Rather than dealing with the sub-optimal experience of buying from a carrier directly — living with a deplorable amount of bloatware, slow software updates and all sorts of "gotcha" moments — you can now just go to one of several retailers and buy an honest-to-goodness unlocked Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. It's exactly what we've been asking for year after year — just sell us the phone directly, and relegate the carriers to just offering service.
Now Samsung could have done the bare minimum here just to say it has unlocked versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge available in the U.S. — it certainly did so with the U.S. unlocked Galaxy S6. But I'm happy to heap praise on Samsung for going the extra mile this year. These aren't just un-branded versions of a previous model, or European phones with a new charger in the box — the U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are equipped specifically to work best in the U.S., and that means full support for all four major carriers — yes, including Verizon and Sprint.
Yes, this is exactly what we've all been asking for. Well, almost. The only issue? How long it took to be released.
The phone we want. The phone we deserve ... to have sooner.
Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful development for anyone who wants to buy an unlocked phone — there's yet another direct-from-manufacturer option in the U.S. But I still wish Samsung could make this happen right alongside the carrier launch. We're now almost four months removed from the initial U.S. carrier availability of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge — and while I'm not naive enough to think that all Galaxy S7s that will ever be sold are already in consumers' hands, these people deserved the option to buy unlocked.
There are surely tens of thousands of people in the U.S. who have yet to buy a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge today that have held out for a proper U.S. unlocked model, and today is like a holiday for them — they finally have the phone they wanted. Next time around, we can only hope they don't have to wait around as they want their friends, family and coworkers break down and buy from a carrier.
Let's see what happens with the Galaxy Note 7.
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