Entertainment The best cell phone deals for July 2022
The best cell phone deals for July 2022
We’ve got this week’s best cell phone deals neatly curated just for you — whether you’re an Apple devotee or loyal to Android. Below, you’ll find the top promos, sales, and deals from well-known carriers and retailers. And to help you along, we also have loads of expert recommendations and advice to share so you land the perfect cell phone deal.
Our roundup is organized by carrier-locked, unlocked, and prepaid phones. You’ll even find a new ‘super cheap phone deals’ section featuring our top picks for under $500 should you be feeling the squeeze and want to pay as little as possible.
Cell phone deals: quick links
Generally speaking, you’ll find cell phone deals coming in two forms – first as an outright sale on an unlocked device, and secondly as part of a carrier-plan tie-in. The latter can be a bit tricky, involving new cell phone plans and also trade-ins on old devices, but the savings can be absolutely huge if you’re eligible. We’ve also included a third alternative option – cell phone deals from prepaid carriers. These smaller carriers don’t tend to offer huge savings on a device, but you’ll generally be scoring a much cheaper cell phone plan so it’s worth considering the switch for sure.
Which type of cell phone deal should you go for? Well, that will depend on your personal needs. If you’re looking for the latest flagship device and an unlimited plan to pair it up with then you’ll be well served by Verizon or AT&T’s latest promotions. If you’re looking for maximum flexibility or long-term savings, then it’s generally better to consider either buying a device unlocked and then going with a prepaid carrier, or buying a prepaid device directly from that carrier.
Note, all of the devices featured on our list have been personally reviewed by the staff here at TechRadar. They’re all fantastic picks in their own right and you won’t find any sub-par choices included. If you’d like to find out which is best for you we’d recommend checking our updated guide to the best phones for 2022.
Today’s best cell phone deals at a glance
Carrier phone deals
- Verizon (opens in new tab) – has a whole section of their site dedicated to phone deals
- AT&T (opens in new tab) – also offers a huge range of phone deals
- Sprint – currently offering free phones and other great phone deals
If you don’t mind switching carriers, you can find many of the best smartphone deals from the big four. The major carriers will often let you split the cost of the phone into monthly payments anywhere from 18 to 30 months, and sometimes longer. The deals they offer frequently cut the price of the phone in half, sometimes even offering the phone for free.
To get these deals, you’ll generally need to be adding a new line and signing up for a specific mobile plan. But, as long as you’re planning to get an unlimited data plan anyway, they can make it a lot more affordable to pick up a brand new phone.
If you’d like to deep dive into specific carriers, we’ve got some great content for you in the form of our Verizon deals and AT&T deals pages. There you’ll find a full list of what’s available, including discounts on plans and even free phones.
Unlocked cell phone deals
- Apple (opens in new tab) – offers upfront discounts on unlocked phone deals with trade-ins
- Samsung (opens in new tab) – save up to $500 on select phone deals with trade-ins
- Amazon (opens in new tab) – has a vast selection of unlocked phone deals on a range of brands
- Best Buy (opens in new tab) – also an excellent place to find unlocked phone deals
- OnePlus (opens in new tab) – price cuts, trade-in rebates, and freebies with own-brand devices
Deals on unlocked smartphones aren’t always the most eye-popping, as they tend to offer only small cuts to the retail price. Occasionally you’ll find a major deal on a new smartphone, usually late into the one-year refresh cycle for that brand. We’ve seen this kind of price drop commonly for Samsung flagships, but they aren’t frequent and rarely match the up-front discounts carriers offer.
However, the savings you get from unlocked cell phone deals can be hidden. That’s because an unlocked phone will let you freely move between carriers, so you can always choose the mobile plan that suits you. This can make your savings add up over time, as you won’t be stuck on an expensive data plan for 24 months as you pay off your phone on an installment plan.
You can also sometimes get deals directly from the phone’s manufacturer, as they can offer trade-in discounts that retail stores generally won’t.
Cheap phone deals under $500
- Samsung (opens in new tab) – certified renewed products and new phones under $200
- Amazon (opens in new tab) – the best retailer for price cuts on cheap phone deals
- Best Buy (opens in new tab) – often offers activation rebates and discounts on cheaper devices
- OnePlus (opens in new tab) – decent prices and loyalty rewards on Nord budget devices
- Walmart (opens in new tab) – great prices on refurbished Apple iPhones
Strictly on a budget? No worries, we’ve got you. Super-cheap phone deals on budget devices aren’t exactly the most glamorous options out there when compared to the latest Apple or Samsung flagships but they are essential for many. Not everyone wants to (or can afford) to spend over $500 on a cell phone. Luckily, there are some great budget options out there and plenty of price cuts at Amazon especially to take advantage of.
Generally speaking, these devices may forgo some of the latest features and gadgets but you’d be surprised at how decent cheap phones are getting now. Exceptional battery life, expandable storage, and increasingly great screens are a commonplace feature now on even devices in the $200 mark. Cheap phone cameras too have come a long way in recent years.
Prepaid phone deals
- Mint Mobile (opens in new tab) – one of our favorite prepaid carriers offers excellent bundles
- Visible (opens in new tab) – has a great unlimited plan plus great phone deals if you switch
- Boost Mobile (opens in new tab) – offers upfront savings on a range of phone deals
Pre-paid carriers aren’t locking you into a contract, so they don’t have the same incentive to offer massive discounts and device installment plans. But even still, there are still some phone deals to be found, even if their sales don’t quite match those found on the big carriers.
These deals will generally let you save a little bit of money upfront, while the low cost of prepaid plans can help you save even more money over time. If you want the freedom to switch carriers later on, you’ll want to double check what big network these smaller carriers are with and their policy around unlocking phones. If you find them a little too restrictive, we’d recommend checking out the unlocked phone deals above.
iPhone and Android deals
Looking for something specific? We’ve got a whole host of dedicated phone deal pages that are super handy if you’ve got your eye on that new iPhone or Galaxy in particular.
Phone deal tips
If you want to be sure you’re getting a good deal on a phone, there are a lot of factors you need to consider.
Compare your favorite retailers
For one thing, you should look around for different deals on the same phone. Carriers often offer heavy discounts, but occasionally they can be beat by deals on unlocked phones that will let you avoid getting stuck on an expensive mobile plan. So, if you see what seems like a good deal from a carrier, double check that you can’t find a better deal elsewhere. And, be prepared to do some math to consider the price of the phone plus the price of the plan you’ll be more or less locked into.
Shop at the right time of year
Shopping around big sales events is also a good time to find a phone deal. While major retailers cut prices on popular products, carriers can also take those opportunities to make their usual discounts even more enticing. Carriers also offer some of these major discounts around the launch of a new phone. Even if the price of the phone doesn’t change, there may be some freebies that add extra value.
Switch to get the best phone deals
If you’re after the steepest discounts, though, you’ll likely need to be ready to switch carriers or at least add new lines to your account. Major carriers strongly incentivize this, and it’s one of the few ways you’ll get a new phone for more than 50% off. These deals can sometimes be easier if you have a second person you’re shopping with, as buy-one-get-one deals are also incredibly common and often only entail one new line of service.