ITPP Top 10 Best Mobile Phone Deals [August 2010]

Every month, we provide you with the best mobile phones on the market in the UK. The phones owe their places in this list because of their incredibly good value for money or because they flog features that others do not currently offer.

Please bear in mind though that things change very quickly in the world of mobile phones; stock fluctuates all the times, clearance sales end up very quickly, retailers have flash sales and manufacturers pull or introduce models round the clock.

To make things even more complicated, you can buy a phone either SIM Free, on PAYG or on a contract and this weighs heavily on our final verdict plus some of the models displayed here are available as refurbished or end of line but all carry one year warranty.

And our usual T&Cs, the list is arguably a biased, subjective, UK-located one that's already obsolete by the time it gets published, so your suggestions, your remarks and your criticisms are more than welcomed to help us improve on the next iteration.

(1) Nokia 5230 On Vodafone PAYG

The Nokia 5230 is part of the celebrated Xpressmusic family whose first member, the 5800, was an outright success. The 5230 will soon be replaced by the 5250 which is why it is currently on clearance at a number of outlets.

It can be purchased on Vodafone for £59.95 with a £10 inclusive top-up and as it is being sold by e2save, the 5230 is likely to be unlocked.

The phone has a 3.2-inch resistive touchscreen that can display 640x360 pixels (that's almost nearly VGA) and comes with onboard accelerometer and proximity sensor, features found on much more expensive models.

Users will like the fact that there's a 2-megapixel camera, 70MB onboard memory (expandable to 16GB), 33 hours music playback time and integrated GPS, HSDPA and Bluetooth support with a FM radio as well.

(2) Samsung S8500 Wave On Orange Contract

The Samsung Wave is an odd smartphone; it packs a very powerful punch but is available with Samsung's own OS, Bada with Touch UI v3.0, instead of Android, Symbian or Windows Mobile, all of which are well established mobile platforms.

Dialaphone offers a package comprising of the S8500 Wave with 300 minutes, unlimited UK emails, 500MB mobile internet, unlimited texts on a 24 months contract for £25 per month on the Dolphin 25 package.

You do get £80 automatic cashback within weeks which cuts the effective cost of the package to £21.66 per month. The phone itself is a proper bad boy; it packs a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 3.3-inch Super AMOLED screen (800x480 pixels), a 5-megapixel camera with LED and AF, 2GB internal memory, microHD, Wi-Fi, GPS, HSDPA and more; the only thing missing appears to be a HDMI port.

(3) iPhone 4 On 3 UK Contract

The iPhone 4 is an exquisite smartphone, one which, despite numerous complaints about quality and features, is one of the popular smartphones ever released.

The best iPhone 4 deal is currently on 3 UK; the 16GB model with 500 minutes, 5000 texts, 5000 3-to-3 minutes and 1GB internet costs only £30 per month over two years with an initial cost of £99 (and a TCO of only £819 or £34.13 per month).

Everyone has his or her opinion about 3 UK but the quality of service of the nation's smallest independent mobile phone operator has improved significantly over the last few years.

As for the iPhone 4 itself, the phone has a 5-megapixel camera, a 3.5-inch display with a 960x480 pixel resolution, 16GB (or more) onboard storage and a design to die for.

(4) Samsung B3210 Genio On T-Mobile PAYG

The B3210 (Corby) is a no-frill handset with a big difference. It has a full QWERTY keyboard and costs only £39.95 from Onestopshop which includes a £10 top up credit.

Since this is a PAYG phone from T-Mobile expect it to come with six months worth of free internet worth £30 on its own plus one month of free, unlimited texting.

The phone is not half as bad as well; it has a 2.2-inch colour screen, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, a web browser, a FM radio and a MP3 player and will support up to 8GB microSD card.

Samsung has even thought of throwing in direct access to Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Picasa, Friendster and Photobucket (but no Twitter or Foursquare).

(5) Pulse On T-Mobile PAYG

The Pulse is exclusive to T-Mobile and is manufactured by Chinese OEM ZTE. It costs £79.97; top it up with a £10 credit that gives you access to one month free unlimited texts plus T-Mobile gives you six months free internet.

What makes the T-Mobile Pulse so special is that it is the cheapest PAYG Android handset on the market, the first one to sell for less than £100.

And the feature list is not too shabby as well; you get a 2GB memory card in the box plus a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen, push email with MS Exchange, a 3.2-megapixel camera and up to 270 minutes talk time.

Unfortunately, there's no Wi-Fi but you do get 3G, GPRS, free Sat Nav, Bluetooth and a MP3 player.

(6) Alcatel OT206 On O2 PAYG

This phone deserves a special credit for being the cheapest phone that you will find in the UK; granted you have to top it up with £10 credit but it costs only 99p to start with!

Available on O2 (via Carphone Warehouse), the Alcatel OT 206 is one of the remaining gadgets that you can purchase with the St George's flag on it.

It has a speakerphone, a USB port, a colour screen and has a standby time of 400 hours, that's roughly 17 days.

There's a few games dropped in plus a built-in FM radio, all packed in a sturdy and resistant body weighing only 60g. It won't win any awards for features or gorgeousness but will serve instead as the perfect glove box phone.

(7) HTC Desire On T-Mobile Contract

The HTC Desire is arguably one of the most popular handsets on the market and stocks have been low ever since it was launched in the UK at the beginning of the year. T-mobile currently sells it (via Buymobilephones) for £30 per month with 900 minutes, 500 texts and 1GB mobile data on a two year contract.

However what makes this deal even more attractive is the fact that it carries a £110 automatic cashback attached to it which is paid back within weeks.

You may find cheaper deals around, including one which costs £360 over an 18-month period, but they will almost always come with less minutes and no internet data quota.

For those not afraid of getting a refurbished model on a different network, Buymobilephones.net offers the HTC Desire for £19.99 with 500 minutes or texts, 500MB data, Skype to Skype calls and 5000 minutes 3-to-3 for only £20 per month.

The HTC Desire comes with some cracking features, like a 800x480 3.7-inch AMOLED toucshcreen, a 1GHz processor, Android 2.1, a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and much more.

(8) HTC HD2 On Orange Contract

It has one of the biggest screen size on the market and comes with Windows Mobile 6.5 with Sense UI. It is the HTC HD2 and currently goes on sale at Orange (via e2save) for £25 per month (on a two year contract) with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data.

The handset packs a 4.3-inch screen (800x480 pixels), a 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi and all the latest improvements you'd expect from a top of the range mobile phone like a 5-megapixel camera, GPS & 512MB RAM .

The only thing we did not expect was the fact that it was launched first on Android.