I would welcome advice from members. I need a smartphone as my old Samsung has expired after a hot wash in the machine. The only provider that connects near the Pyrenees is Orange. This rules out buying from Leclerc, for instance, who are SFR.

1. Apple are expensive; what other smartphones do you recommend?; it's needed for phone calls, Apps and messaging. Internet is not necessary.

2. Monthly running costs are important. Unfortunately our local Orange shop hasn't been much help. They want to sell you the most expensive option as, presumably, they work on commission.

3. My wife tried Prixtel who we were told only charge about 5 euros a month, but they've been deducting double that even though there is no reception here. We cannot phone them as they don't have a number.

4. Do you need a contract, or is pay as you go an option? Problem in France is that with the Samsung I had to use up my 25 euros worth of credit in two months, or lose it. As I rarely used it this seemed a bit of a con. There is no rolling the credit forward as in the UK.

Any help would be appreciated!

I bought a sim-free phone from FNAC on line when I needed a replacement at the beginning of the year. FNAC gave me the best price for the phone I decided I wanted. At the time I used Orange pay as you go, which I topped up with 50€ every so often. A couple of months ago I changed to Free, which is 2€ a month and includes 2h of calls to various destinations, including UK landlines, unlimited SMS to French mobiles and quite a lot of internet data as well. I think they use the Orange network and I can't fault them so far. Look at Free,fr on the web and see what you think. You can always cancel a pay as you go, but I think this one is great.