CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Get an unlocked 128GB iPhone 7 for $499.99

It's a refurb, but also a full $150 off the price of a new one. Plus: two bonus deals!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

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!


Go ahead, get it wet; the iPhone 7 is water-resistant.

James Martin/CNET

Cheeps! You still have time to enter for your chance to win a CyberLink software bundle. It takes all of about 10 seconds, so what are you waiting for? Also, I goofed: the four runners-up will each receive PhotoDirector 9 Ultra and PowerDirector 16 Ultra; I'd initially said the latter prize was PowerDVD. PowerDirector is probably much more useful for most folks.

Also, in case you missed it yesterday, I just revealed how you can score sizable cash-back rebates when you dine out! How sizable? Usually 7 percent, but occasionally as much as 10 percent.

Back to business. Let's talk phones.

I'm not spending $1,000 or more for one -- not now, not ever. So, yeah, no iPhone X for me. No iPhone 8 , either, not with its starting price of $700.

But last year's flagship? The one that, until a couple weeks ago, was the premium iPhone? I might be game for one of those -- especially now that there are deals to be had.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, TechRabbit has the refurbished unlocked iPhone 7 (128GB) for $499.99 shipped, when you apply promo code CNETIP7 at checkout. That's for the Verizon model, which will also work with GSM networks (namely AT&T, T-Mobile and their various MVNOs).

Prefer Sprint? HAAAAAA-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa! Oh. You were serious. In that case, TechRabbit has the Sprint version for the same price with the same code.

Let me note that you can also get the 32GB model for $439.99 shipped or the 256GB model for $559.99, either version, all using the same promo code.

Much as I was tempted to lead with the $439.99 option, I'm not sure 32GB is enough storage. It's certainly better than 16GB, but still too easy to fill quickly. I think 128GB is the sweet spot -- more than ample for the vast majority of users. I'm actually getting by just fine on 64GB. That's because I don't store a big music or photo library locally; everything's in the cloud.

As for the phone itself, you probably know everything you need to -- but here's CNET's iPhone 7 review in case you don't. 

The big question is whether you're willing to tolerate light signs of use (in the form of minor scuffs or scratches) and a shorter warranty (90 days) in exchange for fairly substantial savings. This same iPhone -- the 128GB model -- cost $749 just a year ago.

It's tempting. Me, I'm unwilling to give up a headphone jack, at least for now, and I prefer a larger screen -- so I'm sticking with my 6S Plus as long as possible. It's plenty fast, takes decent pictures, does everything I need it to... and it's paid for.

Your thoughts?

Sega Genesis Flashback

The Nebula Mars is a remarkably compact portable projector, one that produces big sound.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bonus deal: Small, portable projectors have improved considerably in recent years. Case in point: the Nebula Mars is no larger than a lunchbox, yet produces a super-bright HD image and big sound courtesy of dual JBL speakers. It normally sells for $599, but today only you can get a Nebula Mars portable projector for $449 shipped.

The good news: The Mars has built-in apps, meaning you don't necessarily have to pair it with, say, your phone or tablet. The bad news: Those apps are currently limited to Netflix, TED Talks and YouTube -- and the Netflix implementation is a little wonky. (The UI makes it difficult to select a season and episode of a TV show.) However, the sound is outstanding, and the battery can give you a full three hours of projection time.

The 1,280x800-pixel native resolution technically qualifies as HD, and although images are just a touch soft, they looked pretty darn good to me. Read CNET's review for a much deeper dive.


Bonus deal No. 2: Ready to jump into the wonderful world of wireless charging? (Here's how to add the capability to your existing iPhone if you want.) You'll need a charging pad.

Like this one: For a limited time, Choetech is offering its Type C Wireless Qi Charging Pad for $8.99 shipped when you apply discount code KYW4W77ZT6ZN at checkout. It sells for $15.99 on Amazon, where it earned a 4.3-star average from some 300 buyers. It features a USB-C connector, but comes with a USB-C-to-USB-A cable for connecting to older ports if needed.