If you're looking for a phone upgrade to ring in the new year, we've rounded up the best smartphone deals you're going to find right now.
Our focus here is on high-end and flagship devices, though we've kept a few cheaper phones in the mix too, where they're really good.
What are the best phones?
There are our five favourite phones right now:
For a longer ranking, check out our complete guide to the best phones.
Where do you find the best deals on smartphones?
The simple answer is that the best places to buy phones tend to be the same places you'd buy most of your tech: electronics shops and department stores. You can also check with carriers and networks, not to mention going direct to manufacturers' websites. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Best phone deals right now
1. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 (8+128GB)
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £699 (£250 off with free Galaxy Buds 2)
The Galaxy Z Flip 3 gets a big saving of £250 off on the world's best foldable phone right now - and free Galaxy Buds 2 with the code FREEBUDS2.
2. Apple iPhone 13 (128GB)
Now: £709 (£70 off)
The new iPhone 13 already has £70 off over at Amazon, in the full range of colours (except black).
3. Honor 50 (6GB + 128GB)
Now: £349 (£100 off)
Buy the new Honor mid-ranger from the official store right now and you'll not only save £100 on the asking price, but the company will also throw in a free case worth £25.
4. Oppo Find X3 Pro (12GB RAM, 256GB)
Now: £949 (£150 off)
Oppo's intriguing 2021 flagship – the Find X3 Pro – benefits from a decent discount in this latest deal, which sees £150 knocked off the original RRP.
5. OnePlus Nord 2 5G (8GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £329 (£70 off)
This limited time deal from Amazon slashes £70 off the excellent OnePlus Nord 2 5G.
6. Apple iPhone 12 (with 100GB data)
From: iD Mobile
Now: £49.99 upfront, £30.99 per month (£793.75 TCO)
iD Mobile has struck back, beating the (excellent) Vodafone deal we recommended last month, and this is now the deal to go for if you want to buy the iPhone 12 on contract.
For most users a 100GB allocation will more than enough. If you can manage with less, there are cheaper contracts with 25GB or 50GB.
7. Xiaomi 11T 5G (8GB/256GB) + Redmi Buds 3 Pro
Now: £429 (£120 off + Free Earbuds)
The Xiaomi 11T has a few design flaws, but the excellent display, battery life and competitive price make up for these down sides - read our full review. Buy now from the official Mi Store and you'll get a £120 discount and a free pair of Redmi Buds 3 Pro (worth £59.99). If you don't want the buds, Amazon currently lists the phone for the same discounted price in its Spring Sale.
8. Samsung Galaxy A52s (6GB+128GB)
Now: £269 (£140 off)
Samsung's star mid-ranger for 2021 – the upgraded Galaxy A52s – features a 120Hz AMOLED display, 5G, a 25W fast-charging 4500mAh battery, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a quad rear camera.
Amazon's £140 discount is the biggest you'll find.
9. Samsung Galaxy S21 (8GB RAM, 128GB)
Now: £599 (£170 off)
The higher storage capacity build of Samsung's 2021 flagship enjoys a sizeable £170 discount off its RRP in this Amazon deal.
10. Sony Xperia 1 III (12+256GB)
Now: £899 (£300 off)
Save £300 in the biggest saving we've seen yet on Sony's 2021 flagship phone.
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.
Find the best phone for you
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 S phones and Apple's iPhones may seem like the go-to 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, as an example).
Chinese phones can be powerful, often with dual-SIM support, and usually 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.
Not all of them are available worldwide though, with more options in Europe than in north America.
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.
Buy a second-hand iPhone
Buying a second-hand or refurbished phone is another way to score a great deal, oftentimes on premium handsets like the iPhone. Our colleagues over at Macworld have assembled their own guide on the best way to buy a second-hand iPhone.
Best dual-SIM phones
Our rundown of 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.
Best basic phones
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 guide to the best basic phones goes through what you can expect in terms of specifications, storage, audio and camera quality from a smartphone or feature phone.
Best kids' phones
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?
Retailers often have deals on tons of handsets, so keep your eyes peeled, not to mention Amazon sells SIM-free phones at very attractive prices from time to time.
Samsung currently offers a trade-in programme where you can get hundreds 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 hundreds off depending on your phone.
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'd find in 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.
If you're studying, also check out our article on the best phone contracts for students.
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.