With the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the United States just weeks away, it’s time to take a look at everything we know about the Galaxy S5 U.S. release including the release details that have already been confirmed and the details that remain missing in action just days ahead of its anticipated arrival.
Last month, Samsung trumpeted the arrival of its brand new Galaxy S smartphone, the all new Samsung Galaxy S5 that will replace the Galaxy S4 and compete against the likes of the Nexus 5, iPhone 5s and the all new HTC One which arrived on shelves in the United States today.
At the Galaxy S5 launch event, Samsung detailed many of the features that would be coming with the Galaxy S. From its plastic dust and water resistant design to its 5.1-inch full HD display, Samsung had no problem disclosing even the smallest hardware and software features. Samsung also talked about the Galaxy S5 release but it unfortunately did not offer consumers the same amount of detail.
While Samsung did confirm the Galaxy S5 release date for April 11th, it left all of the important details and dates in the hands of carriers. And in true U.S. carrier fashion, it took several weeks for the important Samsung Galaxy S5 release details to emerge from hiding.
Over the past week or so we’ve seen a ton of new U.S. release date details emerge. There are, however, important pieces of information that remain in the shadows ahead of the device’s April 11th release date.
With the new HTC One now on shelves at several carriers including Verizon and prospective Galaxy S5 buyers trying to track down information, it’s time to take another detailed look at the Galaxy S5 release in the United States. Here, we breakdown everything that we know and don’t know about the Samsung Galaxy S5’s highly anticipated U.S. release.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Release Dates in U.S.
AT&T Galaxy S5
Last week, AT&T confirmed a pre-order date for the Galaxy S5 and said that orders would start shipping out on April 8th, a few days ahead of its April 11th street date. Those that wish to order the device early can now do so as AT&T pre-orders have opened up.
The carrier has yet to issue an in-store release date but given the ship by date that it attached to pre-orders, it’s hard to imagine that the date will be much different than April 11th.
Sprint Galaxy S5
Like AT&T, Sprint started taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 last week. The device is available to pre-order online. The carrier says that new customers can pre-order the Galaxy S5 with a Framily plan online but says that current customers that wish to pre-order with a Framily plan must put in a reservation in one of the stores physical retail locations.
Sprint says that the Galaxy S5 launch date, also known as its release date, will be April 11th which means that those that aren’t comfortable pre-ordering should be able to buy it in stores on that date.
T-Mobile Galaxy S5
T-Mobile opened up Galaxy S5 pre-orders yesterday and says that those who pre-order will get their device by April 11th. We would not be surprised if T-Mobile, like AT&T, delivers pre-orders a day or two ahead of the April 11th street date. In fact, we’re hearing that there is a good possibility that that will take place. April 11th should also serve as the device’s in-store release date.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5
U.S. Cellular is not only taking Galaxy S5 pre-orders, it also confirmed that the device would be touching down for customers on April 11th alongside the Gear 2 and Gear Fit.
The nation’s fifth largest carrier says that its orders will likely start shipping before April 9th is over. That means that we could see early orders arrive a day early.
Verizon Galaxy S5
The only major carrier that has yet to offer a pre-order or announce a Galaxy S5 release date is Verizon. Verizon remains silent and it’s not clear when the carrier will break that silence. We expect the details to come soon now that the new HTC One has been announced and released but there is no telling when it will decide to inform its customers.
We expect the carrier’s release date to fall in line with its rivals. A release well beyond April 11th would be extremely surprising given how much flack the company took last year during the Galaxy S4 release. Verizon opted to release the Galaxy S4 about a month after the other major carriers in the U.S.
One thing that we should point out. The Best Buy Galaxy S5 pre-order says:
Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S 5 for Verizon Wireless, AT&T or Sprint, and you’ll receive a $10 Best Buy gift card via e-mail. Plus free shipping.
Look out for details soon.
Other Galaxy S5 Carriers
Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS, and Ting have all confirmed the Galaxy S5 for arrival though none of them have released any release date details. Boost and Virgin have both said that they will release the Galaxy S5 in Q2. That means at some point in April, May or June. We highly doubt that they will wait until June so we should see details emerge in the next few weeks.
MetroPCS confirmed the device for April and Ting said that it planned to release the device in the middle of next month. There is no reason to believe that their dates will be delayed so consumers looking to go small or pre-paid should see some options emerge shortly after the arrival of the major Galaxy S5 variants.
Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 and says that the Sprint and AT&T models will both be released on April 11th. Best Buy is also taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 though its selection is still limited to the AT&T and Sprint models. The retailer does not say when it will release the device but we assume it will be April 11th or soon after given that 100 Best Buy stores currently have the Galaxy S5 on display.
Other retailers like RadioShack, Walmart and Sam’s Club have yet to provide specific details though RadioShack is currently taking pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 ahead of April 11th. We’re going to assume that most of these retailers will have the device available on the first day it becomes available worldwide.
Galaxy S5 Price
AT&T Galaxy S5
U.S. carriers are offering up the Galaxy S5 at a variety of price points. AT&T, for example, offers the Galaxy S5 on-contract, on its AT&T Next plans and off-contract. The pricing varies depending on how consumers buy it.
Those looking to snag it on a normal two-year contract will be able to get it for $199.99. Those looking to buy it off-contract will face a steep $650 price tag. Those who commit to AT&T’s Next plan will be able to pay off the $650 price in installments rather than paying the price in full up front. This is attractive to those that bounce around from phone to phone.
Sprint Galaxy S5
Sprint offers something similar. For $199.99, consumers will have to sign a two year agreement with the Now Network. Sprint also offers the device at $0 down with installments of $27.09/month for 24 months to pay off the full $650 price tag of the smartphone.
T-Mobile Galaxy S5
T-Mobile did away with on-contract plans and instead, it offers the Galaxy S5 off-contract and off-contract only. The full retail price of the Galaxy S5 at T-Mobile is $10 more expensive than it is at other carriers. Instead of $650 it’s $660. Those who pre-order won’t have to put any money down for the Galaxy S5 and will pay $27.50/month for 24 months.
U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5
The U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5 is on sale for $199.99 on-contract. Off-contract, it falls in line with the T-Mobile price. Instead of $650, the U.S. Cellular Galaxy S5 is $660 off-contract. The carrier does not offer any installment plans which means that the $660 will be due up front.
Verizon Galaxy S5
Like the Verizon Galaxy S5 release date, the Verizon Galaxy S5 price is a mystery. We imagine that the carrier will likely follow in the footsteps of AT&T, its fiercest rival, and offer the Galaxy S5 for $199.99 on-contract. We also expect it to be offered with monthly installment plans through the Verizon Edge program.
We would be shocked if Verizon decided to offer the Galaxy S5 at a price point that’s more expensive than the $650 and $660 price tags that we’ve seen emerge. It typically falls in line with other carriers.
Other Galaxy S5 Carriers
The only other price that we’ve seen emerge is for Ting. Ting has said that the device will cost in and around $600 and thus, we expect the price to mirror the price tags that we’ve already seen. Same goes for Boost and Virgin, both of which offer the device off-contract.
Galaxy S5 Deals
Already, we’ve seen a number of pre-release Samsung Galaxy S5 deals emerge. Best Buy isn’t offering any deals on the Galaxy S5, it starts at $199.99 on-contract but Amazon is. Amazon has the Galaxy S5 on sale, for AT&T and Sprint, at $189.99 on-contract. That’s only a $10 discount but it’s a discount nonetheless.
There are other deals as well. Users can get $50 back when pre-ordering at RadioShack. U.S. Cellular is giving out $50 Google Play Store giftcards to those that place an order early. Best Buy offers a $10 gift card to pre-orderers. Those who pre-order through T-Mobile will get $120 off the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 through March 31st. And consumers who go through Sprint and sign up with a Framily plan will get a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 for free.
We should see more deals arrive in and around the actual April 11th release date as carriers and retailers start to compete for attention. We also expect retailers like Amazon to continue to drop the price in the months ahead which means that there is incentive not to pre-order or buy the Galaxy S5 as soon as it comes out.
Galaxy S5 Mysteries
In addition to the missing Verizon Galaxy S5 release date and price, there are some other Galaxy S5 release date details that remain mysteries in the march to its release.
32GB Galaxy S5 Release Date
None of these pre-orders are for the 32GB version of the Galaxy S5 that was announced on stage back in February. In fact, we still don’t when or if carriers will spring for the larger model.
U.S. Cellular told Gotta Be Mobile that it currently has no plans to offer the 32GB Galaxy S5 and other carriers, including AT&T, have refused to comment on the situation.
A recent leak suggested that T-Mobile would stock the 32GB model but that it would only offer the device online. We still haven’t seen it emerge but there is plenty of time between now, April 11th and the Galaxy S6 launch to announce it. At this point though, we assume that the 32GB model will not go up for pre-order through any U.S. carriers.
U.S. carriers are going to offer the black and white versions of the Galaxy S5 but there is still no sign of the blue and gold Galaxy S5 models that had people intrigued last month. Neither device is up for pre-order and neither color has been confirmed for the U.S.
What we have seen is Vodafone UK get an exclusive on the gold Galaxy S5 and it could be that a carrier will get an exclusive on it in the United States as well. So, for now, consumers should only expect to be able to get their hands on the black and white models come April 11th. The blue and gold models could certainly come later but it’s not clear where they will land.
Galaxy S5 Active, Zoom & Mini
Rumors suggest that Samsung has three other Galaxy S5-branded devices up its sleeve for later in the year. A Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom with an impressive camera, a smaller Galaxy S5 Mini and even a Galaxy S5 Active are rumored for arrival. Of the three, the Galaxy S5 Active is the most interesting.
The current Galaxy S5 features IP67 certification which means that its dust and water resistant. This was the feature that Samsung put on the Galaxy S4 Active last year. In other words, it’s not clear what the Galaxy S5 Active will have on board when and if it does arrive. The well known Evleaks says that it’s coming to AT&T and Sprint, it’s just not clear when.
One thing is for sure, it probably won’t be available come April 11th.