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…
If you want a factory unlocked smartphone with a USA warranty and GSM compatibility AND like the idea of having optional add-on modules (like the Hasselblad True Zoom camera), the Motorola Moto Z smartphone is on sale for $500 with free shipping at B&H Photo (with free B&H photo/video kit), and by Amazon itself.
On the other hand, if you want to pay a lot less AND want a phone that works with all four major US carriers, B&H Photo is offering the new condition 64GB Moto G4 PLUS with a free B&H photo/video kit for $220 with free shipping. This is available in black or white. The 64GB version also has 4GB of RAM, while the 16GB version has 2GB of RAM, so keep that in mind.
UPDATE: speaking of smartphones, the brand new HTC U11 with its 12mp Ultrapixels and a 90 DXoMark score is now available for pre-order at Amazon by Amazon itself.
Speaking of smartphones, the brand new factory unlocked ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom smartphone with 2.3x optical zoom is now in-stock and shipping by Amazon itself. It is powered by the Snapdragon S625, with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD slot, 5.5″ touchscreen, dual SIM, 5000 mah battery (with reverse charging), etc.
If you much prefer to get the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ flagships factory unlocked, with Samsung USA warranty and in new condition, there are now in-stock and shipping in limited quantities at the Samsung USA website. The S8 goes for $725 while the S8+ goes for $825.
It is also available for purchase through Samsung Financing on 24-month installment plans with 0% APR on approved credit.
They are also shipping from B&H Photo. The S8 goes for $800 while the S8+ goes for $900.
NOTE that with previous models (eg Galaxy S7), Samsung did not prioritize updates for the unlocked phones. For example, the S7 only just now is getting Nougat (7.0, not even the latest).
Smartphones are embracing dual lenses but single-lens optical zoom remains a rarity. If you are interested in single-lens optical zoom smartphones,the ASUS ZenFone Zoom (ZX551ML, 32GB, Android, Unlocked, Black) comes with a 4-11mm f/2.7-4.8 optical zoom lens with Hoya OIS (28-84mm eq) is bundled with a FREE Garmin Forerunner 25 GPS Running Watch (Large, Black/Blue), all together going for $200 with free shipping at B&H Photo. This is a limited time offer (I do not know when it expires).
No coupon, no rebate. The free item will be included automatically while this offer is running. When the offer expires, you will not see the free Garmin mentioned on the page (see screenshot below). This is factory unlocked and works with compatible GSM carriers (check bands and forums and such). This is one of a few Intel Atom powered smartphones.
These daily deals expired but for more action, check their Featured Sales…
If you like to buy unlocked smartphones with USA warranty and also want to dabble into smartwatches, B&H Photo is bundling the new condition LG G6 (USA warranty, unlocked version) with the LG Watch Style for $650. The phone on its own goes for $600. The watch on its own goes for $250. All these are pre-orders.
On the other hand if you are comfortable with carrier phones and want to commit to 24 months of Sprint service, you can get it for $14.75 per month on 24 monthly installments through Sprint, on approved credit. This comes to just over $350 for the phone, but you are committing to 24 months on their Unlimited Freedom plan.
If you defy conventional wisdom and prefer the previous flagship, the LG G5, the one with the modules, including the camera module, you can get it unlocked with a USA warranty for $330 at B&H Photo. Or for $20 less you can get the AT&T models unlocked, but they have an AT&T logo on the back of the phone. IS a $20 discount enough for you to stare at the AT&T logo? (you can always hide it in a non-clear case).
As usual with all these, be sure to double check compatibility with the cellular networks you plan to use them with.
This limited time offer expired…
As of a 4/19/17 re-check, it looks like this sale ended…
If you like what you saw with the LG G6 camera samples and reviews, and you don’t want to wait for the new Galaxy and iPhone and Pixel flagships to come out, and you are okay with switching or continuing with Sprint, they have a new installment-plan promotion that gets you the new LG G6 smartphone for $354 on a 24-month installment plan. Customers with “Good Credit” pay 24 monthly installments of $14.95, while “Building Credit” pay a $200 deposit with 24 monthly installments of $6.42. They both come out to around $354 total by the end of the installment discount promotion. The offer is good on both the Ice and Black color schemes.
The sale is only good on the installment plan. The pay-full-price-now price is $708. Sprint has a new “Unlimited plan” (with 10GB of mobile hotspot per month) for $50 per month, guaranteed until June 2018 (then it goes to $60/month). These prices are with Auto PAY activated. Add an extra $5/month if you don’t want AutoPAY. They also have promotions on adding lines (the second line is +$30/month, more lines for +$20/line; the prices on the additional lines will also increase in July 2018). You also get a FREE Google Home (hardware device, not a house made by Google) from LG by filing the necessary e-paperwork online.
The new Sony Xperia XZs Android smartphone with its 19mp stacked Exmor RS Motion Eye sensor and 960fps slow motion capture is scheduled to start shipping tomorrow (April 5). It is available for outright purchase, no contract, no preconditions, no installment plans, unlocked with USA warranty for $699 in three color options by Amazon itself. It takes microSD cards (up to 256GB), has 4GB RAM, 64GB on-board, 5.2″ 1080p screen, Snapdragon 820, IP68 waterproofness, dual nano SIM, Android 7.1, etc.
Speaking of unlocked smartphones, Amazon has launched a new featured Unlocked Smartphone sale featuring various models including ASUS Zenphone Zoom, Sony XA, and more.
Sam’s Club is offering two freebies when you pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+. You have to follow the steps and the deadlines and requirements of each promotion. Freebie #1 is “Gear VR with Controller” to be sent to you later on by mail. You have to submit your information after purchase at the Samsung promotions website, and then they will mail you the Gear VR. Freebie #2 is a $150 Sam’s Club gift card. To redeem this, you must pick-up and activate your phone at a Sam’s Club store between April 21-30 in 2017. Activations are free April 21-23. Check their website for more details.
The new LG G6 flagship is doing a lot better review-wise than its modular predecessor, the LG G5. If you have read the G6 reviews, checked the camera samples and comparisons, and you don’t want to wait to see what Samsung has to …unpack with their …explosive presentation of the Galaxy S8 next week, there are various LG G6 pre-order promotions at Verizon Wireless.
If you are a brand new customer to Verizon, and willing to trade-in a qualifying phone (they have a list), and port your old number over, and sign-up for eligible plans and promotions, you can get all three freebies. If not, you can get one or two of the freebies. Each freebie has its own preconditions, requirements, and deadlines. The three freebies are: 1) free 43″ LG HDTV offered through Verizon Rebates, 2) free Google Home offered through LG’s launch promotions, 3) $200 Trade-In bill credit distributed over 24 months. Be sure to read through the terms/conditions of each promotion and ask their CSRs questions if you are not certain or familiar with their promo-speak. More details on their promotions page.
Zoom-zoom for smartphones! The new condition ASUS ZenFone Zoom (3X optical zoom with Hoya’s blessings; Unlocked, No Contract, 64GB on-boar storage, Black, U.S. Warranty) is currently on sale for $199 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon herself with a limit of up to three units per customer. This is not a lightning deal. This has a 5.5-inch IPS Gorilla Glass 4 touchscreen, 1080p, 4GB RAM, 64GB on-board, etc. Check bands if you plan to use it with a cellular carrier.
For Leica fans, the Huawei Mate 9 Android flagship smartphone is currently on sale, in new condition, with USA warranty, unlocked, without contract or installment plan or any other preconditions, for $593 at Amazon by Amazon itself. Limit up to three per color per customer. Check bands and specs to make sure it works with your carrier(s) of choice.
UPDATE: speaking of flagship smartphones, the + Lenovo-Motorola Moto Z Unlocked goes for $450 (no contract; limit 2) by Amazon itself.
On the camera-phone front, the current Motorola flagship, the 64GB Moto Z, unlocked, without contract or installment plan requirements, is on sale for $500 with free shipping, with a limit of two per customer at Amazon by Amazon itself… This is a modular phone with optional add-ons/modules such as the Hasselblad 10X True Zoom… There is no combined purchase discount – if you want both, you may want to wait for future offers. The sale this time is on the phone, not the bundle…
Speaking of unlocked no-contract cameraphones, the dual lens Huawei Honor 6X is now shipping for $250.
If you are a fan of Leica mobile cameras/lenses and are looking for an unlocked no-contract with USA-warranty Android flagship-level smartphone, the Huawei Mate 9 with dual Leica Cameras is now in-stock and ready to ship for $600 at Amazon by Amazon itself. With Google betraying the Nexus line-up with an iPhone-wannabe Pixel-Schmixel (#BitterNexusFans), it opens the door for Nexus fans to explore other unlocked options from the many other Android manufacturers that even have microSD cards 🙂
If you are curious about dual-camera phones, as part of the NewEgg TechMas sale (I do not have a monopoly on bad puns), you can get the new condition unlocked no-contract 32GB Huawei Hodor 8 Dual Camera smartphone for $300 with free shipping. You also get a few other freebies, including a selfie-stick, cables and adapters and such, and headphones).
The Holiday Shopping Situation Room update is now completed, and one last offer emerged from the price-checking, B&H Photo added one more freebie to their LG G5 Unlocked smartphone while remaining at $450: an LG Smartphone VR headset which goes for $170 on its own. The other three freebies continue, the LG Cam Plus (camera module) and extra charger and battery. This is model RS988, the unlocked North America variant with GSM and CDMA support. I like this trend of flagships being able to work with GSM and CDMA.
PS: check with your carrier(s) before buying though to be 100% certain it is compatible.
If you want to be a rebel and avoid the “blockbuster” phones of Apple, Samsung, and Nexus-killing Google, LG is one of the alternatives, especially if you are curious about modular design and LG’s Cam Plus camera module. Because the “LG Cam Plus” (the camera module) is included for FREE for a limited time, along with a charging cradle and an extra battery along with the 32GB LG G5 smartphone (model RS988, GSM + CDMA / 4G LTE Capable, North America variant, no contract, with microSD slot, with USA warranty) for $450 with free shipping at B&H Photo.
NOTE: there are multiple options on the same listing, if you are traversing the other options, make sure you are looking at the “North American Variant” with the four freebies, not the “AT&T Variant” (which goes for $370, but you don’t get any of the four freebies, and you get an AT&T logo on the back; also the AT&T variant does not have CDMA).
Regardless of option, check to make sure it is compatible with your carrier(s) of choice.
This sold out…
The new condition ASUS ZenFone Zoom, one of the few out there with a 3X optical zoom lens, 64GB on-board storage, unlocked and without contractual obligations, and USA warranty, is on sale for $199 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon itself with a limit of three units per customer. This is not a lightning deal.
Since smartphone cameras have improved dramatically over the years, I will now also include them under the “Other Cameras” umbrella blog-category.
Which brings us to a flagship smartphone promotion, Verizon Wireless is offering the new condition 32GB Google Pixel smartphone on a 24-month installment plan for $10 per month for 24 months on an installment plan. The total price you would pay over the 24 months is $240. This is done using 24 monthly bill credits that bring the price down. You are billed $27.08 per month (the phone’s regular price) but you get $17.08 bill credits monthly, making it $10 per month. It’s basically a faux-contract of sorts… Also eligible for the promotion is the 128GB version which comes out to $15 per month for 24 months after the bill credits. You can adjust colors and storage size on that listing…
Meanwhile the larger 32GB Pixel XL is offered for $20 per month for 24 months, in a similarly structured promotion. The 128GB Pixel XL goes for $25 per month.
UPDATE: the same $10 per month for 24 months on an Installment plan is also offered for the Samsung Galaxy S7.
Motorola too has some Black Friday bundles, you can get the Hasselblad True Zoom modular camera along with one of their Z series phones for just slightly more than buying the phone alone. These are unlocked phones, no contract, no obligations. You pay for it, you own it. The Moto Z PLAY + True Zoom bundle goes for $500, while the Moto Z + True Zoom bundle goes for $750.
The day is over and so is this bundle…
If you are a fan of real optical zoom lenses on smartphones, the ASUS Zenfone Zoom (3X optical zoom lens; 5.5″, 4GB RAM, unlocked, USA warranty, 64GB storage, microSD, Android 5.0) is bundled with the ASUS ZenWatch 2 Android Wear Smartwatch at NewEgg for $300 with free shipping as one of their Thursday daily deals…
The Zoom ZenFone on its own goes for $250 at Amazon which itself appears to be a sale of sorts since Amazon has a limit of three per customer.
This particular daily deal expired, but Aukey smartphone lenses are frequently featured in lightning deals…
As of 10/11/16 AM re-check, this is sold out and cannot be ordered for $200. This often happens temporarily when Amazon runs out and pulls their own listing until a later time… Other 3rd-party sellers have it for $250+ but they are not eligible for the promotion…
Google generated some waves in multiple dimensions with today’s Google-centric Made-by-Google announcement (raw video stream which I was live-tweeting at high speed). One of those waves was a new flagship “made by HTC for Google” Pixel phone duo. Already this phone got reviewed by DxoMark which gave it the highest camera score ever for a smartphone camera.
The said phones are now available for pre-orders. If you prefer to go through a carrier, it is available through Verizon Wireless only which is running a trade-in credit promotion.
If you prefer an unlocked no-contracts no-obligations phone or to prefer the other carriers, you can purchase it from the Google Store (not to be confused with the Google Play Store) or through Project Fi. Yes, it is Project Fi compatible! They offer financing as well (through Symphony Bank) and for a limited time, you can get a free Daydream View VR headset for FREE ($79 value).
Prices are flagship prices here, the 5-inch model goes for $650 (32GB storage) while the 5.5-inch model goes for $770 (32GB). If you prefer the 128GB model is an extra $100 for each model. If you are used to Nexus pricing, it’s a bit of a sticker shock 🙂
UPDATE: Best Buy is offering pre-orders for the Verizon Wireless versions with a free $100 Best Buy Gift Card and a free Chromecast.
There are hundreds of smartphones but still very few of them have a zoom lens, despite various attempts by manufacturers to differentiate their products. One of the zoom-lens models is the 64GB ASUS ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML (3x optical zoom, Black) and it has a special bundle for it at B&H Photo. Using coupon code ZOOMWACH drops the price of the bundle to $364 with free expedited shipping. The bundle is this:
+ 64GB ASUS ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML (Black; No Contract; Unlocked; Android)
+ ZenWatch 2 Smartwatch (rose gold, unlocked)
+ $50 B&H Photo Gift Card
+ one 10050 mah portable battery (choice of four colors)
+ limited time offer but expiration date unknown
This offer ended but more will likely come in the future… For more action, check their Featured Deals pages…
The AUKEY 3 in 1 Clip-on Cell Phone Camera Lens Kit (three clip-on lenses, fisheye, wide, macro) is currently on sale for $11 by the maker (Aukey Direct) with the order fulfilled by Amazon, so you get free shipping if you are a Prime member, or with a $49+ ($25+ books) order. These average 4.1 out of 5 based on 400 customer reviews, and they also have sixty questions answered by other shoppers there. This is not a lightning deal, so this could last anywhere between 1ns and forever 🙂
And now we have a mini VR camera theme from B&H Photo, starting with the LG G5 VR Bundle offered for $750 with free shipping in either the Silver or Titan color schemes. This gets you the LG G5 smartphone (carrier unlocked, GSM, CDMA depends, no contract) along with the LG 360 CAM Spherical Camera and the LG 360 VR Smartphone Headset. Shipping estimate is early May 2016.
This daily deal expired… For more action, check the B&H Featured Deals page…
Since we are in the pre-order spirit, here’s the new flagship duo of the Samsung line-up, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, now with bigger pixels, fewer megapixels, wider aperture, the return of the microSD card, IPX 68 water resistant, and more advanced auto focusing. It is now available for pre-order:
+ T-Mobile offers include 1-year of Netflix
+ Sprint offers with various transfer offers and “Buy One Get One Half Off”
+ AT&T Offers include a cross-promotion for Direct TV customers for unlimited data
If you prefer unlocked with no contract, there are no prices or pre-order options yet but the new phones have product pages ready at B&H Photo which is always a good sign.
Amazon doesn’t have the phones yet, but there have dozens upon dozens of S7 and S7 Edge phone cases available.
As usual, if you are buying through a carrier with a contract or an installment plan or frequent-upgrade plans, be sure to check the terms and conditions and restrictions and fees and such.
To the eBay Deals we go, where BuyDig’s eBay store is offering a nice deal for fans of Android purity who want to have the latest version (Android 6.0) with the new permissions system, and compatibility with the Google-Fi hybrid cellular-wifi service that refunds you any unused data. They include a $20 VISA gift card with either the 16GB Nexus 5X ($300; two color options) or the 32GB Nexus 5X ($350; one color option). No contracts!
This is a good way to use and test the latest versions of a variety of camera and photography Android apps but restrict them when they get too grabby with their permissions and data hoarding. Having said that, keep in mind that the new Permissions system is not perfect and it only gives us partial control. There is a very good write-up on it at the Ars Technica review.
Optical zoom lenses have had a hard time breaking out in non-superzoom camera-phones, but ASUS is trying their hand at it with the new ASUS ZenFone, and this creature, unlocked with 64GB on-board storage and a 3x flat-ish optical zoom lens (4-11mm f/2.7-4.8) is now available for pre-order for $400 at B&H Photo. This is model ZX551ML-23-4G64G-BK, with Android 5.x, a generous 4GB RAM, Intel Atom Ant Z3580 processor, 5.5-inch iPS Gorilla Glass 4 1920 x 1080 screen, microSD slot, and things like that. This looks like an actual phone, unlike the various Samsung superzoom Android phones that look more like travel-zoom digital cameras than phones.
The DXO One discounting action moves to Amazon’s website where you can get the new condition DXO ONE along with a $60 plastic Amazon Gift Card and a 32GB Transcend microSDHC card (633x with full SD adapter) for $572~ with free shipping… In the off chance the gift card arrives before the camera actually ships (eg your credit card is billed), you can use the gift card to partially pay for the camera…
Meanwhile, the theme of the latest B&H Days of Deals group sale is a Smartphone Sale featuring various phones and accessories, including the Panasonic CM1 Android-Camera with 1″ sensor for $450, the Nexus 5X bundled with a $20 B&H Gift Card Card for $330 (16GB) or $380 (32GB), along with models from Samsung (eg 32GB Galaxy S6 for $480), ASUS, LG, Sony, Blu, ZTE, Alcatel and Huawei. The sale also includes accessories such as olloClip add-on lens bundles and cameraphone-holders.
This promotion ended…
And now something to put all pictures, more storage options at the eBay Deals. This time it is Adorama’s very own eBay store offering the new condition 2TB WD My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 External Hard Drive for $70 with free shipping, in the black color scheme, with a limit of five per customer.
Speaking of eBay, if you want to be among the first to get the official Android 6.0 release, and your current Nexus device (Nexus 10 or 7 (first gen) or 4 or earlier) will not get the official 6.0, and you are looking to get a device that will get that, the new condition factory unlocked Nexus 6 by Motorola in the blue color scheme is on sale for $300 with free shipping and a one year warranty by MobilePros1 (97.9%) on eBay. Limit five per customer. Over 3500 units sold so far from this listing. (the Nexus 5 will also get Android 6.0 but it will probably be its last official major release, while the Nexus 6 will likely get two more official major releases – this is based on previous patterns, by no means guaranteed).
The latest Trending eBay Deals have a crazy low price on the 2014 HTC flagship smartphone/cameraphone, the One M8, with a microSD card, so you can many and more pictures without worrying about filling up the on-board storage.
NOTE: this is seller-refurbished, so they have a higher risk than manufacturer refurbished, so if you are risk-averse or a bit of a perfectionist, you may want to avoid them or at least approach with caution.
It is the seller refurbished 32GB HTC One M8 (6525), the Verizon model with its GSM part unlocked for use with any GSM provider. Check the bands and frequencies to make sure it works on your carriers of choice if planning to use it for cellular. Limit five per buyer. Over 4000 units sold so far. Only the gray color scheme remains. The other colors sold out. The M8 is one of the devices scheduled to get upgraded to Android 6.0.
They also have a couple of seller-refurbished Galaxy models, the S4 for $100 and the S5 for $180, at the Trending eBay Deals. No more microSD card with the new Galaxy S6 and its contemporaries.
UPDATE 9/22/15: yet another option, the 32GB version (manufacturer refurbished, AT&T GSM version, unlocking code included) with One Year Prime for $110 with free shipping by QualityCellz (99.2%), with a limit of five per customer…
NOTE: if you are not already a Prime member already, for one day only (Friday 9/25/15), you can purchase a Prime membership for $67 as a new member. So if you don’t need this phone, $67 is definitely better.
The original post (the new condition items) after the break…
B&H Photo is offering a free Panasonic HX-A1 Wearable HD Action Cam (choice of Orange or Black color scheme) with the purchase of the GSM unlocked Panasonic DMC-CM1 Android CameraPhone at its regular price of $1000. You can optionally extend the warranty to three years via a Panasonic mail-in rebate. You can select the free action camera color by clicking on the “Your choice from free items” link there. Annotated screenshot crop of that right below:
If you don’t want to wait for the Google New Nexus event in late September, the 32GB Nexus 6 is back in-stock for $350 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon itself with a limit of three per customer. No contract, no carrier restrictions, this is Pure Nexus Android. The only phone so far (as far as I recall) eligible for Google’s Project Fi phone service.
Speaking of pure Android, the Nexus 9 tablet was on sale for $239~ (16GB) or $287~ (32GB) directly from HTC but as of the time of writing, all four combinations (two colors each) are out of stock.
Not out of stock at the HTC website is their RE action camera going for $100, available in four colors.
Speaking of HTC, you can get their flagship M9 phone for $487 with a $100 Google Play credit included. This is available as Unlocked, or as a Developer model, or in one of the four carrier various (Red, Blue, Yellow, Magenta networks). Each phone is available in different colors as well. Of photographer interest, it has a microSD slot, so you can take more pictures without having to micromanage limited on-board storage.
TIP: on the HTC website, you have to select all the options (storage, colors, etc) before they show the price and stock status.
Fire up your laptops and tablets and desktops! The Apple Extravaganza announcement starts at 1pm Eastern today, Wednesday 9/9/15. Expected is a 13-inch iPad Pro with maybe a pressure-sensitive screen which could be welcome news for digital creatives.
If you are not of the Apple persuasion, there’s a Pure Android sale for you. The 6-inch Motorola Nexus 6, Unlocked, No Contract, Pure Nexus-Android, with USA warranty is on sale for $350 in the 32GB version and $400 in the 64GB version. Limit three of each per customer. It ships in 9-11 days. The 6-inch AMOLED 2560 x 1440 screen is a fun way to showcase pictures to the average consumer. It is currently the only phone eligible for Google’s Project Fi service. Keep in mind, Google is planning to reveal new Nexus phones at the end of the month.
To the eBay Deals we go pro-dding where the official GoPro eBay store is offering manufacturer refurbished GoPro HERO3 White Edition Action Cameras for $145 with free shipping and a one year warranty. Limit five per buyer. Already over 3100 units got sold from this very listing.
UPDATE: in new condition this goes for $200 at B&H Photo.
Speaking of eBay, if you missed the Fire Phone fire sale at Amazon (gone there), but are still tempted, you can get it in new condition with One Year of Prime for $125 with free shipping by Quality Cellz on eBay (99.2%), with a limit of fifty per customer. Over 10,000 units got sold through this listing per the stats over there. Since a Prime membership is $100, you are effectively getting a 32GB unlocked GSM no-contract faux-Android smartphone with decent mid-rangey specs for just $25.
UPDATE 8/27/15 at 12:03am ET: As of this update, the Fire Phone (32GB, GSM, Unlocked, No Contract) is out of stock and cannot be ordered. I don’t know if it will return, they don’t have the usual “email me” link… You can use this link to check for updates, but I will also monitor the situation… Previous updates from when it was in-stock after the jump…