If you're anything like us, you'll have been camping out the Apple store website with your mouse hovering over the buy button for the iPhone SE since it was unveiled last week (opens in new tab). Now that it's out in the wild though, we recommend you shop around and see what deals you can find, because some of the most popular cell phone providers have some pretty interesting offers.
Despite the impressive tech specs and build quality on display in the iPhone SE, it retails for just $399, which is an absolute bargain. That price throws it right into the best smartphones (opens in new tab) mix with other budget handsets like the Google Pixel 3a (opens in new tab), though you'll struggle to find anything as powerful as Apple's new device for this cheap. But is it worth picking up? We think so, especially for people who want to snag a powerful smartphone but don’t need the extra bells and whistles of a multi lens camera setup.
Since the iPhone SE is new and has only been on general sale for a matter of days, you’re not going to find the handset for much cheaper than the MSRP unless you're trading in an older handset. On that front, Apple is offering up to $170 off the MSRP (opens in new tab) when you trade in an eligible handset.
But there are some tasty deals out there for anyone looking to grab an iPhone SE with a plan through one of the best cell phone providers (opens in new tab). AT&T (opens in new tab)has the best deal for our money at the moment, offering the handset for just $5 per month when bought with a qualifying plan.
$13.34 $5.00 per month when you order with a qualifying plan. (opens in new tab)
You can snag the iPhone SE 64 GB for just $5 a month when you sign up to a qualifying installment agreement. You can also get the iPhone 128 GB for $10 per month and the iPhone SE 256 GB for $15 a month, if you need more storage space.
iPhone SE: $399 at Verizon with 10% off the price of Airpods plus activation fee is waived when you pre-order. (opens in new tab)
Right now Verizon is offering 10% off the cost of Apple Airpods when you pre-order an iPhone SE, plus it is waiving the activation fee too.
iPhone SE: Get the iPhone SE 64 GB for free when you trade in an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus (opens in new tab).
T-Mobile is essentially offering a free upgrade to the iPhone SE 64 GB when you trade in an iPhone 7 or 8 model when signing up to a new qualifying voice line. You can also get $300 off when you trade in an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
$16.67 $5.00 per month on a Sprint Flex 18 month plan. (opens in new tab)
You can also pick up the iPhone SE for just $5 with Sprint using one of its Sprint Flex plans. After 18 months, you can choose to return the handset and upgrade to a new model, or pay off the rest of the balance in six monthly payments and keep it.
If you’re not sure which of these cell providers you should choose then we’ve got some articles to help you out. We’ve run down the best cell phone providers (opens in new tab) and ranked them in terms of overall value and flexibility. We also have an article showcasing the cell phone coverage maps (opens in new tab) for each of the major providers, so you can find out which network has the best coverage in your local area.
If budget smartphones aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something a little flashier, then you could consider the iPhone 11 (opens in new tab) or iPhone 11 Pro (opens in new tab). And if you’d prefer an Android handset, we’d recommend you look at the OnePlus 8 (opens in new tab) and Google Pixel 4 XL (opens in new tab).