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The best phone deals right now: Get $1000 off the new iPhone 15

ZDNET found the best phone deals this fall on the new iPhone 15 lineup, Samsung Galaxy phones (including foldables), Google Pixels, and more.
Written by June Wan, Reviews Editor and  Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

As we head into September, packed with all the product launches that will unfold over the course of the month, smartphone makers are being more aggressive than ever to win your loyalty and hard-earned cash. That means, right now, you can find some of the best deals on devices, from Apple iPhones -- including the new iPhone 15 range -- to Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel models.

When you consider your next handset, depending on whether you are bound to a carrier, you may be looking at upgrading your existing handset, changing providers, or purchasing a new smartphone outright. No matter your preference, we've compiled the best phone deals you can find right now.

Also: The best early Black Friday deals: Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and more

Our favorite phone deals right now are the iPhone 15 promotions offered by AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T will give you up to $1000 off one of the new devices with a suitable trade-in, whereas T-Mobile will give you a discount of up to $700 if you're hoping to pick up more than one iPhone 15 model. And make sure you check out our roundup of the best early Black Friday phone deals for the latest discounts, too.

The best smartphone deals

AT&T offers the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max free with trade-in (or up to $1000 off) to new and existing customers. 

The offer will go live in a few days, and as long as you are willing to trade in an eligible device, you can walk away with either a free handset or a sizable discount on the total retail price. 

In addition, AT&T will launch a promotion for the Apple Watch range as a buy one, get $300 off another. 

Preorders will begin on September 15, 5 a.m. PT.

T-Mobile is also set to launch deals for the new iPhone 15 range. 

The carrier will give customers either a free iPhone 15 Pro or up to $1000 off other iPhone 15 models -- applied in bill credits -- when they trade in an eligible device on Go5G Plus or Go5G Next plans.

In addition, you can take advantage of a discount of up to $650 off any iPhone 15 model on other plans. 

If you're in the market for more than one iPhone 15, T-Mobile will give you a $700 discount on a second device when you add a line on the majority of T-Mobile plans. 

Starting Friday, September 15, you can order a device from the new iPhone 15 range directly from Apple. 

The iPhone 15, iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max come with design improvements as well as USB-C ports, and either 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch displays. They are available in a range of colors and finishes. Prices range from $799 to $1199 for standard models and storage levels.

You will receive up to $650 in credit when you trade in an older device, alongside Apple Card cashback.

Verizon will give you up to $1,000 off any iPhone 15 model (applied in bill credits) with the trade-in of an older iPhone device. Furthermore, the company will give you up to $830 off on eligible Unlimited plans if you trade in other suitable smartphones.

New and existing customers can sign up for a new line on the Unlimited Ultimate plan to receive an iPhone 15 Pro for free.

Preorders begin on September 15.

If you're not ready to commit to a two-year (or more) deal with your local carrier, Amazon has the latest Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 on sale right now at a $200 discount. That's one of the lowest prices we've seen on the 256GB foldable and makes it all the more accessible for consumers to get in on the foldable phone frenzy.

If you were put off by the eye-opening retail price of Samsung's larger Galaxy Z Fold 5, you may want to give the best foldable phone another look. Currently, Amazon has the device discounted by $300, bringing the latest Z Fold down to $1,500. That's not in "impulse buy" territory by any means, but it's a hefty promotion on a device that enthusiasts will be very satisfied with.

Another fantastic budget option, Motorola's Moto G Stylus 5G -- the "5G' bit is important here because there's also a non-5G variant -- is currently on sale for $100 off. ZDNET tested the stylus-equipped phone just months ago and praised it for its well-rounded performance and ample amount of storage (256GB) for the price. At $300, it's a better deal than ever.

More phone deals

What is the best phone deal?

Our favorite phone deals in September are preorder iPhone 15 promotions offered by AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T will give you up to $1000 off one of the new devices with a suitable trade-in, whereas T-Mobile will give you a discount of up to $700 if you're hoping to pick up more than one iPhone 15 model. 

How did we choose these phone deals?

When we made our selection for the best phone deals available online, we included options based on the following criteria: 

  • Value: The deal had to offer good value for money, especially regarding trade-in offers or discounts for new handsets, tablets, or entertainment products. 
  • Affordability: The economy is facing an uncertain time, and when we experience this type of disruption, it is sometimes essential to reduce our expenses as much as possible. With this in mind, we have included products suitable for various budgets. 
  • Variety: We require various smartphones to suit different users and their needs. 
  • Free products: Devices drop in value over time, and to offload excess stock, some carriers will launch time-sensitive deals, giving subscribers free products in exchange for signing up for a new contract. 
  • Events: It's always worth checking retailers after a significant event, such as Apple's annual event. You will often find that deals will be launched just after, luring customers to agree to preorder their new handset in return for discounts and free storage upgrades.
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