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8 things you could buy instead of an iPhone 11

Are you feeling the hype of the iPhone 11 release? Stop. Step away from the queue. Here’s what your money could buy you instead.

girl looking at iphone 11

Credit: NaiyanaB (background), ALX1618 (phones), WAYHOME studio (girl) – Shutterstock

The new iPhone 11 is here and, if you believe the hype, it's about to change your life in a way unimaginable since... the iPhone XR just a year ago. Fancy getting your hands on one? You might want to read this first.

An unlocked version of the absolute most basic model iPhone 11 (the 64GB) will set you back £729 when you buy it from the Apple Store.

You can get it on a 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.

Since you're shelling out an arm and a leg, it's probably a good idea get your phone insured too!

How much does the iPhone 11 cost?

iphone boxes

Credit: Mykola Churpita – Shutterstock

Around the launch date, very few retailers (aside from Apple, of course) will allow you to buy the iPhone 11 without a monthly contract. Among those who do, we couldn't find anyone selling the phone for less than the £729 price listed on Apple's site (excluding those, including Apple, who offer a discount for trading in an older iPhone).

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! Just scroll down and click the link we've highlighted below for proof.

iphone payments details

From that, we've concluded that the cheapest way to shell out on your fancy iPhone 11 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 iPhone Payments 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 11 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 £33/month plus a one-off upfront fee of £69 (which the more mathematically-minded among you will have realised equals £729).

8 things you can buy for less than an iPhone 11

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, here are eight surprising things that are cheaper than an iPhone 11:

  1. Almost a month and a half of rent

    rows of terraced housing

    Credit: John Seb Barber - Flickr

    With the average student rent standing at £547 a month (and costs rising), the value of an iPhone 11 is equivalent to close to a month and half of rent.

    If we flip that around, that means that if you go for the phone, you’ve got to find the same amount of 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.

  2. Almost four years of broadband

    welcome to the internet meme

    Source: Deviant Art

    There are tons of student-friendly broadband deals out there. We found a deal with the Post Office that costs just £15.90, so you'd need to sign a contract for almost four years in order to hit the £729 mark.

    And remember, these numbers assume that you live by yourself, which most students don't. Your share of the broadband bill is smaller when you live with other people, so even if you lived with just one other person, you'd be looking at eight years of internet for the same price as an iPhone 11.

Whether you're after an iPhone or vintage Nokia, compare the best contracts using our mobile phone contract comparison tool.
  1. One YEAR of Nando's fine dining

    nando's sauces and dressings

    Credit: Ho Su A Bi – Shutterstock

    Let's say you go for what we have decided (after a heated office discussion) is the standard Nando's order: quarter chicken, two regular 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 £10.40.

    If you went to Nando's once a week for an entire year, and always ordered this, you'd still have only spent £540.80.

    That leaves £188.20 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.

    Of course, if you use our money-saving Nando's tricks, you could end going to Nando's for far longer than just a year!

  2. Over 10 years of Netflix

    stranger things

    Credit: 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 11, you could pay for a Basic subscription to Netflix (£5.99 at the time of writing, and even though they don't offer a student discount you can get it for less with our Netflix hacks) for over 10 years – 10.1, to be precise.

    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 three times over (almost) and only have spent as much on Netflix as you would have on an iPhone 11. Your recommendations would be totally screwed though.

  3. Second-hand scooter

    top gear cast on mopeds

    Credit: BBC

    For the same price as an iPhone 11, you could get yourself a great set of wheels on eBay. There are heaps of second-hand mopeds and road scooters going for around the £600 mark or less (but if you're paying much less, be wary of getting a dying bike).

    Not only will this save you cash (you could be saving on commuting costs, or cutting your rent by 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 £729. 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!).

There are some great bargains on eBay, but you can get an even better deal by using our eBay hacks.
  1. Over a year's worth of nights out

    inbetweeners movie dancing

    Credit: Film4

    According to our National Student Money Survey, the average student spends £49 each month on going out. Or, to put it in a way that suits the purposes of this article, an iPhone 11 costs 14.9 months of nights out.

    Now, it's worth noting that 'going out' can include more than just nights out (like these things to do for under £20). So, whatever you like to do when you're spending time with friends, if you choose not to buy an iPhone 11, that could be over a year of your social life funded.

  2. A season ticket at (almost) any Premier League club

    manchester city stadium etihad

    Credit: CosminIftode – Shutterstock

    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 and Tottenham*, who decided that you can put a price on disappointment (£891 and £795 respectively).

    In fact, at Leicester, Manchester City and West Ham, you could have got TWO season tickets for the price of an iPhone 11. Not bad considering all three teams are likely to finish in the top half (at least)!

  3. A trip to New York

    new york city skyline

    Do a quick search online for trips to New York, and it won't be long before you find some for £729 or less. In fact, if you're paying as much £729 for your flights and accommodation, you're doing something wrong. We found loads of deals including flights and a 4* hotel for three nights for well under £500 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 £749.

    But given the choice between a break in the Big Apple, and a phone that will be outdated within a year, we know what we'd go for.

We just did a quick Google to find this package. We could have found something much cheaper if we'd used some of our 23 ways to save money on holidays!

Of course, the most effective use of your £729 could be simply not to spend it. Instead, you could put it to work and see it lay many more golden coins over the two or so years.

If you pay the monthly cash into a savings account instead, not only will you not be spending £749, you'll also gain interest and be better off than when you started!

Or to really bring home the bacon, use your cash to start a businessstart a website or set up any kind of passive income stream.

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!


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