The Samsung Galaxy S8 goes on pre-sale March 30. Here’s how to save $100.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is arriving soon everywhere; Samsung says pre-orders begin March 30 and phones ship April 21, though that timetable will likely depend on your carrier.
The phone will be available from AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Sprint, Straight Talk Wireless, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless, as well as Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. There are a bewildering array of plan options. You can buy it up front, on fast-upgrade plans, or on payment plans. Your best deals, almost certainly, will come from third-party retailers such as Best Buy.
Samsung says all pre-orders should include a free Gear VR headset with a controller. If you want to add a 256GB MicroSD card and AKG Bluetooth headphones, that will be $99 more. That’s a good deal, as a high-quality (not trash) 256GB MicroSD card alone costs around $129 right now.
There won’t be a non-carrier-branded model of the phone in the US to start, but Samsung told us that an officially unlocked, all carrier-compatible unit will follow “within a few months.” Verizon models are always unlocked, but it’ll initially be difficult to buy a Verizon model without a Verizon account.
So far, we’ve gotten prices from the four major carriers and two retailers.
AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are all charging $750 for the S8 and $850 for the S8+.
On AT&T, if you go for the AT&T Next payment plan, have two lines of service, and you’re also a DirecTV customer, you can get credits towards a second Galaxy S8 to the tune of $25 a month for 30 months. Or, if you choose a two-year contract, you can get a Gear S3 watch for $49, or a Samsung Tab E or a Gear S2 for 99 cents. All of those would be on contract.
Sprint has a deal where if you lease the Galaxy S8, you’ll be able to upgrade to a Galaxy S9 after 12 months, having paid only $375 for your phone (but you’ll have to give it back to Sprint.)
Verizon is charging slightly less than the other carriers: $720 for the S8 and $840 for the S8+.
We haven’t seen prices from U.S. Cellular or the prepaid carriers yet.
Remember, if you have another phone that’s paid off, you can sell it or trade it in to help finance your Galaxy S8 purchase. The carriers have their own trade-in programs, and we also have a guide to some third-party options here.
Better Buy at Best Buy
Best Buy and Target are undercutting the carriers’ direct prices, hoping you’ll also spend money on accessories or other home electronics. Best Buy’s discount looks cleaner; it’s just a discount. Target gives you a gift card.
Best Buy: “Up to $100 off,” if you use payment plans from AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. On the AT&T Next plan, Best Buy says that lowers the overall price of an S8 from $724.99 to $674.99, and an S8+ drops from $824.99 to $724.99.
Target: A flier leaked last week shows a deal for a $100 gift card on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon.