6 ‘free’ phones with no upfront cost

ByKim Staples
Woman with money

What do you do when you want one of the best smartphones money can buy, but you don’t actually have the money to buy it? You get it on a plan with no upfront costs, of course.

The great thing about contract deals is that you can spread the cost of an expensive phone out across two years - and in the case of these plans, you won't have to hand over a thing besides your usual monthly bill. Here are our favourite deals on some of the most popular handsets from Apple, Samsung, HTC, and more.

iPhone 7

iPhone 7

Apple's latest is easily the best iPhone ever made. We're talking the latest chipset (A10), a HD display, 12MP camera, Apple's 'longest ever' battery life, and up to 256GB storage. Its design is already classic, and includes the option of a cool glossy black body. Oh, and it's water-resistant so you can finally take selfies in the rain.

Spring for the Plus version, and you'll get an extra 0.8-inch of screen real estate and an even better camera - the bigger model is rocking two lenses on the back, including one wide-angle.

See our pick of the best iPhone deals this month

Virgin Mobile

300MB data

300 minutes

Unlimited texts

£38 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
EE

2GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£38.49 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
Three

8GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£40 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all iPhone 7 deals

iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s

The iPhone 7 may be Apple's latest, but the iPhone 6S is still worth getting… especially if you want a standard headphone jack. With an aluminium body and a curved glass display, it's also one of the more stylish phones around, whether you choose a silver, gold, space grey, or rose gold model.

It's not quite up to iPhone 7 standard in terms of specs, but it's still pretty fantastic: 12MP rear camera, the first ever 3D Touch screen, and of course Touch ID so you can use Apple Pay. And again, you can choose between the regular 4.7-inch model, or the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus.

iD Mobile

2GB data

600 minutes

5000 texts

£27.50 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
Three

8GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£34 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all iPhone 6s deals

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

Prefer an iPhone that's a little smaller (and less expensive each month)? The iPhone SE has got your back.

With just a 4-inch display, the SE is dinkier and easier to hold, but it still packs quite a punch. Often described as an iPhone 5 with the innards of a 6s, this phone doesn't compromise: there's a powerful A9 processor, up to 64GB of storage, an excellent camera, and better battery life than its larger-screened cousins. And you can get it in that sexy rose gold colour, which is always a plus.

iD Mobile

500MB data

300 minutes

5000 texts

£19.50 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
Three

8GB data

Unlimited minutes

Unlimited texts

£26 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all iPhone SE deals

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 is impressive. The 5.1-inch, Quad HD screen is one of the clearest and sharpest on the market - teamed with the gorgeous metal and glass body, it's a lovely phone to look at. And its beauty isn't skin-deep: under the hood, there's an octa-core chipset, 4GB of RAM, and some very slick software thanks to Android Marshmallow.

If you're an Android fan, this is one of the best you can get. Plus, there's the choice of an Edge version as well, with that famous curvy screen.

See our pick of the best Samsung Galaxy deals

Vodafone

500MB data

500 minutes

Unlimited texts

£24 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
O2

1GB data

Unlimited minutes & texts

£28 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
Tesco Mobile

6GB data

5000 minutes

5000 texts

£43.50 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all Samsung Galaxy S7 deals

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

No one can make an Android quite like Google itself can, and the Pixel phone is a testament to that. It's designed to run raw Android Nougat perfectly, and that's exactly what it does - thanks to a top processor, 4GB of RAM, and a stunning HD screen. It also topped our list of the best camera phones around.

Like all flagship smartphones, it isn't cheap to buy outright - getting it on a no-upfront-cost contract can go a long way to swallow the cost.

O2

3GB data

Unlimited minutes & texts

£36.50 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
EE

10GB data

Unlimited minutes & texts

£40.99 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all Google Pixel deals

HTC 10

HTC 10

The HTC 10 is a smartphone made for media. The QHD display will show videos and pics in vibrant detail; the quad-core processors and 4GB of RAM make using apps and games nice and smooth; and the speakers are brilliantly loud and clear. It's HTC's best offering yet, even if its chunky design isn't the best.

iD Mobile

2GB data

600 minutes

5000 texts

£31.50 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal
Three

8GB data

Unlimited minutes & texts

£36 per month

FREE handset

24 months

See deal

Compare all HTC 10 deals

 

Mobile phones

Find the perfect deal for you!