8 things you could buy instead of an iPhone 8
Are you feeling the hype of the iPhone 8 release? Stop. Step away from the queue. Here’s what your bucks could buy you instead.
Credit: Hamza Butt – Flickr
The new iPhone 8 is here and, according to all the PR guff, it's about to change your life in a way unimaginable since… the iPhone 7 just a year ago. Fancy getting your hands on one? You might want to read this first.
An unlocked version of the absolute base model iPhone 8 (the 64GB) will set you back £699 when you buy it from the Apple Store.
You can get it on contract (assuming you pass the credit checks), but as networks tend to charge considerable interest on your instalments, this will mean you end up paying more in the long run.
How much does the iPhone 8 really cost?
Around the launch date, very few retailers (aside from Apple, of course) will allow you to buy the iPhone 8 without a monthly contract. Among those who do, we couldn't find anyone selling it for less than the £699 price listed on Apple's site.
The bonus of buying through Apple is that they offer a 20 month payment plan with 0% interest. The details of this are tucked away on this page, but make sure you look at the options without AppleCare+ – they've tried to hide these cheaper plans, but they are there!
From that, we've concluded that the cheapest way to shell out on your fancy iPhone 8 is usually to buy it directly through Apple, although it's always worth checking out our deals section to see if anything else has popped up.
Once you've forked out for the phone, you just have to pay for a SIM-only contract with your network of choice. Our mobile phone deals comparison tool will help you find the best price out there!
How the payment plan works
Apple's payment's scheme, inventively dubbed ‘iPhone Payments', is a handset-only interest-free payment option that you can choose if you buy your iPhone 8 from an Apple store rather than online.
When buying your handset, just let them know you want to pay for it via iPhone Payments and they'll set it up for you there and then. But as we said before, make sure you ask for it without AppleCare+ if you want the cheapest plan!
The cheapest available model is the 64GB, which can be paid for in 20 monthly instalments of £31.50/month plus a one-off upfront fee of £69 (which the more mathematically-minded among you will have realised equals £699).
8 things you can get for less than an iPhone 8
Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn't take the plunge and buy a new iPhone, but when money’s tight, it’s always worth putting the cost into context. So, because it's the iPhone 8, here are eight things that you can buy for the cost of the cheapest model.
A month and a half of rent
If we flip that around, that means that if you go for the phone, you’ve got to find the cash to keep a roof over your head. Or, you could just do what this guy did and live in a tent in someone's garden for the year.
Over four years of broadband
There are tons of student-friendly broadband deals out there. We found a deal with Origin that comes in at £154.99 for the whole year, so you'd need to sign a contract for just over four and a half years in order to hit the £699 mark.
And remember, these numbers assume that you live by yourself, which most students don't. Your share of the broadband bill is halved when you live with just one other person, in which case you'd be looking at NINE years of internet for the same price as an iPhone 8.
One YEAR of Nando's fine dining
Credit: Praveen – Flickr
Let's say you go for what we have decided (after a heated office discussion) is the standard Nando's order: quarter chicken, two sides and a bottomless soft drink. At the time of writing (we're covering ourselves, because even Nando's is affected by inflation), this comes in at £11.45.
If you went to Nando's once a week for an entire year, and always ordered this, you'd still have only spent £595.40. That leaves £103.60 left over, which you could either spend on MORE Nando's, or the cost of a bus fare to get there and back each week.
Almost ten years of Netflix
Student life involves a lot of free time. While that would be best spent studying, working or even socialising, the reality is that sometimes you just want to slob in front of the telly. For that reason, Netflix is becoming a bit of a must-have for students.
For the cost of an iPhone 8, you could pay for a Basic subscription to Netflix (£5.99 at the time of writing) for almost ten years.
We did some Googling and found that the total length of every video on Netflix is estimated to be three and a half years, meaning you could watch the entire catalogue twice over and still have a couple of years to spare. Your recommendations would be totally screwed though.
Second hand scooter
For the same price as an iPhone 8, you could get yourself a great set of wheels on eBay. There are heaps of secondhand mopeds and road scooters going for around the £600 mark or less (but if you're paying much less, be wary of getting a duff bike).
Not only will this save you cash (you could be saving on commuting costs, or cutting your rent by living with your folks or living a bit further away from uni in a cheaper area), but no one is gonna deny how badass you'll look rocking up to lectures on one of these bad boys!
And yes, we're aware that you can get cars on eBay (and elsewhere) for less than £699. But if a car is going for that little, there's a good chance that you'll be paying to get it repaired at some point (not to mention the fact that it'll use more petrol than a moped!).
Almost a year's worth of nights out
According to our National Money Survey, the average student spends £69 each month on socialising. Conveniently, that figure goes into £699 just over ten times.
Now, it's worth noting that ‘socialising' includes more than just nights out (especially if that's not the kind of socialising you're in to). So whatever you like to do when you're hanging out, if you choose not to buy an iPhone 8, that could be next year's social life funded until the beginning of November!
A season ticket at (almost) any Premier League club
Credit: joevare – Flickr
You know iPhones are getting expensive when there's more money involved than watching Premier League football. Now that the season has started, season tickets are largely unavailable, but let's look at what you could have had.
If you're happy to go for the cheapest option available (and if you're a die-hard fan on a budget, why wouldn't you be?), you could have got a season ticket at whichever Premier League club took your fancy… apart from Arsenal, who decided that you can put a price on disappointment (£891).
In fact, at Burnley, Manchester City, Stoke and West Ham, you could have got TWO season tickets for the price of an iPhone 8, and at Huddersfield you could have got THREE with £100 left over!
A trip to New York
Do a quick search online for trips to New York, and it won't be long before you find some for £699 or less. We even managed to find a package including three nights at a 4* hotel just off Times Square, plus flights with British Airways, for £685 per person.
Now, there are almost certainly better deals out there, and you might want to make some space for spending money if you're setting yourself a budget of £699. But given the choice between a break in the Big Apple, and a phone that will be outdated in a year, we know what we'd go for.
…or how about not spending £699?
Instead of parting with your £699, you could put it to work and see it lay many more golden coins over the two or so years.
If you paid the monthly cash into a savings account instead, not only will you not be spending £699, you'll also gain interest and be better off than when you started!
We'll leave you with 14 essential tips for grabbing the best phone contract deal: read them, save on them, and make your money go further!