It’s not as if the Samsung Galaxy S 4 itself is a surprise: the phone was introduced in the U.S. last month. Details on pricing and availability, however, are just arriving now, with T-Mobile and Sprint both announcing their plans, while AT&T has updated its Galaxy S 4 order page with a delivery date. If you select a 16 GB Galaxy S 4 on AT&T’s site in either White Frost or Black Mist for $199 with contract, it says the phone will be shipped on April 30.
T-Mobile customers can begin ordering their Galaxy S 4 for $149.99 down on April 24, followed by 24 interest-free payments of $20. The carrier eliminated phone subsides and contracts last month. Customers can now pair the $50, $60 or $70 Simple Choice monthly service with their Galaxy S 4. The benefit here is that once the Galaxy S 4 handset is paid off — a cost $629.99 — the $20 handset payments disappear from ongoing monthly bills. T-Mobile expects delivery of the Galaxy S 4 in retail stores on May 1.
Sprint is still subsidizing smartphones and is charging $249.99 for the Galaxy S 4 in either White Frost or Black Mist with a two-year agreement. Customers on other carriers, however, can save $100 by porting their number to Sprint and opening a new account. Sprint is opening pre-orders on April 18, with phones in Sprint stores on April 27. The carrier advertises unlimited data service for the Galaxy S 4.
The handset is LTE capable on Sprint’s network but if you’re not in a Sprint LTE coverage area, service will drop down to the carrier’s much slower 3G network. That’s a key difference from the Galaxy S 4 on AT&T or T-Mobile: when those handsets are used outside of an LTE zone, they’ll revert to HSPA+ service, which is typically 5 to 10 times faster than 3G.