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Cheap AT&T Phones (Under $200)

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Cheap AT&T Phones (Under $200)

The latest smartphone comes out and AT&T tells you it's time to upgrade. So, like most consumers, you go to the nearest store and pay whatever the cost to have the latest trend; because that is what the industry has trained us to do.

While the cell phone industry is booming, another industry isn't far behind – the used cell phone industry. This industry is quickly climbing as consumers are becoming more educated in how to actually save money and not drain their wallet when it comes to buying your next cell phone.

Do You Need or Just WANT a New Smartphone

The cell phone industry is making ghastly profits by quickly releasing "the next best thing" that we convince ourselves we have to have. But honestly, there are minimal upgrades between each generation. Does it seem worth the obnoxious amount of money we shell out to have a super retina HD display vs. a retina HD display? Or the ability to unlock your phone with your face vs. with your finger?

An honest side-by-side comparison of different generations can be eye-opening in just how similar they actually are. For example, the new iPhone X has very little differences between the iPhone 7. Take a look at their features compared below:

iPhone 7 features:

  • Retina HD display
  • 12 MP camera
  • Touch I.D.
  • Wide color display (P3)
  • Charges with cord
  • 3D Touch
  • Height: 5.44 inches
  • Width: 2.64 inches

iPhone X features:

  • Super retina HD display
  • 12 MP camera
  • Face I.D.
  • Wide color display (P3)
  • Charges cordlessly
  • 3D Touch
  • Height: 5.65 inches
  • Width: 2.64 inches

Why You Should Consider Used/Refurbished Phones:

Consider this - you can get amazing features, impeccable screen display, and loads of memory space on your next phone while saving money. No need to ask yourself "Where's the catch?" because there isn't one. Whether it be an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, you can actually save money on your next phone purchase when you buy used or refurbished.

Before you start scouring the internet for your next phone, you should understand the differences.

For example, what's the difference between a used and refurbished phone? A used phone is one that may have minor surface damage and, for the most part, is fully operational and functional. However, a refurbished phone is one that was previously owned and has since undergone diagnostic testing, had defective parts replaced, data completely erased, and repacked for its next owner.

Why Choose Refurbished Over New?

With refurbished and used phones working like new, there are so many benefits to making the switch. Unlike a brand new phone, a refurbished phone:

  • Saves you major moola
  • Decreases your environmental footprint
  • Free shipping and returns with most sites
  • Warranty plans available

Types of Phones That Operate on the AT&T Network

Many consumers are unaware that certain phones are locked to specific carriers. This is due to the two basic technologies in mobile phones: CDMA and GSM.

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and GSM (Global System Mobiles) are two major radio systems that are used by cell phones to function. While these two systems are the largest used for cell phone carriers, there are also unlocked phones that are not tied to any network.

Why should you care? If you are on the AT&T network and looking to purchase a refurbished phone for AT&T you need to keep in mind that only GSM and unlocked phones will work with your carrier.

What to Keep in Mind when Buying an Unlocked Phone

Buying an unlocked phone is always a safe bet when looking for a refurbished phone. Unlocked phones aren't tied to any carrier and they can be used on any network, allowing you to easily switch plans to whichever carrier is offering the best deal for you.

Key considerations when buying an unlocked phone include:

  • Check original carrier - while unlocked phones aren't locked to a specific carrier, they will work best on the carrier they were originally made for (i.e. original GSM phones will work better for AT&T Wireless).
  • Warranties – where you're buying your used phone will determine if there is a warranty offered and if so, the length of that warranty.
  • Returns – knowing how long you can try your used phone before it needs to be returned can offer peace of mind.
  • Payment options – some sites offer monthly payment options to help make purchasing your used phone even more affordable.
  • Certified – if your used phone claims to be certified, that means the phone has undergone rigorous testing before it is sold.

How to Get the Best Price on a Cheap Unlocked Phone

Let's be real, you're looking for the most bang for your buck when it comes to buying a new phone, but searching the world wide web seems daunting to know if you're getting the best price.

Here at MoneySavingPro, we have developed a comparison tool to help you find the best price for your next cell phone. While there are a number of used phone sites to choose from, we have hand-picked the best of the best for you. Check out our reviews on the best sites to buy a used phone.

Want to Save Even More Money?

Sell Your Old Phone

Bigger is always better when it comes to the amount of money in your wallet. Rack in some fast cash by selling your old phone online.

Think you'll get more if you trade in in-store? Think again.

More often than not, sites will cover the fee for you to send your old phone to them. When shipping isn't covered, the cost is small. The biggest benefit to selling your old phone to a buyback site is that you'll most likely get double what you would've received in-store!

Switch to an MVNO

Don't let the money-saving stop there, consider switching to an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator). MVNO's are smaller carriers that partner with one or more large networks, such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. In other words, you're getting the big company coverage at small company prices.

Switching to an MNVO is simple and can be done completely online. More benefit of MVNOs include:

  • No contracts
  • No credit checks
  • Prepaid options
  • Customizable plans
  • High customer ratings

Check out our list of AT&T MVNOs.


We've made it easy to find a cheap phone compatible with the AT&T network, use our tool to compare smartphone prices.

You can save you even more money by switching to a cheap cell phone plan and getting cash for your old phone.

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