Mobile Life
Red Hot

Update: Now see how much money Red Hot could save you over 12 months!

Your relationship with your phone – how you buy, upgrade and use your handset – has been pretty set in stone for a while now. Do you go for a contract that subsidises your phone? Or buy the phone and then Pay as you go? Or opt for SIM-only? We thought it’s time to explore a different way of doing things.

What if you could get the latest and greatest phone every year, an all-inclusive tariff and your phone insurance all in one deal? A complete, one-stop, hassle-free solution. Well, that’s exactly what we’ve managed to create with Red Hot. Why so exciting? Because it’s built around how our minds work in the 21st century…

Red Hot is our way of acknowledging that everyone’s mobile needs have evolved. “For some people, being up to date with the latest new tech is a big part of who they are,” says Vodafone’s Mark Howe, “and that’s certainly the case where new smartphones are concerned. But the tech comes with quite a large price tag attached to it and many people take 24-month price plans to spread their expenditure out.”

“Bring everything together, and let everyone upgrade every year.”

“On the flip side, the speed of development in the smartphone space – let’s not forget it’s only three and a half years since Vodafone launched the HTC Magic, our first Android device – is such that some people feel their phone is effectively old tech with a large chunk of their contract still remaining.”

And that’s a problem. Thankfully, we’ve sat down, stripped everything back and come up with a solution that’s blindingly simple: bring everything together, and let everyone upgrade every year. Unlike any Vodafone plan before it, Red Hot gives you a generous monthly allowance and lets you rent the phone itself. That means you can pick up the latest and best, use it for 12 months, and then let Vodafone exchange it for the new latest and best.

Changing the way you think

It’s a brand new way to own your phone, but is it a new way of thinking? It’s more common than you’d think; Red Hot sits in line with a growing trend. Renting our possessions is a big part of 21st century living, and we love it. Florie Brizel, Mobilologist and CEO of Los Angeles-based Brizel Media, explains:

“The need to ‘own’ things outright – where owning something translates to ‘stability’ – has less meaning for a mobile population than for the older generation for whom ‘acquisition’ translated to ‘upward mobility’.”

Or, put simply, Florie claims that paying a subscription for goods and services (like music or movies) is now a widely accepted way of life. But that shift in mindset doesn’t mean we don’t still want to have the latest things. Far from it.

“Some people, but not all, simply have a need to have the newest and best smartphones. With people relying on their phones to do more and more, they crave newness based on the notion that they’ll be able to demonstrate that they’re smarter, more powerful, productive, creative or even sexy. There’s definitely a certain ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ involved [in mobile phones].”

“A completely hassle-free option.”

So, can not having the newest and best phone really have a negative effect on our minds? Yep.

According to Florie, not managing to keep up makes people feel “slower, less hip, lagging and too technologically challenged to upgrade.” The combination of this need to stay up to date, and the peace of mind that comes from leasing, is what makes Vodafone Red Hot a bit of a dream deal.

Here’s Vodafone’s Mark Howe to explain the works:

“On Red Hot you can get one of the latest phones, unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, and loads of internet. We’re also including insurance in the monthly plans to put customers’ minds at ease.”

Saving you money

With all that bundled in, Red Hot also lets you save cash. Need a for instance? Let’s take the 16GB Apple iPhone 5 as an example. On Red Hot, the handset won’t cost you a penny. You’ll get unlimited calls and texts, 2GB of monthly internet and insurance for £59 a month.

Compared to our regular 12 month plans for the device plus insurance, that’s a saving of more £200, with twice the amount of mobile internet access and unlimited calls included each month.

Mark calls it a completely “hassle-free option.” And he’s not wrong; having every cost bundled together, and knowing you’ll be able to get that new phone you crave every 12 months? It’s brand new, but it makes sense.

For all the information on the Red Hot price plans, go to Vodafone.co.uk/redhot

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  • Jonathan Story

    It looks good as a 12 month contract until you realise you have to hand the phone back at the end.

    Your total 12-monthly cost for the newest iPhone: £670 a year.

    To buy the phone outright, get a cheap SIM with unlimited internet, texts and 300 minutes then sell it after 12 months for ~£300 and get the newest phone costs £640 in the first year, then £440 a year to keep it rolling. Why should I pay you £230 a year to do something I can do myself? Admittedly you give more minutes, but I’ll happily trade that for properly unlimited internet.

    More importantly, if I did the £640/440 idea, I could sell the phone at the very end for £300 and walk away with some cash… or if I couldn’t afford to upgrade due to losing my job, I could keep the 1 year old phone rolling for £140/year until finances picked up.

    I see no advantage to this offer.

    • Hi Jonathan,

      This presents people with a different kind of option for using/having a mobile phone and one that is hassle free. For a lot of people the ability to upgrade to the latest and greatest devices will be compelling.

      All of the things you’ve highlighted are perfectly valid – you’re always going to pick a plan that best meets your needs, right? – and if you factor into the calculations that you’ll also get insurance, a screen protector and a case on Vodafone Red Hot, I think the value becomes clearer.



      • Nathan Bethell


        Are you really trying to justify the ‘value’ of this deal by offering a screen protector and a case…is the case a Louis Vuitton one…? (To be fair, the insurance would equate to £6 a month or so, so that needs to be taken into account.)

        However, the great British public are full of doughnuts and I’m sure they will lap this offer up so they can have the latest iPhone without having to spend £500 in one hit. It’s a good little marketing ploy not too dissimilar to those offered in the new car sales trade…once you hook em they are locked in for life, nice work! 

  • This actually works out at a similar price Vodafone’s own 12 month contracts for smartphones, except with them you own the phone at the end of the period.

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