What are the best Black Friday cell phone deals in 2021?

Black Friday phone deals offer the best opportunity all year round to bag a bargain on any number of coveted devices. Regardless of whether you’re on team Apple or team Android, there are going to be fantastic options throughout this month. Follow this guide on how to choose the best phone deal for you!

How do you plan to buy your phone?

This is one of the most important decisions when purchasing your new device. Do you plan to buy it outright and pair it with a SIM-only deal? If so, the Black Friday period is going to be perfect for you.

What deal do you want?

If you want to save money, you’ll be able to do that on Black Friday, but how about some freebies instead?

For example, if you bought a Sony Xperia XZ over Black Friday 2017 from Virgin Mobile, you got a free Sony PS4 Slim and a copy of FIFA 2021. That’s a pretty tasty bonus.

Maybe you want to get some extras alongside your average phone deal instead of saving money, and if you wish that, you’ll likely have to wait until next month to upgrade your phone.

How long should you wait?

Our best advice is to do your research around the phone you want to buy, and then decide how much money you want to save. As we’ve said, not all devices will go on sale over the period, but we’d expect to see slightly older devices to get the best discounts.

If you know in your mind exactly how much you’d be willing to spend, you can know when to hit the buy button when the significant sales period comes around. If you don’t see any deals that take your fancy and your current phone is still OK, there’s always the Boxing Day sales period too. 

We’ve put together this handy guide to Black Friday phone deals to tell you everything you need to know, save you some hard-earned cash, and score you the suitable device.

While there are already a few retailers and carriers here and there launching their Black Friday sales (which we’ve listed below), we would expect the vast majority to launch their best prices at the end of the month.

Expect huge discounts on unlocked devices, significant trade-in rebates from the top carriers, and maybe even a newly released iPhone flagship.

This year does bring a factor we haven’t seen over Black Friday before – stock issues. A few essential devices are struggling with both stock and delivery dates., which means if you see a deal you like, it is worth grabbing it straight away.

Retailers and carriers are releasing cell phone offer ahead of Black Friday. Here are several worth checking out:

  • Target shoppers can get a $200 Target gift card and free Galaxy Buds 2 headphones with online purchase of an unlocked 128GB Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G phone through Nov. 13.
  • Verizon’s deals include up to $1,000 off the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max with device trade-in on a new line. Customers switching to Verizon can get up to $1,000 as a bonus. The deal ends on Nov. 17.
  • Save up to $600 on select unlocked Motorola phones at Best Buy now, including the 256GB Motorola Edge for $599.99 ($100 savings).
  • Best Buy is also offering up to $900 in savings on the iPhone 13 Pro with qualified activation and trade-in of an iPhone 11 or newer, and up to $725 in savings on the iPhone 13 with qualified activation and trade-in of an iPhone 8 or newer.
  • AT&T’s early deals on Apple phones include up to $800 off the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max and a free iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini — all require a trade-in.
  • AT&T has the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G for free and up to $700 off the Google Pixel 6 Pro with trade-in on a qualifying plan for a limited time. The carrier also offers the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G with a silicone case for free with an eligible trade-in until Nov. 18.
  • T-Mobile has the Google Pixel 6 for free with a trade-in on the Magenta Max plan for a limited time.

How to decide if it’s worth it

Supply issues are unlikely to improve any time soon, so Black Friday cell phone deals are worth pursuing. As you shop, ask yourself two key questions: “Does the purchase price fit my budget?” and “Do I qualify for the deal?”

With cell phone offers, the devil is often in the details. The model and condition of the device you trade in could prevent you from getting the maximum advertised savings. Or you may be excluded from a deal if you’re with the wrong carrier or a bad plan. Make sure to read the fine print to better set expectations.

How to budget for a cell phone

A new phone may be one of the most significant Black Friday purchases you make. Compare device and data plan prices across different carriers, so you don’t end up paying more than you have to.

An installment plan, which breaks up the cost of a phone into smaller monthly payments, can make the expense more manageable. There are other ways to work the purchase into your budget: Try using a rewards credit card or cash-back app to get a deal.