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.
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
1. Oppo Find X2 Pro (12GB RAM, 512GB)
Now: £599 (£500 off)
Oppo's superb Find X2 Pro was one of the best phones of 2020 and enjoys a sizeable discount of £500, helped by the fact that its successor, the Find X3 Pro is here.
2. OnePlus 8 Pro (12GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £549 (£350 off)
Our Phone of the Year 2020, the OnePlus 8 Pro boasts top-tier specs, including 12GB of RAM, and this higher-capacity 256GB model comes with its biggest discount yet, directly from OnePlus.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (12GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £879 (£300 off)
The productivity beast that is the Exynos 990-powered Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, boasts the lowest-latency S Pen experience to date, along with a triple rear camera, fronted by a whopping 108Mp sensor and currently enjoys its biggest Amazon discount yet. Price reduction various by colour, double-check before purchase.
4. Samsung Galaxy S21+ (8GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £760 (£189 off)
The middle entry in Samsung's S21 flagship phone line is available with a sizeable discount on Amazon. This deal is for the 6.7in display-toting Galaxy S21+, with 128GB of storage. Discount various by colour, check before purchase.
5. Samsung Galaxy S21 (8GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £685.06 (£133.94 off)
The higher storage capacity build of Samsung's 2021 flagship enjoys a sizeable £133 discount off its RRP in this Amazon deal. Discount varies by colour, check before purchase.
6. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (12GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £1,093 (£106 off)
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of the most capable phones on the market. The fact that the 256GB storage SKU enjoys over £100 off on Amazon is all the more impressive.
7. Xiaomi Mi 11 (8GB RAM, 128GB) + Mi Watch Lite
Now: £599 (£150 off)
Xiaomi's Mi 11 2021 flagship, enjoys a sizeable £150 discount. Better yet, pick one up before 19 September and they'll throw in a Mi Watch Lite on top. There's also £100 off the 256GB storage version, at £699 (but no Watch Lite).
8. OnePlus 8T (8GB RAM, 128GB) w/ case + Stadia Premiere Edition
Now: £449 (£100 off)
With the OnePlus 9 now available, you can save £100 on last year's OnePlus 8T and what's more, right now it comes with an official OnePlus Quantum Bumper Case in Cyborg Cyan and Google Stadia Premiere Edition. See the best OnePlus 8T deals right here.
9. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (256GB)
Now: £999 (£200 off)
10. Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro (6GB/128GB) + Free Mi True Wireless Earbuds Basic
Now: £199 (£30 off and free earphones)
Our favourite budget phone of the moment, Xiaomi's Poco X3 Pro already represents phenomenal value and enjoys an extra discount here.
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, some may be difficult to return if there are any issues and you may need to pay import duty - depending on where you're getting them from.
If the Chinese manufacturer in question doesn't yet have an official presence in your local market, chances are you're buying their phones via grey-market retailers, which may need cautious navigation. You can see all the pros and cons in our 'Best Chinese phone' article.
We also have a round-up of the 'Best budget Chinese phones' to consider.
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.
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 and/or 5G-compatible.
We also explain 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 a 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, 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?
Samsung currently offers a trade-in programme where you can get up to £600 off the company's latest and greatest smartphones (depending on the value of the device you're trading in). Get Samsung's trade-in offers here.
While Apple itself doesn’t often feature discounts, like Samsung, it does offer its own trade-in programme. If you've got an older iPhone, you can put its value towards money off a new iPhone, with Apple currently offering up to £620 off (based on the maximum trade-in value of an iPhone 11 Pro Max).
Carphone also has significant savings on budget and mid-range handsets from the likes of Nokia, Motorola, LG and more.
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.
Want more great deals on the latest tech? We round up the best tech deals in the UK all in one place and update them every week, so you're guaranteed to find a bargain in there, somewhere.