Our O2 Mobile review in summary
O2 has all of the best new smartphones and SIM only plans on 30 day, 12 month and 24 month contracts.
Its coverage is up there with the best networks in the UK, while its sweeteners, such as free Disney+ streaming and its O2 Priority service, which offers access to daily deals and pre-order gig tickets, are among the best in the business.
And after its tie up with Virgin Media, there are even more extras to be had if you have broadband with the latter.
The return of roaming charges puts a dampener on proceedings, however. And O2’s prices are not the cheapest around either.
O2 Mobile SIM-only plans
O2 SIM-only plans have got all bases covered. While some networks are shifting away from flexible, 30 day deals, O2 still has plenty of them. However, they are on the costly side.
At the time of writing an unlimited data, calls and texts package on a 30 day contract costs a hefty £36 a month.
Things get a lot more affordable if you take out a 12 or 24 month plan, with unlimited calls and texts and 5GB of data for just £10 a month over two years.
These longer contracts also give you the option of 6 months of free Apple Music streaming, as well as free Disney+ or Amazon Prime Video, depending on your preference.
And for Virgin Media broadband customers, there’s more, with double data and broadband boosts. You’ll also enjoy O2 Priority access, with first dibs on gig tickets and other deals.
They might not be the cheapest plans around, but the cost is definitely offset by the excellent extras.
O2 Mobile phone contract plans
O2’s phone contract plans are broad and offer you the chance to snag the very latest device on a long term deal. O2 splits its bills in two, with a 36 month device plan and a rolling monthly airtime plan.
You’ll only see one payment come out of your account, but you can change your airtime plan whenever you like to suit your needs.
Need extra data? No problem.
Once your phone is paid off, your bill will automatically come down. Alternatively, you can choose to trade in your phone at any time and use the money to pay off your device plan and upgrade.
That means if you simply have to have Apple or Samsung’s latest, greatest, then you’re good to go.
Because deals are 26 months long, upfront costs are low. But the long term nature of the plans may not appeal to everyone.
Prices are largely similar to those of major rivals, although access to O2 Priority, Disney+ and other sweeteners for Virgin Media customers make O2 Mobile phone contract plans enticing.
O2 Mobile coverage
O2’s coverage is excellent, with its 2G, 3G and 4G networks available for 99% of the UK population.
Geographically, its 4G platform now reaches 84% of the country. Its 5G network is also expanding.
This puts it up there with EE and Three. Find out how to check the major networks’ coverage in your area to see which provider offers up the best connectivity.
O2 Mobile roaming
If you’re travelling in O2’s Europe Zone, you can use your phone as you would at home.
However, O2 now charges a hefty £3.50 per GB of data used for those travelling in Europe who go over a 25GB fair usage limit.
It’s unlikely you’ll use that much data, though, and can set limits to stop that happening.
Outside of Europe, some contracts include O2’s Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On, letting you roam in Europe and 27 other countries, including the USA.
If it’s not part of your deal, you can pay £4.99 a day for 120 texts, 120 minutes and data roaming.
Compared with rival networks, O2’s European access is better, without daily charges. But beyond European shores, a £4.99 charge is expensive.
O2 Mobile customer service
In Ofcom’s latest report into customer satisfaction in the mobile space, O2 came out just behind EE and giffgaff, with 91% customer satisfaction.
However, Ofcom did fine O2 £10.5 million for overcharging customers in early 2021.
In general though, its service is dependable and ranks well against its competitors.
O2 Mobile stores and offline experience
O2 has mobile stores throughout the UK, with its staff knowledgeable about the latest phones, contracts and SIM only plans.
There are often in-store deals that are unavailable online, while its best phone contracts tend to be available directly from O2.
O2’s Mobile deals and incentives
This is where O2 really stands out. Its free access to the likes of Apple Music, Disney+ and Audible make it a real winner for those who want something extra for their money.
O2 Priority has long been the gold standard when it comes to offering extras to customers.
Thanks to O2’s sponsorship deal with concert venues big and small, there are always amazing offers available for live music, while you can snag lunch deals and extra data on a regular basis.
O2 Mobile pricing
When it comes to cost O2 Mobile is not the cheapest by a long shot. Its SIM-only plans, in particular, feel rather costly. But it’s fair to say that you’re paying extra for a ton of excellent extras.
That’s only going to improve now O2 and Virgin Media have merged, with the aim of offering better all-in-one packages for new and existing customers alike.
If you like basic deals, look elsewhere. But if you want extras, O2 is where its at.
Pros and Cons of choosing O2 Mobile
- Excellent range of incentives
- Chance to upgrade early with O2 Refresh
- European roaming offering is better than Three and EE
- All the latest smartphones
- Not the cheapest around
How does O2 Mobile compare against other networks?
With its storied past, O2 stands up well against its rivals. EE might have a faster network, but O2 has equally good coverage, while its incentives packages are head and shoulders above those from Three and Vodafone.
Its SIM-only plans are, however, not a patch on giffgaff or Three when it comes to affordability, especially if you want a 30 day deal.
If you’re happy to be tied down for longer though, the incentives on offer make it worthwhile.
What are the alternatives to O2 Mobile?
- BT Mobile
- iD Mobile
How does O2 compare against other networks?
See our reviews of other mobile networks:
- Asda Mobile review
- BT Mobile review
- EE review
- giffgaff review
- iD Mobile review
- Lebara review
- SMARTY review
- Tesco Mobile review
- Three review
- Virgin Mobile review
- Vodafone review