Your cookie preferences

We use cookies and similar technologies. You can use the settings below to accept all cookies (which we recommend to give you the best experience) or to enable specific categories of cookies as explained below. Find out more by reading our Cookie Policy.

Select cookie preferences

Skip to main content

Which mobile phone to choose?

Share this guide
choosing a mobile phone

Too much mobile choice? Help is at hand from our guide to choosing a mobile phone.

With so many handsets, networks and tariffs on the market, choosing a new mobile phone can be a daunting task.

At Uswitch, we think the best way to simplify the selection process is to think about how you use your phone and which mobile phone features you need most.

Below, we'll guide you through the kinds of handsets there are to help you make your mind up.

What are the different types of mobile phone?

Mobile phones come in all shapes and sizes. From high-end models that are effectively portable computers, gaming consoles, professional-level cameras and more, to basic models that just call and text, and rugged outdoors models built to withstand the elements, there really is something for everyone.

If you’re looking at smartphones, think about which operating system it runs. This is the software that you interact with for pretty much every task on the phone. Google’s Android operating system is the most common, but Apple’s iOS is very popular too (the latter only runs on iPhones).

Both Android and iOS offer very similar features, and both are incredibly user-friendly. Android is a little more customisable in what you can do, while iOS is a simpler to use for those less technically-minded.

Check out our guide to the best mobile phones.

Google makes its own Android phones. Nut other brands like Samsung, Sony, Oppo and OnePlus also manufacture phones that run Google’s mobile operating system. Because of the greater choice, there’s a much wider range of prices with Android phones, while cheap iPhones are restricted to the iPhone SE or an older model of iPhone.

If you’re buying an older phone – either Android or iOS – be aware that it might not support the latest software updates for long. This could mean you miss out on useful new features, as well as also security patches, which could leave your handset more vulnerable to being hacked.

You’ll want to protect your shiny new purchase, so a case is a must. Or you could opt for a rugged phone. These are built for tough environments like building sites, and are usually waterproof and are hardy enough to take a few knocks.

Before you shell out for a phone, think about what you’ll use it for and how much you’ll use it. That will help inform what kind of phone you buy, and how much you’re willing to spend.

For more information, head to our complete beginner’s guide to buying a smartphone.

Basic mobile phones

image of a basic nokia phone

If you generally use your mobile phone for calls and texts only, and aren’t particularly worried about internet, cameras or maps, then you can take your pick when it comes to mobiles - your focus will only be on the kind of tariff you have.

Even when you pick the best basic mobile phones with only the key functions, you'll still get a range of useful tools such as a diary, a calculator and an alarm clock.

All the major mobile networks offer great free talk and text deals, and basic handsets are now incredibly cheap.

Compare the best mobile phone bundles at Uswitch now.


two smartphones being held up

Smartphones are a computer, personal organiser, digital camera and MP3 player in one. And much, much more besides.

The best smartphones often feature hefty price tags, but mid-range and cheap smartphones are available.

These will feature a good proportion of the same features, but with less powerful cameras and processors than the top-of-the-range models.

Compare our best mobile phone bundles at Uswitch now.

Business mobile phones

For many people, choosing a mobile phone is a practical business decision and they're looking for a phone to help them take care of work while they're on the go.

If all you don't need that kind of advanced business functionality and just want a phone that lets you email clients, any smartphone will fit the bill.

Mobile phone deals

Many manufacturers realise that users do not always fall into one category, and provide handsets and tariffs that encompass all the above features.

The next step in choosing a mobile phone is finding the perfect package from the right network provider.

You may want to choose a mobile phone package where you pay monthly for your minutes, texts and data allowances, or you may want to choose a pay as you go or SIM only mobile phone package.

Compare our best mobile phone bundles at Uswitch now.