The best Galaxy S9 deal isn't with a carrier

Today we're following those deal-seekers aiming for the new Samsung Galaxy S9 to see where and/or IF there is a deal to be had. Unlike previous years, Samsung announced they'd release the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ at the same time as carriers – with payment plan options, to boot. This might well be the first year when Samsung gets a substantial amount of sales from their smartphones directly from consumers, rather than in the aftermath of carriers and in-store buys.

Samsung First

Samsung announced they'd have the Galaxy S9 and S9+ available on preorder starting March 2nd, with standard sales starting March 16th. Samsung will release an unlocked Galaxy S9 for $719.99 outright or $30/month for 24 months. The unlocked Galaxy S9+ straight from Samsung will be $839.99 outright or $35/month for 24 months.

Samsung will have these devices in three colors: Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, and Coral Blue. A number of trade-in options are available, and they aren't half bad. Per our full trade-in guide, you'll find the following list of credit amounts and devices attached.

• $350 credit – Apple: iPhone X, 8, 8 Plus; Samsung: GS8, GS8+, Note8

• $300 credit – Apple: iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus; Google: Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL; LG: G6, V30; Motorola: Z2 Force, Z Force; Samsung: GS7, GS7 Edge, GS7 Active

• $200 credit – Apple: iPhone 6, 6 Plus; HTC: 10; LG: G5, V20; Motorola: Z Droid, Z2 Play; Samsung: GS6, GS6 edge, GS6 edge+, GS6 Active, Note 5

• $100 credit – Apple: iPhone SE; HTC: M9, M9+; LG: G4, V10; Motorola: Z Play, Turbo 2; Samsung: GS5, Note 4, Note Edge

The Others

Samsung has the devices for approximately $720 and $840 unlocked. AT&T has the devices only on their AT&T Next payment plans. With these plans, AT&T eventually has you paying $790.20 and $915 for the devices over a period of 30 months. AT&T will have Lilac Purple, Midnight black, and Coral Blue, too.

Sprint is attempting to charge users $792 and $912 for the devices on a lease – which means you won't even own the devices. They're charging that munch total if a user wishes to pay $33 or $38 per month for the devices over the course of 24 months. If the user wishes to switch to a new Galaxy smartphone in 12 months, they can do so for "free," but they'll have to turn their old phone in and the new phone's 24-month pricing starts from zero.

T-Mobile will attempt to get in your face first with preorders on March 1st and 9:01PM with in-store availability the same as everyone else: March 16th. T-Mobile's various plans have the devices costing $720 and $840 by the time you're done paying $30 a month for 24 months, etcetera.

Verizon will have the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus available for approximately $800 and $930 after paying $33.33 or $38.74 per month for 24 months. Verizon also has a variety of packages which should suitably confuse your senses enough to make you excited to purchase, including a Fast Charge Power Bundle, one with a prepaid MasterCard, and another with $10 off Samsung accessories.

US Cellular hasn't announced prices yet, but they have teased some sort of $250-off offer with trade-in, which might be kinda neat. If you want to work with US Cellular coverage, that is.

Total Pricing Rundown, Galaxy S9 / S9+:

• Verizon: $800 and $930

• Sprint: $792 and $912 (leased, not bought)

• AT&T: $790.20 and $915

• T-Mobile: $720 and $840

• Samsung: $720 and $840

The differences in price are a bit more than slight. When you spread the cost over a period of months, you might not notice the difference. That's the plan when it comes to companies (carriers and manufacturers) trying to sell you hundreds of dollars worth of device here in 2018.

The Deal

The deal is part of a bit of a revolution in the way the public purchases phones here in the United States. Direct from Samsung is the best place to buy a Galaxy S9 and/or Galaxy S9 Plus, but not because it costs any massive amount less than the competition. The big deal here is in your freedom from a contract tying you down to a single carrier for no good reason.

No company has a hardware installment plan that costs less than Samsung – they've got the devices for $30/$35 a month. No company has any deal on price for the hardware based on the purchase of a contract with any carrier. That's no longer a situation carriers should be reeling you in with.

Instead, buy straight from Samsung, and buy your SIM card from a carrier separate. That's called BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, and carriers will be glad to set you up right out the gate. This is the way of the future, a future which finally separates the hardware from the service. Lets hope this is the first in a tradition of phones sold in just this way.