A Guide to Upgrading Your EE Phone


Today, our smartphones perform amazing feats on a near constant basis. They help us get a lift home, they let us pay for lunch and even check our heart rates on the go. In fact, they’re such an essential part of our lives now that the thought of having an old, slow or malfunctioning phone is enough to send a shiver down the spine.

Oh, and of course, sometimes we just want the latest, greatest device.

So, if you’re an EE customer or a legacy T-Mobile customer, you’re probably looking at the calendar and wondering when you can upgrade your EE phone? Well, it’s not as simple as you might think. So in this guide we’re going to break down exactly when and how you can upgrade your phone.

The basics

As a general rule, you can upgrade to a new phone if you’ve got less than 45 days to go before your contract renewal date. You can check how long you’ve got left by going into My EE and looking up your renewal date, finding your original EE contract or simply texting UP to 150.

Doing the latter will result in an instant text back telling you when you’ll be eligible for an upgrade.

Why am I being told I can’t upgrade?

If you’re within the 45 day upgrade period but are being turned down for an upgrade, it could be one of several reasons. These are:

  • You’re a business, rather than a consumer customer. If this is the case it’s down to the business who issued you your phone to initiate the upgrade procedure.
  • You have outstanding debt on your EE plan. You can fix this issue by paying off the debt, at which point EE will allow you to upgrade.
  • You’re a mobile broadband customer.

If that sounds like you, then you’ll be turned down for an upgrade.

Can you upgrade early?

There are countless reasons why you want to upgrade early. Broken or malfunctioning phones can be a huge pain and sometimes it’s just nice to upgrade to something better. Do be aware though that unlike free upgrades (which happen within 45 days of the end of your agreed contract), upgrading early will cost you.

You can get your hands on the latest smartphone by paying off your remaining contract and upgrading early. This will mean paying the sum total of your existing contract (however long that may be) and signing up for a new contract. You qualify for this if:

  • You’re a SIM-only customer on a 12, 18 or 24 month plan with EE
  • You’re on any pay-monthly plan with EE
  • You’re more than 6 months into your contract, but more than 45 days away from the end of your contract.

Upgrading within the first 6 months. However, if your phone is broken it might be worth taking it into an EE shop as they can sometimes offer repairs within warranty.

Upgrading shared plans

If you’re a member of a shared plan and want to upgrade, you must keep the following in mind:

  • All device upgrades within a shared plan must be done by the account holder, as they’re financially and legally in charge of the shared plan.
  • If you’re moving from your own EE, Orange or T-Mobile and want to become a Sharer you need a Leader to join.
  • If you no longer want to be the Leader and want to become a Sharer or move to your own EE contract then a new Leader must be set up at the same time.

To upgrade phones within a shared plan either call EE’s customer service team or go into a shop. As before though, this must be done within 45 days of the end of your agreed term and will trigger a new contract.

Can I keep my old phone?

Of course you can. Keeping your old phone is a perfectly valid option. You can choose to go on a SIM only plan or simply take the upgrade and then sell on the phone you’re sent as an upgrade. The latter option means you’ll make a cash sum.

Of course, if you want to recycle your old phone, EE offer a ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme where they’ll recycle your phone for you and give you a cash sum in return. The value of your phone will vary based on age, condition and original value.

Can I cancel my upgrade?

We all change our minds from time to time, so if you’ve decided to cancel your early upgrade simply tell EE within 14 days. This can be done either over the phone or in person.

Phones recycled through the aforementioned ‘Recycle and Reward’ scheme, however, cannot be returned.