It’s awards season! And here at Uswitch, we like to celebrate the best networks, phones, and all things telecoms from the past year. Whether it's the provider that did the most for consumers, the network with the best customer service or our favourite handset, our awards highlight the companies and brands that led the way for mobile phones in 2021.
2021 saw some excellent new phones released, as well as brilliant consumer deals and incentives from all the major networks. Our awards categories cover a range of features, including best network, handset of the year, best roaming, most popular network, best customer service and more.
For the second year in a row, Mobile Network of the Year award went to giffgaff, a network that once again led the way with its consumer friendly no-contract deals, flexible price plans and always-excellent customer service.
That wasn’t the only award giffgaff scooped up, as the network also claimed more of our coveted awards in the shape of the Best PAYG Network and the Best SIM only network.
O2 marked a big year by announcing it would not be reintroducing roaming charges, so it’s no surprise that it took home the Best Network for Roaming and Most Popular Network awards.
Tesco Mobile won two major awards - Best Value Pay Monthly and Best Network for Customer Service, a testament to the brand’s consumer-led service.
EE has held on to its Fastest Mobile Network award for the third year running, something that’s been confirmed by the mobile data specialist, Opensignal.
SMARTY also won an award for the second year in a row, its flexible price plans seeing the network hold on to its Best Value SIM only Network prize.
It was a great year for smartphones, too. Apple released its iPhone 13 range, Samsung impressed with the S21 range and a new selection of flip phones, but 2021’s handset of the year award didn’t go to either. Instead, the Google Pixel 6 Pro was named the most outstanding smartphone release of the year thanks to its excellent camera, attractive design and enviable specs.
Overall, Samsung did the most with a number of high profile releases and deservedly picked up Manufacturer of the Year.
The full list of winners is:
- Best Network for Customer Service - Tesco Mobile
- Best Network for Data - Three
- Best Network for Roaming - O2
- Fastest Mobile Network - Based on analysis derived from Opensignal* - EE
- Best Pay Monthly Network - BT
- Best PAYG Network - giffgaff
- Best SIM Only Network - giffgaff
- Best Value Pay Monthly - Tesco Mobile
- Best Value SIM Only - SMARTY
- Manufacturer of the Year -Samsung
- Handset of the Year - Google Pixel 6 Pro
- Mobile Reseller of the Year - Mobile Phones Direct
- Network of the Year - giffgaff
- Most Popular Mobile Network - O2