QVC's Samsung Galaxy A21 for $85 might be the best budget-phone deal of 2021

·3 min read

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Wait, wait, wait: All this AND a year of service for only $86? (Photo: QVC)
Wait, wait, wait: All this AND a year of service for only $86? (Photo: QVC)

Not everyone needs a flagship phone. And certainly not everyone has the budget for fancy models from Apple, Google and Samsung and pricey service plans from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Good news: There's a fairly incredible budget-phone deal available from QVC right now. In fact, I don't recall seeing a better one this year. It's the Samsung Galaxy A21 6.5-inch smartphone with one year of Tracfone service for just $85. And that bundle also includes a phone case, car mount and more. The phone all by itself currently sells for $150 at Amazon.

$85 $150 at QVC

The Galaxy A21 is definitely one of Samsung's entry-level models, though it sold for $250 when it debuted last year and offers such advanced features as a fingerprint sensor, four rear cameras and a big battery behind that big screen.

The latter is on the lower-resolution side compared to some, but I suspect most users won't notice or care much. The A21 is probably best suited to older users, kids getting their first phone, folks who want a backup or business line — anyone who just "needs a phone" and won't fret about the frills.

As for the service (which is 4G LTE, not 5G — something else that probably doesn't matter for most), it comes from Tracfone and includes 1,500 minutes, 1,500 text messages and 1.5GB of data. Alas, that's not per month; it's for the entire year. In these days when most plans include unlimited everything, can anyone get by on such a comparatively small allotment? It depends. A teen, for example, would probably barely touch those minutes but could realistically burn through the texts in about a week.

Of course, you can buy more minutes, texts and data as needed, and Tracfone won't rope you into a contract. I really look upon this as a great phone deal that happens to include some free service; how long it lasts you depends on your usage.

In addition to the A21, QVC supplies a case, a car mount, a car charging cable, AirPods-style wireless earbuds and an iRing grip. There's also a voucher good for, among other things, three free months of the music-streaming service Pandora Premium and movie-streaming service Lifetime Movie Club. 

Good stuff all around, but keep your expectations low for those earbuds; they may look like AirPods, but in my experience these super-cheapie clones are mediocre at best. (There are, however, some legitimately great AirPods alternatives available for $100 or less.)

This deal is available through Nov. 27, but keep in mind it could sell out well before then. If you think this might be the budget-phone bundle you've been looking for, act fast.

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