't overestimate how much data you need

    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 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.

  13. 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 iPhones, so it's very much a seller's market. 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, a used unlocked 32GB iPhone 7 in decent nick could fetch around £300, and a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus about £420.

    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, sites such as Compare My Mobile* and Sell My Mobile* compare 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, at the time of writing, the most you'd get for recycling a 32GB iPhone 7 is around £270.

  14. Don't forget insurance saving

    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 insurance for your iPhone from £70/year

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

    If your phone's stolen...

    Report it to the police and let your network know as soon as possible. This is important to prevent unauthorised use of your service, and may also be critical for insurance claims.

  15. Check coverage in your area

    The quality of the signal you'll receive will depend on where you are. Across all the networks, big cities and towns should all have a decent 3G signal – and some may have 4G – while those in rural areas can struggle.

    All the networks have coverage checkers on their sites, but these tend to be optimistic. Ofcom's research into 4G constitutes the most up-to-date objective info we have on coverage – view its mobile checker to see what signal strength will be like in your area.

  16. Consider a second-hand or refurbished handset

    Don't forget to check out second-hand models on eBay*. As an example, at the time of writing you can get a used 64GB iPhone 8 in good condition for around £450 on eBay, compared with a new one from Apple which costs £599. Make sure it's unlocked (see Mobile Unlocking for full info) though, so you can take advantage of super-cheap Sim only tariffs.

    It's also possible to get refurbished handsets on eBay or through some resellers online. These work just as new phones and come in new condition, plus they typically come with a manufacturer's warranty. Bear in mind that used handsets on eBay usually don't come with warranties.

  17. Watch out for auto-insurance

    Some retailers 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 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 Phone Insurance guide for how to get the cheapest standalone mobile cover.

  18. Protect your iPhone and its data

    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 after losing a handset.

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

    • This type of backup 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 Apple's site on how to backup data to the web with iCloud.

    • 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 smartphones now have a dedicated backup service, but these usually store stuff on the PC, not online, which could be a worry if your system crashes. iPhones do this via iTunes.

    • For all the fancy new technologies that promise to save you time, there's still a whole lot to be said for a pen and little address book. Just remember to update the book occasionally with new numbers, and not to 'put it somewhere safe', which vanishes from memory the next time you need it.

  19. 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 – check BT Wi-FiSky WiFiThe Cloud WiFi Finder and Avast Wi-Fi Finder to find more locations. There are thousands of free, legal wireless hotspots around the UK. See Free Wi-Fi for more info.

  20. Get extra 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 Top 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 weekly Money Tips Email.

  21. 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 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, let us know by emailing voucherhelp@moneysavingexpert.com  instead, as that's usually quicker.

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