13/12/2016 – 4:06pm
OnePlus is a brand that is now well established. But if for some reason you have managed to get this far in your life without hearing about them, allow me to explain a little bit about the company and why its phones are so darn good.
For and foremost is price; OnePlus’ flagship handsets – previously the OnePlus 3, now the OnePlus 3T – cost WAY less than their peers. The base level iPhone 7, for instance, retails for £599, while the Google Pixel, your premium Android option for 2016, also starts at £599.
Both handsets are pretty pricy and most users acquire them on two year contracts. However, the OnePlus 3T is different, as it costs just £399 – £40 more than its predecessor – but for that money you get more or less the same specs, hardware and performance as you’ll find aboard Google’s Pixel phone and Apple’s iPhone 7.
I know, I know – £399 is still a wedge of cash. But think about it this way: it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than either the iPhone 7, Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE, which means, with a bit of saving, you could probably afford to buy it out right in a couple of months and avoid a lengthy two year contract with a network.
This leaves you open to pick and choose who you get your calls and data plan with. And when you don’t need a phone, phone plans start to get A LOT cheaper. They also roll, which basically means you can opt out whenever you like, should you find a better value one.
EE, arguably the UK’s best network for coverage and data, is running a bunch of very attractive SIM-only deals, which you can see over on its website. What’s more, EE will also chuck in a free pair of Beats headphones on select, rolling monthly SIM-only plans. And as any tech journalist will tell you, free headphones are always good.
It’s the same in the US as well – just look at these awesome deals Verizon has for SIM-only.
Plus – if you keep the handset in good nick, you can always sell it on once something you prefer comes out. This is why buying a phone outright versus going the network (lease) approach is always best if you can.
Most people can’t, for obvious reasons, but handsets like the OnePlus 3T make it increasingly easier to get hold of high-end hardware and excellent software without having to sign your life away to a network.
It’s like cars: you’re always better off buying. Leasing – or fleecing, as some people call it – means not only do you not own an asset but your also paying off the depreciation for the car vendor, as well as a pretty big margin on top of it.
It’s the same with phones… why do you think there is such a MASSIVE difference between the cost of SIM-only and SIM + Phone plans? Networks make most of their cash by taking a £700 phone and charging you £1300 for it over two years.
Handsets like the OnePlus 3T – as well as other Android phones on this list or Affordable & Excellent Android Phones – give the average consumer the chance to escape this two-year prison sentence and actually shop around for the best deal possible.
Apple loyalists even have options. Rather than buying the latest and greatest iPhone, simply hold off and pick up an older, reconditioned model. I guarantee you will not notice the difference and you will save a FORTUNE in the process. If you’d like to know more about this way of acquiring and iPhone, check out our guide The INS and OUTS of Buying A Second Hand iPhone.