Best phone deals in January 2021
Looking for the best cell phone deals? Now is the perfect time to get a great price on your next device.
Believe it or not, the best smartphone deals aren't necessarily those offered by the major cell phone companies. You can get sweet discounts on the latest phones when you go to a smaller cell phone carrier.
Stay tuned to find out how to get the best price on your next cell phone, plus how you can save $600 a year by switching carriers.
Best cell phones by brand
We love to help you save money. One of the ways we do that is by giving you side-by-side comparisons of the best prices available on popular cell phones.
Smartphone deals are always changing. That's why we do the footwork for you by continually monitoring the lowest prices available from reliable carriers and retailers. Use our price comparison tool to find the best deals on top smartphones.
There are more choices than ever for diehard iPhone fans. If you're budget-minded, the iPhone SE offers plenty of features at a great value. Need slightly more robust specs?
For those ready to harness its massive camera power, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is now available or you could look for a deal on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Then you've got the iPhone 12 mini, which packs the processing prowess of its larger version without the bulk.
You'll also find deals on the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, and iPhone XR. If it's a bargain that you're looking for check out prices on the refurbished iPhone XS, iPhone X, and iPhone 8, all available at heavily discounted price points.
Samsung doesn't disappoint either in its range of high-performance smartphone options. On the top end you've got flagships like the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S20, and Galaxy Note 20, all with 5G capability.
At the budget end Samsung has some pretty competitive options with the Galaxy A11, Galaxy A21, and Galaxy A51.
In 2013 Google entered the smartphone game with its Pixel series. Use our price comparison tool to see the lowest prices available on the entire Pixel 4 series, including the Pixel 4XL, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a XL.
Save even more money on a very respectable device with the Pixel 3, Pixel 3a, or Pixel XL.
Best cell phone deals by network
As I mentioned earlier, you can often get better prices on your phone by going with a smaller carrier. These carriers - MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) - sell service on the same four reliable networks as the big companies, but at a lower cost.
In fact people who switch to a smaller carrier save an average of $600 a year. Add to that the hundreds you'll save on your phone and you'll put more than just pocket change back in your wallet.
AT&T phone deals
Save on your cell phone with AT&T MVNOs like h20 Wireless and Unreal Mobile. These AT&T carriers sell top of the line smartphones along with great deals on cheap cell phone plans.
Verizon phone deals
Looking for the best deals on Verizon phones? Check out our price comparisons for Verizon MVNOs like Reach Mobile and Red Pocket Mobile.
T-Mobile phone deals
Prefer the T-Mobile network? No problem. Compare phone prices from T-Mobile MVNOs like Mint Mobile and US Mobile. You can even get device payments in some cases.
Sprint phone deals
Carriers on the Sprint network include Tello, Ting, and Twigby. All of these Sprint MVNOs give you the option bring your own phone or buy a new one through them.
Unlocked phone deals
We also let you compare prices on unlocked phones - that is, a phone that isn't tied to any one network. Why buy an unlocked phone? After all, you could just go for whatever you network provides. The biggest benefit of an unlocked phone is that it makes it easy to switch networks without buying a new device.
Most newer phones are designed to work well on all four networks. Still, it's smart to check with your chosen carrier to make sure it's compatible before jumping into a purchase.
Compare cell phone prices
|Phone||AT&T||Verizon||T-Mobile||Unlocked||iPhone 11||-||$600||$699||$600||iPhone 11 Pro||$649||-||-||$649||iPhone 12||$579||$829||$829||$579||iPhone 12 Mini||$479||$729||$729||$479||iPhone 12 Pro||$749||$999||-||$749||iPhone 12 Pro Max||$849||$1,099||-||$849||iPhone SE 2020||$149||$399||$399||$149||iPhone XR||-||$499||$499||$499|
Best cell phones by type
You probably have an idea of what brand phone you want (brand loyalty is no joke when it comes to cell phones!). You may also have a laundry list of non-negotiable features. Still, there are several different types of cell phones to consider. Let's take a closer look at the major players.
Prepaid cell phones
Prepaid phones have lost their stigma along with their outdated flip phone aesthetic. With the explosive growth of prepaid cell phone plans in recent years this option has become a very savvy choice.
All prepaid cell phone means is that you buy your device outright and pay in advance for a specific amount of service. Most of the time this service is provided on the four major networks by a cheaper alternative carrier.
Refurbished cell phones are devices that have either been factory restored or cleaned, checked, and repaired (if necessary) by a retailer. You can even get a phone warranty when you buy certified pre-owned.
Used phones can save you 50% or more off retail price. Buying a refurb is also environmentally friendly and helps you avoid steep monthly device payments. Owning a used phone puts you in control of your device and your cell phone plan.
5G networks are still being built out but it will soon be everywhere. Having a 5G cell phone means you'll stay on top with the absolute fastest speeds and most efficient service available to date.
If you're ready to upgrade your Android phone you're in for a treat with the latest offerings. Kiss lag goodbye with the Galaxy S10 5G, the Note10+ 5G, and of course the Galaxy S20 collection.
Looking for something a little different? Check out Google's Pixel 4a and Pixel 5, both with 5G connectivity.
Cell phones for seniors
Being a senior citizen doesn't mean you don't want (and deserve!) great technology. Whether you're looking for just the basics or the latest in 5G devices, we make it easy to find great deals on a range of cell phones perfect for seniors.
Refurbished phones are a super smart option for seniors on a budget. Get a very capable model like iPhone 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S8 for hundreds less than retail. Save money without sacrificing anything you need to do on your phone, from email to video streaming.
Cell phones for kids
Ahhh the kids - we love 'em, but yikes can they be tough on their phones. We're pretty sure you're not excited about the idea of dropping $1000 on a device that might end up rattling around in their backpack, locker, etc.
Buying used affords you the luxury of getting your child or teen a cell phone with all the functionality they want without the high price tag. Plus paying upfront for your kid's phone means you can switch carriers whenever you want as their data needs change (and you know that day is coming!).
Cheap used phones
Sometimes you're just looking for the most serviceable device you can find for a price that won't break the bank. That's a great reason to check out older used phones.
Most smartphones have a surprisingly long lifespan. People typically upgrade long before their device actually wears out or becomes obsolete. That's great news for you because it means you can get a solid phone at the cheapest price possible.
Cell phone specs comparison
Perhaps one of the most important parts of deciding which phone to buy is making sure it has the bells and whistles you can't live without.
The challenge with getting the right phone features is that they can vary so widely among smartphone models. For example, if you prefer a headphone jack instead of Bluetooth you'll want to steer clear of Apple phones from the iPhone 7 forward.
Other premium features to watch for include fast charging, OLED display, long battery life, and water resistance.
If you want as close to a professional photography experience as possible you'll want to check out the specs on the camera system. Features like dual cameras, 3x optical zoom, wide angle lens, and night mode have turned camera phones into legitimate photography tools.
Your time is valuable and too much of it can get sucked up by trying to sort out which phones offer what features. We put the research right at your fingertips with our phone specs comparison tool. Compare cell phones side by side and quickly size up the features so you can make a confident decision.
If you're tired of paying too much for your cell phone plan and your device you're not alone. By going to a smaller carrier you can switch plans without giving up the option to get the best cell phones at discounted prices.
Pick your wireless network and choose a cheaper carrier with cell phone plans that meet your needs. Compare the best smartphones equipped with your favorite features and save a bundle. Hanging onto more of your money doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your wants.
Don't forget to compare wireless service prices across all four networks with our cell phone plan comparison tool.