Vodafone has lifted the lid on a new annual contract plan that allows customers to get their hands on the latest smartphones every year.
The imaginatively dubbed ‘Red Hot’ deal is Vodafone’s answer to the endless frustrations customers have to face with lengthy 18 or 24 month contracts, which mean they are unable to upgrade to annual refreshes of the iPhone or the latest flagship Galaxy kit from Samsung.
With Red Hot, punters can commit to a more reasonable 12-month term and not have to fork out extortionate one-off fees for the handsets. However, it also means the monthly outlay is a tad on the expensive side, with the cheapest tariff starting from £47 a month.
This gets you the 16GB edition of the Samsung Galaxy S3 for free, plus unlimited calls and texts and a 2GB monthly data allowance.
If you want the iPhone 5, though, it gets quite pricey. To snag the 16GB edition for free, you’re looking at a £59 monthly line rental. Still, it’s not all bad if you know you’ll always want the latest handset.
There’s a caveat, however, and quite a big one. That is, you don’t actually own the handset. You just get to use it for a year and have to hand it over when it’s time to get a new one. Damage it and you’re paying for it. Worse yet, you can’t make software modifications to the operating system, which we think won’t sit too well with the Android crowd.
In the end, this is a deal that’s ideal for early adopters who just want the latest kit and isn’t bothered about owning it for good.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says: "The pace at which new handsets launch and lengthy mobile contracts have meant that consumers can end up stuck with a phone that has quickly become outdated. Those who wish to get their hands on the best new phones as soon as they’re launched often struggle due to being tied into a lengthy contract or are worried about the upfront cost. For these people, renting a phone could be a great solution.
“Not only does the new Vodafone Red Hot deal offer the flexibility of a 12 month contract with the ability to upgrade every year to the latest handsets, but consumers will be able to get plenty of use from their phones too, with unlimited minutes and texts and a generous 2 GB of data. Customers will also get peace of mind that their shiny, top-of-the-range devices are covered, as insurance is included too.”
You can find out more about the Red Hot tariffs on Vodafone’s website- http://vodafone.co.uk/personal/price-plans/pay-monthly/vodafone-red-hot/