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Get the Moto Z2 Force phone for just $120

Originally $730! This super bargain requires a Sprint activation, but it's also an upgrade option for existing customers. Plus: you've never seen a smartwatch like this.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It was just about a year ago that CNET's Scott Stein called the Moto Z2 Force "a great phone... but no bargain." Sure enough, Motorola's modular marvel had a starting price of $730.

What a difference a year makes. For a limited time, both Sprint and Best Buy are offering the Motorola Moto Z2 Force (64GB) for $120.

Start with that Best Buy link, but here's the Sprint option as well. I'll explain the differences below.

You'll notice that Best Buy has a couple lease options, then the $120 "activate today" option, and then a $160 "activate later" option. The latter is worth exploring, because even at $160 this phone is a tremendous deal -- and it would give you the option of taking it to a different carrier.

Ah, but which ones? That's a bit of a question mark. The phone should work with any Sprint MVNO, meaning you could activate it with, say, Ting or Tello or Virgin Mobile. I've read some anecdotal evidence online that this is possible.

Could you unlock it for use on a GSM network like Cricket or T-Mobile? That's also possible, though this would likely require using a third-party unlock service -- very much a try-at-your-own-risk proposition. There's a lengthy thread about all this that's worth a look if you want to know your options.

Now playing: Watch this: We dropped the Moto Z2 Force like it's hot

Getting back to Sprint proper, if you're already a customer, you should be able to upgrade for the $120 price. I verified this myself: I already have a phone on the service (as part of the free one-year plan), and when I signed into my account and chose the upgrade option, the Z2 was listed -- at $120. 

Let's not forget the phone itself. The Z2 Force is a 5.5-inch powerhouse with great battery life, dual rear cameras, a shatter-resistant design and support for various Moto Mods: snap-on accessories that add a speaker, projector or the like. Read the aforementioned CNET Moto Z2 Force review to learn more.

Whether you activate it on Sprint or pay a little more for the option of taking it elsewhere, this is an amazing deal. To paraphrase myself, cheap phones come to those who wait. In this case, very cheap.


That's one sizable screen strapped to your wrist!


Bonus deal: I can't fully recommend this product, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway. It's super cool in a super dorky way, and you might find yourself willing to overlook its issues.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tomtop has the Lemfo LEM4 Pro 2.2-inch 3G smartwatch for $99.90. Expect 2-3 weeks for shipping.

It looks like a little flat-screen TV strapped to your wrist, and it runs full-on Android, albeit an older version, Android 5.1. You can install apps on it, play games on it, even watch Netflix on it. (For real! I streamed a few minutes of Portlandia.)

It also has built-in GPS, a heart-rate monitor, a front-facing camera and a slot for a nano SIM card if you want full-on Dick Tracy features.

But, arrgh: I couldn't get raise-to-wake to work consistently. Notifications make the watch vibrate, but the screen doesn't light up. My heart-rate numbers seemed way off, and the watch lost pairing with my phone (an iPhone) overnight. Your mileage may vary -- something like this probably works much better with Android.

All that amounts to a shame, because the massive screen is awesome, and Lemfo supplies a large number of cool faces to choose from. A firmware update could probably fix the main issues. How about it, Lemfo? I really want to like this thing.

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!