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If you’re looking to buy a smartphone for that certain someone on your gift list—or just need a new phone for yourself—now’s the time to check out Black Friday deals.
Best Buy, Costco, Target, and Walmart all have deals for iPhones and Android devices. Some offer straight-up discounts, while others throw in a store gift card after you purchase a phone at full price. The gifted amount depends on which model you buy.
For many people, the offers may work better than the typical deals provided by the major carriers. Most of those require you to buy a phone at full price to get a second phone at a discount. And they often insist you set up a new line of service, too. That’s not helpful if you just want a new phone.
But Black Friday deals from retailers come with their own catch. Be prepared to finance the phone with a carrier over a period of two years or more. If you decide to opt out of the plan early, you're on the hook for the balance. And, as with any installment plan, you need to have good credit to qualify.
Target’s Samsung and Google Pixel deals start at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. If you want an iPhone, you have to wait till 7 a.m. on Black Friday. The offers are all good through Sunday. Walmart's smartphone deals begin on Thanksgiving and end Sunday. Best Buy's kick off in-store at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, but some are available earlier.
The offers cover nearly all of the latest and greatest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. But if you’re in the market for something a little cheaper, we've found a few deals for that, too.
If you're a Consumer Reports member, make sure to check out our full ratings before you buy.
iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
The deal: Buy an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max from Walmart and get a $300 e-gift card.
CR’s test results: iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
If you’re in the market for one of Apple’s latest smartphones, this Walmart offer is the most generous we’ve spotted so far. It’s only available in-store, and you have to activate your new phone for AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon service and finance the purchase with that carrier. If you have a qualified trade-in, you can receive another e-gift card worth up to $250.
Best Buy is offering up to $500 in savings on all three phones with a qualified trade-in but hasn’t provided much in the way of details.
iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR
The deal: Buy an iPhone XS from Walmart and get a $450 e-gift card. Buy an iPhone XS Max or XR and get a $400 gift card.
CR’s test results: iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR
If you’re okay with purchasing one of last year’s iPhones, you get an even bigger gift card—with the same terms and conditions outlined above for the iPhone 11 models. The same goes for the $250 trade-in offer for a qualifying phone.
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
The deal: Finance an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus for $10 per month at Best Buy.
CR’s test results: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
If you’re on a budget and okay with an older model, check out this deal for the home button-sporting iPhone 8 and its slightly larger sibling, the iPhone 8 Plus. Note, however, that the retailer has yet to provide key details, such as the specs and whether the payments stretch for 24 or 30 months. Activation on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon is required.
Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and Note10+
The deal: Buy a Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, or Note10+ at Walmart and get a $450 e-gift card.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, and Note10+
When it comes to terms and conditions, this offer mirrors Walmart’s iPhone deals, including the $250 gift card for qualifying trade-ins.
If you’re a Costco member, you can get a $420 store gift card when you buy the S10, S10+, or Note10+ and activate it for AT&T or Sprint service. If you choose Verizon—and agree to finance the phone through that service—the shopping club will sell you an S10 for $430, an S10+ for $530, or a Note10+ for $630.
If you buy the S10, S10+, or Note10+ at Target, you get a $400 gift card.
Best Buy says you can save $400 to $500 on any of these models, plus the S10 5G, provided you activate the phone for AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. If you buy an unlocked version of the phone, you can save $200, plus an additional $100 if you activate it at the store.
Samsung Galaxy S10e and Note9
The deal: Buy a Galaxy S10e or Note9 and get a $300 e-gift card at Walmart.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy S10e, and Note9
The same conditions apply to this Walmart offer, too.
If you buy the S10e from Target, you get a $200 gift card. It isn’t quite as fancy as the other S10 models, but it’s a little cheaper. As for the Note9, it may be last year’s model but it has many of the same features found on the Note10.
If you’re looking for a straight-up discount, Best Buy will give you $300 off an S10e (if you activate it for Sprint or Verizon) or $200 off an unlocked S10e, plus another $100 with activation.
Google Pixel Phones
Google Pixel 4 or 4 XL
The deal: Up to $400 in savings when you buy a Pixel 4 or 4 XL at Best Buy.
CR’s test results: Coming
This deal requires you to activate the phone for service on AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. You save up to $200 on an unlocked Pixel 4 or 4 XL, plus another $50 with activation.
Target is offering a $300 store gift card if you buy one of these phones and activate it for AT&T or Verizon service.
Google Pixel 3 or 3 XL
The deal: Buy a Pixel 3 or 3 XL and get a $550 gift card at Target.
CR’s test results: Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL
Buying last year’s model will get you a hefty discount on this phone. But, as with Target’s Pixel 4 offer, you need to activate the phone to get the discount.
Google Pixel 3a or 3a XL
The deal: $300 for the 3a or $380 for the 3a XL at Best Buy.
CR’s test results: Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL
That's a savings of $100 on an unlocked 64GB model. You can apply that same savings to models with more storage, too. The Pixel 3a packs a lot in for a bargain price. And you can get another $50 off if you activate the phone for service.
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