Best smartphone contract deals under R1,000 a month

High-end smartphones carry hefty price tags to buy with cash, but opting to buy one on contract from a mobile operator is often easier to swallow as several top-tier devices are available for less than R1,000 a month.

MyBroadband compared some of the best smartphone contracts in South Africa for less than R1,000 a month from Cell C, MTN, Telkom and Vodacom. We only considered data-centric plans and included two- and three-year contracts.

While most of the plans we found in this price bracket were primarily high-end devices, we also included some lower-end smartphones with a higher data allocation for each mobile operator.

The device we chose in this case was the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 256GB — a highly-capable mid-range device.

However, the comparison of the Galaxy A54 wasn’t possible for Cell C, as the plans it offers with the device don’t compare well with the offerings from other mobile operators.

To put this into perspective, the best Galaxy A54 contract with a high data allocation through Cell C was its two-year Elevate 3 plan for R699 per month.

The Elevate 3 plan provides 3GB of anytime data, 3GB of social data, and 600 all-network minutes.

In comparison, the best plans for the device from MTN, Telkom, and Vodacom under R1,000 include data allocations of 12GB, 24GB, and 30GB, respectively.

South African residents can get the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 256 GB on Vodacom’s RED Core 12GB plan for R999 monthly over two years.

The plan provides 12GB of anytime data, 12GB of Night Owl data, 200 minutes, and 150 SMSes.

MTN customers can get the same device on its Mega Gigs L plan, offering 6GB of anytime data, 3GB of social data, 3GB of streaming data, and 100 minutes for R969 per month over three years.

Those who prefer Telkom’s network can get the Galaxy A54 5G 256GB on its Infinite Max plan for R979 a month for 36 months.

Telkom’s Infinite Max plan offers uncapped data with a fair usage policy set at 30GB. Once the 30GB threshold is reached, speeds are dropped to 1.5Mbps for the remainder of the billing cycle.

The plan also includes unlimited Telkom-to-Telkom minutes, 500 all-network minutes, and unlimited SMSes.

We also compared various high-end devices available from the operators for under R1,000 per month, including the iPhone 14 and 15, various Samsung Galaxy devices, and the Huawei P60 Pro.

Notable deals include the Apple iPhone 14 128GB from Vodacom on its RED Core 3.6GB plan for R989 monthly over three years.

The RED Core 3.6GB plan provides 3.6GB of anytime data, 3.6GB of Night Owl data, 200 minutes, and 150 SMSes each month.

MTN sells the Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB on its Mega Gigs M plan with 4GB anytime data, 2GB social data, 2GB streaming data, and 75 minutes for R949 monthly on a three-year contract.

Telkom customers can get the iPhone 15 128GB on the operator’s FlexOn 8 plan for R909 a month for three years.

The plan gives customers 8GB of anytime data, 3,000 Telkom-to-Telkom minutes, 200 all-network minutes, and 3,000 monthly SMSes.

Comparisons of contract offerings from Cell C, MTN, Telkom, and Vodacom under R1,000 per month are summarised in the table below.

Two-year smartphone contract deals under R1,000 a month
Model Contract Data allocation Minutes/SMS messages Price per month
Vodacom
Apple iPhone 14 5G 128GB RED Core 3.6GB 3.6GB anytime data + 3.6GB Night Owl data 200 minutes / 150 SMSes R989 x 36
Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB RED Core 1.2GB 1.2GB anytime data + 1.2GB Night Owl data 200 minutes / 150 SMSes R989 x 36
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 256GB RED Core 12GB 12GB anytime data + 12GB Night Owl data 200 minutes / 150 SMSes R999 x 24
Samsung Galaxy S24+ 256GB RED Core 1.2GB 1.2GB anytime data + 1.2GB Night Owl data 200 minutes / 150 SMSes R999 x 36
MTN
Samsung Galaxy S24+ 256GB Mega Gigs S 2GB anytime data + 1GB social data + 1GB streaming data 50 minutes R909 x 36
Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB Mega Gigs M 4GB anytime data + 2GB social data + 2GB streaming data 75 minutes R949 x 36
iPhone 15 128GB Mega Gigs S 2GB anytime data + 1GB social data + 1GB streaming data 50 minutes R969 x 36
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 256GB Mega Gigs L 6GB anytime data + 3GB social data + 3GB streaming data 100 minutes R969 x 36
Telkom
iPhone 15 128GB FlexOn 8 8GB anytime data 3,000 on-network minutes + 200 all-network minutes / 3,000 SMSes R909 x 36
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G 256GB Infinite Max 30GB anytime data at full speed, then throttled to 1.5Mbps Unlimited on-network minutes + 500 all-network minutes / Unlimited SMS R979 x 36
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 256GB FlexOn 8 8GB anytime data 3,000 on-network minutes + 200 all-network minutes / 3,000 SMSes R999 x 36
Apple iPhone 15 Plus 128GB FlexOn 8 8GB anytime data 3,000 on-network minutes + 200 all-network minutes / 3,000 SMSes R999 x 36
Cell C (roaming on Vodacom)
Samsung Galaxy S24 256GB Elevate 2 1.5GB anytime data + 1.5GB social data 200 all-network minutes R899 x 36
Huawei P60 Pro 256GB Elevate 3 3GB anytime data + 3GB social data 600 all-network minutes R999 x 36
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE 256GB Elevate 2 1.5GB anytime data + 1.5GB social data 200 all-network minutes R999 x 24
Samsung Galaxy S24+ 256GB Elevate 2 1.5GB anytime data + 1.5GB social data 200 all-network minutes R999 x 36

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Best smartphone contract deals under R1,000 a month