At Mobile World Congress 2018, Samsung unveiled the new versions of its flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+. (If you missed the announcement, you can check it out here.) While these smartphones are available to preorder as of March 2, and can be purchased on March 16, the real question is when will their prices drop?
Read on to learn when you should expect a discount on the latest Samsung Galaxy smartphones, as well as how much you can save on previous-gen handsets like the S8.
What Are the Specs for the Galaxy S9?
On the surface, the Samsung Galaxy S9 looks pretty similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy S8. It features the same Super AMOLED panel with a 2960x1440 resolution, and has almost exactly the same dimensions. It comes with 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot, 4GB (S9) or 6GB (S9+) of RAM, and either an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, or an octa-core Samsung Exynos 9810 processor.
The most significant changes to the previous gen are that the fingerprint sensor has been moved to below the rear camera, and the rear camera itself has been upgraded. Indeed, the improvements made to the camera and the camera app are the S9's big selling points. It's the first phone to sport a mechanically adjustable aperture, which can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4.
The 12-megapixel camera also features dual-pixel autofocus and the the ability to record slow-motion video at up to 960 frames per second. It also has a feature called Intelligent Scan, which uses facial recognition and iris scanning to lock and unlock your phone. The Galaxy S9+ also comes with a second rear camera.
What Does the Galaxy S9 Cost Right Now?
If you order directly from Samsung, the new S9 is $719.99, while the S9+ is $839.99. You can break the price down into 24 monthly payments of $30 for the S9 (or $35 for the S9+), which ends up being a penny more. T-Mobile will have the same prices as Samsung, and you'll also be able to break this cost out into 24 monthly payments of $30, with no money down for the S9, and $120 due up front for the S9+.
That's a significantly better price than what Verizon ($800 or $930), AT&T ($790 or $920), and Sprint ($792 or $912) will charge.
All of the carriers will also offer credit when you trade-in your old phone, with newer trade-ins — like the Galaxy S8 — fetching as much as $350. Best Buy also offers credit for your old phone and will knock $100 off the price if you preorder your S9.
When Will the Galaxy S9 Go on Sale?
But what if you don't want to drop more than $720 on a new phone? As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. If last year's prices on the Galaxy S8 are any indication, you won't have to wait very long.
We saw prices begin to creep down from that phone's $750 list price shortly after its April release. By July, the S8 had reached an all-time low of $479 — a 36% drop. The Galaxy S8+ took a little longer to come down in price, but it had fallen to $500 by November.
If you can exercise a little patience, you should be able to score a deal on the Galaxy S9; the best prices will most likely come this summer. And if you can wait until the fall, you'll get the best price for the Galaxy S9+. Still, you could save as much as $200 on the S9+ if you at least wait until June to buy it.
How Much Will Older Galaxy Phones Cost?
After the S8 was announced last year, we found deals on the unlocked 32GB Galaxy S7 for as low as $380 (or $370 off list price). We expect that once the S9 is released, there will be similar discounts on the S8, taking a few hundred dollars off.
Because the Galaxy S7 was mired by the Note 7's troubles, it's possible that the S7 was more aggressively discounted than the S8 will be. Still, as we get closer to when the Galaxy S9 will be available in stores, look for wireless carriers to at least discount the monthly installment costs of the S8.
Readers, what do you think? Will you wait for prices to drop, or buy the Galaxy S9 as soon as it goes on sale? Let us know in the comments below.