Save up to $700 with the best smartphone deals for May 2018
There are many reasons you might be in dire need of a new phone, though perhaps one of the biggest complaints when it comes to any older cell phone is battery life. With companies like Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, Huawei, and Motorola recently rolling out new flagship devices, now is your chance to take advantage of slashed prices on quality smartphones that will blow your old model out of the water.
If your phone needs an update and you’re ready to score a discount on a new wireless device, here are a handful of smartphone deals available right now. The list includes a few sales on unlocked smartphones, as well as some carrier offers that can save you as much as $1,000. Getting a new phone doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
The best deal
Fall is the season for new flagship phones, and we’ve already seen Samsung and Apple roll out their latest. Now it’s Google’s turn, and the new Pixel 3 is a more affordable — yet no less impressive — alternative to competing flagships that ring in at $1,000 or more. Retail pricing for the Google Pixel 3 starts at $799, which is already considerably cheaper than the $1,000-1,100 starting price of the Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XS, but Verizon customers (or those looking to switch to Verizon) can maximize their savings by taking advantage of one of these pre-order offers:
- Verizon: Verizon has the only buy one, get one deal going for the Pixel 3 right now, letting you snag one for free when you buy either the Pixel 3 or its larger sibling, the Pixel 3 XL, at full price.
- Google: You can pre-order the Pixel 3 directly from Google for $799 or the Pixel 3 XL for $899 (with a monthly installment plan available if you don’t want to pay outright), and with an eligible trade-in, you can take up to $400 off. This means you could score the new Pixel 3 for as low as $400 depending on your trade-in device.
- Best Buy: If you don’t want to buy two phones to get a discount, then Best Buy is throwing in a free $100 gift card if you order the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL and activate your phone with Verizon.
More carrier smartphone deals
Cellular service providers regularly offer enticing incentives to get you to switch to their LTE plans. So 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 best smartphone deals from Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T:
- AT&T: AT&T has a bundle of nice BOGO and rebate deals on name-brand Android and Apple flagships for DirecTV customers: Buy two iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, XS Max, Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, Galaxy Note 9, or LG V35 ThinQ smartphones on AT&T Next and enjoy between $700 and $900 back in bill credits toward the value of the second phone (the rebate amount varies by model). If you don’t want to buy two and/or you’re not a DirecTV customer, then you can still get up to $600 back on a Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, or Note 9 with an eligible trade-in.
- T-Mobile: Android deals are scarce from T-Mobile at the moment, but when it comes to Apple’s offerings, the carrier is letting you take $300 off the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max with a qualifying trade-in.
- Verizon: Verizon Wireless is offering BOGO and rebate deals on a ton of Apple and Android phones right now. With a qualifying trade-in, you can take $300 off a Pixel 2XL, Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9 Plus, Galaxy Note 9, LG G7 ThinQ, LG V40 ThinQ, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max when you purchase one of these devices and add a new line. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 are also on sale for $100 off with no trade-in necessary.
- Sprint: Sprint currently has some big discounts on Android and Apple devices, letting you get $450 back when you buy an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus if you add two new lines or one new line with a one-line upgrade — no trade-ins required. Sprint is also offering the best iPhone XS deal of all the carriers right now, letting you score an iPhone XS totally free or an XS Max for just $75 ($4.17 per month) with the trade-in of an eligible last-gen flagship. Android deals let you score the Samsung Galaxy S9 for $270, the Galaxy S9 Plus for $324, or the Galaxy Note 9 for $360 when you purchase one on an 18-month rent-to-own Sprint Flex lease.
Unlocked 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 these unlocked mobile phones when you buy them outright:
- Samsung Galaxy S8: The Samsung Galaxy S9 may be one of the best Android devices to hit the market in 2018, but the Galaxy S8 is still awesome and is now more affordable than ever: You can score the unlocked version from either Amazon or B&H for just $500 for a $100 discount.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: If you want to score an unlocked version of Samsung’s latest flagship, the excellent Galaxy Note 9, then you’re in luck. Samsung is currently offering a double trade-in bonus that gives you as much as $600 toward a new Note 9, letting you score one for as low as $400.
- Blu R1 HD: Blu is a relatively new player that is challenging Motorola in the “budget Android phone” market. If you came here looking for one of the cheapest unlocked Android phones on our list, then check out the R1 HD. The unlocked 5.2-inch model rings in at just $100 ($30 off) from Amazon.
- Moto G6: The Moto G is still one of the best budget Android smartphones on the market today. Prime members can score the unlocked sixth-generation Moto G for $220 from Amazon, and the G6 Play is also on sale for $190. No Prime membership? No problem — B&H also has the G6 for just $230 and the G6 Play for $200.
- Huawei Honor 7X: Huawei has a number of budget-friendly alternatives to brand-name flagships. Its surprisingly great Honor 7X is a sleeper hit that you may have missed, and it’s an absolute steal at $200 from Amazon.
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 2: We’ve seen no shortage of alleged “flagship killers” that too often fall short of expectations, but the new Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 actually lives up to this promise. This budget-friendly dual-sim smartphone punches well above its weight at just $344 from Amazon after a nice $356 price cut.
- Nokia 6.1: The Nokia 6.1 is all-new for 2018, and it’s arguably the best budget Android phone to come out this year, with hardware that outshines most other cheap smartphones. Both Amazon and B&H have unlocked models in stock for $230, saving you $40.
- Essential Phone: The Essential Phone is another newcomer to the smartphone scene, and it’s a winner. It’s got a great bezel-less design, a large and vibrant HD display, and excellent hardware under the hood. It’s on sale on Amazon right now for as low as $340, one of the lowest prices we’ve seen yet.
- Sony Xperia XA1: Sony’s Xperia X lineup remains highly underrated in the huge market of Android smartphones, with these devices offering flagship-like features at midrange prices. The Xperia XA1 is a shining example of the value that Sony’s phones provide and comes in at just $215 from Amazon with a $84 discount.
- Moto E4: For one of the cheapest brand-name Android phones you can buy, check out the 4th-generation Moto E. You can score the E4 for $80 from Best Buy if you activate it today. If you don’t want to activate right away, then Walmart has this smartphone in stock for a still-affordable $100. This phone is fully unlocked and ready to use with any GSM carrier and select CDMA carriers.
- Google Pixel: Another fantastic 2017 flagship (and one of our favorites) is the Google Pixel XL. You can grab an unlocked 32GB model for $349 from Amazon and save $300 off of its retail price. B&H also has the larger Pixel XL on sale for $340, or $460 off.
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