The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are already available through all major carriers in the United States. Starting from today though, pre-orders for the unlocked version of the handsets are also going live on BestBuy.com and Samsung’s own online store.
The unlocked version of the Galaxy S8 is..well…not locked down to any particular network. The handset will also work on all major carriers in the United States including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
“With the Galaxy S8 and S8+, we reinvented what a mobile phone looks like, how you interact with it, and what kinds of experiences it can deliver,” said Tim Baxter, president and chief operating officer of Samsung Electronics America. “By combining the freedom that Unlocked by Samsung provides, with the innovative and groundbreaking features of our latest flagship phones, we are giving consumers even more choice and convenience for their mobile needs.”
The unlocked variant of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will be free from any carrier bloatware and apps, though it will continue to come pre-installed with Samsung’s own set of apps and services.
Ideally, another key advantage the unlocked Galaxy S8 shares over its carrier siblings is the promise of regular security updates and faster roll out of major Android updates. However, Samsung has not really managed to keep that promise with the unlocked variant of the Galaxy S7, so it remains to be seen if the unlocked Galaxy S8 will also end up meeting a similar fate or not.
Since the unlocked version of the handset needs to be purchased outright, Samsung and Best Buy are offering trade-in options as well 24-month financing options. The unlocked Galaxy S8 has been priced at $725, while the Galaxy S8+ will retail for $825. Pre-orders for the handsets have gone live today, with the handsets expected to start shipping from May 31.