O2 simplifies phone upgrades in the UK with new O2 Refresh tariff

O2 RefreshUK network 02 has launched a new tariff named O2 Refresh, where the aim is to simplify the process of upgrading hardware, without any costly early termination fees. It has done so in a similar way to T-Mobile’s Uncarrier plans, with a little of Vodafone’s Red Hot phone leasing scheme thrown in.

At its heart, O2 Refresh splits the bill in two, providing one for the airtime contract and another for the phone, then allows both to be paid off at any time without a penalty. Here’s how it works: Say you want the HTC One, and would like the £17 per month airtime contract which provides unlimited calls and texts, plus 1GB of data. You sign-up for the airtime plan for two-years, and then do the same on a separate agreement for the phone, which costs £20 per month with a £50 upfront payment.

The phone will go on to cost you £530, and once it’s paid off, you’re left paying nothing but the £17 airtime bill each month. However, the idea is not to get this far, as you can pay off the remainder of the phone plan, cancel the airtime plan, and then chose a brand new phone at any time. All without paying any extra. O2 also has a trade-in scheme, where you can sell your phone back to the network to offset some of the cost.

Three airtime plans, and a good choice of phones

O2 will offer three monthly airtime plans, the aforementioned £17 per month option, plus one with 600 minutes and 750MB of data for £12, and a £22 option with 2GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. As for the phones, the HTC One will be joined by the Sony Xperia Z, the BlackBerry Z10, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone 5. Once they’re released, the BlackBerry Q10 and the Galaxy S4 will also be added to the list.

As the Refresh pricing appears to be the same as a regular contract with O2, it’s more about making signing up for a phone less complicated, and enabling people to take control of their mobile contract plans. It’s a strikingly similar ethos to T-Mobile’s thinking behind its new system, just without the launch-day theatrics. What it’s not though, is particularly stunning value, as buying an unlocked phone and getting a rolling contract SIM through GiffGaff or Three will inevitably work out cheaper. However, O2’s way at least provides the option to upgrade when you like, provided you’ve got the cash to pay off the phone, and it’s very difficult not to applaud a scheme that doesn’t tie you down to one phone and a contract for two years.


Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.

The best accounting software for your small business

Small business owners looking for accounting software have a variety of options at their disposal. And this guide will help them find the best solutions, from Quickbooks Online and Freshbooks to AccountEdge and Zoho Books.

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.

A strap for everyone: The best Apple Watch bands you can buy right now

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far and there's something for everyone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…

It’s about time! A USB-C magnetic charger for the Apple Watch has finally arrived

While most of the buzz surrounding Apple has been about the iPhone XR, the company also introduced a new Apple Watch accessory. Starting October 24, a USB-C magnetic charger will be available for purchase.