A guide to SIM free phones.

A man checks his phone while sitting by a desk

Are you tired of being bound by phone contracts? Do you enjoy the freedom of switching phones whenever you want? If so, SIM free phones are the perfect choice for you. Our handy guide will give all the information you need when purchasing a SIM free phone.

SIM free phones can save you more money.

SIM free phones are a great way to save money on your monthly phone bill. You will find that the newer or more expensive a phone is, your monthly payments will be higher than if you opted for a mid-tier or budget phone.

Mobile phones tend to be cheaper when you purchase them upfront and combine this with an affordable SIM only deal. When you decide which phone you want to buy, simply compare the total cost over the length of the contract with the combined cost of the same phone and SIM purchased separately. This way, you can determine which option is more cost-effective in the long run.

Say goodbye to long contracts.

When you buy a SIM free phone and combine this with a SIM only deal, you aren't tied down to lengthy contracts like with Pay monthly phones, offering you a shorter commitment. Whether you opt for a 1 month, 12 month or 24 month commitment, a SIM only purchase allows you to keep your options open and maintain flexibility. You’ll be given more freedom to change your phone more often, and it also reduces the amount of time you’ll have to wait if you decide to switch monthly tariffs or plans.

A Hand holding a mobile phone

How do SIM free phones work?

It’s simple to pair your SIM free phone with a SIM only deal. When you receive your SIM card, open the SIM tray on your device, pop in the SIM card and then close the tray again. Then when you switch on your phone, you should be connected to your network. If you’re still unsure on how to get set up, you can find plenty of demonstration videos online that offer guidance.

But before you do that, you need to find the SIM only deal that’s right for you. There are three types you can choose from:

Pay as you go SIMs - Simply top up the data, minutes and texts whenever you need. This is a great option if you are someone who doesn’t use their phone a lot or finds that they have plenty of allowance left over on their Pay monthly bill.

Pay monthly SIMs - We offer a diverse selection of Pay monthly SIM only deals, ranging from flexible 1 month options to longer-term 12 month or 24 month contracts. No matter which plan you choose, you'll enjoy a fixed monthly allowance of data and unlimited minutes and texts. And the best part? If you ever find yourself needing more minutes or data, simply hop onto the iD Mobile App or My Account online to easily switch up your plan.

eSIMs - By replacing the traditional physical SIM card, an eSIM functions as a digital SIM embedded within the device, eliminating the need for physical swapping between phones or tablets. They are becoming more common among some of the latest smartphones available.

What other benefits are there to owning a SIM free phone?

Whilst SIM free phones are known to be more cost effective in the long run than Pay monthly contracts and offer more flexibility, you will find other benefits to owning a SIM free phone. These include:

Travel friendly - A SIM free phone is a great option if you are a frequent traveller, as you can simply switch out your SIM card for the type that’s available in the country you are visiting, allowing you to make calls and send texts. That way you you won’t incur any out of bundle charges that may be applied when Roaming in other countries.

Resale value - Upgrade your phone without breaking the bank. Trade in your old SIM free phone for a generous price, thanks to its high resale value and open compatibility.

No credit checks - Opting for a SIM free purchase can be a smart move if your credit score is below average. This is because the credit checks are usually less strict, especially when it comes to Pay as you go SIM only deals.

A mobile on the table

Is it possible to use any SIM card in a SIM free phone?

The first thing to consider is the size of your SIM card. Older phones usually require a standard SIM, whilst newer ones use micro or nano SIMs.

Additionally, there are two types of SIM free phones. Network locked phones are designed for those who want to switch their handset but keep their Pay monthly plan. These phones can only be used with SIM cards from a specific network, providing they are the right size. On the other hand, unlocked phones can accept SIM cards from any network, if it fits the correct size.

Which phones are available as SIM free phones?

Discover amazing offers on our best-selling SIM free smartphones from leading brands including Apple, Samsung and Google.

Samsung Galaxy SIM free phones.

Get the Samsung Galaxy S23 SIM free, the latest flagship phone from Samsung. The S23 has an incredible 6.1-inch AMOLED display and an amazing 50MP triple-lens camera with a ton of excellent photography features. You can find our full range of Samsung Galaxy SIM free phones here.

Apple iPhone SIM free phones.

We have the latest Apple iPhone 15 series available on SIM free including the iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 series features a brighter display and some of the latest technology you can find on a smartphone today. You can view the full range of Apple iPhone SIM free handsets here.

Google Pixel SIM free phones.

SIM free Google Pixel phones from iD Mobile include the latest Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro. The Pixel 8 Pro features a 6.7-inch display and 50MP camera. These phones feature a display that’s bright and vibrant and a battery that will last you all day. You can find our full range of Google Pixel SIM free phones here.