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DJI Osmo Mobile 2 packs phone stabilization for $129

DJI may have made a name for itself with drones, but for many photographers its the company’s stabilizing gimbals that are essential, and now there’s an even cheaper option. The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is, as the name suggests, the follow-up to the original Osmo, revamped with a far cheaper sticker price of just $129. Meanwhile, DJI also has a new stabilizer intended for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

The Osmo Mobile 2 has a three-axis gimbal, like its predecessor, to counteract hand-shake and smooth out pans and tilts. Made from high-strength modified nylon, there’s a two-way mobile clamp for landscape and portrait use, while the whole thing has a folding design for slotting it into a backpack more readily. A 1/4-inch universal screw mount has been added this time around, too.

On the handle there are simplified cameras controls, including options for ISO, shutter speed, and other settings, but this time they’re joined with a zoom slider. That, DJI says, supports film-esque techniques like dolly zoom. The battery has been upgraded, and the Osmo Mobile 2 should last for over 15 hours – a whopping three times the old model – and there’s a USB port so that you can now use that lengthier battery to keep your smartphone topped up, too.

In the companion DJI GO app there’s an ActiveTrack feature to lock onto and follow subjects, while Motion Timelapse supports up to five different camera positions. Hyperlapse blends timelapses with camera motion, and there are Panorama, Long Exposure, and LightTrail modes. The app also supports live-streaming to YouTube and Facebook.

It’s not DJI’s only new product for CES 2023, mind. The DJI Ronin-S is the company’s first ever single-handed stabilizer for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, rather than smartphones. As with the Osmo Mobile 2 there’s a three-axis gimbal which promises to smooth out shake and judder in both photos and videos.

Of course, since cameras are generally much bigger and heavier than smartphones, DJI had to make some changes. The Ronin-S will be available with two different frame sizes – one for DSLRs, the other for mirrorless cameras – each with high-torque motors. DJI says they’re up to the job of stabilizing even larger cameras like the Canon 5D, in addition to Panasonic’s GH series and Sony’s Alpha models, and even if they’ve got lengthy zooms.

Setup promises to be simple, too. A push mode can adjust pan and tilt by hand, with axis locks to make the whole process quicker. The curved design is intended to leave access to the preview screen even while shooting at angles, and the battery can be hot-swapped. There are dedicated camera and gimbal control buttons on the handle, with a joystick to adjust the framing manually, while a new Sport mode is intended to make faster movements more effective.

Throw in the app, meanwhile, and you get the same Panorama, Hyperlapse, Track, and CamAnchor features as with the Osmo Mobile 2. The Ronin-S is also compatible with DJI’s Pro accessory line-up, including a Focus Control Center to adjust the camera’s focus on the fly, a vehicle mount, DJI Master Force, DJI Master Wheels, an external focus motor, and a cheese plate adapter. DJI will also offer a dual-handle support.

The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 will start shipping in February, with preorders from January 23. It’ll be priced at $129. As for the DJI Ronin-S, pricing will be confirmed closer to its launch sometime in Q2 2023.

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Nokia 5330 Mobile Tv Edition Packs Dvb

November 16, 2009

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition, an entertainment hub that combines mobile broadcast TV (DVB-H), social networking, music and gaming in one compact 3G device. With mobile broadcast TV consumption on the rise – by 2012 there will be over 300 million people worldwide watching TV on their mobile phones – this handset offers easy access to anyone wanting to enjoy an exceptional live, on-the-move TV experience.

Nokia vice president Mark Selby said, “The introduction of the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition responds to the arrival of DVB-H broadcast mobile TV networks in new markets and offers an affordable device for new and existing customers alike. Customers are increasingly watching a variety of programmes on their mobiles, such as drama programs, news and sport, for a longer period of time. The Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition has the sound and image quality to hold audiences captive.”

Watch TV. Anywhere.

Thanks to the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition’s DVB-H technology, programs burst through the QVGA 2.4″ screen in full-colour, crystal clear, sharp images. Plug in 3.5mm headphones for personal viewing or use the loudspeaker option to share the experience with friends and family.

Franklin Selgert, Chairman, Broadcast Mobile Convergence Forum said, “It is essential for DVB-H service providers to have a variety of devices capable of serving the mass market. Having a complete portfolio of handsets is pivotal for the commercial success of mobile TV. The new Nokia DVB-H enabled mobile phone, the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition, is a great addition to the current portfolio of broadcast TV-capable handsets.”

Catch up with friends. Anytime.

The Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition comes with all the latest social networking software, making it simple to stay in touch with friends via Ovi Contacts, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Post status updates for friends and family to follow or instant message (IM) them via Windows Live(TM) Messenger, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, AOL and many others.

Play music. Whenever.

Accessing music and other apps is easy with dedicated music keys and links to the Nokia Music store (where available). The Nokia 5330 Mobile TV edition is also compatible with Nokia’s innovative Comes with Music service – providing free, unlimited access to millions of tracks. Download free music anytime, anywhere – and keep all the music forever.

Keep up-to-date. Wherever.

Check out the choice of personalized media and applications in the Ovi Store. A one-stop-shop for thousands of applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services and more, means personalizing the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition is just the touch of a button away.

Mobile TV. Roll-out.

Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks work with more than 30 operators worldwide on Mobile TV implementations. Commercial launches with Mobile TV services based on DVB-H and OMA BCAST standards include Austria, Finland, Ghana, Kenya, India, Italy, Namibia, Nigeria, Netherland, Philippines and Switzerland. Additional commercial launches can be expected during the next 12-18 month in more than 20 countries.

Stefan Schneiders, Head of Mobile TV solutions at Nokia Siemens Networks said, “It is great that Nokia has affirmed its commitment to DVB-H by launching the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition. 2010 brings a series of high-profile global sporting events and this is a good opportunity for operators to create, drive and bundle innovative mobile TV services based on DVB-H. In fact, during the 2006 World Cup, Italy saw the launch of the most successful mobile TV Broadcasting service in Europe.”

Vincent Grivet, Vice President, Mobile TV TDF, France said “We are very excited by the launch of the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition. It is a highly seducing and compelling device and will be the perfect platform for introducing both European mobile users and operators to a high quality and constraint free mobile TV experience. This is exactly what the industry has been waiting for to accelerate the broadcast mobile TV roll out, and we look forward to the successful and fast distribution of this innovative device in our key European markets such as Finland, Austria, Germany and France.

Vincenzo Novari, CEO at Hutch 3G, Italy, said: “As the largest handset producer in the world, Nokia’s announcement is real evidence of their commitment to the development of the broadcast mobile TV market. Networks, content and handsets made for mass consumer consumption are the key ingredients for fuelling the market’s growth”.

Erik Sylvestersson, Vice President Sales & Marketing at DNA Finland said: “Live digital TV broadcasts over DVB-H networks is becoming more accessible to more people. In Finland, we have found that sport and news are the key drivers for broadcast mobile TV consumption among consumers. People want to be able to watch the action as it happens – rather than settle for highlight shows once they get home. Consumers expect an exceptional on-the-move TV experience at an affordable price, something the Nokia 5330 Mobile TV Edition is fully equipped to deliver.”

Notes to editors:

Compatibility with the aforementioned services may be limited to certain countries.

Nokia’s first commercial DVB-H device was the Nokia N92, launched in November 2005. Nokia’s DVB-H device range includes the Nokia N92, Nokia N77, and the Nokia N96. In addition Nokia enables DVB-H reception on multiple devices including the Nokia N97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N86 8MP, Nokia E75, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia X6 by using the Nokia Mobile TV Receiver SU-33W.

Using A Mobile Phone Overseas

Using a mobile phone while traveling internationally can be like grocery shopping at 7-11. Sure, you can do it–but you’ll end up paying a lot for a less-than-optimal experience.

Buy a Local SIM Card

The least expensive option for using a mobile phone abroad? Buy a local SIM card in the country you’re visiting and pop it into an unlocked GSM phone. If I sound like I’ve just spoken Swahili, keep reading.

A SIM card is a tiny chip that stores essential data, such as the phone number, network authorization information, and contact lists, for use in GSM phones. (SIM is an acronym for the particularly Orwellian/robotic-sounding term Subscriber Identity Module.) A SIM card is your GSM phone’s brain. You can remove the card from one phone and pop it into another–an instant brain transplant.

Buying a prepaid SIM card for a country you’re visiting prevents you from having to pay international roaming fees to your U.S. wireless carrier, which can be substantial (more on that in a minute). Also, you’ll get a phone number associated with your SIM card that’s local to the country in which you purchase the card. This way, people in that country can call your mobile phone without international tolls.

With Telestial’s Passport US SIM Card, I get both a U.S. and UK phone number. If someone dials the U.S. number and I answer in the UK, the caller pays only U.S. long distance charges (or none, depending upon their phone plan). I’m charged $0.19 per minute to receive those calls–a lot less than the $0.99 or $1.29 per minute I’d pay AT&T, my wireless carrier, for international roaming with my Apple iPhone.

I chose this SIM card because I expect to receive more calls than I’ll make on my UK mobile number. I also plan to rely on Skype and Vonage to make calls when I’m in my hotel room. More on that in a minute.

Beg, Borrow, or Buy an Unlocked GSM Phone

Most mobile phones in the U.S. operate on one of two cellular network standards: GSM or CDMA. In the U.S., AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM (Global System for Mobile communications). GSM is the global standard for cellular networks.

But not all GSM phones are equal: Your best choice is an unlocked quad-band GSM phone. Most GSM phones outside the U.S. (except in Japan and a few other countries) operate on the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz GSM bands. American and Canadian GSM networks work at the 850 MHz or 1900 MHz bands. With an unlocked, quad-band GSM phone, you’ve got all four bands covered.

An unlocked phone is not tied to a specific carrier, such as AT&T. But many mobile phones sold by GSM carriers in the U.S. are locked. Exhibit A: Apple’s iPhone, which is attached to AT&T’s network in the U.S. like a barnacle on a boat’s underside.

Got an iPhone? You’ve Got (Two) Options

To use your iPhone outside the U.S., one option is to pay AT&T’s international roaming rates. If you sign up for the AT&T World Traveler plan ($6 per month, but you can stop and start it as needed), you pay $0.99 per minute for calls sent and received while traveling internationally. Without the World Traveler plan, the charge is $1.29 per minute. The Spanish phrase that comes to my mind here is no me gusta.

The Wrap Up

Ultimately, the easiest–but most expensive–solution is to add international roaming to your existing GSM-compatible phone. The downside, aside from the cost: People in countries you’re visiting must call a U.S. number to reach you, which can be costly for them (and thus a deterrent).

A slightly more cumbersome but less expensive solution is to buy a local SIM card and use it in an unlocked GSM phone.

If you take your laptop, use Skype for free video chats as much as possible, while in your hotel room (or if you’re brave, an Internet cafe). The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler Matt Gross wrote about his money-saving plan that involves Skype, call forwarding, and SIM cards and a GSM phone. It’s a bit complicated, but it could save you money.

Mobile Computing News, Reviews, & Tips

Palm and Apple: Checkmate. Palm has brought iTunes syncing back to the Pre smartphone, reversing a move Apple made recently to block the Pre’s iTunes syncing via an iTunes software upgrade. No word yet on whether the two companies will engage in a jello wrestling match.

Samsung’s Eco-Friendly Cell Phone. Available in “ocean blue” and “earth green,” Samsung’s compact smartphone is ecoconscious and sophisticated. Our reviewer liked the Samsung Reclaim smartphone for its energy efficiency and clean, simple interface.

Your Laptop and International Travel. When you travel abroad, keeping your laptop juiced up isn’t your only concern. Fellow contributing editor Lincoln Spector details the risks of taking your notebook across international borders in a recent Answer Line.

Suggestion Box

Contributing Editor James A. Martin offers tools, tips, and product recommendations to help you make the most of computing on the go. You can follow him on Twitter. Jim is also the co-author of Getting Organized in the Google Era, to be published in March 2010. Sign up to have Mobile Computing e-mailed to you each week.

Razer Phone 2 Review: Still The Best Gaming Phone

The Razer Phone 2 is a gaming powerhouse. Under the hood it’s running the latest hardware, features a giant battery, and offers a viewing/listening experience that is unmatched—on top of a near-stock version of Android. But in Razer’s efforts to add flagship features like wireless charging and RGB, it feels like the company lost some of what made the first gaming phone’s design so unique—and such a good fit within the Razer ecosystem.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Razer Phone 2 and the Razer Blade

Upgraded and redesigned internals

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.8GHz)

System memory: 8GB (LPDDR4X)

Storage: Internal 64GB V4 UFS / External SIM + micro SD slot (up to 2TB)

Display: 5.72-inch IGZO LCD 1440×2560

120Hz, Wide Color Gamut

UltraMotion Technology

Corning Gorilla Glass 5

645 nits (typ.) 470 nits (min.)

Power: 4000 mAh Li-Po battery

Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+

Wireless Qi inductive fast charging

Size: 158.5 x 78.99 x 8.5 mm

When it launched last year, the Razer Phone was the first ‘gaming phone’ with impressive features like a 120Hz screen, loud-ass front firing speakers, and custom cooling. This year’s phone refines all those features—amazing considering Razer is still very new to the phone business—and keeps the price locked at $800.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Razer Phone 2 offers upgrades in almost every department over the previous version.

Even though the size of the battery remains the same, there is a considerable hit to how long it lasts on the new phone due to a key feature: RGB. For the first few days of using the Razer Phone 2, I kept the RGB logo on at all times with a static green color (branding!). I saw as much as a 30-percent extra hit to the battery by the end of the day. I was down in single digits right before bed, and that’s a bummer for me. I like giant phones that have giant batteries so I can tax it all day and never have to worry about losing steam. Having the RGB on 24/7 elevated my battery anxiety, so luckily it’s a feature I can fine-tune to my needs.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

In both gaming and daily use the Razer Phone 2 is a smooth experience.

Razer has also continued to keep a clean version of Android, modifiying upon stock only in smart ways. Its game software organizer, Cortex, has been refined, so it’s easier than ever to fine-tune performance per game. Razer’s Chroma app has shrunken and is a fun and simple way to control lighting. The Theme Store continues to get new and unique themes from both Razer and its users. All in all using the phone is still a great experience, and fans of stock Android will feel right at home. As of right now, however, it’s stuck on 8.1 Oreo and the October security patch, so it’d better get updated soon.

While the camera in the Razer Phone 2 has also been upgraded, it’s still very basic in its functionality and results. This year Razer went with Sony image sensors (the industry-standard provider), replacing the Samsung ones from last year. Add the improvements to the Snapdragon 845’s image signal processor, optical image stabilization on the main lens, and a new camera app, and you have a potentially winning formula. Unfortunately the captured images still lack the high-level processing that we find in other flagship phones. So much of what makes a smartphone camera good is processing—Razer has a long way to catch up in this area.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG Adam Patrick Murray/IDG Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Glass back woes

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the glass back clean enough for this photo…

Reason number one is very much personal preference: I don’t like glass-backed phones. The brushed black aluminum skin on the first Razer Phone made it look tough and yet beautiful. I want to show off a phone design like that, rather than hide it under the extra bulk of a case.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

I do prefer the look and feel of the Razer Phone 1 with it’s solid piece of aluminum.

Where is the headphone jack?

And then there is the lack of the headphone jack. I know it’s a tired topic, but in a device like this that goes above and beyond to push amazing visuals, killer speaker quality, and a custom cooling solution, I’m baffled by the omission of a headphone jack. In my mind it’s a pro option in a pro phone, and it should be there.

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Razer’s Hammerhead USB-C ANC headphones can’t make up for the loss of the headphone jack.

Conclusion

Despite the lack of headphone jack and a switch to the glass back I can still say that the Razer Phone 2 is the best ‘gaming phone’ out there. It couples hardcore specs with gamer-focused features and a super-clean version of Android—a combination that isn’t matched by competitors like Asus’s ROG Phone. If you must have the ultimate gaming experience in your pocket, the Razer Phone 2 is the best option. 

Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Razer Phone 2 is the best gaming phone of 2023.

Windows Phone 7 Wins With Office Mobile Revamp

If you’re a veteran Windows Mobile user who’s mastered the mobile Office applications on a Windows-powered smartphone, get ready to go back to school. Windows Phone 7 puts a fresh, new face on Office; one that aims to make users more efficient, but does requires a little relearning.

Unlike Windows Mobile 6.5, which bears a faint resemblance to the old Windows CE operating system first used on phoneless handheld computers, Windows Phone 7 is totally finger-powered, and lets you navigate menus by swiping and touching.

The home screen of Windows Phone 7 handsets come with an Office hub icon that provides quick access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote files. When the home screen locks after a period of dormancy, your next appointment is shown on the bottom as are the number of unread e-mails and missed calls.

The new sliding interface is not foreign to Microsoft Zune digital music player users, nor to the select few who purchased Microsoft Kin phones during their brief shelf lives in stores. The same concept of swiping up, down or sideways to get from one menu to the other is used throughout Windows Phone 7 and changes the face of Mobile Office.

For example, when you open Outlook e-mail on a Windows Phone 7, you get a neat list of all of your e-mail in a comfortably large font with icons that make it easy to access attachments or perform other functions. Sliding the screen to the left reduces the list to unread e-mail-the filtering has already been done before the finger slide. One or two extra swipes of the finger will switch the view to flagged or urgent e-mail.

A large app bar appears at the bottom of Office screens offering navigation tools relevant to the open file. A predictive keyboard allows you to type relatively quickly. The phone will make an educated guess at the word you want based on the context but if it gets it wrong, a list of other suggested words appears in a small bar.

You can create notes in OneNote and have them automatically sync with the Web, thus allowing you to make updates on a desktop computer or any other device that with a Web browser. The service works with a free Windows Live SkyDrive account and, with more sophistication, on a SharePoint 2010 Web site.

The calendar client in Outlook supports multiple calendars, color coded for clarity. If you get a meeting request with an address, the software recognizes the address and allows you to access a Bing map online. If someone is using PowerPoint 2010 to broadcast a presentation online to up to 50 people, the PowerPoint client on the phone can log into the broadcast and view it as others do from their PCs.

A glaring omission on Windows Phone 7 is cut and paste, an oversight Microsoft representatives said would be corrected in early 2011 with an over-the-air update.

Overall the Office experience is cleaner and faster, and more compatible with the files generated by Office 2010 applications.

In Video: Microsoft Launches First Windows Phone 7 Handsets

Best Phone Network 2023: Uk Mobile Networks Compared

These are the four main UK networks but there are also many other small companies that use the four big networks to provide mobile services, often at a discounted rate.

The quality and speed of your mobile network is essential to your ability to work and play on the move, so which is best? As with the best phones, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here but there are a range of worthwhile options, offering a myriad of different benefits, catering to different needs.

Connectivity can vary from place to place and day to day. Visit the websites of all the major players and they will tell you that they have great coverage, everywhere. The truth is more nuanced.

If you’ve already got a contract and are considering buying a new phone or switching to a different network, here’s how to find out how long is left on your contract, and then how to upgrade your contract early.

You might also be pleased to hear that text-to-switch makes it easier than ever to swap to a new network in the UK.

It’s important to make sure you know when your contract ends in order to ensure that you are not being overcharged. According to Citizens Advice, in 2023 more than six million people were still being charged for mobile phones they’ve already paid for.

How to get 5G

The hottest topic in the mobile space right now is 5G, which is rolling out across the UK. You may want to keep this in mind when choosing which network to switch to.

As well as a carrier that supports 5G (we cover which ones do, don’t and will down below) you also need to ensure that you’ve got a 5G-capable phone in order to access those faster data speeds.

Find out everything you need to know about 5G in the UK here.

What’s the best phone network in the UK?

First, let’s have a look at the options. There are actually only four major mobile networks in the UK, but there are several additional options that use branded services that piggyback off of the infrastructure laid out by the big four. The latter are actually classed as Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs and don’t have their own network space.

The big four are:

EE has the largest number of piggybackers, including ASDA Mobile, BT Mobile, Plusnet, Virgin Mobile (for now) and HMD Mobile.

O2’s piggybackers include Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile.

Three’s include iD Mobile and SMARTY, while Vodafone’s include Talk Mobile and VOXI.

It’s worth keeping this in mind when considering which provider you’d like to use, as coverage for the network you use may differ depending on where you are in the UK. You can use Ofcom’s coverage checker to find out.

The problem with having just four networks is that, if one of those four suffers any sort of service outage, the chances are all of its piggybackers will too. For example, in December 2023, O2 customers and customers of all of the O2 piggybackers went without 4G for an entire day, causing chaos across the UK.

Below, we take a quick look at each operator and what they offer right now.

According to RootMetrics, EE is the provider of the best mobile coverage across the UK. Vodafone is the second-best option, while Three is third in Wales and England followed by O2, and vice versa for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

There’s also the caveat of Virgin Media and O2’s merger, which went public on 1 June 2023. As the two brands have started to rework their businesses in order to operate as a single entity (simply called Virgin Media O2), existing customers who already subscribe to both Virgin Media’s home broadband and an O2 mobile plan have already started to see a shift in what benefits are being made available to them.

The first true jointly-created Virgin Media O2 product – Volt – brings both double data on O2 mobile plans and free upgraded Virgin Media home broadband speeds. Those who already subscribe to services from just one of the two brands will also benefit from discounts and offers found with the other.

BT Mobile

EE piggybacker

Good for BT Broadband customers

Offers 5G

BT is one of the newer players in the market, using its branded services on EE’s UK network. It’s a good option if you already have BT Broadband as you can apply to benefit from a £5 monthly discount on your mobile plan.

BT also offers SIM-only plans for pretty decent prices. As it’s on EE’s network (which itself is a combination of the old T-Mobile and Orange UK networks) you’re likely to get excellent coverage and good download speeds.

Find out more on BT’s website.

EE

One of the ‘big four’

Great coverage across most of the UK

Data caps

Benefits for EE Home Broadband customers

UK’s best 5G network – according to RootMetrics

Find out more at EE.co.uk

EE is something of a behemoth in the UK mobile market. It was bought by BT in 2024 but that won’t really affect your choice of network.

EE’s network is comprised of the old T-Mobile and Orange frequencies, so there’s a lot of coverage nationally, with few black spots. 

Its phone contract prices can be a tad pricey, but for sheer confidence in coverage (and a big brand name to boot) it’s a solid choice.

In August 2023 it announced some truly unlimited 4G (and more recently 5G) data plans that also let you share up to 120GB a month with any other EE mobile line linked to your account. 

You’ll get EU roaming (using your standard plan allowances) for £2 a day, there are data caps available, and if you get EE Home Broadband you can get a mobile data boost of up to 20GB per month.

EE has also won uSwitch’s Fastest Mobile Network for three years in a row, since 2023. It also offers the best and fastest overall 5G coverage according to RootMetrics’s H1 2023 study.

Find out more over on EE’s website.

Giffgaff

O2 piggybacker

Simple SIM-only Goodybags that you can change or cancel any time

Offers 5G

Owned by O2, Giffgaff is a little operator but one with attractive SIM-only deals. Using its owner’s network, it offers great value Goodybags, such as the £10 per month, 15GB option.

It has also upped its £20 Goodybag data allowance from 20GB to 100GB, while £35 gets you unlimited data (that is speed-capped after you’ve used 80GB worth).

It’s a fine choice if you already own a handset – just get a SIM and you’re good to go. However, it does offer phones on a contract if you need both.

Provided you set up auto-renewing payments, you can choose from one of Giffgaff’s Golden Goodybags, which offer better value for money, with larger amounts of data.

Visit Giffgaff’s website to find out more.

HMD Mobile

EE piggybacker

Exclusive to Nokia phone owners

5G and 4G

EU roaming at no extra cost

Launching alongside the Nokia X20 and G10, in early May 2023, HMD Global also pulled the wraps off its new MVNO – HMD Mobile – which turns the purchasing process on its head somewhat.

Rather than buying a phone and a plan from a carrier, those picking up a phone direct from Nokia’s website also have the opportunity to pair it with an HMD Mobile SIM.

HMD Mobile aims to offer short-term plans with the benefits of a long-term contract; with four tariffs currently available, offering unlimited calls and texts, along with 2GB, 10GB, 25GB or 50GB of data from £8 on a rolling 30-day contract.

It launched with 4G only, but HMD has since brought 5G compatibility.

Piggybacking off EE’s network also guarantees great nationwide coverage too, and while EE has reintroduced a form of roaming charges, HMD Mobile hasn’t – within the EU, at least.

Find out more on HMD Global’s website.

O2

One of the ‘big four’

Won uSwitch’s Best Network Coverage award ’19, ’20, ’21

Exclusive benefits for Virgin Media & O2 customers

Offers 5G

Find out more at O2.co.uk

O2 is a brand that has been around since 2002 in the UK and operates as one of the most well-known operators around. The network boasts excellent coverage and the company offers users great flexibility; such as letting you pair phone and tariffs plans of varying length (up to 36 months), independently.

O2’s recent merger with Virgin Media (to make Virgin Media O2), hasn’t directly impacted O2 customers in any meaningful way, other than gaining access to new benefits, on top of existing perks, like O2 Priority, which offers customers access to unique perks, like gig tickets.

As Virgin Media O2, the company also won Rootmetrics’ UK Network Accessibility Award in the first half of 2023 too, not to mention it’s the only member of the ‘big four’ that hasn’t reinstated roaming charges within the EU, making it ideal for travellers.

Get more information on O2’s website.

Plusnet

EE piggybacker

Data caps

No tethering charges

No phone contracts available, just SIM-only options

5G not yet available

Find out more at plus.net

Plusnet, which was once LIFE Mobile, uses EE in the same way that BT Mobile does, meaning you can expect really reliable coverage. It hasn’t yet made the jump to 5G though, so it’s only using (part of) the carrier’s 4G infrastructure for the time being (which is still famously robust, fear not).

Perks include no extra charges for tethering and the ability to set a monthly price cap to stop any nasty surprises appearing on your bill. It’s a good SIM-only option with very reasonable pricing.

It won uSwitch’s ‘Best Network for Customer Service’ and ‘Best Value Pay Monthly Network’ awards in 2023.

Find out more and see deals on Plusnet’s website.

Sky Mobile

O2 piggybacker

Unlimited streaming on Sky apps

Piggybank Rewards

Flexible plans

uSwitch Network of the Year 2023

Offers 5G

One of the newest additions to the UK mobile market, Sky has become a ‘quad-play’ provider by adding mobile to its TV, broadband and landline offerings. 

You just pay for how much data you want, on a plan that uses Virgin Media O2’s network. The company also appears to have removed the roadblock of exclusive benefits for existing Sky customers, meaning perks like free unlimited calls and texts are now standard on every plan, for everyone.

There’s also a fun feature called Piggybank Rewards, which means customers can cash in their unused data allowance for savings on phones, tablets and accessories. This is part of its ‘Roll’ plans, which also allow customers to tap into their unused data from previous months at any time for up to three years.

There are also good Swap contracts that allow customers to upgrade their phone every year and Mix, which lets customers change their data allowance each month.

Sky won Best Pay Monthly Network and Best Value Pay Monthly Network in uSwitch’s 2023 awards, as well as ‘Network of the Year’, ‘Best Network for Data’ and ‘Best Pay Monthly Network’ last year, as well.

You’ll find more info on Sky Mobile’s website.

SMARTY

Three piggybacker

SIM-only network

Simple and affordable

Offers 5G

Find out more at SMARTY.co.uk

SMARTY is a relatively unknown SIM-only network, powered by Three.

It’s designed with simplicity and transparency in mind, offering three data discount plans – which include money back for unused data, five competitive data plans – offering 4GB to 50GB allowances, and one unlimited plan. You can change or cancel your plan at any time. 

This relative newbie won uSwitch’s: ‘Best Value SIM-only Network’ awards in 2023 and 2023, and ‘Best PAYG Network’ in 2023 and gained 5G at no extra cost in early 2023.

You’ll find more info on the SMARTY website.

Tesco Mobile

O2 piggybacker

Cheap SIM deals

Offers 5G plans, including SIM-only

Tesco Mobile provides contracts, PAYG and SIM-only deals at decent prices. Because it uses Virgin Media O2’s network, coverage will be decent and often the subsidies for new handsets are good to boot.

SIM-only prices start at under £9 per month, so if you’ve got a handset you already love, you could save a lot of money.

Alternatively, there’s the offer of six months free Clubcard Plus, which doubles the data on your mobile contract, includes a 10% discount on two Tesco shops a month (up to £40 a month), gets you 10% off selected Tesco brands in-store – like F&F Clothing and double Clubcard points, nabbing you 2 points for every £1 on your Tesco Mobile bill – eligible on select pay monthly contracts on Anytime Upgrade and SIM-only plans. 

Find out more over on Tesco Mobile’s website.

Three

One of the ‘big four’

All-you-can-eat data available

Go Binge data features

Offers 5G

Find out more at Three.co.uk

Three offers reasonably priced ‘all-you-can-eat’ data bundles. That’s right, unlimited data. If you can afford it, you can get the best handsets in the land with unlimited internet access.

Plus, even if you don’t choose an all you can eat package, you’ll be able to stream shows from Netflix, TVPlayer, Dave and History Channel, as well as songs from Deezer, Apple Music and SoundCloud infinitely, without it counting towards your data allowance with the network’s ‘Go Binge’ feature.

Pay as you go rates are also pretty decent if you don’t need as much data, minutes or texts.

Once the king of roaming plans (before the effects of Brexit took hold), the carrier still offers decent rates within the EU.

uSwitch also awarded Three the ‘Best Network for Roaming’ and the ‘Most Popular Mobile Network’ in 2023, 2023 and 2023.

Virgin Media

Vodafone piggybacker

Data rollover

Flexible plans

Data-free messaging

Offers 5G

Virgin Media was late to the party with 4G and 5G but has caught up and is an attractive option if you already get your broadband connection and TV from Virgin Media O2, cutting down the number of tech providers you have to deal with.

It offers data rollover features and lets you message on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter without eating into your allowance. There’s the ability to change your plan every month, too.

As an MVNO, Virgin Media customers are actually relying on Vodafone’s networks at present but with the Virgin Media O2 merger, there’s every chance it’ll all switch to the O2 network, soon enough.

Virgin Media’s website offers more info.

Vodafone

One of the ‘big four’

Big data plans available

Offers 5G

Find out more at Vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone is a staple brand in the UK mobile market and its coverage is excellent but it has suffered from reports of bad customer service over the past few years.

However, the actual network itself provides reliable fast 4G and 5G connectivity, and its SIM-only deals are well priced.

You’ll find more information on Vodafone’s website here.

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