It’s been almost a decade and a half since the smartphone revolution changed the way we communicate and connect with the world on a daily basis. Now, most people can’t imagine leaving the house without their smartphones, but more than a few of us tend to run these faithful gadgets hard and put them up wet. No matter how rough or how gentle you are with your phone, however, the stresses of everyday use mean that sooner or later you’re going to have to buy a new one.
Shopping for a smartphone can be fun, but paying retail price for one isn’t. The best way to soften that blow to your wallet is by finding a good bargain and we can definitely make that a little easier with this up-to-date list of the best Google Pixel deals, Samsung Galaxy deals, iPhone deals, and other mobile bargains — many of which will save you enough cash to grab one of these smartwatch deals.
Today’s best smartphone deals
Carrier offers usually require you to sign up for a specific service (usually an unlimited plan), trade in an old device, or port in your current number to get the best possible discount, and this is often the best way to score a deal on a brand-name smartphone — particularly newer models that were just released. That’s not always a viable option, however, so these smartphone deals also include some great unlocked devices that you can bring to a service provider of your choice:
- Blu Vivo XI+ (GSM & CDMA Unlocked) — $200, was $250
- Google Pixel 4a 128GB (Unlocked) — $300, was $350
- LG V50 ThinQ (128GB, 5G), Aurora Black — $325, was $334
- Motorola Edge (256GB, Unlocked) — $550, was $700
Up to $700 off with trade-in and activation, or $200 with activation
Samsung Galaxy smartphone deals
More than ten years after their inception, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones still command the lion’s share of the Android smartphone market and could arguably be considered 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 2019 Galaxy S10 phones represent the tenth generation of Samsung’s main flagship line, but Samsung got in the spirit of 2020 when it rolled out the new S-series flagship — dubbed the Galaxy S20 — at its February Galaxy Unpacked event. 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, although we didn’t see a new refresh announced at Galaxy Unpacked. However, Samsung did reveal the unique Galaxy Z Flip, a new spin on the old flip-phone concept, and in late 2019 we saw the larger (almost iPad Mini-like when in use) Samsung Galaxy Fold.
As far as 2019 offerings go, there are actually five 10th-generation Galaxy devices for buyers to choose from: The Galaxy S10, the larger S10 Plus, the budget-minded S10e, the Note 10, and the Note 10 Plus (the Galaxy Note 10 series are still the newest Notes you can buy at the moment, although we may see new Note models released sometime later this year). 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. Last 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 2018, wherein the company rolled out the more budget-friendly iPhone XR along with the pricier iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max flagships. Apple most recently brought back the iPhone SE, with the second-gen SE representing a great mid-range flagship alternative similar to Google’s Pixel 3a.
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 the 2018 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 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 2018.
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 in 2019. 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. Carrier offers are also often the best way to score deals on new flagships like the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20. 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 the many smartphone deals that are always available from Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T, although note that these promotions are often given in the form of bill credits rather than regular discounts.
These carrier offers change all the time, but you can check out each service provider’s updated deal page right here:
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- These are the best Samsung Galaxy deals for October 2020
- These are the best cheap Samsung Galaxy S20 deals for October 2020
- These are the best cheap Samsung Galaxy Note 20 deals for October 2020
- The best cheap phones for 2020
- Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained