Android Central

Vodafone UK has kicked off a new price plan which allows customers to get a new phone every 12 months, with a 2GB monthly data allowance and unlimited calls and texts. Vodafone Red is the carrier's latest effort to stand out in an increasingly competitive market, flanked by the 4G-toting EE and the unlimited data-offering Three.

But there's a catch -- Vodafone Red Hot customers won't actually own their handsets, they'll lease their phones from the carrier, and pay a hefty fee if they're returned in a damaged or "modified" state when the contract comes up for renewal.

Right now Red Hot is limited to the iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Note 2. Pricing breaks down as follows for a 12-month contract --

  • Samsung GALAXY S3 16GB - £47 per month
  • Samsung GALAXY S3 32GB - £52 per month, £29 up-front fee
  • Samsung GALAXY Note 2 - £52 per month

So the main benefit here is you're not paying anywhere near as high an up-front cost to get your hands on these devices. Nevertheless, we'd be a little wary of any contract that says we're just keeping our phone warm for the carrier, rather than legally owning it.

More: Vodafone UK


Reader comments

Vodafone Red Hot offers a new phone every 12 months, but there's a catch


For those that don't modify their phones like me or a lot of users on this site, this sounds like a decent idea. Why pays to own the phone is you want to upgrade constantly.

orrrr i could just buy the new nexus every year, and go sim only with giffgaff for £12 a month.

GS3 + new phone @£47 x 24 = £1,128

Nexus 4 @£279+ Nexus 5 @£279 + £12 x 24 = £846.

Plus i get to keep the damn phone after the 12 months to sell it on envirophone and get £100+ for it.

Funny, that's the reason they wouldn't let you into the UK. Nothing some penicillin wouldn't fix I'm sure.

Oh boy. Leasing a phone is not a good idea IMO. It'll probably be like cars here in the us. Every little scratch, mark, "oh you don't have the box anymore?", no original USB cable, or just about anything and it'll cost you. Usually with cars its cheaper than to just buy the car, with the last two years payments for nothing.

It's expensive but so long as Vodafone are able to offer the best handsets at these prices then it doesn't seem so bad.

Personally, I think it makes much more sense for people in the UK where you can save a lot of money buying handset outright and signing to a sim-only deal. I think if people won't do it, or can't afford to do, this they should seriously question whether they are deficient at maths or delinquent in their financial situation!

If you don't have the money, stick with your old phone and get a cheap PAYG deal, and save up every month. Remember that old idea? Saving?

In the USA, you get screwed over by the carriers anyway for monthly fees so might as well take the subsidised handset.