SMARTY Mobile Review 2020 | Is he good?
By Dan Howdle | Monday, February 10, 2020
SMARTY is a SIM-only mobile network that promises to be simple, transparent and good value for money. It is directly owned by Three and operates on the Three network. It is one of several mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in the UK that use one of the ‘big four’ networks – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – to deliver their services.
But what does it bring to the UK market, how is it different from Three and is it worth taking a look at? Let’s take a look at the details.
Rates and plans
For an operator negotiating on its simplicity, it’s no shock to learn that SMARTY only has three plans – 30GB, 50GB, and unlimited data. The three plans offer unlimited calls and texts under the usual conditions attached.
All plans are available on an ongoing monthly basis (30 days) instead of signing up for 12 months, so there is no minimum duration and you can use your entire allowance for tethering if you wish it. This means that you can connect a tablet or PC to your mobile data connection by creating a personal Wi-Fi hotspot on your smartphone. And because you pay in advance, SMARTY doesn’t require a credit check.
If you are looking for a pay-as-you-go plan, SMARTY will charge you a small initial amount for the SIM card and then pay £ 1 per gigabyte you use. It will usually be best to just buy a 30-day rolling plan each month, as long as you use enough data to justify it.
Compare SMARTY SIM plans only
Range of phones and devices
SMARTY does not offer a phone / handset, so you will need to have one already. If you want to keep your existing phone number, you can – just get a PAC code from your current provider to do so.
The SMARTY customer service team is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (excluding holidays), but this is limited to online chat and email only because, ironically for a mobile phone network, it there is no phone number to call. There’s also a database of frequently asked questions for you to check out, if you need a simple answer.
Being a new operator, and relatively minor, SMARTY does not appear in Ofcom’s complaint figures, nor in its customer satisfaction rankings (although host network Three does). As always, online reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, as customers tend to report negative experiences more often than positive, but from the limited sample on TrustPilot, SMARTY has an average rating.
The main complaints tend to be about the delivery of the SIM card and not using the SIM card for business purposes. SMARTY makes it clear that its SIM cards are for personal use only and anyone seeking a business deal should look elsewhere.
Value for money
SMARTY’s pricing plans certainly compare favorably with those of the competition, especially when you take into account the lack of a minimum-term contract. But in keeping with its no-frills approach, there aren’t any additional perks to speak of. What’s really unique about SMARTY is the way it manages your data allocation. Several operators now offer “data transfer”, which means that any unused gigabyte can be used the following month. SMARTY does things differently and actually gives you a discount on your next bill.
This is limited to the only data portion of your contract (you always pay a base rate for calls and texts outside of the terms of your unlimited allowances), so it’s a great way to make sure you don’t overpay. expensive for data. If you have the opposite problem, you can actually add additional data, which never expires.
There is also the possibility of getting a free monthly allowance. If you refer a friend, you both get one month free. This can be done for multiple friends, so if you ask 12 friends to join, you will get a whole year for free.
Because SMARTY uses Three’s network, you should be in good hands. Its 4G (and soon 5G) network covers 99.8% of the UK population and the operator has rolled out new spectrum in recent years to extend coverage even further, especially indoors.
Based on the most recent testing by independent benchmark company RootMetrics, Three ranks second in the UK behind EE for overall performance and second in reliability, data and text categories. It’s first in the calling category, but its speeds lag behind EE and Vodafone.
It should be noted that since Three does not have a 2G network, there is no 2G coverage. So if you plan to use a really old cell phone, you can’t. And unlike Three, there is no support for Voice over LTE (VoLTE), also known as HD calling.
Check SMARTY mobile coverage
SMARTY’s proposition to be the first choice for consumers who simply want a no-frills SIM card is compelling. Having only three plans with no minimum duration really makes things easier, and the ability to get a discount on your bill for unused data is unique.
Generous data allowances and unlimited calling and texting separate SMARTY from the competition at the prices it competes with. In addition, free roaming within the EU and a pay-as-you-go system for anyone traveling outside the EU will satisfy many customers. However, the lack of an actual phone number that customers can call as the first point of contact will be a deciding factor for some.
iD Mobile operates on a similar philosophy, but its overall offering is much more developed and may also offer handsets. But its cheap SIM cards can’t compete with SMARTY’s allowances and prices. There are trade-offs to be made and, at the end of the day, you’ll have to decide if they’re worth it.
SMARTY could eventually become the operator to beat in the cheap SIM-only market, and if you’re looking for something cheap and simple, it’s worth a look.
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