Hidden Costs To Consider Before Buying A New Samsung Galaxy

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Buying a new phone is always exciting. You're most likely getting an upgrade, and that often comes with a faster device, a better camera, and access to new features. If you're more of an Android fan than an Apple supporter, chances are that you want to get yourself a Galaxy phone, which is one of the leading Android phone brands. There are many ways to buy a Samsung phone, but did you know that getting one may come with hidden costs?

Depending on where you shop, you may be able to get your hands on all kinds of Galaxy phones. Really old models can still be bought second-hand on websites like eBay and Craigslist, but if you're able to, it's always a better idea to buy new. That's easy — you can buy your new phone in a local shop, online, or as part of your phone contract. However, each of these methods may come with some added costs of its own, and those are the first pitfalls you need to avoid when shopping for a new phone.

Shopping smart can save you money

One of the main added costs when it comes to buying a new Samsung Galaxy phone is that different retailers charge different prices. When Samsung initially releases a new phone, it sets an MSRP for it — which basically means the recommended list price. However, depending on demand, retailers might take that price up a few notches. This is especially true in the case of new models, such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The price tends to even out as a phone stops being all that new. However, it's often the norm that upon the initial release, the phones are both expensive and the version you want may be out of stock. They may then end up on eBay or a similar website, where they will be resold at a premium. As tempting as it may be to hunt down that new phone in the exact color or configuration you want, it's usually not a good idea to buy from resellers who tack a premium onto the price tag. 

Not only are you overpaying, but you're also risking running into problems if you want to return the device. Depending on the seller, they may not offer any warranty, and you'd have to rely on Samsung to handle all of your possible repairs. When it comes to older Samsungs, this is less of a problem — as mentioned, prices usually normalize over the course of a few months. Even then, it's a good idea to shop around and check different retailers to make sure that you're getting the best deal possible.

Think twice before signing a contract

Instead of shelling out the full cost of the device upfront, many of us tend to get new phones every so often with a device payment plan. In an exclusive SlashGear poll, we found out that the vast majority of users upgrade their phones once every two to three years — coincidentally, that is usually how often a phone contract tends to last. Seeing as a current-generation Samsung phone can cost well over $1,000, it's no wonder that many prefer to just pay in monthly installments as part of their subscription. Sometimes, there's also an initial upfront cost involved before you begin your payments.

However, it's easy to fall into a costly trap when you agree to renew your contract. If you're considering getting a new Samsung Galaxy through your phone provider, add up the upfront cost as well as all the monthly payments for the phone alone. When you multiply these monthly installments by 24 or, in some cases, 36, you may find that you will be overpaying for the phone. If you are able to get the phone right now at a similar or lower price from a retailer, this means that you'll be paying a premium to your phone provider for the luxury of breaking up the payments over time.

If you get a new phone through your provider, you may be prompted to upgrade your plan to one that's more expensive. For example, if you're currently paying $15 per month for a limited data plan, your provider may offer an upgrade to an unlimited plan. Chances are that you don't really need this, but you will still be paying more each month (sometimes as much as $70 extra) just to get the contract that lets you get a new phone.

You don't just need the phone

Phones used to come with a number of gadgets from the get-go, but these days, you're lucky if you at least get a charger. This means that buying your new Samsung Galaxy may come with extra costs. This could be things you absolutely need, such as a charger, or items you should get in order to make the most of your phone and give it a long life. It's true that in recent generations, you may get a phone without a wall charger. Take the Samsung Galaxy S22 as an example — it doesn't come with one. This means that you may have to spend anywhere between $25 and $50 on an official Samsung charger just to stay on top of battery life.

Depending on what you already own, you may run into other costs too, although those are somewhat optional. Buying a screen protector (also known as tempered glass) is always a good idea. Replacing a screen on a Samsung Galaxy phone can cost up to $250, but if you stick a screen protector onto it, it's far less likely to break. You can buy packs of two for around $5 to $15 — just make sure that the accessory is made for your specific model.

Similarly, a phone case is a good investment. A screen may be easier to crack, but you want to avoid damaging the rest of your phone too. There are lots of cases to be found for all kinds of Samsung phones, with prices ranging from a few dollars to as high as a hundred bucks. Much like with the screen protector, make sure to only buy a case that fits your model.

Expect to pay more if you want insurance

Phone insurance is yet another hidden cost of a Samsung phone. If you're buying a phone through your carrier, you will usually be offered some extra insurance for around $10 to $20 per month, depending on the device. While this doesn't seem like much, the cost adds up over time, and you may not end up needing to use it.

The exact coverage of such insurance depends on your carrier. However, you can often expect coverage in the event of theft as well as repairs that are not covered by Samsung's warranty. According to the official Samsung Repair website, accidental damages, such as those that happen if you drop your phone (hello, cracked screen!) are not covered by the warranty. Samsung itself will only repair your phone if it comes with a defect that wasn't caused by your usage of it, otherwise, you will need a Samsung Care plan.

If you know you have a tendency to drop your phone, it's probably a good idea to invest in phone insurance. You can also protect yourself by buying a screen protector and a phone case, minimizing the chance of damage. However, insurance often also covers theft, which is why it might be worth it. Check out the insurance options available in your area and pay extra attention to what it covers before you decide to sign up.