Getting a new phone in your hands doesn't have to be as expensive as you might think. There are always deals out there on Android phones but they tend to come and go rather quickly with other discounts appearing in their place. However, if you're hoping to buy one of the latest devices on the market, finding a proper deal is easier than ever these days.
When it comes to buying a new smartphone, there are two main types of deals to consider. You could buy your new phone unlocked so that you own it and can bring it to any carrier where it's compatible, or you can purchase devices through carrier deals at a retailer such as Verizon or T-Mobile.
Carrier deals generally make you pay for the device in monthly installments and require that you add a line of service, which means you'll be locked into paying for the device (and your service contract) for a few years. Deals like these can be excellent if you're willing or need to switch carriers, but if you don't want to switch your service, you probably want to stick to deals on unlocked devices.
Best unlocked Android phone deals
Google Pixel 2 XL | $99 at Mint Mobile
Mint Mobile is offering the Google Pixel 2 XL in new condition for just $99 today! Plus you can save an extra $50 when you purchase it alongside a 12-month plan. The device features 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, and a 6-inch QHD+ pOLED display.
Samsung Galaxy S21 | As low as $99.99 at Samsung
Samsung is the best place to snag the Galaxy S21 right now. Along with a $100 direct price drop, if you order there you will receive six months of Sirius XM and four months of YouTube Premium for free. You can trade-in your old phone to save up to $600 off its full price instantly; eligible customers can use the Samsung Discount Program to save another $35.
Nokia 5.4 | $70 off at Amazon
The affordable 128GB Nokia 5.4 Android smartphone is now on sale unlocked for just $180, saving you $70 off its usual cost. Along with a 6.39-inch HD display, this phone features 4GB RAM, expandable storage, and offers Dual SIM support for two phone numbers.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 | Up to $800 off at Samsung
Trade-in up to four eligible devices when pre-ordering the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 at Samsung and you'll score up to $800 off its total price in the process! That would bring its cost as low as $28 per month. You'll also receive a $200 Samsung credit that can be used on Samsung TVs, the new Galaxy Watch 4, accessories, and more when you pre-order before August 27.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 | As low as $499.99 via trade-in at Samsung
Samsung lets you trade-in up to four eligible devices and you'll score up to $500 off towards the Galaxy Z Flip 3! That would bring its cost as low as $13.89 per month. You'll also receive a $150 Samsung credit that can be used on Samsung TVs, the new Galaxy Watch 4, accessories, and more, though you'll have to shop no later than August 26 to snag this offer.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 256GB | $300 off at B&H
The unlocked 256GB Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is now available at a $300 discount via B&H for a limited time. This device comes with a built-in stylus and is compatible with GSM carriers. Plus, the deal's available on the Mystic Black, Mystic Bronze, and Mystic White colorways.
Moto G7 Plus | from $99.99 at Best Buy
The Motorola G7 Plus is now on sale for only $199.99 at Best Buy when you activate it today with AT&T. This unlocked device can only be used on GSM networks.
Moto G Fast | $30 off at Amazon
Save $30 on the Moto G Fast smartphone instantly at Amazon. This device features 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, a battery that can last for two days, a 6.4-inch HD display, and a 16MP triple camera system. It's even water-repellant.
Motorola razr | $999.99 at Motorola
Now's your chance to score the latest Motorola razr flip phone at $400 off its original cost. This deal is available on the Blush Gold, Polished Graphite and Liquid Mercury colorways for a limited time.
TCL 10 Pro | $100 off at Amazon
TCL's 10 Pro is an affordable powerhouse with a 6.47-inch AMOLED display with NXTVISION tech, a quad-camera setup, Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core processor, and 6GB of RAM. It has a 128GB capacity, expandable via microSD. Amazon is offering $100 off its price right now when you clip the coupon on its product page.
Samsung Note 20 Ultra | Up to $450 off with trade-in at Samsung
Save up to $450 on the Note 20 Ultra when you trade-in an eligible device at Samsung. Even devices with cracked screens can earn you up to $293 off. Plus, the Samsung Discount Program can save some customers an additional $90. You'll even score a $50 Samsung Credit to use on future purchases.
OnePlus 8T | $200 off at OnePlus
The unlocked OnePlus 8T is now discounted by $200 at OnePlus! This is one of the fastest Android phones on the market. It features a stunning 120Hz AMOLED flat display with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM.
OnePlus 8 with free Google Pixel Buds + $150 back | $432 at Visible
Snag the OnePlus 8 at nearly $250 off its regular price via Visible! You'll also score a free $150 prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account and a free pair of Google Pixel Buds when you switch to Visible, port-in your current number, and buy the OnePlus 8.
Samsung Galaxy S21 | Free at Verizon
Verizon's offering $800 off the S21 when you trade in an eligible phone and add a line on select Unlimited plans. You can also get one for free by purchasing another at regular price. A free year of AMC+ is even included on select Unlimited plans for a limited time.
Samsung Galaxy S21 | from $100 with trade-in at AT&T
Get the Galaxy S21 for as low as $100 when you trade-in an eligible device at AT&T and add a line on an Unlimited plan! This deal is available for new and existing customers and saves you up to $700 off the device's regular cost.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra | Up to $700 off at AT&T
Both new and existing AT&T customers can get up to $700 off any Samsung Galaxy S21 series phone with the trade-in of an eligible device and choosing 30-month installment payments while adding a line on an AT&T unlimited plan. That means you can effectively get the Galaxy S21 Ultra for just $499.99 there.
Samsung Galaxy A12 | $1 per month at AT&T
Picking up the Galaxy A12 at AT&T will cost you just $1 per month when you activate the device on a new or existing Unlimited plan. Along with a 6.5-inch HD+ display, this device features an octa-core processor, a quad-rear camera system, and a 5000mAh battery that offers up to 34 hours of talk time.
Moto G Power with free Google Pixel Buds | $216 at Visible
One of the best low-cost Android phones you can buy right now is the Moto G Power. The big draw to the phone is its 5,000 mAh battery, which allows for up to three days of use on a single charge. Talk about long endurance. Visible is including a free pair of Google Pixel Buds when you switch to Visible, port-in your current number and purchase this device.
Samsung Galaxy A42 with free $100 prepaid Mastercard
Score a $100 prepaid Mastercard virtual account for free when you switch to Visible and purchase the Samsung Galaxy A42. You'll need to port-in your current number, too.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 | Up to $1,000 off with trade-in at Verizon
Save up to $1,000 on the new Galaxy Z series devices when you trade-in an eligible device and add a line on select Unlimited plans at Verizon; you'll even receive up to $500 back if you're switching to Verizon from another carrier. Plus, all purchases at Verizon include the Samsung Fold Cover and S Pen bundle for free while pre-orders also include $150 Samsung credit.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 | Free at AT&T
New and existing customers can save up to $1,000 on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 when you trade-in an eligible device and choose a monthly installment plan along with an eligible unlimited plan, effectively making the device free in the process. You'll also save 50% on any Samsung accessory when purchased with this device.
How much should you spend on a phone?
The weird thing about shopping for a phone is that there are two ways to do it: outright, or through your carrier. (Actually, there a few more ways to do it — financing it through the manufacturer itself, or buying it used, but we'll focus on the first two now.)
Buying a phone unlocked means you're spending more for the phone upfront in exchange for spending less on your monthly phone bill. That's because when you buy a phone through your carrier, its cost is amortized over the length of your contract, usually around 18 to 24 months.
Things get a bit more complicated on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because companies are playing with their prices in ways they don't usually during other times of the year. Yes, phones do go on sale in March and August, but November is really when things start getting competitive.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the more expensive phones — the Galaxy Note 20 Ultras of the world, for example — will usually have the largest percentage drop in terms of discounts, but overall, they're still going to be far more expensive than the mid-range options that, honestly, offer almost as good an experience for less than half the price.
If you're set on getting a phone through your carrier, Black Friday and Cyber Monday really are the best times to get them, since they're more willing to negotiate or make exceptions on your monthly plan pricing in exchange for picking up a new phone. Most carriers are looking for new signups, so if you're willing to switch providers entirely you can likely get at least one, if not two, free smartphones for your trouble.
Either way, do a bunch of research before you buy. We have a list of the best Android phones and the best cheap Android phones to help you make your decision. I recommend you give those a look before pressing buy on anything above.
The best bang for your buck deal is the unlocked OnePlus 7T at BH Photo for $350 ($20 less for the T-Mobile variant.)
Don't have a trade in, not changing carrier's... I'm all alone in the World, boo hoo
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