Ah Smartphones…how did we ever live without them?
Do you still remember the days that all you could do with your mobile was call and text people (via SMS that is, not through social media or some fancy apps)?
Yea, seems almost like the ‘dark ages’ now ey?
We Australians love our smartphones!
As a matter of fact, Australia has the highest penetration rate of smartphones in the world with a whopping rate of 84% of total mobile users in this country now owning a smartphone.
Do you have a smartphone already? Do you want to update it? Do you want to have a second one as backup or to give it to friends and family? Maybe you just want a spare cheap smartphone to use as a Wifi hotspot when out and about?
Well, whatever the reason you need one, we would like to present a deal for you today which we believe is the cheapest smartphone you can currently find in Australia, when taking into account the included extras.
Not only that, it’s not some outdated technology from 3 or 4 years ago. Not at all.
As a matter of fact, this inexpensive smartphone runs on Google’s Android 4.2 (a.k.a “jelly bean”) with a 4 inch screen and 3.15 MP Camera.
It also comes with two extras which are really what makes this deal outstanding:
- A $40 cap prepaid Vodafone starter pack. This pack gives you 2GB of data, unlimited text to any Australian mobile and $750 worth of calls, all for 28 days. After you’ve used it up, it is up to you whether or not you would like to stay with Vodafone or port your number to another provider. If you do decide to port, we have a detailed report for you as to which plans you should consider (all are without any lock-in contracts). As you can imagine, the retail value of this is $40.
- A three month subscription to Spotify Premium, the world’s leading on-demand music streaming service. With a price tag of $12 a month, this is an extra $36 worth of value for you. After your initial 3 months are up, you can either keep paying for the premium service out of your own pocket or switch to Spotify’s free service. The main differences between the free and premium service is that with the free service you can’t download music to your device and listen to it offline (but rather only stream it through your data connection) and you will also have to endure ads interrupting your tunes.
“So what’s the ‘damage’ “? You might ask.
“How much is all that going to cost me”?
Well, provided you buy the phone by 27/01/2015, the price tag is only $69. This means that after taking into account the included value, your phone is actually FREE (or you even get $7 of ‘profit’ if you prefer to look at it that way).
In order to maximise the value of this package and actually get all these inclusions, there are two extra deadlines you should be aware of:
- You must activate the included Vodafone SIM no later than 01/02/2015; and
- You must redeem the code for the Spotify Premium subscription no later than 07/02/2015. You will receive the code via SMS after you activate the SIM in the included Vodafone starter pack.
So what phone do you actually get with this deal?
You get the Vodafone Smart 4 mini Android phone. The basic specs are:
- 4.0″ WVGA TFT Display (480 x 800)
- 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7 Dual-core Mediatek MT6572 CPU
- Mali-400 GPU
- 512 MB RAM
- 4GB Storage, expandable to 32GB via mircoSD
- 3.15 MP rear camera.
- WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
- Android 4.2.2 OS
- size and weight: 121.6 x 64.4 x 12.3 mm @ 117g
This phone does not support 4G speeds unfortunately. If you want a great deal on a 4G-capable phone, check our other post here.
Here is a good video review of this phone done by a bloke in the UK back in June this year.
As you can see, the price tag for the phone back then was £45 and it didn’t come with the two inclusions offered in this deal. So again, you are paying less and getting more just because you are a reader of Spending Hacker! 🙂
However, this great value deal does come with one small ‘catch’: the phone is locked to Vodafone.
This means that out of the box, it will only work with a Vodafone SIM and also potentially a SIM from one of their resellers (e.g. Hello Mobile, Lebara).
If you ever want to use this phone with Optus or Telstra or one of their resellers (or overseas for that matter), you will need to get this phone unlocked.
Luckily for you however, unlocking this phone is quite easy.
In order to unlock this phone, you will need to enter an unlock code in the prompt that comes up when you try to turn on the phone with a SIM card that is not Vodafone. The process itself is very simple and requires no special tools or technical knowledge whatsoever.
But how to get that code you ask? Good question!
One way is through Vodafone themselves.
Based on our past experience with their locked prepaid phones, for some you can actually get the unlock code for FREE while for others the charge is anything between $25 and $50. The price of the unlock code ($0,$25 or $50) is not based on the phone’s model but rather on the individual unit’s serial number (also known as IMEI number).
This means that some of you might get the unlock code for free from Vodafone while others might have to pay. If Vodafone wants to charge you, we suggest you politely refuse and instead opt for the second way outlined below.
The second way is to buy the unlock code from an independent service provider which supplies them. Just so you know, this is perfectly legal in Australia (for the time being at least).
All you need to do in order to get the IMEI is to ‘dial’ *#06# on your phone. It will then display a 15 digit number which is the IMEI number of your specific device. That’s it!
Once you have the IMEI number of your specific unit, you have two options to get your unlock code:
- From Ebay where you can get it for less than $2. See here
- If that code didn’t work for you, or the Ebay listing is no longer active, you can use this mob. With them you can either get the code for free if you take one of their advertisers offers or pay US$7.99 to get the code straight away.
Once you have the unlock code, unlocking your new phone is very easy and the process is outlined in this video
Now that your phone is unlocked and can work with any network (both in Australia and overseas) which uses SIM cards, which provider should you actually go with after your first month with Vodafone (which you got for free as part of this deal) is up?
Well, that would depend mainly on your individual usage patterns and whether or not the Vodafone & Optus networks have good coverage where you live, work and play, or are you restricted to only using the Telstra network as it’s the only one that offers you decent coverage.
Either way, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive report. You can access it for free right here.
If you’re already one of our subscribes, you’ve either already received this report or will have it in your inbox within the next few weeks.
If you’re not yet a subscriber, you can fix that now and also get instant access to our report by clicking the big button below. Did we mention already it is totally FREE? 🙂
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Before you go:
The Spending Hackers Recommend:
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- Vision Direct – The biggest range of designer eyewear on the planet for the lowest price.