Sprint Kickstarter Plan offers $15/month lines with Unlimited Data (with limitations) with New or Ported phone numbers

If you like unlimited data that is speed-limited, and you have phones that are compatible with the Sprint network, AND you are willing to start new lines and/or port existing phone numbers, Sprint has a pretty good deal, it’s the $15 per month Kickstarter promotion running until 6/14/18. This can be handy if you do a lot of smartphone photography out and about and want to instantly backup your photos to the cloud…

This offer is available online. You can buy a phone new or pre-owned from the Sprint website, or for a potentially better value, Bring your own phone, especially if you already own those phones or can get them for good prices used or refurbished. A growing number of phones are “all carrier” in the US market, including the bang-for-the-buck Motorola Moto G series, the Essential Phone, not just the iPhone, Galaxy and Pixel/Nexus flagships and the LG V30S. The aforelinked page has a detailed list of eligible phones under the “How do I know if my device is eligible” FAQ, or you can enter the IMEI in the box over there.

As usual, check the details, terms and conditions of the offer over there! Depending on which carrier(s) you have now, they may be doing some things different, so don’t assume it will be the same as your current carrier.

The data speed limits on the $15/month plans are as follows:
+ up to 480p video streaming
+ up to 500 Kbps in music streaming
+ up to 2 mbps in gaming streaming
+ excessive data use leads to deprioritation as with the regular Sprint plans
+ hotspot feature NOT available

Offers like this are a good reason to go for an “all carrier” phone that is carrier-unlocked. It gives you the ultimate flexibility. And it cuts down the number of options if you are dealing with “information overload” in trying to decide “which phone(s) to buy next” πŸ™‚

Motorola Moto G6 down to $235 [Prime only]

For Prime members, Amazon itself is offering the new condition Motorola Moto G6 smartphone for $235 with free shipping with a limit of one per customer. The black color scheme is in-stock and shipping. This is the Prime-exclusive edition that comes with pre-installed Amazon apps, but Amazon no longer has the Amazon Lockscreen and Ads. They ended that program a few weeks ago.

If you are not a Prime member or don’t want pre-installed Amazon apps, you can get it for $250 by Motorola Mobility through Amazon, but it is not Prime-shipping eligible.

Needless to say there are many unlocked budget smartphones out there. One of the pluses of the Moto G series is that they are “all carrier”, they not only work with GSM (T-Mobile, AT&T) but they also work with CDMA (Verizon, Sprint). It has a dual camera and fingerprint reader, but it doesn’t look like it has NFC (of interest for Android Pay payments).

Pre-order the new OnePlus 6 from China for $800

If you like what you see so far from the previews, specs, hands-on and announcements of the all new OnePlus 6 flagship smartphone, you can place pre-orders for it for $800 from GearBest.com. This will ship from China in early July. Various shipping options are available in addition to the free slow shipping. It has dual cameras, 8GB RAM (!), 128GB on-board storage, and much and more…

Now shipping: Nokia 6.1 Android Smartphone (ZEISS Optics) w/free Photo Kit for $269

If you are a Nokia + Zeiss shipper (ha!), the brand new Nokia 6.1 factory-unlocked Android smartphone with Zeiss optics is now in-stock and shipping for $269 with free expedited shipping at B&H Photo with a free “B&H Photo Video Basic Photo/Video Kit for Smartphones” [mount, LED light, flexible tripod] automatically included by B&H.

This runs Android 8.0, with 3GB RAM [probably the minimum these days for Android], 32GB on-board, microSD storage, GSM, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C connector [but not USB 3.x features],

One of the things Nokia is promising with their Android phone line-up is speedy and steady OS and security updates ~ after all the phone is part of Android One. It is easier to promise this when your phone line-up consists of single-figures in individual models, we’ll see how it plays out in the next couple of years ~ after all, most phone manufacturers sound/sounded very optimistic in delivering updates at announcement time, but their post-release records are spotty and patchy [pun intended?]. But they have already delivered multiple updates for their first generation Android phones…

PS: the same price is offered at amazon.com but without a free photo-video accessories kit…

Used Razer Phone (unlocked) for $471 (and other phones)

Participating in the previously mentioned 20% off Earth Week promotion at Amazon Warehouse Deals is the USED unlocked Razer Phone for $471~ after the 20% off in-cart discount in “Used = Very Good” condition and for $499~ in “Used – Like New” condition. The new condition price is $700…

In other smartphone action, the USED Samsung Galaxy S8 (unlocked, 64GB) goes for $422~ with free shipping, while the USED Samsung Galaxy Note 8 goes for $648~. The previous links show only the offers eligible for the 20% off in-cart discount. For comparison, the following links show the “default” view with multiple sellers: Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8

If you are a fan of the previous generation of Sony, the USED Xperia XZ1 starts at $320 (depending on color), while the Xperia XZ1 starts at $120 (depending on color)…

On the Nokia front, the unlocked Nokia 6 starts at $155 depending on color and condition. Note that Nokia revealed a “Nokia 6.1” version a few weeks ago and that one should be coming out soon.

Motorola Moto G5 Plus for $210 [Prime only]

As flagship smartphone prices keep climbing, so is the average consumer’s interest in alternative bang for the buck smartphones. One such line is the Motorola G series, especially the “all carrier” phones, the ones that work out of the box with all four major US carriers. Among them is the G5 Plus with the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option. And if you are a Prime member, you can buy ONE unit on sale for $210 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon itself. This is fully unlocked with USA warranty. Amazon no longer has lockscreen ads, they just pre-install their apps and widgets on the phones.

NOTE that this phone does not have NFC (no contactless mobile payments with it) and it is microUSB power (no USB-C). At this price range, even if it had USB-C, it would likely be USB 2.0, not USB 3.*. It has a fingerprint reader and a headphone jack though which can be a plus for security and convenience.

If you are interested in bang for the buck phones discussion, save this date, on Thursday 3/29/18 at 9pm eastern, the PhoneCast YouTube channel is going to have a live-stream with another YouTube who specializes in bang-for-the-buck phones.

Huawei Mate 10 PRO (dual Leica camera) drops to $700

The new condition, factory unlocked, with USA warranty Huawei Mate 10 PRO with its dual Leica camera on the back is now down to $700 with free shipping by Amazon itself (maximum four per color per customer) and at B&H Photo.

Note that a number of three-letter US security agencies have issued a warning against Huawei and ZTE devices, so it’s up to you to decide, especially if you are working on things that you wouldn’t want potentially falling into the hands of China. Others argue that this is politics and lobbying by Huawei’s competitors. We blog, you decide!

Kodak EKTRA 32GB Smartphone with Case and Remote for $120

If you are feeling Kodak nostalgic and need an Android smartphone as well, B&H Photo is offering the new condition Kodak EKTRA 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Black) for $120 with free shipping and TWO free accessories: a Kodak leather case for the camera phone and a Kodak remote shutter release.

The phone has a 5″ FHD (1920 x 1080) display with 3GB RAM, the Helio X10 ten core processor, 32GB storage, USB-C, NFC (so you can pay with your cameraphone too), 21mp f2 OIS lens, and a DSLR Dial simulated on the touchscreen using vibrations.

B&H now offers Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9* pre-orders

We rounded up the various carrier options for the brand new Samsung Galaxy S9* earlier today, but if you are a fan of factory unlocked with US warranty purchased from independent retailers, you are in luck! B&H Photo now has them available for pre-ordering as follows:

+ Samsung Galaxy S9 for $720 in four color schemes

+ Samsung Galaxy S9 PLUS for $840 in three color schemes

Pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ today

The Mobile World Congress party is over but the Samsung Galaxy S9* party has just began! Today is the first time pre-orders are accepted for the new Snapdragon 845 duo [remember, only the S9+ gets the dual camera], with orders shipping/delivered two weeks from today (March 16).

+ Samsung’s own website offers the S9 for $720 and the S9 Plus for $840, unlocked with USA warranty
+ optional financing available on 24 or 36 month plans
+ up to $350 trade-in credit of eligible phones
+ Unlocked with USA warranty is the best way to buy it unless you prefer a carrier or their leasing/buying/upgrade options
+ Samsung also offers carrier versions of the phone, sometimes with lower prices than the carrier themselves if you plan to buy it outright (the carriers are favoring the 18-month and 24-month plans and leases instead of outright purchases)

+ Unlocked not available for purchase yet at 3rd-party retailers like B&H and Amazon (phone manufacturers and their carrier friends intentionally delay them because … carriers)

+ Verizon Galaxy S9 for $800 outright or $33.33/mo on 24 month plan
+ Verizon Galaxy S9 PLUS for $930 outright or $38.74/mo on 24 month plan
+ up to $350 trade-in credit on eligible phones; $150 if you switch to Verizon
+ $150 off if you buy it together with a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch

+ AT&T Galaxy S9 for $$790 outright or $26.34/mo on 30-month plan;
+ AT&T Galaxy S9 PLUS for $915 out right or $30.50/mo on 30-month plan
+ AT&T NEXT options also available;
+ up to $350 trade-in credit on eligible phones; $150 if you switch to AT&T

+ T-Mobile Galaxy S9 for $720 outright or $30/mo for 24 months
+ T-Mobile Galaxy S9 PLUS for $840 outright or $120 down plus $30/mo on 24 months
+ up to $360 trade-in o eligible phones
+ all you can eat magenta is FREE πŸ™‚

+ Sprint Galaxy S9 for $792 outright or with 18-month Flex Lease plans
+ Sprint Galaxy S9 PLUS for $912 outright or with 18-month Flex Lease plans
+ up to $350 trade-in credit; $150 prepaid VISA if you switch to Sprint
+ note that Sprint lease plans do not pay the full price of the phone; at the end of the lease you have to pay the difference if you want to keep the phone

+ Xfinity Galaxy S9 for $720 outright or $30/mo on 24 months
+ Xfinity Galaxy S9 PLUS for $840 outright or $35/mo on 24 months

+ other regional and emerging carriers should also be announcing their offers

+ as usual, the carriers have a variety of terms, conditions, restrictions and traps when you sign up for their installment plans, so be sure to read through it all!

Pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ on March 2nd

The Samsung S9/S9+ was officially revealed earlier today and pre-orders are scheduled for March 2nd, and they include trade-in offers if you are willing to part with your existing smartphones (at least the ones eligible for the trade-in promotions). You can reserve and be notified but the actual pre-orders will happen on March 2nd. Which may sound like it’s in the future but it’s actually Friday at 12:01am ET! Shipment and in-store availability is March 16 (two weeks later, also a Friday obviously).

+ Samsung’s own website offers the S9 for $720 and the S9 Plus for $840, unlocked with USA warranty
+ their website will also offer carrier versions of the phone when they become available

+ AT&T offers it through their NEXT plan on a 30-month installment plan of $26~ and $30~ per month respectively

+ T-Mobile offers them on a 24-month $30/month installment plan; the S9+ has $120 down, while the S9 does not

+ Sprint offers them on a 24-month installment plan of $33/mo and $38/mo respectively

+ Verizon has 24-month installments of $33~ and $39~ per month respectively

+ other regional and emerging carriers should also be announcing their offers

+ as usual, the carriers have a variety of terms, conditions, restrictions and traps when you sign up for their installment plans, so be sure to read through it all!

Pre-order Essential Phone with new super-tiny 360 camera add-on for $500

Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone is back with a new super-tiny 360 degree camera (optional accessory, $218 on its own), and a new color of the phone, the Halo Gray with a pre-order price of $450 (ships 2/21/18).

Better yet, if you want both the phone and the new super-tiny 360-degree camera, you can buy them together as a bundle for $500 in the new Halo Gray and the existing Pure White color scheme (this combo is shipping already).

Samsung Note 8 (USA warranty, Unlocked) for $839

If you must have a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 right now but don’t want to deal with carriers and faux-contracts and carrier-branding and such, the new condition unlocked by Samsung with USA warranty Samsung Note 8 in the Orchid Gray color scheme is currently on sale for $839 with free shipping by Amazon itself with up to four per customer at the sale price. This is not a lightning deal, so expiration date unknown.

(SOLD OUT) Aukey Optic Phone Camera Lens (2-in-1 Fisheye and Macro) for $3.50 after coupon

UPDATE 1:24pm ET: it looks like they have sold out for good. I tried multiple devices and networks and they all show out of stock and unorderable on the product page

[Read more…]

(ENDED) Essential Phone drops to $450, with 360 Camera for $500

Prices of these are fluctuating, so YMMV depending on when you check…

[Read more…]

Prime Exclusive Phones now without Lockscreen Ads: LG G6 for $420, LG G6+ for $520

Starting today (Wednesday 2/7/18), Amazon is selling their Prime-exclusive smartphones that previously had “Lockscreen Ads” without them! If you have an existing Amazon Prime phone with “Lockscreen Ads”, an update will arrive that will disable them. If you paid out of your pocket to remove the ads, you can contact customer service and have it refunded.

As a result of the ad removal, their prices went up by $20. As of the time of writing, $420 gets you the LG G6 (32GB, Platinum) while $520 gets you the LG G6+ (128GB, Black).

These are factory unlocked, new condition and with USA warranty and with USA carriers in mind. The Moto models look like they have already been sold out. I don’t know if Amazon plans to discontinue this program once all available phones are sold out…

Only Prime members are able to buy them.

Alcatel 4S Windows Phone Unlocked for $100

You can get a piece of Windows phone history for $100! The official Microsoft Store is offering the unlocked Alcatel Idols 4S Windows Phone for $100 with free shipping and free returns. It has a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB on-board plus microSD (plenty of storage for photography), 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen, 21mp back camera, 8mp front camera, Continuum support, GSM, etc. The model with the VR package costs $169.

NOTE that Windows Phone is dead as a platform (in case you haven’t heard).

LG V30 (Unlocked, No Contract, USA warranty) for $675

If you are looking for a flagship top tier Android cameraphone with a USA warranty, factory unlocked, and without carrier requisites, B&H Photo is offering the new condition LG V30 US998 64GB Smartphone (Cloud Silver) for $675 with free shipping and handling.

Kodak EKTRA smartphone (unlocked, 32GB) for $100

It’s back in-stock again and down to $100 with free expedited shipping, it is the new condition, unlocked with warranty Kodak EKTRA smartphone (32GB, black, GSM) at B&H Photo.

Essential Phone + 360 Degree Camera for $500

I need to stop using the word “essential” because it messes up the blog search results for the Essential phone πŸ™‚ Which brings us to the Essential Phone + 360 Degree Camera going for $500 with free shipping, in either the black or white color schemes. Limit three per color per customer.

This is an old fashioned sale, not a lightning deal. This combo went for $400 during Cyber Monday.

Kodak EKTRA 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Black) for $100

Feeling a bit of a Kodak nostalgia? $100 is what it takes to feed the nostalgia in a modern kind of way as B&H Photo is offering the new condition Kodak EKTRA 32GB Smartphone (Unlocked, Black) with free shipping. This is a GSM phone, no contract, North American variant. Limit up ten per customer. This is a limited time offer, expiration date unknown. This is an Android phone wit USB-C.

B&H Photo Motorola Moto G4, G5, G5S, Z Play Doorbusters

If you are looking for bang for the buck smartphones that work with all four major US carriers, B&H Photo has $25 off clip-on coupons on select models, bundled with a free Republic Wireless SIM card and six month Republic Wireless service (you don’t have to activate the service if you don’t want to). You have to manually click on the $25 off clip-on coupon which will get you a $25 off discount in the shopping cart…

+ Moto G4 Play XT1607 (16GB) in black for $85

+ Moto G4 XT1625 (16GB) in black for $95

+ Moto G4 XT1625 (32GB) in black or white for $105

+ Moto G4 Plus XT1644 (16GB) in black for $130

+ Moto G4 Plus XT1644 (64GB) in black for $170
+ this has 4GB RAM

+ Moto G5 Plus XT1687 (32GB) for $180

+ Moto G5 Plus XT1687 (64GB) for $215
+ this has 4GB RAM

+ Moto G5S Plus XT1806 (32GB) for $255
+ this has 3GB RAM

+ Moto G5S Plus XT1806 (64GB) for $325
+ this has 4GB RAM

NOT eligible for this promotion, but this is praised for its massive battery and Snapdragon 625 processor, the Moto Z Play XT1635-02 32GB goes for $260 with free shipping.

Smartphone Sales Round-Up (Unlocked with US warranty)

Not everyone wants to buy cameraphones with carrier ties, so if you are repulsed by our previous $300 off LG V30 or Pixel 2s Verizon post, we have a safe space for you in this post: these cameraphones are in new condition, factory unlocked with USA warranty…

+ Huawei Honor 6X Dual Camera for $150, three color options, up to three per color per customer
+ currently the #1 best seller in Unlocked Phones at Amazon ~ among the phones that are properly categorized that is πŸ™‚

+ Huawei Mate 9 with Amazon Alexa and Leica Dual Camera for $400, in two colors, limit up to three per color per customer

+ Nokia 6 with Lockscreen Offers & Ads for $150 (limit one per color per customer)
+ Prime members only; the ones without ads go for $225

+ Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with $100 B&H Photo Gift card and Samsung Qi Charger for $929
+ not as good as the Black Friday deal of $780 to $800 but gets close
+ only two colors are US warranty. B&H also carries International models which are not eligible for the promotion. Only the North American models (Midnight Black or Orchid Gray). Not the Maple Syrup color!

+ the Essential Phone + 360 degree camera deal has not returned. The Black Friday sale decimated Amazon’s inventory πŸ™‚

$300 off the LG V30 or Google Pixel 2s with 24mo Verizon Installment Plan

Two of the top Android cameraphones at the moment are having a promotion running at Verizon Wireless. The promotion is a $300 off promo credit when you purchase either the LG V30 or the Pixel 2s (Pixel 2 or 2 XL) with a 24-month installment plan. The discount will be a monthly discount during each one of the 24 months. At the end of the 24 months, you will have a $300 off discount on the phone price. You own the phone at the end of the 24 months, it is not a lease. Credit check and Verizon plan required for this.

The discount is not available on an outright purchase of the phones. Only when purchased with a 24-month installment plan. These are the “Nu Contracts” πŸ™‚

As usual, check terms, conditions, restrictions, etc before buying.

Monday: Essential Phone + 360 Camera for $400

Cyber Monday is here and the Temptation is Real if you are Essential Phone curious! Into the Amazon Gold Box we go where it is one of the deals of the day, bundled with its modular 360-degree camera, together Essential Phone + 360 Degree Camera going for $400 with free shipping, in either the black or white color schemes. Limit one per color per customer.

The phone on its own went for $450 on sale, and the bundle with the camera I believe went as low as $500. Sale ends on Tuesday at 3am ET or earlier if sold out. Note that this does not have a headphone jack. Music comes out of USB-C or over bluetooth.

Samsung Galaxy S8 for $574, S8+ for $674, Note 8 for $800

If you are not already waiting in line for the new Samsung Galaxy S9, there are sales on the current S8 duo. The S8 goes $574 in new condition, unlocked, with USA warranty by Amazon itself (limit 2) and at B&H Photo.

In a parallel sale, the larger S8+ goes for $674 in new condition, unlocked, with USA warranty at B&H Photo and by Amazon itself (limit 2).

Meanwhile the Galaxy Note 8 (unlocked, USA warranty) has upticked from $780 to $800 at Amazon itself and B&H Photo.

At both places, if you are surfing around the listings, make sure you are looking at the North American variant (if that’s the one you want).

(ENDED) Essential Phone + 360 Camera for $399

This offer expired…
[Read more…]

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (USA Warranty, Unlocked) for $780

SURPRISE! The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a big sale, the Midnight Black color scheme goes for $780 while the Orchid Gray goes for $800. These are new condition, with USA warranty, unlocked, no contract, sold & shipped by Amazon itself with up to two per color per customer! This is not a lightning deal… UPDATE: Both colors go for $780 at B&H Photo. Make sure you are buying the “North American” variant because their listing has International models too…

(ENDED) Huawei sale: Mate 9 (Leica Dual Camera) + Band 2 Activity Tracker for $399

This deal du jour expired…

[Read more…]

Cameraphone Deals: Note 8 for $908, Essential back to $450, Moto G5 Plus (2/32) for $170

The cameras in smartphones keep getting better and better, they are no longer an afterthought or a marketing gimmick to lure consumers in with a bigger than the competitor megapixel number. Newer models are climbing all over each other in the DxoMark rankings. (as usual, it should go without saying, the Dxomark measurement are only one part of the equation, benchmarks are never the whole answer).

The Orchid Gray version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is now down to $908~ at Amazon by Amazon itself. That’s the lowest I’ve seen it there for the US warranty, US unlocked version.

Meanwhile the Essential Phone by Android’s Andy Rubin is down to $450 again in either color scheme.

Cutting the price even further, you can get the new condition Motorola Moto G5 Plus in the 2/32 configuration (2GB RAM, 32GB storage) for $170 at Costco (members only) and by Amazon itself (limit 3 per customer). This creates an oddball situation at Amazon where the model with Prime Ads actually costs more πŸ™‚

Note that the 64GB version of the Moto G5 Plus has 4GB of RAM (instead of 2GB), that’s part of the price difference, sale or no sale. As with previous generations, these are “all carrier” phones, they work on all four major US carriers.

Pixel 2, Note 8: Buy 1 Get 1 Half-Off at VZW

Two of the top tier smartphones camera-wise are participating in an Android promotion at Verizon Wireless. It is a “Buy One, Get One for Half Off’ for the Pixel 2 or 2 XL, the Galaxy Note 8 or Samsung S8 or S8+, the Moto Z2 Force, the ASUS Zenfone AR, and more.

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL phones have a trade-in promotion on them as well, up to 50% off with qualifying trade.

As usual with cellphone carrier offers, make sure you read and understand all the terms, conditions and restrictions of their service. They have a long way to go to make their websites consumer-friendly.

In-Stock Now: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Factory Unlocked USA version) for $950

Flagship time! Hide your wallets! The new condition factory-unlocked USA version with USA warranty of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone flagship with dual OIS back cameras, in the Orchid Gray color scheme, is, as of the time of writing, in-stock and ready to ship to your front door for $950 at Amazon by Amazon itself. The other color (“Midnight Black”) is only in-stock by 3rd-party sellers.

It is very important when buying phones at Amazon to pay attention to the seller of record and the listing, and also double-check to verify. It is chaos and disorder when it comes to the 3rd-party sellers over there πŸ™‚

But that’s not all. If “Orchid Gray” is not your thing, and you are comfortable with International Variants (not the US model with US warranty but compatible with some GSM carriers – check carrier and frequencies before buying), the “Maple Gold” is in-stock for $950 at B&H Photo, while the “Midnight Black” goes for $1000. These are International versions!

The US versions are not yet in-stock at B&H Photo. B&H Photo will begin accepting orders again Saturday night, so they won’t sell out, giving you time to research the phones πŸ™‚

Essential Phone drops to $500

The semi-modular (has a 360 degree camera optional accessory among others) Essential Phone is now down another $100 in the white color scheme, you can get it in new condition, factory unlocked, with USA warranty for $500 at Amazon by Amazon itself. This started out at $700. This is the brain child of Android creator Andy Rubin.

UPDATE: the Black Moon color scheme is now down to $500 as well…

Meanwhile the Galaxy Note 8 remains in the all-encompassing “TOOS” status.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (US version) TOOS at Amazon

The US version with US warranty, factory unlocked, of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 flagship smartphone with its dual OIS back cameras, in the Orchid Gray color scheme is now at the all-encompassing “Temporarily out of stock” status at Amazon, sold and shipped by Amazon itself. This is a step in the right direction (over Pre-Order status without a date) but still not a concrete date. But it’s getting there!

Meanwhile the B&H Photo listings remain in “New Item – Coming Soon” condition. Note that the B&H page has a mix of North American and International variants, so make sure you are looking at the correct model you are interested in.

Speaking of flagships, the Essential Phone is now down to $599 (from $699) in both color schemes, in the new condition factory unlocked with USA warranty model.

BANG FOR THE BUCK ALTERNATIVE

This if you want an uber flagship smartphone. If not, for the same price, you can buy 3-4 units of the Moto G5 Plus with “all carrier” support (the Big Four in the US market) for $240 with Prime Lockscreen Ads or for $300 Factory Unlocked. Note [no pun intended] that the $185/$235 model is with 2GB RAM / 32GB storage, while this $240/$300 model is with 4GB RAM / 64GB storage. The extra RAM is more important, especially if you plan on keeping/using the phone throughout its lifecycle, since apps get more and more bloated as time goes by (even if you don’t upgrade to a newer OS version).

Moto X4 with Prime Lockscreen Offers for $330

If you don’t want to pay Samsung and Apple and iGoogle nearly four figures for their latest flagships, but still want to get a solid smartphone, the fourth generation of the Moto X is rolling out for $400. But if you are a Prime member and don’t object to seeing Lockscreen Offers and Ads, Amazon is offering this model for $70 less, you can get the Lenovorola Moto X4 for $330 in either color scheme. Limit one per color per customer. It will come out October 26 (2017).

This is an all-carrier phone, it works with all four major US carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon), which will likely (other things equal) help with its resale value as long as most phones sold are not all-carrier phones.

Of photography interest, it has dual rear cameras and microSD slot and IP68 water resistant. With 3GB RAM and Snapdragon 630 and 32GB on-board and 5.2″ 1080p screen.

The LG V30 and V30+ are out!

LG’s approach to their flagship smartphone cameras has been bright lenses and wider than telephoto. Their new LG V30 and V30+ duo is now out in the US market with various options at various carriers. The unlocked versions are coming later in the year. As part of the launch, LG and Google have a special promotion through participating carriers that gets you a FREE Daydream View VR Headset and a second year warranty.

+ at Verizon Wireless, you get a $200 prepaid VISA gift card along with the Daydream
+ price is $840 outright or $35/month on a 24-month plan on approved credit with 0% APR

+ at T-Mobile the price is $800 or the equivalent with an installment plan
+ but they offer $500 back in a prepaid Mastercard if you buy TWO LG V30s when you add a line, pay with an Installment Plan and such. There’s also an optional offer for a free LG G Pad X2 tablet

+ at AT&T they offer it $27/mo on an installment plan OAC or $810 outright

+ at US Cellular they offer a $20/month on a 30-month installment plan or $800 outright

+ at Sprint they offer a 2-for-1 “Sprint Flex” offer with an installment plan and such. Note that “Sprint Flex” is a lease program, not a purchase program
+ Sprint offers the V30+ which has more on-board memory

The FREE Google DayDream promotion and second year warranty comes from LG and Google and is redeemed through the LG launch promotion page. The other offers are through each particular carrier.

As usual when dealing with carriers, make sure you understand all the terms, restrictions, traps, and conditions of their offers. They have a long way to go towards offering more transparent and consumer-friendly plans and services.

Pre-order new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones

The new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones crash-landed at the very top of the Dxomark Mobile Rankings with a score of 98, topping the camera modules of the latest iPhones and Galaxies [iPhone X not measured yet since it’s not released yet]. Check further down the DxoMark page if you want to see the bar-chart and pros/cons summary.

These new phones are now available for pre-ordering at the official Google Store and also at Project Fi and also at Verizon Wireless with an optional trade-in promotion up to $300.

Prices are $649 (64GB) and $749 (128GB) for the Pixel 2, and $850 (64GB) and $950 (128GB) for the Pixel 2 XL.

All of these early pre-orders qualify for a free “Google Home Mini” (the new donut shaped one, priced $49 brand new).

PS: speaking of smartphones, the previous generation Sony XZ (unlocked, USA warranty, 32GB) is on sale for $350 in two different colors by Amazon herself.

In-Stock Again: Essential Phone (Unlocked) for $699

It’s in-stock again in limited quantities, the new condition factory-unlocked with USA warranty, in the “Black Moon” color scheme of the Essential Phone by Andy Rubin, at its starting price of $699 at Amazon by Amazon itself. This has a dual camera, and a semi-modular system.

Kodak EKTRA Android Smartphone for $299

On the nostalgia front, the new condition factory-unlocked GSM Kodak EKTRA Android Smartphone is on sale for $299 with free shipping by Amazon itself and B&H Photo. This is a Mediatek device with 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board, 5″ 1080p screen, NFC, USB-C, etc.

Pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Per the Mobile OS Fairness Doctrine, having mentioned the new iPhones, we now have to mention the flagship Android phone with its dual OIS cameras, which, what a coincidence, is also available for pre-order!

FACTORY UNLOCKED

If you prefer factory unlocked, with USA warranty and no carrier strings attached, you can get it for $930 in two color options at B&H Photo and Amazon itself.

Samsung’s own store offers it both factory unlocked, and also in six carrier configurations (the Big Four, plus US Cellular and Comcast/Xfinity) for $930. They also have an optional $300 Trade-In Promotion of qualifying/eligible trade-in phones.

UPDATE: if you are a fan of eBay shopping, they have a variety of listings. Keep in mind, eBay is an open marketplace with all kinds of product conditions and authorized dealer status and international models and such, so be sure to scrutinize each listing before buying!

CARRIER OFFERS

Carriers have a variety of offers with their terms and conditions and restrictions and pitfalls, so be sure to read and understand them before jumping aboard a particular carrier…

There are also some promotions that get you free accessories with early pre-orders. Check each carrier’s various options for details.

AT&T offers a 30-month installment plan with 0% APR on approved credit and such, for $31.67 per month. They have an up to $300 trade-in promotion, fineprint buried at the bottom of that page.

T-Mobile offers an old fashioned “Buy One, Get One FREE” promotion, with their own set of prerequisites and requirements for the promotion.

SPRINT has a “Switch to Sprint” promotion that is $20 per month on the 18-month Sprint FLEX Lease program with monthly bill credits on approved credit, with their prerequisites and restrictions. Note that this is a lease promotion, not a purchase promotion.

Verizon Wireless has a Trade-IN promotion that gets you up to 50% off Galaxy Note 8 with select trade-ins and a monthly payment plan and with other requirements. The 50% off is reserved for ten models (S7*, S8*, iPhone 7*, Pixel XL, etc), while the 35% off is with previous previous generation flagships, and 25% off is three times previous generation models.

Pre-order iPhone 8 and Apple TV 4K and Watch 3

The first wave of the new products Apple revealed at their 9/12/17 presentation at the new UFO building are now available for pre-ordering. The iPhone X is not part of this round, pre-orders will open later in the year.

APPLE TV 4K

We start with the 4K Apple TV which is a simple “add to cart” purchase without complications. There is a 32GB model for $179 and a 64GB for $199 with pre-orders available at B&H Photo and Adorama and MacMall

APPLE WATCH SERIES 3

+ Apple Watch Series 3 for $359 (four options)
+ Apple Watch Series 3 with CELLULAR for $429 (seven options) unlocked at B&H Photo OR for $400 at Verizon Wireless (requirements)
+ more expensive options also available – check all 34 options

IPHONE 8 and 8 PLUS PROMOTIONS

Be sure to read all the terms and conditions for the carrier promotions, as each carrier has their own terminology and fineprint!

At Sprint, their Best Trade-IN offer is 50% off the price of an iPhone 8 or 8 PLUS with a string of prerequisites including Sprint FLEX, and eligible trade-in, with new line or qualifying upgrade, etc, etc. Check all the details there.

At AT&T Wireless they offer a 30-month 0% APR installment plan on approved credit with their own set of prerequisites.

At T-Mobile, everyone gets a giant splash of magenta for FREE πŸ˜‰ They too have a trade in promotion with up to $300 in 24 bill credits with eligible trade-in and their own prerequisites. They actually created a readable FAQ on the Trade-In offer, which all carriers should be required to provide instead of hiding all the terms in tiny online fineprint and anachronistic terminology πŸ™‚ [T-Mobile does this too, not just the other three, but in this case, the FAQ is a nice touch]

Verizon Wireless has a trade-in promotion for the iPhone 8 and also the iPhone 8 PLUS that gets you $100 or $200 or $300 depending on which phone you are trading in. Only specific models are eligible for the trade-in bonus:

MACBOOK SPECIALS

These were not announced this week, but since we have an Apple-centric post, this is a good place to post them…

+ Apple MacBook, iMac, Mini, iPad sales at B&H Photo

+ Sales and Price-Checks on the latest models at MacMall

+ MacMall Super Sale

+ Adorama Apple Sale as well with 21 participating products

(SOLD OUT) In-Stock Now: Essential Phone

As of a 9/12/17 PM recheck, the early inventory got scooped up and the phone is back in pre-ordering status…

[Read more…]

Huawei Honor 8 Unlocked for $259

If you are curious about dual-lens smartphones, and you are also looking for an unlocked 4G LTE new condition smartphone, the 32GB Huawei Honor 8 Unlocked with USA warranty in the blue or white color schemes is on sale for $259 at Amazon by Amazon itself. It has 4GB RAM, 32GB on-board, microSD slot, etc.

Keep in mind, IFA 2017 is just around the corner in Berlin [see Trade Show Calendar] with more Fall 2017 smartphones revealed in the next few weeks (Note 8, LG V30, Pixel 2, iPhones, etc).

Cameraphones: Huawei Honor 6X Dual Camera Unlocked (USA warranty) for $190

If you are looking to try out dual-camera smartphones that won’t break the bank or lock you into a particular carrier, the new condition Huawei Honor 6X Dual Camera Unlocked (USA warranty) is on sale for $190 with free shipping in your choice of silver, gold or gray.

The dual camera is a 12MP + 2MP rear camera, with 3GB RAM, dual SIM, 5.5″ 1080p, Nougat out of the box, etc. It averages 4.3 out of 5 based on 360 customer reviews and it has over 600 questions answered. It works on GSM networks only.

Thursday: refurbished Google Pixel for $405 to $455

If you are a fan of the cameras of the Google Pixel, and don’t want to wait for the late 2017 flagship phones to be revealed (including new iPhones, Pixel 2, Note 8, LG V30, etc), Woot is offering the refurbished Google Pixel phones (first generation) for $400 in the 5-inch model or $450 in the 5.5-inch model, along with $5 flat shipping. Limit three of each per customer. They come with a 90-day Woot warranty. Offer ends 1am ET on Friday or earlier if sold out.

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 for $425 with Trade-IN or $575 without [add $100 for S8+]

Samsung too joined the dual camera party with the Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship introduction. And the prices are dropping. You can now get the Galaxy S8 phone in new condition, unlocked, with USA warranty and no carrier obligations for $575 at B&H Photo and the Samsung website. Make sure you are looking at the US variant if you are switching between colors and such.

On the other hand, if you have an older ex-flagship smartphone that are willing to part with, the samsung website has a $150 off trade-in promotion that would drop the price to $425. Only specific Samsung, iPhones, Pixels and LG phones are eligible for the trade-in promotion.

There is also a parallel promotion on the Galaxy S8+ going for $675 unlocked, or for $525 with a qualifying trade-in at the Samsung website.

PS: note also (yes, pun intended) that the Galaxy Note 8 is expected to be revealed August 23 in 2017 but it’s likely going to be closer to four figures unlocked when it starts rolling out.

(ENDED) Unlocked HTC U11 Solar Red for $591 [USA warranty; no contract]

As of 4:13pm ET recheck, this sale is over…

[Read more…]

Pre-order new Nokia 6 Android phone for $230 (or $180 with Ads)

Once upon a time giants of communications, Motorola and Nokia had their soap-opera paths of mergers and acquisitions. The current incarnation of the HMD era of Nokia brand is launching Android smartphones, and the current leader of their pack is now available for pre-order with USA warranty in the US market!

The Nokia 6 is available for pre-order in three color schemes for $230 each at Amazon by Amazon itself. This is fully compatible with T-Mobile, and partially compatible with AT&T (missing a couple of bands – check phone websites/forums for complete details). This is as close to a pure Android phone as a 3rd-party maker can make with Google PLAY support. Perhaps trying to fill the void of good old Nexus getting shutdown by The Google.

This is not a flagship phone, but you get 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage, microSD card (up to 128GB), a 5.5-inch full HD touchscreen, Snapdragon 430 quad-core, Android 7.1 (how many phones offer this now?), etc.

On the other hand, if you want to pay $50 less, and you are comfortable with the way Amazon does their Sponsored Lockscreen Offers and Ads, Amazon is also offering a Lockscreen Ads version for $180 in two of the three colors. This is restricted to Prime members only, and it appears to have a limit of one per color per customer at the moment.

IF you are not a Prime member, but you want to get the Lockscreen Ads version, you can do it by becoming a Prime member. You will pay the full price of $230, but you will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card AFTER you become a paying Prime member (you get a 30-day free trial). The Details also note that if you return the phone or cancel your Prime membership within 3 months of purchase, they make charge you back for the $50 gift card). In other words, they are trying to prevent people from signing up just to buy the phone for $50 less and then cancelling πŸ™‚

NOTE: as usual at Amazon, there are also listings of the international/imported versions of the phone. The Chinese version has 4GB RAM and 64GB on-board. If you are surfing around, make sure you are looking at the right version!

This has been around outside the US for a few months now, so you can find many reviews and opinions on it, such as this 9-pager from GSM Arena. Or jump to their conclusions if you don’t want to go through it all.

This is one of five new phones that joined the Amazon Prime line-up including the latest Motorola Moto E (4th gen), the Alcatel Idol 5S, and a couple more. It looks like “Blu” may be getting “punished” for their China “phone home” issue, as there are no new Blu phones added to the line-up?

LG G5 Unlocked (USA) with LG CAM Plus for $288 [no contract]

The modular LG G5 was not greeted as a liberator by the smartphone reviewer industrial complex, but of photography interest, this has a dedicated camera controls add-on module, and said module, the LG CAM Plus, is included for FREE with the LG G5 which in itself is on sale for $288 with free expedited shipping in the Titan color scheme, unlocked with US warranty, with no contractual/carrier obligations at B&H Photo. The other colors go for more and do not include the LG CAM Plus module.

Amazon itself also has it for $288 (limit three per customer) but does NOT include the LG CAM Plus for free.

ASUS ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML for $180

For a limited time, B&H Photo is offering the new condition factory-unlocked black color scheme of the ASUS ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML for $180 with free expedited shipping and a free 10050 mAh ASUS portable power bank. This has a 3x optical zoom (4-11mm f/2.7-4.8), GSM compatibility, 32GB on-board storage, 5.5″ 1080p LCD, etc… For more action, check their Featured Sales