It's easy for the tech world to forget that not everyone is looking to buy a new $200 phone on contract every six months. Vodafone UK hasn't forgotten, though. The British carrier is launching a new service to help put top-tier smartphones in the hands of pay-as-you-go customers by selling them lightly used hardware. More specifically, phones exchanged within the carrier's 7-day return window.

If you're buying a phone without a contract, the up-front cost would be slightly cheaper, as one would expect from a used device. For those concerned, stores do check to ensure the mobiles still work, wipe any data or settings, and package them up with any requisite accessories. However, if you want to get a handset with a contract, you can opt to buy a device that's seen some mileage and get a slightly reduced monthly rate.

To demonstrate the savings, Vodafone offers the example of a Galaxy S III: buy one new and you'll pay £37 per month. Acquire a lightly used unit, however, and your bill drops to £33 a month. Not bad. A savings of about £48/year (roughly $78).

What do you think, UK customers? Good deal, or just a ploy to offload some used phones?

Via UK Mobile Review

Vodafone launches ‘Nearly New’ – get a top phone for less

Vodafone has launched ‘Nearly New’, offering pre-owned smartphones at a discount for pay as you go (PAYG) and pay monthly (PAYM) customers. It makes it more affordable for customers to get their hands on a smartphone, helping to increase take-up of the mobile internet among the mass-market (rather than being aimed at early adopters or people who already have a smartphone). We’re particularly targeting pay as you go users who have yet to make the leap to a smartphone (smartphone take-up among new pay monthly customers is over 90% already).

Crucially, all pay as you go ‘Nearly New’ handsets come with a 12 month warranty and all pay monthly ‘Nearly New’ handsets have a 24 month warranty. It’s worth noting that currently the majority of pre-owned smartphones that are used in the UK have been bought from eBay.

For PAYG customers it means they can get a smartphone at a reduced up-front cost (saving up to £155) and for pay monthly customers it means they can get a smartphone on a cheaper monthly price plan.

Nearly New is available for PAYG across all our stores now and will be launched online next week. It’s available in selected stores for pay monthly customers and also online.

Due to variations in the returned handsets that we get, both PAYG and PAYM handset ranges will vary on a monthly basis, but here are the current deals:

· PAYG: The iPhone4 and iPhone 3GS are included in the Nearly New plan (the iPhone 4s and 5 are not) for Pay as you go customers. For instance a PAYG user can get a nearly new 8GB iPhone 4 for £250 (vs the brand new price of £405 on our website).

· PAYM: For Pay Monthly customers we’re currently offering the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X on cheaper contracts (The Samsung Galaxy SIII is free at £33/month with unlimited calls and texts vs free at £37/month with unlimited calls and texts, for a brand new one).

So what is a nearly new phone? These are phones that have been returned in very good condition by Vodafone customers. All phones go through a strict series of checks and processes (including a full security wipe) before being placed on the scheme and are re-boxed with all the right accessories.

From a Vodafone UK spokesperson:

“Nearly New is designed to make it even more affordable for people, especially those who prefer pay as you go services, to get their hands on a smartphone and start using the mobile internet. It is part of our ambition to get the internet into the hands of our customers. It follows the changes we have already made to the way we sell new devices – such as refurbishing our shops to focus on service and introducing our Tech Team of in-store, online and call centre technical support staff – to ensure that we help our customers get the most out of their new gadget.”

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Danny Holyoake

    still works out cheaper to buy the phone outright and pay £12 a month for unlimited 3G, texts and 500 mins.

    • Ant

      Where do you get unlimited 3G, texts and 500 mins for £12pm

      • Danny Holyoake

        Three or GiffGaff.

        • Mario Miniaci

          Tesco Mobile is worth a look too.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    You can get a better deal on other networks in UK,

    • Gav456

      Yeah, with a new phone, better contract, cheaper, and better signal - voda suck

    • debully

      All this Vodafone bashing. Who else still offers 12 month contracts at a decent price?

  • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

    I'd want a Galaxy S3 and for them to pay me to be on Vodafone, how have they managed to stay in business so long?!

    • http://profiles.google.com/seanjferguson87 Sean Ferguson

      By having the second largest subscriber base in the world. It is probably the most successful British company out there (not including any oil companies).

      Just because you don't favour them shouldn't mean others do too. It surprises me how much we complain about Sky/Virgin, our internet providers and our mobile providers despite being having the cheapest and most competitive markets in all three. At least you have an option to change. At least Vodafone don't have a monopoly or duopoly unlike some certain countries. At least you have the option to change subscriber.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RobJohnson90 Rob Johnson

        It's not that I don't like them, it's that I've never met anyone who does, and if you look at their deals, it's not hard to see why.

        • http://profiles.google.com/seanjferguson87 Sean Ferguson

          I'm not denying that their expensive, however it does get you one of the best networks in the UK, and with their recent acquisition of Cable & Wireless, it will be even better when they utilise their fibre network, rather than replying on a certain BT for their fibre back-end, like a certain EE, and other UK networks.

      • ssj4Gogeta

        I'm pretty sure the cheapest and most competitive mobile market is India. :)

    • Mario Miniaci

      Vodafone offer corporate benefits that other networks don't necessarily cover, eg 'internal' numbers and they negotiate well on the corporate front.

  • http://www.9kizi.com/ 9kizi

    buy in uk