Review: Nokia Lumia 530 + Three Mobile One Month Rolling Contract

Shaun's picture


As a foreign student in the UK, the question of mobile phones is always one to ponder. I heard good things about one month rolling contracts, so I tried one out for a month with a cheap SIM free phone.

Phone: Nokia Lumia 530

The Nokia Lumia 530 is well in the ‘bargain' bracket of smart phones. After a quick look online at the time of writing, you can get it for a ridiculously cheap £50. So, what do you get for your money?

The phone fits nicely into your hand and although the case feels a little plasticy, the bright green of my handset certainly makes it stand out from the crowd. At first, I struggled to get the back off to get to the battery and sim slots, but that may just be me.

It uses the Windows operating system, and as with any new platform, it can take a little time to get used to, but actually the customisable tile layout is pretty easy to master. For a cheap phone it actually handled my day to day usage pretty well. I could, for example, have several apps open and be using the web and there would rarely be any noticeable slow down.

Instead, it is the hardware that marks the Lumia out as a cheaper phone. I was dismayed to find out there is no front camera or flash, which selfies! The battery life is also a little limited, barely lasting a whole day of heavy usage. But, then again, that complaint can be levelled at far pricier phones than this.

SIM: Three Mobile One Month Rolling Contract

Now, this seemed intriguing to me. All my friends have struggled with what contract to get whilst in the UK. Carrying on using our own contracts from home is ridiculously expensive, but many of us are here only for a year, so 24 month contracts are out the window.

Therefore, the idea of a rolling month-by-month contract certainly sounded enticing. With Three, they have a selection of six different One Month Rolling Contracts, ranging from £14 to £30, depending on how much data and calls you want (have a look here). If, like me, you don't make all that many long phone calls, but do browse the internet a lot, then for £20 you can get unlimited data and 200 minutes a month.

I love the flexibility of this sort of contract. When I go home for the summer, I don't have to pay for 2 months of non-usage, and when I leave London for good (sob), I don't have to do battle with my phone provider over ending the contract.

Plus, the benefit of going with Three is that using my phone abroad didn't cost me anything extra. Going back home to the States, I can still use my British number and calls back to the UK AND mobile internet data come out of my normal allowance. Which is pretty awesome.


This phone/sim combo is perfect for students coming to the UK from abroad just for a year or less and want to get the cheapest possible deal. With the month by month sim you get all the benefits of a contract, but without having to tie yourself down for 2 years. Whilst the Nokia Lumia is basic (no selfies!), it works fine as a PHONE, and does pretty much everything you'd expect of a smart phone. Add the £50 cost of the phone and £14/month contract, and you are looking at less than £135 for 6 months, which you really can't complain about.

Share with friends