Verizon has launched a buy one, get one (BOGO) free deal on Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus smartphones. It is one of the best deals you can get on the S9 and S9 Plus in the US. Buy one and you’ll get the second device for free. That’s what BOGO means, right? However, as always, there are a few strings attached. Let’s check out whether Verizon’s deal is worth it.
For a limited time, if you buy a Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus on Verizon’s installment plan, you’ll get a Galaxy S9 for free. The carrier will offer bill credits worth $799 over 24 months, effectively making the second device free of cost. It means you’ll have to stick to Verizon for at least a couple of years to take advantage of the deal. The bill credits are restricted at $799. So, if you buy two Galaxy S9 Plus units, the second one will be heavily discounted rather than ‘free.’
Also, you’ll have to buy both the devices on Verizon’s monthly installment plan. That’s a big commitment. Personally, I prefer to buy unlocked phones at full price. It gives me the freedom to switch carriers anytime I want. If you choose to leave Verizon before 24 months are up, you’ll have to pay the remaining balance in full. The carrier also warns that it may take up to two months for the bill credits to apply to your account.
Fortunately, the deal does not require you to trade-in your current smartphone. The carrier will still apply the $25 per line activation fee. You’ll also have to take a new line of service to qualify for the offer. Verizon says the deal does not include monthly taxes and surcharges. Verizon’s most popular plan is Go Unlimited Freedom, which costs $75 per month and offers unlimited talk, text, and data.
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are incredibly powerful phones, though their design is similar to last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. According to reports coming out of South Korea, Samsung’s latest flagship phones have received a tepid response from consumers in its home country despite carrier subsidies and exclusive deals. Retailers blame the S9’s similarities with the Galaxy S8 and A8 for weak sales. The mid-range Galaxy A8 remains the most popular smartphone in South Korea.
Despite sporting the same design as Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, the new handsets bring many important upgrades. For instance, the fingerprint sensor has been relocated to below the rear camera. You can now easily reach the fingerprint reader to unlock the device without accidentally smearing the camera lens. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus also get an Intelligent Scan feature that combines data from the iris scanner and facial recognition to enhance security.
According to DisplayMate, the Galaxy S9 Plus has the world’s best smartphone display. The S9 gets 4GB RAM and a 3000mAh battery, while the S9 Plus packs a higher 6GB RAM and 3500mAh battery. The devices retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD card slot for external memory expansion. The S9 and S9 Plus also feature dual stereo speakers. They run Android Oreo out of the box, and are powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chips depending on the region.
The biggest selling point of the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus is the camera. Both the phones have an 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. On the back panel, the S9 gets a 12MP snapper with dual apertures of f/2.4 and f/1.5. The camera switches between the two apertures automatically depending on the lighting conditions. The f/1.5 lets in more light in low-light conditions while the f/2.4 allows you to take great pictures in daylight environments.
The larger Galaxy S9 Plus also gets a 12-megapixel telephoto lens besides the 12MP wide-angle lens with dual apertures. The telephoto lens allows you to capture portrait images with blurred backgrounds. The S9 and S9 Plus are also capable of recording 4K videos at 60fps and super slow-mo videos at 960fps. Recently, DxOMark concluded after exhaustive testing that the Galaxy S9 Plus camera was even better than the iPhone X in both photo and video shooting.
Meanwhile, Tech Insights estimates that the total bill of materials (BOM) for the Galaxy S9 Plus is $379. It means the latest flagship costs Samsung $10 more than the Galaxy Note 8, even though the Note 8 is more expensive for consumers to purchase. Last year’s Galaxy S8 Plus was estimated to cost $343 to build. However, the S9 Plus is still less expensive to build than Apple’s iPhone X, whose bill of materials is $389.50.
The addition of the telephoto lens and dual apertures is the primary reason behind the rise in Galaxy S9 Plus’s bill of materials. The S9 Plus’s rear camera setup costs $48, up from $42 for the Note 8 (which also had a dual camera) and $32 for the Galaxy S8 Plus.