Samsung’s Unpacked 2020 event featured announcements unveiling the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Tab S7, and three other devices. With so many new top-tier devices on the way from the leading Android device maker, you might decide it’s time to upgrade from last year’s Samsung flagship, the Galaxy Note 10.
If you are leasing a phone, you can simply turn it in for a new device; but if you own your Galaxy Note 10, you have a lot more options–most of which come with a cash reward.
Smartphones from leading manufacturers–Apple and Samsung in particular–can be worth quite a bit when given to the right organization. As TechRepublic found when trying to recycle an iPhone, prices can vary a lot between recycling services based on their supply and the demand for certain devices.
In the iPhone recycling article, a number of the services listed will make you an offer, send you a return envelope, and make you wait for the device to arrive so they can inspect it and offer you the quoted price–or less if they don’t think it’s in as good of condition as you reported online.
That wait and uncertainty can mean not getting a new Galaxy Note 20 as quickly, or for as good a deal, as you expected. For this guide, the only services included are ones you can go to in person to immediately hand over your device. The return value given in this article is for an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note 10 with 256 GB of storage in good condition (meaning little evidence of wear).
Located around the country, EcoATM kiosks take a device, inspect it, and hand over a cash voucher right on the spot–the system is automated. I’ve used it before, and it’s pretty quick and convenient.
As TechRepublic’s Teena Maddox said in her iPhone recycling article, the prices EcoATM offers are a bit low, but they are instantaneous. My estimate for the aforementioned unlocked Note 10 was a measly $130.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (TechRepublic Premium)
Best Buy trade-in program
Best Buy’s smartphone trade-in program gives a decent amount in return for a device, but there’s a caveat: It’s in the form of a Best Buy gift card. If you plan to use one of its in-store cellular providers to get your new device, you may not be able to use that gift card to buy a device directly from Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T.
Devices can be dropped off at Best Buy or mailed in, and I was given an estimate of $320 for an unlocked Note 10.
Trade in to your carrier
All of the major carriers accept in-store returns for account credit, so whether you intend to stay with your current carrier or jump ship to whomever ends up offering the Galaxy Note 20, you should be able to swap your current Note 10 for account credit for a new device.
SEE: Galaxy Z Fold2 announcement article (TechRepublic)
These offers are available in-store or online.
- Sprint: $301
- T-Mobile: $301
- Verizon: $291
- AT&T: $290
Recycling and donation services that don’t offer cash
If you just want to be rid of your Note 10, or any other device, there are charitable and free ways to hand it over without being paid.
SEE: Photos: A first look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (TechRepublic)
Retail stores like Lowes, Kroger, Safeway, Batteries Plus, Walmart, and others typically have recycle drop-off stations for smartphones. You won’t be rewarded, but your device will be recycled into new electronics instead of ending up in a landfill.
Local municipalities typically offer electronics recycling, but check with your local government to be sure and find out how to do so.
Regardless of how you choose to get rid of your old device, be sure to do a factory reset before handing it over—the last thing you want is giving your personal information over to a stranger to pick through.