Samsung will let you trade in two phones to save on the Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fliip
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Samsung will hold its next Galaxy Unpacked event on August 11, and as months of leaks and rumors have teased, we are likely to see the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldable smartphones announced. If you’re hoping to snag either of those phones when at launch, Samsung is offering a unique bargain for prospective buyers.

For the first time, Samsung will let smartphone buyers trade in two of their existing devices to cut down on the final purchase price. As first reported by Android Police, Samsung has launched a website for people to “reserve the next Galaxy smartphone,” which isn’t mentioned by name, although the teaser image shows familiar Z Fold and Z Flip silhouettes.

After entering your name and contact information, the website also lets users choose which device(s) to trade in (up to two total), including various phones, tablets and smartwatches. The full trade-in process won't occur now — it will just let Samsung know which devices are intended for trade, just in case a final purchase decision is made.

Samsung will alert prospective buyers when its new devices are available to purchase, at which point customers can go through the actual process and learn how much money it'll pay for dust-caked gadgets.

Device trade-ins have become a more common sight when buying a new smartphone today. As U.S. mobile carriers moved away from subsidizing device prices by locking customers into long-term contracts, manufacturers have looked for ways to help trim down the extravagant price tags for today’s flagship-level smartphones. In fact, Samsung and Apple often list prices on its websites that already include a theoretical discount based on a possible device trade-in.

However, this is the first time we’ve heard of a smartphone maker allowing for two device trade-ins at a time. On one hand, it may suggest that device trade-ins are a viable business model for tech giants, as manufacturers can either refurbish and resell such devices or recycle them and reuse the potentially valuable components within. Perhaps we will see Samsung allow multiple trade-ins for other future devices, or see Apple and other manufacturers follow its lead.

On the other hand, it makes sense in this particular case given just how expensive Samsung’s new foldable smartphones are likely to be. Last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 released at $1,999 while the Galaxy Z Flip 5G sold for $1,449. Both amounts are significantly higher than a typical flagship smartphone like the Apple iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21, both $799.

However, leaks around the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 suggest potentially lower prices than last year's iterations. Between a possible price drop and a double device trade-in, the sticker shock for these lavish foldable smartphones could be less startling this time around.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is expected to bring refinements and enhancements over last year’s model, including an under-display camera on the large internal screen plus support for an S Pen stylus (albeit without a slot to hold it). Leaks suggest that the Z Fold 3 will be lighter than its hefty predecessor, too.

Meanwhile, leaks around the Galaxy Z Flip 3 suggest that the pocket-friendly flip smartphone will see its own tweaks, including a two-tone exterior finish that puts the outside screen and dual-camera setup within a black bar. We should see a wider array of color options, too, plus better battery life and potentially a top-end processor (unlike the Z Flip 5G).

Along with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, Samsung’s next Unpacked event is also expected to feature the new Galaxy Watch 4 based on Google’s WearOS platform (rather than Tizen), along with the budget-friendlier Galaxy S21 FE smartphone and Galaxy Buds 2 wireless earbuds. Here’s a full breakdown of what to expect at August’s big event.

Andrew Hayward

Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer for Tom’s Guide who contributes laptop and other hardware reviews. He’s also the Culture Editor at crypto publication Decrypt covering the world of Web3. Andrew’s writing on games and tech has been published in more than 100 publications since 2006, including Rolling Stone, Vice, Polygon, Playboy, Stuff, and GamesRadar.