We passed a remarkable anniversary recently: On April 3, 1973, the first phone call from a handheld mobile device was placed. We've come a long way in 41 years! Now, whether you're searching for the latest smartphone or a simple prepaid device, this roundup of five Editors' Choice phone deals has the handset for you. Score the cheapest iPhone 5S ever, get $112 off a no-contract Samsung Galaxy Reverb, or grab a Motorola prepaid phone for just $8.
Apple iPhone 5S 16GB Smartphone for AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon
Price: $99.99 with in-store pickup
Lowest By: $50
Is It Worth It?: With all the new Androids gracing the market right now, you might be wondering if it's worth it to buy an iPhone 5S. The New York Times recently did a side-by-side comparison of the 7-month-old iPhone 5S and Samsung's just-launched Galaxy S5 ... and declared the iPhone the unequivocal winner. "By just about every major measure you’ll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsung’s phone ranks behind the iPhone," the paper said. "If you’re looking for the best phone on the market right now, I’d recommend going with the iPhone 5S." You can get the reigning king of smartphones for a mere $100 in-store at RadioShack, which is a $50 price low and easily the best price we've ever seen.
The iPhone 5S boasts an Apple A7 64-bit processor with an M7 motion coprocessor, a 4" 11136x640 Retina display, an 8-megapixel iSight camera, 1080p video capture at 30 fps, a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, a built-in fingerprint reader, 802.11a/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, dual microphones, and iOS 7. Note that some terms and conditions may apply, such as an activation fee of up to $36.
$200 Samsung Smartphone Credit
Discount: Up to $200 off when you trade in a BlackBerry
Is It Worth It?: Speaking of trade-in offers, T-Mobile has a great one for customers looking to surrender their old CrackBerries. Head to your local T-Mobile store, where you can trade in any working BlackBerry device and get a credit worth up to $200 off the purchase of a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Light, or Galaxy S5. Although we saw a general $200 credit for Blackberry trade-ins in February, this is still a very strong deal from T-Mobile, yielding significant savings on some extremely popular smartphones.
If none of the new Samsungs catch your eye, you can still get a $100 credit when you upgrade your BlackBerry to any new smartphone. (Scroll down to see this offer.)
Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom 16MP 8GB Android Smartphone
Price: $329.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $20
Expires: May 1
Is It Worth It?: If you're a shutterbug looking for a smartphone that can keep up with your desire to capture the world in photos, look no further than Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom. CNET said the Zoom's "image quality is on par with a good point-and-shoot camera, and its optical zoom makes it a more flexible camera than any other smartphone's." Most merchants have the Galaxy S4 Zoom for $430 or more, but Groupon offers this unlocked hybrid smartphone for $330.
Along with its 16-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and 1080p video capture, the Galaxy S4 Zoom features a Cortex A9 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4" 1080x1920 Super AMOLED touchscreen, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, Bluetooth, WiFi, and Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean).
Samsung Galaxy Reverb No-Contract Android Smartphone for Virgin Mobile
Store: Virgin Mobile
Price: $49.99 with free shipping
Lowest By: $112
Is It Worth It?: Android fans looking for a no-contract smartphone should check out the Samsung Galaxy Reverb. PC Mag was quite pleased with the Galaxy Reverb, only balking at the phone's steep MSRP. Calling the Reverb "a solid midrange Android smartphone for Virgin Mobile," the reviewer noted that "it's a good deal better than many other phones in the carrier's lineup." At $50, you'll save $112 on this smartphone.
The 3G-only Galaxy Reverb sports a 4" 800x480 touchscreen LCD, a Qualcomm MSM8655 1.4GHz processor, 4GB of internal memory, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, 802.11 wireless, Bluetooth 4.0, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Motorola EX431G Prepaid Phone for TracFone bundled with Triple Minutes for Life
Store: ShopCellDeals via Amazon
Price: $7.99 with free shipping via Prime
Lowest By: $27
Is It Worth It?: Smartphones are great, but there's something freeing about not being tethered to a data limit. Grab the Motorola EX431G prepaid phone for TracFone for just $8, and you can avoid mobile browsing entirely. Plus, you'll score triple minutes for life. It's the best deal we could find for this phone by $27.
This prepaid phone features a full qwerty keyboard, a 2.2" LCD screen, a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD card slot. Click here to see if TracFone service is available in your area.