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Phones with SIMSIM free phonesSIM onlyData SIMs
Data speed
Any5G
Monthly cost
£0-£10£10-£30£30-£50£50-£80£80+
Minutes
500+1000+5000+Unlimited
Data
1GB+2GB+5GB+10GB+50GB+Unlimited
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PAYG11-1212+
Gifts & extras
CashbackGift VoucherFree Gift
Advanced SIM Only Unlimited DataUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£16.00per monthGet DealThree
Smarty UnlimitedUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts1month contractZeroupfront cost£16.00per monthGet DealSmarty
Basics SIM Only4GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£6.00per monthGet DealVodafone
Big Bundle 14GBO2 Travel14GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtextsNo contractZeroupfront cost£10.00per monthGet DealO2
Unlimited Calls and Texts 2GB2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£6.00per monthGet DealSky Mobile
Basics SIM Only30GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£10.00per monthGet DealVodafone
5G SIM plan 24m 160GB160GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£20.00per monthGet DealEE
5G SIM Only UnlimitedFree EU RoamingUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£16.00per monthGet DealiD Mobile
10GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£10.00per monthGet DealEE
Smarty 4GB4GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts1month contractZeroupfront cost£5.00per monthGet DealSmarty
Pay MonthlyUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£17.50per monthGet DealTesco Mobile
Advanced SIM Only 100GB100GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£12.00per monthGet DealThree
Unlimited SIM Only LiteUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£23.00per monthGet DealVodafone
5G SIM Plan 12m 250MB250MBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts12month contractZeroupfront cost£13.00per monthGet DealEE
SIM Only UnlimitedFree EU RoamingUnltddataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£25.00per monthGet DealVirgin Mobile
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Why choose a SMARTY SIM only deal?

SMARTY’s SIM only offering is a relatively simple one – it doesn’t chop and change its data plans from month to month and there’s no cashback or free gift to factor into the equation. But it’s reasonably-priced and there are a few features that help the provider stand out.

  • Discount on unused data – At the end of every month SMARTY effectively ‘buys back’ any data you haven’t used on its Data Discount Plans giving you money back for any unused data. At the end of the month, your unused data is calculated and converted into a discount. SMARTY then credits your plan the following month, minus a £5 service charge (used to cover network costs and provide unlimited calls and texts).
  • Refer a friend scheme – When you sign up to SMARTY you’ll get a unique sharing link that you can use to invite as many friends as you like. For every friend that signs up using your link you get a free month, so if you refer 12 friends, you’ll get 12 months free. Every friend that joins SMARTY using your sharing link, will get a free month too.
  • Flexible plans – Because SMARTY’s plans last for 1 month, you can choose a different one each month if you like, picking the amount of data that suits your usage. And you can cancel pretty much whenever you like.
  • Data add-ons – If you run out of data during the month you can buy more at the price of £1 per GB of data. That’s the same as each GB costs in each of SMARTY’s Data Discount Plans. The great thing here is that add-ons don’t expire as long as you have a live plan.
  • Unlimited calls and texts as standard – SMARTY isn’t alone in offering this but the inclusion of unlimited texts and unlimited UK standard calls with all plans does help to keep things ‘simple and honest’, which is what SMARTY always says it’s aiming for.
  • Use your SIM in other devices – SMARTY SIMs can be used in tablets, dongles, laptops, WiFi routers and games consoles, or just in your phone.

Is SMARTY a good network?

SMARTY doesn’t have its own network, it is what is known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means it uses someone else’s. As SMARTY is owned by Three, it’s no surprise that it uses Three’s network to deliver its services.

Three’s voice coverage reaches 85% of the UK’s landmass, according to a December 2020 Ofcom report, while the provider says its 4G network covers 99.8% of the UK population.

The Three network handles 36% of all UK mobile data traffic and makes use of a technology Three calls 4G Super Voice, which uses low frequency signals to eliminate indoor blackspots.

Data and calling features

There are certain features that we’ve come to expect as part of a mobile phone or SIM only contract and they are mostly to do with how we use mobile data and whether we can share it. Let’s have a look at SMARTY’s policy on these features.

  • 4G data speed – An Opensignal report from September says the average download speed recorded on Three’s 4G network was 25.2 Mbps. That’s a couple of Mbps slower than EE but still fast enough to do almost anything you’ll want to do on your phone.
  • Data rollover – Some mobile providers let you keep your unused data and carry it over to the following month. SMARTY instead gives you a discount based on that unused data at a rate of £1 per GB.
  • Tethering – SMARTY allows you to tether and hotspot all of your data to use on other devices, if that’s what you want to do with it. And there are no speed restrictions.
  • WiFi calling – SMARTY now offers WiFi Calling, to help supercharge your signal. So, you’ll be able to use WiFi to make calls and send texts. Whether you’re at home, in a train station or doing the weekly shop – anywhere you can connect to WiFi. As WiFi Calling is charged in the same way as standard calls and texts you won't pay anything extra for it.
  • Data gifting – There is no facility on the SMARTY network to gift your data to another SMARTY customer. Tethering is your best bet if you want to share your data with friends and family.
  • Data caps – You don’t need to set up a traditional data cap with SMARTY as it’s not possible to go over your allowance. You can only ever use as much data as you’ve paid for in advance and if you need more than your monthly allowance you can buy an add-on.

Roaming on SMARTY

After the UK left the EU, free unlimited roaming within the European Union became a thing of the past. Despite most UK mobile providers re-introducing caps and/or charges for roaming abroad post-Brexit, SMARTY still offers EU roaming on all of its mobile plans.

SMARTY customers travelling in the EU can use their plan exactly like they can in the UK – data comes out of your monthly allowance, calls and texts (within the EU country you are calling from, and calls back to the UK) are unlimited and there are no hidden charges.

The places where you can use your SMARTY plan like at home are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Comoros & Mayotte, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Outside of the EU it’s a bit different. You’ll need to top up your cash balance and then pay as you go. If there’s any money left in your account when you get back, you can knock that off your next bill.

How much it costs to make calls, send texts and use data varies from country to country. The roaming rates you’ll be charged for calls and messages while abroad will depend on which band the country you are travelling in falls into. For example, getting online will cost you 10p per MB in the US, but £1 per MB in Algeria. Have a look on SMARTY’s website to check whether you can use your SMARTY SIM in a particular destination, and if so to see how much it costs.

Wherever you’re going, you will need to make a one-off change to your phone settings in order to use your SMARTY SIM abroad. SMARTY has the details of exactly what to do.

Calling abroad from the UK on SMARTY

You can make phone calls and send texts to other countries from the UK using your SMARTY phone. But first you’ll need to top-up your cash balance, which you can do by logging in to your SMARTY account. The cost of a phone call varies depending on the country you are phoning.

See also

Frequently asked questions

Does SMARTY run credit checks?

No, SMARTY doesn’t run credit checks. You pay for everything upfront, so there’s no need for them to know your credit history.

Does SMARTY give you free streaming or social media?

No, with SMARTY you get the data you pay for, it’s as simple as that. Three gives you generous data for heavy data usage, like streaming and social media, and Virgin Mobile offers data-free messaging on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.

Does SMARTY offer handset deals?

No, SMARTY only offers SIM only deals.

Does SMARTY offer family plans?

SMARTY doesn’t have specific plans for families but they do offer group plans. You can save 10% on every additional SIM with SMARTY’s Group Plan. BT Mobile and Sky both offer benefits for taking multiple SIMs.