Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


Black Friday Android phone deals: $499 Google Pixel 6, $300 off Galaxy S21 Ultra

Growing tired of iOS? Are you #TeamAndroid? We've compiled for you the very best Black Friday deals on Google-powered handsets.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor

Update: Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 are done and dusted, so the deals below are no longer valid. Check out our ZDNet Recommends hub for a better look at the latest deals available or ZDNet's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide hub for recommendations on gifts for all. 

It was just months ago when Google announced that Android had hit 3 billion in active users. Whether you're looking to upgrade from your current Android or switching from iOS, that 3 billion number should tell you all you need to know about the variety and numerous offerings that the Google-owned operating system has in store. Like most gadgets that depend on chips, your best bet is to buy early this year. That's why, the team at ZDNet has already begun compiling the best Black Friday deals on Android phones below.

At launch, the OnePlus 9 Pro -- though stocked with flagship features and hardware, was hard to justify buying at $1,069. If you've been on the fence, Amazon has a deal that may finally get you off of it. For a limited time, the retailer has the OnePlus 9 Pro at just $799.99 ($269 off). The device comes unlocked, 5G-ready, and with 256GB of onboard storage.

Launched in January, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra remains a front-runner for the best smartphone of the year. The phone improved on almost every aspect of last year's S20 Ultra, including camera performance, display technology, battery life, and processing power, while cutting the price by $200. And this Black Friday, you can buy the S21 Ultra for an additional $300 off, putting it at a very competitive price tag of $899.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G is a mouthful to say, and there are just as many features to back it up. ZDNet's Matthew Miller reviewed the foldable a couple of months ago and praised Samsung for refining most, if not all, the issues that plagued these fragile form factors in the past. With a new and improved hinge, a more durable glass screen, and a front display that is actually viable, the phone makes for an outstanding bargain at its Black Friday price of $849.99 ($150 off).

The Google Pixel 5a 5G is not a high-end device -- and that's fine. The device is perfect for those who seek a clean, stock Android experience, timely software updates, excellent battery life, and 5G support. All of that, priced at a Black Friday-low of $399 makes the Pixel 5a 5G a steal of a phone, period. And I haven't even mentioned Google's software fix-ins yet, including call screening, computational photography, and more.

Google just launched the Pixel 6 lineup, and we had a lot to say about it. Most of it, though, was good. With its foray into the premium market again, Google made some notable hardware improvements to the Pixel 6 lineup, including a polarizing camera module, a glass build, and higher refresh rates (120Hz on the Pro model). Still, the company managed to nerf the pricing of the phone, starting at just $599. If that price tag wasn't compelling enough for you, Best Buy currently has the Pixel 6 selling for $499 -- if you activate a line at the store or online -- or $549 straight up.

The OnePlus 8T and OnePlus Buds Pro have gotten rave reviews since launch, so you can't go wrong when the duo are bundled for $300 less. For a limited time, OnePlus is offering the 8T and Buds Pro for just $599.49, or $499.99 if you decide to go with the former only. That's quite the deal for a phone that packs a 120Hz display, the brand's proprietary Warp Charge 65, and snappy performance.

Motorola doesn't really compete with the top dogs of Apple and Samsung like it used to five-six years ago but is still an old guard when it comes to making smartphones. That means you can expect a solid phone with all the mobile essentials. The One 5G Ace is one of the most affordable 5G-compatible phones on the market, pricing in at less than $300, but it does have some tricks up its sleeves to keep it relevant among the mid-range market. That includes the built-in, efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor and a large 5,000mAh battery for all-day usage.

ZDNet's Matthew Miller called the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 "an innovative engineering marvel" when he first unfolded it back in August. For a limited time, Samsung has its latest foldable on sale for just $1549.99 ($250 off). That's the lowest price that we've seen since its debut back in August. The phone also comes bundled with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2, adding up to $400 in total savings.

As always, we will be monitoring all the Android phone deals available over the next few days. Be sure to follow this page for the most up-to-date promotions available.

Editorial standards