Tips on the cheapest way to get a top-tier smartphone

close up of 5 euro note

 

Have you ever tried to figure out the best price for a phone, only to end up more confused than when you started? We know the feeling. Finding the cheapest way to purchase mobile phones and contracts can be really tricky.

 

Here at KillBiller HQ we love consumer transparency, so we've put together a few general tips for getting the best value when purchasing flagship devices, along with specific guides for getting the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6 in Ireland without getting ripped off!

General Tips

1. Pay more now or later?

calculator icon

Paying as much as you can afford to upfront will save you money in the long run. While getting a phone for a low up-front cost may seem attractive, it will cost you hundreds of euro extra over the course of a 24 month contract.

When looking for the best value, it helps to look at the total cost of the device and plan over a certain period (e.g. the upfront device cost, along with the cost of 24 monthly instalments).

2. Audit your usage

cloud icon

Modern smartphones use quite a lot of data. The average user in Ireland uses 1.6GB of data per month and this is growing.

We're completely unbiased, but we'd recommend using the KillBiller application to understand what the cheapest plan is for you!

Our calculations are based on your actual usage and can help you avoid spending large amounts on unexpected overage fees, or buying too much and then overspending every month. 


Unsure of your usage requirements? The KillBiller app can give you a detailed breakdown of your historical usage, along with the best plans tailored to your needs: 


3. Consider buying an older device

phone icon

Always remember that the price of devices will significantly drop over time. As such it’s always worth considering last years model, rather than the latest release.

The improvements in smartphones are getting smaller all the time, so a one year old phone is only going to have marginally lower spec than the latest model, yet can be significantly cheaper.

If you can, resist the urge to splurge on the latest gear!

4. Pay upfront & go for a SIM-only plan

sim card icon

We've said it before and we'll say it again! Purchasing your device outright and going for a SIM-only plan is always a great option.

Not only will you save loads on the overall cost of the phone and plan, but you'll leave your options open to switch to a different plan or even different network. 

This is an important point for those living outside of major cities, as coverage can be a real issue only remedied by switching provider. 

So, what's the best way to get the latest flagship models in Ireland?

Want to know the best value options for the iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6? We did some analysis using the following assumptions:

  1. We looked at the price of the base models for each phone - the 16GB iPhone and the 32GB Galaxy.
  2. We calculated the total 24-month cost for the iPhone 6s 16GB and the Samsung Galaxy 6S 32GB (upfront cost + monthly payment cost over length of contract).
  3. We assumed the user would require a minimum of 1GB of data per month. Users of such high-tech devices would require a minimum of 1GB of data to make the best use of their devices (the actual average use in Ireland is 1.6 GB per month and growing).

iPhone 6s 16GB - 2 great options:

iphone 6s gold

1. Purchasing outright via Apple and going with a Meteor SIM only ‘Lite’ plan.

  • Total cost over 24 months: €1083
  • Upfront phone cost: €759
  • Monthly spend: €12 per month for the first 12 months, followed by €15 per month for the second 12 months. (NOTE: The €12 per month is a Christmas offer, valid until January 11th).
  • Plan allowances: 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 2GB data (NOTE: Data allowance for 6 months is a Christmas offer, reverts to 1GB data after 6 months, opt in before January 11th).

2. If you want to buy the phone through the operator, Three’s €20 prepay monthly plan is a good option.

  • Total cost over 24 months: €1179.99 
  • Upfront phone cost: €699.99 
  • Monthly cost: €20
  • Plan Allowances: Keep €20 top-up to spend on minutes etc, 0 Minutes, unlimited texts, 15GB data

The Three plan has a much more generous data allowance which for some could be well worth the additional €100. 

These options assume you’re willing to spend a decent amount upfront. If you can only afford to spend €300 upfront, the cheapest available offer will cost you over €1400 over the course of a 24-month contract!

Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB - 2 great options:

samsung galaxy s6

Again with the Galaxy S6, purchasing the phone outright or paying a lot up front is always the better option. The 2 best options are:


1. Purchasing outright (Argos €489.95) and going with Meteor’s SIM only ‘Lite’ plan

  • Total cost over 24 months: €813.95. 
  • Up front cost: €489.95 (From Argos)
  • Monthly cost: €12 per month for the first 12 months, followed by €15 per month for the second 12 months (NOTE: Data allowance for 6 months is a Christmas offer, reverts to 1GB data after 6 months, opt in before January 11th).
  • Plan Allowances: 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 2GB data (NOTE: Data allowance for 6 months is a Christmas offer, reverts to 1GB data after 6 months, opt in before January 11th).


2. Purchasing outright (Argos €489.95) and going with iD’s SIM only Billpay (€14 per month)

  • Total cost over 24 months: €845.95
  • Up front cost: €489.95 (From Argos)
  • Monthly cost: €14 
  • Plan allowances: 100 minutes, 100 texts, 1GB data

These options assume you’re willing to spend a decent amount upfront, which we'd definitely recommend. If you can only afford to spend €100 upfront, the cheapest available option rises in cost to over €1000 over 24 months!


Unsure of the best plan for your needs? KillBiller, our free app lets you compare all the plans on the market to find the perfect deal!


Read more from our blog: