consumer

Buy a New Smartphone for Less

You don't have to spend $1,000 or more to get a great phone

NBC Universal, Inc.

This is the time of year when fancy new phones hit the market, often with faster processors, better cameras and higher prices. But if spending a small fortune on the latest tech isn’t for you, Consumer Reports reveals some smartphones that get the job done without breaking the bank.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra costs $1,400 and is one of the most expensive smartphones in Consumer Reports’ ratings. The same goes for Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max, at $1,100. Both models are newer and earn excellent scores in CR’s rigorous tests.

But you don't have to spend over $1,000 to get a great phone. There are several less expensive options out there, and while they may not have the fanciest cameras or the fastest processors, they’re still good options for most people.

Take the iPhone XR. It’s almost two years old, but at $600 it’s cheaper than ever and packed with features like a sharp screen and very good cameras, making it a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

The same goes for the Samsung Galaxy S10 for around $750. It’s been on the market for over a year, and the price is $150 less than when it launched.

You can also save by shopping a lesser-known brand, like Google or OnePlus, or buying a used phone or one that’s refurbished.

CR says before you buy a used phone, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. For example, will it come with a charger? Is the screen scratched?

If you buy a refurbished model directly from Apple or Samsung, you might pay a little more but you’ll get a phone that’s just like new. It may even have a brand-new battery, outer shell, box and accessories. And both companies provide a one-year warranty.

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