Get an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for $274.99

Bring on the surf and sand! Samsung's ruggedized version of the beloved S4 is a colossal bargain, and you can take it to any GSM carrier.

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Samsung

Patience is a virtue. And for cheapskates, it's a must.

Take smartphones: last year's state-of-the-art model is this year's bargain. Here's the latest proof: Today only, and while supplies last, Yugster has the refurbished Samsung Galaxy S4 Active unlocked GSM smartphone for $274.99, plus $5 for shipping. It's available in your choice of Dive Blue or Urban Gray colors.

Let that sink in for a minute. The S4 Active debuted almost exactly a year ago, earning solid reviews for bringing a sporty design and a waterproof, submersible camera to what was then Samsung's flagship phone.

At the time, you were looking at a $200 price tag to get a subsidized model from the likes of AT&T, which meant signing up for another two-year contract. Now, for just a few bucks more, you can buy the phone outright, then pop in a SIM card from any GSM carrier: AT&T, T-Mobile, Straight Talk, H2O Wireless, and so on. Repeat after me: "No more contracts. Not now, not ever." (That's my new mantra.)

Now, if you're wondering how this compares with the TextNow Galaxy S4 I wrote about just a couple weeks ago, let's discuss. That model was tied to Sprint's network (by way of TextNow) and relied on Wi-Fi for calls, switching to cell towers only when necessary. That's awesome on paper, not always ideal in reality -- especially when the phone needs to "hand off" from Wi-Fi to cell (like when you leave the house) during a call.

Of course, TextNow's service plans start at just $19; you'll be hard-pressed to find anything quite so cheap for the unlocked Active. (H2O Wireless comes closest with a $30 plan.)

Whichever way you go, you're getting a marquee smartphone (the S4 really is sweet, and I say that as an unabashed iPhone fan) for a great price, without the yoke of the two-year contract. ("Not now, not ever!") Aren't you glad you were patient?

Bonus deal: Remember when desktop-search tools were all the rage? Copernic, X1, Google Desktop Search -- these were invaluable utilities. Then they all pretty much vanished, I guess because Windows added basic low-level search. If you're looking for something a lot more robust, try this: Today only, BitsDuJour has Copernic Desktop Search 4 (Win) for $24.97. Regular price: $49.95. It indexes local, network, and external drives for lightning-fast file searches. (Psst: There's also a free lite version, but it's limited to 75,000 files. Worth checking, though, if you want to try before you buy.)

Bonus deal No. 2: Back in 1994, Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger was the hot game, with amazing visuals, great space-combat action, a heavily scripted (if rather cheesy) plot, and some very well-known actors (including some guy named Mark Hamill). Today, and for a limited time, Wing Commander III is on the house at Origin. As you might expect, it looks pretty dated (it's 20 years old!), but what an awesome trip down game-memory lane.

 

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