Prices for the new monthly contracts start at £10 for 100 minutes and 100 texts for either 18 or 24 months, with a choice of free budget phones.
If you don't need a new phone, Virgin offers deals for just the SIM card -- but your phone will have to be either unlocked or locked to Virgin in order to use this option. SIM-card deals start at £10 on a rolling 30-day contract, which includes 200 minutes and unlimited texts. Adding unlimited data bumps the cost up to £15 per month, subject to a fair-use policy that tops you off at 1GB a month.
If you're already a Virgin Media customer -- for example, if you get cable TV, Internet or your landline phone from Virgin -- it will chop a fiver off the bill or offer you a better free phone. Virgin promises this deal will bring the contract price of our current smart-phone crush, the HTC Desire, down to £25 a month for a tariff that includes 600 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data.
A little searching, however, led us to find the Desire on T-Mobile, which runs the network used by Virgin. Carphone Warehouse offers the Desire on T-Mobile for £15 a month and an up-front cost of £240, which works out to about £25 per month over the two-year contract -- so you don't have to be a Virgin customer to get a cheap Desire, if you're willing to shell out a wodge of cash early on.
Not to be left behind, Orange has refreshed its tariffs to include an all you can eat unlimited package for £50 a month.
Check out the new deals on the Virgin Web site and the Orange Web site. There are plenty of rock-bottom £10 tariffs out there vying for your last few pennies, so we recommend you try deal-comparison tools such as our own Mobile Deals section to make sure you find the best contract for you.
Update: Thanks to the commenters, who pointed out that there are plenty of deals available for the HTC Desire besides the examples we gave. T-Mobile is offering the Desire for £164 with a £10-per-month, two-year contract with 100 minutes, 100 texts and unlimited internet. That works out to only £16.83 per month over the course of the contract -- a great deal for a great phone, if you're more into the mobile Web than talking and texting.