Three was built for the internet, carrying over 45% of the UKs mobile data traffic and covering more than 98% of the population.Three offers customers a better experience through providing the most reliable network and gives them extra ways to enjoy it. They remain unbeaten on overall reliability in polls run by YouGov and are the least complained about network.
We have Three Contracts available for 53 different phones from 8 brands. To change the default handset, simply choose your brand from the drop-down list then the specific model.
Pay as you go phones from Three can be found in the PAYG tab from £39.99 to buy outright. You'll usually have to pay an initial top-up charge of £5-10 which is included in our totals, but there are no ongoing fees.
Three SIMs are available from £5.00 average per month. These are rolling monthly contracts and pay-as-you-go.
In addition, Three have SIMs suitable for Tablets, Mi-Fi devices and USB dongles from £7.50 per month. These are data-only and cannot be used in phones.
What type of deal do I need?
If you'd like a new phone, there are two main types of plan:
- These are meant for new customers to the network - for example if you're currently on O2 but you'd like to switch to Three.
If you're an existing Three customer you can place an upgrade order if you wish to stay with them with no interuptions and keep the same number and SIM. You're usually able to upgrade 30-45 days before the end of your contract. You can text INFO to 85075 to see how long is left on your contract.
We've found that in most cases new customer contracts work out to be the best value. Don't worry about losing your number, the process for transferring is simple. You just need to text PAC to 65075 - your network will reply back with a PAC switching code which is then given to the new network.
Check out our Contracts Vs Upgrades guide for a full overview of the differences along with further details on the switching process.
- Pay-as-you-go (PAYG)
- If you'd like to buy a device outright and only pay for the amount of data, minutes and texts you use then PAYG is a good option. The phone may be locked to Three and an initial top-up required, but you aren't locked into a contract.
- Phone SIMs
- If you're just looking to purchase an ongoing airtime bundle for the device you already own you can purchase a SIM with a 12-month or 30-day rolling contract. These are usually good value if you make use of mobile data - you'll have a set allowance per month and you can even set spend caps to make sure you're never hit with an unexpected bill.
- Data SIMs
- In most cases networks restrict the use of phone SIMs to only operate in your phone. While you could tether over Wi-Fi or USB, you may want a dedicated allowance for your laptop. In this case you'll need a data SIM - there a no minutes or texts allocated to it, but it will work in non-phone devices such as tablets, Mi-Fis or USB dongles.
What contract length should I go for?
The most popular contract length is 24 months and will be suitable for most people. You'll have a fixed allowance of data, minutes and texts over this period and you'll pay the same amount per month. Although you may find there is a small rise each spring in-line with RPI inflation (usually 1-4%).
However some networks are offering more flexible 30 and 36 month contracts. With these you're able to adjust your tariff up and down each month if you find your usage changing. The line rental and device payments are split too, meaning you can pay the device portion off early and upgrade before the full term if you wish.
What's the difference between 4G and 5G?
4G is the current generation of mobile networks - with excellent coverage all over the UK and when roaming in Europe. 5G is the next-generation with networks promising speeds up to 10x faster, higher capacities in congested areas and lower latency. Currently Vodafone, EE, O2 and Sky Mobile have launched their 5G networks, with limited coverage in some major cities. 5G plans are compatible with 4G devices, so it's possible to have a 5G plan on a 4G device but the speeds will be limited to 4G.
Speed caps may be present on some 5G plans, enabling you to access the 5G network at a lower cost if you don't require the fastest speeds. A 2Mbps limit is fine for browsing, social media and music but not for video. A 10Mbps limit can additionally allow you to stream HD video and for online gaming. Uncapped speeds are good for UHD streaming, super-fast app downloads and hotspotting.
How are reseller prices cheaper than the networks?
We partner with retailers such as Affordable Mobiles, Mobile Phones Direct, Mobiles.co.uk and Fonehouse - the deals they offer can be considerably better than ordering directly through a network.
They're able to do this because they have ongoing bulk order agreements with the networks and are online-only, enabling them to make savings and pass the value onto you. The phone is a brand new UK model (unless it's specifically stated to be a "refurbished" deal) and the contract you've agreed to will always be with the network themselves - just as if you'd ordered from them in the first place.
All our partners are well established companies who have received many hundreds of positive reviews on Trustpilot you can read before ordering, so you can buy in confidence.
How do manual cashback redemptions work?
The deals that have the lowest average cost per month often include a manual redemption element. This will involve sending via post or uploading your phone bill from certain months of the contract within a claim window to ensure you're still connected and have kept up with the payments. Please read the individual retailer's terms as the exact months and payment methods can vary.
For example - you place an order for a 24-month contract in January which includes redemption cashback of £100 to be claimed in months 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18. Within a few days of receiving your phone and being connected to the network your first bill will be raised, dated January. In this case your 6th bill will be dated June - you would send this one to the retailer. Within 14-28 days you'll receive cashback of £20. You then repeat this process in September, December and so on until the full £100 has been claimed.
How do I order?
After you've made your choice of colour, storage size and the plan that suits you best click the "Get Deal" button on the deal card. You'll be transferred to the retailer's website where you can place your order.
Please note that we are a price comparison service - your order is not placed with us, but with the retailer directly. We try to ensure all prices and plan benefits are correct, but please check the full details of the deal you add to the basket before ordering as errors in our data feeds may occassionally occur. To help us continue to provide our free service we may earn a commission from our partners if you make a purchase. This doesn't affect the price you pay or the ranking order of our comparison results.
What if I change my mind after I order?
If your order hasn't been dispatched yet, then you may be able call the customer service number found on the retailer's site and cancel. If you've already received the phone, you have 14 days after taking delivery to request a return - even if you've opened the packaging and used it. It's equivalent to going into a phone shop and trying their display models before you buy, since you weren't able to do this beforehand having bought online. Some networks may opt to offer even longer evaluation periods to make sure you're fully satisfied with their signal coverage.