Unlocked Galaxy S8 preorders start May 9. Here’s because it’s intelligent to wait

Samsung Galaxy S8’s vital makeover

This year’s flagship phone gets a voluptuous new pattern and Bixby, a house-made digital assistant.


by Jessica Dolcourt

Starting tonight, you can preorder a beautiful new Samsung Galaxy S8.

Or we could wait until May 9, when Best Buy will start charity unbarred versions of Samsung’s new Galaxy phones we can use with any vital US carrier.

It’s funny. My co-worker Dan Graziano and we are fundamentally trade phones this year — he’s angrily ditching his Google Nexus 6P for a Samsung Galaxy S8, and I’m angrily tossing divided my Galaxy S7 for (probably) a Google Pixel 2.

But there’s one thing on that a dual of us agree: If you’re going to buy Samsung’s new phone, we should wait a tick.

Here’s since May is a intelligent pierce for savvy phone buyers.

1) Carrier lock-in sucks

Say we wish to pierce to another mobile carrier, maybe since of how fiercely they’re competing for your income these days (you contingency have seen a ads by now). Good fitness doing that with your existent phone — unless it’s unbarred and supports a radio technologies for your preferred mobile carrier.

Yes, technically you can legally clear any new phone in a US, presumption you’ve paid it off and owned it for longer than a brief watchful period. But it won’t do we most good if your phone mysteriously doesn’t support a right LTE bands your conduit needs to broach high-speed data.

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For instance, my Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 wouldn’t let me clean switch from Verizon to T-Mobile and clamp versa due to blank LTE bands — even nonetheless we paid full sell cost for a phones. But if I’d waited for a fully unbarred and broadly concordant Galaxy S7 that arrived a few months later, we wouldn’t have had a same trouble.

(We don’t nonetheless know if a new Galaxy S8 will continue a trend of opposite rope support per US carrier, nonetheless improved protected than sorry?)

Plus, if something goes wrong with your device, a manufacturer and conduit can’t (as easily) change censure and leave we in a lurch, that is what happened to Dan when an refurbish pennyless his Nexus 6P.

2) You can embankment some bloat

We’ve been angry about it for years, nonetheless mobile carriers still implement all kinds of nonessential program on your phone. It’s program we typically can’t remove, even if we can undo some icons from your home shade or even solidify a few apps to keep it from eating your CPU power.

Buy a bureau unbarred phone, though, and you’ll typically usually see program a manufacturer intended. That competence still embody some programs you’d rather not have, nonetheless all in all your phone’s expected to have fewer neglected services and run that most faster.

Do note that we competence not indispensably get Android program updates as quickly. The unbarred Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are still waiting for their Android 7.0 Nougat update, even nonetheless conduit versions have them. Perhaps by May, they will.

3) You’re profitable roughly a same cost possibly way

You’ll compensate between $720 and 750 for a Samsung Galaxy S8 if we buy it from a carrier. Doesn’t matter either we compensate full cost or in monthly installments; it adds adult to a same thing.

The cost for an unbarred Galaxy S8, according to Best Buy? $725.

(The Galaxy S8 Plus costs between $840 to $850 from carriers, or $825 unbarred from Best Buy.)

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4) The freebies competence come late

I get it: Last year, when we listened a Samsung Galaxy S7 would come with a giveaway $100 Gear VR headset with each preorder, it totally factored into my preference to buy right away.

This year, a practical existence freebie is even harder to pass up, as the new Gear VR comes with a sweet-looking suit controller. The package is valued during $130.

But when we systematic my Galaxy S7 final February, we didn’t get a Gear VR headset in Mar when a phone initial shipped — it arrived four months later in July, that meant we got it prolonged after people who only walked into a store.

And when we attempted reaching out to Samsung’s accomplishment line in May to ask when it competence uncover up, they didn’t even reply.

That’s a personal anecdote, your knowledge competence have been different, and it’s probable Samsung will do improved by everybody this time.

(The Gear VR offer expires on Apr 20, according to Samsung’s website, so we can’t wait compartment May to get it — you’ll have to make a decision.)

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The LG G6 still has bezels, nonetheless they’re tiny.


Sarah Tew/CNET

5) You’ll make a improved sensitive choice

The Samsung Galaxy S7 incited out to be a flattering good phone — solely for a few things we privately came to hate. But we don’t nonetheless know if a Galaxy S8 will be great.

If we buy now, we won’t have a event to examination a review, to find out if a battery life is as good, if a integrated home symbol and rear-mounted fingerprint reader work out or if Samsung’s new Bixby practical assistant and intelligent home program are all they’re burst adult to be.

You also won’t nonetheless know if we cite a opposite new phone instead, like the opposition LG G6 that arrives on Apr 7 — dual weeks progressing than a Galaxy.

But if we wait until May, you’ll be surrounded by devoted opinions and reviews, and have a most improved thought either a Galaxy S8 is a phone for you.

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