The launch of the Galaxy S4 is nearly upon us and with Samsung's flagship handset due to go on sale at 10AM on 27 April in the UK, mobile operators are getting their offers ready.
Unsurprisingly, all the major UK mobile operators will be offering the device on contract, with the handset being offered at various price points, from free and upwards.
Orange, T-Mobile and EE
Orange is offering the device for pre-order already and it is available on all of its current plans. However, the cheapest up-front cost is with 'The Works 51' which costs £51 per month for two years with a handset cost of £19. The plans include unlimited texts and voice calls, and 8GB of data.
For £26 per month you get just 500MB of data and the price of the phone jumps to £269.99. It is also available on Orange's Panther, Canary and Dolphin plans, but none offer a free handset no matter what the monthly commitment.
T-Mobile is also offering the range-topping device, on its 'Full Monty' plans. The phone is available on 24 month plans between £36 per month and £61 per month. Opting for the bottom-end of that price range gets 2,000 voice minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data usage with a £99.99 up-front charge for the handset. The £61 option takes the voice minutes to unlimited and decreases the one-off charge to £19.99.
EE is the only network here that can currently offer 4G LTE connectivity, but it comes at a premium. A two-year commitment of £31 per month, plus a handset cost of £269.99 offers 500MB of data usage. Increasing this to £46 per month drops the up-front cost to £29.99 and increases data usage to 3GB.
EE is also offering the handset on 12 month deals, which adds £10 to the monthly line rental charges and also increases the up-front charge on each tier.
Vodafone is offering the Galaxy S4 for free on 24 month contracts of £42 or £47 per month, or for £69.99 on the £37 per month tariff. You can also get the handset for free on the £37 per month option if you trade in your old phone, subject to Vodafone's terms and conditions.
All three of these contracts offer unlimited calls and texts, with only the data allowance varying. For £37 per month you get 1GB of data usage, for £42 you get 2GB and for £47 you can have 4GB of mobile data.
A note on O2's page says that pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4 have now run out for guaranteed arrival on launch day but that customers signing up before it is released are still eligible for its double data offer, which provides 2GB of data for the price of 1GB on a 24 month contract that costs £37 per month. It also attracts an up-front charge of £69.99.
Unlike other operators, O2 is offering at least one free up-front option on each of its tariff levels – nearly all of which offer unlimited calls and texts.
For example, a 2GB data allowance with a free handset will require a £47 per month commitment, but if you feel like all you need is 750MB of data you can get the handset for free on a £37 per month contract.
It's also available on O2's recently introduced Refresh tariff, which splits service costs from the cost of the phone, but you can only get this deal in-store currently.
The smallest of the 'big' national operators is Three, which is also offering the handset on pre-order from free if you order before the 25 April.
The Ultimate Internet 500 contract includes unlimited data, 500 voice minutes and 5000 text messages for £35 per month for two years. Bumping that up to £37 per month will net you The One Plan that has unlimited data, 2000 voice minutes, 5000 three-to-three voice minutes and 5000 texts.
Amazon.co.uk and Clove currently have the Samsung Galaxy S4 listed for sale SIM-free for £579.95. While the up-front cost is not insubstantial, purchasing a handset outright and getting a SIM-only deal can often work out cheaper over the lifetime of a contract, though, it depends on the contract, of course.