Remember two years ago, when the iPhone 6S was still Apple’s flagship phone and the iPhone 7 had yet to launch the no-headphone-jack era? You’d have paid a jaw-dropping $649 for the 16GB model. When the iPhone 7 debuted, Apple dropped the price to $549 and upped the storage to 32GB.
Today, and for a limited time, MetroPCS is offering the iPhone 6S (32GB) for just $49, though you’ll have to visit a MetroPCS store to get it.
You also have to port in an existing number, set up a new line of service with an unlimited plan and pay a $10 activation fee. (You’re almost certainly on the hook for sales tax as well, though I’m not sure if that’s based on the pre- or post-instant-rebate price.)
The unlimited plans start at $50 per month (taxes and fees included), a price that includes all the 4G LTE data you can eat (up to 35GB, at which point you may experience reduced speeds). You can stream music without impacting that data allotment; video streams at 480p. MetroPCS supports Wi-Fi calling and visual voicemail.
Add a second line and you get a pretty decent price break: $80 per month for both. If you need mobile hotspot, it’s $60 per month for one line or $90 per month for two.
MetroPCS runs on T-Mobile’s network, so you should get roughly the same coverage and 4G LTE performance. The iPhone can be unlocked for use elsewhere, but only after you’ve had at least 180 days (6 months) of active service. (Read the company’s unlocking policy to learn more.)
Given that Apple proper currently charges $449 for the exact same iPhone 6S (albeit unlocked), this is a pretty tempting deal.
Bonus deal: Here’s a totally different kind of iPhone deal: Buy an iPhone X from Ting and you’ll get a $300 credit. That’s enough to effectively make your first year of service free, assuming you’re like the average Ting customer, who pays $23 per line per month.
Ting is notable for two things. First, your monthly bill is based on how many minutes, messages and megabytes you actually use. You could end up below that $23 number or above; either way, you’ve got $300 to burn.
Second, customer service is widely regarded as among the best of any carrier, and in fact Ting ranked in Consumer Reports’ top three overall as of Dec., 2017.
The iPhone X is still ridiculously overpriced, but this can help soften the blow.
Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of phones, you do have a good way to mount yours in your car, right? Like up near eye level instead of down in the cup-holder? No?? For shaaaaaame…. (Seriously, you could kill someone, or yourself.)
If you haven’t yet found the ideal mount for your vehicle, check out this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Vansky has this non-slip dashboard car mount for $11 with promo code 6X3F5H2U (tested and verified at 7:35 a.m. PT). It’s normally $15, so not a massive savings, but still.
Unlike most mounts, which position your phone vertically, this one keeps it horizontal. That won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s a good option if you rely heavily on your phone for navigation.
The mount employs a combination of suction cup and no-residue adhesive to stay attached to your dashboard. A spring-loaded clip makes it easy to slip your phone in and out. It works with even the largest phones, up to 7 inches.
I still prefer magnet mounts, but they’re not for everyone. What is for everyone: some means of putting your phone closer to eye level in the car. If not this, something else.
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!
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