Earlier this month, Verizon announced that it would be releasing the Samsung Galaxy S4 during the month of May. However, the carrier neglected to provide any additional details, saving those for a future announcement. Ahead of its arrival though, the Verizon Galaxy S4 is available to pre-order, only it’s probably not the pre-order that many were expecting.
In March, Samsung announced the new Samsung Galaxy S4, a device that will be taking over flagship status for the Samsung Galaxy S3, last year’s top of the line Galaxy S smartphone. The device is coming with all of the bells and whistles of a big time smartphone including a large 1080p display, quad-core processor, 13MP camera, Android 4.2 and more. It’s also coming to an assortment of service providers in the U.S.
As we have pointed out, that launch has been a bit of a mess, particularly at AT&T and Verizon where details have been both confusing and scarce. At Verizon in particular, details regarding the Galaxy S4 have been hard to come by with the carrier only recently announcing a release window for the anticipated smartphone, despite other carriers being just days away from their releases. T-Mobile, for instance, is set to debut the Galaxy S4 on April 24th, far ahead of Verizon’s release month of May.
Recently, Verizon unfurled a sign up page for the Galaxy S4 where consumers can input their email address to receive information about the forthcoming launch of Samsung’s Next Big Thing. Just because Verizon hasn’t put the Galaxy S4 up for sale just yet doesn’t mean that the Verizon Galaxy S4 isn’t up for sale. On the contrary, the Verizon Galaxy S4 is indeed up for sale ahead of its release, only, there are a few catches that consumers should be aware of before delving into pre-order status.
Verizon Galaxy S4 Pre-Orders Start
Believe it or not, Verizon Galaxy S4 pre-orders have actually been live, in at least one location, since April 16th. Gotta Be Mobile learned that a Verizon premium retailer, not a Verizon corporate store, had begun taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S4 ahead of its release.
While that’s fantastic news, the pre-order also comes with a number of catches that consumers should be aware of. First, the pre-order seems to be limited to one store at the Northgate Mall in San Rafael, California. Checks with other stores reveal that many other premium retailers are not taking pre-orders at this time.
Second, we learned that the pre-order is going to cost around $300 with tax. That could be more expensive than the presumed $199.99 on-contract price that Verizon could tack onto the 16GB Galaxy S4. And of course, third, the retailer has no release date. So that means that consumers will have to blindly pre-order, something that could become a nightmare.
The reseller did tell us that it expects the device to arrive in May and it told us that before Verizon actually confirmed the month as its release window. This is a perfectly legitimate way to pre-order but it definitely may not be worth it for some.
Best Buy Now Offering Pre-Orders
Yesterday, we learned that Best Buy has begun taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S4 as well, ahead of the device’s release date. Details were scarce about the pre-order but today, we have learned some more details in regards to Best Buy’s offer.
Best Buy has informed Gotta Be Mobile that the pre-order works like any standard Best Buy pre-order. Consumers will need to purchase a $50 Best Buy gift card that will reserve a phone and which can also be used towards the cost of the phone. Consumers can also use it towards something else, should the asking price be too steep. Other than that though, details remain scarce.
The retailer told us that it doesn’t have any specific release date in just yet and it doesn’t know how much the price of the device will be. We were given a estimate, which was only an estimate, saying that it would be at least $199.99 on-contract, if not more.
So again, despite being available, Best Buy’s offer is full of catches. One, consumers won’t know the price until Verizon reveals it and two, consumers will have to waltz in blindly without a release date. There is also no guarantee that Best Buy or the premium retailer will have the device on day one.
If Verizon is planning to offer a pre-order, it isn’t saying. So that means that at the moment, and potentially up until the device’s release, consumers will need to use alternative methods to reserve a Galaxy S4.
We’ve heard that the Galaxy S4 might hit Verizon on May 30th and if that’s the case, we imagine that Verizon could offer a pre-order in the coming days, possibly right during the release of other Galaxy S4 variants in order to complicate things for buyers.
For those that wish to buy early though, be careful. While a pre-order might be tempting, there are still a lot of question marks hovering around the Verizon Galaxy S4.