Are Giffgaff Phones Unlocked to Any Network?

Giffgaff is not your typical mobile provider. While other mobile provider companies are big, Giffgaff is relatively tiny.

Other mobile providers put you under contract; Giffgaff allows you to change mobile plans and sim cards. Instead of call centers, Giffgaff’s community forum will answer any question you have. 

Started in 2008, Giffgaff has grown from prepaid sim cards to impressive mobile subscriptions (goodybags) and plenty of smartphone options.

Are Giffgaff phones unlocked?

Since we can’t cover Giffgaff’s uniqueness in one article, let’s start by answering a few questions about their smartphone deals.

Part 1. Are Giffgaff Phones Unlocked?

While most mobile providers are placing their customers under contract when they purchase smartphones, Giffgaff is doing the opposite.

All Giffgaff smartphones are sold unlocked and can be used with any mobile provider in the UK.

Instead of contracts, Giffgaff lets you purchase the phone upfront or in monthly installments, then pick a plan that suits your needs.

Part 2. Are Giffgaff Refurbished Phones Unlocked?

If you can’t afford a brand-new smartphone, you can check out Giffgaff’s refurbished section. Giffgaff’s refurbishing process is so thorough that every phone comes out:

  • Unlocked to support any network 
  • Packaged with charger and sim pin
  • Good battery
  • Cleaned and labelled with make and model.

Furthermore, you are allowed to return your refurbished phone in case you run into issues because all Giffgaff refurbished phones have a 12 to 24 months warranty.

If you are on a tight budget and need to save money, consider getting a refurbished phone. Most of them have been restored to working conditions and are as good as new.

And no, refurbished phones don’t have to be old phone models.

Part 3. Are Giffgaff Contract Phones Unlocked?

Giffgaff doesn’t have contracts like other mobile providers, so technically, they don’t have contract phones.

What Giffgaff offers, however, are pay-as-you-go phones which are all unlocked and ready to be delivered on the next business day. The best part is, you still get the option to spread out the payment if you can’t pay the full amount upfront.

There are no lengthy contracts at Giffgaff, so get your unlocked phone and enjoy the freedom.

Find a monthly plan that gives you the best minutes, data and text deals; if you can’t find one, switch to another mobile provider. 

Part 4. What are the Benefits of Unlocked Phones?

I’m not sure about everyone else, but we are big fans of unlocked phones here.

The idea of switching sim cards when you want without any difficulties is why we have blogs on how to unlock phones from specific mobile providers.

One might think waiting 12 to 24 months is a short time, but you’ll miss out on a lot. The following are a few of the reasons why I prefer unlocked phones.


Locked phones are easier to purchase because the provider allows you to spread the payment.

However, for the 24 months you will be under contract, you’ll miss out on some of the best deals from other providers.

An unlocked phone lets you use the mobile provider offering the best deals and switch to a different provider when the deals are no longer the best.

Better Traveling Experience

With a locked phone, you won’t be able to use your usual data, minutes and text plans while travelling to areas outside your provider’s coverage. Instead, you’ll be forced to pay expensive roaming charges.

However, if you have an unlocked phone, you just need to buy a sim card from a local provider. You’ll save so much more when using a local provider than when paying the outrageous roaming charges.


For most people, getting a brand-new phone and paying for it in installments is better than paying the total amount at once.

This might be attractive at first, but in the long term, it becomes pretty expensive. For the rest of the contract, you will probably pay the same amount without any improvement on the plans.

With unlocked phones, you can switch to cheaper and better plans anytime you want. You also won’t have to pay a fee in the process.

Wider coverage

With unlocked phones, you don’t have to worry about coverage.

When outside your preferred provider’s coverage, get another sim card and continue using your phone while your friend with a locked phone continues to complain about signal strength.

Good Resale Value

You will always receive a better resale value when selling unlocked phones.

They can be used worldwide, meaning more people will want to buy them. Unlocked phones sell faster and for more than locked ones.

More Options

Have you ever wondered why phone options at mobile providers are limited?

Mobile providers will sell phones that will return the most profit. In most cases, you’ll likely find the latest phones, which are usually quite expensive.

Buying an unlocked phone gives you a broader range to pick from. You don’t have to restrict yourself to the latest (but expensive) section.

Besides, you can get a refurbished phone which is only a year or two old.

Editor’s Comment

There aren’t many mobile providers like Giffgaff that don’t put you under lengthy contracts and sell you unlocked phones.

I hope we’ve covered the crucial questions you had, and if we left anything out, please let us know in the comments area.

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About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.

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