I’m often asked, “Which iPhone should I buy?” My answer is always the same: The iPhone XR. Great screen, great cameras, reasonable price tag. Of course, I like it even better when there’s a deal to be had. Last week, I shared a Â that was pretty good for the phone itself: just $99 after discounts and rebates. However, it roped you into a two-year Verizon contract, to the tune of at least $80 per month. That’s fine if you like Verizon and want one of the carrier’s unlimited plans anyway. But if you don’t?
There’s another option. It’ll cost you more up front, but save you a lot in the long run. For a limited time, Visible is offering the unlocked iPhone XR (64GB) for $576, with a $200 prepaid Mastercard when you switch to the carrier’s much-less-expensive unlimited plan. (More on that below.) That’s $23 less than the XR costs elsewhere, and the rebate brings your net cost down to $376.
It could get lower still: Cash-back service Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is currently offering 4% back on Visible purchases. And that applies to the $576 you’ll pay at checkout, so you stand to pocket another $23 or so. Final effective price on the XR: $353.
Read more:Â The best phones of 2020Â Â
As for Visible, which runs on Verizon’s network, it offers just one plan: Unlimited everything for $40 per month. There’s no contract on that, either, though you do have to stay with the carrier for at least two months in order to qualify for the $200 rebate.
Better still,Âwhen you sign up with three others. Any three others; friends, family members, casual acquaintances, etc.
Meanwhile, if you decide after two months that you want out, you can take the XR elsewhere. But let’s say you stay with Visible and pay $40 per month; after two years you’ll have paid $960 for service. After two years at Verizon (on the $80 plan): $1,920. That more than offsets the savings on the phone itself.
Your thoughts? (By the way, credit where credit is due: It was a CNET reader who brought this iPhone XR deal to my attention. Thanks!)
This Lenovo Chromebook is on sale for $119 and includes three months of Disney Plus
There are times when a phone or tablet just won’t cut it, like when you want to compose a lengthy email, create a document or plan a trip. That’s when you pull out the laptop, with its roomy screen and keyboard.
Okay, but how much do you really need to spend for a basic system? Turns out, not much: For a limited time, Best Buy once again has the Lenovo 100e 11.6-inch Chromebook for just $119. That also scores you three free months of Disney Plus, a $21 value.
The 100e comes with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and runs on a MediaTek ARM processor. That’s hardly a power setup, but it’s sufficient for basic Chrome-based computing. Same goes for the 1,366 x 768 native screen resolution: Sufficient for an 11.6-inch display.
It’s also pretty svelte, measuring just 0.8 inch and weighing 2.7 pounds. Even so, it offers stereo speakers (a lot of entry-level laptops have just one), USB-C and USB Type-A ports (one of each) and an HDMI output. Particularly impressive, it earned a 4.6-star average rating from nearly 300 buyers.
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the CheapskateÂ on FacebookÂ andÂ Twitter. Find more great buys on theÂ CNET Deals pageÂ and check out ourÂ CNET Coupons pageÂ for the latest promo codes fromÂ Best Buy,Â Walmart,Â AmazonÂ andÂ more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our .