Both HTC and Samsung have made breaking news this morning by officially announcing the availability of their 2015 flagship smartphones in the US. The One M9 and S6 series (including both the S6 and S6 Edge) have both been rumored to launch at all major retailers on Friday April 10. Samsung announced that preorders officially begin for their device on March 27 (the date we already knew about from Best Buy, tomorrow to be exact), while the phones will available in store on April 10. Pricing is not yet available for all carrier models of the S6/S6 Edge but leaked AT&T Next pricing this morning shows that the 32 GB S6 should run about $27.17 per month, roughly $550 over the course of your payment terms. The S6 Edge appears to be priced about $100 more. If these prices are accurate then the concerns over outrageous pricing for the S6 models was certainly overblown, we can only hope other carriers would follow similar pricing structure in that case.
Samsung also officially confirmed that you would be able to test out both models in the S6 series on Friday in select carrier locations and of course at Samsung Experience shops inside Best Buy. You can find a list of the locations offering a preview of the devices here. The color choices at launch will be limited to black, white, and gold at launch, although we may find that the brighter blue and green options make their way into stores as a carrier/store exclusive of some type. The press release also confirms that we can expect 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB versions at launch, which should ease concerns for those wondering if the storage would be kept to the smaller capacities only in the beginning. Keep in mind that if you want the S6 Edge you will need to get it from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or US Cellular, as popular prepaid carriers Boost Mobile, Cricket and MetroPCS will carry just the Galaxy S6. Best Buy, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart are also signed on to carry the device from launch.
HTC made a similar announcement this morning about availability for their One M9 flagship. The M9 will be available for order starting Friday at 12:01 AM EDT (that is tonight for all of us out West) to US customers. This is surprising as we expected to have to wait until April 10 to get our hands on the phone. If you order tonight from HTC you will pay $649 for an unlocked phone (AT&T banded) and the phone will begin shipping to you next week, well before carrier availability on April 10. On April 10 you will be able to pickup the M9 from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, all of whom have yet to announce specific pricing for their models. In addition Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and Target are confirmed to carry the M9 at launch. If you do purchase the M9 in the US it will come with Uh-Oh protection . HTC’s new incentive allows for one free replacement of your phone for any reason other than theft, for up to one year from the date of purchase. If you don’t use the benefit you will be able to get $100 off the next HTC flagship, presumably the M10 next year.
Now that most of the information is official, which of these 2015 smartphone giants are deserving of your money? Anyone planning to order the unlocked M9 tonight? I will be picking up a M9 and S6 Edge as soon as possible. Once we have some time with both phones we will have a review of each and comparison video here for anyone still on the fence.
At T-Mobile, a 32GB Galaxy S6 runs $679.92 at full retail. The 64GB version is $759.99 and the 128GB version is $859.99.
The 32GB S6 Edge runs $779.76, 64GB is $859.83, and the 128GB model taps out at $959.83.
It appears the leaked AT&T numbers are either incorrect, or AT&T is just cheaper than T-Mobile, which I find a bit suspicious. We will continue to update this post as more pricing information comes in on the S6, S6 Edge, and M9!
UPDATE 8:17 AM PDT
The earlier ATT numbers indeed appear to be incorrect. ATT released a presser with the official details here. The pricing for 32 GB models is $22.84 per month on AT&T Next 24 for the Galaxy S 6 with 32GB and $27.17 on AT&T Next 24 for the Galaxy S 6 edge with 32GB.
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