Shopping for a new phone is a pain at the best of times, first you have to find a phone that you like the look of, then you have to spend all day hunting high and low for the very best deals you can find on it.
One mildly troubling recent trend in the field of smartphones is that a lot of the revolutionary new devices are, in reality, just minor tweaks to last year’s model. The camera might be slightly better or maybe there’s some new software feature, but it muddies the water. Would you be just as well off with last year’s model at a significant discount or should you pick the latest and greatest in order to ensure it’s future-proofed?
As the technology reviewer for Telegraph Recommended, I am generally in favour of going for value for money, and with that in mind, Black Friday sales can be the ideal time to snap up a bargain with phones. To save you time and money I’ve scoured the internet to find the best deals on the best phones.
Today’s best smartphone deals, according to The Telegraph
1. Apple iPhone XS, iOS, 5.8″, 4G LTE, SIM Free, 256GB, Space Grey
Given that it just came out two months ago, you won’t be finding any good deals on the brand new iPhone 11 Pro this Black Friday. However, thankfully, last year’s model is just as good in practically every way that counts. It’s got a fantastic camera, a great battery, and the crystal clear screen is perfect for streaming shows. If you’re into Apple, you won’t get a better deal this Black Friday. At the moment, John Lewis are offering the Space Grey iPhone XS with 256GB for £849, which is £250 cheaper than usual.
Contract? The best I could find was an offer from EE giving you 100GB of data, unlimited minutes and texts, and free EU roaming with an upfront cost of £30 for £64 per month.
2. Apple iPhone 11
You might not be able to find many decent iPhone 11 Pro offers today, but if you’re fine with the standard model, the iPhone 11 is available for a bargain over the Black Friday period. The differences are simple: the 11 comes with a two-camera array while the 11 Pro has three outer cameras, the 11 has a slightly smaller battery, the waterproofing is slightly less deep on the 11, and the 11 is made of aluminium rather than stainless steel. I know what you’re thinking: the average person doesn’t give a hoot about any of those things. So if you’re an iPhone obsessive, the 11 is a great choice for a flawless screen, a beautiful camera, and plenty of colours from red to white to green to purple to orange to yellow. Sadly Black Friday hasn’t offered any SIM Free deals yet.
Contract?On contracts, you can get an iPhone 11 Pro for £89 upfront with 60GB of data, as well as unlimited texts and data for £33 per month from Vodafone through Mobiles.co.uk. That’s three times as much data as you’d usually get for the same price.
3. Samsung Galaxy S10
A massive 6.1-inch edge-to-edge curved infinity display, a triple camera as standard for photography perfection, wireless charging and wireless power-sharing, as well as one of the fastest fingerprint scanners in the business, Samsung really came to play with their Galaxy S10. It’s a smashing phone and it’s available for all sorts of discounts on Black Friday. If you choose to go with the SIM-Free version, Mobiles.co.uk are offering £170 off the RRP of the phone across all colours.
Contract? If you prefer a contract, why not consider O2 who are offering 60GB of data and unlimited calls and texts for £33 per month and no upfront cost for the phone via Mobiles.co.uk?
4. Google Pixel 3A SIM Free
Arguably the best value smartphone which has ever been released, the Pixel 3A is an astonishing bargain at the best of times, but gets even better on Black Friday. The Pixel 3A was always the budget-friendly model in Google’s smartphone line-up, by dispensing unnecessary features like wireless charging and a glass back to focus on the things that really matter to customers: a fantastic camera, unlimited cloud storage for photos, and an all-day battery. For Black Friday, Google has cut the price of a SIM-only Pixel 3A by £70 across Carphone Warehouse, Currys, Argos, Mobiles.co.uk and practically every other place you can buy phones from.
Contract?If you do fancy buying it on a contract then the best I’ve found is from iD Mobile who are offering the phone for £9.99 upfront with 5GB of data, a thousand minutes, and unlimited texts for £22.99.
5. OnePlus 7 Pro
If you haven’t given serious thought to buying a OnePlus phone before, then you’ve made a serious mistake. This Chinese brand offers ultra-premium, top-of-the-range phones at mid-range prices. The 7 Pro is one of their best creations yet. The screen has a faster refresh rate than normal phones which, in layman’s terms, means everything looks smoother and loads faster. Add to that a dazzlingly precise camera with a brilliant wide-angle mode, the fastest face unlock we’ve ever seen on a phone, an all-screen display made possible with a pop-up selfie camera, and a battery which goes from 0-50pc in just half an hour and you’ve got one of the finest phones available at the moment. As a Black Friday offer, John Lewis has slashed £100 off the RRP and thrown in a pair of the fantastic OnePlus Bullets wireless headphones, plus this is the only place you can get the exclusive Almond colour.
Contract? If you prefer contracts, then the best we’ve seen is £49 per month with 10GB of 5G data, and unlimited calls and texts with a £50 upfront cost from EE.
6. Google Pixel 4 XL
Like the 3A, Google has shaved £70 off the price of its latest premium smartphone in honour of Black Friday in just about every shop you can find it. In addition to the great camera and unlimited cloud storage, the Pixel 4 has a few benefits over its cheaper brethren, including sensors which allow for face unlock and gesture control, an Astrophotography mode, and a new zoom lens on the camera for even better long-distance photos. For this one, I’d say it’s best to choose the XL model as the small battery in the standard version has been harshly criticised by tech reviewers, including myself.
Contract? The best looks to be iD Mobile’s offering of 1GB of data and unlimited calls and texts for £34.99 with an upfront cost of £99.
7. Oppo Reno 2
I know, you were expecting a “Was…, now…”, but frankly the Oppo Reno 2 doesn’t need to be discounted on Black Friday because it’s already such a truly amazing bargain. The cameras are ultra-powerful, the screen is bright and powerful, the processor is super speedy, and it’s got a ginormous all-screen display. Benefitting from being an unknown brand like OnePlus, you can pick up the Oppo Reno 2 for a fraction of the price of a Galaxy S10 and, honestly? It’s just as good.
Contract? The real Black Friday deals can be found on contracts, where you can pick up the phone with no upfront cost, 24GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, 3 months of BT Sport and 6 months of Apple Music and 6 months of MTV Play for just £29.99 per month from Carphone Warehouse.
8. Sony Xperia 5
A pretty large saving of £150 is to be found on the most recently released Sony Xperia phone, rendering it quite the bargain. The Xperia 5 is the first phone designed for movie buffs. Sony has used all the expertise from its film division to create the 21:9 CinemaWide display making it the ideal device to stream movies on. It’s also got professional video-editing software and a very in-depth camera so budding directors can shoot their own films on it.
Today’s best SIM-only smartphone contract deals, according to The Telegraph
Throughout this article we’ve offered both contract deals as well as deals on the handsets themselves. Generally, it tends to be the case that it’s cheaper to buy the handset and get a SIM-only contract than buying the phone on contract, if you can afford the initial cost of the phone itself, so if often pays to get a SIM-only deal.
Thankfully, there’s a number of great offers on SIM-only deals this Black Friday, so we’ve rounded up a couple of the best here.
Best EE SIM only deals:
Best iD Mobile SIM only deals:
Best O2 SIM only deals:
Best Carphone Warehouse SIM only deals: