Now is the Time to Upgrade Your Smartphone

The iPhone 13 has lots of promotional discounts, and the Pixel 4 sees a huge discount.

Advertiser Disclosure: At Slickdeals, we work hard to find the best deals. Some products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation, but this doesn’t change our opinions.

It’s official – September belongs to iPhone 13. Apple’s long-awaited upgrade is finally here, and there’s no shortage of incredible deals and discounts available this month. In fact, several retailers are running promotions that let you pick up the hot new iPhone for free.

If you’re not an Apple fan, there’s still plenty of smartphone deals to get excited about. The all-new Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is still available for $0 with eligible trades, AT&T is offering massive trade bonuses for just about every smartphone in its catalog and T-Mobile is giving customers an easy way to pick up the Galaxy S21 5G for free.

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samsung galaxy s20 fe 5g various phones in circle on white background
Credit: Samsung

Save $350 on the Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Galaxy S20 FE 5G – Sale Price: $349.99 | Regular Price: $699.99

Trade in an eligible device, and you can pick up the budget-friendly Galaxy S20 FE at an even friendlier price. Products in the Galaxy S10 family are eligible for the full $350 discount, along with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. New iPhone products, such as the 12 and 12 Pro, offer a massive $550 discount — making the Galaxy S20 FE an interesting choice if you’re looking to save a bit of money on your phone bill.

Your purchase also comes with two months of YouTube Premium and six months of SiriusXM Streaming.

Eligible Trades Get the Galaxy S21 5G for Free

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $799.99

T-Mobile is giving away the standard Galaxy S21 5G with eligible trades, including any device in the iPhone 11 family, Galaxy Note10 series and more.

It might lack the massive 6.7-inch display, but beyond that, the phone is virtually identical to its larger (and more expensive) sibling. Considering it’s available for free during this promotion, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal.

The Revolutionary Galaxy Z Fold3 5G Sees a $900 Discount

Galaxy Z Fold3 5G – Sale Price: $899.99 | Regular Price: $1,799.99

What was once a niche product for enthusiasts with bundles of disposable income is now available at a slightly more palatable price. The Galaxy Z Fold3 is currently available to pre-order and is discounted $900 with eligible trades, making the foldable phone a serious contender for your next upgrade. That price tag comes with a massive 7.6-inch Infinity Flex Display, a lightning-fast Snapdragon 888 5G+ chipset and a unique Flex mode camera system to keep you in focus while filming hands-free video.

samsung galaxy z flip3 and fold3 on grey backgrounds
Credit: Samsung

The New Galaxy Z Flip3 5G Is Free With Eligible Trades

Galaxy Z Flip3 – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $999.99

Speaking of foldable phones, one of the hottest new folding phones on the market is available for free through AT&T. As long as you have an eligible phone to trade — such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max or Galaxy S21 5G — you’ll receive $1,000 in trade credits toward your purchase.

You’ll also need to spring for a new line or upgrade to an unlimited plan, but there’s not a better way to pick up the Z Flip3 than this.

Get an Underrated Android Smartphone for Free

OnePlus Nord N200 5G – Sale Price: $0 | Regular Price: $216

It might not be the most well-known smartphone on the market, but with nearly 29 hours of talk time on a single charge — not to mention a triple-camera setup — the Nord N200 5G is a surprising little phone. Trade in an undamaged smartphone, activate a new line and sign up for monthly payments and T-Mobile will give you the underrated phone for free.

Amazon is Offering the Google Pixel 4 at One of Its Lowest Prices Ever

Google Pixel 4 – Sale Price: $387.99 | Regular Price: $799

The popular Pixel 4 doesn’t see many discounts — so act on this one while you can. Offered as a one-time payment without the need to trade in other devices, this could be one of the best non-iPhone sales of September. In fact, this is one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen for the Google Pixel 4. If you’ve been holding out and hoping for a big price drop, now is the time to finally pull the trigger.

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black iphone 13 on blue background apple
Credit: Apple

Get the New iPhone 13 for Free With Eligible Trades

There’s no shortage of great iPhone 13 deals, but AT&T and T-Mobile have two of the best. Both retailers are giving the phone away for free with eligible trades. T-Mobile is going a step further and offering a guaranteed $800 trade credit every two years towards your next iPhone upgrade – if you know you’re sticking with Apple for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to pass up that offer.

Everyone is Giving Away Free iPhone 13 minis

No matter where you look, you’ll probably spot a promotion for a free iPhone 13 mini. As usual, you’ll need to have an eligible trade, but AT&T’s requirements are surprisingly lenient. Trade-in any smartphone worth at least $30, opt for monthly payments and join an unlimited plan to get the iPhone 13 mini for free.

AT&T Makes It Easy to Get a Free iPhone 13 Pro

AT&T strikes again – this time with an impressive iPhone 13 Pro deal. As usual, you’ll need to sign up for monthly payments and an unlimited plan and trade in your old device. Any smartphone worth more than $180 qualifies for a free iPhone 13 Pro, and there are not many other retailers that are holding such a generous promotion.

However, Verizon isn’t far behind – in fact, it might be the better option if you have an eligible trade-in device and switch lines from another carrier. Not only will that net you a free iPhone 13 Pro, but you’ll also get a $500 Virtual Prepaid Mastercard.

Save $1,000 on the Ultra-Powerful iPhone 13 Pro Max

As the most high-end smartphone in the iPhone 13 lineup, no retailer is giving away the Pro Max. However, you can save up to $1,000 through AT&T when trading in an old phone worth at least $180. Similar deals are also running at Verizon and T-Mobile, although they’re a bit more stringent on eligible trade-in devices.

Tips for Saving Money While Shopping for Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy 20 phones in many colors
Credit: Unsplash

Don’t Assume You Need the Newest Model

Let’s be honest, most users don’t need the latest and greatest phone out there. This is especially true considering the hefty price tag that’s usually attached.

Related: 12 Reasons You Don’t Need an iPhone 12

But if you really want to be one of the first owners of the next flagship phone, the best thing to do is to keep an eye out for pre-order deals. There is always some risk in opting for a product that is not out yet, and for that reason, companies are often more generous with their discounts and offers.

Sell Your Old Phone

Another way to save on a new phone is to sell your old phone. While trading in your phone at a retailer is quick and painless, you often lose out on a bit of value for your phone. But with a little effort, you can sell your phone on eBay or Craigslist and get more money than vendors usually offer. On that note, make sure you always safeguard your phone with a screen protector and case. A single scratch on the screen may make a huge difference in what you can sell it for.

Holiday Sales

With all the brilliant marketing out there, it can be easy to cave in and buy that shiny new phone. But with a little more grit, you can save a lot of money if you wait until the next big holiday. Black Friday sales often see some of the best savings of the entire year, so if you’re not in dire need of a new phone, it’s best to just keep waiting.

Utilize No-Interest Financing Offers

Sometimes it can be hard to drop $1,000 right then and there on a new phone. In the past, financing usually had a negative connotation. Sometimes the interest could add up and tack on another 20% or more to your original purchase price. However, many retailers have been offering zero-interest financing for purchases paid in full for certain lengths of time.

This is a great risk-free way to get the phone of your dreams, and it also helps as a credit builder. With improved credit, you can save even more money by enjoying other low to no-financing offers on future purchases.

Be Patient

Ultimately, saving money on your next smartphone boils down to being patient. Skip a generation of phones, hold out for a better discount or wait to pick up a new device until yours stops working. Phones today may not last as long as they used to (Nokia sure did make some bulletproof products), but they can still serve us well for many years. Take care of your phone, keep your eye out for sales and all that patience will pay off when a great deal comes around.

Also, make sure to set up a Deal Alert and we’ll let you know of any discounts on smartphones you’re looking at.

More to consider:

Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.

Jon Bitner

Jon is a freelance writer who primarily focuses on topics related to video games, science, medicine and technology. Before starting his career as a writer he worked in the Biotechnology industry. He has a degree in Biology, and when he isn't writing he can usually be found traveling, playing video games or hunting down the latest deals.

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