Fancy grabbing yourself the latest blower on O2? Step this way, friend, and check out our roundup of the best phones the oxygenated network has to offer.
Although O2 once exclusively offered the iPhone, most of the top-end phones are available from all the major networks these days. Networks then need to make sure their deals are wallet-friendly and they bundle in plenty of extras so as to tempt you to them and also keep you there.
O2's On & On package serves up unlimited calls, texts and
1GB of data, SIM only for £26 per month. If you want an actual phone as well, that rises to £36 of your hard-earned, thank you very much. You can still slap on any of O2's 'bolt-ons' if you want handset insurance or more data.
In May of last year, it introduced O2 Travel -- a tariff aimed at holidaymakers that
offers up 25MB of roaming data for a flat £2. Previously, pay as you go
customers shed three pounds (of flesh) for every megabyte used abroad. If roaming data is a big deal for you though, Three offers all you can eat data for £5 per day.
Be sure to compare prices before getting stuck into the extras. If your purse is stretched with just the base tariff, you'll really struggle once you factor in bolt-ons and roaming. Prior to joining O2, you should also make sure you can get a signal by using its online coverage checker.
When it comes to customer service, O2 is the least apoplexy-inducing of all the major networks. A recent report by Ofcom indicated that Orange and T-Mobile are the most complained about networks, with O2 bringing up the rear. It performed similarly well in a 2011 customer satisfaction survey by Which? magazine, too.
We also high-five O2 for its website. Unlike the dismal, confusing efforts of Vodafone and Orange, O2's site tends to be clear and usable. There's even a page where you can ask for your phone to be unlocked, rather than having to navigate the support-line hell maze.
If you're going to be locked into a contract for two years, it's worth knowing that O2 was the first to introduce the current fastest variant of 3G, DC-HSPA, which provides faster download speeds than standard 3G. O2 will be joining EE in offering 4G services to Britain, but this won't be in action until later in the year at the earliest.
Additional writing by Flora Graham and Andrew Williams.