In the past, students rolled up to Uni with a pay as you go phone they bought for under £100 all in. Easy! Not anymore.

If you want a smartphone (let’s be honest you’re a student, you want one) then it’s a good idea to consider a contract. It means you can get a very capable, high-end smartphone on a payment plan without having to pay the entire cost of a handset upfront.

If you don’t mind being tied into a two-year contract, then you can get your hands on a shiny new iPhone without spending half your student loan. Here are some of the best places to look, and some of the best deals.

Vodafone

If you attend a participating university, (of which there are many)  then you can enjoy 10% discount on a Vodafone monthly plan.

You can order online, in store or over the phone. Click here for details.

EE

EE offers 20% student discount along with a 500MB safety net each month. That’s half a GB of free data every month just to keep you from going over your data plan. And with 20% off, that’s not a bad deal.

You can upgrade to this deal if you’re already on EE, join it and get the same benefits, or claim the safety net if you’re midway through a contract.

All the details are here

O2

The student programme with O2 gives you 20% off your plan, which is a great start. It also has a partnership with start up bank Monzo to offer you a card with £30 credit on it.

Here’s more info on Monzo

Be aware that the 20% discount is just off your Airtime plan, not your Device plan the latter of which is the monthly cost of your device (O2’s monthly plans are a total that is a combination of these two bills, but it helped to itemise the cost for you).

You have to specifically sign up to one of O2’s Refresh tariffs, then sign in via UNiDAYS to verify you’re a student.

All the info is here

Three

Three is straight to the point with a single student offer, but it’s actually very good. For £16 a month you get 30GB data and unlimited minutes and texts. Unlike the other deals here though, this is a SIM only plan, so you don’t get a phone.

But if you have a smartphone hanging around and are at the end of your contract, this is a decent, cheap deal with a ton of data.

Check it out here on a 12-month plan

Mobiles.co.uk

While not specifically student deals, Mobiles.co.uk have two-year contracts for high-end smartphones that are cheaper than standard contracts from the other four operators here.

Here are all the latest deals on phones like the iPhone 8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and LG G6.