Best Phone Deals: Carrier Sales and Unlocked Phone Discounts

The days of being able to walk into your carrier’s cell and get a new phone for $50 to $100 are gone, with phone contracts, but that doesn’t mean that phone deals are gone.

Over the past few years, the vehicles at Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have become far more aggressive, dealing with both new and existing customers as they continue to push their activities. 5G networks. These days it’s not out of the ordinary to find deals that can score you a new end phone for free, but you often need to be in one of the. carriers’ deeper fin 5G plans and agree to a monthly bill of credits over a 24- to 36-month period that locks you into the service and if you’re on the hook for the difference before.

You can also save on an unlocked phone with direct discounts at third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy or by trading in your old device directly to the manufacturer, meaning you have plenty of places to look for phone deals.

Read more: Best Phone Plan Deals

This is what CNET is working with Ship to help cut through the confusion. Navi is an independent marketplace that aggregates information about plans and phone products to help consumers find the best choices and prices in the market. Below you’ll find discussions about those who prefer to hang on to unlocked phones rather than phones from new and existing post customers who add lines, phones and more dealers.

Unlocked Phone Deals

If you don’t want to deal with a monthly credit bill and prefer to have the phone outright, you can still save some money on your purchase by looking around a bit. There are a few places where you can buy unlocked phones at a discount, though you’ll want to confirm that they’re truly unlocked and not tied to any carrier or prepaid carrier before ordering. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite unlocked phone deals below.


If battery life is important to you, the Moto G Power is a great option, especially at this price. Advertised to get up to 3 days of battery life per charge, it features a 6.5-inch display, has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It works with all major carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Simple Mobile, Mobile Mint, Google FI and many others. Priced at just $180, it’s a hard option to beat.


OnePlus has been making high-end Android phones for a while, but the company also sells some lower-cost entry-level unlocked phones. This one has a 6.49-inch display, 64GB of storage, a large 5,000-mAh engine and a triple camera system on the back. Unfortunately, it only works on the Google Fi or T-Mobile networks, so you’ll need to use one of those carriers before making the purchase.


While Apple’s iPhone SE is already an affordable iPhone range, starting at $429, you can lower its price even further thanks to Apple’s trade-in program. In fact, Apple currently offers up to $600 in credit with eligible trade-ins, so you can get the right device for free with any additional credit charged on your Apple gift card.


You can snag select Google Pixel 6 models at a discount through Amazon right now. No trade-in or activation is required, although there is also no definite end to this discount, as it could disappear at any moment.


The larger Google Pixel 6 Pro is on sale right now with discounts as steep as $250 at Amazon. That 128GB model drops to as low as $649. It is equipped with an impressive 12GB of RAM, as well as Google’s custom Tensor processor that is optimized for pixel phones. The Pro 6 Pro also has a 6.7-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate for incredibly smooth operation, and a 4x optical zoom lens for truly amazing images.

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Carriers aren’t the only place you’ll find a bargain in the Galaxy S22 series. Amazon has discounts on all configurations available right now, with discounts of up to $200 depending on which one you pick up. There are bigger discounts on the more expensive ones, but even the base model of the Galaxy S22 with 128GB of storage is $100 off now, with the S22 Plus models seeing even bigger savings. You can also buy the S22 series phone directly from Samsung with up to $700 per trade-in.

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Since the iPhone SE is so affordable, you can even trade in your old one for cash on the iPhone 13 series device at Apple. As for picking up to $600 per trade-in, you could get one of the latest iPhone models for less than $99. Carrier also works the Apple way if you prefer to build your phone that way.


Score as much as $900 on your Galaxy Z Flip 4 preorder with a direct trade-in to Samsung and get a storage upgrade at no extra cost. You can also get up to $200 in Samsung credit with bundles of Buds 2 Pro and Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro with Z Flip 4 .


Score as much as $1,000 off your Galaxy Z Fold 4 preorder with trade-in direct to Samsung and get a free upgrade at no extra cost. You can also get up to $300 in Samsung credit with bundles of Buds 2 Pro and Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro with Z Fold 4 .

Carrier phone deals

Contract carriers as we know them may not be around anymore, but these newer phones from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are similar in many ways. With a monthly credit bill, in many cases you can get next to nothing, but the stipulation is that you remain a customer for a set period of time while you receive the credits, otherwise you are liable. the remaining costs and potential are more dependent on the carrier. Additionally, some carriers only allow you to use these features on certain plans, which tend to be some of the more expensive 5G plans, so make sure you understand the monthly costs associated with switching before using that “free phone.” deal, see proscribed.

Read more: Cheap Phone plans, Alliance

The budget-focused Apple iPhone SE is available for the low price of $0 at Verizon with the new line on an unlimited data plan. The deal is applied to the 64GB model and the discount is applied via monthly credit card. You can set up a storage facility of a few bucks per month.

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You can pick up an iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Mini for free at Verizon thanks to up to $800 in trade-in credits. Better yet, you can even trade in an old or damaged phone and still be eligible for the rebate. iPhone 13 Pro models are also eligible for up to $800 with a trade-in. A 5G Do More, 5G Play More or 5G Plus Unlimited plan is required. Switchers also receive a $200 bonus.


Trade in your old Galaxy phone to AT&T and get a $1,000 Galaxy Z Fold 4 preorder. Telephone dealers can be from any year and from any condition. Better yet, customers who preorder AT&T will get a free storage bump — meaning more storage space — plus a free Samsung case.

With this promotion, you can get the Galaxy Z Fold 4 for just $800 on pre-order and you can get the 512GB model for that price instead of the 256GB model. The credit covers $1,000 per 36-month period, and if the service is completed before 36 months, you will have to pay the remaining balance. Also, be aware that the lenders below start with three bills and require you to pay all taxes and associated fees on the retail price.


Trade in your old phone to AT&T and get $1,000 off your Galaxy Z Flip 4 preorder. You’ll also get a free plan of storage there during this pre-order period, meaning you can get a 256GB copy for free on a simply unlimited plan.

James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile is offering new customers a great way to save on the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 Pro Max right now with a trade-in credit of up to $800 toward a new device in the new lineup.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Looking for the latest Google smartphone? If so, T-Mobile has some great deals on both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro right now, with discounts ranging from $150 to $501 based on your current trade-in. If you’re a current T-Mobile subscriber, you can save between $150 and $300 on either device with a trade-in as old as the iPhone 6; and those who transfer their number to T-Mobile will get more than $500 off the Pixel 6 Pro.

Essentials, Magenta or Magenta Max, you will need to qualify for the discount. Credits come in the form of 24 monthly billing credits. If you cancel or transfer service before 24 months, you will be responsible for the balance.


Released in March 2022, the iPhone SE (3rd Gen) offers a familiar design with enhanced internals. Those looking to stick with Touch ID and have a phone that isn’t three years old, this is their best bet. T-Mobile is offering new and existing customers up to $400 off an iPhone SE with a trade-in, but new customers without a phone can still trade in up to $215 off.

Credits are extended over the thirty-third period, but must be an Essentials, Magenta or Magenta Max plan to qualify.


If you don’t need the latest and greatest, buying a slightly older iPhone model is a great way to save more money without making an unreasonable sacrifice. The iPhone 12 offers a lot of great features and is still definitely worth buying in 2022, especially since you can shell out as much as $730 for one. To get the maximum discount, you’ll need to add a new service line to an eligible plan, but existing customers can still save between $100 and $400 on their purchase with a convenient trade-in.

T-Mobile requires customers to be on an Essential, Magenta or Magenta Max plan to qualify and split the bill over a 24-month period.

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