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Best smartphone deals in the UK 2016: The biggest phones, the smallest prices

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Everybody loves a bargain. And if you’ve been staring longingly at our reviews of the most amazing smartphones on the planet, wishing you could find them for a price you could afford, then wish no longer. This is where we take a selection of our favourite smartphones and, every week, hunt around the internet for the very best tariffs, deals and one-off deals that you’ll need to know about. 

Best smartphone deals in the UK

1. Google Nexus 6P 

Price: SIM-free, 32GB, £420 Buy now from Amazon

Nexus 6P review: Handsome design goes hand in hand with practical features with the Nexus 6P
Mobile network Handset cost Monthly price Contract length Data/mins/texts Total cost Link to deal
Google Nexus 6P (32GB) O2 Free £34.50 24 months 3GB/Unltd/Unltd £828 CLICK HERE

Despite a raft of big-name competitors hitting the market in recent months, the Google Nexus 6P is still the best smartphone money can buy – at least in Alphr’s humble opinion. 

“The Nexus 6P has everything you could ask of a flagship phone in 2016.”

With a huge 5.7in display that’s protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 4, as well as the beefy hardware required to keep things moving smoothly across the super-crisp Quad-HD screen, the Nexus 6P has everything you could ask of a flaghship phone in 2016. 

Okay, not quite everything. There’s no microSD slot, so you’ll need to decide carefully between the 32GB, 64GB of 128GB models. Still, that’s no big deal. With great cameras, and an untinkered-with version of the latest Android – not to mention superb all-round build quality – the Google Nexus 6P is a king-sized smartphone delight. 

Contract deals

Right now, the best deals are for the 32GB model, and while you can pick it up for a monthly tariff of under £30, you’ll end up with a paltry 512MB or 1GB of data allowance as a result. Instead, spend a little more and you can find a deal with 3GB of data, no upfront cost and a monthly cost of £34.50. Given that the 32GB model is around £420 SIM-free, you’re paying roughly £17 a month for the 3GB tariff. 

SIM-only deals

If you can stump up the £420 for a 32GB Nexus 6P upfront, then you have options. Right now, Carphone Warehouse’s new mobile provider, iD, is doing some cracking SIM-only deals (click here to grab one). Commit to a rolling 1 month contract, and you can get 4GB data, 500 minutes of calls and 5000 texts for £10 a month. Do the maths, and that works out at a total of £660 for a 24 month period – £168 cheaper than the deal above. 

2. Samsung Galaxy S7

Price: SIM-free, 32GB, £460 Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - edge screen closeup

Mobile network Handset cost Monthly price Contract length Data/mins/texts Total cost Link to deal
Samsung Galaxy S7 (32GB) Three Free £33.00 24 months 2GB/Unitd/Unltd £792 CLICK HERE

To hold the Samsung Galaxy S7 is to fall in love. The curved screen folds perfectly into the gorgeous metal body, and the combination of a stonkingly bright, vivacious Super AMOLED screen and top-flight design go together to make something really special – this is a smartphone to aspire to. 

“To hold the Samsung Galaxy S7 is to fall in love.”

As usual, though, Samsung hasn’t skimped anywhere. That glorious 5.1in screen is pin-sharp and backed up by a pair of the best cameras in the business. The 12 megapixel snapper at the rear might not boast the biggest pixel count in the business, but quality is astonishing – it’s good enough to make many compact cameras wonder where they’re going wrong. Add in the lightning-fast phase-detect autofocus and you’re onto a winner.

Performance and battery life seal the deal. Performance is silky smooth thanks to the beefcake octa-core processor, and the Galaxy S7’s stamina is better than all of its current rivals. In our tests, the Galaxy S7 keeps going when even the finest flagships are spent and needing a mains socket. 

Contract deals

In our initial review, the Galaxy S7 only suffered due to its high price. Now that you can pick it up on some quite reasonable deals, however, it’s worth shopping around before you plump for one of its rivals. Stick to a more modest data allowance, and you’ll be able to pick up an astonishing smartphone for little more than £30 a month.

SIM-only deals

The best value comes from the SIM-only deals. With the 32GB Galaxy S7 retailing around £460, you can get an even better deal by grabbing a SIM-only package. Traditionally Giffgaff have had the cheap SIM market sewn up, but Carphone Warehouse’s iD is stealing the limelight with some cracking SIM-only deals (click here to grab one). Commit to a rolling 1 month contract, and you can get 4GB data, 500 minutes of calls and 5000 texts for £10 a month. That’s a sum total of £700 for a 24 month period – £92 less than the deal above. 

3. Apple iPhone 6s

Price: SIM-only, 64GB, around £580 Buy now from Amazon

Apple iPhone 6s
Mobile network Handset cost Monthly price Contract length Data/mins/texts Total cost Link to deal
Apple iPhone 6s (16GB, Space Grey) Vodafone £60 £37.00 24 months 12GB/Unltd/Unltd £948.00 CLICK HERE

No smartphone top three would be complete without an iPhone somewhere on the list. It’s fair to say that Apple’s iPhone 6s remains one of the loveliest handsets money can buy. Yes, it costs more than many of its Android rivals – but if you’re an Apple fan you probably don’t care about that in the slightest.

“Apple’s iPhone 6s remains one of the loveliest handsets money can buy.”

So, why is the iPhone 6s is a thing of beauty? Well, the design is the first stroke of loveliness. Metal, glass and perfect curves combine to form a handset that just sits perfectly in the hand, and thanks to the iPhone 6s’ smaller 4.7in screen, even smaller hands are catered for. No, the screen doesn’t boast the same stratospherically high resolution as other flagships, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice without a microscope. It’s bright, vibrant and beautiful in all the right ways. 

The party trick here though is 3D Touch – Apple’s pressure-sensing screen technology allows you to press harder on the screen to activate a variety of handy features, app menus and so forth. Press down on an email and a preview pops into view. Let go, and it disappears. You’ll love it once you have it, and you’ll miss it even more once it’s gone. 

As ever, though, everything else is top-notch. Performance, camera quality, the operating system – they all combine to create a handheld delight. 

Contract deals

The sheer popularity of the iPhone 6s means that you’ll struggle to get it for a bargain price, however. After hunting high and low, we found that while a huge number of deals were very similarly priced (and even more were for refurbished handsets), there was one deal which stood out: a Vodafone contract for a 16GB iPhone 6s with a whopping 12GB of data. You’ll have to go via a third-party affiliate site, but it’s worth it.

SIM-only deals

Go direct to Apple and you’ll pay £539 for a 16GB iPhone 6s and £619 for a 64GB model. Hunt around Amazon UK, however, and you’ll find a variety of sellers clamouring to sell them for quite a bit less. With several well-reviewed Amazon sellers offering 64GB models for as little as £550, you can save a packet if you take the time to find a decent deal. Add in a £10 SIM from iD (click here to grab one) and you can get yourself a 64GB iPhone 6s and 4GB of monthly data for the bargain sum of £790 over 24 months. That’s not only £158 cheaper than the deal above – you also get an iPhone with four times the storage into the bargain. 

READ NEXT: We’ll be adding more UK smartphone deals as we find them, but why not check out our Best Smartphones round-up while you’re waiting.

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