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Phones

Get an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus for $515

It's a refurb, but that's totally OK. It sells new for $850 and is virtually identical to the Note 8. Plus: two bonus deals!

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. 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!


galaxy-s8-plus

The Galaxy S8 Plus is a big beauty -- and the price on this refurb is even more beautiful.

Juan Garzón/CNET

In honor of today's big Apple event, I thought it only fitting to tell you about a phone that doesn't cost $1,000.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished, unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus for $515 shipped. That's after applying promo code CHPSKT35 at checkout. Price for a new one: at least $825.

Here's what you need to know about the S8 Plus:

  • It's very similar to the Galaxy Note 8 everyone's drooling over (but no one can afford). The two key features it's missing: the S Pen and a second rear camera.
  • But the S8 Plus has plenty of commendable specs, including a 6.2-inch (!) screen, 64GB of expandable storage, support for wireless charging, a USB-C connector and... wait for it... a headphone jack! (Sue me, I still think this is a valuable feature.)
  • The big complaint most people (including CNET's Jessica Dolcourt) have with the S8 Plus: the location of the fingerprint sensor. It's at the rear, right next to the camera lens. Expect to spend a lot of time cleaning smudges off that lens.
  • Speaking of that review, here's the verdict: "Lovers of big phones won't find a prettier device with a larger screen anywhere else, but you'll want to make sure it isn't too tall for you, and the fingerprint reader too hard to reach, before you commit."
  • This unlocked model was "built for Verizon," but it also supports GSM and should work with "most US GSM networks." (I think if it works with Verizon it should also work with Sprint, but someone more knowledgeable than I will have to answer that question.)
  • It's available in your choice of midnight black or orchid gray. You get a 90-day warranty, but you can purchase an extended one and still come out way ahead.
  • Here's the only real red flag: According to Daily Steals, these units "may have minor cosmetic blemishes to the body ... and surface scratches on the screen." However, I asked the company to send me some photos of the actual unboxed phones; from what I could tell, any such blemishes were very small. And, let's face it, that's the price you pay if you want to save over $300 on a flagship phone.

These are some actual unboxed Galaxy S8 Pluses from Daily Steals. Aside from the nondescript packaging, they look to be in very good condition. (YMMV.)

Daily Steals

I am sorely tempted to grab one of these, in part because most of the Android phones I test are at the lower end, and I'd really like to try out a premium model. They don't get much more premium than this.

If you already own an S8 Plus, hit the comments and share what you like or don't like about the phone.

Everyone else: thoughts?

coo-external-cd-dvd-drive

Coo

Bonus deal: You know how pretty much every modern laptop lacks an optical drive? So what happens when you need to install some software that's on CD or DVD? Or you want to rip some old music or video? Or archive some data to a disc?

This happens: You whip out the ol' external drive. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Honor(USA) via Amazon has the Coo external USB 3.0 CD/DVD reader/burner for $17.46 when you apply promo code VPX5XR8O at checkout. (If you're using a desktop browser, you can also just mouse over the "Buy 1, get 26 percent off" link and then click Redeem.)

This USB-powered driver can read and write pretty much any kind of optical media (except for Blu-ray, natch). However, both Fakespot and ReviewMeta indicate some questionable user reviews, so take that into consideration. 

Bonus deal No. 2: I suspect everybody who needs a tablet already has a tablet, but I can't not share this: Amazon is once again offering the Fire 7 tablet for $34.99 -- a price that's exclusively for Prime subscribers. (It'll show the regular $49.99 price until you add it to your cart.)

Even better, Prime subscribers can grab the Fire HD 8 for $54.99 (again, that price appears when you add it to your cart). That extra $20 nets you twice the storage (16GB vs. 8GB), a larger, higher-resolution display and dual speakers. Just insanely good deals, both of them.