No matter the operating system, the manufacturer, or the carrier, we all need a new smartphone once in awhile. Sometimes it’s to alleviate the frustration of sluggish app performance, other times it’s because we dropped our old handset in the toilet. There’s always room for an upgrade, even if it’s only because the battery on your current phone is starting to give up the ghost or because the OS is just starting to feel long in the tooth. With premium brands like Apple, LG, Google, Sony, and Samsung rolling out new smartphones every year, there is almost never a bad time to take advantage of deals on big-ticket devices like Google Pixels and iPhones that will blow your old model out of the water — and while the holidays may be over, plenty of ongoing New Year’s clearance sales still offer you a fine opportunity to score a new phone on the cheap.
If your smartphone badly needs an update and you’re hunting around for a good discount on a new one, we’ve gathered up a nice bundle of Android and iPhone deals that are available right now. The list includes a basketful of savings on unlocked smartphones, exclusive carrier offers, and buy-one-get-one-free deals, with potential savings of up to $1,200. Getting a new phone doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg (though it could if you’re after some smartwatch deals to pair it with).
Today’s best smartphone deals
Carrier offers typically require you to sign up for a specific service or trade-in an old device to get your discount. These smartphone deals, on the other hand, let you enjoy big savings on unlocked mobile phones when you buy them outright to bring to a service provider of your choice:
- — $99 (was $299)
— $294 (was $550)
- — $330 (was $800)
- — $335
- — $449 (was $479)
Up to $250 off in bill credits
Samsung Galaxy smartphone deals
Ten years since their inception, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones still command the lion’s share of the Android smartphone market and could probably be said to be Apple’s main competition worldwide (although Apple currently enjoys a larger market share in the U.S. than all Android phone brands combined). As you probably inferred from the name, the Galaxy S10 phones represent the tenth generation of Samsung’s main flagship line, but the Galaxy family also features the Note smartphones that occupy kind of a weird space as alternative flagships featuring larger displays and included stylus pens.
That means that there are actually five 10th-generation Galaxy devices for buyers to choose from in 2019: The Galaxy S10, the larger S10 Plus, the budget-minded S10e, the Note 10, and the Note 10 Plus. They’re all great, although the Galaxy S10e is the best value of the bunch while the Note 10 Plus could be our favorite overall. Your best bet when looking for a deal on new releases like these is to take advantage of the carrier offers below, but if you don’t mind last-gen stuff, you can also find great deals on carrier-unlocked models like the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Note 9, and similar 2017 and 2018 flagships.
Apple iPhone deals
The Apple iPhone is the device that brought smartphones into the limelight, and more than a decade later, the series is still going strong. This year saw the release of not two, but three new models (an industry trend that has become the norm in recent years) in the mid-range iPhone 11, the flagship iPhone 11 Pro, and the up-sized iPhone 11 Pro Max. This follows Apple’s release strategy from last year, wherein the company rolled out the more budget-friendly iPhone XR along with the pricier iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max flagships.
Unfortunately, Apple iPhone deals can be a little hard to find sometimes. Often, the best way to save hundreds is to either take advantage of a carrier sign-up offer or to simply buy refurbished, but savvy bargain-hunters can still find prepaid or unlocked iPhone deals on new and slightly older models if they look around. Now is an especially good time to look for deals on recently discontinued devices such as the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and high-end iPhone X, which are great flagships from 2017 that are much cheaper now but not too dated for use as your everyday smartphone.
LG smartphone deals
Sorting through LG’s flagship offerings can be a little confusing due to some odd naming conventions, but there’s no denying that this brand pumps out some very good Android smartphones. Not unlike Samsung, LG has two different flagship lines: The standard G-series devices and the premium V-series phones, both of which now bear LG’s “ThinQ” branding. This year, the company added three new devices to the G series stable, the LG G8 ThinQ (the successor to the 2018 G7 ThinQ), and the truly unique dual-screen ThinQ G8x, while the V series saw a refresh in the newer 5G-capable LG V50 ThinQ that succeeded last year’s V35 ThinQ and V40 ThinQ.
LG’s newest offerings didn’t excite us quite as much as others have, but they’re still solid Android devices and are definitely worth it if you can find a good deal — which, with our help, you can. Carriers frequently offer discounts, rebates, and BOGO offers on these premium LG devices, but you can also find some nice unlocked smartphone deals sometimes, even on the latest models. And of course, if you want the best deal on a flagship you can still find new (and not used or refurbished), don’t turn up your nose on slightly older picks like the LG G7 ThinQ or the LG G6.
Google Pixel smartphone deals
Google was late to the hardware game, but given that this software titan is the brain behind the Android operating system, it’s no surprise that its Pixel phones deliver what might be the best out-of-the-box Android experience to be found in a mobile device. In contrast to decade-old devices like the iPhone or Galaxy, Google’s Pixel devices are currently only in their fourth generation: The new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were recently released this fall, bringing with them some notable improvements like fully metal-and-glass construction (ditching the partially plastic backside of previous models) along with a new three-lens camera module. These succeeded the excellent Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagships from last year.
These flagship smartphones are affordable compared to the competition, too (given that Apple and Samsung are now releasing flagships in the $1,000-plus range), and Google also revealed two even more affordable midrange flagship alternatives — the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL — earlier this year. Google’s staggered smartphone release strategy means that we may see a new Pixel 4a and 4a XL next spring, but for now, the sub-$400 Pixel 3a is the one to buy if you want one of these devices on the cheap. Also, while deals on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL might be scarce this early after their launch, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are still worthy buys that can be had for deep discounts now.
Carrier smartphone deals
Cellular service providers regularly offer enticing incentives to get you to switch to their LTE plans. If you’re looking for a new carrier, you can save a good chunk of change and even score a free device by taking advantage of one of these smartphone deals from Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T:
- : If you’re looking to switch carriers, T-Mobile has some attractive offers. New customers who join T-Mobile can take advantage of “buy one, get one” offers on the iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, iPhone 8, and LG G8 ThinQ, getting up to $1,200 back in bill credits when you switch and buy two of these devices (this offer applies to models like the 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, Note 10 Plus, S10 Plus, and S10e, as well). T-Mobile is also giving away free budget phones including the Motorola Moto E and Samsung Galaxy A10e when you add a new line to your plan.
- : Verizon has a bundle of various BOGO and rebate offers on Apple and Android flagships including the iPhone 11, iPhone 8, iPhone XR, Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy Note 10, Google Pixel 4, Pixel 3, LG G8 ThinQ, and V50 ThinQ, giving new Unlimited customers up to $840 back in bill credits with the purchase of two devices within the same brand. If you don’t want to buy two devices, you can enjoy standalone discounts of $200 to $300 on many of the aforementioned phones. There are also some free offers on cheaper devices like the iPhone 7, iPhone XR, Galaxy A10e, and Moto G7 Play when you add a new line — no trade-in required.
- : AT&T is offering some nice freebie deals for new customers who switch and port-in their old number. Do this and get up to $700 back in bill credits when you purchase two of any of the iPhones released since 2017, from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 11 Pro Max (note that the 64GB iPhone 8, XS, and XR are not eligible for this offer, although all models with upgraded storage are). There are also discounts and rebates of up to $950 available on other flagships like the Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy S10 and S10e, Google Pixel 4, and LG G8X ThinQ; some require a trade-in, others only require a new line on an eligible wireless plan.
- : For the new year, Sprint has some nice deals that can get you an iPhone 11 for as little as nothing with an eligible trade-in. There is also a bunch of standalone deals on flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10, iPhone 8, LG G8X ThinQ, Galaxy Note 10, Google Pixel 4, iPhone XR, and others when you add a new line. Sprint is also running a limited-time promotion for early January only, offering new customers a prepaid MasterCard worth up to $200 with the purchase of a new phone.
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