Samsung's Galaxy S8 is now available for purchase, giving you the chance to be among the first to get your hands on the new smartphone. But there's more to buying the handset than just getting a smartphone.
Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's GuideAll four major carriers carry the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+; so do Best Buy and Samsung. And while pricing is largely the same — there are some variations here and there — carriers and retailers are focusing on different deals to entice you to choose them. If you want to save additional money, you can also turn to prepaid carriers, who now offer the Galaxy S8.
To help you navigate the buying process and find the best deal, we've compiled the offers each carrier and retailer is offering, along with some tips on finding the best deal of all. Check it out:
If you're willing to pay a bunch upfront, Verizon's deal might entice you. The company is selling the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ for $720 and $840, a few bucks less than some competitors. However, if you opt for the company's monthly installment plan, be ready to pay $31.50 per month or $35 per month for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, respectively. With trade-ins of eligible devices, you can knock that monthly payment down to $15 or $20 a month, depending on what phone you're trading in.
AT&T is selling the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ for $750 or $850, respectively. Those who choose the monthly installments, though, will find a reasonable $25 price tag on the Galaxy S8 and a surprisingly low $28.34 monthly deal on the Galaxy S8+.
If you're looking to get two Galaxy S8 units, AT&T is offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal — sort of. You'll need to have DirecTV, and you'll get your bill credit for the purchase of that second phone spread out in monthly installments over 24 or 30 months.
Sprint is hoping its ancillary offers will be enough to get you to buy a Galaxy S8. You can get a $30 credit when you order the handset through Sprint's site or over the phone. If you sign up for Sprint's 18-month lease agreement, the company will let you upgrade to a new Galaxy in 12 months. Lease your phone from Sprint with an 18-month agreement, and you're eligible for a 2-for-1 deal, at least through April 27.
Sprint is selling the Galaxy S8 for $750. You can also lease the phone for 18 months or pay for it installments over 24 months; in either case, you'll pay $31.25 each month to Sprint. (The difference between the two payment methods is that under the lease option, you won't own the phone at the end of those 18 months unless you pay off the remaining balance.) The Galaxy S8+ is going for $850 and its monthly installments are $35.42 per month either as an 18-month lease or a 24-month purchase.
At T-Mobile, you'll pay $30 a month for a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ if you buy the phone on an installment plan. But there's a catch. For the Galaxy S8, you'll need to put down $30. For the Galaxy S8+, T-Mobile requires a $130 down payment. If you just want to buy your new phone outright, T-Mobile will charge you $750 for the Galaxy S8 and $850 for the Galaxy S8+.
Samsung prices the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at $720 and $850 unlocked. For S8 fans, you'll notice that's $30 cheaper that what most carriers are charging. Of course, you can pick any of the four major carriers when you buy directly from Samsung, so this is your best option if you've decided on an S8 and want to save a few bucks. Unfortunately, Samsung's preorder offer of a free Gear VR is no longer available now that the phone's been released. You can get Samsung's Premium Care, which includes in-person set-up and hand-delivered replacements, free for 30 days.
Best Buy is offering the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ on three carrier networks — Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. Monthly installment pricing through Best Buy will vary depending on the carrier you pick, and it more or less matches what you'd get if you order directly from the carriers. An AT&T S8 will cost you $25 per month for 30 months at Best Buy, while monthly installments for Verizon and Sprint are $30 and $31.25, respectively, for 24 months.
You'll see some modest savings on the S8+ at Best Buy. A 24-month installment plan for the Verizon version of the phone costs $34 a month, while Sprint's monthly payments are $35.41 a month for 24 months. The 30-month payment for the Galaxy S8+ from AT&T is $28.34 — the same as it is at the carrier.
The buy-one-get-one-free offers from AT&T and Sprint are also available through Best Buy if you select those carriers when you purchase your S8.
Starting in May, Best Buy will sell the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ unlocked at the discounted rates of $725 and $825. That'll save you about $25 compared to paying full price for the new Galaxy phones at most other places. (The exception is Verizon, at least in the case of the Galaxy S8.)
Now that the S8 is widely available, it's landed at prepaid carriers, too, and you can save significant money if you buy Samsung's phone from one of these outlets. Boost, which is a Sprint-owned carrier that uses Sprint's network, has one of the best prices on the Galaxy S8 at $649.99. Boost doesn't offer installment plans, though, so you'll have to pay that money upfront.
Like Boost, Virgin is owned by Sprint and operates on that carrier's network, and like Boost, Virgin is offering the lowest price on the Galaxy S8 at $649.99. You'll have to buy the phone outright, though.
Cricket joins the ranks of prepaid carriers offering the Galaxy S8 at a discount from both Samsung and the Big Four wireless providers. You can get the phone for $699.99 from Cricket; just be aware that AT&T caps the LTE speeds of Cricket phones at 8Mbps.
You'll pay $729 for a Galaxy S8 through MetroPCS, the most expensive option of the discount carriers. And you can only buy the phone at one of MetroPCS's stores. However, MetroPCS did fare the best of any discount carrier in our recent round of network speed testing.
Deciding which company offers the best deal ultimately comes down to whether you want to buy the Galaxy S8 or S8+ outright or pay monthly installments. You'll also need to gauge the appeal of the freebies and other deals the companies are offering. And of course, you'll want to consider which carrier network offers the best coverage, service, and pricing.
If you're buying your phone outright, Verizon's lower-priced offering looks like the best bet, though Best Buy's offer will save you $50 to $100 if you spread out your payments in monthly installments. If you'd like to get more than one Galaxy handset, opting for AT&T is a good option, though the rebate is spread out over time. Best Buy has the best price if you buy the Galaxy S8+ outright, though you'll have to wait until May to get that discount.