The Samsung Galaxy S21 launch proved phone pre-orders can be a great deal

Samsung Galaxy S21 deals
(Image credit: Future)

In a lot of cases, pre-ordering tech comes with a bit of a compromise - get the device on the first day, paying the full RRP for a barely-reviewed piece of tech. While this is normally a no-brainer for the rarely released new gaming consoles, smartphones have always been a slightly different case.

For the biggest smartphone launches each year, a short pre-order period usually precedes the official launch of the phone, giving you the opportunity to have your new device delivered on day one.

However, considering most new handsets see significant cuts in price and far better deals and prices in the following months after the pre-order stage, an early delivery isn't really much of a selling point when it comes to phones.

Smartphone pre-orders and gifts galore:

To offset the slight lack of allure of pre-orders, a change swept across the big name brands a few years ago. Brands starting chucking in a free gift here or there for pre-ordering your new handset.

And some of these have genuinely been really impressive, the Huawei P30 Pro came with a Sonos speaker, Google offered Bose headphones with its recent launches, Samsung gave out free smartwatches or headphones and Apple...well, you got your phone on time.

This has now become pretty common practice, off-setting the massive bills that come with being an early adapter in the phone world with an added incentive.

And of all of the phone pre-order periods we've seen occur (there is a lot of them each year), the Samsung Galaxy S21 launch felt like they nailed it.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 pre-order offer:

After a January 14 launch (and still available in both the UK as US), Samsung Galaxy S21 deals on pre-order followed a similar format to the list above, throwing in some free gifts with your devices.

But in the UK, instead of pulling out a cheap smartwatch or its lowest tier headphones, Samsung threw in a free pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds Live on the S21 and S21 Plus - a $169.99/£179 pair of earbuds.

Go for the more expensive S21 Ultra and your money is rewarded with Samsung's brand new Galaxy Buds Pro, a $199/£219 pair of earbuds released on the same day as the phones.

In the US, the earbuds were nowhere to be seen and instead, both the Samsung Store and most major carriers were throwing in $200 in Samsung credit with your pre-order to use on whatever you liked from the Samsung Store.

That alone would have been an acceptable offer but in both regions, Samsung has also thrown in its new Smart Tag for free and offered exclusive pre-order colors that won't be available when this stage ends.

The gold standard of pre-orders:

There's no requirement for retailers to offer you any added incentives with pre-orders: Apple repeatedly has incredibly successful pre-order periods with just the handsets and a promise of on-release delivery.

However, Samsung continues to excel at rewarding those who show their commitment to its brand. Despite the fact its latest range of handsets are cheaper than last year's S20 range, it has put in more pre-order incentives than ever before.

Samsung's S21 pre-order period is proving that pre-orders aren't just about getting the phone first, it's the opportunity to offer exclusive styles and colors, an array of gifts and value that rewards loyal fans.

Save money through a bit of a wait:

Of course, while Samsung's S21 pre-orders are a great offer, if you would rather just get a better price on them, holding off for a few months can secure you that.

In just a few months, Samsung Galaxy S21 deals are likely to come way down in price. Samsung has a tendency to see quite drastic price drops occur very quickly after a release.

However, if you know you'll need a new phone in the next month or so, pre-orders is the time to make your decision.

Alex Hughes

Alex is a journalist who has written extensively about all things broadband, SIMs and phone contracts, as well as scouring the internet to land you the best prices on the very latest in gadgets and tech. Whether that be with the latest iPhones and Android handsets, breaking down how broadband works or revealing the cheapest SIM plans, he's in the know, and will help you land a bargain.