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You can now buy an unlocked Galaxy S8 in the U.S.

After a few weeks of pre-orders, Samsung has fully opened sales for the U.S. unlocked versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Samsung had previously confirmed around the time of the S8's launch in April that it would eventually offer an unlocked model in the U.S., and now we have specific details.

  • Prices are $724.99 and $824.99 for the S8 and S8+, respectively.
  • They're only available in Midnight Black.
  • They will work on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular and most prepaid carriers.
  • They're available with 0% 24-month financing from Samsung.
  • Samsung is offering up to $350 off when trading in an old Samsung phone.
  • The proper U.S. unlocked model numbers are G950UZKAXAA (GS8) and G955UZKAXAA (GS8+).

Galaxy S8 unlocked

See at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

See at Samsung (opens in new tab)

Galaxy S8+ unlocked

See at Best Buy (opens in new tab)

See at Samsung (opens in new tab)

While Samsung doesn't have a great track record for keeping its unlocked phones up-to-date, the company has said that it will do better this time around. It's unlikely the carrier and unlocked versions will receive updates at the same time, or the latter with as much frequency, but at least there's hope. And buying the unlocked model does ensure there's no carrier bloatware, which is nice.

Are you planning to pick up an unlocked Galaxy S8? Let us know in the comments below!

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

59 Comments
  • Is it even going to be updated as well as the carrier models? They said they would be better, but action speaks louder than words
  • Well based upon all the negative posts made on AC and elsewhere, I would not count on it. Seems the only unlocked phones getting regular updates are the Nexus/Pixel devices.
  • Feels like a lot of OEMs are skimping on updates. Heck, the unlocked LG G5 isn't updated as frequently as it should
  • I think it's still on Marshmallow, if I'm not mistaken.
  • No. But since the carriers foot a lot of the bill for the update costs, their SKUs get the update first.
  • OnePlus 3T it's getting updates as well.
  • I own the US unlocked Galaxy S7. It receives regular updates, but they are usually late. For instance it was not until yesterday that my S7 finally got its Nugget update. Samsung has switched from a quarterly security update schedule to a monthly schedule.
  • Wow that's bad...so when are you going to get Android 7.0?
  • My Unlocked HTC 10 gets updates every month.
  • True - Samsung and AT&T are absolutely terrible at getting updates out. I have a 7 Edge, and it took something like 170
    + Days to get the Nougat update. That in itself - told me - as a consumer - that my families - newly purchased phones​ - were not a priority for them. Actions certainly speak louder than words. I spent a lot of money equipping my family with new phones - and then I found out that my family - and their new phones - were not a concern - and \ or my families security was certainly not a concern with them. That was a - very - very - sincere - 'Captain Obvious' - moment or realization for me. I'm still pissed. Capitalism at its best I guess..
  • No. Capitalism would mean they would fight to get you the updates fastest compared to other carriers to keep you happy. You mean Socialism at its best
  • I think the problem is that the vast majority of the buying public knows nothing about the updates, and couldn't care less. Samsung is doing what a lot of companies do, it's listening to the majority of its customers, it's internal stakeholders like Support, Sales, etc, to determine it's roadmap. So their roadmap is probably full of what their stakeholders see as "sexy" items like camera improvements or major bug fixes. As an educated consumer, I do my best to explain these security concerns to friends and family, but the truth is that no one cares until they're hit badly. All of us here are not their core user base. We're just fans.
  • 😂😂😂 This headline made LOL. Thanks for the laugh first thing in the morning AC. You guys rock!
  • Exactly my reaction 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
  • But you shouldn't. Finished the title for you lol. I love Samsung, but their unlocked devices in the US are a joke.
  • One color sucks, but I get why.
  • Yeah. I use a case anyway
  • Oh please do this with the Note 8. No carrier ware would be great. Don't really mind the OEM apps.
  • I would recommend anyone considering buying a new smartphone wait at least until after next week (Google I/O). I think there is a chance we could get an announcement that changes everything, and I am not talking about a new phone/device.
  • If it's not a new device why should anyone wait?
  • Android has major update and software consistency problems. Fixing them may require major restructuring of the OEM rules. This could happen through a move to Andromeda or just new rules for Android which I would not be surprised to see at I/O. However, this could also require a fresh start for many products which means most devices would not get an update. If waiting 6 months to buy mean 4-5 years of software support (like ChromeOS) would you do it? I sure would.
  • I don't think I can use the same phone for 4-5 years. I have commitment issues :)
  • Google doesn't even support their own phones for 4 years, so I fail to see your reasoning here.
  • The updating largely depends on Qualcomm updating their Snapdragon driver blobs for new kernels, which doesn't tend to happen after 2 years.
  • Lol keep dreaming. They have been saying for years they would fix the update problem and still nothing. 
  • The only thing is you will get the updates so late with this phone. look at the unlock S7 it just got 7.0 yesterday.
  • after the recent S7 lack of respect no way. keep your unlocked crap
  • No thanks, I think some of us learned that lesson with the S7.
  • Seeing that you can put the unlock firmware on a carrier device there's no need to buy an unlocked device unless the radios are specific to a carrier.
  • jobarrjo - that's often not true in the United States as most carrier branded phones cannot be bootloader unlocked.
  • Exactly, and they often only have the necessary radios for said carrier and their roaming partners (this is improving though). Unlike internationally, unlocked does not necessarily mean works anywhere. It just means the SIM isn't restricted.
  • 😂 LMAO, it's great to start the day with something that's funny AF!
  • I'm assuming it's just sim unlocked and the bootloader will still be locked correct?
  • Yes they are two different things. Very few Phones ship with an unlockable bootloader.
  • When I purchased a new S8 at a Verizon dealer store, I asked about an unlocked phone. The rep told me that all Verizon Samsung S5's and later are "unlocked", and could be used with a SIM from any carrier. Anyone know if this is correct? When we travel overseas, we usually purchase a data-only SIM for multiple countries (western Europe), and use it in a MiFi for navigation.....which is fine, as the data SIM's are cheap enough, and I can keep my normal phone number to be contacted, which is why I asked this question. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • That is true for Verizon phones, they are unlocked. Now the question is if the models have the correct bands you would need to use on another carrier.
  • It is correct, yes. But you still need to research that the specific sku of that phone supports the radio bands of the carrier you want to use it on. In most cases the phone will work on an alternative carrier, but you may or may not have high speed data.
  • Yes, it's true. But LTE will likely not work on other carriers. Or be limited
  • Eh most of the newer verizon phones fully support the other carriers LTE. 
  • Deeply frustrating! Pardon me while I vent! I've been nursing my S5 since my contract finished this winter while I try to wait for a better replacement, only everything available has a serious shortcoming (or 2,3,...)! I refuse to get another "captive" phone loaded w/ unused & unremovable crapware, crippled so it won't work on the "enemy's" networks, and only gets updated maybe once in 30+ months (plus a random security patch or two). Current choices that are reported to work on all US carriers and have NFC & a headphone jack seem to be limited to these three: A) Pixel/XL: Only 32G or +$100 for 128G w/ no memory expansion; Still most configs "out of stock" after 6 mos+ on the market; XL w/ 128G $850 or thereabouts even though technology is no longer the latest!
    B) S8/+: Unlocked S7 takes months after carrier-locked units to get updates -- nearly a year after Nougat (& the phone itself) were released! S8 only available in the "Ford Model T" version (any color you want, as long as you want black). How 1917! Only available now that the crippled versions have been on the market for a month. (AFAIC, even if the HW isn't crippled, carrier crapware & update delays ARE crippling.) At least they're price is more appealing (only a little) at $725 (IIRC).
    C) LG G6: Pretty much the same tech as the Pixels, but the price is better, at $600, and they support memory expansion. But they only have 32G built-in, and what track record do they have on updates? Again, these have been out for 6 months already and I can't recall anyone providing software support for more than two years and two year old phones have basically zero value in the used market, so this shouldn't be worth more than 3/4 of the S8, even if if we're equal feature for feature. I think it should cost less, like $495, at this point. (Say 90% of S8 feature-wise -- being generous -- and 75% life left.) My challenge is who to give my business to for being the least evil. Maybe I'll go back to my $20/mo land line from AT&T, if that's even doable anymore.
  • LG G6 has been out for 6 months? Nougat out for nearly a year? What sort of time tunnel did you take to arrive here?
  • Finally! We need a store that sells all unlocked devices from all manufacturers.
  • If you don't mind waiting for ALL the carriers to get updates before you, then the US Unlocked S8's should be OK for you. Samsung completely misses the whole point of Unlocked phones. You'll be frustrated as hell if you want timely updates.
  • I always buy unlocked straight from Samsung. Took the S6 to Europe, put local prepaid sim in it and used WiFi for calling home (Australia). Worked a treat preloaded maps to navigate with, never a problem. All the locked phone owners griping on network forums about updates, mine roll out on time and recent. I will never buy another locked device.
  • According to most posts on here, the unlocked versions get updated way behind the carrier versions for some reason
  • That's because your unlocked model is not the US specific unlocked model, obviously 🙄. Not even remotely the same in comparison for updates, but you already knew that, or you're rather dense.
  • Hope that $350.00 trade in offer is extended to the Note 8.
  • I will pass, as far as there commitment to do better...my 930U doesnt have may security updates, but other S7 phones do already...not seeing any improvement..so Dont Buy an unlocked S8...IMHO
  • The May security update hasn't been released worldwide yet and is limited to only a few 93XF and US variants.
  • Yeah, with their awesome support of the US specific unlocked S7's, let me jump right in line and buy a couple of these. GTFOH! LMFAO 😂!
  • A word of warning to anyone considering one of these for T-Mobile. I tried 2 last year thinking that the security updates would be quicker in the 1st case, and getting the Olympic Edition of the S7 Edge to replace the 1st Note 7. Both used up batteries way more than the T-Mobile branded units. If you rely on Band 12, I suspect that these generic units are not tuned to look for Band 12 first, while T-Mobile's units are. So battery life was far worse, and the phones got a lot hotter both times. Add to that the lack of updates, the fact that T-Mobile has less bloatware than most carriers, and the fact that you can disable almost all of the bloatware with a cheap app, Package Disabler Pro for Samsung, and there is nothing to be gained by getting this unlocked version.
  • True. If one really wants to go unlocked then the international versions work great minus all the carrier specific features like WiFi calling.
  • And the USA Unlocked S7 on AT&T didnt get wifi calling either..so horrible updates and missing features= no unlocked Samsung phone purchases
  • galaxy s8 is factory locked even buying it outright at the Samsung store. the unlock code is inside the box and updates coming from the carrier.
  • I have a galaxy s2 to get my 350.00...
    I guess????
  • I have S1, i wonder that too. Free $350
  • Woohoo!
  • Up to $350 off is nice......if you REALLY want the S8...but the afterthought let me throw on a fingerprint sensor made it a last ditch effort rush device....sales will pale.. -- its silly Samsung allegedly couldn't get the touchscreen fingerprint in time, but apple allegedly has, LG couldn't wait for the 835 so 821...but Sammy did, now LG gets 845 dibs, its a lot of backhanded deals going on. I also saw the S8 in person ...LOOKS cool...I guess...but idk then you hear all the issues about it easily cracking. I haven't had a cracked device before but wouldn't care to risk it PLUS they are both egregiously over priced
  • This is the sm-g950U or sm-g955U which is Carrier Unlocked but is the snapdragon processor and comes with the dreaded bootloader lock....so no customer recoveries, no custom ROMs, difficult to root, slow to get security updates, etc...If you want a carrier unlocked version that has the Exynos processor and an unlocked bootloader then you want either the sm-g950F or sm-g955F.