Jan 21st, 2020
- Coverage and speeds of EE
- Cheapest per min, text & MB rates for PAYG
- Pay only for what you use
- No extra perks
- Minimum 120 day top up requirement
Half Cooked’s overall rating for 1p Mobile: (4 / 5)
1p Mobile targets smartphone users who are looking for great value. It is A Pay As You Go (PAYG) network – you will only be paying for what you use. No contract; no credit check; and no monthly commitments. All you need to get on the 1p network is to order a SIM with a pre-loaded credit of £10, activate it, and you’re good to go.
This sounds too good to be true, so, what’s the catch? To stay on the network, customers are required to top up at least £10 every 4 months (120 days). To credit your 1p Mobile account, there is an auto top-up setting that adds credit to your account as soon as it drops below £2 or if you failed to top-up within the validity period.
1p Mobile piggybacks off the UK network with the fastest 4G speed, EE. They also offer 3G and 2G services. However, one of the downsides of offering such cheap rates with no commitment means that 1p mobile can’t offer some of the perks offered by some of the other networks.
Regardless, customers are happy to stay due to the combination of great value and excellent network coverage and speeds.
Click here to go directly to 1p Mobile’s website and see their latest SIM offers.
Skip to the Half Cooked breakdown to find out how 1p Mobile performed in each of our main categories by clicking here.
Otherwise, read on for our full review or skip to a specific section by choosing from the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
Network Coverage & Speeds (5 / 5)
As a customer of 1p Mobile, you can expect to receive good network service. EE is a major Mobile Network Operator alongside O2, Three, and Vodafone. No network coverage or data speeds can stand up to EE’s, and EE is the network on which 1p Mobile piggybacks.
Boasting 99% population coverage and a promise to cover at least 95% of UK’s land area by 2020, EE remains the best on the market in this category. EE also boasts 4G speeds of 29 MB/s according to Open Signal’s 2018 testing.
Despite this, it looks like 1p Mobile’s network speeds are capped to 20MB/s but in our opinion, this is still fast enough for messaging and even HD streaming – 20MB/s actually ranks ahead of the average download on the O2 network.
Voice Call Quality (4 / 5)
For voice call quality we need to again look at EE which is ranked 1st for voice call quality. However, this is primarily down to their investment into 4G calling. As a 1p mobile customer, you won’t get access to 4G calling but instead access to only EE’s 2G and 3G calling.
However, when performing some tests from a 1p mobile SIM we didn’t have any audio clarity issues or any dropped calls, so we still rate the voice call quality as good!
Tethering (5 / 5)
Tethering is allowed on 1p Mobile. Your Wi-Fi enabled gadgets can easily connect to the internet as you can turn your mobile phone into a mini hotspot. This gives you the convenience of getting things done online when you don’t have access to any other Wi-Fi connection.
Tethering may lead to massive data usage causing significant latency in speed. 1p claims not to have that problem, thus, place no restrictions on mobile data tethering. This function allows customers to tether at the standard rate of 1p per MB or use their Data Boost allowance.
A common trick we recommend is that you check your devices for apps that consume data stealthily (apps that update continuously in the background) as they could eat your data up very fast, especially when you’re on a Pay As You Go plan like 1p Mobile.
International Roaming (4 / 5)
When roaming in the EU you can use your normal UK tariff of 1p per call, text and per MB of data in any one of 46 EU destinations. You have to configure your account settings before you travel however so you can access this. Being able to use 1p mobile abroad at such cheap rates is a great advantage 1p Mobile has over several other PAYG networks.
However, when travelling in the rest of the world, roaming fees willy apply and are significantly higher than the UK and EU roaming rates. We recommend checking these out before using your phone abroad.
Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots (1 / 5)
Wi-Fi calling enables you to call and send texts on a wireless network instead of using your 3G or 4G network. This service proves to be invaluable when you find yourself in a location where mobile connection is poor, but Wi-Fi is available.
Unfortunately, the low calling, texting and browsing rates is where most of the fun ends for 1p Mobile customers. Wi-Fi calling is only available to EE Pay Monthly plan customers. There are also no free WI-FI hotspots for 1p customers. Although EE was purchased by BT Mobile, their customers only have access to 250 Wi-fi stations on the London Underground, and not to the 5+ million hotspots enjoyed by BT customers.
To learn about the best Wi-Fi calling plans in the UK, check out our article.
Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans (1 / 5)
Anyone joining 1p Mobile does so because they offer great value with no commitment. 1p is in partnership with the giant network EE. EE provide multi buy discounts and family plans to their pay monthly subscribers. However, these schemes are not accessible to any customer that chooses to join 1p Mobile.
Customer Rewards & Other Perks (1 / 5)
There are no customer rewards for 1p Mobile customers but what they offer seems attractive enough to get more customers and keep the ones they have. Other perks you don’t get on 1p Mobile are free subscriptions to entertainment and sport. By and large, they are a good network for cost-conscious customers who hate to be ripped off.
One thing 1p Mobile do offer is data add ons, not quite a perk but give customers the option to get better data rates than 1p per MB. These data add ons start from £4 for 500MB and go up to £25 for 10GB which is quite pricey vs. what is available in the market.
1p mobile is great for occasional users but not recommended if you are a heavy data user.
Networks that offer great perks are EE and Three, learn more about them by checking out our EE vs Three review.
Why 1p Mobile
1p Mobile is recommended for occasional users due to the great rates they offer and no contract or credit check means that they are a great option for customers that have poor credit history. On top of this, 1p mobile is supported by EE’s reliable network with data speeds up to 20 MB/s. If you’re an occasional user of your mobile device, we would recommend 1p Mobile as the perfect low cost option.
Half Cooked also looks at a number of other no credit check SIM deals in the UK.