Samsung Galaxy S5: US Carriers Reveal Plans

Samsung's latest smartphone now available for preorders will ship in early April.
CES 2014: 8 Technologies To Watch
CES 2014: 8 Technologies To Watch
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Four US carriers have announced pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Samsung revealed the GS5, its flagship device for the year, in February with the promise that it would be available soon. The GS5 can be preordered in some places starting today, but it won't ship until April. As always, pricing and payment options vary among carriers. Here's how it breaks down for AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Sprint:

AT&T began accepting preorders for the GS5 on Friday, offering several ways to purchase the phone. Consumers can pay $199.99 and sign a two-year agreement, or pay $0 down and either $25 per month (for 18 months) or $32.50 per month (for 12 months) with an AT&T Next plan. A third option is to pay the full retail price of $649.99 with no commitments to AT&T. AT&T said pre-orders will begin shipping in early April, but the company did not provide a firm date.

Interested in Samsung's new wearables? AT&T is selling them as well. The Gear 2 costs $299, the Gear 2 Neo costs $199, and the Gear Fit costs $199. All three can be preordered beginning Friday. Customers who purchase the Galaxy S5 between Friday and June 5 will receive $50 off either the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo. Keep in mind that Samsung wearables work only with Samsung smartphones.

[How much would you pay for a smartwatch? Read Samsung $299 Gear 2 Smartwatch: Too Pricey?]

T-Mobile said it will begin accepting preorders for the Galaxy S5 on March 24 and that the phone will reach T-Mobile retail stores on April 11. T-Mobile didn't say when preorders will ship, but it's reasonable to assume they'll arrive by the 11th. In a limited promotion, T-Mobile is offering the device for $0 down followed by 24 monthly payments of $27.50, for a total of $660. T-Mobile is still willing to pay off the early termination fees for entire families to switch from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon to T-Mobile.

Like AT&T, T-Mobile is running a promotion alongside the Galaxy S5. Customers who pre-order the GS5 before March 31 will receive a $120 discount off the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 tablet, with a free 200 MB per month data plan for the life of the tablet. T-Mobile didn't mention the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, or Gear Fit wearables, however.

U.S. Cellular also began accepting preorders for the GS5 Friday, offering the device for $199.99 (after rebate) with a two-year contract. The phone will be available in U.S. Cellular stores starting April 11. Customers who preorder the device online will be rewarded with $50 in credit at the Google Play Store, which can be used to purchase apps, games, movies, music, books, and magazines. U.S. Cellular will sell the Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit in its stores beginning April 11.

Finally, Sprint is also taking preorders for the GS5 starting Friday. The device will cost $199.99 (after rebate) with a new contract. Customers can also finance the device with $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $27.09. Sprint is offering the Galaxy Tab 3 for free to customers who pre-order the GS5 and sign up for a Framily Plan. Sprint is also selling the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit beginning April 11.

If you don't care to order through one of the network operators, RadioShack retail stores are accepting preorders made in person. RadioShack is offering $50 off the GS5 for a limited time, but it didn't actually announce pricing for the phone, which will reach RadioShack stores in mid-April. RadioShack sells phones for AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, but not T-Mobile.

Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target have yet to announce their Galaxy S5 launch plans, but it is safe to assume that they'll each offer the device for about the same price and on or about the same date as AT&T, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

A final note: HTC will announce its next-generation flagship device on March 25, so you might want to hold off on pre-ordering the GS5 until you've seen what HTC has to offer.

Engage with Oracle president Mark Hurd, NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle, General Motors CIO Randy Mott, Box founder Aaron Levie, UPMC CIO Dan Drawbaugh, GE Power CIO Jim Fowler, and other leaders of the Digital Business movement at the InformationWeek Conference and Elite 100 Awards Ceremony, to be held in conjunction with Interop in Las Vegas, March 31 to April 1, 2014. See the full agenda here.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing