The Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the United States inches closer by the day and carriers are now offering pre-orders for those that wish to buy the device early. And while we’ve seen a lot of the big Samsung Galaxy S5 release questions solved over the past few days, there are still some huge questions that remain unanswered.
In late February, Samsung did the expected. Rumors and reports put the Galaxy S5 launch on February 24th, the day that the company scheduled an Unpacked 5 Episode 1 event in Barcelona, Spain on the first day of Mobile World Congress.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is exactly what the company announced on stage and Samsung revealed most of the new flagship’s features including its new hardware, its brand new software features and its release date. The Galaxy S5′s global release is scheduled for April 11th in 150 countries around the world.
There were plenty of details that Samsung left out of the announcement including U.S. release dates, price, and some of the Galaxy S5′s more visible features. U.S. carriers were quick to confirm the device but they too left most of the pertinent details out of their announcements.
In the past few weeks, we’ve finally seen some answers. Some carriers in the United States have revealed their pricing, pre-orders, colors, and release date. At the moment, major carriers in the United States are offering the Galaxy S5 on pre-order, allowing those who have already come to a decision early access to its latest flagship.
There are however some questions that remain about the Samsung Galaxy S5 release inside the United States. Vital details remain missing and here, we take a look at the key questions and and make some predictions about we expect the answers the play out in the weeks ahead.
Verizon Galaxy S5 Release Date
One of the more glaring questions concerning the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the United States pertains to the missing Verizon Galaxy S5 release. Unlike its rivals, Verizon has yet to issue any specific information about the Galaxy S5 release date meaning customers on the nation’s largest network still have no idea when it will release the smartphone.
Verizon’s has a checkered past when it comes to big name smartphone releases. Last year, the Galaxy S4 arrived about a month after its rivals released the device. In the case of the HTC One, Verizon released it months after AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint got it on shelves. This year’s Galaxy S5 launch certainly has the hallmarks of another Verizon blunder but we’re not expecting that to happen.
Our best guess at the moment is this. Verizon appears to be wrapped up in the all new HTC One release. Rumors suggest that it will hold an exclusive over the device at launch and so there is reason to believe that it will focus on the new HTC One before it turns its attention to the Galaxy S5.
Fortunately, the all new HTC One will land tomorrow. At the very least, it will finally become official. At best, it will be released on shelves. Android and Me says that it will be available on Verizon tomorrow. So, we’re guessing that Verizon has remained tight-lipped because it wants to focus on tomorrow’s introduction.
After it arrives and the smoke has cleared, we expect Verizon to deliver the Galaxy S5 release date to consumers. We would be shocked if Verizon announces a day that is much later than April 11th, especially since this swift all new HTC One release appears to be a mea culpa for last year’s bungled HTC One release.
Verizon Galaxy S5 Pre-Order
Verizon is the only major carrier that hasn’t announced a Galaxy S5 pre-order ahead of its release. And as we get closer to the Galaxy S5′s global April 11th release, many are wondering whether the carrier will offer up a way to order the device early.
The carrier almost always offers up a pre-order for its flagship devices so we still expect the carrier to pull one out of its hat in the weeks ahead of its release. Again, we have a feeling that tomorrow’s launch is the reason why it’s withholding information and we would not be surprised to hear about a pre-order sometime in the next two weeks as Verizon prepares the Galaxy S5 for arrival.
Verizon Galaxy S5 Price
The Verizon Galaxy S5 price is another missing detail that consumers are curious about. And while we still don’t know how much it will cost officially, there is a very good chance that Verizon will follow its rivals and release the Galaxy S5 starting at $199.99 on-contract.
Verizon typically follows suit when it comes to pricing and given how competitive the market is at the moment, it would be surprising to see Verizon put a premium on the Galaxy S5, a device that is widely available across U.S. carriers. Look for the Galaxy S5 to sport a familiar price tag as Verizon looks to compete with the pack.
32GB Galaxy S5 Release Date
The 32GB Galaxy S5 release in the United States remains up in the air. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular all confirmed Galaxy S5 release details but none of them have put the 32GB model up for pre-order. Furthermore, U.S. Cellular told us that it currently has no plans to release a 32GB version of the Galaxy S5.
This doesn’t rule out a 32GB model in the future. Last year, we saw AT&T and Verizon issue the 32GB Galaxy S4 after the 16GB Galaxy S4 release. It does however make a 32GB arrival across all U.S. carriers unlikely.
As it stands right now, it’s looking like the 32GB model will not be available in the U.S. on April 11th. However, we would not be surprised if carriers offered the device in the days or weeks after the initial release. Remember, a credible leak pointed to a 32GB Galaxy S5 release on T-Mobile so there is no reason to give up hope. Yet.
32GB Galaxy S5 Price
We still don’t know if the 32GB Galaxy S5 will arrive in the U.S. which means that we still don’t know how much a 32GB Galaxy S5 would cost on American carriers.
What we do know is that last year’s Galaxy S4 32GB arrived with a $50 premium. Instead of $199.99, the device was priced at $250 on-contract, or, $50 cheaper than the iPhone 5s 32GB. We would expect the same here if carriers do wind up delivering the larger model. Internal storage space always brings a premium.
Galaxy S5 Colors
Missing in action are the blue and gold versions of the Samsung Galaxy S5. American pre-orders only offer the white and black variants of the Galaxy S5 and we’ve seen no sign of the blue and gold models.
While there is a chance that the two colors will arrive across all carriers, it would be surprised. In fact, consumers should, at this point, prepare for the worst.
Typically, Samsung offers exclusives when it comes to different colors. Last year for instance, AT&T got the Garnet Red version of the Galaxy S4. The Galaxy Note 3 came in Rose Gold to Verizon and Verizon only. There is also a chance that these two colors won’t ever appear in the U.S. The pink Galaxy Note 3, which was shown off on stage, has yet to arrive on a carrier in the U.S.
New colors typically land days, weeks or even months after the initial batch of options so don’t be shocked if blue and gold are released sometime after April 11th.
Galaxy S5 Release Details for Smaller Carriers
MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, Ting and Virgin Mobile have all confirmed the Galaxy S5 for arrival but none of them have confirmed any of the important details. Release date, pricing, colors, and storage remain missing in action.
We expect MetroPCS to stick to its April release and would not be surprised if its release landed a few days after April 11th. Major carriers almost always get priority. Boost and Virgin have said Q2 which means that they could release their devices in April, May or June. We highly doubt that they will wait until June so expect something sooner than that.
As for pricing, expect competitive off-contract pricing. The Galaxy S5 is $650 off-contract in the United States and we wouldn’t be surprised if it lands for around $650 through these carriers.
Finally, do not expect 32GB or different colors upon release. Smaller carriers typically don’t see those kinds of exclusives and it would be extremely surprising to see a carrier like Boost or Virgin offer a 32GB gold model when it’s not available at a carrier like AT&T.