Samsung’s Galaxy S9 is finally official, so now all that remains is to actually buy it. We all knew that the Galaxy S9 was going to be expensive — that was pretty much a given as soon as Apple charged $999 for its new flagship — but the interesting thing about the Galaxy S9 pricing is the spread of prices we’re seeing. Some carriers are charging far more for the Galaxy S9 than competitors, and the number of preorder deals on offer just makes it more complicated to work out where the best value is.
First, you have to decide if you’re going to buy the device up-front or on an installment plan. All four carriers are offering plans that spread the cost of the Galaxy S9 out over two years, making it easier to afford. Unlike a loan or old carrier installment plans, these kind of deals don’t have any early termination fees or interest. You pay the full retail price, spread out over 24 monthly payments; if you leave early, you just have to pay off the balance of the device. The only exception is if you’re taking an advantage of a special promotion that lowers the price via bill credits, since in that case, leaving early normally means forgoing any future bill credits.
Whichever way you decide to go, we’ve got all the details about the pricing and best deals on the Galaxy S9 preorders down below. Just remember: Preorders open on Friday, March 2nd from all these retailers, so you’ve still got time to make your mind up.
The most obvious way to buy the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ is direct from Samsung. The unlocked Galaxy S9 will cost $719.99, or $30 per month for 24 month. The unlocked Galaxy S9+ will cost $839.99, or $35 per month for 24 months. Samsung is clearly trying to cut into the turf of carriers here, as manufacturers aren’t typically the ones to offer installment plans.
Samsung’s headline preorder deal is being offered by virtually everyone who is selling the Galaxy S9, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad deal. You can get up to $350 off the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ with an eligible trade-in, and the values that Samsung is offering (especially for older phones) is above the third-party resale value. If you’re going for a straight one-for-one upgrade, particularly from a device that’s two or three years old, the trade-in offer is a no-brainer.
Best Buy’s preorders will open on Friday, March 2nd, and Best Buy has a big headline offer to try and entice customers. Best Buy customers save $100 when preordering on a Verizon, AT&T or Sprint plan, on top of saving up to $350 when trading in a qualified smartphone. That’s total savings of $450, although as we note below, Verizon and AT&T are charging significantly more than Samsung for the device, so assuming Best Buy is using Verizon and AT&T’s pricing, the savings compared to buying from Samsung are not as great as it might seem.
Best Buy will also be selling the unlocked Galaxy S9 on launch day, and we assume that the pricing will match Samsung: $719.99 for the Galaxy S9, and $839.99 for the Galaxy S9+.
T-Mobile’s pricing matches Samsung’s: $719.99 for the Galaxy S9, and $839.99 for the Galaxy S9+. The Galaxy S9 is available from T-Mobile in Midnight Black, Lilac Purple or Coral Blue for $30 per month on the T-Mobile Equipment Installment Plan, with the larger Galaxy S9+ also available for preorder in the same colors for the same $30 per month. The only difference is that Galaxy S9+ customers will pay a $120 down payment on the device, which covers the difference in retail pricing between the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
The network is also bettering Samsung’s trade-in offer. Customers can get $360 or $200 off the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ when they trade in a qualifying device, with the payout depending on how new or expensive your phone is:
- GS8 Active
- GS7 edge
- GS7 Active
- Note 8
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8+
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7+
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s+
- LG V30
- LG V30+
- GS6 edge
- GS6 edge+
- GS6 active
- Note 4
- Note 5
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 6
- iPhone 6+
- LG V20
- LG G6
- LG G5
T-Mobile is also offering the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on its Jump On Demand lease program. Under the terms of that arrangement, you lease the device for 18 months, but you can upgrade or change devices once every 30 days. Unlike an Equipment Installment Program, you just lease the device from T-Mobile, rather than buying it. If T-Mobile customers want to lease the Galaxy S9 or S9+ on Jump! On Demand, they’ll pay the $20 Upgrade Support Charge. For the Galaxy S9, the down payment for well-qualified customers would be $0 and then $30 each month. For the Galaxy S9+, the down payment for well-qualified customers would be $120 and then $30 each month.
Just like T-Mobile, AT&T is offering the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on an installment plan, although its plan (called AT&T Next) spreads the cost over 30 months. The monthly cost is lower than T-Mobile or Samsung’s installment plans ( Galaxy S9 for $26.34 per month, or the Galaxy S9+ for $30.50 per month), but the total cost ends up being significantly higher than Samsung’s retail price, or what T-Mobile is charging.
For the Galaxy S9, the total cost works out to $790, while the Galaxy S9+ works out to $915. Compared to the standard retail prices of $720 or $840, that’s a big difference.
Verizon is also inflating the price compared to Samsung or T-Mobile, but it’s doing so over 24 months, rather than 30 months like AT&T. The Galaxy S9 is $33.33 per month for 24 months ($799.99 retail price; 0% APR) and the Galaxy S9+ is $38.74 per month for 24 months ($929.99 retail price; 0% APR).
Verizon is also matching Samsung’s $350 trade-in offer, although the list of eligible smartphones looks a tiny bit different to T-Mobile:
$350 credit – Apple: iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus; Samsung: GS8, GS8+, Note8
$300 credit – Apple: iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus; Google: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL; LG: G6, V30; Motorola: Z2 Force, Z Force; Samsung: GS7, GS7 Edge, GS7 Active
$200 credit – Apple: iPhone 6, 6 Plus; HTC: 10; LG: G5, V20; Motorola: Z Droid, Z2 Play; Samsung: GS6, GS6 edge, GS6 edge+, GS6 Active, Note 5
$100 credit – Apple: iPhone SE; HTC: M9, M9+; LG: G4, V10; Motorola: Z Play, Turbo 2; Samsung: GS5, Note 4, Note Edge
Comcast’s wireless division will have its own deal on the Galaxy S9, with a mix between a new line bonus and a trade-in bonus. You get a $250 prepaid card for every new line activated with a Samsung device, plus $200 for any qualified trade-in. There are no details on which trade-ins qualify yet.
US Cellular’s deal looks good from the headlines: $350 off with a trade-in, just like Samsung, but $250 off the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ even without a trade-in. However, there’s a bunch of small print attached. The device has to be paid over 30 months on an installment plan, you need to be on US Cellular’s Total Plan with unlimited data, and you need to either activate a new line, or be eligible for an upgrade. ON top of all that, you also have to get US Cellular’s Device Protection+ program.