Samsung Galaxy S6
| ||O2 ||EE ||Vodafone ||Three ||Carphone Warehouse ||Buymobiles ||Mobiles .co.uk |
|Cheapest contract (with upfront) ||£13 (£650) ||£32 (£200) ||£26.50 on 3G (£199) ||£39 (£49) ||£30.50 on Voda 4G (£160) ||£17 on EE (£360) ||£30.50 on Voda 4G (£160) |
|Cheapest contract (no upfront) ||£48 ||-- ||£43.50 on 3G ||-- ||£48 on O2 ||£42 on EE ||£48.50 on Voda 4G |
|Unlocked (SIM-free) ||-- ||-- ||-- ||-- ||£600 ||-- ||-- |
Three is the only major carrier not offering the option to preorder either handset immediately, instead sharing limited pricing information ahead of it opening preorders on March 21st. Otherwise, you've got a selection of contract options with no upfront payments available between £40 and £50 per month, though you'll need to look at their minutes/texts/data allowances, as several of them are far from generous. Also note that the table features pricing for the cheapest, 32GB model. More storage equals more money, of course, which is an important consideration since neither handset carries a microSD slot. Pay-as-you-go options are currently non-existent.
In typically proactive form, MVNO giffgaff has a landing page up where you can register your interest ahead of the handet's launch. Somewhat uncharacteristically, Tesco Mobile has done the same, with some pricing information to boot. The MVNO will be offering the S6 from £36 per month with a 2GB 4G data cap, which is an absolute bargain considering there are no upfront costs. Virgin Media has since let us know that it, too, will be ranging the S6 on contracts starting at £31 per month for existing customers, and £36 per month for everyone else. However, both these tariffs come with a miserly 250MB data allowance, so Tesco still leads the pack in that regard.
If it's just the phone you're after, then options are limited. All of the usual suspects that compete in the race to the bottom don't have pricing info for unlocked models currently. This leaves you two outs: preordering an S6 from Carphone Warehouse or Samsung itself. Both retailers will put aside a 32GB model for you in exchange for £600, but if you preorder through Samsung's site or at one of its Experience stores you can get it a day earlier than everyone else, on April 9th.
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
The Galaxy S6 edge is undoubtedly the sexier of the two new handsets, but those curves come at a price. As already mentioned, you can't preorder through Three until March 21st, and between all the main players, it's hard to find options that don't demand an upfront payment. Vodafone has a couple of contracts for the cheaper 64GB model that do fit this description, however. Buymobiles does, too, but we chose not to include them in the table as we imagine prices will be tweaked somewhat when the site figures out a 32GB version of the S6 edge doesn't exist. Like the normal S6, nowhere is offering the S6 edge on pay-as-you-go yet.
In terms of MVNOs, giffgaff will let you register your interest in the handset, but hasn't revealed any pricing details currently. Tesco Mobile is the only MVNO that has this information to hand, and just like with the regular S6, seems to have the best contract deal by a long way, main carriers included. It will be prepared to give you an S6 edge with no money upfront for £43.50 per month (2GB monthly 4G data allowance). Virgin Media will also have contract options for the S6 edge come April 10th, starting at £48 per month for existing customers and £53 per month for walk-ins. Both these tariffs come with a 250MB data cap, mind, making Tesco the much better MVNO option.
Just want an unlocked device with no strings attached? Well, sorry, you're out of luck. The only place you would have been able to get one online is direct from Samsung, if you were willing to spend £760 for a 64GB model, that is. It appears Samsung is already sold out, with the preorder page now showing a shipping date of April 24th for the black model only. All other colours and storage configurations are listed as "coming soon." You could try your luck at a Samsung Experience store, of course, where you could pick one up on April 9th if successful. We wouldn't get your hopes up at this point, though, given its popularity online.