Samsung unveiled its hot new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on Sunday, and not a single person anywhere was surprised. Every last details surrounding the phones’ design and specs leaked long before Samsung executives took the stage at MWC 2018 on Sunday. We knew the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ would look almost exactly like their predecessors from last year, and we knew they’d pack plenty of power as well as killer cameras. We even knew exactly when the new flagship handsets would become available for preorder, and when they’d be released.
The only thing we didn’t know was how much the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ would cost, and it turns out there’s a very good reason for that: pricing is an absolute mess. In fact, it almost seems like Samsung and its carrier partners didn’t finalize pricing until the very last minute. And by “it almost seems like,” we mean that’s exactly what happened. As a result, different carriers are charging different prices for the same phone, and the cheapest way to buy it is actually getting a factory unlocked phone directly from Samsung. Well, that’s the cheapest way unless you take advantage of a special one-day promotion that one retailer plans to offer later this week.
Here’s how pricing breaks down from Samsung and each of the four major wireless carriers in the US:
- Samsung: $720 for the Galaxy S9, $840 for the Galaxy S9+
- Verizon: $800 for the Galaxy S9, $930 for the Galaxy S9+
- AT&T: $790 for the Galaxy S9, $915 for the Galaxy S9+
- T-Mobile: $720 for the Galaxy S9, $840 for the Galaxy S9+
- Sprint: $792 for the Galaxy S9, $912 for the Galaxy S9+
Yup, pricing is a complete and total mess. Those are the prices you’ll pay Samsung or each of the top-four wireless carriers in the US whether you pay in full up front, or if you choose a financing plan and spread your payments out over the course of 24 months (or 30 months at AT&T).
There has never been a modern flagship smartphone with pricing that varies by as much as $90 depending on which company you buy it from. It’s a disaster, but we’ll help make things simpler. There are only three places you should consider when buying the Galaxy S9: Samsung, Best Buy, or T-Mobile.
If you’re getting a Galaxy S9 or a Galaxy S9+ and you plan to use it with Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint, preorder the phone from Best Buy this coming Friday, March 2nd. Why? Because Best Buy has a one-day promotion that shaves $100 off the price of either phone, and the offer is good whether you pay in full up front or spread your payments out with a financing plan. You can find more details here. Remember, this offer is good for one day only.
If you’re on any of those carriers and you miss the chance to preorder from Best Buy on Friday, then get a factory unlocked Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ from Samsung. Do not — we repeat… DO NOT — buy your phone from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint. You can preorder your Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ on Samsung’s site right here, and you’ll be able to pay outright or select a monthly payment plan, just like you would at your carrier. But there are two main differences: 1. You’ll save at least $70 and as much as $90. 2. Your Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ will be unlocked.
Finally, if you’re a T-Mobile subscriber, you can make your purchase from T-Mobile or from Samsung. Best Buy isn’t an option because it’s not selling versions of the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ for T-Mobile. The Uncarrier is the only one out of the big four that isn’t jacking up the prices of Samsung’s new flagship phones, so you’ll pay the same price as if you bought it from Samsung.
Of note, Samsung, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will all support the Galaxy S9/S9+ trade-in offer, which saves you up to $350 when you trade-in a qualifying a qualifying smartphone. T-Mobile has a similar deal, but you can save up to $360.