The Best Times to Save on a New Cellphone

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Man looking at cellphone
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Cellphone carriers like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are constantly offering new deals on both new and older phones. But when do the best deals come out? We show you the best times to buy new (and older) cellphones and whether you should be jumping on deals when new phones launch.

The best time to buy last year’s model

If you don’t need the latest and greatest (and usually most expensive) iPhone or Android phone, then you can get great deals on last year’s model when the newest phones are released. Whenever new phones are launched, whether it be an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy phone or Google Pixel phone, carriers will start offering big discounts on the older models in order to move stock.

In fact, you’ll likely start seeing deals posted about a week to a month prior to new phone launches. Be on the lookout for great deals during these months:

  • February — when the new Samsung Galaxy S phones are launched
  • August — when the Samsung Galaxy Note phones are launched
  • September/October — when the new iPhones are launched
  • October — when new Google Pixel phones are launched

You’ll likely see discounts on all brands — iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, Google Pixels — whenever new phones are launched, even if it’s not the same brand.

Here’s a glance at some of the best offers out there right now.

Samsung Galaxy S9 deals

iPhone X deals

iPhone 8 deals

Best time to buy the newest cellphones

If you want to be the first to get your hands on the latest release, then you want to take advantage of pre-order sales. Pre-orders begin usually within a week of when new phones are announced (see above dates). Depending on the carrier and the phone, you’ll likely see buy one, get one free (BOGO) deals or discounts with trade-ins. BOGO deals can be great if you have a loved one who wants the same phone and you’re fine with them sharing your account. If you’re flying solo, you’ll want to look out for the discounts with trade-in deals.

There are awesome deals during the pre-order periods — Sprint offered the iPhone XS for free in 2018 during the pre-order period for new customers who leased the phone.

If you miss the pre-order sales, which only last for about a week, don’t worry. Carriers will usually have other deals available throughout the year, but it’s just harder to predict the timing.

iPhone XS Deals

iPhone XR Deals

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Deals

Samsung Galaxy S10e Deals

Samsung Galaxy S10 Deals

Samsung Galaxy S10+ Deals

What you need to know about cellphone deals

One thing to note is that you’ll usually need to switch carriers or add at least one new line to your existing account to get in on the very best deals. Carriers will also offer different discounts/deals to existing customers who want to upgrade their phone. You may also need to sign up for the carrier’s monthly installment plan or a Sprint Flex Lease to be eligible for these offers.

Luckily, switching cellphone providers is easier than ever now that our plans don’t lock us into contracts. The one thing you need to be careful about is switching phones before you have finished paying off your current phone with your current provider. If you cancel your plan with them and switch to another carrier, you’ll receive a final bill with the remaining balance on your phone.

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