O2’s innovative new Refresh offering is something smartphone fanatics on major networks have been crying out for for years. That is: a chance to upgrade your phone at any time, bringing an end to the woes of those who can’t abide carting around an ailing, ageing handset.
So, how does it work and is it worth stumping up for? Here are five key things you need to know.
1 It decouples phones and airtime
O2 Refresh essentially ends the idea of paying a monthly fee for a phone and airtime as part of a single package.
Instead, you stump up a monthly fee for minutes, texts and data and then a separate amount every four weeks for your phone.
There are three separate airtime deals: £12 for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB data; £17 for unlimited texts, unlimited data and 1GB of data; and £22 for 2GB data and unlimited texts and calls.
It’s then a monthly £20 fee for a phone, plus an upfront cost of £49.99 (with the HTC One used as an example by O2). All deals are 24 months.
2 You can change your phone whenever you want
The whole idea is that whenever you want to change your phone, you can.
So if you get sick of your Galaxy S3, for example, you can sack if off and get an iPhone 5 instead.
That means that for hardcore users, they can get a new phone without having to stump up for a SIM-free device.
3 It’s not cheap
When you change your phone, you need to pay the balance of your phone plan (not your airtime plan, the cost of which O2 waives).
That means you can find yourself spending a hefty amount to swap for something a bit more swanky than the phone that you’ve been lugging about for the past few months.
4 But you can get money off
Because of O2’s Recycle plan, you can get up to £260 off the price of a new phone when you do decide to change.
So if you change your handset a lot, this could be a smart way to go.
That said, if you have a hefty amount of cash going spare, SIM-free devices and a SIM-only deal look every bit as attractive. ##5 The best phones are up for grabs.
5 O2’s handset line-up really is impressive
As well as old school efforts like the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, there’s the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One, the forthcoming Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia T and Z and Google Nexus 4.
The details may take some time to get your head around, but there’s no denying that O2 will be flogging the hottest blowers on the scene.