Three announce new Feel at Home countries

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Whilst Three UK first announced this a few months back, at that time they simply said “Coming Soon” or “in September” – we now understand from Three UK that the 24 new Feel at Home countries will come into effect on 8th September.

The 24 new countries where you can use your existing UK allowances without many restrictions (there are a few restrictions around tethering, and data usage can be capped) are:

Belgium, Bulgaria, Channel Islands (Jersey & Guernsey), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Whilst it’s unfortunate that it occurs after the end of the main school holiday season, it’s nice to know that much more of Europe is covered for when you next travel abroad.


Permalink

Three offering Data promotion

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Three UK are currently offering a data promotion on some of their new contracts – you can get 4GB for the price of 1GB on the majority of their Essential plans (Phone & SIM) and 30GB for the price of 8GB on the majority of their Advanced plans (Phone & SIM).

If you are in the market for a new contract, these might be worth considering. Unfortunately, there is no information on how long this promotion will run for, so do signup sooner rather than later.


Permalink

Honor 4X Review

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Honor 4X

A few weeks back, I met with Honor UK at the Three UK launch of the Honor 6+ (see here for more information on the Honor 6+). Whilst I was there, I was offered a loan of the Honor 4X, which is more of a budget phone than the Honor 6+, coming in at roughly £150 (at time of writing, £145 on Amazon direct from Honor). I wasn’t expecting a lot from the phone, given the fantastic spec of the Honor 6+ and the price of this device, but I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by the phone.

First of all, if you are a “brand snob” and want a phone with a well known brand behind it, then whilst you are less likely to buy this phone, you are also likely to pay a lot more money for either the same spec, or, I suspect, actually a lower spec.

So, let’s get to those specs (click more to find out the specs and my overall opinion of the phone)…

(more…)


Permalink

Honor 6+ launched exclusively on Three

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Honor 6+

I was lucky to be invited to the UK network launch of the Honor 6+, which will be exclusively available from Three on the high street (it’s also available from Amazon online, although they won’t ship for another week or two). The Honor 6+ is a very nice mid to high spec phone, whilst being well in the mid price category, being around £299 on Three PAYG (and likely to drop further when online sales really get going in a month or so).

Beyond the good screen size (5.5″, nearly too big for some), there are two key features I felt worth mentioning from my brief handson time during the launch; the camera and the battery.

The phone has twin cameras on the rear, and these are used to take two pictures at the same time. Then, if you find you did not get the exact area of the picture in focus, or parts of the picture are out of focus, you can refocus the image, allowing you to change both the primary object to be in focus, and the aperture that should have been used, allowing you to vary the depth of focus of the picture. This was demonstrated to me by taken a picture with both a close and far away object with the far away object perfectly in focus, but it was possibly to refocus the image such that the close object was in focus, whilst the far away object could be set to be out of focus (it was also possible to have both in focus!).#

This won’t be useful for the majority of pictures, but if you have taken a quick snap of something where there was a “moment” worth capturing, but afterwards you find the focus wasn’t quite right, then with this phone you can get it back into focus.

The other stand out feature of devices like this, and others (such as the OnePlus One) are the large battery that is fitted. Whilst the OnePlus One has a 3,100mAh battery, the Honor 6+ has a 3,600mAh battery, and Honor staff who already had devices confirmed that 2 days battery life was easily achievable; even for really heavy phone users, the phone should easily make it through a long busy hectic day without needing you to carry a charger.

Whilst some of the review phones were Android 4.4 (KitKat), Honor assure me that the devices shipping today should be running Android 5 (Lollipop) out of the box.

The device has two sim slots, although I think you will only get 3G from the second sim slot (it does not offer dual 4G sim slots), although some people will prefer to use that second slot to expand the memory of the device, as it will also take a microSD card. Having said the two stand out features are the camera and battery, many people will actually first notice the screen, which is a very vibrant bright screen that shows off the pictures from the camera very well. Even in bright sunlight, the demo device was clear and easy to use.

The Honor 6+ was available from Three UK stores from this morning, available on PAYG and contract (for unlimited handset data it will need a £36 per month 24 month contract).

Thanks to Three UK for the invite to the launch, and hopefully Honor will be able to supply me with a review unit soon to try it out for longer.


Permalink

Three UK improve roaming further

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Three UK have improved their already impressive “Feel at Home” roaming offer. This has traditionally offered the ability to use your minutes, texts and data just like at home for free, but now, it’s been extended to more countries. From 1st July, the list of countries has increased to 16 and is now:

Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Macau, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

To enjoy Feel At Home you’ll need to have been with Three for 30 days before it will work. After that time, International Roaming should be automatically switched on and then you can use Feel At Home. There are still a couple of minor conditions, the main one being that tethering (or Personal Hotspot, ie allowing other devices to share your internet connection) is not allowed at all, and unlimited data plans are actually limited to 25Gb. Finally, if you spend extended periods of time abroad, you’ll be limited as to how much you can use it; in those scenarios, you are most likely better off getting a local SIM (and as Three will happily unlock their phones for free, you won’t be penalised for this either).


Permalink

Three brings back their fantastic roaming deal

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Three logo

Three UK have brought back their fantastic roaming deal; a lot of people were upset when they dropped their “3 Like Home” roaming deal a few years back, but the new “Feel at Home” deal actually has some pretty good terms attached to it. As before, the deals only apply to countries where Three already have a sister network, though the deal will apply whether you are actually roaming onto the Three network or not.

Firstly, the list of countries:

  • Australia
  • Italy
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Sweden
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Ireland

What is different, however, is that it now applies to most customers and tariffs, whether you have a phone contract, PAYG SIM, 3g dongle, or even some business contracts.

So, if you had 5000 texts to send per month in the UK, you can still send 5000 texts whilst roaming without any additional charge. Also, if you have 3UK3UK minutes, these can additionally used to ring 3 customers in the country you are roaming in. There are a few minor exceptions to this deal (eg certain numbers, such as premium numbers starting 09 would be excluded in the UK, and are still excluded when abroad), and you should check the terms before travelling (especially if you are a PAYG user, as more restrictions apply). You should also still study the remaining roaming charges (eg receiving calls from international numbers).

I should add though, that although data is included in this deal, there are a few limitations to data usage that you need to be aware of: firstly, tethering is NOT included at all, there is a 25Gb limit per month, and data speeds may be slower than the UK.

In fact, Three UK point out that should you exceed 25Gb of data, 5000 texts or 3000 minutes per month in any two months within a year, they may block the service. I doubt the text or minute limit will be a major problem, but if you assume you are limited to just under 1Gb of data a day (which is still a lot of data!) you should be fine. Obviously services such as Netflix could easily exceed that usage, so you do need to think carefully about data usage, but it’s still way more than the other UK networks currently offer.

If you want more information, especially around those restrictions, head to this page on the Three UK website for more information.


Permalink

Three offering a strong 4G commitment

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Three logo

Although we first covered this earlier this year (here), we thought it worth restating Three UK‘s position in respect of their 4G rollout plans and the impact on their tariffs. The plans are quite simple; coverage to start in London, Birmingham and Manchester starting some point in December, with more cities during 2014. The impact on tariffs is even easier; there isn’t any!

Three UK have stated that existing users will get access to 4G (assuming you have a 4G phone compatible with Three UK‘s LTE frequencies), and will continue to benefit from All You Can Eat data without any additional charges or payments. It is possible that your phone will need a minor software update to enable 4G, although many manufacturers are already rolling this update out in preparation, however, existing SIMs will work, and there will be no need to sign a new contract.

This compares very well to Three’s competitors; eg with EE and Vodafone, you need to move to a 4G tariff, and all the other networks seem to be charging a premium for 4G data.


Permalink

ThreeUK announce Ultrafast commitment

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Three logo

ThreeUK have today announced their Ultrafast commitment (see below); in principle it is simply that with the right handset, you will be able to benefit from their LTE network when launched later this year using your existing sim and more importantly your existing contract, which means for everyone with the unlimited data on the One Plan, you will have unlimited on their new faster LTE network as well (unlike EE who charge a premium for the service).

Although ThreeUK are still bidding for LTE network frequencies as part of the current auctions, they purchased some 1800MHz range from Orange/EE last year which EE had to give up to be able to launch LTE early, so ThreeUK already know this frequency range will be available to them later this year irrespective of what frequencies they win in the LTE auctions.

Well done ThreeUK!

“Our customers choose Three because they love the internet and know they can get great speeds and great value on our award-winning network,” said Three UK chief executive Dave Dyson.

“As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we’ve listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it. We don’t want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard.

With Three, it’s simple, great value and Ultrafast. What you might expect from the network that was built for the internet.”

Customers with Ultrafast / LTE ready devices, including the Apple iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia Z, Apple iPad mini and Apple iPad with Retina display, can already enjoy ThreeUK’s Ultrafast network and will also be able to use the 1800Mhz spectrum when it is added later this year. Device choice is growing rapidly with new Ultrafast ready LTE versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II being launched on Three within the next month, and the BlackBerry Z10 launching mid-February.


Permalink