We're bringing you all of this week's cell phone deals in one handy resource right here on this page. Whether you're looking to upgrade, switch carrier, or simply bag a cheap unlocked phone, all your top options are laid right out just down below in neatly organized sections - with plenty of buyer's advice to boot.
This week's cell phone deals edition includes absolutely awesome options for the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 foldable flagships - including a deal that's exclusive to TechRadar readers. Interested? You'll find details in the carrier phone deals section just below (although this exclusive promo applies to unlocked devices as well).
New releases aside, we're also still seeing substantial trade-in offers at Verizon and T-Mobile on the flagship iPhone 13 series. Good news in particular if you've had your sights set on an iPhone 13 mini — Verizon is offering this compact-but-powerful iPhone at no cost, with no trade required. That matches VZW's ongoing offers for the iPhone 12 or SE. All you'll need to do is purchase an eligible plan.
Android fans will want to head over to Samsung, which is offering strong savings on its Galaxy S22 series via device trade-in. Gone are the Galaxy Buds that were included free last week, but with the money you'll save, you may as well buy your own. Meanwhile, Amazon is offering some of the best prices we've seen for unlocked Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ phones, with savings up to 20% off. Check those offers out if you've nothing to trade-in at the moment.
Generally speaking, you'll find cell phone deals coming in two forms - first as an outright sale on an unlocked device, and secondly as part of a carrier-plan tie-in. The latter can be a bit tricky, involving new cell phone plans and also trade-ins on old devices, but the savings can be absolutely huge if you're eligible. We've also included a third alternative option - cell phone deals from prepaid carriers. These smaller carriers don't tend to offer huge savings on a device, but you'll generally be scoring a much cheaper cell phone plan so it's worth considering the switch for sure.
Which type of cell phone deal should you go for? Well, that will depend on your personal needs. If you're looking for the latest flagship device and an unlimited plan to pair it up with then you'll be well served by Verizon or AT&T's latest promotions. If you're looking for maximum flexibility or long-term savings, then it's generally better to consider either buying a device unlocked and then going with a prepaid carrier, or buying a prepaid device directly from that carrier.
Note, all of the devices featured on our list have been personally reviewed by the staff here at TechRadar. They're all fantastic picks in their own right and you won't find any sub-par choices included. If you'd like to find out which is best for you we'd recommend checking our updated guide to the best phones for 2022.
Today's best cell phone deals at a glance
- Exclusive - Galaxy Z Fold 4: $200 with a pre-order, plus trade-in rebates at Samsung (opens in new tab)
- Exclusive - Galaxy Z Flip 4: $100 with a pre-order, plus trade-in rebates at Samsung (opens in new tab)
- Free iPhone 13: with eligible trade-in and qualifying plan at Verizon (opens in new tab) or T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
- Free iPhone 13 mini (no trade): with an eligible unlimited data plan at Verizon (opens in new tab)
- Free iPhone 12 (no trade): with an eligible unlimited data plan at Verizon (opens in new tab)
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: up to $900 off with trade at Samsung (opens in new tab)
- Cheap iPhone 12 (no trade):
$20.28$10/mo with unlimited plan at AT&T (opens in new tab)
- Mint Mobile: 6 months of free data with iPhone 13, iPhone 12, iPhone SE (opens in new tab)
- Visible Wireless: up to $300 gift card when you switch and buy a flagship device (opens in new tab)
- Boost Mobile: $50 off new iPhone SE 2022 (opens in new tab)
- Sony Xperia 1 IV: free Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds with pre-order at Amazon (opens in new tab)
- OnePlus 9 (unlocked):
$599.99$499.99 at OnePlus (opens in new tab)
- Apple trade-in: save up to $600 on a new iPhone with a trade (opens in new tab)
Carrier phone deals
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: $200 credit, 256GB upgrade, plus up to $900 with a trade-in at Samsung (opens in new tab)
Exclusive: TechRadar readers are among the lucky few to get an exclusive bonus with their Galaxy Z Fold 4 pre-orders at Samsung this week. The retailer is not only offering its usual trade-in rebates of up to $900, a free 256GB upgrade, a free case, but an extra $100 of store credit for TechRadar readers specifically. Safe to say, this is an awesome deal that's well worth checking out. Note, this deal applies to both carrier and unlocked devices.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: $100 credit, 256GB upgrade, plus up to $900 with a trade-in at Samsung (opens in new tab)
Exclusive: And, for those who prefer a clamshell design, TechRadar readers can also get semi-exclusive access to a cheeky bonus deal with their Galaxy Z Flip 4 pre-orders. This Samsung promotion includes an extra $100 of store credit alongside trade-in rebates, a free case, and a free 256GB memory upgrade. Put all these promotions together and you've got a very strong pre-order deal.
Note, this promo applies to both carrier and unlocked devices.
Apple iPhone 13 series: BOGO, save up to $800 with a trade-in at Verizon (opens in new tab)
Verizon's latest cell phone deals on the iPhone 13 series offer not one but two excellent promotions to choose from. First is a buy-one get-one free promo that will get you an additional device on the house when you pick up both with a new unlimited data line. If that doesn't float your boat, then there's also the option to trade-in for a discount of up to $800 on a single device (eligible with a new unlimited line). New customers can also get an additional $200 gift card if they switch over from another carrier. See this same deal on the iPhone 13 Pro (opens in new tab) or iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab).
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: BOGO, or save up to $800 with a trade-in at Verizon (opens in new tab)
You can pre-order Samsung's latest high-end foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 with this week's phone deals Verizon. Your options are essentially the same as on the other flagships at the carrier, with either a trade-in rebate of up to $800 on a single device or the option to get $800 off a second device when you pick them both up on an unlimited data plan. New customers can also get an additional $200 gift card if they switch over from another carrier. Note, if you're looking for a cheaper foldable, you can also find this deal on the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 (opens in new tab),
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: save up to $1,000 with a trade-in at AT&T (opens in new tab)
While there are no 'BOGO' options for Galaxy Z Fold 4 pre-orders with this week's cell phone deals at AT&T, the carrier is offering much, much beefier maximum trade-in rebate. Right now, you can get a whopping $1,000 off this stunning new foldable if you're willing to pick one up with a new unlimited data plan. Note, if you're looking for a cheaper foldable, you can also find this deal on the new Galaxy Z Flip 4 (opens in new tab).
Apple iPhone 13 mini: free with a new unlimited data plan at Verizon (opens in new tab)
No trade needed: That's right — you can get an iPhone 13 at Verizon at no cost. Granted, it's the iPhone 13 mini, which has a smaller form factor and is not quite as powerful as its larger flagship counterparts. But don't get us wrong, it's still an incredible handset for anyone who wants to be able to wrap their hands around their phone again. It's a marked improvement over the iPhone 12 mini, too — from longer battery life to a higher entry-level storage size (128GB!).
Apple iPhone 13 series: save up to $700 with an eligible trade-in and new unlimited plan at AT&T (opens in new tab)
If you're looking for cell phone deals on the iPhone 13 series at AT&T you'll also be greeted with a maximum saving of up to $700. We've seen a bigger saving at this carrier before with similar deals but it's still worth considering, in our opinion. See this deal on the iPhone 13 Mini (opens in new tab), iPhone 13 Pro (opens in new tab), and iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab).
Apple iPhone 12: free with an eligible unlimited data plan at Verizon (opens in new tab)
No trade-ins needed: One of Verizon's best cell phone deals is on the now older (but still great) iPhone 12. Right now, big red is giving this one away for free without the need for a trade-in as long as you pick one up with a new unlimited data plan. Overall, it's a full saving of $699 on your device costs and a really great deal with a low barrier of entry. Consider this freebie deal if the iPhone 13 mini is too tiny of a device for your liking.
Apple iPhone SE 2022: free with an unlimited data plan at Verizon (opens in new tab)
If you'd prefer to go for a more modern device, that same cell phone deal is available on the new iPhone SE 2022 at Verizon this week. This new budget device from Apple is also being given away for free with a new line on an unlimited data plan. While outwardly looking more old-school, this device packs in the same A14 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13 with a ton of power under the hood.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: save up to $800 with a trade-in at Verizon (opens in new tab)
Verizon's cell phone deals also include those same fantastic trade-in rebates on the Galaxy S22 series this week. Our favorite device in the range is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is easily one of the best smartphones money can buy right now... if you can afford it. Note, the usual $200 gift card for switchers is also available on all S22 devices this week and offers a nice little bonus. Note, this deal is also available on S22 the standard Galaxy S22 (opens in new tab), and the Galaxy S22 Plus (opens in new tab).
Apple iPhone 13: save up to $800 with trade-in and eligible plan at T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
Get the best coverage with T-Mobile? No problem, there are also great cell phone deals at this carrier on the iPhone 13. Right now, it's matching Verizon's deal with a maximum saving of up to $800 with a trade-in - but this one's only eligible with the Magenta MAX plan. That's the priciest unlimited data plan at T-Mobile, so be aware of that before you jump in.
Apple iPhone 12:
$20 $10/mo with an unlimited plan at AT&T (opens in new tab)
If you're not fussed about getting the latest tech and don't have a decent device to trade in, consider AT&T's latest cell phone deals on the iPhone 12. The carrier is giving all customers a 50% discount on this device right now if you pick it up with a new line on an unlimited plan, meaning you'll pay just $360 in total. Note, savings are also available on the 12 Mini (opens in new tab).
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE: save up to $700 with a trade-in at Verizon (opens in new tab)
While the latest Galaxy S22 might be catching all the Android flagship headlines recently, there's another great new Samsung phone that's worth checking out. The Galaxy S21 FE is a new refresh of the last generation's flagship and comes with a great chipset, screen, and camera - all for quite a bit cheaper than the S22. Those same excellent trade-in cell phone deals are available on this device, which is generally easier to score for free since it's got a slightly lower base price.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE:
$19 $15/mo with an unlimited plan at AT&T (opens in new tab)
AT&T also has a really competitive deal on the new Galaxy S21 FE right now. Better yet still, no trade-ins are needed to pick this device up for just $15 per month right now - simply get one in conjunction with an eligible unlimited data plan. As one of the latest Android flagships, this is a great option if you don't have a decent older device to hand over as a trade.
- Verizon (opens in new tab) - has a whole section of their site dedicated to phone deals
- AT&T (opens in new tab) - also offers a huge range of phone deals
- Sprint - currently offering free phones and other great phone deals
If you don't mind switching carriers, you can find many of the best smartphone deals from the big four. The major carriers will often let you split the cost of the phone into monthly payments anywhere from 18 to 30 months, and sometimes longer. The deals they offer frequently cut the price of the phone in half, sometimes even offering the phone for free.
To get these deals, you'll generally need to be adding a new line and signing up for a specific mobile plan. But, as long as you're planning to get an unlimited data plan anyway, they can make it a lot more affordable to pick up a brand new phone.
If you'd like to deep dive into specific carriers, we've got some great content for you in the form of our Verizon deals and AT&T deals pages. There you'll find a full list of what's available, including discounts on plans and even free phones.
Unlocked cell phone deals
Samsung Galaxy S22:
$799 $699 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $100 - Amazon's been offering really great unlocked cell phone deals on the Galaxy S22 sporadically over the past few months and right now its prices are just $50 off the record low. If you're looking for a no-strings-attached discount on a new flagship this is simply one of the best options on the market right now, even if it's not the cheapest ever price.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 256GB: from $199 with eligible trade-in at Samsung (opens in new tab)
Right now, you can get an unlocked Galaxy S22 Ultra with 256GB of storage for the same price as the 128GB model after an eligible trade-in. Think of it as a free upgrade for more room to save your favorite photos, videos and mobile games. With a max savings of $1,000 after eligible trade-in, it's a strong offer for Samsung's latest flagship. Note that the free Galaxy Buds are no longer included, but with the money you'll save here, might as well pick up your own on sale.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3:
$999 $828.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $150 - If you'd prefer a cheaper foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a great choice - especially now that this deal is back at Amazon. The retailer has knocked a full $150 off the retail price of the unlocked variant, which is a straight-up superb no-strings-attached deal. If you're looking to pick up a cheap foldable device to use with your carrier of choice, this is a good one. The current record-low is $799 on this device but we've only seen that price on one occasion before.
Samsung Galaxy S22 series:
$799.99 starting at $99 with trade-in at Samsung (opens in new tab)
Bag any of these fantastic Android flagships for less when you trade in an eligible device. That means you can score a Galaxy S22 for under $100 – as well as an S22 Plus or Ultra for $299. This week's offer doesn't include the free Galaxy Buds from last week, but it's still a fantastic deal on this top-tier handset alone.
$799 $99 (opens in new tab)
Galaxy S22 Plus:
$1,149 $299 (opens in new tab)
Galaxy S22 Ultra:
$1,349 $299 (opens in new tab)
Apple iPhone SE 2022: get up to $600 off with a trade-in at Apple (opens in new tab)
Ahh, the classic. Yes, the Apple trade-in program is, as you would expect, available on the latest budget device from the brand. At launch, you'll need an iPhone 8 or later to be eligible here but a maximum saving of up to $600 will be in effect. While enough to technically cover the entire cost of the device, it's likely you won't get the full amount if you're upgrading from a 2020 SE, so bear that in mind.
Sony Xperia 1 IV: free pair of Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds with pre-order at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Retailing for $1,599 makes the latest Sony Xperia 1 IV one of the most expensive smartphones ever but Amazon is throwing in a free pair of Sony WF-1000XM4 noise cancelling earbuds with pre-orders this week to sweeten the deal. Specifically targeted at mobile photographers and gamers, this incredibly powerful Android flagship looks to rank right up there with the best from Samsung and Apple.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE:
$699.99 $399 with trade + at Samsung (opens in new tab)
Trade in an old device to get the S21 FE for only $399. Gone are the free Galaxy Buds from last week, but if you're looking to hand over an old device and don't need Samsung's latest flagship to be satisfied, then this is still one of the better choices out there.
Apple iPhone 13: save up to $600 with an eligible trade-in at Apple (opens in new tab)
Going unlocked with your new device? Apple's not exactly been known for great value cell phone deals but its latest maximum trade-in rebate of up to $600 via its official program is among the highest we've seen yet from the tech giant. (It was recently a max of $650.) Put simply, this is a great saving and could see you paying just $199 for a new iPhone 13. This deal is also available on the iPhone 13 Pro (opens in new tab) and iPhone 13 Pro Max (opens in new tab).
Apple iPhone 12:
$699.99 $99 with an eligible trade-in at Apple (opens in new tab)
Price drop - It's not all about cell phone deals on the new iPhone 13 this week - Apple has also dropped the upfront price on unlocked iPhone 12 models by a whole $100. While we saw it for $50 less (with a higher max trade-in value) previously, that's still a great price to pay for a phone that looks pretty much identical to the 13 - plus it's still got 5G capabilities too.
OnePlus 9 (unlocked, 128GB):
$599 $499 at OnePlus (opens in new tab)
Save $120 - Another great choice for an up-to-date Android flagship is the OnePlus 9 . The latest device from the brand that's barely a few months old right now is now $100 less than last week's offer. With a powerful Snapdragon 888 chip, co-designed Hasselblad camera system, and 120 Hz display, this one's definitely up there with the best Android devices money can buy right now. Note, we've listed the official vendor here because it has some great trade-in options, but you can also get the OnePlus 9 at Amazon for the same price (opens in new tab).
Apple refurb program: save up to $280 on a refurbished iPhone (opens in new tab)
Refurb tech has a bit of a bad rep but hear us out - picking up a refurbished iPhone directly from the Apple store itself has a number of benefits outside of simply being cheap. Being refurbed by Apple itself means you're getting fully official replacement parts, quality assurance testing, and a really generous warranty and return period too. Definitely consider it if you're looking to save some cash.
- Apple (opens in new tab) - offers upfront discounts on unlocked phone deals with trade-ins
- Samsung (opens in new tab) - save up to $500 on select phone deals with trade-ins
- Amazon (opens in new tab) - has a vast selection of unlocked phone deals on a range of brands
- Best Buy (opens in new tab) - also an excellent place to find unlocked phone deals
- OnePlus (opens in new tab) - price cuts, trade-in rebates, and freebies with own-brand devices
Deals on unlocked smartphones aren't always the most eye-popping, as they tend to offer only small cuts to the retail price. Occasionally you'll find a major deal on a new smartphone, usually late into the one-year refresh cycle for that brand. We've seen this kind of price drop commonly for Samsung flagships, but they aren't frequent and rarely match the up-front discounts carriers offer.
However, the savings you get from unlocked cell phone deals can be hidden. That's because an unlocked phone will let you freely move between carriers, so you can always choose the mobile plan that suits you. This can make your savings add up over time, as you won't be stuck on an expensive data plan for 24 months as you pay off your phone on an installment plan.
You can also sometimes get deals directly from the phone's manufacturer, as they can offer trade-in discounts that retail stores generally won't.
Cheap phone deals under $500
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G:
$399.99 $249 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Here's an all-time Amazon price low on a 256GB Moto G Stylus 5G. This unlocked phone is an excellent pick for cell phone photogs as this boasts a 48MP Quad Camera System that'll allow you to capture great shots even in low light. And you can edit photos seamlessly via the 6.8-inch Max Vision Full HD+ display and built-in stylus. We'd be remiss to overlook the zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor, as well. For under $250, it's a great buy.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G:
$449.99 $349.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $100 - The top pick over at our best cheap phones (opens in new tab) guide, we heartily recommend the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G if you're on a budget but want a powerful device. Not only is it fully 5G compatible (which you'd expect at this price), but it's got a great display and decent camera. Basically, everything you need from a cheap phone is there on this device and it's a really solid pick, even if it's not the lowest-costed device on the market currently.
Motorola Moto G Fast:
$199.99 $154.49 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Save $45 - It's a little older now but the Moto G Fast is a great low-cost buy if you're looking for a reliable device. It's got a bright 6.4-inch display, enough power to chug through the basics, and a 16MP camera system. As always with Motorola devices, you're getting a really beefy battery in this thing too with enough power to last two days on a single charge.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11: $190 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
You may not know Xiaomi, but it's a Chinese brand that makes some absolutely fantastic budget Android devices. This Note 11 is a particularly good choice with its 50MP quad-camera system, 128GB of storage, and a gorgeous AMOLED screen. For the price, these specs are unbeatable but this device comes with two drawbacks. First, it's not 5G compatible. Secondly, this particular variant will only work with GSM carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T). It won't work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon or Sprint.
- Samsung (opens in new tab) - certified renewed products and new phones under $200
- Amazon (opens in new tab) - the best retailer for price cuts on cheap phone deals
- Best Buy (opens in new tab) - often offers activation rebates and discounts on cheaper devices
- OnePlus (opens in new tab) - decent prices and loyalty rewards on Nord budget devices
- Walmart (opens in new tab) - great prices on refurbished Apple iPhones
Strictly on a budget? No worries, we've got you. Super-cheap phone deals on budget devices aren't exactly the most glamorous options out there when compared to the latest Apple or Samsung flagships but they are essential for many. Not everyone wants to (or can afford) to spend over $500 on a cell phone. Luckily, there are some great budget options out there and plenty of price cuts at Amazon especially to take advantage of.
Generally speaking, these devices may forgo some of the latest features and gadgets but you'd be surprised at how decent cheap phones are getting now. Exceptional battery life, expandable storage, and increasingly great screens are a commonplace feature now on even devices in the $200 mark. Cheap phone cameras too have come a long way in recent years.
Prepaid phone deals
Apple iPhone SE 2022: free $300 gift card with switch at Visible Wireless (opens in new tab)
Visible was offering a free pair of AirPods 3 with the excellent new iPhone SE 2022 but the prepaid carrier is now offering a $300 gift card instead. Note, as with all iPhone deals at Visible you'll need to be switching over from another carrier to be eligible for the freebie. Unlimited prepaid plans start from $25 per month.
Apple iPhone SE 2022: 6 months of free service with device at Mint Mobile (opens in new tab)
Going prepaid? Mint Mobile is a great choice and it's offering new users a chance to get a whole 6 months of service for free right now. To be eligible, you'll need to purchase a device outright with a 6-month plan. This can be quite pricey upfront but if you do that you'll be set for a full year of speedy 5G data. Going with Mint will mean big savings in the long run - especially if you were also considering going with one of the bigger carriers.
Apple iPhone SE 2022:
$429 $379.99 at Boost Mobile (opens in new tab)
Sure, it's not the biggest price cut in the world, but this week's $50 discount at Boost Mobile is its best yet on the new Apple iPhone SE 2022. Valid with any data plan, you'll be saving a decent chunk here - not to mention the savings you'll be making on your monthly payments should you forgo the usual unlimited data plans at one of the bigger carriers. With some great pay-monthly and family options, Boost is one of the better prepaid carriers out there at the moment.
Google Pixel 6: $300 gift card with switch at Visible (opens in new tab)
A great pairing with the Google Pixel 6, Visible Wireless offers 5G unlimited data plans for as little as $25 per month. Switch over from another carrier and buy a device up front and you'll get yourself a $300 gift card to spend pretty much anywhere online — that's double the value of its previous gift card offer. While you'll be spending a fair bit upfront for your device here, a cheap monthly plan makes this a great long-term option. Note, this deal is also available on the Google Pixel 6 Pro (opens in new tab).
Apple iPhone 13: $300 gift card with switch at Visible (opens in new tab)
Visible Wireless is a great pairing with the iPhone 13 if you're looking to keep those monthly costs down long-term. While you'll have to buy your device upfront with this deal, you'll get a nice $300 gift card if you port your number over, which is twice as much as last week's gift card offer. Considering you're potentially looking at paying as little as $25 per month with this carrier it's a great choice, even if you're paying quite a bit upfront. Note, this promotion is also available on most flagship devices (opens in new tab) at the Visible store.
Apple iPhone 13: 6 months of free service /w device purchase at Mint Mobile (opens in new tab)
Another iPhone 13 deal that'll set you quite a bit upfront but save you a lot in the long run is this one over at Mint Mobile. This excellent prepaid carrier is currently bundling in free months for those who buy a device outright at its website. While a bit pricey upfront, if you're in it for the long haul this carrier is going to save you heaps of cash versus the big companies.
Apple iPhone SE 2020:
$449.99 $0 with switch at Cricket Wireless (opens in new tab)
Price drop - Get yourself a cheap plan and a cheap device with this Cricket Wireless promotion on the iPhone SE 2020. Even though this device is a bit older now it's still a great budget pick - especially since you can get it for absolutely nothing upfront. Note, to be eligible for this price you'll need to be porting your number over from another carrier and select Cricket's $60/month plan, so bear that in mind.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: $600 off with activation at Google Fi plus up to $500 off with trade-in (opens in new tab)
Google has carried on its excellent cell phone deals on the S21 Ultra over to the new Galaxy S22 Ultra - offering a really decent prepaid option if you're going with the Google Fi network. Plus, you can get up to $500 off after trading in an eligible device (either as a refund or Google Fi service credit). Note, as always, this promo is for new customers only who port their number over to Google Fi, so bear that in mind. Note, if you're interested, this deal is also available on the Galaxy S22 (opens in new tab), Galaxy S22 Plus (opens in new tab), Google Pixel 5a (opens in new tab), and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 (opens in new tab).
- Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) - one of our favorite prepaid carriers offers excellent bundles
- Visible (opens in new tab) - has a great unlimited plan plus great phone deals if you switch
- Boost Mobile (opens in new tab) - offers upfront savings on a range of phone deals
Pre-paid carriers aren't locking you into a contract, so they don't have the same incentive to offer massive discounts and device installment plans. But even still, there are still some phone deals to be found, even if their sales don't quite match those found on the big carriers.
These deals will generally let you save a little bit of money upfront, while the low cost of prepaid plans can help you save even more money over time. If you want the freedom to switch carriers later on, you'll want to double check what big network these smaller carriers are with and their policy around unlocking phones. If you find them a little too restrictive, we'd recommend checking out the unlocked phone deals above.
iPhone and Android deals
Looking for something specific? We've got a whole host of dedicated phone deal pages that are super handy if you've got your eye on that new iPhone or Galaxy in particular.
Cell phone plans (opens in new tab)
Looking to simply save on that bill? Perhaps it's time to switch or upgrade that old plan you've been on for years. Our roundup of the best cell phone plans in the US is one of the best resources on the web for finding the right plan for you. No matter whether you're looking for a cheap plan, unlimited or a plan for your family, our guide will help you out.
iPhone deals (opens in new tab)
Not sure which Apple device is for you? If you need a guide to the best prices on the whole range, our iPhone deals roundup is the place to start. You'll find the best offers from all the big carriers right here, as well as the cheapest prepaid and unlocked iPhone deals currently available.
iPhone SE 2022 deals (opens in new tab)
Apple's latest budget-focused device is here and 2022's iteration of the iPhone SE brings a number of welcome updates. Above all else, the A15 Bionic chip in this device gives it superb power to cost and enough grunt to easily zip through nearly any task. It is, however, rocking an oldschool design - one that's essentially based on the iPhone 8 from way back in 2017. Is this the right device for you? Check out our standalone piece for a full breakdown of this budget pick.
iPhone 13 deals (opens in new tab) / iPhone 13 mini deals (opens in new tab)
Here it is folks - the latest Apple flagship for 2021. With a powerful new processor, improved battery life, camera upgrades, and an expanded storage capacity, both the 13 and 13 Mini are great choices for the average user. See our bespoke guides to score yourself a nice little price cut today.
iPhone 13 Pro deals (opens in new tab) / iPhone 13 Pro Max deals (opens in new tab)
Feeling a bit flush? Why not check out our articles on how to save some cash on the latest premium flagships from Apple, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. These devices are the first to include a 120Hz refresh rate - a welcome improvement that, alongside an upgraded processor and camera system, means they're easily some of the most powerful devices you can get in 2021.
iPhone 12 deals (opens in new tab) / iPhone 12 Mini deals (opens in new tab)
Apple's 2020 flagship is a fantastic choice - especially since it's now at least $100 cheaper than release across the board. Check out our latest deals roundup for this week's news on this great new device, and, where to pick yourself one up for much less than you would think....
iPhone 12 Pro Max deals (opens in new tab)
The biggest, baddest, and of course, most expensive Apple device from 2020, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, is still a great choice for 2021 - especially for avid phone photographers. Check out our bespoke deals page to see how you can potentially dodge that eye-wateringly high price tag.
iPhone 11 deals (opens in new tab)
The cheapest of Apple's latest flagship trio, the iPhone 11 is an excellent phone to go for. It sports a dual camera set-up, an ultra fast CPU, IP68 rating and a 3110mAh battery. This luxury phone has a lot to offer, and better still - it even comes at a lower introductory RRP than the also excellent iPhone XR.
iPhone XR deals (opens in new tab)
The iPhone XR was the budget flagship until the new iPhone SE superseded it earlier this year. That's not to say it's still not an excellent phone however with its powerful A12 bionic chip and massive battery life. Better still the prices just keep getting lower and lower, so you're really spoilt for choice when it comes to cheap iPhones right now.
Samsung Galaxy S22 deals (opens in new tab) / Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus deals (opens in new tab) / Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra deals (opens in new tab)
There are three new Android devices from Samsung to check out - each one an awesome choice in its own regard. If you're interested, head on over to our individual pages on the Galaxy S22 series to get a full low down on these excellent 2022 flagship phones.
Samsung Galaxy S21 deals (opens in new tab) / Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus deals (opens in new tab)
Early 2021 has brought a whole fresh range of excellent new flagships from Samsung in the form of the new Galaxy S21 range. Astonishingly, these handsets are coming in at a whole $200 cheaper than the launch prices of the prior generation. That doesn't mean Samsung has cheaped out though, these phones still carry a ton of great specs and a powerful new processor in particular.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra deals (opens in new tab)
We've also got a separate page for the current biggest and baddest phone from Samsung - the Galaxy S21 Ultra. With a quad-camera array, incredibly powerful processor, and stunning 1440p display capable of 144Hz (!), this is currently the phone to buy if you're really, really serious about your Android devices.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 deals (opens in new tab) / Galaxy Z Flip 3 deals (opens in new tab)
Want to try something new? Samsung's latest series of foldable phones have just been released with two excellent devices to choose from. While pricey, both the Flip 3 and Fold 3 are on the very bleeding edge of what's possible with smartphones. They're quite simply special devices with incredibly powerful components, stunning designs, and of course those beautiful foldable screens.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 deals (opens in new tab) / Galaxy Note 20 Ultra deals (opens in new tab)
Are you a fan of big phones? Your first destination should be our roundup page of the best offers on Samsung's latest phablets - the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. Expanded battery's, updated designs and of course awesome S-Pen functionality are all hallmarks of these awesome new (and huge) phones.
Google Pixel 6 deals (opens in new tab) / Google Pixel 6 Pro deals (opens in new tab)
Google's latest range of 2021 flagships are really making waves right now. A completely redesigned aesthetic, powerful in-house Tensor chip, and above all else - a compelling price point has meant these new devices are very worthy choices indeed. Check out our bespoke pages on these two phones for more information.
Google Pixel 5 deals (opens in new tab)
It's not just new Apple phones releasing this quarter, the brand new Google Pixel 5 is also a relatively new addition. A top phone for Android users, the new Google Pixel 5 is actually much more economical than you would think, thanks to a range of excellent design choices.
Google Pixel 4 deals (opens in new tab) / Google Pixel 4a deals (opens in new tab)
After Google managed to win the public over with three generations of top camera phones, hopes were high for the Google Pixel 4. For those wanting a camera phone to compete with the best out there, this will be the way to go. It's no surprise to hear that this is Google's best phone yet.
OnePlus 9 deals (opens in new tab)
Check out this week's best cell phone deals on the latest devices from the well-known Chinese brand OnePlus - the 9 and the 9 Pro. With co-designed Hasselblad camera systems, powerful Snapdragon 888 processors, and gorgeous 120Hz displays, these are a great alternative to the likes of Google, Apple, and Samsung.
Phone deal tips
If you want to be sure you're getting a good deal on a phone, there are a lot of factors you need to consider.
Compare your favorite retailers
For one thing, you should look around for different deals on the same phone. Carriers often offer heavy discounts, but occasionally they can be beat by deals on unlocked phones that will let you avoid getting stuck on an expensive mobile plan. So, if you see what seems like a good deal from a carrier, double check that you can't find a better deal elsewhere. And, be prepared to do some math to consider the price of the phone plus the price of the plan you'll be more or less locked into.
Shop at the right time of year
Shopping around big sales events is also a good time to find a phone deal. While major retailers cut prices on popular products, carriers can also take those opportunities to make their usual discounts even more enticing. Carriers also offer some of these major discounts around the launch of a new phone. Even if the price of the phone doesn't change, there may be some freebies that add extra value.
Switch to get the best phone deals
If you're after the steepest discounts, though, you'll likely need to be ready to switch carriers or at least add new lines to your account. Major carriers strongly incentivize this, and it's one of the few ways you'll get a new phone for more than 50% off. These deals can sometimes be easier if you have a second person you're shopping with, as buy-one-get-one deals are also incredibly common and often only entail one new line of service.