Upgrade to an unlocked Galaxy S8 for $395

Last year's flagship is this year's bargain, but there's a catch. Plus: A $300 GoPro for $120.

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

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Forget paying $750 or even $655. If you don't mind a few scuffs, the Galaxy S8 can be yours for under $400.

Sarah Tew/CNET

There are smart ways to live large on the cheap. With cars, for example, look at a model that's just coming off a two-year lease. You should be able to score something in great condition with low miles for considerably less than new.

With phones, last year's flagships are the way to go. Witness the Samsung Galaxy S8 , which debuted last May with a not-for-cheapskates price tag of $750.

Smash-cut to today: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the refurbished unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 for $394.99 shipped. That's after applying promo code RICKGALAXY at checkout. (Yep, I finagled an extra $5 off for you!)

That's a pretty huge price drop, especially considering that the S8 sells new at stores like Best Buy for $655. So what's the catch?

This is a "B-grade" refurb with a 30-day warranty. That means you're likely to see "minor cosmetic blemishes on the body and surface scratches on the screen." Unacceptable? Part of me says yes, and part of me thinks, "It's going in a case anyway, and I can apply a screen protector... so I'd rather keep my extra $260."

I asked the Daily Steals folks to send me some photos of one of these units so I could check the condition myself. From what I could tell, the body scuffs were indeed very small, and the screen looked pretty pristine. Of course, that's one example; hard to say for sure what you'll get.

The other issue is the warranty. If the phone were to croak in, say, three months, that would really suck. Is that likely to happen? Probably not, but you never know. For what it's worth, Daily Steals does offer a 1-year extended warranty for $75. You'd still come out way ahead of buying new and have extra peace of mind.

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S8: The good, the bad, the beautiful

So what do you think? Would you roll the dice on something like this? Is it even a dice-roll? Aside from its awkwardly placed fingerprint sensor, the S8 is widely regarded as a fantastic phone. (Read CNET's Galaxy S8 review for the full scoop.)

Oh, and before I forget, it's compatible with AT&T , T-Mobile and Verizon -- and their various MVNOs. If you've been sticking with a Big Four carrier up till now, you can (and should) shop around for a better deal: Cricket, Mint SIM, US Mobile, etc.

Your thoughts?

Joshua Goldman/CNET

Bonus deal: Speaking of premium products that drop in price if you wait awhile, GoPro's Ebay store is offering the GoPro Hero5 Session action camera for $119.99 shipped.

It's also a refurb, but a sealed factory refurb with a full one-year warranty -- so pretty darn close to new.

The Hero5 Session debuted just a year ago at $300, solving a lot of the issues with the original Hero Session . It offers amenities like voice control, electronic video stabilization and USB-C -- "top-notch features [added] to an already great design," according to CNET's GoPro Hero5 Session review.

However, you'll still need a phone or tablet if you want a viewfinder, and the built-in battery can't be swapped out when power runs low; you'll have to stop and recharge (or connect supplemental power). Still, a $300 camera for $120? Awfully tempting.