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Get the best deal on a Samsung Galaxy S 5 smart phone

The lowest-priced phone may cost you more in the long run

Published: April 14, 2014 03:30 PM

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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.  

—Mike Gikas

Find the right smart phone using our cell phone buying guide and Ratings.

Samsung Galaxy S 5 vs. Galaxy S 4 price comparison

Carrier  

Phone

Up-front price

Installment plan

Down payment for a conventional two-year plan

AT&T

Galaxy S 5

$650

20 monthly payments of $32.50 on the Next 12 plan

$200

Galaxy S 4

$510

20 monthly payments of $25.50 on the Next 12 plan

$0

Galaxy S 4 Active

$485

20 monthly payments of $24.25 on the Next 12 plan

$100

Sprint

Galaxy S 5

$650

27.09/month for 23 months / $26.92 final payment

$200 after $50 mail-in rebate card

Galaxy S 4

$550

24 payments of  $22.92

$0

T-Mobile

Galaxy S 5

$660

24 monthly payments of $25.22

NA

Galaxy S 4

$549.60

24 monthly payments of $22.90

NA

Verizon

Galaxy S 5

$600

24 monthly payments of $25.22 ($605)

$200 for first phone; second one is free

Galaxy S 4

$500

24 monthly payments of $20.90 ($501.60)

$100

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