Smartphones. Everyone has one, and most people are on the lookout for a new one at some point - but no-one ever wants to pay full price. For instance, the latest iPhone XS costs a cool £999 for the cheapest model.
This means it’s becoming even more important for people to find the best possible deals – whether on contract to spread the cost of the handset or SIM-free where you save on long-term costs.
But not all deals are good deals. Retailers will sometimes take advantage of sales hysteria and push discounts that aren’t any better than the rest of their year-round prices. That’s why we are collecting all the genuinely best deals and offering our expert buying advice to make sure you don’t get ripped off.
If you're studying, also see our article on the best phone contracts for students.
Best phone deals right now
Huawei Mate 20 X with free Huawei M-Pen and Smart View Flip Cover
Now: £499.99 (£300 off)
What phone should I buy?
Which phone is best? The answer lies in how you use your phone, your budget and what you're looking to get out of your phone. Tech Advisor has a number of buying guides to help you decide the best way forward. We've outlined some of the key points and what to expect out of each buying guide below.
If you’re looking for deals on the best smartphone on the market there are a few things you may need to consider. First off, should you buy an iPhone or an Android? Should you buy unlocked or on a pay-monthly plan? And also, how do you choose the right SIM?
Of course, the best phones on the market will often have premium prices too. Samsung Galaxy phones and iPhones may seem like the top choice but if you’re on a budget there are tonnes of other powerful options out there for less-than-premium prices too (see the best Chinese phones guide below, as an example).
Chinese phones can be powerful, often with dual-SIM support, and at competitive prices. On the flip side, these phones may be difficult to return if there are any issues and you may need to pay an import duty. A lot of the times, Chinese phones are sold in the UK via grey-market retailers, which may need cautious navigation. You can see all the pros and cons in our 'Best Chinese phones for 2019' article.
We also have a round-up of the best budget Chinese phones of 2019
Buying a secondhand or refurbished phone is another way to score a great deal, oftentimes on premium handsets like the iPhone. Our colleagues over at Macworld UK have looked into the best way to buy a secondhand iPhone in this guide.
Amazon has its own certified refurbished store where you can find the iPhone X, 8, 6, 6s and also Samsung Galaxy S9, S8 and S7 phones. See all Amazon-certified refurbished phone deals here.
The latest iPhone now touts dual-SIM compatibility but there are plenty of other phones that offer this feature for much less. Our guide on the best dual-SIM phones goes through what to look for before you go ahead and buy such a device; such as what SIM sizes are supported and if both SIMs are 4G-compatible.
Our guide also looks into the difference between dual-standby and dual-active SIM support. This affects whether or not you can actively receive calls from both SIMs at the same time.
If you’re after a phone (or phablet) with a big screen then this guide is worth checking out. Phablets are defined by their large displays and are ideal for those who enjoy media, whether it's watching a lot of video or gaming on the go. They often have high capacity batteries to support their large screens and should ideally sport complimentary high resolution to match.
Our article shortlists the best large-screened phones on the market right now.
If you’re looking for a phone which will let you do the basics – call, text and browse minimally – you can find several phones for less than £50 with cheap monthly rates too. Our article goes through what you can expect in terms of specifications, storage, audio and camera quality from a basic smartphone.
If you’re looking for a phone for your child instead, there are few other things to consider (such as waterproofing!). Our guide details what sort of specs to look for (does it support casual gaming and YouTube, for instance?) and the ideal amount of storage the phone should support for your tot to be happy.
What phone deals are available?
This year we are seeing great deals for the Galaxy S8. It is a remarkable phone alongside the larger S8 Plus. Retailers such as Carphone Warehouse often have deals on the handsets, so keep your eyes peeled, and Amazon sells it SIM-free at a very attractive price.
Samsung currently has a trade-in programme where you can get up to £200 off when you buy a S8/S8+. Get Samsung's trade-in offer here.
While Apple itself doesn’t often offer discounts, following the launch of the iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR, the price of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 has dropped by £100. If you're not interesting in dishing out at least £449, it’s always worth checking contract prices with retailers like Carphone Warehouse and the major networks, who often offer competitive bargains to lure in lucrative iPhone buyers.
Carphone also has significant savings on budget and mid-range handsets from the likes of Nokia, Motorola, LG and more. Motorola’s excellent Moto G5 has had money off a few times this year, as have other mid-rangers, getting you the Android experience at a heavily discounted rate.
If you're looking to buy a phone outright, rather than on contract, Amazon has some of the biggest bargains, but make sure you check the specs carefully - third-party sellers sometimes use Amazon to shift international stock, which may vary slightly from what you find in UK stores.
If you find that you’re missing out on Amazon’s Lightning deals, which run for just a few hours and offer limited stock, we'd recommend signing up for Amazon's 30-day free trial of Prime, which will get you access to deals 30 minutes before everyone else. Plus, you'll get free next-day delivery with the Prime trial, as well as access to Prime Instant Video and more.
Sign up for Prime now.
Best Phone Deals September 2019
1. Motorola Moto G7
Now: £219.99 (£19 off)
2. OnePlus 7 Pro (Nebula Blue, 12GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £693 (£106 off)
Save over £100 on the top-tier 12GB RAM SKU of the OnePlus 7 Pro in Nebula Blue, which also happens to sit at the top our best phone chart.
3. Huawei Mate 20 X with free Huawei M-Pen and Smart View Flip Cover
Now: £499.99 (£300 off)
Make the most of Huawei's super-sized Mate 20 X phablet, complete with a free flip cover, M-Pen stylus and a serious £300 discount. Read our full review.
4. Apple iPhone XS
Now: £949 (£50 off)
Shave £50 off the price of a 64GB iPhone XS in silver, gold or Space Grey with this fresh Amazon deal. If you need convincing, why not read our review?
5. Samsung Galaxy S9
Now: £435 (£304 off)
Get a huge amount off the S9 right now. It might be one generation old but it's still a great phone. Read our review.
6. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
From: Currys PC World
Now: £499.99 (£400 off)
Get a hefty amount of this superb Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which was £899 not long ago.
7. Samsung Galaxy A50
Now: £274 (£35 off)
Knock £35 off this excellent 128GB Samsung Galaxy A50 in Coral, courtesy of Amazon. You'll also find discounts on the phone's other colourways, but not by quite so much.
8. Apple iPhone 7
Now: £409 (£40 off)
Get the iPhone 7 with 32GB storage for less than Apple's price from Amazon.
9. Honor 20 Lite
Now: £219.99 (£30 off)
An already excellent affordable Honor with a versatile triple camera gets a solid discount. Read our review.