Cell carriers are always fishing for new customers—and trying to lure business away from the competition. The latest bait: deals on the Samsung Galaxy S 5 smart phone, which has a super-smart 16-megapixel camera, a fingerprint scanner, and even a heart-rate monitor for fitness buffs.
So which among the Big Four carriers has the best deal on the S 5? That’s a loaded question, because the cost of the phone is just a tiny fraction of what you'll pay in service charges over a two-year contract; charges can exceed $2,000 per phone line. Check out our recently updated comparison of cell-service prices.
We put together a table comparing the cost of the S 5 phone from the Big Four carriers. Verizon comes in lowest, saving you $50 to $60 upfront. It has also been touting a buy-one-get-one-free offer, which sounds great. But the fine print reveals that the offer applies only to the down payment on the phone if you go with a pricey traditional two-year plan. And you’ll keep paying for your phone even after two years.
If you're gravitating toward a Galaxy phone, also consider the now bargain-priced Galaxy S 4, which will save you $100 or more—we included that phone's prices in our table as well. The water-resistant Galaxy S 4 Active, an AT&T exclusive, may not have the S 5's fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor, but it has oodles of other great features, including intuitive gesture controls, a fantastic display, and a great camera.