Samsung Galaxy X: the story of Samsung’s foldable phone so far

Update: A patent has shown us what the Galaxy X's interface might look like, and we've also seen another possible design for the phone itself.

Foldable phones are coming – it’s only a matter of time – and it's looking increasingly like Samsung could be the first company to commercially launch one, possibly as soon as next year.

We may even know what it’s called, with the mysterious Samsung Galaxy X being the subject of several bendable leaks, foldable patents and flexible rumors.

But whether X marks the spot or not, we’re clearly entering a foldable future. To see how we got here and where we’re going, here’s the story of Samsung’s foldable phone so far.

Six years in the making

The idea of a foldable phone isn’t new to Samsung, in fact way back in 2011 the company showed off a prototype of exactly that.

The device looked chunky and awkward, but even back then it somewhat worked, remaining intact after 100,000 folds, with only a 6% drop in brightness at the center, where all the folding action happened.

This clearly wasn’t a commercial product, but later that year Samsung launched a concept video of a fully bendable (and transparent) mobile device, that could fold out from a phone-sized screen to a tablet-sized one, showing Samsung’s ambitions for the technology.

Production problems

While a device like the one in the video above is likely still years away even now, by 2012 Samsung was already hard at work trying to launch the first generation of flexible or foldable phones, but a report late in the year claimed that problems with the production of flexible screens would hold the first bendy display back until at least 2013.

That didn’t stop Samsung showing off another video of a foldable future though, highlighting all sorts of transparent screens, made from plastic that’s thin, light and flexible enough to fully fold or roll.

And as 2012 came to a close it seemed Samsung might be overcoming its production problems, with another report claiming that its flexible plastic screens were in the final stage of development, with the first phones sporting them likely to land in mid-2013.

Samsung’s bendy plastic screens got a more real-world debut at CES 2013, along with a name – they were now called ‘Youm’, though it was clear from the flexible prototype on show that Samsung was still far from putting a Youm display on a commercial device.

That was made even more clear when the tech was reportedly hit with new manufacturing issues in April 2013. Supposedly the previous problems had been solved, but now Samsung was apparently struggling with the encapsulation technology, which protects the screen from moisture and air damage.

Round the Edge

The closest thing we actually got to a foldable phone from Samsung in 2013 was the Samsung Galaxy Round. This was far from the prototypes and concepts we’d seen, but as the world’s first curved screen smartphone it was a big step in the right direction.

That was followed up by the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which curved in a now more familiar direction, one which Samsung has since fully embraced with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and other phones with curved edges.

These are still far from being foldable, and while a Samsung executive did promise a truly bendable device by the end of 2014, whatever he was referring to never appeared.

Project Valley

Talk of foldable phones went a bit quiet until mid-2015, when it was rumored that an upcoming phone codenamed Project Valley could be foldable.

At this point little was known about the device, which would apparently have two screens, but it was said to be in early development, so was unlikely to arrive for a while, if at all.

In September 2015 an “insider” claimed that we’d see a bendable phone in January 2016. It wasn’t clear whether this was Project Valley or not, but apparently it would come in both mid-range and high-end flavors. Though, of course, it didn’t arrive at all.

Samsung Galaxy X

In May 2016 Project Valley got a new name – the Samsung Galaxy X, which was believed to be the name it would release under.

According to reports at the time it would be ready for release in 2017 and would have a foldable 4K display, so that the resolution would remain high even when the phone was folded.

We were sceptical about that launch date at the time, and still are, as it sounds seriously futuristic compared to the phones we’re using currently.

But that’s not quite the full story so far. At SID 2016 Samsung showed off a roll-out display – but one which didn’t have a touchscreen layer, which would be pretty vital for a smartphone.

Then in June “people familiar with the matter” reported that we might see two foldable phones from Samsung in 2017 – backing up those previous Galaxy X reports.

Supposedly one would fold out from a 5-inch handset to an 8-inch tablet, much like the concept video Samsung showed back at the beginning of our story, while the other would fold in half like a cosmetic compact, along the lines of a folding phone patent we’d already seen.

We still weren’t convinced, but Samsung was clearly on the right track, with another patent looking to solve one of the biggest problems with folding phones – the ability to fold without damaging any internal components.

The patent described an “artificial muscle”, which would move in time with the screen bending to protect other components.

One of our most recent looks at what might be the Samsung Galaxy X came from a patent spotted by GalaxyClub, highlighting a long device, with a shape more like a remote control than a smartphone, but one which could fold down to half the size.

The shape doesn’t seem particularly practical, so we doubt this is the form the Galaxy X will take, but it’s vaguely along the lines of the phone-to-tablet convertible we’ve been hearing about, and a similar design has popped up since.

And talk of a 2017 launch hasn't died. In late 2016 we heard rumors that a foldable Samsung phone would launch early the following year, followed by another later in the year. One of these was said to have two displays with a hinge in the middle, while the other will apparently have a single flexible screen.

More recently we've heard again that the Galaxy X will arrive in 2017, but not until the second half of the year.

According to some sources, more than 100,000 units are going to roll out in the third quarter of the year – though plans for a 2017 launch could apparently be changed.

That gels with a tweet from tipster @mmddj_china, who claims the Galaxy X will land in Q3 of 2017.

Though elsewhere we're hearing that Samsung may only have a prototype ready by then, and supply chain sources speaking to DigiTimes are even less optimistic, saying that a small production of foldable handsets will be made in the fourth quarter of the year, but technical issues may mean we don't see mass production before mid-2018.

Other sources similarly say that several thousand dual-screen prototypes might land this year, but that a commercially available product won't.

Most damningly of all, one of Samsung Display's own engineers has claimed we won't see a foldable phone for a while, saying:  “Because the bezel-free display currently sells well, we still have enough time to develop foldable display. The technology is expected to be mature around 2019.”

Although more recent news comes direct from Samsung's mobile boss, and is a little better, as he claims the company is aiming for a 2018 launch, assuming it can overcome certain unspecified problems.

The Galaxy X could essentially have two screens instead of one. Credit: KIPRIS

And most recently of all we've finally had a look at the possible interface of the Galaxy X, revealing a familiarly Samsung UI, but where each half of the display shows a different screen, rather than just making everything bigger or smaller.

This interface was shown in a patent, which also gave us another look at the possible design of the phone, showing something with a laptop-like design, but a second screen where the keyboard would be.

The shape of things to come

That brings us up to today, and while Samsung has made some commercial progress towards a flexible phone, with curved screens on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8, on the surface it doesn’t seem much closer overall to a truly foldable display than it did way back in 2011.

There’s lots of talk of a 2017 launch, but that’s not the first time a questionably close launch has been rumored, and with a Samsung exec pointing to 2018 that's the earliest we'd expect to see the Galaxy X.

If anything, it may arrive even later, since another Samsung employee has said not to expect the Galaxy X before 2019.

But behind the scenes promising progress does seem to have been made. Over the years several key problems in development appear to have been solved – from making a screen that can be folded thousands of times without breaking, to avoiding damage to internal components.

So we still see folding phones in our future, and maybe even the not too distant future. A Galaxy X in 2017 seems very unlikely, but we may at least have seen some shots of it before the end of the year, and a 2018 or 2019 launch looks very possible.

  • LG is working on foldable screens too

This patent shows how Samsung’s foldable Galaxy X might actually work

There have been a lot of rumors about a folding Samsung phone – known as the Galaxy X – over the years, and patents have even given us an idea of how it might look. 

But now we've got an idea of how the interface on this bendy phone might work, as GalaxyClub has come across a patent application showing a Samsung interface for a folding phone.

The accompanying images show a screen that folds in half, each section of which can contain a different home screen or menu, in portrait or landscape.

That’s as opposed to just giving you one screen and making it bigger or smaller, so the focus seems to be on fitting more on the display when the Galaxy X is unfolded.

As well as just two home screens, other examples show a list of contacts on one screen and someone’s contact card on the other, or the viewfinder for the front-facing camera on one display and for the rear one on the other, or a game on the front and the touchscreen controls for it on the rear.

Two screens are better than one

It also looks from the images like Samsung envisages having two screens (perhaps with a hinge in the middle), rather than a continuous folding display – in the same vein as the ZTE Axon M.

You could then either have the two screens side by side for a larger display, or fold it over so one screen is on the front of the phone and the other on the back. Some images also show the handset being folded in such a way that it can stand itself up.

However, it’s worth noting that the patent was filed in early 2016, and as such the interface is more in the style of a Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S7.

So it’s a bit dated and therefore the actual look of this interface almost certainly won’t make it to the Samsung Galaxy X – but some of the functionality, focus on fitting more on the screen and the design of the phone could.

And we might not even have too much longer to wait, as Samsung’s mobile boss has previously said the company is aiming for a 2018 launch for the Galaxy X.

  • Apple is also rumored to be working on a folding phone

SIM only deals: the best plans pre-Black Friday 2017

So you've come to the end of your phone contract? You basically have two options – grab a brand new mobile phone deal on one of the latest and greatest smartphones on the market. Or keep your beloved phone of the last two years and sign up for one of the cheap SIM only deals on this page.

A SIM only deal is a mobile phone plan that offers calls, texts and data in return for a monthly fee, but does not come bundled with a phone. Leaving the phone out of the equation gives you more flexibility (especially if you go for a 30-day rolling contract) or is ideal if you're eyeing up a new SIM-free phone.

If you take a sift through our handy price comparison tool above you'll see that 12-month prices start from a mere £4 per month for a basic plan, while you can also still bag Three's Mobile Choice Award winning 30GB for £17 deal. Whatever your needs, going SIM only is just the ticket if you're thinking to team one up with a brilliant Black Friday handset purchase.

And if you're still unsure whether SIM-only is the route for you, our expert advice will help you decide – our all knowing FAQ includes tips on switching your number, the networks that offer free gifts and answers to a host of other questions.

The best SIM only deals of the week are:

We've run the figures and plucked out the very best sim only deals available this month.  Whether you’re after the cheapest plan possible, want to dig out the best value big data SIM plan or just want an all-round great deal but don’t know how much to spend, you’ll find a recommendation just for you.

1. The absolute cheapest SIM only deal out there

2. The best 1GB+ SIM only deal

3. The best 2GB-4GB SIM only deal

4. The best 6GB-8GB SIM only deal

5. The best 10GB-16GB SIM only deal

6. The best 20GB-30GB SIM only deal

7. The best SIM only deal for unlimited data

8. Best EE SIM only deal

9. Best Three SIM only deal

10. Best data only SIM deal

Should I go SIM only?

If you a) want to save some money; b) don't want to be tied into a lengthy contract; or c) both of the above, then SIM only is well worth considering. In fact, you're probably one of two people if your thoughts are indeed turning to SIM only:

  1. You're coming to the end of your contract and your network is calling you a million times a day to get you to upgrade. Well if your phone is dying a death or you just fancy a change, head to our best mobile phones deal page to see what bargains are lurking, but otherwise going SIM only on your current phone is a no-brainer. You'll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can stick to a rolling 30 day contract so that if your circumstances change, you can get out of the arrangement tout suite.
  2. It's time for a shiny new smartphone and you want to get the best value humanly possible. You'll have to find a few hundred quid up front for the handset (be sure to check our SIM free comparison chart) but box clever and you'll end up paying less over the next 24 months (see below). Plus, if you're a commitment-phobe, most SIM-only plans don't require you to sign up for two years like you would with a normal contract.

sim only deals

Is SIM only cheaper than contract?

It can be. Teaming a SIM only plan with a standalone SIM-free handset could save you a few quid. It's usually the case when a flagship phone hits the market and contracts are made deliberately expensive. Take the Samsung Galaxy S8 as a prime example, where you could have saved over £100 over two years by splashing the £800-odd for the handset and slipping in a cheap SIM card.

Not all the savings you can make are as extravagant, and on big data it's frequently more cost effective to dive into a contract instead. But if you can afford to splash a few hundred pounds up front then the savings over the next couple of years could well be worth it – especially if you can bag a bargain on Black Friday 2017.

sim only deals

sim only deals

Is my phone unlocked – can I use a new SIM in it?

The times have passed since most phones were locked to a network and you had to pay a dodgy backstreet 'engineer' to unlock it. Nowadays, it's standard practice for networks to let you use whatever SIM you want in the phone as soon as you've paid up the original contract (or earlier if you pay them a fee) – and Three ships all its handsets unlocked from the outset.

The exception, alas, is Apple iPhones. They're generally sold locked to the original network that you purchase them with for the life of the handset. Very frustrating if you're looking for a tasty SIM only deal once your 24 month sentence is up.

The good news is that your iPhone (or any other mobile before the end of your contract) can be unlocked – the bad news is that most networks make you pay for the privilege. Insert a friend or family member's SIM into your phone to see whether it's already unlocked and, if it isn't, look for your network below to see how to cut ties with them:

  • EE Once six months have gone by on your contract, you can call EE on 0800 956 6000 and pay them £8.99 to unlock your phone. It says it will take around 10 days to complete. PAYG phones can be unlocked for free.
  • O2 As long as you don't own a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus (they can't be unlocked until you've paid off your contract), you can unlock any O2 phone – including iPhones – for free if you're on a pay monthly contract. PAYG customers have to pay £15.
  • Three Fear not, all phones on Three are unlocked as standard. Shove whatever SIM you like in there, it will work a treat.
  • Vodafone The red network doesn't quite get the same marks as Three, as your phone will be locked to them on arrival. But they have made unlocking handsets absolutely free within 10 days of your request.

sim only deals

What SIM card size do I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It's been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM (15x25mm) has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you've bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro (12x15mm) or nano (8.8×12.3mm) SIM – the iPhone 5 was Apple's first mobile with a nano SIM, while Samsung began using the smallest size in its Galaxy S6.

Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer's website to see what size you require. And if you're simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you'll get one of each size.

sim only deals

How do I keep my old number?

Ever heard of PAC codes and wondered what a classic 80s arcade game had to do with telephone numbers? It actually stands for Porting Authorisation Code, and it's the set of digits that you need to grab from your old network to let you transfer over your existing mobile number. If you're on one of the major networks, you can see what phone number you can contact them on here:

  • EE 07953 966 250
  • O2 0344 8090202
  • Vodafone 03333 040 191
  • Three 0333 300 3333
  • ID 0333 003 7777
  • GiffGaff 43431 from your handset
  • Virgin 0345 6000 789
  • BT 0800 800 150
  • Tesco 0345 301 4455
  • Sky 03300 412 524
  • Asda 0800 079 2732

If you want to grab a bargain SIM only plan above, but it's on your existing network then your network won't release a PAC code and you'll be forced to take a new phone number.

At least you would have, if it wasn't for this clever (if convoluted) work-around. You have to order a free pay-as-you-go SIM from another network. Once you have it, you can tell your old network that you're moving and they'll give you that precious PAC code. Then, once your number is registered to the substitute network, simply get another PAC code from them. Take that to your old network, and they'll move your number to your new contract. Simple – kind of!

sim only deals

What contract length should I get?

Unlike with a contract, there's a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM only plan will last. Two year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility. You can often get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you can effectively hand pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so.

sim only deals

How much data do I need?

Because you can change your plan up more regularly than a normal, lengthier contract, it's less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you're thinking of grabbing a 12-monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we'll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you.

Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you've been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you're still unsure, check out our guidance: 

  • 0-1GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM only deals could be a blessing or a curse. If you're putting it in a rarely used phone that will scarcely be away from wi-fi then you're quids in. But if you end up with one because your head's turned by the incredible price, then you could end up paying more if you continually go over your allowance.
  • 2-3GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 2GB and 3GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to check the football scores and scroll Facebook away from the wi-fi without danger.
  • 4-8GB If you can't leave the house without having a music streaming service like Spotify pouring into your ears, then it might be worth paying for some extra GBs of data.
  • 10-16GB This is a significant amount of data and some networks offer it for a very appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts, watching social media videos, or all three is your thing – you should be covered.
  • 20-30GB Only smartphone junkies that need regular (and hefty) data fixes need bother with this avalanche of GBs. You'll be able to rinse Netflix, Spotify and online games without too much fear of topping out.
  • Unlimited Maybe it's because you use remarkable amounts of data. Maybe it's because you simply don't want to keep checking how much data you've used every month. Whatever your reason to go unlimited, you have only two choices when it comes to network: Three or GiffGaff.

sim only deals

Do I need unlimited calls and texts?

Call it practicality, call it greediness, call it what you want – it's human nature to want 'unlimited' anything if offered. But you should think genuinely about whether you really need it in a world where the likes of WhatsApp and Skype let you call and text for free over wi-fi or 4G. If you decide that a few thousand monthly minutes and texts should do you, then you could shave off some cash from your bill.

sim only deals

What's the best mobile network for SIM only?

While EE, O2, Vodafone and Three are generally considered the major four networks for contract plans, when it comes to SIM only there are some other key players are well worth a look. See what we think of them below, and whether you'll get any free perks to help persuade you to sign up. Plus, we'll tell you about a couple of other SIM sellers that might be able to wrangle you an even better deal.

EE SIM only deals

If you want fast and furious 4G, then your choice has to be an EE SIM only deal. Its speeds are around 50% faster than the other major networks, which is really noticeable if you like watching films or football on the move. And EE gives you three free months of BT Sport, as well as six months of Apple Music.

View all: EE SIM only deals 

o2

O2 SIM only deals

O2's best claim for your contract is with its Priority rewards – from cheap lunch deals and pre-order privileges on gig tickets, to ad-hoc discounts and competitions. Plus, they have 1000s of Wi-Fi hotspots in shops and cafes that you can connect to for free and save your precious data.

View all O2 SIM only deals 

Vodafone SIM only deals

Vodafone seems to have been around since mobile phones were cumbersome bricks, but they remain a major player. Look out for a Red Entertainment tariff, which gives you your choice of a NOW TV Entertainment Pass, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile subscription.

View all Vodafone SIM only deals 

three deals

Three SIM only deals

Three is still the only network to offer unlimited data and it often features unbeatable deals on other big data plans – that makes them a natural choice of many a data hungry smartphone addict. But it's a bit shy on the free promotions stuff, and 4G coverage isn't as strong as the other networks.

View all 3 mobile SIM only deals 

sim only deals

bt mobile deals

BT SIM only deals

That familiar old stalwart of telecommunications BT is so-so when it comes to SIM only tariff prices. That's unless you're already a BT broadband customer, in which case you get some really favourable prices – a fiver less than the rest of the hoi polloi. Plus you get to choose an Amazon or iTunes voucher, the value of which depends on how much data you're in for.

Check below to see the current prices plans and how what voucher you can claim when you sign up. It's also worth noting that the 10GB and 15GB SIM only deals with BT also include free access to BT Sport on mobile.

For existing BT Broadband customers
(click the customer option at the top if the prices are more expensive)

12 months | 500MB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £35 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £7 per month at BT

12 months | 3GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £55 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £9 per month at BT

12 months | 10GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £65 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £17 per month at BT

12 months | 15GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £100 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £22 per month at BT

For non-BT Broadband customers:

12 months | 500MB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £35 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £12 per month at BT

12 months | 3GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £55 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £14 per month at BT

12 months | 10GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £65 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £22 per month at BT

12 months | 15GB data | Unlimited calls and texts | £100 Amazon or iTunes gift card – £27 per month at BT

ID sim only deals

iD SIM only deals

iD is a good option if bargain basement prices are what you covet most. This is a network run and owned by Carphone Warehouse – it piggybacks on the Three network. It's an excellent option if you want great value on a rolling monthly contract.

View all iD SIM only deals

giffgaff deals

giffgaff SIM only deals

GiffGaff is very hard to beat on price – if you want to grab a cheap SIM card deal, this could be your best option. You can't argue with £5 a month. The cheap deals don't give you much of an allowance to play with, but if you just want to keep your phone going and available to use for calls and texts with the occasional bit of internet use outside of your home WiFi, GiffGaff is a strong offering. Look out for the T&Cs though as some of the big data deals throttle the speed after a few gig.

View all giffgaff SIM only deals

virgin mobile sim only deals

Virgin Mobile SIM only deals

Virgin Mobile has been going for a long time, and some of its SIM only deals are particularly attractive. They're all one-month rolling contracts, so you can stop paying at any time if you so wish, giving you flexibility if you want to change your plan or go for a phone-inclusive deal down the line. Prices start from as little as £9 a month.

View all Virgin Mobile SIM only deals

Tesco Mobile SIM only deals

The UK's biggest supermarket has been known to offer competetive – if not stellar – SIM only deals, with low data prices starting around the £6 a month mark. Where it get's really interesting is if you download the Xtras app to an Android phone: you'll save £3 on your monthly bill, but you will have to see adverts every time you unlock your handset.

View all Tesco Mobile SIM only deals

talktalk sim only deals

TalkTalk SIM only deals

TalkTalk is a telecoms company that also offers home phone, broadband and TV packages, so the best deals can be had if you sign up for more than one service. However, at the time of writing the cheapest deal is £3.95 per month for an admittedly measly 250MB of data. Better yet, for just £7.75 you can get 2.1GB.

View all TalkTalk SIM only deals

Plusnet SIM only deals

Plusnet might be more well known for its broadband deals, but it's also keen to push some very cheap 30-day SIM only deals. You don't have to be a Plusnet customer, although you could get double the data on some of these SIM only deals if you are. You don't have to worry about signal either as Plusnet uses EE's network that covers 99% of the UK. Plusnet's latest cheap SIM only deals start at just £4 a month, check them out via the link below.

View all Plusnet SIM only deals

cheap sim only deals freedom pop

Freedom Pop SIM only deals

Freedom Pop is trying something new – offering contracts for FREE. The catch being that you only pay if you do over the allowances of your bundle or opt for a larger deal. The prices for doing so vary, so be sure to take a look at the small print. It seems that they feature a different offer each week, but seeing as you can cancel at any time, they may be worth a look.

View all Freedom Pop SIM only deals

mobiles.co.uk

Mobiles.co.uk SIM only deals

It's always worth checking out Mobiles.co.uk before settling on your SIM – its aggressive price cuts are often unmatched by anyone else. While the online retailer is known more for its handset contracts, it also offers a wide range of SIM only deals from all your favourite networks.

View: SIM only deals at Mobiles.co.uk

sim only deals

Carphone Warehouse SIM only deals

Carphone Warehouse doesn't just sell handset contracts. It also has a wide range of SIM only deals for Vodafone, O2, EE and ID. The online store is also known to include additional incentives such as half price fees for six months, free Beats by Dre headphones or Currys vouchers.

View all Carphone Warehouse SIM only deals

sim only deals

Which networks have coverage in my area?

It's one of life's (many) little frustrations – you sign up with a network, get your SIM up and running and then discover that you get no coverage at all in your house. Well this little pain in the neck can be avoided by using the dedicated coverage checker that most networks provide. Enter your postcode and you'll see whether your address has 2G (calls, texts and email), 3G (the basics plus picture messaging and faster web browsing) and 4G (all the powers of 3G, plus faster downloads, online gaming and media streaming) coverage.

We've provided links below to all the available coverage checkers on multiple networks. We'd advise not only checking coverage in your home, but also work, school, uni, favourite pubs and so on. Anywhere where you spend time on a regular basis really.

  • EE coverage checker
  • O2 coverage checker
  • Vodafone coverage checker
  • 3 mobile coverage checker
  • BT mobile coverage checker
  • iD coverage checker
  • GiffGaff coverage checker
  • Virgin mobile coverage checker
  • Tesco mobile coverage checker
  • TalkTalk coverage checker
  • Plusnet coverage checker
  • Freedom Pop coverage checker

sim only deals

How does TechRadar make money from SIM only deals?

If you buy a phone after visiting this page, TechRadar will be paid a small commission by the network or reseller you buy from. This money is paid by the site you buy from and thus does not affect the amount you pay for your phone contract. If you go direct to the site you buy from, you would pay the same amount.

While some sites out there will be paid larger fees for pushing people to specific deals that aren't necessarily the cheapest, TechRadar will always find you the absolute best value. Trust and integrity is important to us, so if you ever think we're not displaying the very best deals let us know.  

sim only deals

The SIM only deals on this page are checked every day to make sure they're still available and up to date! If you're ready to go SIM only, then head back to the top of this page and use our tool to find the perfect plan…

The best iPhone 6S Plus deals pre-Black Friday 2017

2017 has been the year when iPhone 6S Plus deals have finally fallen substantially. We saw big drops over the summer and prices have continued to dwindle since, no doubt thanks to the advent of the exciting iPhone X launch.

It's no great surprise that the trend has been in that direction, Between the X, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus, there have now been three big screen iPhones since the release of the 6S Plus in 2015. And with Black Friday around the corner, prices may get even better yet.

The iPhone 6S Plus is the supersized version of the iPhone 6S. It packs all the great features of the 6 Plus, but with added functionality like improved battery life and 3D touch, which enables you to interact with the phone in different ways depending on how you press on the screen. It all seemed so innovative at the time!

On this page you'll find a comparison tool right at the top, so you can compare and filter all the UK's best iPhone 6S Plus deals to find your perfect tariff. Below that we've rounded up what we think are the best five iPhone 6S Plus deals from all the major UK networks to point you in the direction of the best bargains.

Other options: iPhone 8 Plus deals | iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 Plus deals | Best iPhone deals | Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus deals | Mobile phone deals

iphone 6S Plus deals

The top 5 best iPhone 6S Plus deals across all UK networks this month:

We've handpicked some of the finest deals you can still get on the iPhone that's big on screen, but not quite so big on price anymore. We've taken a dig around the best mobile phone deals on a network-by-network basis to find the best from the likes of EE, O2, Vodafone and Three.

iphone 6S Plus deals

Apple reinvigorated its phablet with the 6S Plus in 2015 without rewriting the playbook thanks to its smart 3D Touch technology and a more power under the hood. With the arrival of the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X it's now cheaper, but still a real workhorse.

Read TechRadar's full iPhone 6S Plus review

The best iPhone 7 Plus deals pre-Black Friday 2017

This plus-sized phone from Apple was launched alongside the iPhone 7 in September last year. Until the iPhone X landed, we thought it was the best iPhone on the market, with big improvements on the camera and battery fronts from previous large-screen iPhones.

Prices took a tumble at the start of the summer, plateaued for a while and have now fallen again following the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus release. We've got our fingers crossed that they'll continue to head in that direction with Black Friday 2017 fast approaching.

If you're dead set on grabbing this huge iPhone now, then to help you navigate we've got a handy comparison tool which is designed to help you zero in on the cheapest deals. Underneath that we've chosen what we think are the best value options overall for the biggest networks out there. And if you still need some persuading, we've added a brief review of the iPhone 7 Plus to the bottom of the page.

See also: iPhone 8 Plus deals | iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone 6S Plus deals | Mobile phone deals | iPhone 7 Plus review

Today's best iPhone 7 Plus deals:

The best iPhone 7 Plus deals this month:

Unlike some other sites we don't manipulate the order of these deals for commercial gain, so the handpicked deals below really are the best iPhone 7 Plus deals for EE, O2, Three and Vodafone right now. Don't forget – if you're looking for something a little different, our comparison widget above is the perfect way to sniff out your perfect deal. This page is for the best iPhone 7 Plus deals in the UK, but if you're after Australian deals, check out the best Australian iPhone 7 Plus deals page. 

iphone 7 Plus deals

There's no denying the iPhone 7 Plus's brilliance – just look at the fantastic cameras, supercharged performance and waterproof design. But that doesn't disguise the fact that it doesn't build massively on the iPhone 6S. If you want true innovation, you'll have to pay the extra for 2017's iPhone X.

Read more in TechRadar's full iPhone 7 Plus review