Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the very best days for upgrading your smartphone. Many cell phone retailers, both big and small, offer heavily discounted devices during these peak pre-holiday shopping events. You can usually score decent discounts on even the newest smartphones — and even heavier discounts on models that are only a year or two old.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an iPhone loyalist, a Samsung lover, and prefer a different Android device (the Google Pixel is also an extremely good phone, for example). Chances are the phone of your dreams can be bought for less than its normal price over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here’s a quick rundown of the best deals we were able to find for 2021.
What to Expect From Black Friday Cell Phone Sales
Cell phones are one of the most popular and sought-after items every year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s no wonder, either, since the top-end smartphones retail for upwards of $1,000 these days. So even a modest 10-to-15 percent discount could save you hundreds of dollars.
The best Black Friday deals are usually on phone models that are at least a year old. Unfortunately, the just-released iPhone and Galaxy models don’t often see major discounts. You’ll be able to find these deals at retailers like Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. Or, if you prefer, you can often find good deals directly from wireless carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
A Look Back at Last Black Friday
While not all 2021 Black Friday deals have been officially announced yet, we can get a good idea of what to expect by looking back at the deals from last year. That way you’re well-informed and totally prepared for when midnight hits on November 25.
To get a stronger sense of the discounts you’ll probably find on Black Friday 2021, here’s some of the best deals from a year ago.
In 2020, a couple of Best Buy deals got major attention. For starters, the iPhone SE was available unlocked for $469.98. This bundle also included a Mint SIM and a screen protector, along with three free months of service from Mint Mobile. Moreover, when you activated the phone, you got an additional three months of service.
On the less-expensive side of things, Best Buy also had major deals on phones marketed primarily towards seniors. You could save up to 50 percent on GreatCall phones, including the Lively Flip cell phone for just $49.99 and the Jitterbug Smart2 Prepaid smartphone for $74.99.
This year, you’re likely to see similar discounts for iPhone models that are over a year old. That means the iPhone 11, second generation iPhone SE, and maybe even the iPhone 12 Mini. On the Android front, look for discounts on the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and Galaxy S21 Ultra. The OnePlus 8 and 8T series could also be heavily discounted to make more room for the newer OnePlus 9 models.
Last year, Walmart had 48 hours straight of cell phone deals, known as their 2-Day Wireless Event. You can expect similar deals in 2021. Here’s a list of the greatest deals from last year:
- Apple iPhone SE for $199, a $150 discount.
- Apple iPhone XR for $299, a $100 discount.
- Receive a $450 e-gift card when activating an Apple iPhone XS or XS Max with AT&T or Verizon.
- Receive a $450 e-gift card when activating an Apple iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max.
- Receive a $400 e-gift card when activating an Apple iPhone 11.
- Samsung Galaxy S10e for $399, a $200 discount.
- Samsung Galaxy A51 for $199, a $200 discount.
- Samsung Galaxy A11 for $99, a $150 discount.
- Receive a $500 e-gift card when activating a Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra 5G.
- Receive a $500 e-gift card when activating a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G online.
- Motorola Moto E for $40, a $59 discount.
This year, Walmart is already posting some of their wireless deals online. The iPhone XR, iPhone SE, Galaxy A12, Galaxy A42, and Galaxy A32 are all once again available for cheaper than normal.
Big box retailers aren’t the only places to score discount phones on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The major American telecom companies all hold sales of their own for the busiest shopping weekend of the year. While you can still technically buy the devices themselves from the likes of AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile, you’ll get a better deal when you couple a new phone with a monthly service plan.
You can get cash-back, zero-financing payment plans, or even free phones, depending on what sort of service plan and commitment you’re willing to make to these wireless providers. Expect them to announce even more deals as Black Friday and Cyber Monday get closer.
Some of the early highlights we’ve seen are $800 off the iPhone 13 Pro Max with eligible trade-in from AT&T and the up to $1,000 to pay off your old phone if you switch to Verizon or $500 discount if you bring your own phone.
How to Find the Latest Black Friday Cell Phone Deals
You don’t have to be part of the chaotic midnight crowds to score the best Black Friday cell phone deal. Just stay in your pajamas and shop online. Check out the sites of major retailers and wireless providers in the days right before Black Friday. They will be updated with the latest and greatest deals and offers.
Just spend a bit of time researching which cell phone you’re looking to buy. Then start comparing sale prices to find the best deal (don’t forget to factor in the cost of your monthly service plan too). Then, just make sure you’re willing to pull the trigger when the sales go live. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are often only available “while quantities last.” So, don’t miss out on your dream phone by not being prepared.