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Best cell phone deals in September 2021

Cell phone deals
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Cell phone deals are easy to find these days. Whether you're looking for unlocked phones, prepaid phones, or the best cheap phones worth buying, retailers have made it easier than ever to score cheap cell phone deals any time of the year. 

However, when shopping for cell phone deals it's important to first figure out what kind of deal you want. Sales generally fall into three categories: locked phones, prepaid phones, and those tied to a carrier. You'll pay more out of pocket for the former, but the other two options essentially tie you down to one carrier. 

To help you find the best sales, we're rounding up the best cell phone deals for every kind of user. From the latest iPhone 12 to the budget friendly Google Pixel, here are the best cell phone deals right now. 

Best cell phone deals right now

Carrier cell phone deals

Galaxy Z Fold 3: up to $1,500 off w/ trade-in @ Verizon
Samsung's hottest new phone is already on sale. As part of Verizon's cell phone deals — you can get up to $1,000 off when you add a new line, trade-in your old phone, and buy the Galaxy Z Fold 3 on an Unlimited Plan. New customers who switch to Verizon and pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will get an extra $500 to help cover the cost of switching. Meanwhile, existing customers can get up to $500 off when you buy a Galaxy Z Fold 3 and trade in your old smartphone. View Deal

iPhone 12: $1,500 off w/ trade-in @ Verizon
At Verizon, trade-in your current phone and sign up for an Unlimited plan to get up to $1,000 off any new iPhone. It's one of the hottest cell phone deals we've seen from Verizon. Or buy one iPhone 12 at normal price, and get up to $1,000 off the cost of another. View Deal

Galaxy S21: up to $1,100 off w/ trade-in + Unlimited @ Verizon
Verizon has a few Galaxy S21 deals up its sleeve. Switch to Verizon, trade-in an eligible phone, and sign up for an Unlimited plan to get up to $800 off any Galaxy S21. Alternatively, buy any S21 phone and  sign up for Verizon's Do More, Play More, or Get More Unlimited Plans and you'll get a $300 prepaid MasterCard. Combined, you could save up to $1,100 off your new phone.View Deal

iPhone 12 mini: free w/ trade-in + new line @ AT&T
New and existing customers can get the iPhone 12 mini purple for free with trade-in of an old phone and the opening of a new Unlimited plan. That's the best offer we've seen for Apple's newest phone from AT&T.View Deal

iPhone SE: was $399 now free @ Verizon
Verizon has one of the best cell phone deals we've seen to date. The mobile carrier is offering the iPhone SE for free with eligible unlimited data plan. If you need more data, the 128GB model is $5/month, whereas the 256GB model is just $10/month. View Deal

Pixel 5a: up to $702 off @ Google Store
The Google Store is offering up to $702 off its Pixel 5a when you trade in your old device. Eligible phones include those from Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and OnePlus. Trade in an iPhone SE and you'll get you a $167 credit, whereas a Pixel 4 can score you a $122 credit. The Pixel 5a releases on August 26.View Deal

Samsung Galaxy S21: was $799 now $499 @ Best Buy
The Galaxy S21 is a great Android phone for the price, and now the Editor's Choice phone is even better, thanks to an epic price cut. The phone features a 6.2-inch FHD screen, IP68 water resistance, and a strong 9-hour battery life. The Phantom Grey 128GB model is available for $499, which is $300 off. If you want the S21 Plus or the S21 Ultra, you can get them for $699 and $899 respectively, which is also a pretty sweet deal. Just note that they’re locked to T-Mobile.View Deal

Unlocked cell phone deals

Galaxy S20 FE: was $699 now $549 @ Amazon
The Galaxy S20 FE is an inexpensive version of the Galaxy S20. It sports a 6.5-inch AMOLED (2400 x 1080) 120Hz LCD, Snapdragon 865 CPU, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The CPU and fast-refreshing display are the same you'd get with the regular S20, but the S20 FE costs less.View Deal

Unlocked Galaxy S21: was $799 now $749 @ Amazon
If you're looking for an affordable cell phone deal — the buck stops with the base Galaxy S21 config. It packs a 6.2-inch 120Hz adaptive display, Snapdragon 888 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 10MP front camera. You also get 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP telephoto rear camera lenses. This unlocked model is now $50 off at Amazon. View Deal

Unlocked Moto G Power: was $249 now $219 @ Amazon
The Moto G Power has the best battery life we've ever seen in a smartphone, lasting an epic 16 hours in our testing. You also get a 6.4-inch full HD screen, solid Snapdragon 665 performance and a capable triple camera system.View Deal

Unlocked Galaxy S21 Plus: was $999 now $899 @ Amazon
The Galaxy S21 Plus is one of our favorite flagship phones. It packs a 6.7-inch 120Hz adaptive display, Snapdragon 888 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 10MP front camera. You also get 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP telephoto rear camera lenses. Amazon is knocking its price down to $899.99. View Deal

Unlocked OnePlus 8 Pro: was $899 now $849 @ Amazon
The OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best phones out there. Amazon has the 256GB model (unlocked) on sale. You can expect top performance from the Snapdragon 865 processor, fast charging, and solid photos from the four rear cameras.View Deal

Unlocked Galaxy Z Fold 2: was $1,799 now $899 w/ trade-in @ Samsung
Samsung's flagship foldable phone is $300 off in this epic cell phone deal from Samsung. Currently, when you buy a new Galaxy Z Fold 2 and trade in an eligible device, you'll get up to $300 off the Galaxy Z Fold 2. The Galaxy Z Fold 2 features a main 7.6-inch 120Hz display, 6.2-inch 60Hz cover display, Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and three 12MP rear camera lenses. View Deal

Unlocked Galaxy Z Flip 5G: was was $1,199 now $949 @ Amazon
If the Z Fold 2's foldable tablet display isn't for you, then maybe the foldable flip phone design is instead. The 6.7-inch AMOLED display is powered by a Snapdragon 865+, and comes with 8GB of RAM, a 3,300 mAh battery, and 256GB of storage.View Deal

Moto e (PrePaid): was $99 now $55 @ Walmart
If spending hundreds of dollars on a phone, whatever the reason, check the Moto e from Straight Talk. They've made this cheap phone even cheaper, and what you get isn't too bad. It has a 13MP dual camera, 32GB of storage, a 6.2-inch HD display, a 3,550 mAh battery, along with a Snapdragon 632 processor and 2GB of RAM.View Deal

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.