The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10e are the best reviewed Galaxy S handsets for a long time.
But as you’d expect for a premium phone, there’s a premium price to pay. Especially if you’re buying it off-contract.
Fancy the S10e SIM free? You’re looking at £669. Want the larger S10 instead? That’ll be £799. Decided to plump for the S10 Plus? Be prepared to stump up £899.
By anyone’s standards and whichever S10 model you're eyeing, that’s a big lump sum to find.
The good news is there’s help at hand. With Samsung’s Upgrade Programme, you can get your hands on the Galaxy S10 right now and spread the cost in monthly payments. So there’s no need to blow a big hole in your budget.
That’s not all, though. As the name might suggest, the biggest selling point of the Upgrade Programme is that it allows you to upgrade to next year’s top-of-the-range Galaxy S phone when it arrives.
So how exactly does the Upgrade Programme work? When can you upgrade to the new model? And how much is going to cost you? Read on as we outline everything you need to know.
Use the Samsung Upgrade Program to upgrade to the Galaxy S10.
What is the Samsung Galaxy Upgrade Programme?
Samsung’s programme is designed with two things in mind:
- 1) To make it easier to buy a phone SIM-free and off-contract
Normally if you want to buy the standard Galaxy S10 SIM-free, you’ve got to find a lump sum of £999. Not with the Upgrade Programme.
Like hire purchase schemes that you’ll no doubt be familiar with, the Upgrade Programme lets you spread your payments. So there’s no need to fork out for the whole thing in one go
- 2) Make it simpler to upgrade
After 12 months of your contract has elapsed, you’ve got the option to swap your handset for an up-to-the-minute model. That means you’re not stuck with ‘last year’s phone’ when there’s a newer, slicker handset on the market.
How does the upgrade part work?
Buy the Galaxy S10 on Samsung’s Upgrade Programme and 12 months after signing up, you’ll get a message giving you the option to get a newer Samsung phone instead.
If you decide to upgrade, you’ll have to return the S10 to Samsung. Once they’ve checked the handset and have deemed there’s no ‘excessive damage’ and it’s not ‘beyond repair’, you’ll be eligible to upgrade.
At this point Samsung will close your current contract. Then after a credit check, you’ll start a new contract a month later, with the option to upgrade to a new phone after 12 months if you want to.
What about if I don’t want to upgrade?
There’s no obligation to upgrade, if you don’t want to.
When you buy a handset on the Samsung Upgrade Programme, you sign up for a 24-month contract.
If, after 12 months, you’re happy with the phone you’ve got you can keep hold of it and see out the remaining 12 months of your contract. At which time, the phone belongs to you outright.
How much will it cost to buy the Galaxy S10 on the Upgrade Programme?
As we’ve said above, the scheme works a bit like hire purchase. So you pay a bit more than you would you do to buy the phone outright. But that extra is for the right to spread your payments.
At the time of writing, Samsung is offering a 0% finance deal on the S10 when bought on the Upgrade Programme.
Assuming you complete your purchase while this offer is still running, you can pick up the standard S10 (128GB model) for £29.96 per month, with an initial upfront payment of £79.90. So in total you're only paying the sum of £799. Which is what you'd end up paying if you bought the phone with a single lump sum.
However once the 0% finance, time-limited offer has expired, expect to pay interest of about 14.9% on S10 phones bought on the programme. The result is that you'll pay about £100 more than the £799 that the S10 would cost you to buy outright.
If you exercise the option to upgrade after 12 months, Samsung will then use the value of the phone you’re trading in, so there’s nothing to pay to upgrade to the new model.
As well as not having to find a big lump sum, the extra outlay also buys you the freedom to swap network/SIM provider whenever you want.
That’s in contrast to networks’ early upgrade schemes, such as O2 Refresh. These also allow you to upgrade after a year, but only if you stick with the network you’re currently contracted to.
How good is the Galaxy S10?
The tenth-anniversary Galaxy S phones are being touted as the best in a long time. They're the first to offer reverse wireless charging. They're first to feature an in-screen fingerprint scanner too. And they come with bigger screens and better cameras than the Galaxy S9.
Take a closer look at everything they've got to offer with our complete guide to the Galaxy S10.