If you're looking for a new mobile, there's two main ways to get some new tech in your pocket... You can purchase a contract and pay off your handset monthly, or buy your phone upront without a SIM included. This is referred to as a SIM-free phone.

If you’re looking for a tip-top new mobile, or you're coming to the end of your contract, chances are you’re already weighing up your options. While your first instinct might be to purchase your new handset on contract, there are some great bonuses to enjoy when picking a SIM-free smartphone.

Here's a quick look at the main benefits:

SIM-free - cheaper in the long run

When purchasing a phone on contract, you're essentially paying back the cost of the handset within your monthly line rental bill. You've no doubt noticed that a premium handset will have a higher line rental than a budget one, even on tariffs with modest monthly allowances.

Mobile phones, as with many items, are generally cheaper when purchased outright than on a finance deal. Therefore if you buy your handset upfront, and pair it with a cheap SIM-only deal, you're likely to save cash over a two year period. Once you've decided on a phone, just look at the total 24 month cost on contract, and compare this with the same handset and SIM bought separately, and discover which costs less over the same timeframe.

Shorter commitments on SIM-only

Don't like being tied down for a long period of time? Want to keep your options open, and avoid lengthy contracts? SIM-only deals are also great because they're a lot shorter than contract phone deals. Generally available with 1 or 12 month commitments, a SIM-only purchase helps you keep your options open.

Combining a SIM-free phone with a SIM-only purchase means you won't be restricted by the usual 24 month obligation. This leaves you free to change your phone more frequently, as well as having to wait much less time if you decide you fancy swapping to a different tariff or network.

Not sure how much data you're likely to get through each month? Check out our handy guide

Pay less on Pay-As-You-Go

If a 1 or 12 month contract is still too long for you, or if you're a light user, there's yet another option in the form of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) SIMs. This is also the perfect choice for keeping a close eye on what you spend.

When combining a PAYG SIM with your SIM-free phone, you only pay for what you use, giving you total control over your spending. There are no contractual obligations, so you can make a change whenever you fancy.

Even more smartphone choice

At Mobiles.co.uk, you'll notice that the SIM-free range contains a larger number of handsets than the contract section. This gives you the opportunity to buy cheaper models that are no longer offered on pay monthly deals, saving you cash while letting you enjoy a nice new slice of tech.

With SIM-free phones, you own your handset outright so there's no restrictios. Keep it for as long as you like, sell or recycle it whenever you fancy, and enjoy the freedom of being able to make a change when it suits you best.

Take a look at Mobiles.co.uk to view our best selection of SIM-free phones and SIM-only deals available online.