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6 November 2020

Best mobile phone deals

Looking for a bargain on a mobile phone? Our experts have hand-picked the best iPhone and Android mobile phone deals.
best mobile phone deals
Alice Williams

Deals updated: 2 November 2020

Savvy shoppers know that buying a Sim-free phone outright will often save you money in the long term, compared with a mobile phone contract.

With new smartphones launching every week, and stiff competition between the biggest manufacturers, there are often great deals to be had on the most expensive handsets.

Flash sales may look like they're worth spending your money on, but with a few tricks such as choosing the right time of year and the right place to buy, you can save hundreds of pounds on your next phone. 

We've done the heavy lifting for you – read on to see our expert picks, and tips on finding your own.

Looking for a phone on contract? Read our guide to finding the best mobile phone contract deals.

Best mobile phone deals this month

This month's bargain hunt has turned up a range of options, from flagship devices that have dropped in price, to lower-priced models that we think are a bit of a bargain. Read on for our pick of the best.

1. Samsung S10 5G

  • Super-large 6.7-inch AMOLED display
  • 5G ready with four rear and two selfie cameras
  • Nearly £500 off its launch price

Though it's now been superceded, the S10 5G was the jewel in Samsung's crown not so long ago, as a price tag of over £1,000 at launch might suggest. It's still a feature-packed phone even today, and at around half the original price, you might be seriously tempted. Read our Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review to see if it's worth the investment.

Buy now for £603 at Amazon

2. Oppo Find X2 Lite

  • Large 6.4-inch HD+ display 
  • 5G ready and 4 rear cameras three rear cameras
  • Price drop of 26% since June 2020

This mid-price Oppo was already a steal for the specs, with enough added extras to rival a top-of-the-range phone. It doesn't quite have the processing power of the Find X2 Pro, but you do get four rear cameras, 5G and 128GB of storage. Before you buy, see how it fared in our tests by reading the Oppo Find X2 Lite review.

Buy now for £296 at John Lewis

3. Google Pixel 4XL

  • Large 6.3-inch OLED display
  • IP68 waterproofing and two rear cameras
  • More than £200 off the launch price

With the Google Pixel 5 just launched, now is a great time to buy one of Google's two smartphone launches from 2019. The bigger of the two offers two rear cameras, an advanced OLED display and waterproofing up to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes. If this sounds appealing, read our Google Pixel 4L review to see how well it performs.

Buy now for £543 at Argos

4. Apple iPhone 11 Pro

  • 5.2-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display - slightly smaller than the iPhone 11.
  • Three rear cameras
  • Price drop of 16% since its late 2019 launch

Apple is notorious for rarely discounting its top-of-the-range phones, but in the wake of the 12 range launching, deals can be found on the 11 Pro if you know where to look. It's not set up for 5G, though it more than makes up for it with a triple rear camera set up, powerful processor and IP68 waterproofing. Battery life is always a concern with iPhones though, so make sure to read our Apple iPhone 11 Pro review to see if Apple cracked it with this model.

Buy now for £899 at Laptops Direct

Best Sim-only mobile phone deals

We regularly scour the market for the best Sim-only deals available. In the table below you'll find a range of deals based on how much data you expect to use. 

If you're not sure how much data you need, check bills from your previous provider to get an estimate of average usage, and read our guide on how to keep track of your data and minutes.

What are Sim-only deals?

With a Sim-only deal, you'll still get an allowance of calls, texts and data, but the monthly cost will be lower than it would be with a regular pay-monthly mobile contract. This is because you're paying just for a new Sim-card, rather than paying off the cost of a new phone.

From low-cost providers such as ID Mobile and GiffGaff to more established names like EE and O2, Sim-only is an area where competition from providers is high and extremely competitive deals can be found.

What are the advantages of Sim-only deals?

  • Network operators or retailers don't subsidise the cost of a handset
  • Many Sim-only deals have added benefits such as data rollover where any unused data from the previous month is rolled over onto the next month
  • Most Sim-only deals tie you in for either 30-days or 12 months, so are great for those who are looking for a short-term commitment

What are the disadvantages of Sim-only deals?

  • The most obvious drawback to buying a Sim-only deal is that you'll have to provide your own phone.
  • Even if you already own a phone, you may have to pay to get it unlocked if you want to switch your network operator.

Where are the best sales on mobile phones?

Generally, you'll find the best deals on mobile phones at retailers such as Amazon, Currys PC World and John Lewis, rather than on the manufacturer's website. 

When manufacturers do have offers on their devices, the discounts are usually reflected on retailer sites anyway. So you'll either get the same discount or better by shopping around rather than going direct.

Amazon mobile phone deals

Amazon has quickly become a great place to find mobile phone deals, and the Amazon Prime service means you can get faster delivery than you would with other retailers (available with a paid Amazon Prime subscription).

Be careful when shopping around, though. The Amazon marketplace often includes models from third-party sellers that may not come with the same after-sales support you might expect from Amazon. Check carefully to make sure the phone is brand new (unless you're open to refurbished or second-hand devices) and that it's a UK model – international variations of phones often make their way on to marketplaces, which could mean you'll have issues with support from the manufacturer in the UK. 

Best practice is to buy mobile phones that are sold and dispatched by Amazon, as you benefit from Amazon's guarantee.

Argos mobile phone deals

As with most tech items, Argos is a good place to look for deals. Watch out for items marked as 'WOW' or 'Our lowest price ever' – these may sound promising, but aren't always the best price you can find. 

Deals on Argos' website are available while stocks last, so be sure to double check if the phone is in fact available for collection or delivery when you choose to buy from there.

It's also worth checking the Argos eBay store, as you might be able to find stock there that isn't available on the official website, and the deals might be the same.

John Lewis mobile phone deals

As with Argos, deals at John Lewis are available while stocks last. So while you may see a discounted price in Google's search results, the mobile phone you're after might not be available once you're on the website.

The good news is that discounted mobile phones in major retailers such as John Lewis are easy to find in other stores, so if the one you want has sold out, check similar stockists such as Argos or Currys PC World to see if it's available.

John Lewis often has deals on its clearance sale page, so a few minutes of browsing there could save you money.

Currys PC World mobile phone deals

Currys PC World usually has mobile phones on sale, and is another important site to check if you're looking for the best deal. As well as checking its clearance sales, also browse through the full mobile phone listings, as we've seen good deals that don't appear in its curated round-up. 

The website has a handy sort option where you can order the listing by the percentage discount, too.

Manufacturer websites

Although retailers typically have the best deals on offer, there are exceptions to the rule. 

Some brands will shave pounds off their devices exclusively on their sites, or offer bundles with free gifts (eg phone cases or smart watches) for direct purchase, so it doesn't hurt to check on the manufacturer site before hitting 'buy'.

The best time to find mobile phone deals

Although deals and discounts can vary year-round, generally you'll find the best time to buy a handset at a great price is a month or so after its successor has been released. The model you're after will almost always come down in price, despite being scarcely a year old.

Release dates are, of course, subject to change, and you should always do your research before buying, but you can expect new flagship handsets to be released at the following times of year:

  • Apple iPhone September
  • Google Pixel October
  • OnePlus June
  • Samsung Galaxy S April

Other popular handsets are less predictable than the ones listed above, so may need a little extra vigilance. If you're interested in further savings, you could consider avoiding new phones altogether and look at refurbished models instead. Buying refurbished can save you money on a phone that's in great condition, but always ensure the use mobile phone you're buying is still receiving security updates.

See our guides to buying a second-hand or refurbished mobile phone and mobile phone security

How to choose the best mobile phone deal

While Sim-free phones can often save you money in the long run, there's no getting away from the fact that they can be an expensive purchase, especially if you want a flagship model from one of the big brands. 

If you're looking for an affordable option, it's worth considering a mid-range model. These phones have come on leaps and bounds over the past few years as technology has advanced, and many are more than capable of handling just about any task you throw at them. 

Spending around £300-400 on a new phone, or less if you can find a good deal, can get you a slim, stylish and powerful model that may not look too different from a high-end cousin, especially if you're using a case to protect your phone.

We put every phone, budget or premium, through our rigorous tests to make sure you're getting the best for your money. We test everything from camera and battery performance to call quality.



Find out more about the rise of these affordable handsets, and browse some of the best mid-range phones on the market. And if you want to spend even less, read our guide to the best cheap mobile phones.

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