We doubt we really need to tell you that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become bywords for tasty price reductions on everything from tech to tea-towels in the lead up to Christmas. Well the good news is that mobile phones are no different, and whether you're looking for a new handset or a whole 24-month contract, we're confident that Black Friday 2018 will be well worth the wait.
And you probably also know by now that TechRadar is a fantastic source of mobile phone deals all year around. Thanks to our up-to-the-minute price comparison tools, we're always here to help you locate the perfect prices and plans for you.
But around Black Friday and Cyber Monday we crank that up to the next level. We're in constant contact with the UK's biggest smartphone and general tech retailers to make sure we're bringing you the best discounts - regardless of your budget. And some of the exclusive discounts that we've managed to wangle in previous years have been pretty special.
Although the Black Friday frenzy seems to be getting earlier and earlier every year, it's probably no surprise to discover that there aren't any Black Friday mobile phone deals to be had yet. But we can tell you what to expect: Who usually offers the best discounts? What kind of markdowns did we see last year? What retailers' websites should you be bookmarking? It's all below.
When is Black Friday 2018?
Aha, so you're a details person. We like it. This year's official Black Friday falls on November 23, which means Cyber Monday is November 26.
But the truth is that you won't need to wait until the actual day to get some great offers. In the last couple of years, we've seen some major brands begin discounting phones in the name of Black Friday as early as the first week of November - it's just like Christmas music in supermarkets!
So essentially you can begin your smartphone hunt in early November. Then it will be a test of nerve...do you strike while the deal is hot? Or wait to see if the temperature goes up even more?
How do I get the best mobile phone deals on Black Friday?
Forget trawling the web, and certainly don't go booking Friday November 23 off work to go marching up and down the high street to see what bricks and mortar mobile phone shops are offering. You'll find the very best standout deals right here on this page - so we'd advise adding it to your favourites.
In our experience, there are different tactics to employ depending on whether you're looking for a handset or contract deal, though.
If it's a full on contract that you want, there doesn't tend to be so much of a rush. We should start seeing new tariffs landing towards the start of November, and they tend to hang around through Black Friday.
But if you're looking to go for a SIM-free phone then it's a slightly different story, as that's when the likes of Amazon and the other big dogs get involved. That means you're more likely to see some grandstanding discounts starting from November 21 and peaking on Black Friday itself. And look out for those Amazon Lightning Deals, which, in the past, Amazon has guaranteed that it won't undercut at a later date.
What were the best mobile phone deals of last year's Black Friday?
To give you an idea of what to expect for Black Friday 2018, we've trawled through the archives and racked our memory to recall the mobile phone deals we were loving last year. They're long gone now of course and may not even look that good compared to what you can get in 2018, but we still think they're a good indicator of what might be hot this November.
Here's a sample of our top five:
iPhone 7 32GB | Vodafone |
£75 £25 upfront (with BLACKFRI50 code) | Unlimited calls and texts | 6GB data | £27pm
This was the cheapest iPhone 7 contract we'd ever seen at this point, which we were delighted about considering how much the newly released iPhone X was costing. Bodes pretty well for big drops on the iPhone 8 this time around.
EXCLUSIVE: Cheapest ever Samsung Galaxy S8 - £60 upfront and £26pm for 4GB of data on O2
We wangled this incredible exclusive on the then newest flagship Samsung smartphone. We can't complain about how reasonable Samsung S9 deals have been in 2018, but we'll see what we can do to get a retailer to go even better in November.
FREE Sony PS4 Slim + FIFA 18 with Sony smartphones:
This was from Virgin Mobile, but there were some great freebies being thrown about by all sorts of networks and retailers. Here, the Xperia XZ came with a free PS4 and FIFA. And we think there'll be similar console bundles this time around, too.
Three | 12-month contract | 100GB data | Unlimited calls | Unlimited texts | £20 per month
At the time, this simply blew everything else out the water. Now it's a (still staggering) everyday SIMO deal from Three which you can get by clicking here. Can Three top that amount of data for such low bills? We'll be the first to tell you about it if it does.
Moto G5 Android smartphone: now £129.95 (was £169.99)
Budget phones get even budgeter around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So if you're just looking for a cheap and cheerful smartphone, then holding on until November 23 is well worth your while if you can.
Where can I find the best mobile phone deals in the meantime?
Contract just ended? Just dropped and smashed your old smartphone screen? Then Black Friday and Cyber Monday may just be that too far away to wait for.
We have dedicated deals guides for pretty much every phone you can think of - visit our all-encompassing mobile phone deals page to home in on your chosen handset or simply scroll to the bottom of this page and get going on our price comparison.
Alternatively, if you're already pretty certain what phone you want, then here's a list of some of the most popular handsets on the UK mobile phone market right now: