back to article Supermarket offers phones for a fiver

You don’t get much for a fiver these days, but Asda has begun connecting people with a claim that it's punting Britain’s lowest priced pay-as-you-go mobile. Asda_five_pound_phones Asda £5 phones: Sagem's My212x (far left), My220x (left), My150x (right) and Nokia's 1112 (far right) Stroll into one of the supermarket chain's …


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  1. David Gosnell

    Pub phones

    Now that's more like it for "pub phones", take note.

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  3. Robert Hill

    That Nokia 1112 is actually quite good

    Small, easy to use, and has a great battery life...used one loaned by my company for a while, and was quite impressed. Even one of my gadget hound friends used one for a year or two because it was so retro.

    Two points against El Reg author though, for not saying if these were bundled with a contract, pay as you go, or SIM bare.

  4. Robert Hill

    Ooops, yes he did...

    include the plan, sorry.

  5. A J Stiles

    But .....

    I bet the Sagem ones use horrid proprietary, non-standard recharger connectors which are also different across all three models. It's as though there was a law against phone manufacturers being consistent (perhaps there is, and only Nokia and Sony Ericsson can afford to pay the fines).

    Anyone who is in the kind of relationship where your time is divided between your own home and your partner's home knows that is a recipe for disaster .....

  6. Wonderkid

    They make money from the calls!...

    ...crikey pops people, anyone who has ever gone 'pay as you go' will know that when you tot up all those £5 and £10 top ups at the end of the month it's a lot more than the typical £25 to £40 for a contract connection. As is the case with rent to own white goods, if you are poor (or have no credit history), you end up paying more. (Oh cruel world.) Asda (and all other mobile phone vendors) will of course receive a cut in the airtime fees so they may as well give away the phones - just as contract providers do. My advice if you have to go PAYG, buy a Sony Ericsson K800i* for £70 (Voda, O2 etc) and you get a fab camera, MP3 player and a radio too - all to use when you're not being spendy texting and talking. And when you're ready to go contract, flog the K800i for £50 and put the money down if they require a deposit if you have no credit history. (*I have one, so I know. Still one of the best mobile phones ever made IMHO. Does most things very well.)

  7. John Angelico
    Thumb Up

    Finally something like the Tranny or Calculator Effect

    Yay! Finally someone re-discovers the bright idea that a no-frills phone can be useful to people who just want a mobile phone!

    My wife wants not a PDA, not a flamin' camera, and not a fashion statement (although looking at those, some may have to live with a form of fashion, I suppose). I wonder if someone in Australia would dare look at an idea from teh Ol' Dart? Hard to see it flying in these horribly pro-republican days, though...

  8. Iain Purdie


    I'm still using a Nokia 3330. And I have another one sat spare in a desk drawer. The batteries cost next to nothing on eBay if you need a replacement, they're solid and they have the best keypad for texting of any phone I've ever used. Also, the LCD screen is readable in all light conditions, which can't be said for a lot of the fancy-dan colour ones I've seen recently.

    If I need to take pictures, I have a digital camera. If I want to listen to MP3s, I use an MP3 player (or my PSP, or my laptop). If I want to talk to someone, or text then I use the phone.

  9. Anonymous Coward
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    Don't knock the 1112

    -it's the best phone I ever owned. It does two amazing things: it makes calls, and it sends text messages. That's all I want it to do. It is as durable as any phone on the market (if not more so) and at that price it's practically disposable. The battery will last at least a week without a charge and it doesn't ever crash, because it's not complicated enough to know how to. It's also smaller than a lot of the new fancy camera-bluetooth-gprs-virus-enabled mobes out there, and nobody will bother nicking it either.

    I love it, and I'm going to ASDA to buy another one right now.

  10. Barnaby Self

    Nokia 1112

    I got one of these while I was in Australia on holiday as a cheap phone. It is just what one wants from a mobile: text messaging and phone calls! The alarm is pretty cool too as it has a built in talking clock :) Scared the hell out of me when I sat down one day and my pocket told me the time!

  11. David Beck

    Nothing Wrong with a 1112

    I beg to differ regarding the usability of, at least, the Nokia 1112. It's got a talking alarm and lasts about 2-3 weeks on a single charge. It fits in your pocket without a bluge (unless your Italian or wearing skinny jeans). That's usable.

    It doesn't -

    take photos

    record voice

    play mp3's or video

    connect to the internet

    It's a phone.

    Still better was the 1100 (it has a torch) but I think that one is now gone forever.

  12. Phill Sacre

    I agree

    Don't know the 1112, my wife has one and I have the colour screen version. They're great phones if all you need is something simple!

  13. Trygve
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    "all those £5 and £10 top ups" - well, not everyone has verbal diaorrhea. I spend about £5-£10 quid a month - I went PAYG last year after a decade on contracts because none of the networks would offer me a contract that suited me. Why should I pay for a ton of texts and minutes I'm never going to use?

    This is an offering that will suit a lot of people - probably not a majority, but still a lot. I might even grab a 1112 if it really does go a couple of weeks without a charge, as it would be handy when camping etc. It's the one failing of my 6500c...

  14. Ben Cockburn

    Love for simple phones ... Nokia 1100

    I have a 1100 and it is still the most reliable phone I have ever owned. Lasts at least two weeks between charges - so long in fact, I kept forgetting to plug it in! And the torch was pretty damn useful - went to Glastonbury and it paid for itself several times over when I lost my wallet one night and found it using the torch in the mud.

  15. Moogal
    Thumb Up

    Just the job

    If they're still doing the offer when my current 3 year-old Sony Ericsson kicks the bucket, I'll be right along there. I don't need a camera, MP3 player, radio or kitchen sink on my phone, so a basic model for a fiver will do me nicely. And as for PAYG costing more - I currently top up £20 about every 3 months, so there's no point in me paying that much a month on some daft contract.

    So yes, there's definitely a market for this sort of thing. Not so long ago, a retailer I worked for stocked a basic Samsung model for £20, but gave away a £10 gift voucher with each one - they flew out.

  16. Ian Ferguson


    I'm going to get a 1112, if the local chavsda still has one - as a backup to my iPhone. As much as I love the Jesus Phone, I don't like taking it on certain trips (riding bike, texting while walking down dark alleys, etc). It's a bit ridiculous I know, and probably points out how small the target market for the iPhone is, but it suits me. Meh.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Definitely a great deal, the Nokia 1100 is brilliant and I guess the same is probably true of the 1112. The battery last forever, it sends/receives calls and text messages, it's so robust you could throw it off a building and it will still work. Lots of hikers and climbers I've met carry these things with them because they are simple, dependable and cheaply replaced if they are lost in a bog.

    I don't need a crappy camera in my phone, I've got an expensive one which takes much better pictures. I don't need an mp3 playing phone, I've got a player which packs in more features and costs far less. I don't need GPS, I'm literate and can read a map. I don't need expensive mobile bandwidth when hotels, cafes and any place I might ever want to drag my laptop has wifi. I could go on, but you get the point - I just want a phone and without paying stupid amounts of money for it.

    Those knocking pay as you go obviously make too many calls for it to be worthwhile, but if you just make a handful of calls a month - like most people, then it's much better value than any contract. I use the land line at home/work and the mobile only rarely gets used to make calls when I'm outside - my £10 PAYG topups can be weeks apart. Ask yourself this, do you make calls to justify the contract minutes you get, or because you really need to make those calls?

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