The Cheapest Way to Get a Galaxy S7: Contract or BYO Cell Plans?


WhistleOut
15 March 2016

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is finally here, but how can you get it for the best price possible? Should you buy it outright and go on a BYO plan, or would a 2-year contract be better? 

The short-term calculations are easy: most providers are offering it for around $900 outright, or $400 up-front on a two year plan. But how much will you end up paying in the long run?

Let's take a look at a bunch of options and see what works out to be cheapest over two years.

Don't get too intimidated by the big prices. Remember, this is the cost of your phone plus the all your monthly service bills, as well as any start-up fees, over a 24 month period.


Note: 
These plans are from the perspective of someone living in Ontario. If that's not your province, then carrier and plan availability, as well as pricing, may vary. Unless you're in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Quebec, the differences shouldn't be too huge, although you might not have access to Videotron or some of the other smaller carriers.

To change your location, or adjust the search parameters for any of these tables, hit the "view full results" link at the bottom of each, and make your changes on the following page.

1GB plans

1GB is around about where most people start when looking for a phone plan, especially for a flagship device like the Galaxy S7. With this much data you can do some light browsing or social media usage each day, and send a few pics each month.

Avoid downloading any apps or updates unless you're on a WiFi network, and don't use any music streaming services like Spotify, or video services like YouTube, when on cellular data. Definitely switch video auto-play off in any apps that might have it.

Always keep one eye on your usage, and try not to go overboard with gifs on instant messaging platforms.

Contract Plans

(Smaller up-front cost. 2 year contract)

BYO Plans

(Buy phone for full price. Usually no contract)

Interestingly, this is not a straight up and down set of results. Take a look at Fido's BYO option, which comes out to $250 more expensive on BYO than its own subsidized plan over two years.

However, if you'd prefer to be on the TELUS network, you can go with BYO through Koodo (which uses the TELUS network) and save yourself $346 when compared to signing up to a TELUS contract.

Virgin Mobile's BYO plan option is $114.50 more-expensive than if you went on one of its own a 2 year contract.

And then there's WIND, which is always going to be one of, if not the cheapest option if you live in an area with good WIND coverage.


2GB plans

2GB and 2.5GB plans are more comfortable than 1GB. Browsing and social media usage shouldn't be a problem, unless you're absolutely prolific on a daily basis.

Still try to avoid downloading any large apps, or doing multiple app updates while you're off of WiFi, unless absolutely necessary. Light music streaming is fine, but if you do it every day there's a good chance you'll go over. Video continues to be something to avoid, except on rare occasions, and it's probably a good idea to turn video auto-play off in any apps.

If you're a gif-heavy instant messanger, then you might want to rein it in, but feel free to go pretty nuts with images and stickers.

Contract Plans

(Smaller up-front cost. 2 year contract)

BYO Plans

(Buy phone for full price. Usually no contract)

Where Videotron's BYO and contract options were identical in the 1GB category, this time around you can save yourself some money by opting for a contract.

Fido sees a similar discrepancy between its two plans, once again leaving a contract as the cheaper of the two.

TELUS and Koodo have the same dynamic yet again - you can save a decent amount of cash by going with Koodo on a BYO plan.

And once again WIND is right up there as the cheapest option for those in WIND-covered areas.


5GB plans

4GB and 5GB is were you can pretty much breathe easy, unless you're a seriously heavy user and don't often find yourself in range of a WiFi network.

Daily music streaming should be ok, and you can go pretty much as gif heavy as you want on IM apps. YouTube is still something to look out for, but feel free to watch away as long as you spare the occasional glance in the direction of your usage meter.

Contract Plans

(Smaller up-front cost. 2 year contract)

BYO Plans

(Buy phone for full price. Usually no contract)

This time Videotron's price difference is pretty huge between contact and BYO, leaving the former the clear winner.

The same goes for Fido; contact is by far the cheapest of its two options.

TELUS is not represented thanks to its 4GB plan being dropped by the 5GB filter, but its pricing comparison is still similar with Koodo.

In general, contact seems to be the cheaper option in the 5GB tier. But, as always, there are exceptions.


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