Oh Samsung, TechRadar likes your smartphones. We really, really like them. It's rare that we encounter a phone manufacturer that can produce the incredible cameras, dazzling displays or razor-sharp chipsets that you manage on such a consistent basis. The Galaxy S7 Edge, for example, remains one of the very few phones to score the maximum five stars in a TechRadar review.
And yet Samsung, and yet...
Well, it's about your prices. We can't help but notice that they're heading ever so rapidly northwards. This new £739 Galaxy S9 of yours – it's £50 more expensive than the Galaxy S8 was when you released it last year, and almost £200 more than the Galaxy S7 was at launch, a mere 24 months ago. We get that the perpetual price hikes of new iPhone deals set the standard, but do you really have to follow it so closely?
And the Galaxy S9 Plus for £869? Why, that's the same price as the Note 8 was when it launched last August, isn't it? And £70 more pricey than the Apple iPhone 8 Plus. And £140 more expensive than the Google Pixel 2 XL…
…okay, so the likelihood is that some Samsung executive isn't going to read this and, chastened, decide to knock £100 of the price of the company's new flagship. So if the price of Galaxy S9 deals has made your blood run colder than the 'Beast from the East', then The Big Deal is here to help, with five top tips to save you a wad of cash on your new Samsung Galaxy deal.
- Just want to know today's cheapest S9 prices? Then head straight to our best Samsung Galaxy S9 deals page
1. If you've got the cash, then go SIMO – save £100
First question: do you have a spare £739 laying around. Second question: if you answered yes, can we borrow a tenner? If you can afford the money at the outset, then it can save you a little bit of cash in the long run to grab a SIM-free Galaxy S9 unlocked and combine it with a separate SIM card.
If you head over to TechRadar's best cheap SIM only deals page, you'll see that tariffs start for as little as £3.99 per month for 500MB from the Carphone Warehouse-owned iD network. So if you combine that with buying the phone outright, you'll pay only £834.76 over the next two years – that's £100 cheaper than the most affordable contract plans we're currently seeing. The savings for getting the S9 and going SIMO get less impressive as the data rises, but if you don't make much use of data away from Wi-Fi then it's worth the extra effort.
2. Wait a few weeks before you buy – save £200
When it comes to bagging a brand-new flagship phone, patience really is a virtue. Now we know that wielding a new gadget on the day it becomes available releases gushing torrents of endorphins, but resisting the urge to splurge will save you pounds a plenty – that's where the TechRadar deals team get their buzz.
Take the Galaxy S8 launch last year as a prime example. During the pre-order period, you would have struggled to get a contract plan with anything more than a meagre amount of data for less than £1,000 over the two-year contract. Skip forward less than a couple of months after launch data and we were seeing prices slashed by major retailers to less than £800 in total – you could pay just £27 per month for 6GB of data on O2. So it pays to wait.
3. Trade in your old blower – save £250
What were you planning to do with that old smartphone? Keep it in your handbag for some kind of generic non-existent 'emergency'. Pop it in a frame to forever memorialise that epic WhatsApp group chat when you properly beasted your mate Martin for getting dumped by his girlfriend (well, to be fair, Martin was punching well above his weight). Post-modern paperweight? Let's face it, it'll find a dusty home in the attic next to your Playstation 2 and once-loved CD collection.
Instead, look out for the networks that let you trade in your old mobile for money off your new S9. With EE for example you can immediately knock £250 off the price of your Galaxy S9 by sending them your phone. Tesco Mobile's trade-in website is very easy to use – just tell them the phone you have and they'll let you know what you can get for it. Or there's always Music Magpie, which will buy your old mobile and that CD collection.
4. Go for a longer contract – save £300 (for the first two years)
EE, O2, Vodafone and Three have the phone market pretty much locked down at the moment. But if you're not wedded to going with one of the big four UK networks, you can find a bit more flexibility. And we're not even talking about some obscure regional network where your mobile signal drops the minute you step over your local parish border. We're talking about the likes of Virgin Mobile.
Virgin lets you go for a 36-month contract instead of the bog-standard two years. And its cheapest Galaxy S9 deal is currently £31 per month with nothing to pay upfront. That equates to £744 for the first two years of the term, which is around £300 cheaper than the least expensive S9 deals from the big networks. Okay, so you'll be tied into the arrangement for three years. But when you're spending so much money on a new phone will you really be looking to upgrade in two years? Will you? Really? Oh, you will? Oh. In that case, like the man in the orthopedic shoes, we stand corrected.
5. Consider a Galaxy S8 deal instead – save £350
The overwhelming conclusion of the time we've spent with the Galaxy S9 so far is that the camera is awesome, but the overall package isn't that much of an improvement over the Galaxy S8. Compare the specs of both phones and you'll see that they have the same memory, same storage, same battery size, same Super AMOLED display… and the list goes on.
Now consider that you can pick up a Samsung Galaxy S8 deal for a smidge under £700 over the course of the two-year contract. That's more than £350 less than the best Galaxy S9 pre-order contracts right now. For that kind of saving, you'll soon forget that your new Galaxy S8 is very slightly less exceptional than the S9.
If you want to discuss, debate or deliberate any phone deals news and views, then head over to our @TRDeals twitter feed – you'll also find the latest offers on phones, TVs, consoles, broadband and more tech.