Apple iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus on sale September 19! Here's everything you need to know

It's the moment Mac junkies worldwide have been waiting for. Apple has finally unveiled the long-awaited, much discussed iPhone 6, and in typical Apple fashion, they had a surprise in store. Spoiler alert: there's TWO of them!

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Trade an old iPhone for a new iPhone 5s at Best Buy this weekend

Free iPhone 5s at Best BuyWith the iPhone 6 ready to be unveiled in August, we're starting to see serious discounts on Apple's current models.

Through Sunday, May 11, Best Buy is allowing customers to trade in a working iPhone for, at most, a new iPhone 5s and over $100 in Best Buy store credit.

Here's the breakdown: the iPhone 5s is currently discounted to $99.99 on Sprint and Verizon (sorry, AT&T customers - it's still $199.99 for you). In conjunction with this, Best Buy is offering guaranteed trade-in values for used iPhones - as long as they're in working condition with no water damage or screen cracks.

Guaranteed Trade-in Minimums 

  • iPhone 5: $200. This means a free iPhone 5s + $100 gift card for Verizon and Sprint; free iPhone 5s for AT&T.
  • iPhone 4s: $150. This means a free iPhone 5s + $50 gift card for Verizon and Sprint; $50 off iPhone 5s for AT&T.
  • iPhone 4: $100. This means a free iPhone 5s for Verizon and Sprint; $100 off iPhone 5s for AT&T.

Of course, customers need to be eligible for a device upgrade to take advantage of this offer. It's also worth noting that these prices apply to the 16GB models of the 5s. Those looking to upgrade to the more expensive 32 or 64GB models on Verizon and Sprint will still get a price break, though, as Best Buy is discounting them each $100 through May 11.

This Week Only! Get a $20 Gift Card for Old Electronics at Best Buy

Best Buy Electronics Trade InLet's face it, when it comes to filling up landfills there is almost nothing worse than old electronics. Not only are they usually made of non-biodegradable plastics that can do some serious ecological damage; some electronics, such as LCD screens in laptops and HDTVs, contain mercury, which should never be thrown away with the regular trash. It's always a good idea to recycle your old electronics. It's even better to make some money doing it! That in mind, you could get $20 from Best Buy by trading in your old gear.

From now until April 26th, the retailer is awarding a $20 Best Buy Gift Card for any device that is able to be turned on and works. It did not have to be purchased from Best Buy, though some exclusions may apply (very old tube TVs, for example). But even if it's not working, they will still take your old electronics and recycle them for free. You can learn more about their recycling program here and find out what times of items they take.

Either way, you will be doing a good thing!

How to Create a Secure Password You Can Actually Remember

There's been a lot of buzz about the Heartbleed Bug over the last 24 hours, and because this is such a big deal, even though it's not explicitly about deals or freebies or otherwise saving money, we feel that Brad's Deals have a responsibility as a consumer advocate to pass along the notes on what you should do to protect yourself.

What is the Heartbleed Bug?

How to choose a secure password

Photo: snoopsmaus / Flickr

Heartbleed is being described as an encryption flaw in a secure connection protocol called OpenSSL. Basically, when your computer is connected to a secure website, like a bank or an online retailer, there is a sort of ping signal that keeps you securely connected. The Heartbleed exploit allowed hackers to replace that ping with a false ping, using it to intercept sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers and any other data that you would submit with a secure form.

Do hackers have my information now?

No one knows for sure. This wasn't a case of catching the bad guys doing something bad, so we can't say for sure if anyone has used the exploit to get info in the past.

What you should do about it?

The best thing to do is to wait for affected websites to fix the bug with a security patch, then update your passwords. Changing your passwords before those updates are made still leaves them vulnerable to the exploit.

What sites were affected?

Mashable put together a good list that they're keeping updated as information comes in. Bookmark it and check back often. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are just a few of the bigger names on the list.

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Trade Your Old Windows XP Laptop for a $99 Chromebook

How to Get a Cheap ChromebookBest Buy is offering an interesting incentive to Windows XP users who are looking to finally upgrade. From now through 4/19 they can trade in (in-store only) a working Windows XP laptop for a $25 gift card plus a discount coupon good for $75 toward the purchase of a new Windows computer, Apple computer or Chromebook.

An interesting way to use this would be to get a new Chromebook for as low as $99 (if you get the full trade-in value). For example, this  HP 11.6" LTE Chromebook  or this Acer C720 11.6" Chromebook. That's the lowest price we've ever seen for a Chromebook, which runs on the Google OS and is a category of laptop growing in popularity.

Why go Chromebook? Well, with so much of our data being stored in the cloud using online storage, it's not always necessary to have laptop with a large hard drive and tons of memory. For those who mostly use their laptops to use the Internet and read e-mail, a Chromebook can be a very cost effective way to go. And, you can still edit and read documents using free programs such as Google Docs or even do some light editing of photos and video. Everything just gets stored in the cloud instead of on your laptop. Also, using the offline feature, it is possible to look at already received e-mail and write drafts of new ones when you are not connected to the web. The same goes for Google Docs. Plus, Chromebooks are thin, very light and fast because they run entirely on solid state (no moving parts) drive storage. It's a great portable computer option.

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How to Return Your Recalled Fitbit Force (and Possibly Make a Profit)

The Fitbit Force earned rave reviews when it was initially released, even winning the top spot on TIME's list of the top 26 fitness trackers. But then reports of skin irritation and allergic reactions slowly began to surface until a few days ago when Fitbit halted sales of the Fitbit Force and voluntarily recalled those already sold. How to return your Fitbit Force

While the consensus is that some users likely are reacting to the nickel in a small metal component (a common jewelry allergy), there is speculation that it might also have something to do with the glue used in manufacturing. It's not a hugely serious problem, but Fitbit decided to take action out of an abundance of caution.

You can find the Fitbit Force Return Kit Request Form here.

Here is our take on your options with regards to the Fitbit Force recall, including how you might even make a profit from returning it. 

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Score Your Own Touchdown With These Super Bowl HDTV Deals

No matter who you are cheering for this Sunday, either team will look way better if you have a nice HDTV on which to watch the Super Bowl. And if you didn't get a nice TV for the holidays, maybe now is the time to improve your viewing pleasure. The retailers know this, which is why there are always some good prices this time of year. Here are some of our picks for good deals on HDTVs both large and small, categorized by screen size:

(Note: Not all free shipping options will necessarily arrive by 2/1/2014. Advantages of stores like Sears, Walmart and Best Buy are in-store pickup options.)

50" and Higher

40" to 46"

32" to 39"

Honorable Mention:

At Amazon, if you buy a Samsung HDTV from a select list, you can get a free Samsung Tab 3 Android tablet. While many of the sale prices on this list simply match the lowest prices we're seeing online, this is still a pretty compelling deal if you were also in the market for an Android table, which is free! That's one of the stronger HDTV/tech bundles we've since the holidays.

Go sports team!

Walmart Christmas Countdown Savings Event: PS4, iPad Mini and more!

If you're on the hunt for a new PS4 console, Walmart has announced that they will have them in stock in stores nationwide at 8am on Sunday December 15th during their Christmas Countdown Savings Event. The press release also notes that they will have a limited number of PS4 consoles available online at

Where to find a PS4 in stock

Photo courtesy of Walmart

“When we reported our record-breaking Black Friday results, we said we weren’t done yet, and we meant it,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer, Walmart U.S. “As our customers count down the final days until Christmas, we remain focused on offering them great prices and the hottest gifts to place under their Christmas trees.”

Remember that just because they're getting it in stock in time for this sale does NOT mean that the consoles will be discounted at all. The PS4 is selling out quickly whenever anyone gets it in stock right now, so there's not much incentive to discount them from a retailer's perspective right now, and Walmart did not mention the pricing in their press release. However, if a PS4 is on your list this year, you'll want to arrive early to have a shot.

The rest of the sale looks pretty decent to us, as well. Here's a sneak peek at what you can expect to see beginning tomorrow at 8am in stores and at midnight online. Note that some of these deals are available online right now, and we even see one for less than the price quoted in the press release!

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Black Friday Comes Early for Tech

We may be just under a month away from Black Friday but this weekend tech seems to be getting a jump start on discounts for the holidays.

Best Buy is having a Holiday Kick-Off 2-Day Sale that is generating some good deals. And, most everything over $25 ships for free (appliances over $429 get free delivery). Some deals include:

Also, Best Buy is offering a guaranteed $200 Trade-In on select iPads.

Meanwhile, Newegg is offering deals during its Black November promotion. Shipping is free on most items. Some include:

Also, we're seeing two good deals for the newly released iPad Air:

  • $479 shipped at Walmart, plus free shipping.
  • $479 shipped at Target or $455.05 if you buy it with a Target Red Card.

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Apple's Newest iPads: Better Specs, But Some Higher Prices

The Fall has been an important season for Apple. First the company launched its new round of iPhones with the 5s and the 5c, proving it can still create a consumer craze most companies would love to have. But 10/22 was iPad day and it was none too soon.

Apple iPad Air

Introducing: iPad Air

The tablet market has been biting heavily at Apple's heels, launching less expensive tablets that offer specs and features that are just as good, if not better (eg. Google Nexus 7, Gen 2 vs. iPad Mini). But that all changed today, as Apple launched it's new models of iPad and iPad Mini with much needed upgrades. We're just not sure they got the memo about pricing.

New iPad Mini

The latest iPad Mini, due out in November 1st, corrects some of the deficiencies it had against its main contender, the 2nd gen Google Nexus 7. This 7"Android tablet is faster than than the original mini, has a better display and is a lot cheaper, starting at $229 vs. Mini's starting price of $329. Now the Mini has bettered its game, adopting the 2048 x 1536 Retina display, a faster 64-bit A7 processor and a dual WiFi antenna that uses MIMO technology, which claims to improve WiFi reception. This, combined with the durable metal casing, makes the mini one of the better tablets out there. The problem is the pricing, which starts at $399 for a 16GB mini. Compare that to $229 for a 16GB Google Nexus tablet, which is still a match for the new Mini, and the value proposition becomes clear. It's not in iPad Mini's favor, especially if you are PC/Mac agnostic. And, while Apple dropped the price or the original Mini, $299 is still higher than the much better Google Nexus tablet. No one should be getting excited about this new, lower price point.

 iPad Air

Instead of calling it the iPad 5, Apple decided to follow the branding success of it's Macbook Air and call this one, iPad Air. This is partly because it's 20% thinner than its predecessor and 28% lighter, weighing in at 1 pound. It too, gets some internal upgrading, including the 64-bit A7 processor, an improved motion sensor, dual WiFi antenna with MIMO technology and dual microphones. Interestingly enough, Apple did not include the fingerprint recognition feature that the iPhone 5s has. There was no change here in the pricing, either. The Air will start at $499 for a 16GB WiFi model, the same price at which the iPad 4 debuted, which is, again, $100 more expensive than a comparable Android tablet.

Where will the deals be?

As most Apple fans know full well (and often lament), discounts on Apple products are few and far between, however, there will be some places to keep an eye on.

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