Jan 21st, 2020
- No contract SIM
- No credit check required
- Double points on Superdrug product shopping
- Data rollover
- International roaming
- Only 1 SIM only deal available
- Limited additional perks
Half Cooked’s overall rating for Superdrug: (4 / 5)
Superdrug has recently expanded beyond its current market and joined the mobile network space by launching their own virtual network by piggybacking off the Three network. One year after its partnership with Three, one of UK’s favorite networks, Superdrug Mobile has shown consistency in its delivery of service—an impressive performance from a network that is a subsidiary of a high street beauty and healthcare retailer.
Running on the Three network means 99.8% population coverage with fast 3G & 4G speeds – the same as a Three customer. Superdrug currently only offers one plan which is a 1 month SIM Only deal for £10 which gives customers unlimited minutes, texts and 4GB of data. These deals are effectively like PAYG deals which means customers do not require credit checks to join and with other perks like points for purchases, Superdrug have hit the mobile market with a strong proposition for customers looking for a new network.
Superdrug may not own all the customers in the UK, but they sure know how to keep theirs. Partnering with one of the best networks sets them on a solid foundation. Though their one-deal package is exclusively for signed-up customers, the assortment of perks and quality network performance earns them from Half Cooked, a ranking of 4.0/5.
Click here to go directly to Superdrug Mobile’s website and see their latest SIM offers.
Skip to the Half-Cooked breakdown to find out how Superdrug 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 (4 / 5)
As mentioned before, Superdrug Mobile piggybanks off the Three networks which is one of the four stand-alone UK networks. In 2018, Superdrug’s host won the “Best Network for Data.” Independent testing in the first half of 2019 shows that Three’s 4G speed is 23Mb/s, which is the second best. EE remains the best with 29Mb/s.
The 3G and 4G population coverage of Superdrug Mobile is the same as Three—98.3% and 99.8% respectively. However, customers can only use 3G and 4G network as Three does not own any 2G network spectrum. This means you have to get a phone that is at least enabled with 3G. Superdrug claims to operate with integrity and transparency – they do not throttle data on their network and do not deliberately reduce bandwidth or connection speeds for any of their subscribers. As a result, expect solid speeds and good overall network experience when using Superdrug’s network.
Half Cooked also looks at how all the networks compare for their 4G coverage – check out our guide for the best 4G networks in the UK.
Voice Call Quality (4 / 5)
With the voice call quality of Three, Superdrug mobile subscribers can be assured of clarity in enclosed places and areas that are farther inland. It is important to ensure that your device is compatible with 4G technology in order to enjoy this service.
Using another independent testing body to assess voice call quality, we looked at P3 communications tests. Three came third out of the major operators with a score of ‘good’. The main reason Three came out behind both EE and Vodafone was considerably longer call set up times in larger cities – about 1.5 seconds longer on average.
Tethering (5 / 5)
Tethering allows you to turn your mobile phone into a personal Wi-fi hotspot. Tethering your data allows other devices to connect to the internet as if they are individually data-enabled.
Superdrug allows unlimited tethering of your data on its no-contract plan, with no data restrictions or spending caps. You can use your data as much as you want. However, we recommend checking out their out of bundle pricing before tethering.
International Roaming (3 / 5)
You can use your allowances in EU destinations at no extra charge, but a cash add-on is required if you’re going out of European destinations. Cash add-ons are sold £5 and £10 increments only.
Compared to some of Superdrug’s competitor networks such as giffgaff & Virgin, Superdrug offers amazingly cheap tariffs for data and calls in the US and Canada. Data and calls in these destinations are 50p per MB and £1 per minute. you can check out Half Cooked’s review on international roaming for more information on tariffs and costs when travelling abroad.
Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots (3 / 5)
Wi-Fi calling allows customers to place calls and send texts using wireless networks instead of using their 3G/4G network. This is a great perk if you are somewhere without mobile connection but have access to Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, at the moment Wi-Fi calling isn’t something available on Superdrug’s network. You can check out all the networks that offer Wi-Fi calling by going to our UK networks Wi-Fi calling article.
Just like Three, Superdrug customers will have access to 250 Wi-fi stations on the London underground. Their Wi-Fi hotspot proposition doesn’t extend much further, but that doesn’t really affect our rating of Superdrug as many public spaces in the UK these days, such as bars, hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, now offer people to connect to their Wi-Fi hotspots free of charge.
Data Rollover (4 / 5)
Data rollover means you can keep your unused data at the end of the month. For e.g. if you have a 3GB plan and only use 1GB the following month you will have 5GB as the extra 2GB would have been rolled over.
Superdrug does well here, offering customers up to 2 calendar months to utilize any unused data. This provides excellent value to customers and helps minimize any data going to waste! However, if 4GB of data a month isn’t enough for you can purchase data add ons to get you through the month. Buying a £2, £3, or £5 add-on will give you an additional monthly plan of 1 GB, 2 GB, and 5 GB of data, respectively.
If data rollover is important to you, one network to consider is SMARTY (who also piggybacks off Three). Other networks that provide this perk are Sky Mobile, and iD Mobile.
Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans (1 / 5)
Superdrug doesn’t offer any family plans or multi SIM discounts at the moment. However, some UK networks do offer great family mobile plans. Networks like BT Mobile, Tesco Mobile and Vodafone offer multi buy discounts, check out our article to learn more.
Customer Rewards (3 / 5)
Customers who sign up to Superdrug Mobile will be given £10 in Superdrug Health & Beauty Card points as give-back on their first subscription. Customers who also hold a Superdrug health and beauty loyalty card will also get double points on their expenses when shopping, if they have an active plan. The normal point per pound is 1 (equivalent to 1p); this means you get 2p for every £1 spent.
Other Perks (1 / 5)
Networks that are relatively new often try to offer perks that would make them stand out from the crowd. In this regard, Superdrug Mobile isn’t offering anything new. However, their incredibly cheap plans, tethering, and rollover put Superdrug on the list of the most competitive Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) in the UK.
Why Superdrug Mobile
Generally, Superdrug mobile is a network that offers value. The package they offer is a great deal for many consumers especially young people who would otherwise have credit check issues. It is a prepaid, no-contract deal which means you can join or leave as you like. Customers also get £10 worth of points when they activate, so you effectively get your money back your first month anyway!