Why choose O2 mobile?
The benefits of being with O2 over any other provider are perhaps somewhat more subtle than some of the competition. You need to dig into the small print to unearth the mosaic of handy little extras O2 offers. Oh, actually, wait… we’ve done it for you.
- Solid range of handsets includes OnePlus and Huawei
- You can ‘flex your data’ – edit your limit every month
- Huge discounts on O2 family plans
- O2 Priority offers regular discounts on products and experiences
- O2 is serious about online safety
- O2 has a range of apps for a multitude of uses – Drive, Academy, general app
- Several thousand wi-fi hotspots around the UK
Solid range of handsets includes OnePlus and Huawei
We categorise O2’s range of handsets as perhaps the most sensible of any provider. Sensible? What does that mean exactly? It means that yes, O2 caters well to the top and premium market, offering flagship phones from the likes of Sony, Apple and Samsung – that’s practically a given.
It means that yes, it also features both mid-tier and budget handsets – budget being a relative term these days – both from those providers and others. And yes, it will also supply you with a premium phone from a couple of years back at a discount price through its refurb store.
What we consider particularly sensible about O2’s range, however, is its inclusion of Android handsets from Chinese manufacturers Huawei and OnePlus, whose flagship models easily rival (and in some instances surpass) the handsets of Apple, Samsung et al, albeit they tend to be considerably cheaper. They are a rare case of more for less, which is why their inclusion in O2’s line-up is… sensible.
You can ‘flex your data’ – edit your limit every month
All O2 tariffs, either pay monthly (with a handset) or SIM-only (without a handset), bought on or after 22 March 2018 are ‘flexible’. This basically means that, after the first 30 days of your contract, you’re allowed to change the amount of minutes, texts and data available to you whenever you like. There are certain limits, however.
In short, you can move your tariff to any of the other tariffs that were available on the day your bought your phone or SIM. How confusing is that? Very confusing. Still, as long as you familiarise yourself with the different levels of minutes, texts and data available on that day, you have the ability to move both up and down that scale whenever you please.
This could come in handy if, for example, you wanted to up your limits during holiday time when you know you’re going to be using your phone more, and then reduce it again once you’re back at work and using it less.
Huge discounts on O2 family plans
Taking a leaf out of BT Mobile’s book – or perhaps it’s the other way round, we can’t honestly say who did this first – O2 offers some great discounts on SIMs (for phones or for tablets) if they’re taken out at the same time for multiple family members.
The only catch is that this deal isn’t available on all O2 deals, but only on select Airtime Plans, so if you plan to take advantage of this be sure and double-check that the deal you’re choosing is eligible.
Basically, you’ll need a ‘Family Plan’. With one of these, every additional connection you add gives you a set discount. The first additional connection offers a 20% discount, the second 30%, third 40% and four or more additional connections will net you a whopping 50% discount. You can add up to 20 in total, though 50% is as high as the discount will ever go.
These types of deals are available from multiple providers these days, whereas in the past providers tended to offer free network-to-same-network calling. With the copious free minutes included in your average mobile deal these days, this is now the better way to go.
O2 is serious about online safety
There pretty much aren’t any kids over the age of 10-11 who don’t have a mobile these days. Thinking about this positively, the proliferation of the technology among youngsters has allowed parents unprecedented peace of mind on the one hand. Your child or children are never more than a text away.
But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows out there. There are both those who seek to abuse the communications boom as well as dark corners of the internet that you almost certainly don’t want your kids frequenting. Parental controls, then, have become a vital part of the way we use your mobiles as a family.
O2 is especially committed to online safety for our kids. It provides a complete suite of parental controls on all its mobiles and SIMs, and works with the NSPCC to provide a wealth of online advice on everything from parental controls to cyberbullying and its prevention.
O2 has a range of apps for a multitude of uses
We have to confess we do find O2’s range of apps rather confusing. So much so that it becomes difficult to identify them as a selling point rather than a complex-ish set of add-ons. O2 has six apps in total, and there’s some crossover in what each of them does.
The ‘My O2’ app allows you to track your usage, check your bills and change your flexible tariff up and down. The ‘O2 Priority’ app is a bit like Three’s Wuntu app – over time you accumulate rewards and these are presented you in the form of special offers – discounts and such. These do tend to amount to an invitation to buy something (advertising), but the feeling of getting something for free or with money off is present and correct nonetheless.
The ‘O2 Academy’ app is aimed at folk who like live music (gigs) and events, and provides a portal to discounted tickets and even special features such as professionally-taken photos from events you attend. The ‘O2 Drive’ app monitors your driving and rewards you for driving safely (again with the aforementioned ‘offers’).
The ‘O2 Learn’ app is a revision helper that allows you to upload and photograph all your revision notes for revising when you’re out and about. Finally, there’s O2’s ‘My Network’ app that monitors signal coverage, helps you report issues and let’s you conduct data speed tests. Phew! Why O2 needs so many of these and can’t crunch these down to a single app, we’re not quite sure.
Several thousand wi-fi hotspots around the UK
O2 certainly doesn’t have the most sprawling or well-populated wi-fi network of all the providers. BT Mobile offers five million hotspots nationwide (so you don’t have to use your mobile data allowance when you’re within range). Virgin Mobile offers two million. So you’ll probably be less than impressed with O2’s 7,000 or so.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that by far the majority of providers has no wi-fi hotspots at all, so compared with nothing at all, 7,000 is positively stratospheric. If this is a feature that matters to you, you can check whether there are hotspots where you need them using O2’s website.