Mi 11 Ultra
6.5-inch screenWe've rounded up the latest mobile phone deals to help you find and compare the best prices right now.
With new smartphones launching every week, and stiff competition between the biggest manufacturers and contract providers, there are often great mobile phone deals to be had on the most expensive handsets (including Samsung and iPhone). Whether you choose a pay-as-you-go, a Sim-free deal, or just want a cheap contract or to buy a handset now, we'll show you some of the best deals around.
When looking for the best mobile phone deal, you need to decide whether to buy a new phone on contract, or pay for the phone outright and buy a Sim separately (and then you'll need to navigate the various deals from Sky, Tesco, Vodafone and more). Our mobile phone deals service does all the heavy lifting for you.
Today's bargain hunt reveals that you can get an iPhone 12 at a decent discount. Now the iPhone 13s have arrived, it's definitely a series worth keeping an eye on.
We like: Lovely display
We don’t like: Short-charge battery life isn't the best
It's rare to find a discount on an iPhone, especially this latest 5G version, but you can get a great deal on this model now since the iPhone 13 series has come out. It has some fancy features including waterproofing and wireless charging, plus it's the first iPhone range to come 5G ready. See if it matches up to its impressive specs by reading our
The current cheapest deal for a Sim-free version of the iPhone 12 with 64GB of storage is £679.
We like: Stunning display
We didn't like: Short-charge battery life isn't the best
While it's not much off the full price, if you want more space for an iPhone purchase, it's worth jumping on this deal currently running where you can get an Apple iPhone 12 Pro with 256GB for the price of 128GB. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro has really good cameras as well as waterproofing. To tally it up with its specs check out our .
Android phones have a number of attractive discounts on handsets now – proving you don't need to spend a fortune on a big brand.
We like: Easy to use
We didn’t like: Slow fingerprint scanner
The Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G has a pretty huge 6.7-inch Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display (3200 x 1440). It comes with 12GB of Ram and 128GB of storage, but if you need more space, this can be expanded by up to 1TB with a micro-SD card. Check our for the full test results.
You can currently buy it for £743 instead of £999.
We like: Easy to use
We didn't like: Not waterproof
The cheapest 5G phone in Xiaomi’s Mi 11 range. This version has 128GB of internal storage (106GB after the bloatware) and a micro-SD card slot for adding on more. It’s powered by a hefty processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G with 8GB of Ram, and a 4,520mAh battery. Like other phones in the range, it has a large OLED screen (this one measures 6.6-inches).
We like: Fast charging, easy to use
We didn't like: Battery could be better
Unlike the A52 5G model, the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G has a quicker Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor. You can buy it with 128GB or 256 GB of storage, but there is a Micro-SD card slot if you want to increase this later. The OLED screen is bright and easy to read in all light conditions, including bright sunshine. Available in four colours, the Samsung A52s 5G also has an easy to use camera system that comes with settings such as pro video, portrait mode and in-built image stabilisation for taking photos in low-lit situations.
We like: Budget and user friendly
We didn't like: Not waterproof
As the cheapest best buy of 2021, it packs a punch. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 860 processor with 6GB of RAM. You get 105GB to use out of the 128GB of internal storage and there’s a slot for a micro-SD card if you want to add on more. It’s rare to find a display with a 120Hz refresh rate in a premium phone, let alone one this cheap. Combined with the high resolution and brightness, it shows off videos beautifully.
We like: A feature packed flagship from Samsung
We didn't like: Slow charging
Equipped with a more powerful processor, the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G has 128GB of internal storage, but this can’t be extended, as Samsung has done away with the micro-SD card slot. It’s also missing a headphone jack, so you’ll need to use an adaptor with wired earphones. Additionally, being IP68 certified, it’s dustproof and waterproof (up to six metres deep for up to 30 minutes).
We like: Sturdy foldable design
We didn't like: Cameras could be better
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 is an improvement over its predecessor, and certainly feels like it's sturdy enough to avoid the issues that have plagued foldable devices in the past. Though it's still somewhat of a novelty, if the design appeals you could be pleased with your investment – though there are sacrifices to be made elsewhere for this sort of innovation.
We like: Looks and feels utterly premium
We didn't like: Slow to charge
Like the S21 and S21+, the S21 Ultra has Samsung’s ultra-fast Exynos 2100 processor. It also has a bigger 5,000mAh battery. It's featured-packed as you'd expect from a flagship phone, with a large 6.8-inch OLED screen and plenty of cameras. Still pricey, but being such a new phone, a £250 saving is not to be sniffed at.
We like: Large., attractive display
We didn't like: Low sound quality in busy environments
OnePlus’s flagship 5G phone of 2021, runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 8GB of RAM and is packed with a versatile array of cameras. It is also waterproof due to its IP68 certification. Read our for the full test results.
We like: Excellent battery life
We don't like: Camera quality is lacking
This budget camera runs on the Snapdragon 750G chipset from Qualcomm and 8GB of Ram, and for the zippiest connection you can get, it's 5G compatible. It's an entry-level phone at a tantasingly low price right now.
We like: High spec for the price
We didn't like: Poor speaker quality
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor with 8GB of RAM and has 128GB of internal storage (or 109GB after the bloatware), the Oppo Find X3 Lite 5G is an entry-level phone with 5G connectivity. It offers a headphone jack, so no need for an adapter and its easy to navigate.
We like: A tidy mid-range performer
We didn't like: No 5G connectivity
This is the 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy's S20 FE mobile phone, powered by Samsung's Exynos 990 processor with 6GB of RAM. You get 128GB of storage, and 103GB usable space upon purchase. Equipped with a tri-camera combination, and certified IP68 waterproofing, it's not as premium as Samsung's flagship S-range, but is a versatile enough phone that'll make you a tidy saving.
We like: A versatile powerhouse
We didn't like: Quick-charging could be better
The Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G is one of this year's flagship models and it shows, with a vibrant 6.7-inch display and sleek, premium design. It's powerful as well, with Samsung's Exynos 2100 processor and 8GB of Ram - so should be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. To find out how it scored in our tough tests, read our .
We like: Quick to charge, vibrant display
We don't like: Cameras and speakers aren't good
We estimate that this entry-level phone will be supported with software updates for another 21 months. Its bright OLED screen is ideal for streaming media and its battery should give you plenty of juice, lasting around seven and a half years.
We like: long battery life
We don't like: unimpressive camera
There are a lot of features you might be willing to drop for a price like this, but though the Realme 8 is entry-level, it isn't feature-spare. It comes with 4GB of RAM and its front camera is a generous 16Mp, while it boasts a triple-lens on the back for different photo styles.
If you're buying a phone outright, you'll need a Sim card to go with it. Here's our pick of some of the best low, medium and high data deals doing the rounds in the sales.
You shouldn’t pay for data you don’t need, so if you’re a particularly light user opt for a cheap monthly contract that gives you the ability to switch around as circumstances change. Here are some of the highlights:
Lebara Mobile – . Lebara is offering 1GB for half price for the first six months on a rolling monthly contract, with 250 minutes. Stretch to £2.49 and you get 3GB and unlimited minutes as part of a range of low-cost options on a similar six month deal. Lebara’s customers weren’t entirely satisfied with all aspects of its service in our regular survey. Read our for more.
Plusnet Mobile - This is a 30-day rolling contract Sim that includes unlimited minutes and texts but not 5G data. If you're a Plusnet Broadband customer, you get an extra 2GB of data. The price will increase in March 2022, so you would have to check if it's still a good deal in a few months time.
Smarty Mobile – . This looks like a great deal – but it’s a Black Friday promotion that gives half price for the first three months of the contract, after which you’ll pay £7, which isn’t quite as appealing. Read our for more.
Sky Mobile – . Though you have to sign up for a 12 month contract with Sky to get this deal, it’s still worth considering. Sky’s Piggybank allows you to roll over any unused data for up to three years, which you can use to top up your monthly bundle any time you’re running low. Read our to see how it fared in our survey.
If you use your mobile data fairly frequently but don’t require large amounts of data for data-intense activities such as HD downloading or streaming, then these deals could be suitable. Here are some of the highlights:
Lebara Mobile - . Lebara is offering 10GB for half price for the first six months on a rolling monthly contract, with unlimited minutes. Lebara also offers 15GB of data and unlimited minutes for £4.99 per month, as part of a range of low-cost options on a similar six month deal. However, price isn’t everything when it comes to the right mobile provider. Lebara’s customers weren’t entirely satisfied with all aspects of its service in our regular survey. Read our for more.
Plusnet Mobile - . This deal is available as a rolling monthly contract or a 12 month fixed contract, and includes unlimited minutes but not 5G data. The price will increase in March 2022, so you would have to check if it's still a good deal in a few months time. It includes the option to double your data for £1. Our shows how real customers rate it.
iD Mobile - . If you’re looking at the higher data range of medium data deals, this offering from iD Mobile could suit. The deal includes unlimited minutes and data rollover, which reduces wasted data. This is the better option of iD’s low and medium data Black Friday deals, as the other is £7 per month for 10GB. Read our to see if it's worth considering.
High data deals are ideal for ravenous data users who need lots of data for continuous connectivity, downloading, streaming and hotspot usage. The larger data deals are likely to require a 12 month contract, so consider how committed you want to be, and how much data you are actually likely to use. These are some highlights:
Smarty Mobile - . Half price for 3 months, after which you’ll be paying £10 per month. This is not ideal, but you can cancel at any time, so you could get three months of cheap data then shop around for a new deal. Includes unlimited minutes but not 5G data. Read our for more.
iD Mobile - . This deal includes unlimited minutes and data rollover, which reduces wasted data. This deal is only available as a 12 month contract, so you will be more committed to it than some of the other deals available. Read our to see if it's worth considering.
O2 Mobile - . This deal offers a huge amount of data, unlimited minutes and is only available as a 12 month contract. If 100GB still isn’t enough, you can pay £20 per month and get 250GB of data. These high data deals from 02 come with 3 months of free access to Disney+. If you use Virgin Media broadband, you may be able to get double the amount of data (for 100GB deal) or unlimited data (for 250GB deal). Read our to see how customers rate it.
A key question will be whether you buy outright or on contract. How much each will cost overall can be difficult to work out – use our calculator below to discover the best deal for you.
With a traditional pay-monthly contract, you pay a fixed minimum monthly fee by direct debit, which is made up of paying for the phone (usually through a credit agreement, meaning you get credit checked) and the Sim itself, with an allowance of calls, texts and data. You'll have to commit to a period of time, typically two years. Depending on your plan, there may also be an upfront fee, which is something worth considering if you are set on a contract.
There are a few. As mentioned, you may end up paying more overall – you'll need to weigh this up against the appeal of a lower upfront cost.
Pay careful attention to the length of the contract. Most last two years, but some can last three, in order to keep the monthly cost looking attractive. You should also make a note of when your contract ends. Some , even after your contract has been paid off.
If you exceed the minutes, messages or data in your bundle, additional charges can be significant. It's especially important to be aware of this while roaming. Most providers now set a default 'cap' to prevent this, but if you remove it in order to continue using your phone, costs can quickly spiral out of control. For more, read our guide on how to keep track of your minutes and data, and our guide on EU roaming and international calls.
Signal is another consideration. If you know that a particular network is good for your area, you may want to stick with it, but move to a different provider. Or if it isn't, it could be time to move.
Here are the core networks the virtual providers use:
If all else fails, it might be time to switch. Outside the big four – O2, Vodafone, EE and Three – a wide range of operators are now competing for your business, and some of them offer great value for money on Sim-only deals. Switching is easy, and you should be able to keep your old number.
Generally, you'll find the best deals on mobile phones at retailers such as Amazon, Currys and John Lewis, rather than on the manufacturer's website. However, knowing when the best sales are for specific mobile phone brands can be useful if you are trying to find the best deal on a specific model you want.
It's notoriously tricky to bag an iPhone on a budget – even older iPhones don't tend to see too many discounts. They hold their value better than older Androids, so you often see them on the second-hand market.
However, if you look in the right place at the right time you can get some money off. Retailers such as Amazon and Argos occasionally bring their prices down, although you should make sure you're buying a new rather than refurbished phone.
New iPhones usually drop in September, so the end of the year is a good time to look for the previous models, particularly as seasonal Black Friday and Christmas sales roll in.
Apple also offers a trade-in scheme, so you can knock down the price of a new handset slightly if you're upgrading from an older iPhone.
Google launches its flagship phones in October, so it's worth putting a Pixel on your Black Friday shortlist for a double whammy of deals.
You'll see the biggest bargains on older handsets, but even more recent phones can get some early discounts at major retailers such as Laptops Direct and Carphone Warehouse.
If you're after a Samsung Galaxy on a budget, you might be tempted by some of its reasonably priced handsets from its A, J and M ranges. Mid-range models have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and spending £300-£400 can get you a slim, stylish and powerful model that may not look too different from a high-end cousin.
If you have your eyes on the premium prize though, it could be worth holding out for a top-of-the-range Galaxy S or Note series. Samsung's S series usually launch in the first quarter of the year, with the first discounts on the latest handsets beginning in the summer. It's worth keeping an eye out on Amazon Prime Day in July.
Phones in the Note range tend to launch in August, so new models are ripe for a decent discount when Black Friday rolls around. If you miss out, the Boxing Day sales are a good time to buy too.
Deals on phones are more common when they've been out for a little while, but depending on the brand and handset, this could mean they won't be receiving security updates for much longer. Check our security update calculator for models you're interested in buying in our guide to