Choose your network provider wisely as they all offer different
levels of coverage, price plans, rewards and technical support.
There are a number of comparison sites on the internet which
allow you to compare all of these things quickly and easily so
that you can choose the network which best suits your needs.



Click on the links below to find out more

Choose your phone type

Entry Level Phone
When buying a mobile phone, there are a number of things you need to consider. Firstly, and most importantly, you need to ask yourself what you want to do with your phone. Are you looking to surf the web, play games, take high definition pictures and video and download apps? Or are you looking for a simple handset with which to make calls and send the odd text message? If it's just a basic handset you're after, there are a number of cheap and simple pay as you go phones available from the major networks. Typically, these entry level phones are priced between £10 and £40.

Feature Phone
The next step up the ladder from the entry-level phone is a mid-range handset, often refered to as a feature phone. Feature phones will generally include a limited web browser, although they may only support slower GPRS internet speeds, rather than the faster 3G that you get on Smartphones. Most feature phones also support email and include some built-in apps for social networking. The camera quality of feature phones is often OK and usually up to around 2 megapixels.

Smartphone
A Smartphone is a mobile phone with advanced features that has more in common with a computer than a phone. Smartphones make browsing the web, downloading apps, sending and receiving emails, shooting HD pictures and video, playing games and keeping up-to-date with your friends & family via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, easy. As you move up to the higher price brackets, you'll start to find smart phones with faster processors, better cameras and larger, high-resolution screens.

What is an operating system

Operating systems manage all the programs on a smartphone and ensure that the phone runs efficiently. It also provides a platform for developers to make applications, or "apps", which are small, downloadable programs for your phone. Different smartphones come with different operating systems.

Android
Android is now the most popular Operating System in the world and most handset manufacturers have Android compatible phones in their range. Android makes it easy to customise your phone to suit your needs and to Access email, music, the web and over 35,000 apps via the Android Market.

Windows
Anyone who regularly uses a laptop or desktop PC will be familiar with Microsoft's Windows as this is the operating system used by most home computers. On mobiles, Windows 7 OS delivers a new user experience by integrating the things users really want to do and creating a balance between getting work done and having fun.

Blackberry
Blackberry mobiles use their own operating system known as Blackberry OS. Blackberry OS makes it easy to personalise your smartphone with games, social networking apps, themes, personal productivity apps and so much more.

Bada
The Bada Operating System is quick and easy to use and has a variety of applications available, which can be downloaded from the Samsung Apps store. It is computer compatible, making it easy to sync your handset and PC for quick file transfers.

Symbian
The Symbian user interface is regularly updated and improved, making it a very easy system to navigate. Symbian OS is 'open source' making it easier for developers to create and share applications, which is mainly done through the Nokia Ovi Store. It has a wide range of different apps from games and multimedia treats to functional programs.

Sim information

What is a SIM?
A Sim is a small card with a chip in it that fits into a slot inside your handset. Amongst other things, it holds your mobile number and lets you use your mobile phone with a mobile network. It can also be used to store numbers, texts and other data.

Sim Free
Choosing a Sim Free phone is the easiest way to upgrade your handset. You can use any sim card in a sim free phone, including your old sim from your previous phone or a new one from your chosen network. If you're transferring a sim from an old phone, you'll need to make sure that all your contacts are stored on it. In some cases, this will mean contacting your network and arranging for internet settings to be downloaded on to the phone. This is usually a pretty simple process done via text message.

Pay As You Go Sim
Also known as 'pre-pay', 'pay as you go' simply means you can 'top up' your sim card with credit that can be used to pay for calls, texts and internet useage. There are various ways you can 'top up' your Sim including using the swipe card provided at supermarkets, cash points, post offices and cornershops. You can also buy credit directly from the networks either via their helpline or websites using your bank debit card. Pay as you go allows you to control your useage spending effectively and ensures you never receive any scary bills.

Micro Sim Card
A Micro Sim Card is just a smaller version of a standard sim card. The functions are exactly the same, its just smaller in size. Quite a few of the newer Smartphones require a micro sim card, so watch out for this if you're buying a sim free handset. You can request a micro sim from your network.

PUK Code
Most Smartphones are PIN protected and, if you incorrectly enter your PIN code 3 times in a row, the SIM will lock up and you'll need to enter a PUK code to release it. Please contact your network provider if and when you need a PUK code. You'll also need a PUK code if you want to change networks but keep your same number.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)
International Mobile Equipment Identity is a unique 15-digit number given to every mobile phone. The IMEI can be displayed by dialing *#06# & is usually printed inside the phone under the battery. You should keep a note of the number incase you need to report the handset lost or stolen.

Phone feature

Camera
The quality of a phones camera is based on the quality of the lens and the phone software. The higher the mega pixels, the greater the picture resolution, which means you can display bigger, clearer pictures on your PC. MP is short for megapixel. A pixel is a small dot that makes up an image. A megapixel = 1 million pixels. Useful camera features available on phones are Flash (a must for taking pictures indoors), zoom (allows you to get a better view of distant subjects) and shake control (which prevents blurry photo's).

Many of the latest generation of Smartphones come with HD video recording, allowing you to capture videos in stunning High Definition, straight from your phone.

Touchscreen
Touchscreen means that the handset is operated by touching the screen rather than with conventional buttons and a keypad. This allows you to use the handset in a much wider variety of ways.

Apps or Applications
Apps are small computer programs that let you do lots of useful and fun things on your phone - from showing you where you are on a map to playing games or getting you up-to-the-minute news headlines. Some apps are designed for certain operating systems but others work on lots of different systems. You can download apps quickly and easily online. Some are free to download and others you can buy.

Processor
Processor or CPU is the brains of a Smartphone. This is a small chip that's built into the phone which processes and calculates most things within it. The speed of the processor is measured in Mhz or GHz. (1000Mhz = 1Ghz). The higher the Mhz or GHz, the faster or more efficient the processor is.

A dual core processor doubles your phone’s processing power for quicker multi-tasking, better gaming and improved battery life. For example a dual core 1.2GHz processor has the equivalent of 2 x 1.2 GHz processors. A quad core processor has 4 times the power of a single processor.

Memory
Memory is the phone's storage space and is used to store all of your photos, music, apps, videos and more. There are two types of memory - internal memory, which is already built into the phone when you buy it, and expandable memory - normally a memory card which slots into your phone allowing you to store additional photos and music etc. When purchasing expandable memory, it's important that you choose a memory card that's compatible with your phone.

Memory is measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB). 1GB is equal to 1000MB. The higher the number of MB or GB, the more information (pictures or music) the phone will hold. For example, a 1GB memory will store up to 250 music tracks depending on file size.

Standby Time and Talk Time
Standby time is the maximum time the phone's battery will last between charging and when not in use. Using the phone in anyway (i.e. making calls, using the internet etc.) will reduce this time. Talk Time is the length of time, measured in minutes, that the fully charged battery will last when the phone is in constant use (i.e. during a call).

SMS and MMS
SMS is an abbreviation of Short Message Service, which is the technical term for a standard text message. MMS (or Multimedia Messaging Service) is a text message which also contains a picture or video file.

BBM
Blackberry Messenger or BBM is an instant message service that's only available on Blackberry handsets. There is a basic monthly charge for using the service, but after that messages are free.

Connectivity

Bluetooth
This technology allows electronic devices in close range to communicate wirelessly, so you can connect your phone to your car hands-free or to other Bluetooth enabled mobile phones.

WiFi
WiFi lets you connect to the internet through a wireless network hotspot, either on the go or at home.

3G
3G is a wireless technology that lets you surf the internet quickly wherever you have a 3G signal. Just make sure you check with your network provider that you have 3G data allowance to avoid running up large bills. It's measured by how much data you use to download apps, send photos or browse the internet. For example, 100MB of a data a month would allow you to send 6,000 emails and view 100 full web pages.

GPS and A-GPS
GPS (Global Positioning System) lets you know exactly where you are the in the world to an accuracy of around 10m. Phones with GPS can be used as a sat nav for anything from route planning to finding your nearest cash point or curry house! A-GPS lets you do all this but quicker.

Dual Band, Tri-Band and Quad Band
Mobile phones that are dual band can be used throughout Europe. Mobile phones that are tri band can be used in many areas of the world including the US and Canada. Mobile phones that are quad band are compatible with networks all over the world. It is worth checking with your network which type you have before going abroad.

GPRS
Phones enabled with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) allow you to access WAP internet pages and send and recieve MMS. Receiving data is faster than WAP enabled phones but slower than 3G, though you are only charged when you send or receive data, and charged by the amount of data, rather by than the length of transmission.

WAP
WAP, or Wireless Application Protocol to give it its full title, allows you to access a slimmed-down version of the internet. It is similar to GPRS but slower. With WAP, you can only access WAP enabled websites, making it OK for casual users but not ideal if you want to surf the web on a regular basis.

NFC
NFC or Near Field Communication, is a new technology which enables simple transactions, data exchanges and wireless connections between two devices in close proximity to each other, usually no more than a few centimetres apart. It is expected to become a widely used system for making payments by Smartphone.

Helpline Numbers

Samsung 3307267864
BlackBerry 0800 096 2201
HTC 0845 890 0079
LG 0844 847 5454
Sony 08705 237 237
Motorola 08716 412130
Nokia 0845 0455555
O2 0844 809 0222
Vodafone 0870 0776655
Orange 07973 100 450
T-Mobile 0845 412 5000
Three 0843 373 3333

Protecting your mobile

We could replace your broken or stolen phone in just 3 days!

These days, we all feel stranded without our mobiles - so if yours is stolen or can't be repaired, it can be replaced* when you take out Mobile Phone Insurance.

Our Mobile Phone Insurance covers against theft and accidental damage and you even have the option to spread the cost with your Littlewoods Shopping Account.

Click here to find out more >

* Of the same or similar specification, subject to stock availability
It is estimated that as many as 800,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen every year in the UK so it makes sense to protect yours in every way you can. As well as taking out a mobile phone insurance policy, it is also a good idea to jot down its make, model and unique identification number (IMEI number) and to security mark it with your postcode and house number.
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