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
OnePlus 9 5G | Up to $81 off at Amazon
Amazon is offering up to $81 off the new OnePlus 9 right now. This 5G smartphone is unlocked and equipped with 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, a Hasselblad triple camera system, and even features built-in Alexa. This marks the best deal we’ve seen on this device so far.
Samsung Galaxy S21 | As low as $199.99 at Samsung
Samsung is the best place to snag the new Galaxy S21 right now. While you won’t get a 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 $40.
Nokia 5.4 | $18 off at Amazon
The 128GB Nokia 5.4 Android smartphone is now on sale unlocked for just $232, saving you close to $20 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 Note 20 Ultra 256GB | $260 off at B&H
The unlocked 256GB Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is now available at a $260 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 $199.99 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.
TCL 10 Pro | from $290 at Best Buy
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. Best Buy is offering up to $80 off its regular price when you choose ‘Activate Today’ on the product page. Activating the device later will save you $30 instead.
TCL 10L | $174.99 at Amazon
The 64GB TCL 10L offers great bang-for-your-buck with a huge, adjustable display and clean TCL UI software. Its hardware is solid for the price and the inclusion of NFC for mobile payments is rare in the phone’s price range. Today’s deal saves you $75 at Amazon 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.
OnePlus 8T with free case | $150 off at OnePlus
The unlocked OnePlus 8T is now discounted by $150 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. You’ll also score a free case with the purchase.
Best carrier Android phone deals
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.
Samsung Galaxy S21 | Free with trade-in at AT&T
Get the Galaxy S21 for free 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 $800 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. You can also add the Galaxy Tab S5e to your purchase for only $5 per month.
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.
Google Pixel 4a with $150 back at Visible
Visible uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network while offering some of the most affordable phone plans around at just $40/month! Today you can score a $150 prepaid Mastercard when you switch to Visible and buy the Google Pixel 4a either outright or with monthly device payments starting at $14/month. You’ll also score a free Nimble Fast-Charging Bundle with the purchase.
Google Pixel 5 with $100 back at Visible
Visible is offering a $100 prepaid Mastercard with your purchase of the Google Pixel 5 today. You’ll also receive a free Nimble Fast-Charging Bundle with the purchase. The Pixel 5 is equipped with a 6-inch FHD+ display, 128GB storage, dual rear cameras as well as an 8MP front-facing camera, and an integrated fingerprint sensor.
Moto G Power | $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 $100 prepaid Mastercard and a free Amazon Fire TV Stick when you switch to Visible, port-in your current number and purchase this device.
Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra | Save up to $1,100 at Verizon
Verizon is offering up to $1,100 off the Note 20 or Note 20 Ultra when you trade-in an eligible device for a limited time, or up to $1,000 for select LG trade-ins.
OnePlus 8 | Free $50 prepaid Mastercard at Visible
Visible is offering a free $50 prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account when you switch to Visible, port-in your current number, and buy the OnePlus 8. Though the phone has higher monthly payments here than at retailers above, Visible’s $40 all-in monthly plan for unlimited talk, text, and data helps to make this a better deal overall. You’ll also score a free Amazon Fire TV Stick with the purchase for a limited time.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G | Free at Verizon
Score the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G device for free when you add a new line on an Unlimited plan at Verizon. This phone has a vivid 6.5-inch Infinity-O display and a quick 120Hz refresh rate, along with triple rear cameras with Space Zoom and a 32MP front-facing camera.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 | Up to $1,100 off at Verizon
Verizon is offering $1,100 off the all-new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 when you trade-in an eligible device and choose an Unlimited plan. This 256GB device has a foldable screen so you can use it like a phone or a tablet.
Samsung Galaxy A42 with free $150 prepaid Mastercard
Score a $150 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. Visible also includes a free Nimble Fast-Charging Bundle with the purchase!
Samsung Galaxy A32 | $1 per month at AT&T
Get the Galaxy A32 in your hands today for just $1 per month at AT&T! Along with its 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-V display, this device is equipped with a fast-charging, long-lasting battery, expandable memory, and a quad rear camera system.
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.
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