TechRadar Deals: Why you should buy the iPhone 7 outright with a SIM only deal – it's much cheaper!


It can’t have escaped your notice that the iPhone 7 pre-order deals went live on Friday. Needless to say, we’ve been through them all and the prices are rather expensive.

You can read about what the best options are on our iPhone 7 deals and iPhone 7 Plus deals pages. But hold on just a minute because there’s actually a much cheaper way to get the iPhone 7 versus getting it on contract with EE, O2 and the rest.

The answer is to buy the phone outright and pair it with a SIM only deal instead. We’ve done the maths and it not only works out cheaper this way… it works out a LOT cheaper. What’s more, if you have an iPhone 6S or any other recent phone to trade in at the same time you might be surprised just how affordable the iPhone 7 suddenly is after all. Let us explain…

How to pay as little as possible for the iPhone 7:

The cheapest way to get hold of an iPhone 7 on contract right now is with Mobiles.co.uk and Vodafone – their deal has you paying £99.99 upfront and £37 per month with a 24 month total cost of £987.99. And for all that money, all you get is 500MB data. That’s a bit weak.

The best value deal on contract with 1GB data will cost you £1071.99 over two years, while this deal from Three with 30GB will set you back £1155 in total.

But check this out. Trade in your old phone with Mazuma and you’ll retrieve a healthy amount to spend on your next phone – iPhone 6S trade-ins start at £300 which is excellent. If you then buy the iPhone 7 for an outright cost of £599 at Apple and pair it with a SIM only deal, you could pay as little as £395 in total across two years.

It works out quite a bit cheaper even if you don’t trade in an old phone. Here’s some step-by-step instructions:

iphone 7 deals are cheaper with sim only

iPhone 6s

1. Trade your existing phone:

As discussed, you can get quite a lot for your iPhone 6S and the place that pays the most is Mazuma. Just make sure your phone looks nearly-new and works properly. An iPhone 6S 16GB gets you £300, the 64GB version is worth £350 and the 128GB version will bag you £400.

You don’t need last year’s iPhone to do this though. An iPhone 6 will bag you £225 for the 16GB version. You can get a good whack for an iPhone SE – starting at £200 for the 16GB model. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will get you £300. Hell, a Samsung Galaxy S6 will fetch you £160 so it’s really worth you trading in like this whatever phone you have currently.

As we said, you could skip this step if you don’t want to get rid of your existing phone – it still works out cheaper to buy the phone on its own with a SIM only deal.

Check your phone: See how much your phone is worth at Mazuma

iphone 7 deals are cheaper with sim only

iphone 7

2. Buy the iPhone 7 outright for £599

Your next task is to buy the iPhone 7 handset on its own. Currently it’s only available from the Apple Store direct and prices are as follows:

If you don’t want to pay this much for the phone – or can’t afford to – then we have the answer to that too. Apple will allow you to put money down (minimum £99) against the phone and pay the rest monthly. It will cost you 14.9% interest p.a. but would be a good compromise if you’re pushed for cash.

iphone 7 deals are cheaper with sim only

sim card

3. Buy a SIM only deal

Finally, all you need to do now is bag yourself a SIM only deal which is a far, far cheaper way to use the phone. SIM only deals are available from only £4 per month for 250MB data. But you’ll probably want a bit more than that. With that in mind, here are some recommendations for what look like the best SIM only deals of the moment, followed by a comparison tool for choosing one that’s tailored to your specific needs…

iD mobile

The cheapest 1GB deal: saves £652.99
If 1GB is enough for you, the cheapest deal currently available is on the iD network – it costs just £5 per month. If you’re trading in an iPhone 6S 16GB, buying the iPhone 7 32GB and opting for this deal, it’ll only cost you a grand total of £419 over 24 months.

View this deal: at iD Mobile

iphone 7 deals

iphone 7 deals on Three

The cheapest 4GB deal: saves £622.76
If 4GB is more what you’re after, the cheapest SIM only deal going is on the Three network, via Buymobiles.net. Here you’ll pay £9 per month for 4GB data and unlimited calls and texts. You even get £25 cashback! If you’re trading in an iPhone 6S 16GB, buying the iPhone 7 32GB and opting for this deal, it’ll only cost you a grand total of £490 over 24 months.

View this deal: at Buymobiles.net

iphone 7 deals

giffgaff deals

The cheapest unlimited data deal: saves £568
Hell, if you’re going to save this much money why not go for an unlimited data deal? The cheapest SIM only deal currently available is from GiffGaff and you get unlimited data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts for just £20 per month. If you’re trading in an iPhone 6S 16GB, buying the iPhone 7 32GB and opting for this deal, it’ll only cost you a grand total of £779 over 24 months

View this deal: at GiffGaff

iphone 7 deals

And that’s all there is to it. It’s a bit more hassle than buying the phone on a contract but you save so much money.

Use our handy tool to compare all of the UK’s SIM only deals…



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