Most of the time, when mobile companies offer you a deal, it comes with a mountain of strings attached. In this case, Samsung and T-Mobile are teaming up to offer customers an option that’s refreshingly free of gotchas. Here’s how the deal works: You buy two new Galaxy S8 phones, activate at least one of them on T-Mobile, and Samsung issues you a rebate of up to $ 750 within 7-10 days of activation.
That’s it. There’s no requirement that you sign up both lines with T-Mobile, and the company is even throwing in a pair of Galaxy S8 Entertainment Kits for free. Each kit includes a standing cover for propping up a device, a 64GB SD card, and a six-month Netflix membership subscription on a two-screen plan ($ 10 per month). Total kit value is claimed by Samsung to be $ 170, and features like the Netflix subscription plan are free to both new and existing subscribers.
The only catch — and it’s not much of a catch — is that you’ll either need to pay $ 1,500 up front for a pair of Samsung Galaxy S8 devices (and get $ 750 back, remember) or agree to a financing plan of $ 62.50 per month for 24 months with 0% APR. That’s not a bad deal either, since most device financing plans you’ll get from a carrier still leave you paying significantly more over the two year period you use the device than you’d have paid to buy it outright.
If you’re in the market for new Android devices, this is a very good deal, provided that T-Mobile is your carrier of choice, of course. But two high-end premium Android phones for the price of one is quite solid, and the $ 750 up-front rebate takes the sting out of the $ 62.50/month monthly payment (or, of course, the $ 1,500 up-front cost).
The offer is only available for a limited time, and some of the verbiage on the landing page suggests that the promotion isn’t expected to run very long. Netflix memberships, for example, must be redeemed by 6/31/2017, which suggests Samsung expects to be well out of devices by that point.
One note: Repeated tests by multiple outlets have found that the Galaxy S8’s all-glass construction is markedly more fragile than previous devices. The screens stand up well to scratches, but crack easily when dropped.
Square Trade wasn’t pleased with the device overall (ignore the bit at the beginning about the Note 7, this video focuses on the S8). Both versions of the phone were given a Medium-High breakability score, and the audio from the internal speaker was muffled and distorted after SquareTrade’s immersion testing. How much issues like this matter to you will depend on how hard you are on your devices, but a good case is probably a good idea if you’re going to opt for a Galaxy S8 or S8+.