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Samsung quietly launched a new smartphone subscription service

Published Jun 1st, 2020 6:50AM EDT
Galaxy Note 20 Price
Image: Framesira/Shutterstock

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  • The Galaxy Note 20 price hasn’t even leaked, but Samsung’s flagships launching in the second half of the year will probably be expensive, especially the new Galaxy Fold 2 foldable device.
  • Samsung launched an interesting smartphone subscription program called Access, which bundles financing with Premium Care, and Microsoft 365.
  • The Galaxy S20 phones are available under Access, with prices starting at $37 per month for the bundle.

The Galaxy S20 series has hardly been the sales success Samsung envisioned, and that’s not just because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis affected smartphone sales across the board, particularly in the second quarter of the year, when more and more countries took unprecedented measures to limit the spread, leaving millions of people without a job. But the Galaxy S20’s main problem was the pricing structure. The cheapest version costs $999, before price discounts and other promos, which is $300 more than the most affordable iPhone 11 version. The iPhone 11, starting at $699, was the best-sold phone of the first quarter.

Samsung is getting ready to launch two new flagship phones, the Galaxy Note 20 series and the Galaxy Fold 2. Both of them will probably be expensive devices, with the next-gen foldable likely to cost more than $1,500. In preparation for that, Samsung quietly launched a new smartphone subscription service that could convince more people to buy more expensive phones.

Called Samsung Access, the new program that xda-developers found first is available to buyers right away, as long as they want to purchase a new Galaxy S20 flavor.

Samsung launched its own Upgrade Program that followed Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program a few years ago, but Access is something entirely now. In addition to allowing buyers to purchase flagship phones for lower monthly fees, Access also includes a subscription to Microsoft 365 complete with 1TB OneDrive of cloud storage, and Premium Care protection.

With Samsung Access, you can choose to either keep your phone or upgrade to a new model every nine months for free. A $100 charge is applied if you want to upgrade sooner than that. You’ll still have to return the older device in good condition, and that’s where Premium Care comes in handy. Samsung’s program lets you repair or replace a broken phone for a $99 deductible up to three times in 12 months. The Galaxy S20 phones are made of glass, and they won’t survive all kinds of accidental drops, so the program may come in handy.

The Microsoft 365 subscription gets you the same perks as if purchased separately, including access to all Office apps and OneDrive storage.
Galaxy S20 Access pricing starts at $37 per month for the Galaxy S20, $42 per month for the Plus, and $48 per month for the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Access can save you $324 over 36 months, which is the length of the contract. That is if you were planning on getting Premium Care and Microsoft 365 as well.

The Galaxy Note 20 series will surely be included in the Access program, once it launches in August. The same probably goes for the Galaxy Fold 2, which will be more expensive than the new Notes.

You can cancel Access at any time, although it costs $100 if you do it in the first three months. The service will also cover some Samsung TVs at this link. A Samsung video explaining the Access program for phones follows below, and Samsung has put up an extensive FAQ page for the service.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.