Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review: Mobile by Sainsbury's


In July Sainsbury's joined the battle of the mobiles and launched their Mobile by Sainsbury's network. Using the infrastructure of the Vodafone network they have 99% coverage of the UK and this is great news for someone like me.  Having moved out to the countryside three weeks ago my EE/ T-mobile phone is not working at all and that is a real pain when I have an expensive monthly contract.

Price Plans
I'm certainly pleased to have received my Sainsbury's pay as you go mobile (for review) which does work and it is also great value for money. My phone came ready signed up to the 'bundle' tariff and £10 has purchased me 200 minutes to UK mobiles and landlines, unlimited texts and 250m data over a 30 day period. This seems to be a really good deal, I looked at other supermarket mobile providers and I saw the equivalent would cost £15 elsewhere.

There are three bundle plans available -


Once this bundle expires I'll be changing over to the basic plan, which is for occasional users. This means the phone can be used by JJ when he heads off to explore on his own (well the estate we are living on is 220 acres, it is a bit hard to just call his name). When he needs to call me it is just 8p a minute and that is excellent for an occasional tariff, they normally seem to have much higher charges than that.

Topping up is easy as you can register your credit/ debit card and do it instantly on the phone, top-up in store by buying a voucher or at the thousands of top-up points across the country using your top up card. Soon, you'll also be able to do it online and set up a reoccuring bundle purchase if that is what you desire and this will make life much easier.

Handsets available
The phone I received is a Sony Experia and this costs £99 from Mobile by Sainsbury's including your sim card. I've found this phone very intuitive to use and it is definitely enough for a young lad to be happy with. It is great for social stuff and has room for a memory card to allow you to store all your tracks/ photos etc.

There is a good selection of phones available, starting at the bottom of the range with a Nokia 100 for just £12 up to Nokia Lumia 520 at £115. There is something to suit most people.

It is good news that you have have a phone up and running from £17 - £12 for the handset and sim and £5 for your first credit on the basic price plan.

Nectar Points
Of course one of the little extras of having a Mobile by Sainsbury's phone is that you can cash in on the nectar points. When you buy a bundle you can easily register to receive double nectar points on all your Sainsbury's shopping and fuel that month.

I was quite amazed to read that if a family of four each switch to the £10 bundle and link their numbers to the household nectar card, then spend the UK average on food and fuel each week they will receive back £180 in nectar points and in this climate every penny counts, that can go a long way.

So what do I like -

  • The simplicity of the price plans, what you see is what you get.  No nasty surprises at the end of the month
  • Being able to top up in Sainsbury's where I do actually shop
  • That you can get started from just £17 
  • That you get double nectar points on all your top-ups
  • That you get double points on all shopping and fuel if you purchase a bundle
  • That the network coverage is superb
  • The borrow a pound service.  It is a weight off my mind to know that if JJ has the phone and it is out of credit he can borrow £1 from Sainsbury's and then the £1 and a 10p fee will be taken out of my next top up

Disclosure: I was sent a hamper from Sainsbury's by mobile and this included a Sony Experia handset and £10 top-up.  I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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