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As an offshoot of Three, SMARTY naturally runs on the Three network.
SMARTY prides itself on making things simple and affordable. According to its web site, it was founded on the belief that there is a better way to do mobile. SMARTY cites several core values that underpin its approach:
SMARTY is, in its own words, ‘on a mission to put trust back into the industry, by doing things properly’. It joins other modern, simplified networks, like giffgaff and VOXI, in doing away with bells and whistles in favour of a simple, great-value service.
SMARTY only offers SIM-only plans, so if you’re looking for new phone deals, you’ll have to look elsewhere. If you’re after cheap data plans, though, SMARTY takes some beating: it was crowned the best value SIM-only network in the 2020 Uswitch awards.
All SMARTY SIM card plans offer:
At present, SMARTY offers the following plans:
All plans come with unlimited calls and texts and are offered on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you make a one-off payment that gives you access to the plan for 30 days.
One of SMARTY’s unique selling points is the way it refunds unused data at the end of the month. While some providers let you roll over unused data, SMARTY’s data discount feature compensates you by giving you money off your next plan. The amount varies from £1-3 depending on the amount of unused data. Considering SMARTY’s most expensive plan is a mere £8 per month, that means you could get back almost 50%.
Ideal for dongles, tablets and Mi-Fi, SMARTY data-only SIMs offer the same great value as regular SMARTY mobile SIMs. They also offer money off your next month’s contract for any unused data.
SMARTY SIM plans don’t come with any frills, but you can still enjoy extras in the form of add-ons. These include:
For when you want to top up your data before your plan has reached its end date.
For when you need to make a premium call – say, to an 084 number – that’s not covered by the free calls component of your plan.
You can add these extras to your plan through your online customer account. Dubbed as ‘Out of Plan’ top-ups, these extras don’t expire when your plan does, so you can keep using them until the purchased credit runs out.
SMARTY is powered by the Three network, which boasts a 97% coverage rate across the UK. With it, you can enjoy 2G and 3G connectivity, as well as 4G where available – visit the coverage checker on its website for more details.
SMARTY roaming is free within the EU, with all the features of your plan working the same way they do back home. You will need to set up your phone for roaming before you go, though. If you plan to make calls outside of these locations, you will need to buy an Out of Plan top-up to fund your calls as they won’t be covered by free roaming.
So long as your plan is still active and your data supports it, you can tether as many devices as you like to your SMARTY SIM card. This is true even if you are using your SIM in the EU.
There are no specific SMARTY student SIM cards, but the brand does style itself as a great student option. No contracts, low costs and the freedom to use its SIMs to tether laptops and consoles make it a great choice for those on a budget – especially as an alternative to kitting out a shared house with home broadband.
SMARTY’s customer service can only be accessed through the following online channels:
However, you can request a call-back when you email and its help centre is open seven days a week.
If you convince a friend to join SMARTY, you’ll each get a month free. You can do this with as many friends as you like – once they have been customers for two weeks, you’ll be rewarded with a free month’s service.
SMARTY’s new group plans enable you to save 10% by joining the network alongside friends or family members. You each choose your preferred plan and the group can have up to eight SIM cards. The plan is managed under one account by one person, termed the Group Owner. As well as getting 10% off for each SIM you use, you can also reap the benefits of SMARTY’s data discount and you can leave at any time, of course.
SMARTY plans are paid for in advance, either with a credit or debit card or in cash from a PayPoint retailer. SMARTY doesn’t accept direct debits, so you don’t need a bank account. Those paying by card can opt for automatic renewal, but it’s not mandatory. You can opt-out of the renewal system at any time, leaving you free to leave or switch providers at the end of your 30-day plan.
Yes, so long as your phone is unlocked. If not, you will need to approach the provider you purchased it from and request that it be unlocked. All Three phones come unlocked as standard.
Yes, but you’ll need a PAC code – the text-to-switch scheme is the best way to get hold of this.
Not yet, but it’s coming. Wi-Fi calling is also in the works, so it’s worth keeping an eye on SMARTY’s web site and social network accounts for updates.