The best cell phone deals for May 2023

We've rounded up all of this week's best cell phone deals into one handy resource right here, including both the top options at the big carrier sites and the best prices on unlocked devices. Regardless of whether you're looking to upgrade that plan or want the flexibility of buying a device outright, you'll be able to weigh up your choices here with expert recommendations on both iPhone and Android devices.

Cell phone deals: quick links

Assorted 2022 flagship smartphones on grey background with 'techradar deals' text overlay

Jump to the section that's relevant for you:
1. Carrier phone deals
2. Unlocked phone deals
3. Specific pages for more phone deals
4. Phone deal tips

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 seen many carriers throw in freebies alongside their deals recently as an extra incentive to sign up for those plans.

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 find great options at carriers like Verizon and AT&T. 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 weighing up your plan options separately. This isn't a bad idea since there are a number of great prepaid plans on the market right now and there are often bring-your-own-device savings at the major carriers, too.

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 2023.

Today's best cell phone deals at a glance

Carrier phone deals

Google Pixel 7a: $2/mo with an unlimited data plan at AT&T

Google Pixel 7a: $2/mo with an unlimited data plan at AT&T
The best deal on Google's latest mid-range device Pixel 7a is over at AT&T this week, with the carrier giving it away for just $2 per month. This equates to just $72 over a three-year contract and even better still - none of the usual trade-ins are needed to get your hands on this deal, only a new line on an unlimited data plan. Overall, this is a fantastic promotion and a strong option for Android users at AT&T who are on a budget.

iPhone 14 Series: up to $1,000 off with trade, plus free iPad and Apple watch at Verizon

iPhone 14 Series: up to $1,000 off with trade, plus free iPad and Apple watch at Verizon
If you're eyeing up an Apple flagship, Verizon's current line-up of phone deals are offering a compelling trade-in rebate across most devices in the range. Right now, the maximum saving is $800 off for the standard iPhone 14 and $1,000 off for the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max - enough to get some devices for free. Compounding the value this week is an additional promotion that offers a free iPad and Apple Watch SE on top - both of which are also available with an unlimited data plan (lines needed). See this same deal on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus: $5/mo with new unlimited line, plus free iPad and Apple Watch at Verizon

Apple iPhone 14 Plus: $5/mo with new unlimited line, plus free iPad and Apple Watch at Verizon
And, for those who don't meet the trade-in criteria for the above, consider Verizon's current deal on the iPhone 14 Plus. At just $5 per month with an unlimited line, this is the only device in the latest iPhone 14 range that doesn't need a pesky trade to get a significant discount and you can also bundle in a cheap iPad and Apple Watch, if you want. Overall, this is fantastic value but the carrier has offered this device for free under the same terms before, so bear that in mind if you're willing to wait for a similar promo. 

Apple iPhone 14: $99 with eligible trade-in and unlimited plan at AT&T

Apple iPhone 14: $99 with eligible trade-in and unlimited plan at AT&T
If AT&T is your preferred carrier of choice, you'll also find very similar cell phone deals for the 14 and 14 Plus at this carrier too. Right now, the maximum trade rebate is $700 off - which isn't quite as good as the $800 we often see at AT&T but it is enough to get an iPhone 14 for just $99 over the duration of a 36-month plan. See this same deal on the iPhone 14 Plus.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro & 14 Pro Max: up to $1,000 off w/ trade-in and unlimited plan at AT&T

Apple iPhone 14 Pro & 14 Pro Max: up to $1,000 off w/ trade-in and unlimited plan at AT&T
AT&T's best cell phone deals this week can be found on the more premium iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Both of these devices are available with a record-breaking trade-in rebate of up to $1,000 right now - a saving that's enough to get the 14 Pro specifically on the house. As of writing, these are a match for the best deals yet on these devices at AT&T and the best carrier promotion available right now in terms of maximum saving. See this same deal on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Google Pixel 7: free with new unlimited line, plus free smartwatch at Verizon

Google Pixel 7: free with new unlimited line, plus free smartwatch at Verizon
Probably the best cell phone deal at Verizon this week for those looking for an Android device, the excellent Google Pixel 7 is free right now with an unlimited data plan. Overall, this is a fantastic deal when compared to other carrier offerings on this device, although one caveat is that we've seen the pricier Google Pixel 7 Pro offered for free under the same terms at Verizon recently. If you can wait, it may be a good idea to see if you can get the more premium device on the house.

Samsung Galaxy S23 series: up to $1,000 off with a trade-in, plus free tablet and Galaxy Watch at Verizon

Samsung Galaxy S23 series: up to $1,000 off with a trade-in, plus free tablet and Galaxy Watch at Verizon
The latest Samsung Galaxy S23 series are available with an awesome set of cell phone deals at Verizon this week, with a whopping potential trade-in saving of up to $800 off the S23 and $1,000 off the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra. On top of this device saving, customers can also get an additional Galaxy Tab Lite tablet and a Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch, the latter of which being a significant freebie. As always, however, you'll need an unlimited data plan to be eligible for any promos here.
See this same deal on the Galaxy S23 Plus or the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S23:  free with a trade-in at AT&T

Samsung Galaxy S23: free with a trade-in at AT&T
AT&T is always up there with the most competitive options for big carrier deals and today's promotions are extremely strong for the series Galaxy S23 series. It's trade-in rebates that rule the roost right now but the carrier is offering a particularly generous range of options for eligible devices right now. Put simply, if you have a relatively new Apple, Samsung, or Google device ready to hand over you should be able to get a shiny new Galaxy S23 for free - granted you're willing to go with an unlimited plan too. See this same deal on the Galaxy S23 Plus or the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

  • Verizon - has a whole section of their site dedicated to phone deals
  • AT&T - 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 Ultra: was

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: was $1,199 now $799.99 at Amazon
We briefly saw the stunning Galaxy S22 Ultra offered for as low as $649 over at Woot! just this past week - a flash sale that's unfortunately been snapped up now. The next best thing is this $799 listing over at Amazon, which is still a fantastic option and a record-breaking deal at the retailer. While a little older now, we still heartily recommend the Galaxy S22 Ultra - especially at this price unlocked.

Samsung Galaxy S23: up to $740 off with a trade at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S23: up to $740 off with a trade at Samsung
We always recommend Samsung itself for unlocked cell phone deals - namely because this retailer offers excellent trade-in rebates all year round that are almost as good as those you'll find at the big carriers. Right now, you can get a really decent rebate of up to $740 off and Samsung will also give you a guaranteed $200 in credit, which is super handy if your old phone isn't that great. See this same deal on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: up to $450 off with a trade-in at Samsung

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: up to $450 off with a trade-in at Samsung
If the above deals on the Galaxy S23 range are a little out of your price range, you could also consider the new Galaxy A54 5G. This fantastic mid-range device has a ton of features that belie it's relatively modest price - including a great AMOLED display and camera. Right now, you can also get up to $450 off with a trade-in, which is technically enough to get an unlocked device for free.

Google Pixel 6 Pro: was

Google Pixel 6 Pro: was $899 now $499 at Amazon
A compelling option, even in early 2023, Amazon is currently offering its lowest-ever price for an unlocked Google Pixel 6 Pro right now. Beating November's Black Friday price, this one is well worth picking up, particularly because it's likely to be discontinued at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Samsung Galaxy S22: was

Samsung Galaxy S22: was $799 now $689 at Amazon
The Galaxy S22 remains a strong choice for 2023 - even though the Galaxy S23 has just been released. Generally speaking, the devices are roughly equivalent save a few internal upgrades so going with the Galaxy S22 could be a shrewd move if you're looking to save some cash. Today's deal at Amazon offers a really decent discount, although we're still $50 off from the cheapest ever price.

Apple iPhone SE 2022: get up to $600 off with a trade-in at Apple

Apple iPhone SE 2022: get up to $600 off with a trade-in at Apple
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.

Apple iPhone 12: $699.99

Apple iPhone 12: $699.99 $599, plus up to $600 off with an eligible trade-in at Apple
Price drop -
It's not all about cell phone deals on the newer devices this week. If you're on more of a budget you may want to consider the older (but still great) iPhone 12, which is now a full $200 cheaper upfront versus launch. Surprisingly, Apple hasn't phased out this device yet, which still holds up really well for 2023. It's not quite as powerful as the latest iterations but still features the same basic design, a similar screen, and a camera that can still snap pics with the best of them.

Apple refurb program: save up to $280 on a refurbished iPhone

Apple refurb program: save up to $280 on a refurbished iPhone
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 - offers upfront discounts on unlocked phone deals with trade-ins
  • Samsung -  save up to $500 on select phone deals with trade-ins
  • Amazon - has a vast selection of unlocked phone deals on a range of brands
  • Best Buy - also an excellent place to find unlocked phone deals
  • OnePlus - 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.

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
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
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 14 deals / iPhone 14 Plus deals
For 2022, Apple's 'standard' flagship offerings have diverged into the fantastic iPhone 14 and new iPhone 14 Plus models - the latter of which is essentially an upscaled version. While many of the internals are similar to the prior iPhone 13, minor adjustments to the camera system, battery life, and new SOS satellite feature make these devices worth considering if you're looking for a reasonably priced flagship for 2022.


iPhone 14 Pro deals / iPhone 14 Pro Max deals
Arguably the 'real' flagship Apple devices for 2022, the vast majority of this year's upgrades have been consolidated on the stunning 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. These lavish devices feature a heavily upgraded camera system and novel 'Dynamic Island' - a unique feature that hides that pesky front camera bump with a combination of interesting software integrations.


iPhone SE 2022 deals
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 / iPhone 13 mini deals
Apple's flagship devices 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 / iPhone 13 Pro Max deals
Feeling a bit flush? Why not check out our articles on how to save some cash on the premium flagships of 2021 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.


Samsung Galaxy S23 deals
Released in February 2023, the Galaxy S23 series is Samsung's latest range of flagship devices. superbly powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, refined design, and camera improvements make these devices collectively the best yet from Samsung - although some may have been hoping for a bigger leap from the previous Galaxy S22 range.


Samsung Galaxy S22 deals / Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus deals / Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra deals
The Galaxy S22 range has now been officially superseded by the latest Galaxy S23 series but these devices still hold up. While they no longer collectively represent the cutting edge, unlocked prices in particular are now starting to really drop on these still-great flagship phones. Note, however, that stocks won't last long now.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 deals / Galaxy Z Flip 4 deals
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 4 and Fold 4 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.


Google Pixel 7 deals / Google Pixel 7 Pro deals
The latest flagship Google Pixel devices on the market. Both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro offer relatively iterative improvements over the previous generation but a powerful Tensor G2 chip and upgraded cameras make them compete against the very best from the likes of Apple and Samsung.


Google Pixel 7a deals
Android fans on a budget may want to consider the Google Pixel 7a - the brand's latest mid-range device. This phone is essentially a slightly scaled-down version of the standard Pixel 7 but still manages to pack in the same chipset, an outstanding camera, and a 90Hz display, despite being on average $100 cheaper.


Google Pixel 6 deals / Google Pixel 6 Pro deals
Google's range of 2021 flagships are still a fantastic choice if you're on a budget. 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.

Galaxy S23, iPhone 14, and Google Pixel 7 on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

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.

Alex Whitelock
Deals Editor

Alex is deals editor at Future PLC and an all-around expert at one thing - saving readers as much cash as possible while scoring them the best products for their needs. With content that's always packed full of helpful information, no-nonsense expertise, and of course deals, Alex has also written for other leading sites such as T3 and GamesRadar. At work, you'll find him mostly covering computing, gaming, and advising people on how to save on their cell phone plans. Outside of work, you'll find him playing guitar, indulging his love for music, or down at the local climbing gym mostly hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities.

With contributions from