Samsung's Galaxy S8 and S8+ are now available from practically every major carrier and retailer. But there's more to buying the handset than you think.
Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's GuideAll four major carriers carry the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+; so do Best Buy and Samsung, which also offer unlocked versions of the device. 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.
Alternatively, if you have an old smartphone that you can trade-in, Samsung has the absolute best price. It's taking $200 off the unlocked Galaxy S8 when you trade in any smartphone. That drops the S8's price to an unprecedented $424.99. If you trade-in a Samsung phone, like the Galaxy S7, your trade-in value increases to $300 and you'll pay $324.99 for a new, unlocked S8.
However, not everyone has a phone to trade in. 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:
After offering the phone at a discount during preorders, Verizon now has the highest price on the Galaxy S8 at $756 (or $31.50 a month in 24 monthly payments); the Galaxy S8+ remains $840, or $35 per month. You can lower your monthly payments on either the S8 or S8+ by trading in an eligible device. That will reduce your payment to $15 or $20 a month, depending on what phone you're trading in. Or if you're a new customer coming from a different carrier, you can get a $100 Visa prepaid card for every line you bring to Verizon. This offers ends June 30.
AT&T is selling the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ for $749.99 or $849.99, respectively. Those who choose the monthly installments, though, will find a reasonable $25 price tag (over 30 months) on the Galaxy S8 and a surprisingly low $28.34 monthly price (over 30 months) on the Galaxy S8+. As with Verizon, you can reduce the cost of the phone at AT&T by trade-in an eligible device. AT&T is promising a minimum of $200 in credit, so long as you have a promotional code.
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, though that second phone is a Galaxy S7 Edge.
Sprint is selling the Galaxy S8 for $750. You can also lease the phone for 18 months or pay for it in 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+. The carrier is also offering a BOGO sale, but there are a lot of caveats to watch out for.
Samsung prices the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at $624.99 and $724.99 unlocked. You'll notice that's cheaper than what you'll pay should you get your phone through a carrier. Samsung is also offering excellent trade-in deals, which can lower the cost of your new phone from $200 to $350 when you turn in an eligible smartphone or Galaxy device. When you buy via Samsung you can also get Samsung's Premium Care, which includes in-person set-up and hand-delivered replacements, free for 30 days. For a limited time you can also get Samsung's new Gear 360 camera for $49 (normally $229.99) when you buy your Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Samsung.
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.
Best Buy also now sells unlocked versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Like Samsung, it sells those phones at the discounted rates of $724.99 and $824.99. That'll save you about $25 compared to paying full price for the new Galaxy phones. It might also be a quicker route if you didn't pre-order with Samsung.
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 more attractive 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.
Straight Talk is one of the few prepaid carriers to have both the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in stock, selling them for $659 and $759, respectively. Straight Talk also lets you pay off your phone in monthly installments, though the $33.39 and $37.96 it charges each month for the S8 and S8+ add up to much more than what you'd pay buying the phone outright. One other warning about Straight Talk: it didn't fare very well in our recent rankings of the best and worst wireless carriers.
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, Samsung's and Best Buy's lower-priced offerings look like the best bet. 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.