If you're willing to buy a brand new phone for the same price as some second hand cars, today is your lucky day. That's because the iPhone X pre-orders go live today, ahead of the first release wave in a week's time.
Pre-orders haven't been open for very long, but there's already a waiting list. The Apple Store says pre-ordering will come with a 4-5 week wait, so it's not very likely that you'll be getting it on launch days. Even though there's a wait, pre-ordering might be beneficial if you want the phone as soon as possible, given the reports of numerous manufacturing delays related to the FaceID system that waiting period might be around for a while.
Obviously the main place to buy the phone is Apple's own store. That's available SIM free, or you can buy it on contract that spreads the cost over 24 months (prices start at £48 a month).
Carphone Warehouse also stocks the phone, with contracts available from EE, Vodafone, iD, and O2. Contracts are available for as little as £20 a month with Vodafone (12 months with 20GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts), but those come with an up-front cost of £964. The cheapest deal with an upfront cost under £100 is £71 on O2, with £80 up front, 20GB of data, plus unlimited minutes and texts.
EE's cheapest plan is £68 a month, with £200 up front, which comes with 15GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts, 24 months of BT Sport, and up to 60MBps speeds. The cheapest up front cost is £10, but that comes on an £83 a month contract with 100GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts, up to 60MBps speeds, 24 months of BT sport, an annual upgrade option, and a free pair of BeatsX headphones.
O2's cheapest monthly plan is £58 a month with £190 up front. That comes with 1GB of data, unlimited minuted and texts, and free O2 Wi-Fi. The cheapest up front cost is £30, with the cheapest monthly cost £7 a month with 20GB of data and unlimited minutes and texts. All the tariffs seem to come with all the usual priority perks (like early ticket bookings and perks at O2 events), and Flex data which lets you change your tariff once a month. So far the iPhone X does not seem to be included in O2's free screen repair service.
Vodafone's cheapest plan is £56 a month, with a £300 up front charge. That gets you unlimited minutes and texts, 1GB of data, and a three month trial of secure net. The cheapest up front cost is £80, on an £80 a month contract that comes with 70GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, plus a free two year subscription to Spotify, Now TV, or Sky Sports' mobile app.
Three's cheapest plan is £61 a month with £250 up front. That includes 4GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts. The lowest up front cost is zero, but that will cost you £114 a month in the process (with unlimited everything). The next cheapest is £79 up front, for £68 a month with 4GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. All these come with Go Binge, which lets you use services like Netflix, Deezer, and Apple Music without using up your data allowance.
Sky Mobile's deals are a little bit deceptive, with the network claiming that all plans start at £37 a month with zero up front cost. But you're not going to get an iPhone X that cheap, since you have to pay to add data (500MB, 1GB, 5GB, and 10GB available for £5, £10, £15, and £20 a month respectively). Unlimited calls and texts also cost £10 a month, unless you're a Sky TV customer - in which case they're free.
So the cheapest deal is actually £57 a month (with 500MB of data) on a 24 month contract. If you want to be able to upgrade after a year on Swap 12, that price increases to £64 a month with £99 up front. Both are assuming you don't have Sky TV. Knock off £10 if you do, and are willing to swap networks.