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How to pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 — and the best deals so far

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs S21 Plus vs S21
(Image credit: Future)

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S21 are now live after Samsung took the wraps off its newest phones. As expected, you've got three phones to choose from — the 6.2-inch Galaxy S21 ($799), the 6.7-inch Galaxy S21 Plus ($999), and the 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra ($1,199). 

All three phones arrive in stores on January 29. However, Samsung is offering one of the better pre-order deals if you have an eligible phone trade-in. Pre-order your Galaxy S21 at Samsung and get up to $700 off with trade-in. After discount, you'll pay just $99 for the Galaxy S21. Plus, you'll get up to a $200 Samsung credit. So if you're wondering how to pre-order the Galaxy S21 — here's everything you need to know. 

Galaxy S21 models and pricing
Galaxy S21 Galaxy S21 Plus Galaxy S21 Ultra
Starting price$799$999 $1,199
Display (Resolution; Max. refresh rate)6.2 inches (FHD, 120Hz)6.7 inches (FHD, 120Hz) 6.8 inches (QHD, 120Hz)
Rear cameras12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 64MP telephoto 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, 10MP 10x telephoto
Front camera10MP10MP40MP
ChipsetSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 888
RAM8GB8GB12GB/16GB
Storage128GB/256GB128GB/256GB128GB/256GB/512GB
Operating SystemAndroid 11 with One UI 3.0Android 11 with One UI 3.0Android 11 with One UI 3.0
Battery4,000 mAh4,800 mAh5,000 mAh
Water ResistanceIP68IP68IP68
Size5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches (151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm)6.4 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches (161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm)6.5 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches (165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm)
Weight6.1 ounces (172g)7.1 ounces (202g)8.0 ounces (228g)

How to pre-order the Galaxy S21

Galaxy S21: from $99 w/ trade-in @ Samsung
It may be the smallest phone in Samsung's new lineup, but the Galaxy S21 packs nothing but power. It features a 6.2-inch 120Hz adaptive display, Snapdragon 888 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 10MP front camera, and 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP telephoto rear camera lenses. Pre-order the Galaxy S21 by January 28 and you'll get a $100 Samsung credit and free Galaxy SmartTag. If you have an eligible phone to trade in, you could get up to $700 off and pay just $2.78/month via a 36-month contract. If your trade-in phone has a cracked screen, Samsung will still give you up to a $550 credit.View Deal

Galaxy S21 Plus: from $299 w/ trade-in @ Samsung
The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are very similar, but the latter sports a bigger 6.7-inch 120Hz display. Otherwise, you get the same Snapdragon 888 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 10MP front camera, and 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP telephoto rear camera lenses. Pre-order the Galaxy S21 Plus by January 28 and you'll get a $150 Samsung credit and free Galaxy SmartTag. If you have an eligible phone to trade in, you could get up to $700 off and pay just $8.34/month via a 36-month contract.View Deal

Galaxy S21 Ultra: from $499 w/ trade-in @ Samsung
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the top-of-the line Galaxy phone. It features a massive 6.8-inch adaptive 120Hz QHD display, Snapdragon 888 CPU, 12GB of RAM, and 40MP front camera. Rear cameras include a 108MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 10MP 10x telephoto. Pre-order the Galaxy S21 Ultra by January 28 and you'll get a $200 Samsung credit and free Galaxy SmartTag. If you have an eligible phone to trade in, you could get up to $700 off and pay just $13.89/month via a 36-month contract.View Deal

Galaxy S21: $600 off w/ trade-in + Unlimited @ Verizon
Current Verizon customers can take up to $600 off any Galaxy S21 phone with trade-in and sign up on a Verizon Unlimited plan. Alternatively, buy any S21 phone and get $1,000 off the cost of another when you add a new line with Unlimited.  View Deal

Galaxy S21: $800 off w/ trade-in + Unlimited @ AT&T
New and existing customers can get $800 off any Galaxy S21 phone with trade-in of an eligible phone and activation of an Unlimited plan. After discount, you can get the Galaxy S21 for free, the Galaxy S21 Plus for $199.99, or the Galaxy S21 Ultra for $399.99. View Deal

Galaxy S21: from $792 @ Visible
Verizon-owned carrier Visible will have both the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus available for sale starting on January 29. Purchase any of the phones and you'll get a $200 Samsung credit. Plus, new customers who port their number from a competing carrier will also get a free pair of Galaxy Buds Live. Prices start at $792 for the Galaxy S21 and $984 for the Galaxy S21 Plus.View Deal

Galaxy S21: Get up to $200 in credit @ US Cellular
Like Samsung, US Cellular is offering credits to anyone who pre-orders a Galaxy S21 by Jan. 28. You get a $100 credit for the S21, $150 for the S21 Plus and $200 for the S21 Ultra. US Cellular lets you pay off the phone over 30 months; prices are $26.66 per month for the S21, $33.33 for the S21 Plus and $39.99 for the S21 Ultra.View Deal

Galaxy S21: up to $800 off w/ trade-in @ T-Mobile
T-Mobile will get the entire Galaxy S21 family starting January 29. Even better, you can take $800 off any phone with an eligible trade-in. (No new line or port-in is required). If you don't have a phone to trade-in, you can still get up to $800 off your new Galaxy S21. Just purchase an S21 phone, port in a new line, and get $800 off your second Galaxy S21 phone. View Deal

Galaxy S21: up to $400 off w/ new line @ Xfinity Mobile
New Xfinity Mobile customers can get up to $400 off any Galaxy S21 phone when they switch and open a new line. Existing customers can take advantage of the same Galaxy S21 pre-order, however, they'll need to add a new line. They'll then receive a $400 Visa pre-paid card. All customers will also get a $100 Samsung credit with the S21, $150 credit with the S21 Plus, and $200 credit with the S21 Ultra. View Deal

Galaxy S21: 50% off w/ new line @ Google Fi
The entire Galaxy S21 family is available for pre-order at Google Fi. Even better, Google is taking up to 50% each phone via a Fi bill credit when you add a new line. Alternatively, current members can get a $300 bill credit when they upgrade. In both instances, you'll also get up to a $200 Samsung credit based on which phone you pre-order. View Deal

Galaxy S21: $100 off w/ new line + trade-in @ Spectrum Mobile
Spectrum Mobile is taking $100 off all Galaxy S21 smartphones when you trade-in an eligible phone, open a new line, and activate a new phone. Plus, you'll get up to a $200 Samsung credit with the purchase of any new Galaxy S21.  View Deal

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. That means price checking against multiple retailers and searching high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.