Samsung debuts Trade Up app for S9 trade-ins in Singapore

Got a spanking new Galaxy S9? The app lets you run diagnostic tests before turning your old devices for cash.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

Samsung's Trade Up app runs basic diagnostic tests before you trade your phone in for a new Galaxy S9.

Aloysius Low/CNET

Hankering for the new Galaxy S9 after yesterday's announcement? In the US, UK, Australia and China, Samsung has a trade-in program that will help you pay for it.

You either take the old phone to the store, or ship it back when you get your new one. Trading in an old phone will net you up to $350, which you can put towards the cost of your new one. But it's dependent on a whole bunch of caveats: There should be a functional display on the phone, it can't be on a black list, and so on. There'll be another check once the phone reaches Samsung, who'll then have to figure out if you kept to your part of the bargain. But the Korean electronics giant has come up with an app to make the process easier by getting you to do the legwork first.

The Trade Up app is rolling out in Singapore and, if it's successful, will likely be deployed to other markets where trade-ins are available. When you open the app, it detects the model of your phone and offers you an estimated price if your phone is in perfect condition. Then it runs some tests to check that condition. You'll be asked to:

  • Test your display by getting you to color it with your fingers
  • Press the side, home and power buttons 
  • Hold the phone to a mirror and use the selfie camera to detect if you have any cracks. 

If you fail any of these tests, the phone's value goes down accordingly.

Once that's done, the app generates a checklist that you need to clear before you can proceed. This will involve wiping the device and removing your Google account. Once the checklist is cleared, you enter your contact details and your new S9 or S9 Plus' IMEI number. A courier will then be dispatched to pick the old phone up and run a final check. You'll then get your trade-in money through a bank transfer.

A Samsung spokesman told CNET that the app makes it easier for customers to switch over as they'll have time to transfer their data without having to rush. He also added that the trade-ins are currently only for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

The app will launch on March 10 in Singapore, when the S9 becomes available for those who preordered. As with the other markets, the S9 officially goes on sale on March 16.

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