O2 now lets customers design their own smartphone contracts

Shopping for smartphone deals can be a fairly dispiriting experience, where the total price is hidden behind upfront costs and long contracts. Today O2 is introducing a new way to customise a contract to your own requirements.

Rather than settling for the pre-made contracts on the handsets across the site, O2 custom plans let you chop and change everything about your plan until you come up with a price that you’re happy to pay.

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Once you’ve found the phone you’re interested in, you simply set the amount you want to pay upfront; the minutes, texts and data you need; and how long you want to be paying it all off (you can choose between three and 36 months) at 0% APR. By fiddling with the different numbers, the hope is that you’ll end up with a monthly tariff you’re happy to pay.

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Our custom plans mark the latest step in breaking away from one size fits all approaches, recognising that all our customers are different and individual, and so are their needs,” said O2 CMO Nina Bibby. “As the first UK mobile network operator to offer this level of transparency, flexibility and control we’re giving even more power to the consumer.”

Like other O2 contracts, phones bought via custom plans come unlocked, and customers will have the option to pay off the remaining cost on their smartphone at any time.

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This kind of flexibility is certainly welcome, though it’s not the be all and end all when deciding which network operator to go with. Network performance might be a bigger issue for you – especially if getting reception is tricky where you live. We’ve rounded up the ratings from Ofcom, RootMetrics and Which, to give you a better idea of their relative strengths before you tie yourself down to a long phone contract.

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Will you use O2 custom plans or are you happy with the current options available? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter: @TrustedReviews