Fancy a free phone?

A service contract can save you serious cash on a new cell phone. CNET shows you the handsets that carriers are offering for free.

The Curve 8900 is just a penny. Corinne Schulze/CNET

Service contracts may chain you to a wireless carrier for up to two years, but they also can save you some serious cash when you're buying a new cell phone. And since carriers love holding on to their customers, they're quick to offer free phones of all types. Some handsets will just make calls, but others will offer media players, cameras, Web browsers, and full keyboards for messaging.

If you're looking for a phone that won't put a dent in your wallet, CNET has pulled together a list of free phones from the major carriers. Prices can change frequently, but these handsets are free with a service contract at the time of this writing. Admittedly, AT&T's RIM BlackBerry Curve will actually cost a penny, but I thought it deserved a place on this list anyway.

To help you make the best choice I've also thrown in a link to the CNET review for each phone. Most of our reviews should also offer you a link to buy your handset, though you may need to visit the carrier site to get the very latest price.

LG CF630 (blue and red) LG Neon
Motorola EM330
Nokia 2600
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900
Samsung Magnet
Samsung SGH-A237 (red and blue)
Sony Ericsson W518a

Motorola V195s
Mototola W490 (bubble gum pink and heather grape)
Nokia 5310 (orange and red)
Samsung Comeback (pearl white plum)
Samsung Gravity (aqua)
Samsung Highlight (fire and ice)
Samsung SGH-T639
Samsung SGH-T819
Sony Ericsson TM506 (emerald)

Verizon Wireless
Motorola Rival (silver and purple)
Motorola VU204
Motorola W755 (black slate)
Nokia 2605
Samsung Intensity (flamingo red)
Samsung Smooth
Samsung Sway
Verizon Wireless CDM8950

LG Rumor2
Samsung Reclaim (green)
Samsung SPH-M330
Sanyo SCP-2700 (impulsive pink)
LG LX370
Sanyo Katana LX (elegant pink)
Sanyo SCP-3810 (red)
Motorola i776 (silver)

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).


Discuss Fancy a free phone?

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Articles from CNET
Galaxy S6 fails to bring back Samsung's mojo