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Here are the best times to buy a new phone and save big money

Being savvy with your research and timing can save you hundreds of dollars.
By
January 22, 2024
Money Stock Photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you want the best deal on a new phone, you must time your purchase properly, just as with any electronic product. Buying a phone on launch day may feel good, but it’s often a mistake financially. Just like with any other investment, you must be smart and patient to maximize savings.

I’m frugal and hate paying the full price for anything, especially smartphones. To combat this, I’ve been paying close attention to phone prices over the years and have figured out the best times to buy a new one. Some tips below may be obvious, but some might surprise you.

Here are the best times to buy a new phone!

The best times to buy a new phone

QUICK ANSWER

The best time to buy a new phone is during its pre-order period, right before the model comes out, or wait for Black Friday and other shopping events.

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During the pre-order period

Samsung Galaxy S24 Family 7
Lanh Nguyen / Android Authority

While buying a phone on launch day isn’t the greatest idea, you can potentially win out by shopping during the pre-order period. You’ll still be among the first people to own the device, but you’ll save a bit of money, or at least get more bang for your buck.

You can expect two types of deals during a pre-order period. The first one is a flat discount, with some retailers looking to undercut the opposition and secure more pre-sales. Be sure to check all of the big stores before placing an order.

The other type, which is more common, gets you a bunch of free goodies along with your order, and sometimes even gift certificates. However, these deals are usually reserved for the most popular and expensive phones, since retailers are already racking up a score and hoping you’ll stick around to spend extra (or at least, in the future).

Here are a few examples of great deals we’ve seen in the past. Those who pre-ordered a Samsung Galaxy S24 straight from Samsung got free storage upgrades, heavy discounts on accessories, and limited-time subscriptions to Microsoft 365, Adobe Lightroom, and SiriusXM. If you pre-ordered it from Best Buy, you got the storage upgrade, a $50 gift certificate, and a free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

That’s just one example; we’ve seen companies give out earbuds, smartwatches, and more. Additionally, sometimes, these companies offer higher trade-in values for older smartphones.


Up to a month or so before the new model comes out

google pixel 8 rose vs pixel 7 lime rear 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

This tip only applies to those who can be content with a soon-to-be-last-gen phone, but if that’s you, it’s worth waiting until around a month or so before a new model comes out, as that’s usually when retailers start offering discounts to clear out old stock. Discounts may also be available right after the new phone hits the market, sometimes even steeper than pre-release. Wait too long, however, and retailers may sell through their inventory.

For example, the base Samsung Galaxy S23 launched at $800, and was available for as low as $570 on Amazon less than a month before the Galaxy S24 launch. By the way, this older device is still a fantastic phone that will keep most users happy.

Research is key to a good purchase.

Keep in mind that to get the best deals, you’ll still have to shop around. Check out as many online stores as possible to see which ones offer the largest discounts. For example, the Galaxy S22 Ultra was once listed at $1,200 on Samsung’s website while Amazon was selling it for $994 — that’s over $200 cheaper. This goes to show that research is critical to a good purchase.


During Black Friday

Google Black Friday Deals
Google

Black Friday takes place on the fourth Thursday of November, every year. On this date (and usually the whole weekend, and sometimes days before), you can find substantial savings on phones and a ton of other products. A plethora of deals are available online, too, so you can avoid the crowds and riots at your local electronics store and shop from the comfort of your home.

To give you an idea of the amount of cash you can save, here are a few of the best Black Friday phone deals we saw in 2023:

  • Pixel 8 — $550 ($100 off)
  • Pixel 8 Pro — $800 ($200 off)
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 — $1,300 ($500 off)
  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G — $325 ($125 off)

Remember that many retailers start offering deals a few weeks before Black Friday actually kicks off, so make sure to start doing your research then. And don’t forget about Cyber Monday deals as well, which are available on the Monday after Black Friday.

During Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Box 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Amazon first announced Prime Day in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Amazon.com. Each year, the retailer offers significant discounts on phones, electronics, and just about every other product you can think of to Prime members. The event usually takes place in the middle of July, although not always on the same date.

If you’re a Prime member, you should definitely keep an eye out. If you’re not, you can always sign up for a free trial to get access to all the deals available without spending a dime more.

It’s worth adding that while Prime Day started as a 24-hour shopping event, Amazon extended it to 48 hours due to popularity. It takes place in loads of markets worldwide, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Germany, and more.


During Boxing Day sales and beyond

The best time to buy a phone is often at the end of the year.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Boxing Day falls the day after Christmas Day (December 26). It offers significant discounts on phones and other products in places like the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. However, it’s actually becoming an excuse for retailers in countries that typically don’t celebrate the holiday, so no matter which country you live in, it’s worth checking out post-Christmas deals.

You can potentially find deals the entire week after Christmas, frequently extending into January. People generally spend less money during this period, having already spent a fortune in the run-up to Christmas. Hence, retailers start offering discounts to get people to pull out their wallets. In the last few years, I’ve had a lot of great deals a few days after Christmas on various electronics, and I have seen many other deals on mid-range and high-end phones.


When to buy the latest Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and more

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs Google Pixel 8 Pro in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Let’s get even more specific. We’ve looked at price charts for some of the more popular phones out there to figure out when you can get your hands on them as fast as possible at a great price.

Best time to buy Google Pixel phones

Never buy a Pixel phone at full price, as you can get a big discount or free gift if you buy one within the first month or so after launch. For example, Best Buy offered a free $100 gift card with the Pixel 7 series. Additionally, Google was offering a free Pixel Watch 2 for Pixel 8 Pro buyers for some time.

If you prefer waiting a bit, there are commonly some great Pixel deals during Black Friday. In 2023, we saw the Pixel 8 Pro discounted by $200 during this time.

Best time to buy Samsung Galaxy S phones

Samsung generally releases its latest Galaxy S phones in February, and trade-in deals are your best chance to save. The Galaxy S24 series received discounts of up to $550, provided you were willing to part with your previous device. You can also wait until summer (in the northern hemisphere), when there are substantial discounts without the trade-in requirement.

Best time to buy OnePlus phones

The best time to buy a OnePlus phone is during Black Friday or December. The company offered a $150 Black Friday discount on the OnePlus 11, for example.

If you happen to miss OnePlus’ Black Friday deals, you still have a chance to save in December, or possibly even January. The company frequently offers Boxing Day sales.

OnePlus sometimes provides discounts in August as part of a Back to School promotion. There can also be periodic events like OnePlus Wednesdays, but when they happen, expect more modest discounts.

Best time to buy Moto G phones

Moto G phones usually start getting their first discounts — up to $50 — around two or three months after they go on sale. But waiting for Black Friday is the way to go to get the best deal possible on any Moto G phone (or Motorola phones in general).

Best time to buy iPhones

Apple typically announces its latest iPhones every September, shipping them the same month or in October at the latest. The tech giant avoids discounts like the plague despite making money handover first, but you can find a few deals offered by retailers and carriers during Black Friday.

Your best bet is to try your mobile carrier. AT&T, for example, offered up to $1,000 off for consumers buying an iPhone 15 series device with a qualifying trade. It’s worth it to them, since you’re signing up for a phone plan, not just hardware.

There are plenty of iPhone deals available each Black Friday, but they differ considerably from year to year. You’ll have to do a bit of research on your own to find the one that suits you best.


Bonus tip: How to know if you’re getting a good deal

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

When shopping on Amazon, phones that are $100, $200, or even $300 off might seem like great deals, and a lot of the time, they are. But not always! Sometimes, the retailer jacks up the price for a day or two before lowering it down again to make it seem like you’re getting a bargain. Alternately, the list price may just be way too high for what appears to be no other reason but to make the “discount” look like a steal. Remember that this is a common practice in the retail world, and not something exclusive to Amazon.

In any event, you have to be smart about things. Your best bet is to use a tool like CamelCamelCamel, which shows you how the price of a phone listed on Amazon changes over time.

As an example, I was browsing through the German version of Amazon a while back, since it’s where I do a lot of my online shopping, and came across a listing for the Samsung Galaxy M30s. The list price was €591.76, while the discounted price was €249. That means the retailer offered a €342.76 discount on the phone, or so it seemed.

Samsung galaxy m30s

Using CamelCamelCamel, we can quickly determine that the phone was never actually priced at €591.76. The highest it’s ever been on Amazon was €259, meaning you were only getting a €10 discount. Moreover, we can see that the phone made it to €218 at the end of November 2021 (during Black Friday).

If we do a little searching on Google, we can figure out that no retailer had the Galaxy M30s priced at around €600, as the MSRP of the handset was roughly €260.

A price comparison tool will help you find the best deal.

Naturally, Amazon doesn’t always have the best deals available, so it’s essential to use a price comparison tool in addition to CamelCamelCamel. I’m European, so I’ll use the Galaxy M30s as an example again and the website preis.de as my comparison tool. After searching for the Galaxy M30s on the website, I saw plenty of better deals on Samsung’s mid-ranger from reputable sellers. For example, Rakuten offered the handset for roughly €218, €31 cheaper than Amazon.

It’s the same story in the US and most other regions. If you live in the US, there are plenty of price comparison websites available, including Google Shopping and Yahoo Shopping — check out more of them here.