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O2’s new Refresh plans split phone and usage costs to allow early upgrades

Do you find yourself turning green with envy at your mate’s new phone, wishing your upgrade date would hurry up and come along so you can get rid of the crusty old smartphone in your pocket? O2’s new Refresh plans look to save you from phone envy by allowing early upgrades by simply paying off the cost of the phone you already have.

Upgrading your phone early in a contract can be a pricey affair – you usually have to pay your remaining monthly bills in one lump sum, and most networks then stick an early upgrade fee on top for good measure. With the O2 Refresh plans the cost of your phone and your usage are split, allowing you to pay off the cost of your phone at any time during your contract and get a new one.

With Refresh your contract will carry on as normal, with only the phone itself changing. Your monthly bill will be split into two, with your usage bill falling into three options: £12 for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data, £17 for unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data or £22 for 2GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

On top of this you’ll pay a monthly amount for a phone of your choice, and once you’re fed up with it you just call O2 or pop into a shop to pay up however much you owe for the total cost of the phone, then pick a nice shiny new one.

The deal looks similar to Phones 4U’s JUMP (Just Update My Phone) scheme where users pay more per month to get a shorter contract time and the option to flit between the latest phones.

O2 is looking to offer the latest phones on the Refresh plan, including the Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, BlackBerry Z10, LG Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Note II and the iPhone 5. Joining them will be the BlackBerry Q10 and Samsung Galaxy S4 later in the year, so you’ll certainly have your pick of the best around.