Samsung Galaxy S4

Don't let this get lost in the shuffle this morning, folks. T-Mobile has become the first U.S. operator to give a date to its Galaxy S4. You'll be able to pick up Samsung's latest and greatest May 1 for a $99 "down payment." 

The "down payment" thing is new, though it's not all that different from the usual "on contract" qualifier we usually use. You pay a little up front, and you end up paying off the phone over a number of months. It's all part of T-Mobile's new "Simple Choice" plans unveiled this morning in New York City.

The important thing here is that we finally have a hard and firm date on what's sure to be one of the hottest phones of the year. May 1. Mark it, dude.

 
There are 33 comments

dwd3885 says:

The good part of the down payment/payments system is after you are done with the 'contract' you no longer have to pay $20 extra. On AT&T and Verizon and Sprint, you keep paying the $20 even though you already paid off the phone!!

What $20 are you referring to on other carriers? I have sprint and I don't pay an extra $20 for anything. You would have to actually crunch the numbers to know if there is actually any difference between this and any other plan. IE....sprints data plan in cheaper than T-Mob so you have to do the math.

BeatUpFord says:

The $20 on other carriers he is referring to is the baked in cost of the subsidy to pay for your phone. If you are the kind of person who upgrades every 18 months on the dot with Sprint then the $150 plan for a couple might net your a gain over the $120 for the tmobile unlimited plan for 2 phones. It might be cheaper with Sprint, and, in my experience with Dallas Craigslist, Sprint customers appear to be mostly idiots (as in you can get them for super cheap) when selling their phones after market. This could be because of a smaller market buying the phones. Regardless, you are likely correct if you take advantage of upgrades like clockwork. If not, or if you are content with the highly discounted (when compared to other phones) Nexus devices, Tmobile is likely to be perfect for you.

A pair of Nexus 5 with 16 gb will run you $700 plus tax. You will save $720 over 24 months if you go with tmobile over sprint. Factor in selling your old Nexux every year for about $150 towards the cost of a new Nexus and things can get interesting.

The point is, different plans create different results for different people, but you are already paying $20 a month (or more) for your phone subsidy. Don't forget without LTE, you have to rely on SPrint's 3g network, and that can be shoddy at times, so you also have to factor in non-calculable variables like your sanity if you can't get a connection.

hlysprt8 says:

That is the reason I left sprint. They still don't have LTE in the Cleveland area and their 3g was just too slow. I was happy to get 512 kb download speeds on it. Now I'm with Tmo and I'm definitely happy with the hspa+ speeds and the LTE will be a bonus when it comes. I've always like the model that wireless companies used in Europe so I feel that this is perfect for me. I never liked being under a contract like that but I wanted reliable service so it is the nexus 4 and tmobile for me. I don't think most people realize the amounts they are paying for service and to have a subsidized phone. i believe most people just see a phone they want and thats the main deciding factor on if they get the service or not. So good job to tmobile for making things more transparent but good luck getting people to understand why structuring the plans this way will benefit them.

Ron Bronson says:

Other shared info.

myric227 says:

What they mean is that when you get your subsidized phone from sprint for 99 bucks and pay 70 bucks a month for 2 years for your plan, you still pay that 70 bucks a month instead of being charged less after those 2 years when the full price of the phone is paid off. This is the reason I left Verizon. 100 bucks a month for service even if I paid full price for a phone.

redstar427 says:

You must visit a different Sprint website than the rest of us.
Sprint's website: unlimited talk, text, data: $109.99
T-Mobile's website: unlimited talk, text, data: $70 (phone payments $20/mo extra)

BeatUpFord says:

In all fairness to the commenter and most reasonable people, he is considering the 1500 anytime minutes as the plan of comparison. With free mobile to mobile and nights and weekends, that plan is going to cover the "unlimited" needs of most phone calls.

You are, technically, correct, but most customers will find the $150 plan will cover their needs in the exact same way as the tmo unlimited plan.

Go Android! says:

Sprint's $79 plan has unlimited data, text, and 450 minutes. But you get Any Mobile, Anytime which is virtually unlimited for most people.

Cobravision says:

But there's a $10 surcharge for smartphones. So it's really $89/mo, or what you'd spend on TMo including the phone installment. Plus, the hero phones are $99 upfront instead of $199.

Still, if you want to save money and don't really need unlimited data, MVNO's are cheaper still, although their phone selections leave something to be desired.

qitupx says:

No, $79 includes the $10 fee. They use to advertise it as $69 plus 10 for smartphones but they ended up simplifying it..

Cobravision says:

Thanks for clarifying.

Will TMo will still charge for administrative and regulatory fees? The total cost of the "79" plan is ~$10 higher because of them. MVNOs charge flat rates or may include sales tax, but nowhere near what the carriers charge.

SlimJ87D says:

Thanks for clearing that up Phil.

PharmNerd says:

Okay, but that $99 is just a down payment. What's the full price?

That's like saying I can get a new car for just $250.

$99 + $20 x 24 months = $579

Jay Holm says:

I believe the S3 retails for $619 on Verizon, so $579 isn't too bad.

T-Mobile hasn't yet announced if they'll carry the 64GB version, huh?
I keep wondering if the 64GB one will actually exist this time,
the 64GB S3 never existed.

Jay Holm says:

$99 for the S4, not a bad price at all!!!
My contract with Verizon is up on May 20th...

Hmm, maybe I should start shopping for protective cases...

netposer says:

Misleading headline (by Tmobile) since the phone will cost:
$99
+$480 ($20 x 24 mos)
Total of $579

I've said this for years "why is my monthly cost the same if I bring my own phone to the carrier"?

If I bought my own phone or paid the non-contract price why is the monthly service the same as for a subsidized phone?

At least with T-mobile you can bring your own phone and save $20 per month.

Mac58 says:

This! You can save big time if you bring your own device with tmobile. This is a huge move for them. Their prices are best on the market on a national scale. Simply cant beat them, however service is great in some areas and spotty in others. This may hold true for other carriers but in the end whatever works for the customer works for the customer. I am happy with this move by tmobile, as it pushes forward competitive pricing!

ybcthanerd says:

This is dumb I never had to pay full price for a phone I paid about 200 for my G2 I never had any extra fee on my bill I jus paid for tha "discounted" phone and left. This whole paying full price thing is crap. If u sign or resign ur contract u shouldn't pay full price.

mjaviert says:

It sounds scary to hear that you'll pay full price for a phone but in reality you pay full price for your phone with you higher rates with your current carrier, you get a subsidy on your phone in exchange for a 2 year contract and higher rates, the discounted phone has to be paid somehow, and that is how it's paid for.

T-mobile is now doing it the other way around, you pay retail price for you phone which will be financed to you at 0% interest and in exchange T-Mobile will also offer you lower rates.

If you compare the plans apples to apples to other carriers T-Mobile is always cheaper even with a $20 dollar phone payment for 24 months.

tohio says:

One of the most misleading titles for an article I've seen in some time. It isn't even factual. The article doesn't tell you how much the phone really cost over time. It should have said, "Galaxy S4 hits T-Mobile on May 1 for $99 DOWN PAYMENT." T-Mobile is not selling you a Galaxy S4 for $99. Unless you believe that that set (but wait there's more) two sets of Ginzu knives will really only cost you $19.95. I can pretty much guess why the article is titled the way it is, however.

colin.mckean says:

So when Verizon and Sprint give their release dates and they sell their phones for $199, you want the title to say "Verizon releasing phone for $619 with $199 downpayment"?

tohio says:

Well yes, actually I would. Wouldn't that be a more accurate statement than the title of this article? Could you please tell me one legitimate reason why that would be a bad idea from the consumer's point of view?

Are you from America? Assuming you are since you're reading this article, then you're WELL aware of the carrier-subsidized pricing in effect in this country. Nowhere does the title say "$99 will buy you a BRAND NEW GS4 WITH NO CATCH AT ALL!!!"

At least try to be sensible. Not to mention the fact that the article clarifies any confusion.

But since you were brought here by the "$99 GS4?!?!" and then thoroughly disappointed upon finding out such a fantastic deal was (effing OBVIOUSLY) not what was meant, then I'm assuming YOU were one of the suckers who thought those $19.99 Ginzu knives were totally legit, right?

tohio says:

Sycophant much? The title of the article is wrong, get over it.

jscarano says:

What happens if you want to stop service 12 months in do you have to send the phone back?

mjaviert says:

You will be required to pay off the full balance of your phone on your next bill.

jscarano says:

Ouch. Kinda like a termination fee.

crxssi says:

Why was is necessary to post this twice?

You just told us this an hour prior in: http://www.androidcentral.com/t-mobile-s-htc-one-galaxy-s4-will-cost-jus... What makes the S4 worthy of reporting twice while the HTC One only once?

toddjy says:

Cause it's the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the HTC One is only the HTC One.

Trust me. I have the One S, and I've seen the Galaxy S3, and I wish I had spent more for the GS3. Or waited to get the GS4 for only $99.

toddjy says:

This sucks so much. I just re-upped for two years, about three months ago. I went with the crappier One S since the GS3 was about $300, and I got the One S nearly free. Now I find that the next generation is going to be cheaper than my crummy phone (before the discount I talked them into).

Hope this isn't the same as the S3 launch where only a few select stores in a handful of cities get it on launch day.