Tech Guide

If you want a new smartphone for the holidays, today is a great day to buy

Key Points
  • Cyber Monday means steep discounts on smartphones.
  • Unlocked devices such as the Galaxy Note 8 are about $150 cheaper than normal.
  • Carriers also have incentives ahead of the holidays.
Google unveiled the Pixel 2 smartphone
CNBC | Andrew Evers

If you're in the market for a new smartphone or are planning to pick one up for the holidays, you should probably buy it today.

Almost all of the best smartphones of the year are on sale for Cyber Monday. Some are being offered with incentives, like receiving a gift card or credit with the purchase.

Keep in mind that there probably aren't any major refreshes on the horizon for at least a few months, so you don't have to worry about that new device looking outdated for a little while. Samsung's new Galaxy S9 isn't expected until February or March, for example.

Here's where to find deals:

Discounts at retail

Samsung's best smartphones -- including the unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 -- are at least $150 off from the websites of retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, and they don't require a contract with a carrier. Samsung is also discounting several of its smartphones with trade-ins on its website.

Sales on the year-old iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus can be found at various retailers. Best Buy has those phones for $150 off with a monthly installment plan.

Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is selling smartphones ranging in price from $39 to $800, depending on the model you buy.

Discounts from carriers

Carriers are also offering Cyber Monday incentives.

  • T-Mobile is offering a buy one, get one deal on the Galaxy S8/Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30/G6 -- four excellent phones. It's also providing a $300 rebate on the iPhone X if you trade in an eligible smartphone.
  • Verizon is offering the original Google Pixel for $5 per month, the iPhone SE for $10 per month and is offering 50 percent off of accessories with the purchase of a new smartphone.
  • AT&T is offering a free iPhone 7 if you sign up for DIRECTV and an AT&T Next plan.
  • Sprint is offering up to $350 off of the iPhone X or iPhone 8 when you trade in an old device and sign up for an iPhone Forever plan. It's also offering the Essential smartphone for $5 per month, and a buy one, get one on the iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus.

Discounts on Amazon

Amazon, which is selling more unlocked smartphones than ever before, also has big discounts.

The founder of Android's new phone, the Essential phone, is on sale for $499, or $200 off the initial retail price.

Amazon is also steeply discounting the unlocked Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8. The Huawei Mate 9 is priced at $399, down $100 from its retail price.

Even Google

Google is even getting in on the Cyber Monday fun. It's offering a $100 store credit and a free Google Home Mini with the purchase of a Pixel 2 smartphone. Customers can also trade in an old phone for up to $400 off of their purchase.

But what about Apple?

Unfortunately, unless you're trying to trade up at a carrier, or are willing to settle for an older phone, it's pretty hard to find discounts on Apple's newest phones. That means you'll likely end up paying full retail for the iPhone X and iPhone 8 unless you trade in a phone or sign a contract with one of the carriers offering a discount.

WATCH: Consumer Reports breaks down its best Cyber Monday deals

Consumer Reports breaks down its best Cyber Monday deals